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The addition of the lane switch is a breakthrough, because it brings the realization of a European Hyperloop network closer.

The Delft Hyperloop student team has made history by being the first in the world to add a track change to the Hyperloop, the vacuum train that floats through a tube at speeds of up to 1000 kilometers per hour. The first large-scale tests with passengers are expected in 2030. “The vacuum train departs every 2 minutes to a different European city. This way you can be in Paris from Amsterdam within 30 minutes,” says Cem Celikbas, team captain of the Delft Hyperloop team.

The Hyperloop offers a sustainable and quiet way of traveling, powered by magnetic propulsion. This means that no fossil fuels are needed to propel the pod containing the passengers. “That is why the Hyperloop is an attractive means of transport for people who want to travel sustainably,” Celikbas explains. Karel van Dalen, associate professor of Dynamics of Structures at TU Delft, is also enthusiastic about these developments. “There are doubts about the feasibility of 'green' aviation. That is why I am happy that the students are working on an alternative: the Hyperloop.”

“First test drive with passengers in 5,5 years”

The student team expects that there will be a 2050 percent increase in transportation by 150. Using the Hyperloop can help reduce fossil fuel emissions, as they are not needed to propel the pod. Celikbas explains: “With the Hyperloop you minimize fossil fuel emissions. This is crucial, especially given the expected growth in mobility.” Schiphol could become a potential boarding point for Hyperloop travelers, which would help to spread out the crowds at the airport. “The Hyperloop can depart every 2 minutes to a European destination, so travelers never have to wait long. This prevents unnecessarily long queues and crowds at the airport. In addition, Schiphol offers the opportunity to grow in a sustainable way.”

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Illustration: sketch of Hyperloop at an airport

According to Delft Hyperloop, the construction of a Hyperloop route is financially feasible, as it entails comparable costs to the construction of a high-speed line. In addition, the maintenance costs for the Hyperloop are minimal and no costs are passed on for fossil fuel emissions, because they are simply not emitted. “This means that a one-way ticket with the Hyperloop can be cheaper than a one-way ticket by plane,” says Celikbas.

The Hyperloop is a revolutionary means of transport that combines the speed of an airplane with the comfort of a train. The capsule, or pod, floats through a vacuum tube, which means there is no air or rolling resistance and the pod can reach speeds of up to 1000 km/h. Thanks to the fully electric magnetic propulsion, no fossil fuels are emitted.

The Delft Hyperloop team consists of 39 students from TU Delft who have taken a gap year to further innovate the Hyperloop. Every year a new group of students works on this project. On June 11, the team will present a prototype of the fully floating means of transport in their workshop, the 'Dream Hall', on the campus of TU Delft.

In July the team will travel to Zurich for the European Hyperloop Week 2024. Here they compete against more than twenty other international Hyperloop teams. The aim is to show, as in previous years, that Delft is a leader in the field of Hyperloop technology. The team won the competition in 2021 and 2022 and came second in 2023.

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