This year's winning team in SpaceX's Hyperloop competition comes from the Netherlands, and a Dutch tech startup has already built an initial testing site for the project. The goal is to have a Hyperloop system between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021.
It looks like the Netherlands would soon join Slovakia, and the Czech Republic as the next European country to have a Hyperloop.
A Dutch team from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) won this year's edition of SpaceX's competition to develop this next generation, super-fast transport technology, and they're already setting up a full-scale testing centre.
The Dutch team's idea will be realised by tech startup Hardt Global Mobility, in partnership with TU Delft, the Dutch national railway NS, and construction company BAM. Building the 30 metre (98 foot) tube is the first step.
"In this facility we will test all systems that don't require high speeds," Hardt CEO Tim Houter told Reuters.
"So think about the levitation system, but also the propulsion system, but really important, all the safety systems will be tested in this low-speed but full-scale testing facility."
The initial round of testing has already received US$675,000 in funding. More would be needed for a high-speed test line by 2019 to accomplish their goal of setting up a Hyperloop system between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021.
First proposed in 2013 by SpaceX's founder and CEO Elon Musk, the Hyperloop is transportation system for people and cargo that features pods traveling through tubes – or possibly tunnels – at roughly 1,126 km/h (700 mph).