Hyperloop One demonstrator

Hyperloop construction considered by UK government

Image credit: Kevin Krejci

The UK’s transport ministers are looking into the possibility of building a hyperloop transportation system in order to slash journey times across the country.

The Department for Transport's Science Advisory Council is currently finalising a report, due to be published in early 2017 that looks into the ‘technical credibility’ of the Hyperloop concept and its usability in the UK.

“My department is in discussion with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK and the Department for Transport's Science Advisory Council to assess the potential for the development of hyperloop technologies in the UK,” said Rail Minister Paul Maynard.

“The Science Advisory Council intends to publish a paper on hyperloop in early 2017 setting out its position on the technical credibility of the concept and the opportunities it offers to UK industry given our technology and engineering expertise.”

The concept, introduced by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2013, envisions pods with passengers travelling at near-sonic speeds through vacuum-filled tubes. Several companies are currently investigating the concept and building test hardware.

Countries including Slovakia, Switzerland, Russia and United Arab Emirates have already signed contracts to explore the possibility of constructing hyperloop networks with either Hyperloop Transportation Technologies or Hyperloop One.

“Britain must do all it can to create an environment where future technologies can thrive,” said Maynard.

“Whether it be driverless cars, hydrogen fuel cells or hyperloop we have to be telling the world to make it here because Britain is at the heart of innovation.”

Maynard's comments came in response to a written parliamentary question on hyperloop technology tabled by the Conservative Daniel Kawczynski.

The Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham told the Press Association: “The Government's response was extremely encouraging, Britain has strong science and engineering industries and I am pleased that the minister is taking advice from the Science Advisory Council on the technical credibility of this technology.”

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