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

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The British investor added that he was delighted to partner with the co-founders, Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar and President of Engineering Josh Giegel, who previously worked at Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Group has made a significant investment in Hyperloop One, a company developing a near-supersonic rail transit system, Virgin announced Thursday.

"Virgin Hyperloop One are leading the way in these efforts", he continued, noting that the company is "working on exciting projects in the Middle East, Europe, India, Canada, and the United States". The pods float above the tube's surface using magnetic levitation and are propelled via electric propulsion.

It's unclear how much Branson's Virgin Group invested in the startup, but the move also brings him onboard as a new director to the company's board.

Hyperloop One has conducted two tests at its Nevada facility in 2017, including a July test in which the pod reached 192 miles per hour. The announcement today says that this new global partnership will continue to focus on Hyperloop One as a passenger and mixed-use cargo system.

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In a post on his website, Branson said he aimed to turn it into a "global passenger service" which could complete the 332-mile journey between the Scottish and United Kingdom capitals, via Manchester, in under an hour.

'Projected journey times in the United Kingdom include Edinburgh to London in 50 minutes'. This is just the latest example.

"After visiting Hyperloop One's test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times", said Branson.

The hyperloop tube is 3.3 metres wide and the pod inside can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 1.85 seconds.

Branson said the company was working on "exciting projects" around the world but no lines have been confirmed as yet.