Friday 4 March 2022

Final Conference of the HYPERNEX Project held on 23 February

Hyperloop; joining Europe

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The Final Conference of the HYPERNEX Project [1] was held on 23 February 2022. With more than 90 attendees, this project highlighted the new development of the hyperloop as a technology integrator and promoter of a new European leadership in the world of transport.

The hyperloop is a vehicle that circulates inside a tube with pressures very close to vacuum. This allows it to reach speeds in excess of 1,000 km/h. It is not just a new mode of transport, but also creates a neighbourly European feeling, making European citizens feel closer to each other. Thanks to the hyperloop, the distance from Paris to Berlin (1,054 km by car) will be covered in approximately one hour – and at a very competitive price. In addition, this new vehicle has zero C02 emissions, so the carbon footprint of its passengers will be drastically reduced.

The name ‘hyperloop’ comes from Elon Musk who in 2013 published a white paper in which he presented a vehicle with these characteristics; a paper that immediately revolutionised the scientific and technological world (SpaceX and Tesla, 2013). Different companies have continued and materialised this idea that every day is closer to being a reality.

One of the biggest challenges of the hyperloop is the cost of the required infrastructure. The maintenance of the vacuum and the presence of linear motors along the entire rail makes it significantly more expensive than other means of transport.

The superstructure comprises the piping, expansion joints, switches and low pressure environmental control. Switches are necessary for the movement of the pods from one tube to another, allowing changes of direction to stations, other routes/destinations or maintenance areas.

The introduction of the hyperloop concept helps modernise the transportation industry. Full-scale, high-speed testing and, subsequently, scalability to a commercially viable hyperloop infrastructure must be ensured through a public-private R&D framework. Simultaneously, it is necessary to continue making advances in legislation and other regulations. In addition, in the long term, the challenges that arise during the exploitation phase will give rise to other areas of research, such as intermodality, spatial integration and the investigation of other benefits and social impacts.

The HYPERNEX project

HYPERNEX (Ignition of the European Hyperloop Ecosystem) is a Shift2Rail-funded project led by the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) in collaboration with 12 other European partners from ten different countries.

The consortium consists of hyperloop promoters (Hardt, Transpod, Nevomo and Zeleros), academia, research institutes and associations (Sintef, University of Leeds, University of Rome, CERTH, TU Berlin, IFS-RWTH, Instytut Kolejnictwa and UIC).

During 2021, work was carried out in three main blocks:

A. Observatory: Hyperloop understanding from 2030 to 2050:

  • The hyperloop as a system in Europe, but a technology transferred to the world
  • Who, what, how and where?
  • What is different in Europe and why?
  • Regulation as transport model
  • Challenges to actors in transport

B. Technical definition:

  • Concept of operations
  • Safety cases
  • Functional specification
  • Operational conditions and testing methodologies/environment.

C. Identify the potential transferability and synergies with railway solutions, processes and procedures in general, and, in particular, from a technological perspective with S2R innovations (Technology Demonstrators and IPx activities). It could be interesting as a roadmap within the scope of Horizon Europe.

The HYPERNEX project aims to shorten the development and implementation times of the hyperloop in Europe by gathering all relevant information and data for its development. Europe is leading the way in the design and development of new forms of mobility and the development of the hyperloop will help it maintain its leadership. This is not only an opportunity for transport, but also for European industry as a whole, as the hyperloop will bring new opportunities for the development of technologies and patents and will allow the progression of dedicated industries from aeronautics to hyperloop. In addition, new business and logistics opportunities will be engendered. The HYPERNEX project ends in February 2022.

All this information, as well as deliverables for each of the study blocks, can be found at

To date, two deliverables have been published: D2.1 “Observatory” which covers the current state-of-the-art technologies, and D3.1 “Technical specifications” which covers the features to be included in future developments. D4.1 will compile the synergies of hyperloop with other European programmes and other sectors.


Buchanan, R.A. (1992). “The atmospheric railway of I. K. Brunel” Social Studies of Science. 22 (2): 231-243. Doi:10.1177/030631292022002003

SpaceX & Tesla. (2013). Hyperloop Alpha document.


This project has received funding from the Shift2Rail JU under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant agreement No 101015145.

[1The presentations and the video of the Final Conference of the HYPERNEX project are available at:

For further information, please contact Christine Hassoun, Senior Advisor Project Dissemination at

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Figure 2 Different hyperloop designs by (a) Transpod (b) Hardt (c) Nevomo (d) Zeleros
Figure 3 Example schematic view of a hyperloop substructure and superstructure