The province of Groningen is set to start testing hyperloop transportation systems as early as 2024, according to regional development company NOM.
In a statement released in July, the NOM (Noordelijke Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij) said new investment from key public and private investors created the foundation for the completion of the European Hyperloop Center (EHC) and the company’s test vehicle. The EHC is a 420-meter-long test facility, including a track switch. The news was picked up by the Groninger Internet Courant.
Hyperloops are ground-level transportation systems in which people could travel in hovering pods. The pods use magnetism to hover and are propelled along a track inside a vacuum tube at speeds up to 1200 km/h. That’s just below the speed of sound.
In 2020, the Province of Groningen, the City of Groningen and Hardt Hyperloop founded the EHC as a public-private initiative. This is a not-for-profit open innovation centre in Veendam, a town 25km away from the city of Groningen. It was set up to accelerate hyperloop development. The test location has a fully operational hyperloop track switch, which is a critical component for the implementation of hyperloop networks. The EHC will also become an open testing facility, allowing other hyperloop developers and companies interested in hyperloop components to conduct tests at the centre.
In 2024, Hardt Hyperloop will begin testing to demonstrate that the underlying technology of the hyperloop works and thus contributes to the future of transport.
The construction of the hyperloop tubes and the foundations has already started. And the first pipes will be installed by the end of summer 2023.
“Groningen has a leading position in supporting sustainable transport and energy development. As early as 2019, Groningen committed itself to the establishment of the European Hyperloop Center. Investing in Hardt’s hyperloop development is therefore a matter of course,” said Jan Martin Timmer, fund manager of Investment Fund Groningen.