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Italy's First Hyperloop Line

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies recently signed an agreement with the Italian government to build the nation's first hyperloop line between Venice and Padua by 2029.

It's a very old idea that reduces the energy demands of trains by placing them in vacuum-sealed tubes where air resistance is minimal. The concept was resurrected in 2013 when Elon Musk published a white paper on the subject.

This idea inspired many engineers and entrepreneurs, such as Sir Richard Branson. Virgin Hyperloop set up shop in Nevada and has achieved significant milestones, including the first ever test-run with human passengers in early 2021. However, it has since shed half its staff and decided to concentrate on freight transportation, reports The Verge.

Hyperloop train visual by HyperloopTT
Credit: HyperloopTT

Another entrepreneur inspired by Musk's white paper was an Italian called Bibop Gresta. He co-founded Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and now this sustainable travel technology could soon be a reality in Italy. Bibop told Interesting Engineering that HyperloopTT has signed its very first concrete project with the Italian government.

Its inaugural hyperloop line between Venice and Padua could be running ahead of 2029, says Bibop. The proposed route spans 38 km (23 miles), with the primary goal of validating the concept rather than prioritizing speed. “This first line will be a small acceleration and a deceleration but we’ll probably touch 500 km per hour [310 mph], but it's not a full-speed line. However, we can test and show that we can reach 1,223 km per hour [760 mph], even in that short line, but without passengers.”

The entrepreneur believes that hyperloop technology represents “the era of the fourth industrial revolution.” Let's see if he can get it started by 2029.



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