This would be a trip through Madrid in Hyperloop


Billionaire Elon Musk introduced a new way of moving around the world in 2012: hyper loop. This transport, devised by his companies Tesla and SpaceX, intended to revolutionize travel by building a system of sealed low-pressure tunnels through which an object could travel at very high speed, up to 1,000 kilometers per hour, by not having to suffer air resistance or friction. That idea has been turning into a small-scale prototype race, since there is still not a single operational line in the world, but it is serving to investigate the transport technologies of the future.

This same exercise has been joined by a student from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Victor Martil, now an Industrial Technology engineer, who has analyzed the possibility of implementing this innovative system in the capital of Spain. His proposal goes through connect the Barajas airport and the Atocha stationthe two largest air and rail transport infrastructures in the country, through this new mode called to revolutionize urban and interurban mobility.

Travel 12 kilometers at 400 km/h

In its end of degree project theorize about the possibility of unite through an underground tunnel the 12.5 kilometers that separate both facilities, and that together add more than 175 million passengers. This figure will grow progressively taking into account that the high-speed network will be completed in the coming decades, while an improvement in the hub Barajas airport due to the increase in air traffic.

To make it profitable, it would be necessary for approximately 10% of the passengers who today make use of both infrastructures to choose to use it. Despite the fact that today there are already express buses, metro, commuter trains, taxis and VTCs that make the Atocha-Barajas route, to which a future high-speed train connection will be added, its estimate sets a possible demand of about 2.45 million users per year.

The Hyperloop would reach a maximum speed of 400 km/h and would connect both terminals in less than 3 minutes. No other means could beat their times: the Cercanías takes almost half an hour, the express bus makes the same journey in 40, while the Metro, with transfers, takes 42 minutes. By taxi or VTC outside rush hour, this journey could be done in half the time, about 20.

A ticket would cost between 10 and 20 euros

Although if there is a factor that will determine its hypothetical success, that will be the rate that is determined. From the 2.35 euros for the Cercanías or the 5 euros for the metro and bus to the 30 euros for the taxi there is an important difference, and that is where the Hyperloop, which offers an intermediate capacity of between 28 and 50 passengers per capsule, would have the possibility to gain market with a ticket price between 10 and 20 eurosaccording to Mártil’s calculations.

But if there is a major limitation to getting it up and running, that would be the high cost of having to drill the Madrid subsoil. A standard double-tube tunnel, in a straight line and that barely has to overcome obstacles —his approach, which assumes that “it could hardly come true” crosses six Metro lines and coincides with two stations— would require spending some 120 million per kilometer , raising the total investment to about 1,500 million euros to launch this innovative transport.

The author himself recognizes in the study the limitations of his idea, and although he assumes that the viability of this hypothetical Hyperloop is compromised Due to issues such as the extension of the high-speed train from Chamartín to Barajas, he believes that Musk’s idea could play a role in the future as part of an intermodal transport system that helps relieve airport congestion, a key element in the development of this technology.

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