Right now, if you want to take a quick trip to Toronto, you have about four options: car, bus, train, or plane. Each option, however, has its downfalls. Everything but a plane takes at least 5 hours, and if you do fly, you're going to be forking over some serious dough to travel what's really a short distance.
But what if there was a new mode of transportation, one that could get you to Toronto, or any major Canadian city, in mere minutes?
That's what the proposed Canadian "Hyperloop Train" promises to do, getting you from Montreal to Toronto in less than 30 minutes.
Based on an idea originally thought up by the renowned Elon Musk, the Hyperloop Train system features a low-pressure tube with pods inside that can move at speeds of about 560 km/h (or faster) that can then transport droves of people between Canada's two largest cities.
But while the Hyperloop Train is really just an idea right now, Transpod, a Toronto-based company, is hoping to make it a reality.
Already having attended a competition in Texas for Hyperloop designs, the Transpod team hopes to go well beyond just a simple plan and concept, aiming to have a full model ready to present at InnoTrans (the largest railway transport industry trade show) in September.
Looking even further ahead, Transpod aims to have a fully functional Hyperloop model by the year 2020. With help from Bombardier Inc. (who may also invest in the project), the Transpod team believes the deadline is quite attainable.
So in the next ten years, we could see a functional Hyperloop Train connect Montreal to Toronto, with travellers heading between the two in less than half an hour. Maybe that's a bit optimistic, but we could see the construction start.
But despite the speed and energy-efficiency (no fossil fuels would be used to power the system) of a Hyperloop Train, one major drawback would be the immense sums of money needed to create such a system across Canada, as pointed out by University of Toronto professor Matthew Siemiatycki. In his words, the cost "will be astronomical."
Building a Hyperloop Train network between Montreal and Toronto, however, wouldn't cost that much money, and it's not like anyone is really itching to head to Edmonton anyway.
Here's hoping Transpod starts small, links Montreal to Toronto, then worries about the rest of Canada later on, or you know, when they have the time.