Category Archives: Hyperloop

Two Netherlands’ airports are planned to be linked by Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One, a California-based company is seeking to make the concept of aircraft-speed ground transportation a commercial reality. A hyperloop track would link Amsterdam Schiphol and Lelystad airports to result the two facilities effectively becoming one integrated aerodrome within five years, according to FlightGlobal.

Hyperloop One senior vice-president global field operations Nick Earle said the company was in “significant discussions with the Dutch government around the concept of creating extra capacity at «Schiphol» by building a hyperloop link to Lelystad. If the concept becomes a reality, Earle says the 50 kilometers journey between Schiphol and Lelystad would take just 4 minutes, creating what he describes as “a single, integrated airport” at a “fraction of the cost” of building an additional runway.

Hyperloop One has built a 500 meters test track in Nevada for its version of the hyperloop technology that was originally conceived by Tesla founder Elon Musk. Other firms are also attempting to commercialise the concept.

The idea is to build a ground transportation system in which passengers and cargo are loaded into pods that accelerate gradually through a low-pressure tube using electric propulsion. The pods are then lifted off the track by magnetic levitation, the aim being for them to glide at speeds of up to 1,046 km/h.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in last October announced a partnership with Hyperloop One under which his company will invest an undisclosed sum in the firm. Branson will join the board of directors and the company will later be rebranded as Virgin Hyperloop One. On announcing the investment, Branson said: “After visiting Hyperloop One’s test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this ground-breaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times.”

Schiphol Airport

Meanwhile Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport added 4.8 million passengers last year with the help of a six-runway setup that’s unique in Europe, putting it almost level with Paris Charles de Gaulle as the region’s second-busiest hub, reports Bloomberg.

Schiphol attracted 68.4 million travelers, consolidating its lead over Frankfurt and putting it within 1 million of the total at Charles de Gaulle. London Heathrow remained Europe’s leading airport despite the constraints of only two runways as airlines turned to bigger planes to boost capacity.

While Schiphol plans to open a third terminal in 2023, when Frankfurt will also add a new building, its advance could be stymied by a cap on flights at 500,000 a year aimed at curbing noise and pollution. The Dutch hub had almost 497,000 plane movements in 2017, 22,000 more than at Heathrow, aided not only by its multiple runways but the ability to operate 24 hours a day — a freedom many of its European rivals are denied.


Touring Hyperloop One’s ever-evolving test site

Virgin Hyperloop One, a company that’s developing a new way of moving people around the world, has precedent when it comes to missing deadlines. The company pledged to test a fully working Hyperloop by the end of 2016, but its first test didn’t take place until Aug. 2017. The future doesn’t conform to timetables, and we can forgive plenty, but it’s still with trepidation that the company sets its next ambitious goal. It intends to have a full-size, passenger-ready Hyperloop in operation by 2021. After touring the transport company’s DevLoop site in Clark County, Nevada, it’s clear the challenges now aren’t technical but political.

For the first time since May 2016, the site was opened up to a handful of journalists this week during CES. Hyperloop One was a vastly different company. Back then, it was led by original co-founders Brogan BamBrogan and Shervin Pishevar — the former quit a few months after an alleged falling out with Pishevar’s brother. The latter would depart at the tail end of 2017, forced out after becoming embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal. In their place, Richard Branson has stepped in as chairperson, rebranding the company as Virgin Hyperloop One.

Another new face is Dr. Anita Sengupta, who has joined the company as the head of its systems engineering division. Sengupta is a veteran of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the figure behind the Curiosity rover’s supersonic parachute that enabled it to land on Mars. Sengupta’s knowledge of theoretical physics will be helpful when it comes to ensuring that the Hyperloop can function safely and reliably. After all, as she says, you don’t get to practice landing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment on another planet.

Her job has been made easier by the fact that DevLoop has now played host to more than 200 test runs of increasing speed and complexity. In November, the company demonstrated that its test pod could reach speeds of up to 240 miles per hour in just a 500-meter long tube. It took a distance of 300 meters to hit that speed, with the following 200 being used for deceleration, fact fans. And even though the tubes have been welded in place, the company continues to make significant tweaks to the system.

There was always a plan to include airlocks in the final design, but engineers were prompted to retrofit one onto DevLoop after a visit to SpaceX’s own test Hyperloop. They noticed how very long it took for the tube to depressurize before each run and started building their own airlock shortly afterward. Now a large white box roughly 10 feet tall sits just after the entrance of the tube, which houses a heavy airlock plate that keeps the vacuum separate from the entryway.

Things organized neatly. Daniel Cooper
The airlocks not only make tests faster but also make the Hyperloop much more energy efficient, since you don’t need as much power to maintain the vacuum. Well, it’s not a vacuum as much as a very low-pressure environment that is kept at between 10 and 100 Pascal during operation. For comparison, the atmosphere most of us experience is around 100,000 Pascal, while the Hyperloop tube is operating at the equivalent of 200,000 feet above sea level.

Now that the physics problems have been dealt with, the company is also doing its best to walk back from some of its more ambitious plans. There will now be a single, unified pod design for both people and cargo and potentially only one or two passenger-pod designs therein. The concept of having self-driving units take you from your Hyperloop to your home has now been scrapped. Instead, its system will enlist the services of taxi, ride-sharing and other last-mile providers to schedule rides in time with your departure and arrival.

The company won’t be drawn on where the first loop will be built but wants to make meaningful progress on the deal in the first half of the year. But if Hyperloop One believes that 2021 is a feasible deadline, then we’ll be holding it to its claims and watching the next three years with great interest.

No hyperloop yet, but there’s a hyperloop mobile app

<a href="” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>CO.Design

Hyperloop–Elon Musk’s crazy idea to transport people from L.A. to Las Vegas in 30 minutes by shooting them through tubes at speeds of 760 miles per hour–is still far from a practical reality. Yet that hasn’t stopped Virgin Hyperloop One, one of the front-runners in the race to build a working prototype, from designing a transit app that integrates Hyperloop trips into its suggestions for getting you from point A to B.

The app, which was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show this week as a concept, isn’t just supposed to be a fun, futuristic Google Maps. Rather, it’s a clever piece of branding meant to help the company show future passengers–and cities–how Hyperloop might fit into their lives. The app lets you plug in your destination, and then shows you the fastest way to get there–which, unsurprisingly, basically always includes Hyperloop. “What this is about is portraying a potential vision,” says Matt Jones, Virgin Hyperloop One’s SVP of software engineering.

In addition to a bit of CES-borne marketing, the app is an exercise in imagining what travel would look like with this new mode of transportation. Jones describes the Hyperloop as a transit system without a timetable, where you only have to wait a few seconds before hopping into a pod that whizzes you away to another city. The only problem with that vision is what happens before you get on the pod–and after you get off.
It’s the classic dilemma with hub-and-spoke transportation networks like trains and airplanes–and, yes, Hyperloops. You have to get yourself to a station or airport before you can embark, and then after your primary journey take another mode of transit to your final destination. What’s the point of taking a 30-minute Hyperloop from Las Vegas to Los Angeles if you have to sit in 50 minutes of traffic to get to your final destination? “It spoils the journey and spoils the optimization that Hyperloop is looking to achieve,” Jones says.

Borrowing from the kind of mapping interfaces everyone’s familiar with, the app is meant to show people, and cities, how a typical Hyperloop journey would work within a given city when it comes to that last mile. For instance, in demos of the concept, it recommended taking Lyft plus Hyperloop as the fastest option; other (slower) transit options include a bus trip or combining a flight with various means of grand transportation. Jones and his team hope the app will help them demonstrate how Hyperloop technology would work within current transportation networks, whether that’s bike-share, public transport, ride-share, or just plain old cars.

While the app is a concept, the company says it will be fully built out with the help of mapping company Here Technologies and released at some point in 2018. It will be fully functional for people to use, complete with mapping of indoor spaces like malls and airports. (Hyperloop won’t even show up as an option for transit since it’s not actually viable yet.)

Jones says the app could eventually serve another purpose in Hyperloop-served cities–one that has less to do with branding and more to do with understanding how people travel. “We could use some of the data to help a city re-plan their bus timetable based on the demand in time and space,” Jones says. “We could help a city when they’re looking at where to put Hyperloop portals in the future, and optimize buses, public transit, and other on-demand services to maximize flow into and out of portals to reduce congestion.”

Primarily, the app will act as a way to show cities the technology’s potential impact. By building a mapping app that includes the Hyperloop, the company seems to be showing governments–its future clients–that it understands how modern transportation functions and how it could fit within these existing networks.

It’s all a bit presumptuous for a company that hasn’t actually transported any humans yet. Nor has it landed a contract with a city government to actually build and run a Hyperloop track. The app might capture the attention of Hyperloop loyalists, but the idea that it could convince cities to invest in such an unproven technology seems a little naive at this stage.
However, the timeline for actually launching the first Hyperloop prototype isn’t as far away as it might seem. The company plans to start building civil infrastructure for the first Hyperloops in 2019. “[The app is] our move toward commercialization,” Jones says. “It allows us to use real-world data to improve the future of operational control systems that will ultimately power the Hyperloop.” The hope is to convince governments to work with Virgin Hyperloop One on that infrastructure. “If we can get an understanding in 2018 of people’s expectations for elements of futuristic transport, we can rapidly engineer those for future Hyperloop systems,” Jones says. “It’s important for [governments] to understand how it will improve passengers’ experiences going forward.”

Jones notes that the app will hopefully also entice other transit companies–the bike- and ride-shares of the world, for instance–to partner with Virgin Hyperloop One, perhaps by creating ride-share hubs around future Hyperloop stations to make it easier to grab a Lyft. “That’s a message that’s important: We’re a backbone,” Jones says. “We will be building and integrating this community of various transit options to get the most out of the Hyperloop.”

Don’t forget to click on the link at top to see videos. If I knew how to embed them, I would be a genius and not a blogger!

Enthusiasm for ‘maglev’ train between D.C., Baltimore mounts — as does opposition

Washington Post

Opponents of a proposal to build a high-speed train line that could make the trip between Washington and Baltimore in 15 minutes are asking state and federal officials to kill the project.

Northeast Maglev, the Washington-based company behind the project, says the 40-mile “superconducting magnetic levitation train system,” commonly called a maglev, would be the first leg of a line between Washington and New York — a trip that could be done in an hour.

Proponents say the project would ease travel in the congested Interstate 95 corridor, but many residents are concerned about the environmental impact and the homes that would be taken to make way for the line.

And, with limited public funding available for transportation projects, opponents say, any taxpayer money that would be used for the maglev would be better spent improving the existing rail infrastructure.

“We don’t believe it is economically viable. We don’t see the ridership. We don’t see the revenue,” said Dennis Brady, a Bowie resident who has organized a grass-roots group against the project.

How Airports Can Keep Up With The Future Of Travel.

Stewart International Airport (SWF) is in the southern Hudson Valley, west of Newburgh, New York, approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of Manhattan. It is operated by the Port Authority Of New York & New Jersey ( So it is not just another little airport. It is sometimes billed as New York City’s FOURTH AIRPORT. It has some of the longest runways in the New York area.

Yesterday was a TOUGH WINTER DAY and Stewart served it’s purpose when the other three airports closed for the snow and ice. See a blog: WORLD’S BIGGEST PASSENGER JET FORCED TO LAND AT SWF NEW YORK AIRPORT BECAUSE OF BLIZZARD

A massive winter storm forced an Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, to divert to SWF, a small New York airport around 1 p.m. ET on Thursday after heavy winds and whiteout conditions closed runways at its intended destination: John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The 325 passengers aboard Singapore Airlines Flight 26 from Frankfurt, Germany, found themselves on a snowy runway for more than three hours at humble Stewart International, about 80 miles north of JFK. Passengers were leaving the plane after 5 p.m. ET using outdoor stairs.

The sight of the giant plane, whose 262-foot wingspan is more than double that of a Boeing 737, was unusual for the airport, which is dwarfed by JFK in terms of passenger traffic. In 2016, about 137,000 passengers boarded at Stewart. At JFK, some 29 million passengers boarded, according to the Department of Transportation.

The airport’s 11,800 foot runway can easily accommodate the large plane, and the airport even bills itself as an “efficient diversion airport” because the runway is so long. But the airport’s gates aren’t high enough to reach the plane’s doors. Stairs were brought to the aircraft and passengers exited the plane into the outdoors.

Then the plane, which is used on some of the longest international routes, will fly a very short route: from Stewart to JFK, according The spokesman for Singapore Airlines said it wasn’t clear how long that would take, but business-jet operators estimate the flight time on a small jet at about 30 minutes. The plane is expected to then fly back to Frankfurt.

Stewart’s history stretches back to the 1930s when the U.S. Military Academy at West Point built an airfield there to train cadets. It became Stewart Air Force Base in 1948 and what is now the Stewart Air National Guard Base is next to the commercial airport.

When the first UK tourists disembark at New York’s newest international airport last summer, they were be in for a shock. Stewart International is no bigger than a motorway service station. In fact, it’s probably smaller. And most of the time it’s deserted. Last Saturday afternoon (usually peak time for international travel), it was remarkably empty –and remarkably clean. Indeed, the bathrooms were cleaner than any I’ve seen at any airport.

But the airport’s advantage (being outside the congested airspace around Manhattan) is also its drawback. It is over 60 miles north of midtown Manhattan. And transport options will take a little while to catch up with the airport’s ambitions. Launching on Thursday, to coincide with the first transatlantic flights, is the Stewart Airport Express, a direct coach service to Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. It takes 1 hour 25 minutes. And travellers are recommended to book seats in advance. This is really the only way to reach New York City unless you hire a car. At the moment a taxi ride is not an option, unless you want to pay as much as your airfare. A local firm quoted me $250 + tip for a one-way trip.

Will U.S. hyperloop dreams be left behind because of old-fashioned regulations?



First, let’s get something straight: it doesn’t matter whether the hyperloop or the “flying train” can reach Transonic speeds and not Supersonic speeds. How about 500 mph if that transcends the antiquated regulatory approval process? That’s about as fast as any freight or passenger plane flies. In case you’re wondering, the Concorde reached 1,354 mph, but hasn’t been in action since 2003 when rising maintenance costs finally put them to rest after 27 years of service.

But this is about China and America and hyperloops and the T Flight “flying train,” which purports to eventually zoom upwards of 2,300 mph. Yes, the China Aerospace Science and Industrial Corporation (CASIC) has begun development of a Supersonic transportation technology, which would shatter Musk’s initially proposed 745 mph design should it come to fruition.

Advantage China. CASIC has enormous resources, netting nearly $1.5 billion last year, and a state-run system, employing 150,000 workers. The proposal is part of a massive $3 trillion Chinese global infrastructure proposal known as One Belt, One Road. Essentially, it’s a modern-day Silk Road, a collection of ancient trade routes dating back 2,000 years that are credited with promoting the exchange of goods and intellectual ideas throughout China, Korea, Japan, India, Persia, Arabia, Africa, and Europe!

The speed comparisons sounds like the stuff of elementary schoolyard brawls: “My dad can beat up your dad.” They may be the stuff of headlines and bravado, but what’s the fundamental issue for seeing them in action? We may never see the hyperloop in action, but it’s not because we don’t have the technology. That’s the frustrating and all too real part, at least for Americans, where the technology was first conceived.

Exhibit A: America still doesn’t have high-speed rail, and that technology has existed in Japan since 1961, and has been implemented in France since the early ‘70s. Ouch.

So, don’t believe the hipster hyperloop naysayers, the haters who want to grab a headline and say ‘don’t believe the hype’. The potential is real, not hype.

According to CASIC, T Flight would use the same magnetic levitation (maglev) model as Musk’s designs, but will seat 16 people and be propelled down a 7-by-7-foot tunnel. It will also feature a turntable to launch capsules on a prospective route every 3 to 4 minutes.

CASIC aims to complete research for T Flight by 2020, and has already registered around 200 patents for the technology. The company is aiming to partner with 20 companies to develop and implement the technology in Wuhan, China.

What will lead us to get left behind is the same thing that has always left America behind along infrastructure lines, regulation policies, byzantine governmental red tape, and also privately held land and corporations who either want a slice for themselves or fear the competition. To this day, the sad reality is that America doesn’t have high speed rail anywhere.

To be fair, CASIC isn’t claiming to “launch” with a 2,300 mph flying train. The company is taking things one step at a time. The first stage of T Flight would transport around 8 million people around the region at speeds ranging from 370 to 620 mph. Only after their goal of connecting major inter and intracontinental cities would they make the jump to the 2,300 mph goal.

They’re also reaching deals with other countries. Teslerati recently reported that HTT reached an agreement with the Indian government to build its infrastructure in India between Vijaywada and Amaravati.

In addition to sponsoring hyperloop development competitions, Musk is doing what he can to promote his vision, not the least of which was the announcement of his desire to develop a hyperloop between Washington, D.C. and New York City. Unfortunately, that’s also connected to Musk sending his infamous quote about getting informal governmental approval, which was immediately shot down by corrective policymakers.

This may be a stretch, but if Spread Networks can quietly build an 827-mile cable line that cuts straight through mountains and rivers from Chicago to New Jersey with the sole goal of reducing the transmission time for data from 17 to 13 milliseconds for high-speed trading in a matter of months, can’t the United States figure out a way to get The Boring Company to do their job and bore some tunnels? Yes, it’s expensive to bore tunnels beneath the ground, but if there’s a company on the bleeding edge and proactively seeking solutions, it would be them. Why else use tunnels? As they tell us on their website:

“There is no practical limit to how many layers of tunnels can be built, so any level of traffic can be addressed. Tunnels are weatherproof. Tunnel construction and operation are silent and invisible to anyone on the surface. Tunnels don’t divide communities with lanes and barriers.”

It’s not just Elon Musk’s (or Richard Branson’s) hyperloop companies that are bringing on the new transportation realities, it’s becoming an actual industry, with rival Arrivio putting together a system of its own.

Yet, rather than seeking solutions ahead of time, the United States seems to be positioning itself in a wait-and-see attitude, standing on the sidelines and smirking at Elon Musk’s every Tweet. People are already theorizing on what it will mean for urban communities and real estate, depending on where the pod stations are located. Others say it’ll work for freight but not for commuters – or maybe not even for freight. Still others just don’t believe “the hype.”


The idea of Hyperloop technology was put forth by Elon Musk, who in 2013 made it open source through a white paper. The concept of hyperloop includes travelling people in a capsule which is propelling at a very high speed. If we are to make a massive investment in this transportation system, then the return should by rights be equally massive. Compared to the alternatives, it should ideally be: Safer, Faster, Lower cost, More convenient, Immune to weather, Sustainably self-powering, Resistant to Earthquakes, Not disruptive to those along the route.

There have been several companies such as Hyperloop One, SpaceX looking to create the first commercial Hyperloop and competitions to develop the technology that will make the transport system a reality.

On the basis of components, the hyperloop technology can be segmented into capsule, tube, and propulsion system. Tube segment is expected to hold significant share of the total market. The hyperloop network is anticipated to present strong business opportunities and bolster business relationships in Asia Pacific.

North America is expected to hold a major share of the total market due to the presence of a large number of major industry players. The region is also expected to expand at a significant rate, driven by countries such as the U.S. and their increasing adoption of Hyperloop technology.

Yes, We got carried away with it. Signed up for a HYPERLOOP between Louisville and Chicago. All I see is press releases with money coming from MidEast, India & Russia.

Hyperloop One raises $50 million from Dubai and Russian funders

Virgin Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles company, announced it has raised $50 million from foreign venture capital investors and made Richard Branson the chairman of its board of directors.

The new round of funding came from Dubai’s DP World and Russia’s Caspian Venture Capital. Axios, which first reported the story, called the money a lifeline for a company so low on cash that the jobs of some 300 employees were at stake.

The company has raised $295 million since its 2014 founding.

Great for them, but poor Louisville to Chicago is stuck on stupid.

Task force hasn’t given up on Missouri Hyperloop

Plans to bring Hyperloop, a high-tech transportation system that could allow for a 30-minute trip between St. Louis and Kansas City, to Missouri was the talk of a task force meeting Wednesday.

The idea sounds like it’s straight out of “The Jetsons,” but it could become a reality in the very near future, Andrew Smith of the St. Louis Regional Chamber said at a meeting of the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force.

With a Hyperloop transportation system, the 250-mile trip from St. Louis to Kansas City would take only 25 minutes. The new technology, developed by California-based Hyperloop One, uses magnetic levitation to propel a train-like pod at incredible speeds.

The company will pick a place in the next two years to build its first completely operational Hyperloop, and Missouri is one of three American finalists. The Show-Me State is a particularly attractive destination because of its central location, Smith said.

“There’s a reason why the U.S. interstate system started in Missouri,” Smith said. “It’s because of where we’re located. It’s a good place to start building a national network.”

Under the current proposal, the route would extend from St. Louis to Lawrence, Kansas, with stops in Columbia and Kansas City. The whole trip would take just over half an hour.

The proposal was created by the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition, a public-private partnership, and has been heavily supported by the Missouri Department of Transportation. UM System President Mun Choi has also expressed support for the plan.

To remain in contention for the project, the coalition would need to conduct a $1.5 million feasibility study to determine the actual implications of building a Hyperloop across Missouri. The other American finalists in Texas and Colorado have already taken strides in that direction, Smith said.

If Missouri’s bid for the project is successful, it could have far-reaching significance for economic development and growth. With plans to build a Hyperloop, the state would be more appealing to Amazon as the company considers where to build its second headquarters, Smith said.

Hyperloop One will make its final decision on where to build its first route in late 2018 or early 2019. The company plans to complete construction on the route by 2021, according to its website.


The promise of hyperloop ranks near the top of the spectacular index: a network of tubes that will shoot people and their things from city to city at near supersonic speeds. But even if you never clamber into a levitating pod, the work being done now to make hyperloop a reality could make your future journeys—whether by plane, train, or automobile—faster, comfier, and cooler.

The hyperloop industry—if you can call a handful of VC-backed outfits an industry—got going in 2013, after Elon Musk published a white paper on his idea of tubular travel and said he was too busy to work on it. (The Tesla, SpaceX, and Boring Company CEO changed his mind this year, and is now working on his own system.)

The essentials are simple: A bus-sized levitating pod would be propelled down a nearly airless tube. Zooming along at hundreds of miles an hour thanks to the lack of friction and air resistance, it could get riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour. And while the physics are sound, building and operating a functioning hyperloop is a harrowing task.

Anyone who nails down the engineering then has to take on tasks like building infrastructure on a massive scale, which means wrangling with regulators and local politics. If they can do that, they then get to figure out how to make money in a market dominated by seasoned, streamlined competitors like airlines.

So, yeah, don’t count on hopping into one of those tubes anytime soon. The good news is that, even if hyperloop never takes over, the engineering work going on now could produce tools and techniques to improve existing industries. Much like NASA’s Apollo missions led to cordless drills, firefighting equipment, and supercomputers, hyperloop has the potential to spur significant transportation innovation if research continues at its current pace. In fact, that crossover has already begun.