Tag Archives: SNCF

Paris to Rome in one hour: France backs the Hyperloop

Photo: Hyperloop Transport Technologies

Imagine Paris to Marseille in just 40 minutes, or Paris to Rome in just over one hour. French rail chiefs believe it’s not just a pie in the sky idea.

Hyperloop One startup, intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes, announced Tuesday that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers.

Hyperloop One said that it raised $80 million in fresh funding from an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France’s SNCF.

“The overwhelming response we’ve had already confirms what we’ve always known, that Hyperloop One is at the forefront of a movement to solve one of the planet’s most pressing problems,” Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar said.

“The brightest minds are coming together at the right time to eliminate the distances and borders that separate economies and cultures.”

While the idea of the Hyperloop replacing France’s already high-speed TGV services might seem a little too far-fetched at the moment, French rail chiefs clearly see some potential in the project.

So why not all ow us to dream a little.

With Hyperloop’s average speed of 970km/hour, imagine all the cities in France being within an hour’s travelling time from Paris. Paris to Marseille for example could take as little as 40 minutes – the time spent by many commuters on the Paris Metro each morning.

A trip to Rome on the Hyperloop would also be little over an hour away and Berlin would be 55 minutes according to very, very early guesstimates.

Pishevar and Brogan BamBrogan founded Hyperloop One, originally named Hyperloop Technologies, in 2013 to make real Elon Musk’s well-researched vision of a lightning-fast transport system with the potential to transform how people live.

Musk outlined his futuristic idea in a paper released in 2013, challenging innovators to bring the dream to life.

Hyperloop One, one of the startups that picked up the gauntlet Musk threw down, plans a demonstration Wednesday in the desert outside Las Vegas to show what it has accomplished so far.

BamBrogan also promised a “full-scaled, full-speed” demo by the end of the year.

“It’s not just a faster train; it is an absolute on-demand experience,” he said during a presentation here late Tuesday.

“It leaves when you get there and goes directly to your destination.”

He went on to playfully describe Hyperloop as having such a controlled environment that it would be “elevator smooth” as well as “pet friendly, kid friendly, grandma friendly.”

Hyperloop One is so confident in the speed at which the project is moving that it announced a global challenge in which businesses, governments, citizens, academics and others can submit proposals for where the systems should be built.

“Just like an Olympics bidding process, we want to understand the great ideas in the world and then extract the best one,” Hyperloop One chief executive Rob Lloyd said.

NOW WE ARE STARTING ON MY (PENNEY VANDERBILT) FAVORITE PROJECT: A rail connection between Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky

It would go through Indianapolis and may also serve Cincinnati. It might not go all the way into Chicago but instead start at the Gary, Indiana airport. Connection to Chicago would be over the South Shore Line

Measure Twice, Cut Once: France’s National Rail Company Just Realised The 2,000 Trains It Ordered Are Too Wide For The Platforms


Well this is embarrassing. SNCF is the butt of jokes on the social media as well as television.

France’s national rail company SNCF has admitted the 2,000 new trains it ordered at a cost of 15 billion euros ($20.5bn, £12.1bn) are too wide for many of the platforms in the country.

Work on altering the platforms to fit the new trains has already begun at a cost of 80 million euros ($110m, £65m), with hundreds still requiring repairs.

Shown above is workmen at the Cagnes-sur-Mer railroad station.

The error appears to have occurred because the national rail operator RFF gave SNCF measurements for platforms built less than 30 years ago, missing the fact the majority of France’s 1,200 platforms were actually built over 50 years ago when trains were thinner.

RFF spokesman Christophe Piednoel told France Info radio:

We discovered the problem a bit late, we recognize that and we accept responsibility on that score.

France’s transport minister Frederic Cuvillier blamed the “absurd rail system”, a reference to the decision by a previous government to separate the national rail operator and train company.

 “When you separate the rail operator (RFF) from the user, SNCF, it doesn’t work,” he told BFMTV.