Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group has invested in technology that the billionaire entrepreneur claims can transport passengers between London and Scotland in just 45 minutes.
The company has invested an undisclosed stake in Hyperloop One, now rebranded as Virgin Hyperloop One, an LA-based company that makes use of the revolutionary transport concept made famous by Elon Musk.
Although Musk is not directly involved in the company, Hyperloop One is already ahead of the curve, having become the first company in the world to test a full-scale Hyperloop back in May on its 500m Development Loop (DevLoop) in Las Vegas.
Hyperloop technology is based on the idea of using an electric motor to accelerate an electromagnetically levitated pod through a low-pressure tube, which could theoretically reach speeds of up to 670mph with no turbulence. The fastest recorded speed using Hyperloop so far is 220mph.
Sir Richard said: "After visiting Hyperloop One's test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times.
"Virgin has been known for investing in and creating innovative companies over the years, and I look forward to making history together as we bring Hyperloop to the world as Virgin Hyperloop One."
He added: "Virgin Hyperloop will be able to transport people from London to Scotland in 45 minutes.
"I have a funny feeling that I'll get a lot of satisfaction from people saying it's transformed their lives."
The fastest train from London to Edinburgh is currently the new high-speed Azuma, which took four hours to complete the journey on its test run in August. Virgin plans to roll out a 65-strong fleet next year across its east coast route.
Hyperloop One says it aims to deliver a fully operational Hyperloop system by 2021.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies