Hyperloop shuttle takes a step forward in Finland with new technical study

The hyperloop is an American invention that seats passengers inside a shuttle that then travels through a tube at high speeds. Here, a Hyperloop tube is displayed during the first test of the propulsion system, in the United States. (David Becker/Getty Images)
Plans for a high-speed hyperloop transportation shuttle inched forward as sponsors begin looking into land use and environmental impact studies for a connection between Turku and Helsinki.

The city of Salo has ordered the analysis and is also considering a test track to Turku.

For the some time Hyperloop One has been no more than a vision of what could be. However that vision took one step closer to reality as officials have begun looking more detailed technical reports.

The hyperloop is an American invention that seats passengers inside a shuttle that then travels through a tube at high speeds. The shuttle itself has a magnetic field, so it doesn’t touch the sides of the tube. This prevents air resistance and friction and explains why the vehicle can reach speeds exceeding 1,000 kilometres an hour.

The focus is now on examining the possibility of building a test track between Salo and Turku. Also on the agenda is a probe into the possibility of constructing a section of track between Turku and Helsinki.

The technical report currently on the table will likely to focus on land use and environmental impacts.

From Helsinki to Stockholm in under 20 minutes

Construction of a test track will also involve a more detailed technical analysis that will consider the requirements for building a test track. The report will also evaluate framework conditions, zoning requirements, environmental impact assessment principles and necessary permits.

The technical analysis will be compiled by the engineering consultant firm Ramboll for the customer, the city of Salo. The state innovation financier Tekes will provide funding for the technical study.

A preliminary analysis of the project conducted last year looked at the requirements for constructing a fixed hyperloop connection between Finland and Sweden.

Such a travel link would take commuters from Helsinki to Stockholm in less than 20 minutes. Commuters would travel from Turku to Sweden via an undersea tunnel and other cities could become transit points.

It’s not yet known how much such a project will cost, but a ballpark figure for a service connecting Helsinki to Stockholm runs into the billions, rather than millions of euros.

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