Feasability study to explore possibility of high speed hyperloop between Calgary and Edmonton

CALGARY — A high-speed hyperloop link between Calgary and Edmonton would boost Alberta jobs and its economy, according to a study from TransPod. 

Last August, TransPod signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Alberta to determine the feasibility of a hyperloop between Alberta’s two largest cities with potential speeds of up to 1,000 km/h.

The company isn’t the first to propose a similar transport link, but TransPod’s CEO says he’s confident this project is the real deal. 

“We can definitely make it happen,” Sebastien Gendron told CTV News. “We’re moving towards the next step, which is kind of securing the budget for the first phase. So far all the stars are aligned on the technology development.”

The company’s new study claims construction will cost billions of dollars, but that the finished loop would create upwards of 140,000 full-time employment years and add $19.2 billion to the province’s GDP. 

ECONOMIC BOOST: EXPERT

University of Calgary economics professor Trevor Tombe said the numbers are optimistic, but he believes the project — if built — would be an economic boost. 

“It’s a long project, (so) we shouldn’t view it as anything connected to recovery or employment creation in the short term,” Tombe said. “The benefits from productivity gains are in the form of higher incomes and lower prices to get access to goods and services. The biggest impact would be facilitating more labour market interactions between Calgary and Edmonton.”

The company says an initial investment proposal amounting to $1 billion is being finalized. 

It’ll be built using private money and the provincial government says it won’t pitch in at this time. 

The hyperloop would be constructed at ground level and TransPod says the vehicles travel within low-pressure tubes protected from the elements, making the system “immune to weather.”

The vehicles are driven by “linear induction motors and air compressors” and the lack of friction allows them to travel at speeds faster than jets and nearly triple those of current high-speed trains.

If the project progresses, test track construction and high-speed tests would take place in the five years leading up to 2027 and construction of the inter-city line bridging downtown Calgary and the Edmonton airport could potentially begin in 2025.

One way tickets would cost $90.

With files from CTV Edmonton

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