Transport Canada Considers Hyperloop Tech

By Ben Hamill - April 03 2019
transport canada investigates hyperloop

Some call it a sci-fi fantasy come true; others, too fantastic to be true. Hyperloop technology has been a hot topic of conversation for a few years now, with many tech-companies having hinted at having made headway with the futuristic mode of high-speed transportation. It’s not a plane and it’s not a train; in fact it’s a form of transportation that still borders on the seemingly impossible: high-speed passenger pods flying through a low-pressure tube at dizzying speeds. Try Vancouver to Toronto in less than 3 hours for size.

Interested? As it turns out, Transport Canada is too. So much so that it has issued an official tender notice inviting interested parties to make submissions as to the feasibility of hyperloop transport. According to the tender invitation, two questions must be answered concerning hyperloop technology; questions which, according to Transport Canada, it views as critical:

  1. Is hyperloop tech safe for passengers and safe for communities located in the vicinity of the tubes?
  2. Compared to high-speed rail transport, how do the costs involved measure up?

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Government Has Made The Shift

Canadian modern-tech company Transpod has welcomed the invitation to tender. Co-founder Sebastien Gendron commented on the tender and said that up until very recently, a certain hesitancy seemed to prevail in government circles whenever the topic of hyperloop technology in transport came up. The latest development indicates that a definite shift had taken place relating to what government is willing to entertain in open and public conversation. All in all, says Gendron, despite hyperloop technology still being in a very early and essentially prototype stage, it’s a very positive move.

Hyperloop tubes propel pods at speeds able to exceed 1,000km/h; a revolutionary idea, but also one that has the potential to go very wrong indeed. Currently, there are no hyperloops in operation anywhere in the world, but the levels of interest and research have been phenomenal. Once fine-tuned, regulated and considered safe for passengers and by-standers alike, hyperloops could do more for easing traffic congestion than any other mode of transport, including aviation.

 A Waste Of Resources?

Everyone isn’t equally excited about Transport Canada’s interest in the idea. Paul Langan, founder of High Speed Rail Canada, is of the opinion that hyperloop technology is nothing but science fiction and a passing hype.

According to Lagan, spending public money on technology that will in all likelihood never become the game-changer that everyone hopes it will be, is quite ludicrous, especially when considering the fact that existing proven technology could benefit from the funding instead.

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