Hyperloop train could be coming to the UK in the near future

7 Sep 2016

Hyperloop One – one of the competing companies looking to build the ultra-fast transportation system – has revealed that it is in the “very early stages” of talks to bring the Hyperloop to the UK in the near future.

While the technology remains in its early experimental stages, the Hyperloop idea proposed by Elon Musk and now taken on by three companies plans to bring ground-based travel to unparalleled speeds.

By placing a capsule capable of carrying passengers into a vacuum tube, this almost-frictionless transport system could propel passengers faster than the speed of sound, reducing travel time between cities to minutes, rather than hours.

Now, according to Wired, one of those companies – Hyperloop One – has revealed it has already held discussions with the UK government and private companies to potentially bring the futuristic transport there.

Hyperloop One is currently leading its competitors in developing the technology, having demonstrated its first propulsion test in May of this year, which was attended by members of the UK government.

Following this display, Hyperloop One’s global VP of business development, Alan James, said that there had been “quite a strong response” from the government and that its Innovate UK authority has entered discussions in “very early stages”.

London to Manchester in 18 minutes

Hyperloop One has also held discussions with the Peel Group that runs the Manchester Canal route, opening up the possibility of a Hyperloop route between the city and neighbouring Liverpool.

Discussing other possibilities in the UK, James said: “To take a UK example, London to Manchester would be 18 minutes.

“With high-speed rail, we could reduce the journey time from London to Stoke from one hour 24 minutes to around one hour. With Hyperloop, we can reduce it to around 14 minutes.”

Yet competition could still come from one of the company’s competitors, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which has also confirmed it has held discussions with the UK.

Its COO, Bibop Gresta, previously said: “I met [former British prime minister] David Cameron. He was talking about £50m that he can give us through Innovate UK.”

Meanwhile, Hyperloop One has issued a global call for cities to put forward reasons as to why they think they should be the first cities to gain access to the technology as part of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic