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Performance test at Crailoo increases TU Delft Team’s chances of winning SpaceX Hyperloop Speed Competition

1 April 2019 | 

Imagine: travelling from Amsterdam to Paris in less than 30 minutes. If it’s up to the Hyperloop team from the TU Delft, this should be possible within a few decades. A transport vehicle moving through a sealed vacuum tube will bring you to your destination with speeds of up to a thousand kilometres an hour. Before joining the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition in California, the team is going to test its vehicle at our company premises named Crailoo. 

Crailoo – from historical significance towards futuristic value to mobility

Crailoo’s railroad history goes way back. Railroad experts originally referred to this area as the ‘Crailoo storage place’. Sometime around the start of the previous century, wooden sleepers were repaired and stored right here in Hilversum for use in the railway infrastructure. The fact that our company’ premises has now been selected to facilitate high-tech futuristic developments in the mobility industry is of course wonderful. History seems to blend into the future only naturally and effortlessly, with the testing programme of the hyperloop pod as the physical connecting factor.

“Faster than half the speed of sound: that is our goal”

StruktonRail is currently in the process of equipping one of our rail tracks with a long aluminium I-profile. ProRail is sponsoring the test track. As from 1 May, the pod is going to be tested on this I-profile, especially for its speed. At Crailoo, the pod is intended to reach speeds of 300 kilometres per hour within seconds over a distance of 380 metres. Impressive

“Having the opportunity to use this tailor-made test track at Crailoo, the TU Delft Hyperloop team’s chances of winning the competition are considerably increased”

- Rieneke van Noort, team captain

From design to practical application

The Hyperloop team of the TU Delft consists of 39 students from different nationalities. Team captain Rieneke van Noort is happy with the test facility: “Designing the system took us about 6 months, but fully anticipating all contingencies is always a pitfall. The testing phase has to tell us whether the design will actually function in line with our expectations. Many of the other teams do not have a good test location. The possibility to test the pod live here in Hilversum will significantly increase our chances of winning.” This means that the students from Delft are already one step ahead of the competition. 

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition

Currently, the team is working around-the-clock on the Atlas 02, the advanced transport vehicle with which the TU Delft will participate in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in California this summer. The competition was initiated in 2015 by SpaceX, the company of entrepreneur Elon Musk, with the aim to promote the further development of the Hyperloop system. Each year, a new team of the TU Delft joins the event.

With the Hyperloop to Paris: future or fiction?

Rieneke van Noort is convinced that there is a future for the hyperloop: “I really think that within a few decades it will be a common means of transport”. The hyperloop is a fast and environmentally-friendly alternative to medium-haul flights between cities. Moreover, the students have already designed an entire hyperloop network to connect almost all cities in Europe with one another. An exciting and promising future prospect. But for now, the emphasis is first and foremost on testing the pod at Crailoo.

  • The Hyperloop is an innovative transport concept in which a pod – a vehicle suitable for passengers or goods – moves through a sealed vacuum tube. The lack of air resistance or friction enables the vehicle to reach extremely high velocities.