Branson’s in the ‘loop: Virgin makes big bet on Hyperloop One

He’s mastered trains and planes and has designs on space travel. He’s taken boats and balloons around the globe. Now Virgin founder Richard Branson is looking to own the next leap forward in human transportation.

The entrepreneur has announced an investment in the Hyperloop One startup, the most advanced firm to have taken up Elon Musk’s open-sourced tube transportation idea.

From now on, the company – which is currently making rapid progress on its test track in Nevada – will be rebranded as Virgin Hyperloop One.

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The scale of the investment is undisclosed, but given that Branson has the Virgin name out in front, it’s probably pretty significant.

In a blog post on Thursday, Branson said: “We’re incredibly excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers’ lives.”

“Ever since our creation, Virgin has been known for disruption and investing in innovative companies. From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have long been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people’s lives. This is just the latest example. Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport too.”

Branson visited the DevLoop test site outside Las Vegas earlier in the summer. There, trains have reached top speeds of 192mph on its 500-metre track.

Eventually, trains featuring the magnetic levitation tech could reach speeds of over 700mph, which would significantly reduce the journey time from London to Edinburgh to 50 minutes.

Branson added he was “looking forward to helping turn this cutting-edge engineering into a global passenger service.”

Does Virgin’s involvement make Hyperloop more likely to come to fruition? Share your thoughts with us @TrustedReviews on Twitter.