Virgin's Richard Branson backs Hyperloop One

Credit Hyperloop One

"For more than 20 years, Richard and Virgin have been at the forefront of transportation innovation, and a partnership with them feels like a natural fit", Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and executive chairman of Hyperloop One, said in a statement.

The airline mogul announced that the highly-anticipated train service would come following a sizable investment from Virgin Airlines, although the exact amount injected into the project is unknown as of now.

Branson appeared Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box" to announce his company, Virgin Group, is investing in Hyperloop One, which is developing the super-fast transport system originally dreamed up by Elon Musk.

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The announcement today says that this new global partnership will continue to focus on Hyperloop One as a passenger and mixed-use cargo system.

The pod floats above the surface of the tube using electromagnets and is gradually accelerated to speeds typically reached by an airliner. Earlier this year, the company completed its first test track outside Las Vegas.

Trains: Hyperloop floats above the surface of the tube.

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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.

Mr Branson joined a $85m funding round of Hyperloop One last month, which valued the company at more than $700m, according to Recode. As an example of the high-speed transportation offered by Hyperloop, the project expects the travel time from Edinburgh to London to be 50 minutes.

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. "We're incredibly excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers' lives".

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In August, the Hyperloop traveled nearly the entire length of the track and reached a top speed of 192 miles per hour. Branson attended and said he saw "firsthand the exciting technology being tested".


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