A hyperloop would be cheaper and faster than the planned high-speed rail network in the UK, Branson says
The ever-attention-seeking Richard Branson is on a big PR push at the minute. After the weekend’s news that Virgin plan to open a huge hotel in Edinburgh, Branson has now decided Britain needs a hyperloop.
Stating that his company Virgin Hyperloop One could connect Heathrow to Gatwick in six minutes and Stansted in 10, Branson also suggested building a hyperloop would be significantly cheaper and less disruptive than the current plans for a new high-speed rail network.
Virgin Hyperloop One is predicted to be able to reach speeds of 1080 km/h (670 mph) by travelling over an electromagnetic track and through vacuum tubes that reduce wind resistance.
Virgin’s mercurial founder told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours: “Most definitely it could be built in the UK, and it would end up transporting people far quicker, in far greater numbers, with far greater convenience than any other train network in the UK.”
“The cost of building Virgin Hyperloop would be, I think, about a third of building high-speed rail, and much, much quicker.
“It can either be underground, it can be on the ground or it can be above the ground.”
The idea was conceived by the tech billionaire Elon Musk, whose own PR took a battering over the weekend when he suggested he should be a gatekeeper for the press on Twitter.
Soon, he was accused of anti-semitism for asking: “Who do you think owns the press? Hello.”
.@elonmusk, I’ve spent the day depressed as hell by the thousands of people spewing straight-up Nazi rhetoric in both of our mentions that could easily be dispelled with a condemnation from you.
Don’t those endorsements horrify you? Don’t you want to clear that up? https://t.co/1f5Y6r3NJT
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) May 27, 2018
There have also been plans from its competitors to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco, Washington DC and New York, and Aurora Colorado to Denver airport. One company is examining a loop between Prague, Brno and Bratislava.