Branson's Virgin Group joins Hyperloop One project

Virgin launching train that can travel from London to Scotland in 50 mins

Virgin are launching a train that can travel from London to Scotland in just 50 mins

Hyperloop One has been renamed Virgin Hyperloop One following an investment from Richard Branson.

Virgin's plan is to focus on using Hyperloop One to transport passengers and cargo.

By using magnetic levitation and electric propulsion to accelerate a pod through a tube at near-vacuum, hyperloop hopefuls believe they can transport passengers at speeds up to 700 miles per hour, providing airline speeds on the ground.

In a statement released by Virgin on Thursday and credited to Branson, the entrepreneur noted that the new Virgin Hyperloop One could bring airline speeds to the ground. The air-tight tubes need to be closer to true vacuum, the maglev acceleration needs to increase which will require more power, and protecting hyperloop tracks from environmental factors such as earthquakes is still a major concern.

The presser adds that Virgin has been seeking ways to invest in innovative companies, including airlines, trains and even space travel. As an example of the high-speed transportation offered by Hyperloop, the project expects the travel time from Edinburgh to London to be 50 minutes.

The technology is going through trials on a 500-metre test track and the company, now known as Virgin Hyperloop One, hopes to make it commercially viable.

"I was very impressed and now look forward to helping turn this cutting-edge engineering into a global passenger service", Branson said. "We have always been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people's lives", the statement reads.

Before we can fly through vacuum tubes at almost the speed of sound, however, hyperloop technologies will need to advance quite a bit.

Branson, the billionaire whose other holdings include Virgin Atlantic Airways and the Virgin Galactic spacecraft venture, also joined the board of Hyperloop One.

Branson said the company was working on "exciting projects" around the world but no lines have been confirmed as yet.

Latest News