Transportation startup TransPod has begun the next phase in a multi-billion-dollar hyperloop project in Alberta, Canada.
The company claims it is the first tube-transportation company to confirm financing for a billion-dollar infrastructure project.
Under this next phase, Broughton Capital Group and China-East Resources Import and Export Co (CERIECO) have agreed to provide $550 million in financing to accelerate the development of a TransPod hyperloop line between Edmonton and Calgary. The line will allow travelers to ride a hyperloop that will take 45 minutes from Calgary to Edmonton at a price of about $72.
In a feasibility study on the TransPod line, this ultra-high-speed project will create up to 140,000 jobs and add $19.2 billion to the region’s GDP throughout construction.
The next phases of the Alberta hyperloop project includes:
- First phase: Research and development, construction permit, environmental assessment and land acquisition.
- Second phase: Construction of a test track, high-speed tests and certification — slated to begin in 2023.
- Third phase: Construction of a full inter-city hyperloop between Edmonton and Calgary beginning in 2027.
The idea of hyperloop transportation has come under scrutiny lately after Virgin Hyperloop, one of the highest profile companies developing the technology, decided to abandoned passenger travel in favor of cargo transportation.
However, there are plenty of startups continuing to pursue passenger travel as a potential use case for the hyperloop, which is billed as the fifth mode of transportation.
Hyperloop technology uses magnetic levitation to lift a pod off the track and guide it as it moves, creating a friction-free track. Almost all the air in the tube surrounding the pod is removed to create the same environment found at 200,000 ft above sea level. The combination of the linear motor, magnetic levitation and low-pressure tube reduces drag so that only a small amount of electricity is needed to propel the pod at speeds as high as 670 mph. This could possibly create a more cost-effective system than high-speed rail or airline transportation.
The technology is not only ultra-fast but is reportedly energy-efficient and completely CO2 neutral. This combination is one of the reasons the hyperloop has gained attention in the transportation market as countries look for new ways to meet carbon footprint requirements while providing new ways of traveling for consumers.
In the Alberta hyperloop project, over the course of a year, the ridership between Calgary and Edmonton could reduce CO2 emissions by 636,000 tons per year, the equivalent of planting a forest four times bigger than Calgary.