Hyperloop to build US$500m research centre in Spain

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 9, 2018.
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MADRID: Virgin Hyperloop One, a US start-up developing a near-supersonic rail transit system, has reached an agreement with Spanish state-owned rail infrastructure company Adif to build a US$500 million (RM2.04 billion) research centre in Spain, its first in Europe, the two companies said on Tuesday.

The 19,000-sq-m centre, planned to be opened in the tiny Bobadilla village in the southern province of Malaga by 2020, will develop and test components for hyperloop systems to improve their safety, the Los Angeles-based company said in a statement.

A hyperloop is a shuttle travelling on magnetic rails, somewhat like a train, but which runs in a tube with little or no air. In theory, hyperloops could allow travel faster than the speed of sound.

Virgin Hyperloop One, backed by British tycoon Richard Branson, has been testing its hyperloop system in Nevada in the US with speeds reaching 386km an hour, and is planning three production systems in service by 2021.

Virgin Hyperloop One will receive €126 million (RM589.14 million) in public aid in the form of loans and grants to help set up the new centre, the US company Adif said in separate statements. 

Adif said the centre will create 250 high skilled jobs, while Virgin Hyperloop One said it would “hire 250 to 300 high-tech skilled professionals”. — AFP