The trains would have significantly lowered the travel time between major cities in Switzerland. For example, the time between Bern and Zurich could be reduced from the present 60 minutes by intercity train to a mere 12 minutes.
The concept dates back to the 1970s, but it was in January 1992 that the public limited company Swissmetro was created to develop the project. After a concession application submitted in 1997 to the Federal Office of Transport for the Lausanne - Geneva section and a feasibility study of the Basel - Zurich section, the company came to the conclusion that the project could not be carried out .
Liquidation of initial concept
The company Swissmetro SA went into liquidation the 20 November 2009 because of a lack of support. Based on high-speed maglev trains travelling in low-pressure tunnels (approximately 100 millibar) the speeds would have been about 500 kilometres per hour.
Although conclusive simulation tests have been done by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), the project is not likely to be restarted in the near future. Reports differed on the question of economic viability.
A modified version of the initial concept has been created by Marcel Jufer, and has is being promoted by entrepreneur Gérard Delruelle, who intends to make a first metroplane line between Brussels and Strasbourg.
A new 60 members team started and re-branded at EPFL the Swissmetro research into Hyperloop infrastructure. .
- Marcel Jufer
- "Le projet Swissmetro abandonné faute d'argent". RTS Info. 2 November 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2017.CS1 maint: Date and year (link)
- Promise and Peril by Tim De Chant Tue, 13 August 2013, Nova Next
- Swissmetro details
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2013-08-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-18. Retrieved 2013-08-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Metroplane concept
- Metroplane between Brussels and Strasbourg
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