Is hyperloop the future of travel?

Forget HS2, this game-changing technology could be capable of moving faster than a jumbo jet – but with none of the emissions, says Steven Cutts

Thursday 25 June 2020 00:00 BST
Virgin’s first hyperloop route will link Mumbai and Pune
Virgin’s first hyperloop route will link Mumbai and Pune (Virgin)

All around the world, governments and innovators are going crazy for a new and game-changing technology: a magnetically levitated transportation system called hyperloop. The proponents of this innovation claim that their invention has the capacity to replace conventional trains and short-haul air travel. It will abolish distance and change the way we plan our societies and build our cities. Once a hyperloop network has been built, nothing will remain the same.

Perhaps predictably, Richard Branson is investing heavily in this new field. Virgin Hyperloop is one of the new and dynamic companies now racing to build the world’s first ultra-high-speed transport system.

This isn’t the first time that a Briton has been involved in the magnetically levitated future. In the Eighties, we were the first nation in the world to introduce a commercially operational magnetically levitated train. It was a small cabin without wheels that transported people at quite lacklustre speeds around Birmingham Airport. This was good, groundbreaking stuff and a reminder that Britain could still be a leader in tech. Since it had no wheels, it delivered a smooth and jolt-free ride.

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