Monday 11 December 2017

1,200kmh levitating transport system a step closer

The prototype of a Hyperloop One pod pictured last month
The prototype of a Hyperloop One pod pictured last month

Cara McGoogan

The ultra-fast Hyperloop is one step closer to becoming a reality after its pod travelled 192mph (309kmh) in its maiden journey.

Hyperloop One said its prototype for the high-speed transport system, which could travel from London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes, reached the speed on a 500m-long test track in the Nevada desert in the US.

The test marks the first time Hyperloop One has propelled one of its carriages along the tube, as well as the fastest journey for the technology. It is a significant step in the development of the Hyperloop, a transport system first conceived by Elon Musk in 2015 that involves levitating pods travelling through a vacuum at 1,200kmh.

"This is the beginning, and the dawn of a new era of transportation," said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop One. "We've reached historic speeds and we're excited to finally show the world the XP-1 going into the Hyperloop One tube."

Prototypes for the futuristic mode of transport are being developed by a host of rival companies and research institutions. Hyperloop One is the first to test a working model of its magnetic levitating pods.

Before it can accelerate to 1,200kmh it will need to extend the 500m test track, built this year, as well as fine-tune the system. The next phase of tests will focus on solving practical problems such as creating an air lock, rather than increasing speed.

The California-based transport innovation firm has proposed nine Hyperloop routes in Europe, including three in the UK: London to Edinburgh, Cardiff to Glasgow, and Glasgow to Liverpool. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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