Canada to order a Hyperloop Feasibility StudyApril 11, 2019
The Government of Canada is officially interested in the Hyperloop technology.
Transport Canada, which is responsible for transportation policies and programs and promotes safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation, announced the Request for Proposal (RFP) for professional services of a transportation consultant to evaluate the Hyperloop’s feasibility.
Hyperloop is described as a new intercity transportation concept and would be able to shorten the travel time from Montreal to Toronto to about 40 minutes, which currently takes about 6 hours by car.
“Promoters are engineering the design to provide travellers with a travel mode featuring very high speeds, fixed guideways above and below ground, and capsule-like vehicles called pods, propelled within a network of looped sealed partial-vacuum tubes,” says the Request for Proposal.
“Promoters claim that this developing technology can be constructed and operated at a cost and installation footprint less than other existing technologies such as High Speed Rail or Maglev (magnetic levitation technology that uses two sets of magnets to elevate the train above the tracks and move it forward).” it continues.
The aim of ordering the study by Transport Canada is to be “better informed on the technical, operational, economic, and regulatory aspects of the Hyperloop and understand its construction requirements and commercial feasibility.” The RFP also requests to look into the safety of the infrastructure.
Hyperloop technology is not yet proven but there have been a number of test facilities around the world that have been created to test the Hyperloop assumptions of very low pressurized tubes, passenger capsules, elevation, propulsion, energy generation and distribution, and passenger ride quality.
“It’s a positive sign that the federal government is taking this seriously,” commented Sebastien Gendron, Canadian Transpod’s Co-founder and CEO.
“The regulatory aspect is key for us as we don’t have any framework as of today,” he said. “We need to define that framework to be able to have all the authorization to commercialize the product in the next few years.”
The CEO also said they were concerned that the Canadian government would get left behind in the global discussions around Hyperloop. Transpod worked with the French Government in 2018 and the US has also announced a committee to work on the regulatory aspects of Hyperloop.
“The timing is good and it’s interesting to see Canada is moving within the same timeframe,” said Gendron.
Canada was also a subject in the Hyperloop One’s Global Challenge, where the proposed route between Canadian cities of Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto would “create a Canadian mega-region with as much as a quarter of the country’s population.”