Association of American Railroads subsidiary TTCI has partnered with European transportation technology startup Swisspod to build a hyperloop test track in Pueblo, Colo.
Swisspod’s test track is planned for the PuebloPlex, a 15,847-acre development site created from land previously used by the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot. The site is located just south of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Transportation Technology Center, a rail infrastructure and equipment research, development and testing facility.
Swisspod plans to develop and test technology related to what it claims is a unique propulsion system for its proposed hyperloop pods at the facility and to build a full-scale capsule and operational infrastructure for cargo transportation in collaboration with TTCI.
During a press conference about the project, Swisspod co-founder and CEO Denis Tudor said future expansion at the site could include a factory to help build hyperloop infrastructure as the company looks to grow in the U.S.
In July 2021, Swisspod unveiled its first reduced-scale “infinite trajectory” hyperloop testing facility at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. The track is a 120-m-long circle built from aluminum alloy, though it’s only a fraction of the size of a passenger-carrying system.
The company says its hyperloop system could transport passengers and cargo from New York City to Washington, D.C. in just 30 minutes. By comparison, Amtrak’s Acela trains complete the trip, with six stops between the cities, in about three hours.
Hyperloop pods travel through sealed, low-pressure tubes at high speed. In November 2020, Virgin Hyperloop announced that it held the first-ever hyperloop travel test with passengers.
Several hyperloops have been proposed to connect different U.S. cities. Those projects could get a boost from the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The version of the bill passed by the Senate in August would make hyperloop projects eligible for federal funding.