US-based company Hyperloop One has released the first pictures of its 500m full-scale test track in Nevada, as well as further details on a planned Hyperloop system to connect the Gulf region.
Having signed an agreement with the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority last year, Hyperloop One is planning on making supersonic rail a reality, connecting the cities of the UAE as well as the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Based on a concept first tabled by Elon Musk, the high-speed transport network could connect a host of major cities across the Middle East in less than an hour.
The new test track – or DevLoop – 30 minutes outside Las Vegas, brings that vision a step closer to reality. Measuring 3.3m in diameter, the DevLoop builds on last year’s open-air propulsion test. According to Hyperloop One, the first tests on the new track will take place in the first half of 2017.
“Our team of more than 150 engineers, technicians and fabricators have been transforming what was, just over five months ago, a barren stretch of desert, into a hive of activity and now home to the world’s first full-scale Hyperloop test site,” said Josh Giegel, president of engineering and co-founder of Hyperloop One.
“We have come so far in such a short space of time, and our team of over 240 employees are working tirelessly to eliminate the barriers of distance and time and reinvent transportation.”
Progress on the DevLoop was announced at Middle East Rail, an industry event taking place in Dubai. Delivering the international keynote, Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd outlined the ways in which the technology could benefit the region.
“While technology is revolutionising many facets of our lives, we have not seen a radical change in transportation since the Wright brothers introduced air travel over 100 years ago,” he said.
“Tying together the Middle East region would produce greater virtual density, without congestion and pollution, spurring innovation, productivity, job growth and more powerful sharing of knowledge, labour and investment. Building a Hyperloop would vastly impact the economy and make any major city in the GCC accessible within one hour.”