The recent development of different Hyperloop initiatives in various regions of the world have raised some recurring questions, which address both technical and business aspects, as well as standardisation issues.
UIC, as a worldwide transport forum, has identified the potential of Hyperloop systems as a new and disruptive guided ground system mode and is taking the initiative to organise meetings on the subject.
In relation to the abovementioned, on 27 November, a bilateral meeting took place between UIC and some of the companies that are currently developing a consortium to create a Hyperloop system.
On behalf of the UIC Rail System Department (RSD), several of its members including the Director Marc Antoni attended the meeting, as well as the Chairman of the Train, Track & Interaction Sector (TTI) of the UIC Rail System Forum (RSF), Pierre-Etienne Gautier.
Representatives of the following private Hyperloop companies attended the meeting: TransPod (Canada), Hyper Poland (Poland) and Hardt Hyperloop (the Netherlands) and Zeleros (Spain), which signed between them a common agreement to work towards common standardisation and coordinate efforts facing states, including members of the European Union, and regulatory/standardisation bodies, trying to streamline operations and reach highest system potential.
The meeting was planned to be an open forum between UIC and these Hyperloop companies for discussion of the background, the progress of the state of the art in Hyperloop technologies and ecosystem, identifying remaining challenges and priorities, leaving an open possibility for a future institutional collaboration in order to achieve more quickly a higher level of maturity of this transport system.
The main subjects discussed at the meeting were the future framework of Hyperloop, standardisation, certification and homologation, interoperability, system safety requirements, risk analysis, sustainability, feasibility and business cases.
UIC was presented to these four companies as a neutral and non-profit platform association for the promotion of railway transport at global level, bringing together more than 200 members on all five continents, among them railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, railway service providers, etc; also explaining the role that it plays nowadays in the standardisation framework and its aims in terms of future intermodality.