FS Links Case Study
Hyperloop One has formed a partnership with FS Links Ab, to study a potential hyperloop route linking Helsinki and Stockholm the capital cities of Finland and Sweden, routing via the Åland Islands which lie between the two countries in the Baltic Sea. This route has substantial potential for freight, and millions of passenger journeys are made every year on this corridor, many of them by ship.
Hyperloop One reduces the journey time from over 16 hours by ferry to around 30 minutes. With on demand service planned to all major intermediate centres of population, and direct service to both Helsinki and Stockholm airports, with their combined 40 million passengers per year, FS Links uses Hyperloop One to create a Nordic super-region. Entirely new patterns of economic and urban development become possible, with Hyperloop One enabling Swedes and Finns to ‘live anywhere, work anywhere, be anywhere' on this 450km-long corridor.
A Project Scoping Study was commenced in Q1 2016, and preliminary findings will be reported in summer 2016. In addition to the international route between the two capitals, the study has focussed on how Hyperloop One can offer a substantially better Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR) than proposed domestic high speed rail systems.
In Finland, for instance, Hyperloop One can link the historic capital and industrial heartland of Turku with Helsinki in around 15 minutes. A conventional wheel-on-steel high speed train would take 60 minutes, and would cost around twice as much to construct and three times more to operate. As can be seen from the route planning schematic below, Hyperloop One can also link the intermediate locations, to each other and to the major cities.
To take an example, the Hyperloop Helsinki - Salo journey time is under 10 minutes, compared to 1h 24m by rail or around 2h 00m by car. This enables property development on a significant scale in Salo, where property is typically 25% of the cost of Helsinki. As a consequence a redistribution of population is expected when it becomes possible to Live Salo Work Helsinki, for instance. A sub-10 minute journey time to Helsinki Airport means that the high-skill, high-tech facilities available in post-Nokia Salo become, in effect the closest Smart Manufacturing base in the EU to China. A 3 minute Helsinki to Airport journey, compared to 42 minutes by train today, transforms the integration of a capital city with its key transport gateway.
In Sweden, FS Links and Hyperloop One are engaging with the ‘Swedish Negotiation' process and with political decision-makers to explore how Hyperloop One could offer a radically better solution to linking Sweden's three key cities than a proposed high speed rail system.
The schematic below illustrates some key results. The proposed high speed network, which totals around 695km is mapped in red, linking the three major cities of Stockholm, Malmö and Göteborg. Distances from Stockholm are shown in the blue circles.
High Speed Rail journey times are shown in the red boxes, 1h 45m from Stockholm to Göteborg, for example. The radically better hyperloop trip times are shown in the dark blue boxes – 30m to Göteborg: so that's the benefit side. On the cost side of the equation, the hyperloop indicative capital cost of EUR 10 – 17 billion contrasts very favourably with the Swedish estimate of EUR 36 billion for a conventional high speed rail system, and with per-km costs from the current UK HS2 project indicating that a conventional railway could be as expensive as EUR 138 bn.
Putting the massively greater benefit of radically improved connectivity together with substantially lower costs enables FS Links to offer a hyperloop solution with a much better Benefit to Cost Ratio than any possible high speed rail system using old technology.
On this solid foundation a team of international experts is undertaking an analysis of demand, ridership and revenue and Wider Economic Benefits (WEB). This work produces the broad outlines of the network in terms of optimum routing and hyperloop terminal locations. This in turn informs a civil engineering study which defines the optimum route.