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Sir Richard Branson says tri airport Hyperloop link right for London

Virgin Hyperloop OneSenior Virgin Group directors claim the ultra-high-speed Hyperloop is the right link choice for London’s three main airports. The group says Hyperloop pods capable of speeds as high as 670 mph would whisk passengers between the three airports in minutes.

If the prototype undergoing testing in a Nevada desert actually enters service, passengers would be able to travel between Heathrow and Gatwick airports in just five minutes while Stansted would be a seven-minute trip. Virgin says the speed of access would effectively mean the three airports were extensions of each other.

The group also notes that if this were the case, a third runway at Heathrow would not be needed. This hot potato rose to prominence again in October when a public consultation on the issue was relaunched.

Studies have shown that unless there is expansion to runway capacities at the three London airports they will be operating at maximum capacity in just 15 years. Sir Richard Branson has opined Hyperloop is the way of the future for train travel and has ploughed £65 million in funding into developing Virgin Hyperloop One.

Confirming Virgin’s interest in the airport project, Hyperloop One chief-executive Rob Lloyd said such a system would be something like riding travelators between airport terminal buildings. The Hyperloop differs to conventional train systems in that the pods travel through a vacuum tube.

The vacuum effect means lower wind resistance and equates to much higher possible speeds than even Japan’s Shinkansen bullet trains. Hyperloop One still has some catching up to do at the moment. Trial runs on the 500-metre stretch of tube in Nevada have only produced 240 mph.

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