Canada Wants to Build a Fully Electric Tube Train That Travels at 600 MPH

China isn't the only country that's planning a futuristic network of maglev trains and vacuum tubes.

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Image for article titled Canada Wants to Build a Fully Electric Tube Train That Travels at 600 MPH
Illustration: TransPod

A company in Canada is planning to build a network of tube trains that could make high speed rail look downright pokey, and even outrun planes. Canadian company TransPod recently announced the FluxJet, a “plane-train hybrid” that the company claims will travel at up to 1,000 kilometers per hour, or roughly 621 miles per hour, as CNN reports.

The Toronto-based company is now pitching the TransPod Line, a similar idea to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop — you know, if Musk’s glorified underground tunnel were actually a viable form of mass transit instead of just a caravan of EVs.

The TransPod FluxJet seems to be using linear induction motors, which are fully-electric and pull power from the grid, along with magnetic levitation. The 82-foot long trains will travel along vacuum tubes where they’re free to blast ahead without drag and free of friction.

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Image for article titled Canada Wants to Build a Fully Electric Tube Train That Travels at 600 MPH
Illustration: TransPod

The company claims its tech is based on a new field of physics called “veillance flux,” but the reference is vague. According to TransPod, it traces back to a higher sensing capability via motion tracking that gives the FluxJet acute environmental awareness. Hmm. Yeah. That’s nonsense for now.

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The company mentions a “Veillance Network” that allegedly studies and adjusts the position of the FluxJet as it travels in the tube, perhaps to keep it on the path of least resistance. Fastest way between two points, and all that vector jazz.

The technology sounds like its straight out of a sci-fi novel, including its speed capabilities. TransPod says the FluxJet will carry up to 54 passengers and 11 tons at a time and still travel faster than a plane, reaching full speed of 621 mph. A 186-mile trip that would typically take three hours to drive, would at that rate, only take a half hour.

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Image for article titled Canada Wants to Build a Fully Electric Tube Train That Travels at 600 MPH
Illustration: TransPod

And as if that weren’t enough, TransPod claims a FluxJet ticket will cost about 44 percent less than a plane ticket covering that same distance. So, it’s faster, cheaper and better for the environment. TransPod expects the FluxJet could cut 701,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year once it’s up and running between Edmonton and Calgary. Well, if it’s ever up and running.

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It all sounds too good to be true, but we can dream. As in, we in the U.S., or specifically, we in Texas. TransPod is allegedly in talks to build a FluxJet network in between San Antonio and Dallas, which are just under 300 miles from each other via highway. A FluxJet could cut Texas down to size, finally.

Again, if the TransPod FluxJet ever comes to fruition. That’s going to cost an estimated $18 billion dollars for the first phase in Canada alone, connecting Edmonton and Calgary. TransPod has only managed to get $550 million in funding so far. Nonetheless, the company estimates its first public passengers will go on the maiden voyage before 2035.

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Image for article titled Canada Wants to Build a Fully Electric Tube Train That Travels at 600 MPH
Illustration: TransPod