If all goes according to plan, in the future passengers may be able to whizz from Helsinki to Stockholm in just half an hour. The American company Hyperloop One says its technology would allow passengers to travel between the two Nordic capitals in a capsule moving through a large tube at speeds of up to 1,200 kilometres per hour
Finland is now exploring the viability of the idea. Negotiations on safety and funding, among other issues, are underway with Hyperloop One, the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes and several ministries.
”We are currently reviewing how feasible it would be on both the micro and macro levels,” says Mikael Nyberg, director of networks at the Ministry of Transport and Communication.
According to Nyberg, preliminary negotiations will be wrapped up by the end of the year.
Test track to be built in Salo
Before expanding across the Baltic Sea, Finland could be one of the first to test Hyperloop's technology in practice. Salo, a city in Southwest Finland, is keen to welcome the futuristic technology. The city signed a letter of intent with Hyperloop One last summer to build a test track running between Salo and Turku.
The future of the track is still uncertain, but building could start as early as next year.
The connection between Helsinki and Stockholm is estimated to cost approximately 19 billion euros. In comparison, the price tag of the third Olkiluoto nuclear power plant has been set at around 8.5 billion.