Tested for the second time at the end of July in the desert of Nevada, in the United States, the very high-speed train Hyperloop could be put into service as early as 2021, according to the company that develops it, Hyperloop One. This last has unveiled this photo, on which you can see which would be the prototype of the capsule’s passengers.
Make the trip Montreal-Toronto in only 39 minutes ? This is the length of travel that prides itself on the fact an american company with its project to train futuristic Hyperloop, which could see the light of day in Canada in a few years and transform the experience of transportation of the population.
After the car, the boat, the train, the subway or the plane, a new concept of public transport could make its appearance within a few years : the Hyperloop, an elevated train that can go at a speed comparable to that of airliners. A very promising project, according to the experts, who had, however, raised several questions about its implementation in the country.
Tested for the second time at the end of July in the desert of Nevada, the high-speed train Hyperloop could be put into service as early as 2021 depending on the company that develops it, Hyperloop One. And among the ten international proposals presented, the trajectory Montreal-Toronto proposed by the canadian subsidiary of the american giant of the engineering AECOM has been retained.
The project Hyperloop was launched in 2013 by the business man canadian-american Elon Musk, who is also at the origin of the electric cars of Tesla and the rockets of SpaceX. The principle is to propel a capsule passengers through a tube at low pressure maintained in the air thanks to a system of magnetic levitation and electricity to operate — at a speed of 1200 km/h, according to projections by the american firm.
Instead of spending 5 hours in his car or in a train to cover the distance between Montreal and Toronto, we could make the journey in 39 minutes by Hyperloop. The trip would include a stop at Ottawa ; thus, going from Toronto to Ottawa would take 27 minutes, while travel from Ottawa to Montreal would be possible in 12 minutes. The commercial viability of the route must now be examined.
If after two tests — one of which was allowed to circulate a prototype 450 m to 310 km/h —, Hyperloop One believes that his project can enter the marketing phase, experts believe that some challenges remain, both for the technology and the security, that the development of the territory.
For Denis Gingras, a professor at the University of Sherbrooke and director of the Lab of intelligence communication, the train, which seems straight out of a science-fiction film, is yet to ” step to the drawing board “.
“Still you need to create this tube of a length of phenomenal, and to be able to maintain a very low pressure so that the capsule is propelled safely without encountering the walls ; 1200 km/h, this is not far from the speed of sound, it is risky “, he explains.
“I wonder who, in my circle, would like to embark in there tomorrow morning. It boggles the mind, that speed “, – emphasizes the director of Trajectory Québec, Philippe Cousineau Morin. He believes that the citizens are going to need to be reassured and convinced by the security level of the Hyperloop before boarding.
Yet, this fear of speed was already present when the train, car and plane have made their appearance, according to the professor, Polytechnique Montreal Nicolas Saunier. He explains that the most dangerous is not speed, but rather the acceleration must respect some limitations and be for the safety of the passengers.
In the eyes of Mr. Saunier, the Hyperloop could take hold faster than you think, the technology used is already ” known and controlled “.
“This is an opportunity to adopt a technology even more advanced,” he says, noting the delay of Quebec in matters of transport by rail, compared to Europe, which has many high-speed trains for several years.
Mr. Morin does not share his opinion. “There are already plenty of technologies proven to exist, why not use them ? “He feared above all that the growing popularity of the Hyperloop is not an excuse to put off the creation of a high-speed rail in the Québec-Windsor axis, waiting for years.
I wonder who, in my circle, would like to embark in there tomorrow morning. It boggles the mind, this speed.
Philippe Cousineau Morin, director of Path Quebec
A recent study published by Transpod, a startup canada launched at the end of 2015, which is developing its own model — indicated, however, that the construction of a system of type Hyperloop will cost 30 % less than a high-speed rail line.
But mostly it’s the plane that the Hyperloop could make the competition, according to M. Saunier. “This will be faster than the plane, if we take into account time at the airport and security. And this will be especially less expensive, because you can feed the system with electricity. “
Review the development of the territory ?
Professor in the Department of urban studies and tourism, UQAM, Florence Junca-Adenot is prudent in the face of the enthusiasm raised by the new transport concept. She recalled that various projects to link Montreal to Toronto have been proposed in recent years without success.
According to her, the question of development remains a major challenge with a project of this scale : how do you get the Hyperloop up in the city centre, an environment already urbanized and already possessing other means of transportation ? “If one has already found it difficult to get a high-speed train through the city centre of Montreal, the tube, we go where ?” asks she.
It is estimated that the Hyperloop will be for that reason easier to implement in cities in full development of its infrastructure and high density, as well as in Asia. “It takes space to install the tube and especially of the world to carry on the axes concerned. It is far from this class-between Montreal and Toronto. “
In this regard, it calls into question the argument that environmental often put forward by the defenders of the Hyperloop, in relation to the link between the two canadian cities. Operating primarily on electricity, the train to the look of the future, would remove a considerable number of cars on the roads and thus reduce the production of greenhouse gases. “It’s interesting, but it is necessary for it to be a sufficient pool. A lot of people are already taking the plane or the train to Toronto-Montreal, so a transfer of these two modes of transport to the Hyperloop would have less environmental impact. “
Denis Gingras, director of the Lab of intelligence communication, think that the Hyperloop might solve the problem of interurban transport, replacing planes, trains, and cars to browse large spaces. The regions would benefit, and could grow further, according to him. “Often, people want to live near their work. If we can travel great distances in so little time, it will encourage them to live far from work without a problem. “To Mr. Saunier, professor at Polytechnique Montréal, the Hyperloop will, on the contrary, to increase the concentration of jobs in big cities, which doesn’t favor the regions. “Why a company would have offices in another city if we can move so quickly and so easily from one place to another ? “
Less urban sprawl?
Denis Gingras, director of the Lab of intelligence communication, think that the Hyperloop might solve the problem of interurban transport, replacing planes, trains, and cars to browse large spaces. The regions would benefit, and could grow further, according to him. “Often, people want to live near their work. If we can travel great distances in so little time, it will encourage them to live far from work without a problem. “To Mr. Saunier, professor at Polytechnique Montréal, the Hyperloop will, on the contrary, to increase the concentration of jobs in big cities, which doesn’t favor the regions. “Why a company would have offices in another city if we can move so quickly and so easily from one place to another ? ”