See how Virgin Hyperloop’s speedy pod-slinging tube will transport you

The futuristic Richard Branson-backed venture wants to sling you around at jet plane speeds inside magnetic pods.

By Eric Mack

Hyperloop, the futuristic bullet-train-in-a-tube concept originally conceived by Elon Musk, has had a makeover courtesy of Virgin Hyperloop. The company released the below concept video on Monday laying out its updated vision of electromagnetically propelled passenger pods whipping riders between cities at jet plane speeds. 

Think of hyperloop as a maglev train that runs inside a tube with a near-vacuum environment, thus eliminating almost all friction and air resistance, allowing for comfortable travel at speeds up to 670 miles per hour (1,070 kilometers per hour). Other conceptions for the technology, which is based on ideas for low-pressure travel dating back several decades and updated for the 21st century in an open-source white paper by Musk, have looked like a maglev train in a tube. 

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Virgin Hyperloop selects West Virginia to test its futuristic transport system

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The certification center will serve as the location for testing, developing, and validating the technology

 Virgin Hyperloop One announced its plan to build a $500 million certification center to advance its vision of the future of high-speed transportation in West Virginia. The state will serve as a locus for testing, developing, and validating the technology that underpins the still-theoretical hyperloop system.

There is no fully functional hyperloop in the world, and it has never been tested with human passengers. But the federal government has recently laid out the framework for regulating the hyperloop, giving hope to companies like Virgin Hyperloop One that it may eventually break ground on a full-sized operational hyperloop system. To do so, it will still need to raise millions of dollars in funding, acquire the enormous tracks of land, and certify that the hyperloop can be operated safely. Which is all to say, the hyperloop is still very far off.

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Dutch study shows hyperloop may be substitute to short-haul flights

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An artist’s impression of a proposal by Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop to build a hyperloop system linking Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to major European cities is seen in this handout image obtained by Reuters on June 10, 2020.

LONDON (Reuters) – Passenger-packed pods speeding through vacuum tubes linking Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to European cities could prove a viable low-carbon alternative to short-haul flights, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Although hyperloop technology, which uses magnetic levitation to allow near-silent travel at airline speeds, has not yet proven feasible in large-scale operations, the airport said it was seriously exploring it as a potential form of sustainable transport.

“We are genuinely interested in where hyperloop could go,” said Hassan Charaf, head of innovation at Royal Schiphol Group, which owns and operates the airport, one of Europe’s busiest.

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Toronto to Montreal Hyperloop Train in under 40 minutes

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Toronto to Montreal Hyperloop Train – Would you like to get from Montreal to Toronto in 39 minutes, in a futuristic vehicle propelling you through a low-pressure tube at up to 1080 kilometers per hour? Well, that soon may very well be possible with the Toronto to Montreal Hyperloop Train.

Toronto and Montreal are finalists in Hyperloop One’s global competition to build the first ‘hyperloop high-speed transportation system’. The Toronto to Montreal route is one of their top choices. The two cities are major contenders where the company would build one of their first routes in the world.

The proposed route would connect Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto and would travel 2-3 times faster than high-speed rail and magnetic levitation trains and 10-15 times faster than traditional rail.

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Saudi Arabia to host longest hyperloop test track

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Hyperloop would reduce travelling time from Riyadh to Jeddah to 76 minutes – currently over 10 hours

 With speeds three times faster than high-speed rail and an on-demand, direct to destination experience, hyperloop technology can reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia, exponentially increasing connectivity across not only across the country but throughout the GCC.

Saudi Arabia could host the longest test and certification hyperloop track in the world after a partnership deal was struck between Virgin Hyperloop One, the futuristic rapid transit system backed by Dubai-based ports operator DP World, and the kingdom’s Economic City Authority (ECA).

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We are closer than ever to achieving the Hyperloop – But not the one we first imagined

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More recent designs closely resemble high-speed trains.

The Hyperloop One’s recent speed record of 308 kmh (192 mph) is an important step (however small) toward surpassing the first goal of the Hyperloop: to achieve quicker transit than other alternatives. But, while the hyperloop was initially designed to achieve 1,200 km/h (750 mph) with a chic micro-craft built for three passengers, it is developing into something quite different.

In his original outline, Musk illuminated some glaring problems at the conceptual stage of several other “high speed” rail systems — namely the high expense per mile, the cost of operation, and that other propositions were less safe than flying by two orders of magnitude.

No one thought the proposal would come so far a mere four years after Elon Musk released his initial plans for Hyperloop system. But with tubes 3.3 meters (11 feet) in diameter, the craft looks more like the cargo version from Musk’s original concept. Instead of a bobsled, we’re seeing something more like an ordinary train. Additionally, the thin concrete pylons planned for minimal terrestrial footprint will be significantly larger. Since this is more on the scale of a train or highway, the disruptive potential of compact tubes would seem, alas, reneged.

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We need Elon Musk much more than he needs us

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Heroes are not created equal. Most people recognize the name Sully Sullenberger, but far fewer can tell you what Alan Turing did during World War II.

Fewer still could tell you that Turing was chemically castrated because he was gay, and committed suicide shortly thereafter. But thanks for bringing one of the most horrifying wars in history to an abrupt end, I guess?

Society isn’t always kind to its heroes. We ask for an ill-defined yet idealized sort of perfection, and when our heroes fall short, we make sure they fall twice as hard.

Some might write this phenomenon off as a minor inconvenience for the rich, successful or famous, but times have changed. The human costs of war pale in comparison to the battles humanity will face in the years to come.

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Zoetrope effect could render Hyperloop tubes transparent to riders

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An optical illusion popular in the 19th century could make trips on the Hyperloop appear to take place in a transparent tube. Regularly spaced, narrow windows wouldn’t offer much of a view individually, but if dozens of them pass by every second an effect would be created like that of a zoetrope, allowing passengers to effectively see right through the walls.

It’s an official concept from Virgin Hyperloop One and design house Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and in fact was teased back in 2016. Now the companies have shared a video showing how it would work and what it would look like for passengers — though there’s no indication it would actually be put in place in the first tracks.

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New hyperloop photos show capsule’s sleek, windowless interior

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Mock-up of a futuristic transportation pod looks a bit like the cabin of an airliner, but with a crucial difference.

The Virgin Hyperloop One mock-up has luxury touches but no windows.BMW Designworks.

If you’ve ever wondered what the inside of a hyperloop capsule might look like, you’re in luck.

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