Three UK routes are on a shortlist of candidates to host the world’s first hyperloop, including a ‘North-South Connector’ that could bring journey times from London to Edinburgh of 50 minutes.
The Hyperloop concept sees passengers and cargo loaded into a pod and accelerated gradually to high speeds via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube with ultra-low aerodynamic drag, resulting in low emissions and energy consumption.
Hyperloop One says it is the only company in the world to have built a fully functioning test track for a Hyperloop system, ‘the first new mode of transportation in more than 100 years’.
It has announced nine potential high-speed corridors in Europe, including three in the UK: Cardiff to Glasgow (1060km/89 minutes); a Northern Arc route connecting Glasgow to Liverpool via Manchester (545km/47 minutes); and a North-South Connector between London and Edinburgh (666km/50 minutes).
Other potential routes are in Germany, Estonia-Finland, Spain-Morocco, Corsica-Sardinia, The Netherlands, and Poland. Hyperloop One said in aggregate the routes would connect more than 75 million people in 44 cities, spanning 5,000 kilometres
In a blog post, Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd wrote: ‘Taken as a whole, the European and U.K. Global Challenge corridors advance the potential for Hyperloop to unify the European economy, increase the capacity of its strategic corridors, and offer next generation logistics to facilitate fast, reliable and clean movement of goods.
‘We see Europe as a high-potential market for Hyperloop, as its leaders embrace new ideas in transportation and commit to big infrastructure projects like no other region in the world.’
He added: ‘We completed the last section of our 500m DevLoop test track in Nevada in April and are looking forward to our first public demonstration, Kitty Hawk, in the coming months, proving our technology works.
'The next step after that is to work with Governments around the world, Europe included, to build a proof of operations facility where we can validate our system and win regulatory approvals.’