Would you take a test ride on the first vacuum tube train in the US? The answer could be, “It depends …” But four people working for Virgin Hyperloop jumped at the opportunity to test out the company’s new train. The Virgin Hyperloop is unique for two reasons. First, it uses magnetic levitation, which means magnetic forces cause the train to levitate (or float) and pull forward. Second, the goal is for the train to eventually travel at a speed of six hundred miles per hour.
Not this test ride, though. Josh Giegel, Sara Luchian, Tanay Manjrekar, and Anne Huynh, four employees of the company, sat for the first and second passenger test rides that would travel at one hundred miles per hour. The pod had two seats and two windows, and the test-ride passengers strapped themselves in safely. Magnetic levitation lifted the train car up, and the magnetic poles pushed the train along the tracks.
If you think that’s rather cool, here’s a surprising fact. Magnetic levitation has been used in trains since the 1970s, and high-speed trains in Japan and Germany have been using the technology for at least a decade now. But this would be one of the first companies to do so in the United States! The hope is for the technology to be certified and usable by the end of the decade in the United States and beyond!