Hyperloop feasibility study predicts project to create 140,000 jobs in Alberta
Canadian hyperloop company TransPod has completed a feasibility study on the implementation of ultra-high-speed transportation routes between Calgary and Edmonton.
The company said it expects to receive private funding for the first part of the production line by the end of this year.
The ultimate goal of TransPod is to allow Albertans to shuttle between Calgary and Edmonton in a train-like pod-at speeds of up to 1,000 kilometers per hour-through the magnetic tube, and start in Edmonton by 2031. An extension of 20 kilometers between downtown Monton and Edmonton Airport.
In August 2020, Toronto-based TransPod announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the province to support the company (but did not provide funding) to further study the feasibility of the technology in Alberta and share traffic data And determine the appropriate land for the test track.
On Friday, the company released the results of the feasibility study. It stated that it had shared initial investment proposals totaling US$1 billion with the government.
Sebastian Gendron, co-founder and CEO of TransPod, said that the completion of the research has enabled the project to enter the next phase of investment and research and development.
“The next step is to ensure-so we have two proposals to provide 5 billion for the first 20 kilometers, and we have to confirm this before the end of this year,” he said.
“Then we will begin to study the land acquisition or land agreement between Edmonton Airport and the city government, as well as public consultation, construction permits and environmental assessments.”
Overall, the feasibility study predicts that the project will cost approximately US$22.4 billion, or US$45.1 million per kilometer along a unique track of approximately 350 kilometers.
It also predicts that the additional cost of fixed infrastructure stations is US$6.7 billion.
The company estimates that by 2020, the construction of the entire line will cost US$6 billion to US$10 billion, but Gendron said that the new cost analysis includes land acquisition costs.
The results of the study indicate that the Hyperloop transportation between the two cities will help the province reduce carbon emissions by 636,000 tons per year.
Alberta Transport Minister Ric McIver stated that Alberta has a history of innovation and entrepreneurship.
“That’s why we are pleased that TransPod’s feasibility study points out that a safe and clean ultra-high-speed passenger and freight connection between Calgary and Edmonton may be established,” he said in an email statement.
The company hopes to build a test track and complete high-speed tests between 2022 and 2027, and begin construction of a complete intercity line between Edmonton and Calgary in 2025.
Gendron said: “We considered Red Deer’s choice, but it will add 1 billion US dollars to infrastructure costs.”
The study found that the project will create as many as 140,000 jobs and help the province’s GDP grow by 6.25% in ten years.
“The goal is actually to make this project as inclusive as possible and solve any problems,” Gendron said.
“For example, we have begun to reach out to some Aboriginal people, and we are working with the construction industry in Edmonton to achieve this goal and create jobs.”
McIver said it is encouraging to see such projects being proposed and funded by private capital.
“From day one, the Alberta government has been committed to making our province the most attractive place in North America for innovators and the incredible opportunities it brings. This work is paying off.”
The economy class fare for the super high-speed Hyperloop is approximately US$90 and the business class fare is as high as US$150.
The one-way trip takes approximately 45 minutes. It will carry a mix of passengers and cargo.