By Maureen O’Hare, CNN
A Canadian company has unveiled plans for a fully electric train-style vehicle which could travel at 1,000 kilometers per hour and, it claims, would cost less than a plane ticket to travel on.
FluxJet was announced by TransPod in its home city of Toronto last month, with a scaled-down one-tonne version of what it terms the “plane-train hybrid” featuring in a live demonstration of its capabilities.
It’s based on similar principles to the “hyperloop” concept made famous by US entrepreneur Elon Musk: FluxJet will be propelled at ultra-fast speeds along a protected tube-guideway using groundbreaking technology based on a new field of physics called “veillance flux.”
The pods are magnetically levitated and the vacuum tubes allow them to travel at great speed.
The idea is that the train will operate exclusive on a network system dubbed the TransPod Line, with stations in major cities and key locations.
The proposed first phase of what will is estimated to be a $18 billion infrastructure project will be linking the Canadian cities of Calgary and Edmonton — some 300 kilometers apart, or a three-hour drive.
FluxJet boasts travel speeds faster than a plane and three times that of a high-speed train, meaning that it would cut the journey time down to 45 minutes.
Earlier this year the TransPod announced that it has so far secured $550 million finance for the endeavor. The project is currently in the research and development phase, focusing on environmental assessment and land acquisition.
Sebastien Gendron, co-founder and CEO of TransPod, tells CNN that “The first phase of construction consists of the connection of the Edmonton airport, which is planned to start at the end of 2023, and the full line connecting Calgary to Edmonton in 2027.”
The network will transport up to 54 passengers and 10 tonnes of cargo at a time in FluxJet vehicles, with trains departing every two minutes, according to TransPod’s vision.
The company says the new system will help cut highway traffic massively, as well as reducing CO2 emissions by around 636,000 tonnes per year.
It claims that riding the FluxJet will cost around 44% less than a plane ticket for the same journey, but with no timeline yet announced for when the public might expect to travel on a FluxJet, or which other cities might feature in this multi-billion-dollar network, those projections do seem to involve a fair amount of conjecture about how the next few years might pan out.
TransPod says that its focus is on first-in-the-world designs and technological breakthroughs and it’s “developing every aspect of a new tube-transportation system, from design to systems engineering, from the ground up, all in-house and with our partners.”
The magnetically levitated Fluxjet trains will shoot down their guideways using aerodynamic and propulsion systems that have been designed to reduce friction. TransPod says the experience will “feel like accelerating smoothly on a jet runway, and then coasting at full speed inside the tube guideway.”
Gendron tells CNN that his team estimates that FluxJet will be transporting its first public transport passengers before 2035. And as for plans beyond Calgary-Edmonton, he says that, “Discussions are already happening in Texas to connect Dallas to San Antonio, in the UAE to connect Dubai to Abu Dhabi and in Australia to connect Sydney to Brisbane.”
Top image courtesy TransPod
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.