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The new £10m space-age train in Europe that will promises to revolutionise travel

A space age train that could change transport forever has had its new HQ test centre revealed. Its fans say it’s more efficient than short-haul flights, high-speed rail and freight trucks – and the uber futuristic Hyperloop could revolutionise the way we travel.

Hyperloop – which was praised by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk – involves capsules floating on magnetic fields and hopes to whisk passengers across Europe at speeds of around 450mph through low-pressure tubes.

Now its £10m test centre – which is just 420 metres long – has officially opened in Veendam in the northern Netherlands – and is ready to put the transport system through its paces.

The European Hyperloop Center (EHC) announced the completion of its hyperloop test infrastructure as it opened up for the first tests on March 27.

This facility is set to commence its first tests in the coming weeks.

Sascha Lamme, Director of the EHC,said: “This marks a pivotal moment in hyperloop development.

“It is great that this state-of-the-art facility in the Province of Groningen has been brought to life with the support of all our partners, and we can’t wait for the first tests to happen”.

The test infrastructure at the EHC is designed to represent real-world conditions.

But not everybody thinks Hyperloop is the answer to transportation problems such as congestion and carbon emissions.

Robert Noland, professor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, said in comments emailed to The Associated Press that it was just another example of a “shiny object” unveiled by leaders.

He said: “This is just another example of policymakers chasing a shiny object when basic investment in infrastructure is needed.”

“It costs too much to build,” he added. The test centre’s tube is made up of 34 separate sections which are 2.5m in diameter.

A vacuum pump in a steel container next to the tube sucks out the air to reduce the internal pressure which reduces drag and allows capsules to travel at breakneck speeds.

Dutch hyperloop innovator Hardt Hyperloop will take part next month in the first tests at the centre. The tests are part funded by private investment but there are also contributions from the local government, Dutch national government and European Commission.

The hyperloop developers are also setting their minds to developing routes while the testing continues in Veendam.

Lamme added: “Really the main challenge is finding government commitments to build routes and, on the other hand, finding new funding to realise the necessary test facility and technology demonstration that you need to do to make this happen.”


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