US company Virgin Hyperloop One, which is developing its own Hyperloop vacuum train passenger transport system, has announced plans to build a research center in West Virginia. It will serve as a place to test, develop and validate the technologies behind the Hyperloop idea. According to sources, the total cost of building the center will be $ 500 million.
The idea of developing a vacuum passenger train system Hyperloop magnetic levitation, capable of traveling at speeds of up to 1000 km / h inside closed vacuum tubes, was originally submitted by billionaire and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk several years ago.
Since then, a number of companies have expressed their desire to develop their own Hyperloop systems. One of them was Virgin Hyperloop One, which was simply called Hyperloop One before the merger with Virgin, and quickly became a leader in this area. However, over time, the topic of vacuum trains began to appear less and less in news reports.
Yet with the latest announcement, it becomes clear that the Hyperloop idea is still alive. It is also worth noting that in the summer of this year, the US government published the Pathways to the Future of Transportation document, which, among other things, should help identify and address legal and regulatory gaps that impede the deployment of new technologies, including Hyperloop.
To date, there is not a single operating network of Hyperloop vacuum trains in the world. Moreover, the capsules have not even been tested with humans as passengers yet. Nevertheless, the same Virgin Hyperloop One has a test site in Las Vegas, where it tested the Hyperloop capsule, accelerating it to a speed of 370 km / h (without a person). According to the company, in order to reach the initially declared speed of 1000 km / h for such trains, it will be necessary to lengthen the test line by an additional 2000 meters.
Part of Virginia’s new Hyperloop One research facility in West Virginia will include a 10 km test track. The company said that they plan to use it, including for testing Hyperloop with people on board. Construction of the center will begin in the near future, as the company has set itself the goal of obtaining regulatory approval for the construction of a full-fledged commercial Hyperloop route by 2025 and launching a passenger transportation service by 2030.
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