The Hyperloop project, intended to design a train moving faster than an airliner, is struggling to see the light of day. The story dates back to 2013, when Elon Musk proposed to explore a new electromagnetic propulsion technology, which he calls “Hyperloop alpha”. The objective is to develop a very high-speed mode of rail transport that is more ecological than an airplane. Several start-ups and manufacturers want to take up the challenge and are rushing into a development race. Among the various initiatives launched, that of the Canadian company Transpod, also present in Bari in Italy and near Limoges in France. It is also in the small town of Droux, in Haute-Vienne, that it must build a 3 km test track to experiment with its train traveling at 1,000 km/h. In December 2019, the project received a grant of €2 million from the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. But in its edition of September 18, 2022, the Sud-Ouest newspaper reports on a construction site at a standstill. An announcement contested by the CEO of Transpod, Sébastien Gendron, who declared that he planned “to reimburse the public aid (…) received to have peace” without providing more details on the progress of the project. An American company, Hyperloop TT, has also chosen France, in Toulouse more precisely, to open a research and development center for a train capable of traveling between 400 and 500 km/h. Enough to connect Toulouse and Montpellier in 20 minutes. A first test track 320 meters long is set up. A second of 1.2 kilometers must follow but, in December 2021, the American company declares that it gives up it. On the other side of the Atlantic, Virgin Hyperloop, the company of British entrepreneur Richard Branson, has invested $10 billion in its train project capable of exceeding 1,000 km/h and expected for 2025. There are well had tests in the Nevada desert at a speed of 387 km/h. In 2020, the futuristic train also transported passengers at a speed of 172 km/h, but the company has since chosen to refocus on freight. Almost a decade after the announcements of the CEO of Space X and Tesla, the mobility revolution does not seem to be tomorrow…

To go further, discover our studies of logistics-transport sector.

Leave a Comment