A high-speed hyperloop route between Edmonton and Calgary is a little closer to reality after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the government of Alberta and Transpod.
The TransPod hyperloop will be fully electric, powered by a mix of solar panels and electricity. It is designed to carry both passengers and cargo, and travels at an average speed of between 400-600km/h, with a top speed of 1,000km/h.
According to a press release, the company says its system travels in a protected guideway that is unaffected by weather, something particularly important when considering a typical Alberta winter.
There will be multiple phases to the project, estimated to cost between $6 and $10 billion. The government has agreed to support the plan by sharing data, identifying land and participating in discussions with potential investors.
- Short-term: feasibility study (2020-2022)
- Short-term: research and development phase (2020-2024)
- Medium-term: test track construction and high-speed tests (2022-2027)
- Long-term: construction of a full inter-city line between Edmonton and Calgary (to begin in 2025)
When complete, Albertans would be able to enjoy a hyperloop line between the Edmonton and Calgary airports, with an additional stop in Red Deer. The test track will serve as the first phase, with additional expansions in the future.
According to TransPod CEO and co-founder Sebastien Gendron, it would take about 30 minutes to travel between Edmonton and Calgary in one of their high-speed pods. If you were to drive the same route, Google Maps says it would take about 3 hours 15 minutes.