One of the companies competing to build the first commercial Hyperloop service has announced plans to build an open-air test track in Nevada with a view to beginning tests early next year.
Hyperloop Technologies will open its Propulsion Open Air Test in the first quarter 2016 on a 50-acre site at the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas. Here a 1km track will allow capsules in the low-pressure tubes to achieve speeds of up to 540km/h. If a full-scale line were ever to be built, speeds of up to 1,300km/h are theoretically possible.
Hyperloop Technologies will develop the facility in conjunction with the State of Nevada and the City of North Las Vegas.
It is also selecting a site for a safety, development and test track where it will construct a 3km prototype.
The company is preparing to have this site fully operational in late 2016 as part of its goal of delivering a commercial Hyperloop system by 2020.
Rob Lloyd, chief executive of Hyperloop Technologies, said: "This decision represents another major milestone in our journey to bring Hyperloop to commercial reality. Hyperloop Technologies will invest first in regions where we receive government advocacy to move fast."
In June this year, Space X announced it would hold a contest for people to design and build a pod for the Hyperloop.
Images via Hyperloop