On Sunday Virgin Hyperloop gave the first ride on its test track in Las Vegas.
It will still be years before the public can take a high-speed ride on a hyperloop however. The hyperloop is an transportation system in which people travel in a vehicle in a vacuum tube at speeds as high as 600 mph. Virgin’s system includes magnetic levitation, which is used in advanced high speed rail projects in Japan and Germany.
Magnetic levitation lifts a train car above a track, as the magnets’ like poles push the train upward. The magnets also propel the train as like poles repel and push the train forward, and the opposite poles attract and pull the train forward. Magnetic levitation has been used on some train systems since the 1970s.
Virgin Hyperloop’s pod only reached 100 mph on the track, according to the company, rather than the 600 mph that hyperloop advocates have long promised. Virgin Hyperloop says its track is 500 meters long, limiting how fast the pods can go. Virgin Hyperloop executives view the test as a major milestone and a step toward commercializing hyperloop technology.
Virgin Hyperloop executives view the test as a major milestone and a step toward commercializing hyperloop technology. Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop’s Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, its Director of Passenger Experience, took the first ride. They sat in Virgin Hyperloop’s two-person pod, which includes seat belts, plush seats and small windows.
Walder believes that the company’s hyperloop system will be certified in 2025 or 2026, and that we could see hyperloop projects before the decade ends.