One of the two companies working on Hyperloop trains just held a press conference in Toulouse to announce that the company is going to have a 3,000 square meter facility (roughly 38,000 sq ft) in the French city of Toulouse. While Hyperloop Transportation Technologies seems to be lagging behind Hyperloop One, the company has been very active on the news front lately.
In December, the company announced a $108 million funding round. When you look more closely, the company has only raised $31.8 million in cash. The rest is just free man-hours and land rights usage. One of them could very well be this new facility in Toulouse.
The city of Toulouse is providing a small facility at Francazal Airport, a former military base that isn’t used anymore. The company will use this facility to work on some prototypes. It could even test it out on some outdoor terrain near the airport.
Hyperloop TT recently announced a new deal with Slovakia and the Czech Republic to connect Bratislava and Brno with a hyperloop train. Toulouse seems well-located to manufacture the trains that are going to be used on this line in Central Europe.
Toulouse is arguably the European capital of the aerospace industry. In particular, Airbus is headquartered near Toulouse. Some of the company’s planes are also manufactured near Toulouse.
Elon Musk first outlined the Hyperloop concept back in 2013. It is a new train technology that combines magnetic levitation (maglev) with reduced-pressure tubes. These trains that would operate inside of tubes would be able to go much faster than existing high speed train. Other entrepreneurs later embraced the idea and started working on Hyperloop trains.
Oh, and here’s a video about today’s announcement: