The first European Hyperloop test facility has opened at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. A Hyperloop trip from Amsterdam to Paris is expected to take 30 minutes when the transportation system is up and running.

Hardt, a company founded by winners from the Hyperloop One pod competition, and European construction company have built a 30-meter long test facility. The test facility enables the company to test propulsion, safety, gliding, and pod stabilization in a vacuum at low speeds.

A team of students from TU Delft is undertaking a new pod design project, with the final design to be entered in Hyperloop’s pod competition. The team’s first prototype pod design defeated a team from MIT, with its light, strong carbon fiber pod and low energy use. They project that their design could ultimately cost three to five times less to build than high-speed rail.

The Dutch government has jumped onto the Hyperloop bandwagon, working with Hardt and Hyperloop One to explore potential for the futuristic transport system in the Netherlands.

“In terms of transportation, a new age has begun with self-driving vehicles, platooning trucks, and drones. In the Netherlands, we want to be the European test bed for these innovative and sustainable forms of transport and so build up more knowledge about them. The Hyperloop is fast, innovative, silent and sustainable and so very interesting for the transportation needs of the future,” said Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Schultz van Haegen.

Hyperloop has signed agreements to open additional European test facilities in Toulouse, France, and Brno, Czech Republic.