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Geotechnical engineers at Philadelphia convention check out Hyperloop passenger pods

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The chairman of a Hyperloop company already developing transportation projects overseas was the keynote speaker at a conference of geotechnical engineers at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. 

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies co-founder Bibop Gresta says his team has a track in Toulouse, France, that is the length of more than three football fields (350 meters) to certify the technologies. 

“But it’s a full scale passenger and freight Hyperloop system,” Gresta said. 

His Hyperloop company is also working to create the world’s first commercial project planned for Abu Dhabi. 

“The speed will be demonstrated in the five kilometers that we are building in Abu Dhabi,” he said. 

Using magnetic levitation, he envisions passenger pods carrying 28 to 40 passengers in nine-by-100-feet long capsules that move through vacuum tubes at speeds reaching more than 700 miles per hour.

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Gresta says one day, passengers and cargo capsules will hover through a network of low-pressure tubes between cities. 

“Hyperloop is a disruptive technology. It will reconnect areas that are distant – hundreds or 1,000 kilometers, in a few minutes,” Gresta said. 

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is aiming to become the first company to bring a working high-speed passenger system to the mass market.

HyperloopTT includes more than 800 engineers and dozens of multidisciplinary teams in 38 countries.

In the U.S., it’s part of a consortium to create a network of routes through the Great Lakes region, with a Cleveland-Chicago feasibility study underway. 

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has approved a multi-year contract to spend up to $2 million for a consultant to study the feasibility of a similar project running from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.

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