Dezeen Magazine

Foster + Partners presents vision for hyperloop cargo network

British architecture studio Foster + Partners has released a video showing its vision for a high-speed freight-carrying hyperloop named DP World Cargospeed.

The Norman Foster-led practice designed the concept in collaboration with ports operator DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One, the transport company that Richard Branson became a major stakeholder in last year.

The organisations envision creating an infrastructure network that would use hyperloop technology to quickly and safely transport freight at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour through semi-vacuum tubes.

Although the early development of hyperloop has focused on creating systems for transporting people, the group believe that cargo could unlock the potential of the emerging technology.

"Throughout history, cargo has always been the catalyst for transport revolutions. Today, DP World has partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One to realise the next leap in transport and make hyperloop a reality," the video states.

The organisations believe that the growing demand to quickly transport goods, fuelled by the on-demand culture, will drive the development of the cargo network.

In the concept, hyperloop stations would be incorporated into the world's ports with goods transported onto the autonomous hyperloop trains by autonomous loading vehicles.

"The movement of people and goods is part of the vital infrastructure that binds all our cities together – and cities are the future of our society," said Norman Foster, founder of Foster + Partners.

"As hyperloop looks to reinvent urban transport and logistics, the city of the future is closer than we think," he continued.

"It is important we develop an integrated sustainable vision of infrastructure that will enable us to evolve and adapt our existing cities, and design new ones that will be in harmony with nature and our precious planet."

Hyperloop technology has the potential to transport goods and people at rapid speeds, greatly reducing the travel times between cities. Links are proposed for many destinations around the world, by a range of well-known architects.

BIG has designed a hyperloop system for Dubai, while Fernando Romero is planning a line between Mexico City and Guadalajara. And in central Europe, there is a proposal to connect Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest.

Progress is also being made in the USA, where Elon Musk's Boring Company has been given permission to start construction of a Washington DC to New York hyperloop tunnel.

However this is the first hyperloop proposal from Foster + Partners, which ranked at number nine on Dezeen Hot List 2017. The firm has previously worked on a wide spectrum of transport projects, including the Spaceport America terminal in New Mexico and a new transport network for Jeddah.