Alberta offers non-financial support for high-speed hyperloop project

Alberta offers non-financial support for high-speed hyperloop project
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CALGARY — The Alberta government says it will support a proposal to build a hyperloop transport system capable of whisking passengers in an elevated tube between Edmonton and Calgary at 1,000 kilometres per hour.

But the memorandum of understanding signed with project proponent TransPod doesn’t involve any financial commitment or endorsements by the province, and the system is still years away from being tested and built.

The Toronto-based company, which first announced it would seek Alberta provincial backing in 2017, says the agreement will allow it to attract private investment for what would be a multibillion-dollar infrastructure project.

It aims to conduct a feasibility study over the next two years, move into a research and development phase until 2024, then build a test track and conduct tests until 2027 before completing the full 300-kilometre line between Edmonton and Calgary.

The company envisions low-pressure sealed tubes suspended above ground on concrete posts allowing magnetically levitated pods within to transport passengers and cargo between Calgary and Edmonton in about 30 minutes.

TransPod says its system is being examined by governments and organizations for several projects around the world and it is currently in the design and development phase for a testing facility in France.

“By supporting TransPod’s feasibility study, Alberta Transportation will provide important information contributing to the research, development, testing, and construction of a full inter-city TransPod line between Edmonton and Calgary,” said Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver.

“We look forward to seeing this work put Alberta on the forefront of the movement of goods and people.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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