Richard Branson invests in super-fast Hyperloop One rail service

Branson plans to take the project global and rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the future. Source: drserg/Shutterstock

VIRGIN GROUP founder and British billionaire Richard Branson placed a bet on the future by investing in Hyperloop One, which is currently developing super high-speed transportation systems.

Branson plans to take the project global and rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the future. The project will also develop pods that will transport passenger and mixed-use cargo at speeds of 402 km/h.

The pod lifts above a track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to low aerodynamic drag.

Hyperloop, developed by billionaire and head of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk, is a technological company invested in a new high-speed rail network. This could mean that the journey between Sydney and Melbourne could take as little as 55 minutes.

In July, Musk said he had received verbal approval to start building the systems that would link New York and Washington, cutting travel time to about half an hour.

SEE ALSO: Indian cities to be linked by near-supersonic Hyperloop trains

Last month, Hyperloop One raised US$85 million in new funding, bringing the total financing raised to US$245 million since it was founded in 2014.

Hyperloop One’s co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, have previously worked at Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic is Branson’s space company, which in 2016, was granted an operating licence to fly its passenger rocketship with the world’s first paying space tourists once final safety tests are completed.

“Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuring it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport,” Virgin Group said in a statement.

Hyperloop One is also working on projects in the Middle East, Europe, India and Canada, according to the statement.

Additional reporting by Reuters