HyperloopTT inks deal to build test track in Germany

After showing off the design for its future passenger transport pod, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced a new deal to build a test track in Germany, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The startup company, one of a few that aims to realize Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s vision for high-speed tunnel transit, said it will work with Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG to build a 328-foot test track at the port of Hamburg. The goal is one day connect the port with a container yard that’s settled miles inland, away from the port. The project is estimated to cost $7 million, which both companies will split equally. The sum also includes funds for a feasibility study.

HTT has lagged behind chief rival Virgin Hyperloop One when it comes to real-world testing, but work is supposedly ongoing at a previously announced site outside of its France headquarters. That test track will reportedly span 1 kilometer (0.62 miles). Meanwhile, Virgin Hyperloop One has already tested its technology at speeds up to 240 mph at a test facility in Las Vegas. The tests it completed weren’t to scale, though, and the speeds are far from the proposed 670 mph speeds Musk cited when he left the concept up for grabs.

Regardless, HTT still says it will begin transporting passengers by the end of 2019. The company also announced it could build its first Hyperloop system to connect Chicago and Cleveland. Virgin Hyperloop One hasn’t announced such ambitious plans, but it’s gone on the record to say the company continues to conduct feasibility studies in numerous countries. It’s looked at the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland thus far for a Hyperloop system.

The latest report said Virgin Hyperloop One, which billionaire Richard Branson backs, is working on securing deals in the Middle East and India.

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