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Europe Might Get Elon Musk's Hyperloop Before the U.S.

Posted April 07, 2016 6:19 AM by Jordan Perch
Pathfinder Tags: Elon Musk

When Elon Musk first announced his plan for building a futuristic transportation system called "Hyperloop", that would be able to transport passengers and goods at speeds of up to 760 mph, most people thought that it was nothing more than a pipe dream.

But, despite the skepticism surrounding the Hyperloop, the idea continued to gain traction over the past couple of years, and it now seems to be pretty close to becoming a reality. However, while Elon Musk, the person who envisioned the Hyperloop, intended to build the first public transport line based on that concept in California, it seems that it might come to Europe first.

Agreement with Slovakia

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), the company that develops the transportation system introduced by the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has announced that it has reached an agreement with the government of Slovakia, to see whether there is a possibility to build the system in this Central European country.

"Slovakia is a technological leader in the automotive, material science, and energy industries, many of the areas that are integral to the Hyperloop system," said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT. "Having a European Hyperloop presence will incentivize collaboration and innovation within Slovakia and throughout Europe."

Connecting Bratislava with Vienna and Budapest

Neither HTT nor the Slovakian government released detailed information on when the project could be launched and what the construction of the system could cost, but the California-based startup did say that there are a couple of potential routes for the system that are being considered at the moment.

One of the routes would connect the Slovakian capital of Bratislava with Vienna, Austria. It's a 50-mile route, with passengers completing that journey in around 60 minutes by train. If the system is put in place, travel time between the two cities would be reduced to just 8 minutes.

The other route would be between Bratislava and Budapest, Hungary, potentially cutting the time it takes to cover the distance by train from 2,5 hours to 10 minutes in a low-pressure tube train designed by HTT.

If the project ever reaches realization, it will undoubtedly revolutionize transport in Central Europe and boost economic growth in that region.

"Hyperloop in Europe would cut distances substantially and network cities in unprecedented ways," said Vazil Hudak, Minister of Economy for Slovakia. A transportation system of this kind would redefine the concept of commuting and boost cross-border cooperation in Europe. The expansion of Hyperloop will lead to an increased demand for the creation of new innovation hubs, in Slovakia and all over Europe."

At the moment, building a Hyperloop system in Europe is just an idea, but the agreement between HTT and the Slovakian government shows that the project could see the light of day in the near future. There will be a lot of hurdles that will need to be overcome before construction can begin, including regulatory issues, along with the fact that such a project is expected to be extremely expensive, with Musk originally estimating overall costs to be somewhere between $6 and $7.5 billion.

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#1

Re: Europe Might Get Elon Musk's Hyperloop Before the U.S.

04/07/2016 2:16 PM

" . . . a pipe dream." Yuk-yuk. I sure hope Europe gets it first.

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#3
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Re: Europe Might Get Elon Musk's Hyperloop Before the U.S.

04/11/2016 12:25 AM

I don't know who wants to ride it, if the cabin seals leak. Could be a horrible disaster.

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#2

Re: Europe Might Get Elon Musk's Hyperloop Before the U.S.

04/08/2016 4:32 AM

The trip from Bratislava to Vienna along the train route is the best option but not to Budapest. Instead, a straight shot through Dorog looks best because of the prevalence of farmland between those two points. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bratislava+Airport/@48.1702634,17.2083351,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x476c8f6769b0bf69:0xbc24346431f66ff7!5m1!1e4

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