From Cov to London in just EIGHT minutes...
IT might sound like science fiction but a futuristic high-tech transportation system that makes HS2 look slow could see travel time between Coventry and London reduced to just EIGHT minutes.
Analysis has revealed that if a Hyperloop system were introduced to replace the current rail system it could truly transform transport in Britain.
In Coventry’s case the eight minute journey time compares to a current Virgin Trains rail journey of 62 minutes or less - saving travellers up to 54 minutes.
Hyperloop is a mode of transport that is able to move at frighteningly fast speeds - and estimated to be two to three times faster than high speed rail.
It involves pods travelling at super high speed through near-vacuum tubes.
And, while the concept might sound completely futuristic and a long way from reality, there are people currently working on turning this form of transport into reality.
Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies are racing to be the first to make this a reality rather than a pipe dream.
Hyperloop has actually been talked about as a concept since 2013, with the idea popularised by Tesla founder Elon Musk.
However the idea of using low pressure tubes for transport has been around for more than a century.
The concept revolves around sending specially designed capsules, or pods, through a steel tube maintained at a partial vacuum.
Musk’s idea proposed that each capsule would float on a thin layer of air in a similar vein as a puck on an air hockey table - that would eliminate friction and allow for faster speeds than wheels can sustain.
Closer to home a Hyperloop project has been backed by Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson - dubbed Virgin Hyperloop One.
RS Components, a company based in Northamptonshire, has analysed what public transport would look like if a Hyperloop replaced current rail services into the capital.
It came up with the eight-minute journey time from Coventry to London based on a line being created in a straight line and Hyperloop pods being able to travel at speeds of up to 670mph.
An unparallelled systemA spokesman said: “In a world where time is precious, the opportunity to shave off minutes from our excruciating daily commute to work, visiting our friends and family and exploring new cities is unparalleled.
“Commuting to and from the capital city has never looked so appealing, taking the dread out of travelling when visiting your favourite places.”
The RSA Components spokesman added: “Research, development and testing are still under way and with millions of investment into the project it’s hopefully coming to us in the near future.”
If it becomes reality the Hyperloop would also transform the way people live and work.
“Not only will we be able to visit places all around the country that we previously had to travel a number of hours to get to, the Hyperloop is expected to have a transformative impact on sustainability, tourism and commutes to work,” the RS Components spokesman said.
“Workers around the country will have numerous cities at their fingertips to find work in, opening up more job opportunities than ever before.”
This footage shows a speeded-up Virgin Trains journey between London and Coventry
The story is much the same for many of the other cities across the UK from London.
The current journey time from London to Manchester is 125 minutes, via the Hyperloop it would be 14 minutes.
A trip from London to Liverpool would be reduced from 135 minutes to 16 minutes, whereas Edinburgh to the capital would shorten from 260 minutes to 29 minutes.
Perhaps unsurprisingly the Hyperloop has had plenty of critics. It has been said the system would cost far too much to develop and the idea itself is impractical.
But the potential for the low-pressure tube mode of transport to become a reality is not dead.
Hyperloop One says it plans to build the first functioning Hyperloop system by 2021.
It also completed and tested its first 500m prototype track in the Nevada desert in 2016.
Hyperloop One does also have proposed routes for the UK in mind but its first targets are the Netherlands, Finland and Dubai.
In those countries the company has had government backing explore the potential and possibilities of the system.