One of the start-ups working on the Hyperloop project, Hyperloop Transportation Technology (HTT) intends to open its European research centre in Toulouse. It has signed an agreement with the agglomeration of the city of Toulouse and the Occitania region. The 32,291 ft2 (3,000 m2) Hyperloop centre (whose opening is planned for 2017), will be installed in the old military base of Francazal. The research and development premises will also have a test track of about 1km long.
So, what is the Hyperloop exactly?
In a few words, it could be the train of the future. With a travelling speed of nearly 1200 km/h (760 miles per hour), with the Hyperloop, the journey Paris-Marseille that today takes 3 hours and 45 minutes, would take just 40 minutes! The technology of the train of the future was based on the old pneumatic tubes using compressed air, (in the 19th century, they were used to send documents) as we can still see today in some hypermarkets or shops. We could compare the Hyperloop to a long slide on air cushions along a low-pressure tube.
What impact will this R&D centre have on the local economy?
It should create at least 50 jobs. About 40 million dollars will be invested over 5 years. In fact, this was where the first capsules of this high-speed train were assembled. Clearly, the goal of this start-up is to be the first company to open a business line for this form of transport.