After the allocation of 15 million euros from the European Commission at the end of 2021, the development of the test center for the hyperloop in Groningen has gained momentum. In Meerstad, near the city of Groningen, a location was designated in 2019 for the construction of this test center. The European Hyperloop Center (EHC) is working together with the municipality of Groningen on a plan for this. Careful integration of the test center into the environment and going through spatial procedures takes time. In order to maintain speed, EHC is in conversation with HUSA Logistics to temporarily build the first phase of the test track in Veendam.
Test track in Veendam
The developments in the world of hyperloop are moving fast. Completely going through all the procedures for starting and actually developing a hyperloop test track in Meerstad takes time. To maintain speed, a temporary location that is suitable for the first phase of the test track was therefore sought. At administrative level, this plan has been discussed with all parties involved. With the terminal of HUSA Logistics in Veendam, a suitable location seems to have been found.
Alderman Henk Jan Schmaal: “Building a hyperloop test track is a great initiative and fits perfectly with the municipality of Veendam. The plan fits within the current destination of the intended location.”
EHC and HUSA Logistics are now in exploratory talks. In addition, additional technical research is being carried out into the foundation. It is expected that after that, all signals will definitely be green. Then it is expected that the preparatory work on the 420 meter test track can be started in the second quarter of 2022. The installation of the first parts of the test tube is expected at the end of 2022. Ultimately, this part of the test track will be relocated and reused in the entire 2.6 km test track.
Director of EHC Groningen, Stefan Marges: “The temporary construction of the test track in Veendam offers the opportunity to start the first test phase more quickly. This allows us to demonstrate the hyperloop switch at speeds of 100 km/h. This switch is a critical part to build the hyperloop network. In addition, this temporary construction creates the space to put down a good and feasible plan in one go for the next phase of the test track in Groningen. There we can demonstrate the switch at 700 km/h”.
European Hyperloop Center
The European Hyperloop Center (EHC) in Groningen will soon consist of a high-speed test track and a research laboratory. Testing, research and demonstrations will be conducted at the EHC to advance hyperloop technology as a future modality for freight and people. The EHC will be opened to all European hyperloop developers and will thus serve as the European center of hyperloop technology.
Field labs Autonomous Transport
This makes the EHC one of five field labs for autonomous transport in the Northern Netherlands. The Northern Netherlands is the only region to have a program for all five modes of autonomous transport, i.e. road, air, rail, water and hyperloop. There will soon be at least one permanent field lab location for each modality, in which Hive.Mobility partners are working towards both certification and the broad use of autonomous transport in daily practice. They do this through testing and scaling up. In addition, training and research are linked to the field labs in order to sustainably safeguard and pass on knowledge and to develop sufficient talent.