Montreal to Toronto in 39 Minutes?

The way we think about transportation will change soon. That’s not just due to the concept of autonomous vehicles, but rather to some out-of-the-box ideas such as the hyperloop. While most people mainly associate this technology with experiments conducted in the United States, Canada may very well be getting its own hyperloop in the future. Such a contraption would effectively connect Montreal to Toronto and reduce travel time to 39 minutes.

The concept of a hyperloop has baffled the minds of critics for quite some time now. Using electric propulsion to move magnetically levitated pods across large distances at high speed sounds like a security hazard. This idea becomes even scarier when thinking about using a hyperloop to transport human beings from point A to point B, which is rather significant. Whether or not this is a viable concept, however, remains to be seen.

One of the best-known proponents of the hyperloop concept is Elon Musk. While it is true Musk has some other bold ideas which may change the world as we know it today, the hyperloop is by far one of the most intriguing concepts we have encountered over the past few years. This idea was floated back in 2013, and the technology sector has been working on exploring the concept ever since. In fact, companies and individual enthusiasts have been encouraged to approach the concept and make improvements accordingly.

All of this culminated in a recent competition organized by Hyperloop One, which is one of the companies working on the commercialization of Elon Musk’s original concept. Its global challenge began in May 2016 when around 2,600 teams registered to come up with some ideas regarding hyperloop technology. This shows there has been significant interest in further exploring this concept.

With the 10 winning proposals being announced earlier this week, there was a lot of interest to see which companies made any significant impact in this regard. Only one Canadian winner was selected, but the concept has so much promise it deserves a closer look. Creating a hyperloop between Toronto and Montreal – via Ottawa – will be a very interesting concept to explore, assuming it is feasible in the first place. The winning proposal would transport passengers from Ottawa to Montreal in just 12 minutes. Completing the full journey between Toronto and Ottawa would take just 27 minutes.

HyperCan is the company responsible for submitting this idea. Although it was selected as one of ten winners, this does not automatically mean the concept will be developed further. Instead, Hyperloop One will work with the winning teams to validate and analyze their proposals accordingly. There are a lot of things to take into account when developing such solutions; that much is certain. Hyperloop One will also provide forecasts, business case material, and even a small technical analysis of each proposed route. The other winners tackled hyperloop projects for the US, Mexico, India, and the UK.

All things considered, this global challenge turned out to be a major success. It even surpassed the expectations of the Hyperloop One team itself. All of the 10 winners have some significant proposals which elevated them to the top. Solving major transportation issues in these regions is not an easy challenge. A hyperloop may not be the best solution for every specific region either, but only time will tell whether it is a viable concept. 

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