Dutch business leaders ask government to fund hyperloop testing centre

Artist’s impression of the test facility. Source: Hardt Hyperloop

The Dutch government should invest in developing a hyperloop test track in the Netherlands and business leaders are prepared to invest in the project if the state does so as well, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday.

Last month, then transport minister Melanie Schultz selected Flevoland as the best location for a hyperloop test track but said it would be up to her successor to decide whether or not to finance it.

Builder BAM, aerospace group Fokker, engineering consultancy Movares, transport systems manufacturer VDL and Dutch Rail NS are now urging the government to invest in the project, the FD said.

Train operator ProRail and the Rotterdam port authority also back the unique transport system. ‘Europe is going to get a hyperloop test track so why not make sure it is here?,’ Jacco Buisman of civil engineering group Movares, told the paper.

The TNO research institute estimates it would cost €120m to develop a five-kilometre test track. If successful, the Hyperloop will be able to move passengers and cargo at speeds of up to 1,200 kph through a vacuum tube.

In January, a team of engineering students from Delft won the top prize in a US competition inspired by Tesla’s Elon Musk to design a pod for this futuristic form of transport.