Better than even we thought.
On Tuesday, FS Links and global accounting firm KPMG made public the results of a pre-feasibility study for a 500-kilometer high-speed Hyperloop One network connecting Finland and Sweden across the Aland Islands. Using Hyperloop technology, passengers (or cargo) could get from Helsinki to Stockholm in less than 30 minutes, compared with 3.5 hours via the airport or overnight by a ferry. Trips to Helsinki and Stockholm’s airports from city centers would be slashed to less than 10 minutes. An entire region of 5 million people would become a metro network, lifting property values and productivity along the route. Click here to download the FS Links/KPMG report.
FS Links, a multi-stakeholder consortium formed to bring the Hyperloop to the Nordic region, will now move to begin the full project scoping study required to secure funding and approvals to begin construction of a test section along the route. Assuming the project is funded and clears regulatory and safety hurdles, the domestic networks could take about 8 years to complete and the international link four years after that. The domestic sections in Sweden and Finland are viable stand-alone projects and can start generating revenue before the sea-crossing tunnel is complete, reducing commercial risk for the overall project. Hyperloop One, meanwhile, is aiming to demonstrate a full-scale, high-speed test of its track, vehicle and controlled-environment tube in late 2016 or early 2017.
The next step began last Friday when Hyperloop One and FS Links signed a letter of intent with the City of Salo, Finland to begin a detailed study of the first stage of the network: a 50-kilometer route west from Salo to the coastal city of Turku. A second stage of the proposal covers a 140-kilometer eastward extension from Salo to Central Helsinki and its airport. That link would cut travel time from Salo to downtown Helsinki or the airport to 10 minutes, and the trip from the historic capital of Turku to the current capital Helsinki would be only 12 minutes. That compares with up to two hours by train today, and even longer driving.