Hyperloop firm unveils first images of its new test track in Toulouse

  • Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) revealed images of its new full-scale test track in Toulouse, France, where it will start a series of tests for its hyperloop passenger pod.
  • The company said it will start running tests on the track in April.
  • HTT is one of several firms working to develop hyperloop transport.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' test track in Toulose, France
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' test track in Toulose, France


Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) revealed images of its new full-scale test track in Toulouse, France, where it will start a series of tests for its hyperloop passenger pod in April.

HTT is completing construction on the 320-meter test track before starting tests with its full-scale passenger pod, called Quintero 1, it unveiled last October. The track's construction will be finalized in the "coming weeks" with the installation of a proprietary vacuum pump system, HTT told CNBC.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' test track in Toulose, France
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' test track in Toulose, France

HTT is one of a handful of firms working to develop hyperloop transport, which would use magnets to levitate and propel pods through large pressurized tubes at speeds of more than 700 miles per hour. The idea was envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a white paper in 2013. Unlike rival Virgin Hyperloop One, HTT has yet to complete a successful test run.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' test track in Toulose, France
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' test track in Toulose, France

"In Toulouse, we have taken the time to design and build a truly commercially viable system," HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn told CNBC in an email Tuesday. "As we get ready for testing, we are proud to share our most recent milestones at our R&D (research and development) center in Europe's 'Aerospace Valley' which will serve as our staging ground for our efforts worldwide."

HTT said Toulouse is the test ground for its planned commercial sites in Abu Dhabi and China. So far, no hyperloop commercial tracks are up and running. HTT has only carried out so-called "feasibility studies" that aim to explore if a hyperloop system is economically viable in some countries.

In January, Ahlborn told CNBC he hopes to have the commercial lines ready in "approximately three years."