The Dutch startup Hardt is a spin-off of the TU Delft. At the beginning, the company made headlines with a spectacular announcement: By 2021, a hyperloop connection was to be established between Amsterdam and Paris. The planned travel time was only thirty minutes. In the meantime, however, this far-flung schedule has been abandoned. Nevertheless, the Netherlands continues to work meticulously on the realization of the Hyperloops. Among other things, this is evident from the fact that the first European test track has now been completed in its original size. Although this is only about thirty meters long, but has a special feature: With the Lane Switch technology to be tested, as the capsules as possible without loss of speed can change the track.
In two years, three kilometers of test track will be available
This may be necessary, for example, to switch from a side tube back into the main tube in a fully developed tunnel system. Otherwise, the test track is equipped with all the functions of a hyperloop. In the tube so a vacuum can be generated, which significantly reduces air resistance. The magnetic levitation, which should ultimately allow speeds of more than 1,000 kilometers per hour, can be tested there. Within the next two years, the test track will be extended to three kilometers. At the same time, the construction of a "European Hyperloop Center" is planned. It will be a research and development center that operates the test track and ideally realizes the planned maximum speed for the first time. Whether other companies and research institutions will be able to use the test tube is still unclear.
The Hyperloop could make flights obsolete
The construction of a first European test track represents an important milestone. Until now, US startups in particular have been in the lead in this regard. The technology also has the potential to solve a currently hotly debated problem. Because so far, air travel on the one hand, often by far the fastest way to get to the destination. On the other hand, they are also particularly harmful to the climate. With the Hyperloop travel times over land could be minimized so far that – at least theoretically – fewer flights would be necessary. But it is still unclear whether the technology will ever make the breakthrough. The startup Hardt at least seems well equipped to solve the tasks still to be tackled: The shareholders include Deutsche Bahn, Continental, Tata Steel and ABB.