Sir Richard Branson promises to build 'revolutionary' Hyperloop train service

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It's now Virgin Hyperloop One, thanks to the investment of Richard Branson.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson announced his company is investing in Hyperloop One, a frontrunner in the race to bring Musk's vision of high-speed, tube-based transportation to life.

Virgin Group announced Thursday that it has invested in Hyperloop One, a startup that's working on constructing the high-speed transit system Elon Musk first outlined in a white paper in 2013.

Its tracks use magnetic levitation and the pod glides at airline speeds for long distances.

Hyperloop One held its latest test run of a transport pod in a tube in late July in the Nevada desert.

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The Hyperloop will work by loading passengers and cargo into a pod and accelerating gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. In its announcement today, Virgin Hyperloop One says that it "continues to see a growing demand from governments and the private sector around the world".

He said that the operation was only in the "early stages" of commercial development, but that he was looking forward to creating a global passenger service.

As a result, projected journey times in the United Kingdom include Edinburgh to London in 50 minutes. For example, the firm envisions 30-minute trips between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

"From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have always been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people's lives".

'The maximum distance travelled is 436 metres, with a peak acceleration of 1.48 Gs - equal to 0 to 60mph in 1.85 seconds. For somewhere shy of $85 million, the financial future of what Virgin calls "a responsible and sustainable form of transport" (in a press release that partially cribs from Wikipedia) ultimately amounts to a throwaway bet from a billionaire.

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