What the 127km-long Dubai hyperloop train will look like
The UAE's ambitious hyperloop plans have been well documented here on Esquire, but those ambitions have made just been given a serious boost with the awarding of the contract to design the proposed Dubai to Fujairah leg of the project.
After some seriously creative pitching, a Dubai Future Foundation panel has pulled for plans by French company Mobius to design the super-speed transport system that would make the journey across the Arabian Peninsula from Dubai to Fujairah just 10 minutes.
Finalists had to provide designs for a parallel Hyperloop system — one for passengers, and another for cargo — that would eventually converge into one station at the end of the line. Projects also had to include stations complete with spacious halls for passengers to board the trains.
“Mobius was ranked first among the finalists after the panel evaluated the projects from several perspectives, including their technical and economic aspects,” the panel said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We also evaluated the degree of safety and security that the projects provide, as well their efficiency and sustainability.”
Known as 'Hyperloop', the technology would cut travel time from the roughly two hours it currently takes to join the east and west emirates.
With potential speeds of 1200kph, and the backing of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, one of the world's pre-eminent engineering brains, the technology is no pipe dream. Well, actually it is. Literally.
The technology, which had its first scale model testing in May, is relatively simple to understand. Sealed concrete or steel pipes, installed either above or below ground, are pumped permanently to remove air and, thus, resistance to the trains, while electric motors create a strong magnetic field that allows carriages to coast in a frictionless environment. Okay, we did say relatively simple.
SpaceX is also studying the viability of an aquatic version that can be used to transport cargo from ships to newly created ports some 10 miles from land.