The concept of Hyperloop transportation was first introduced by George Medhurst in 1799 and the Elon Musk renewed interest in vacuum trains that can revolutionize traveling soon.
What is Hyperloop
Hyperloop is a high-speed ground transportation system for passengers and cargo, based on electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The term “hyperloop” has its roots more than 200 years ago, in 1799 when George Medhurst, a mechanical engineer, and inventor, developed the first atmospheric railway and patented more hyperloop-related inventions.
What is Virgin Hyperloop
Virgin Hyperloop is an American transportation company that works to commercialize the high-speed technology called Hyperloop. The main goal is to save your time, and according to their website, this system is 3x faster than high-speed rail and more than 10x faster than traditional rail.
Since its launch in 2014, the company changes its name often – including Hyperloop Technologies, Hyperloop One, and Virgin Hyperloop One.
Their project aroused the interest of investors and raised over $485 million as of May 2019.
In 2016, they launched Hyperloop One Global Challenge to find the locations to develop and construct the world’s first hyperloop networks. In 2017 they announced the 10 winning routes (USA – 4, Canada – 1, Mexico – 1, UK – 2, and India – 2).
When will Virgin Hyperloop be ready?
“The commercialization, the product innovation, and all that will be wrapping up around 2025, 2026 time frame,” Giegel said. “Then the question is about where this first project will be, how long will it take to build, is really a determination of when people will be able to start operating the system. There will be multiple projects by the end of the decade around the world.”
First Hyperloop passengers test
The test took place at the Virgin Hyperloop’s 1,640-foot DevLoop test track outside Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday afternoon. The first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s chief technology officer and co-founder Josh Giegel, and Sara Luchian, the company’s head of passenger experience. They traveled 48 meters per second on a 500-meter journey through the Nevada desert. Giegel said in a statement. “Not just for me, but for all of us who are looking towards a full moon here on Earth.”
It’s an important achievement to reach their goal – transforming the way people travel – and their vision of a futuristic transportation system of magnetically levitating pods traveling through nearly airless tubes at speeds of up to 760 mph (1,223 km/h).
Virgin Loop Cargo
The Pegasus pod also called XP-2, has been used for the first passenger test and was designed with help from famed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. This prototype weighs 2.5 tons and measures about 15-18 feet long. It represents a scaled-down version of what Virgin Hyperloop hopes to be a full-sized pod capable of carrying up to 28 passengers, and a system that is 10 times more efficient than the world’s fastest maglev train, according to the developers.
How Does it Work?
Virgin Hyperloop developed a near-vacuum environment within a tube, which enables high speeds on a suspended magnetic system, low power consumption, and almost completely removes aerodynamic drag. The levitation engines contain electromagnets that lift and guide the cargo within the track, propelling it with over 1,200 km/h, and according to Giegel (CEO and Co-Founder of Virgin Hyperloop), will be so fast that the 382-mile trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco (1.5-hour plane ride or a six-hour drive) will take only 30 minutes.
Check the video to see how it works.
Is the Hyperloop Safe?
“I can’t tell you how often I get asked ‘is hyperloop safe?'” Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop, said in a prepared statement. “With today’s passenger testing, we have successfully answered this question, demonstrating that not only can Virgin Hyperloop safely put a person in a pod in a vacuum environment but that the company has a thoughtful approach to safety which has been validated by an independent third party.”
Read more: World’s Fastest Trains