Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), one of the US companies vying to build a futuristic vacuum tube maglev system, has said it will complete the first stage of the world’s first project in the UAE next year.
The scheme envisages a link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, a distance of around 130km, and the phase would consist of 10km of that.
The announcement was made by Bibop Gresta, HTT’s chairman, in an interview with Emirates news agency WAM.
He said: "The Abu Dhabi Hyperloop system is right now past the feasibility study. We have already completed the study after we partnered with Aldar Properties last year. It will be the first commercial Hyperloop line in the world.
"Today we’re announcing that the first capsule has already left the assembly facility in Spain, and is on its way to Toulouse, France, where we have a prototype track. As soon as it arrives, it will be put in a tube and then they will test the system with the first passenger."
Gresta said he expected the line to cost between $20m and $40m a kilometre, making the cost of the whole line as much as $6bn. However, he added that he believed the investment could be recouped in eight-to-15 years.
"The Hyperloop system would have a low cost of implementation, as compared to other high-speed transportation methods," he said. "It is a simpler, lighter weight, and less energy-intensive system."
In April, HTT signed an agreement in principle with Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties for the system, as well as a Hyperloop Advanced Mobility Centre for research and development, a visitor centre and an innovation hub.
Image: HTT looks set to win the race to build the first Hyperloop system (HTT)