Hyperloop May Prove Too Big A Deal For Canada
2020 witnessed high-speed ground level transportation history in the making when humans for the first time ever travelled at airline speeds in a hyperloop pod across a half-kilometre stretch of Nevada terrain. Success meant that the Virgin Hyperloop in Nevada had succeeded at laying the foundation for the type of technology promising to make possible city-linking travel at speeds previously reserved exclusively for air travel only.
When translated into a real-life equation, the feat achieved in Nevada would mean travelling between Toronto and Montreal in an hour – and from Edmonton to Calgary in precisely half that time.
But the real question within the Canadian context – now that it has actually been done – isn’t any longer a question of whether it’s possible, but rather, whether it will be possible given the winters and mountainous landscapes back home.
A Great Solution – For The U.S.
Though certainly a potentially earthshaking solution to several gigantic environmental challenges, and perfectly suitable to the flat and endless terrain typically found in the U.S., early indications are already that bringing a pod travelling in a tube much like a pea would through a straw to Canada would prove an engineering challenge of momentous proportions.
The concept when considered free of the challenges of below-zero temperatures and rocky terrain certainly is mind-bendingly fantastic. And though fantastic, it is at the same time also strikingly simple: travelling through a hyperloop at dizzying speeds requires no more than removing from a tube all op the air present at any given time, and as a result, also most of the air resistance.
The only thing remaining once air resistance has been driven down to nearly zero, is finding a way to achieve forward motion – which in the case of the Virgin Hyperloop, has been achieved by the introduction of the forces of magnetic levitation, also known as Maglev technology.
The Canada Conundrum
The main problem with rolling out this type of high-speed technology on a larger scale – and certainly on a large scale in a country like Canada – is the requirement of a terrain straight as an arrow and spanning hundreds of kilometers.
But despite the apparently impossible nature of the challenge, a company by the name of Transpod has suggested a possible route for the initial testing phase of rolling out the tech back home as the prairies between Calgary and Edmonton. But at a cost of anywhere between $6 billion and $10 billion, only time will tell whether the Alberta Government will consider it much more feasible for everyone involved to just hop on a plane and fly instead.