February 11, 2022
Hyperconnected Europe kicks off with the support of major cities – event recap (February 10)News
The official kick-off on February 10 attracted 60 participants from all over Europe. Cities, regions and HDP partners gathered virtually to listen to the vision of Dr. Alan James and three Hyperconnected Europe supporters: Berlin, Groningen and Zaragoza.
The webinar can be re-watched here
Launched by the Hyperloop Development Program, the initiative connects mobility and transportation specialists from cities and regions all across Europe. Cities can express their support for the initiative by signing a Letter of Support. Pioneering cities and regions that have signed such a letter are Berlin (Germany), Groningen Province and Rotterdam (Netherlands), Flanders (Belgium), Zaragoza and Algeciras (Spain).
Throughout the year, any interested city can participate in thematic workshops on hyperloop services for passengers and cargo, integration with existing modalities, implementation of stations and tubes in the existing built environment, and the benefits and challenges of a future hyperloop network.
The first stage of the Hyperconnected Europe initiative is to conclude in June with a final report that will summarize the results and sketch the outlines of the European hyperloop system. The main outcome of this stage is a shared understanding of how to best implement a continent-wide hyperloop network within the next decade.
“Realizing zero emission mobility while the demand for transport keeps growing, is a huge challenge,” Stan de Caluwe, Project Lead of Hyperconnected Europe explains. “Building new infrastructure in Europe typically takes at least 10 years, so this is the right time to start planning for building hyperloop connections instead of widening highways or expanding airports. Cities and regions are the ultimate beneficiaries of a hyperloop system, and they should be involved with the design of that system from the start, so that we are certain that it meets our future needs.”
The Hyperloop Development Program, initiated by a group of public and private partners including the Dutch government and the European company Hardt Hyperloop, is also responsible for the realization of the European Hyperloop Center (EHC). Among other things, the EHC will be the home to a three-kilometer-long test track that will soon break ground in Groningen, the Netherlands. Testing is due to start next year to allow system certification for cargo transport by 2025.
“With the Hyperconnected Europe initiative, we hope to identify routes and cities that have a future mobility or connectivity challenge that could be solved with hyperloop,” De Caluwe concludes. “We welcome any European city or region to participate and join the discussions so that the potential of hyperloop, as a sustainable alternative to time-sensitive transport of passengers and goods, can be fully achieved.”
A viable candidate for the first commercial hyperloop route is the corridor between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The Cargo-Hyperloop Holland feasibility study published last year had demonstrated that even with cargo transport only, the benefits outweigh the costs of building and operating the infrastructure.
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