Expert insights

Is this a travel disruptor of the future?

9 June 2017 by Toni Byrne

Hyperloop claims to be a new way to move people/things at airline speed, for the price of a bus ticket...

What is Hyperloop?

Launched in 2014, the Hyperloop One company states that its passengers and cargo will be loaded into a pod. The James Bond-esque pod will then accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube, quickly lifting above the track using magnetic levitation. It glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.

The energy-efficient concept was originally created several years earlier by Elon Musk, CTO of the US aerospace manufacturer SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation). In the spirit of innovation, Musk’s Hyperloop idea has been open-sourced, meaning that others have access to plans and are encouraged to develop them - hence Hyperloop One (and others).

When can I try it?

Hyperloop One’s goal is to be moving cargo by 2020 and passengers by 2021. In March this year, it shared images of its Nevada based 500m-long test track, known as DevLoop.

What’s the latest?

At Hyperloop One's ‘Vision for Europe’ summit in June, it showed nine potential European routes. One of those would see a UK Northern Arc from Liverpool to Glasgow, through Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. That’s a journey that would only take 47 minutes.

Hyperloop One Northern Arc

What about infrastructure costs?

The website’s FAQ page claims that ‘third parties’ have concluded that the capital cost per mile of a Hyperloop system is 60% that of high-speed rail and would be less expensive to operate. But it also confirms that capital and operating costs will range widely, based on the route and whether it’s used for passengers or freight.

What does it mean for me?

We’re all in favour of innovation. Yet, we’re wondering if the Hyperloop sounds a bit hard to believe!

So while you’re waiting for Hyperloops, hover boards and teleporters to make business travel easier, you should invest in the services of business travel expert, Capita Travel and Events. We help organisations realise the value of smarter working, achieving cost savings without compromising value to employees.


Interested? Let’s have a chat about your company’s travel, meetings and events objectives - from the stuff that keeps you awake at night, to the everyday experiences of your employees! Call us on 0330 390 0340, or submit your details below.