Bran­son in­vests in train to get from Ed­in­burgh to Lon­don in 45 min­utes

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By NEIL LANCEFIELD

Sir Richard Bran­son has in­vested in a Hyper­loop firm which he claims will trans­port pas­sen­gers between Lon­don and Scot­land in 45 min­utes.

The bil­lion­aire’s Virgin Group has formed a part­ner­ship with Los An­ge­les-based Hyper­loop One, which is de­vel­op­ing a method of pro­pel­ling pas­sen­gers and freight in pods through low pres­sure tubes at high speed.

Virgin de­scribed it as “the world’s most rev­o­lu­tion­ary train ser­vice”.

The com­pany will be re­branded as Virgin Hyper­loop One and Sir Richard will join the board of di­rec­tors.

It is aim­ing to achieve speeds of up to 670mph and have “op­er­a­tional sys­tems” ready by 2021.

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

0 Sir Richard Bran­son says jour­ney times will be cut 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.”

Sir Richard, who is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing com­mer­cial space travel through Virgin Galac­tic, went on: “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.”

Trains between Lon­don and Ed­in­burgh cur­rently take around four hours and 20 min­utes, with flights last­ing one hour and 20 min­utes.

Hyper­loop One is in the early stages of mak­ing the tech­nol­ogy com­mer­cially vi­able af­ter com­plet­ing a full-scale test in Las Ve­gas.

The idea was first launched by Tesla boss Elon Musk in Au­gust 2013. He is not as­so­ci­ated with Hyper­loop One but has urged in­ter­ested par­ties to de­velop the tech­nol­ogy.

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