The Northern Arc proposal led by Ryder Architecture and Arup has been selected as one of ten winners in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, a competition to see where pod-based high-speed transport systems could be implemented.
The Hyperloop concept came from Tesla founder Elon Musk in 2013 and uses magnetic levitation to lift pods above the track and gradually accelerate them using electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. Due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag, the pods can glide at more than 1,200km per hour for long distances
A test track is under development in Nevada and could be operational by the end of this year, with a European teat track to follow should proof of the engineering concept be established.
The Northern Arc looks to link the key centres of the north of England and those of the Scottish central belt in a loop that would allow passengers to travel from Liverpool to Glasgow in a little over 45 minutes. This would effectively create a pan-Northern city region, with a population in excess of 10m people.
Paul Bell, partner at Ryder said, “We are hugely excited to be selected to collaborate with Hyperloop One on this transformational proposal. Hyperloop One are progressing the proof of concept work in Nevada at an incredible pace.
“The north gave the world railway technology and we are passionate about making sure the north is at the forefront of the next generation of transport innovation, developing skills, expertise and system components that will be exported around the world.”
Should the project progress, the intention is for it to work alongside other transport improvements. Martin Butterworth, director at Arup, said: “Progress in infrastructure and connectivity is intrinsic to the economic success of the UK.
“We need to be investing in current technologies to meet our transport needs today and into the future. But it is important also to be able to imagine where we need to be in the next 50, 75 or even a hundred years.”
Northern Arc was one of nine schemes shortlisted to be the European partner in June, and one of two to win through, the other being the North-South Connector between London and Edinburgh.
Of the other winners, four routes are in the US, two in India, and one eah in Canada and Mexico.
Further details of the next phases for the winning programmes will be released over the coming months.