Ultra-high-speed tube would transport people between Edmonton and Calgary in 30 minutes: TransPod

A company that is designing ultra-high-speed transportation technology hopes the province will support its proposal for a privately funded link it says would get people from Edmonton to Calgary in about 30 minutes.

TransPod is behind the high-speed hyperloop system, which would see pressurized passenger and cargo vehicles travel in a low-pressure tube environment. The vehicles would be powered by electrically-driven magnetic propulsion, according to the company.

“We’re designing and building a vehicle that is going to travel in a tube where you remove, actually, most of the air to be able to achieve similar speed as an aircraft. Thanks to electromagnetic propulsion,” TransPod CEO and co-founder Sebastien Gendron said in an interview with Global News Radio 770 CHQR Tuesday.

“It’s literally an aircraft without wings,” he explained.

“All the technology we’re using is coming from the aerospace industry. You need a cabin, a pressurized cabin, so people can breathe inside the same way we do it on an aircraft. All the options exist similar to what we have on an aircraft. The fuselage itself is really similar. So it doesn’t look like a train.”

The tube transportation system would follow the QEII between Alberta’s two largest cities. The technology has the capacity to top out at speeds of 1,000 km/h, according to CEO.

“The basic reaction of people is, ‘Oh, my God. It’s going to be insane for the human body and so on.’ But it’s not. The acceleration and deceleration will be similar to a subway,” Gendron said.

“So you’ll need 25 minimum to 50 kilometres to go to top speed and same to decelerate. So really basically a transportation system which can go at a much higher speed than what we know today.”

Gendron said the vehicles would be 25 metres long, about the same size as a train coach or bus. Each vehicle would hold about 50 people, or 10 tonnes of freight, he said. The plan outlines stops in downtown Calgary, at the Calgary airport, in Red Deer and at the Edmonton airport.