A Quick Guide to Hyperloops

This week, Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin, announced that his company is “very close” to a deal to deploy the world’s first hyperloop in India.

A hyperloop is a ground transit system that can transport people at speeds as high as 750 miles per hour. Theoretically, passengers would climb into a pod that is levitated by magnets inside a vacuum-sealed tube, and then that pod will be shot through the tube to wherever it’s going.

How hyperloops work, and how much they’d cost to build

Elon Musk first presented plans for a hyperloop in August 2013, claiming it would be a completely solar-powered avenue of travel that could get people from place to place even faster than trains and planes. The tubes would be cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and faster than any form of transit that exists today. At the time, he said he had no plans to make the thing but welcomed others to try their hand. Now a slew of companies including Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One have surfaced to take on the task.

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