UAE hyperloop to finish initial construction in 2020: chairman

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The company building the world's first superfast hyperloop train system in the United Arab Emirates will complete a first phase of its construction next year, a top executive said Thursday.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, based on Elon Musk’s concept of high-speed hyperloop transportation, plans to build 10 kilometers (six miles) of a 150-kilometer route linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai next year, company chairman Bibop Gresta told the official WAM news agency.

Gresta did not give a specific date for the launch of the high-speed transport system but said estimates put the cost at $3 billion to $6 billion.

Last April, Hyperloop signed a memorandum of understanding with Al-Dar Properties, a major real estate firm based in Abu Dhabi, for the construction and operation of the near-supersonic transport link.

The first capsule of the UAE train has now left the assembly facility in Spain to Toulouse, France where it will be tested on a prototype track, Gresta said.

A hyperloop is a shuttle pod that travels on magnetic rails, somewhat like a train, but runs through a vacuum tube, massively cutting air resistance.

In theory, hyperloops could allow travel faster than the speed of sound.

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