A multidisciplinary team of students from Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh propose that a Hyperloop link could connect Edinburgh to London in just 50 minutes!
There has been no new mode of transport since the introduction of commercial air travel 100 years ago. Hyperloop is our opportunity to combine digital and physical innovations to create a physical broadband.
Hyperloop is a proposed new mode of transport popularised by Elon Musk in 2013, which operates using a network of evacuated tubes with capsules travelling at near-sonic speeds. The tubes provide a sealed environment for autonomous pods and allow them to efficiently travel at more than 700mph, which would, effectively, bring the Scottish Central Belt to a 50 minute travel time from London.
The HypED team recently presented a socio-economic case for an Edinburgh to London route to a US-based company, Hyperloop One, which is looking for locations to build the first Hyperloop systems. In May 2016, the company launched a Hyperloop One Global Challenge, which attracted 2600 entries, and the Edinburgh team reached semi-finals as one of only 35, (read the report).
With 12 stations, such high-speed North-South link could connect over 50% of UK population within a 60 minute drive time from each station.
Furthermore, the team suggests that shortage of runway capacity in the South East of England could be efficiently addressed by connecting Heathrow Airport to a satellite airport with a Hyperloop link. This would not only allow to reduce costs and provide a future-proof solution, but primarily reduce the negative effects that large airports have on local communities and the environment.
HypED is currently constructing the UK's first Hyperloop pod, which will be tested later this summer in California, US. The team is also undertaking academic research into all aspects of the Hyperloop thanks to support from both Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities.
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