Swisspod, TTCI Team on Hyperloop Testing
Swisspod and TTCI announced on Sept. 2 the construction of a full-scale hyperloop capsule and infrastructure for cargo transport at Swisspod’s newest testing facility. It will be located at PuebloPlex, a 23,000-acre U.S. Army Depot campus that “hosts manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations, and transportation industry opportunities.”
The partnership with TTCI “advances Swisspod’s global expansion strategy, fueling its fast-paced growth in the key U.S. market, while augmenting significant research and testing capabilities,” reported the company, which is headquartered in Monthey, Switzerland, with U.S. offices in Miami Beach, Fla.
Swisspod describes Hyperloop as “an ultra-high-speed ground transportation system for passengers and cargo.” Its sealed tubes and pressurized pods are said to reduce “point-to-point destination travel time with minimal environmental impact.”
“We selected TTCI for its remarkable track record of leadership and success in the testing, development and deployment of emerging transportation technologies,” Swisspod Co-founder and CEO Denis Tudor said. “This new partnership will be vital to our market positioning, not only as pioneers of a highly efficient propulsion system but also as one of the most affordable Hyperloop infrastructure propositions in the world.”
“Our partnership with Swisspod is the first of many opportunities to extend our legacy as leaders in transportation research,” TTCI Acting CEO Kari Gonzales said. “Our team’s experience in performance testing and our capability to reduce the product development cycle is unmatched in North America.”
TTCI said during the Sept. 2 announcement that it “will be capable of meeting the evolving needs of the transportation sector including research into Hyperloop technologies,” as it teams with the Pueblo Economic Development Corp. (PEDCO) on new “first-in-class facilities” in Pueblo. (See Railway Age’s April 27, 2020 story: “TTCI to Start ‘Next Chapter’ at New Pueblo Facility.”)
“Being able to leverage our vast and unique resources to the advantage of TTCI and their partnership with Swisspod is a significant step forward in the implementation of the PuebloPlex redevelopment plan,” PuebloPlex President and CEO Russell DeSalvo said.
In related developments, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in January released a status report on hyperloop standard development. Called “Hyperloop Standards Desk Review”—sponsored by the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council—it serves to assess standardization activities, “begin a dialogue for future hyperloop standardization efforts, and identify stakeholder perspectives on the applicability of existing standards to domestic testing and deployment.” Based on this initial analysis, a preliminary framework of hyperloop system components and associated regulations and voluntary technical standards will be developed.
In other hyperloop news, Hitachi Rail (Japan) in January launched a technology partnership with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) in which its ERTMS signaling system will be adapted and integrated with HyperloopTT systems to manage and automate capsules traveling up to nearly 746 mph. And Virgin Hyperloop in November 2020 demonstrated for the first time with riders its hyperloop technology at the 500-meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company has previously run more than 400 unoccupied tests.