Exploring the Future of Transportation

Design Partner Greg Hart talks about the possibility of TransPod for Alberta

CTV Calgary (August 2020)

CALGARY -- The provincial government has entered an agreement with TransPod — a company that designs hyperloop transportation systems — to explore a high-speed way of transporting people and cargo between Alberta's two largest cities.

The company, which has offices in both Toronto and Limoges, France, announced Tuesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Alberta to determine the feasibility of a hyperloop between Calgary and Edmonton with potential speeds of 1,000 km/h.

TransPod says the province has not endorsed the hyperloop or committed any funds to the proposal. If the project is approved, TransPod says construction will cost billions of dollars and create upwards of 38,000 jobs.

"Alberta’s government is supporting new and exciting opportunities for job creation and innovation,” said Ric McIver, Alberta's minister of transportation, in a statement that accompanied TransPod's announcement. "By supporting TransPod’s feasibility study, Alberta Transportation will provide important information contributing to the research, development, testing, and construction of a full inter-city TransPod line between Edmonton and Calgary. "We look forward to seeing this work put Alberta at the forefront of the movement of goods and people."

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.

TransPod officials say the feasibility study will be conducted over the next two years as part of the research and development phase that is scheduled to conclude in 2024. 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 Calgary and Edmonton could potentially begin in 2025.