Dutch team builds Europe’s first hyperloop track

A Dutch company based at TU Delft has built a section of hyperloop track in the first stage of a bid to connect two cities in the next four years.  

Hardt was formed by members of the TU Delft team that was victorious at Elon Musk’s Hyperloop competition in January of this year. The BAM-built track, which is hosted on the university campus, is 30m long and 3.2m in diameter, and the first hyperloop track to be constructed in Europe. As well as TU Delft, Hardt is working alongside US company Hyperloop One and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

“In terms of transportation, a new age has begun with self-driving vehicles, platooning trucks, and drones,” said Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, who opened the facility.

“In the Netherlands, we want to be the European test bed for these innovative and sustainable forms of transport and so build up more knowledge about them. The hyperloop is fast, innovative, silent and sustainable and so very interesting for the transportation needs of the future.”

According to Hardt, a Dutch Hyperloop network would allow the Randstad (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht) to be reached in less than half an hour from all corners of the country. The system could help relieve some of the pressures facing big cities today, enabling people to commute from outside metropolitan areas with short transit times.

“We are creating a world where distance no longer matters,” said Tim Houter, Hardt CEO. “One where you will have the freedom to live and work wherever you want to.”

After completing low-speed tests on the new track, Hardt plans to build a facility that will allow it to test systems at high speed. This facility will be used to explore aspects of the technology involved in cornering and the changing of lanes within the vacuum tube at top speed. If the programme is successful, construction of a route between two cities will get underway.