Ultra-fast Hyperloop Transport
A parliamentary committee has urged the federal government to keep a close eye on the development of a futuristic technology that could make it possible for Canberrans to travel to the capital cities of four Australian states within an hour.
In a new report, the House of Representatives' standing committee on infrastructure, transport and cities said it would be "a little premature"for the government to make a formal commitment to the development of hyperloop technology in Australia. Nevertheless, it described the concept as having "significant potential"and said the federal government "should keep abreast of developments ... with a view to exploiting its potential in the future'' .
In December, it was revealed US company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies had pitched its vision for an "ultra high-speed'' , tube-based transportation system capable of fixing what it described as Australia's "broken"public transport system.
According to estimates in the company's submission to the standing committee's inquiry into automated mass transit, a trip between Canberra and Sydney would take just 14 minutes. Canberrans could also reach Melbourne in 23 minutes, Brisbane in 51 minutes and Adelaide in 56 minutes.
The longest trip on the proposed network, which would also link to regional areas, would be a journey of one hour and 47 minutes between Brisbane and Adelaide.
With a maximum projected speed of 1223km/hr, the hyperloop system proposed for Australia would involve pressurised capsules magnetically levitating in lowpressure tubes propelled with "nearly zero"friction. The system, which would be faster than any ground transportation now in existence even at half its maximum speed, would be powered by solar panels on the roof of the tubes and at stations. It would include passenger and cargo capsules, with each passenger capsule able to carry 38 people.
While the concept is undoubtedly futuristic, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is already testing and commissioning similar systems all over the world. Wesley Heron, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' head of business development in Australia, told a standing committee public hearing the hyperloop technology was "not a pipe dream, somewhere over the rainbow'' .
"It's being designed and built in a project in Abu Dhabi this year,'' he said.
This article is from the April 7, 2019 issue of The Age Digital Edition.
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