Virgin Hyperloop One announced it will conduct a study to build the world’s longest test and certification hyperloop track, as well as a research and development center and hyperloop manufacturing facility, in Saudi Arabia.
The study will focus on King Abdullah Economic City, located 62 miles north of the Red Sea port of Jeddah. The project, which would include a 22-mile test and certification track, will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia which be commercialized and scaled.
Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology features depressurized tubes that carry on-demand passenger or cargo “pods” at speeds up to 671 miles per hour. With speeds three times faster than high-speed rail and an on-demand, direct to destination experience, hyperloop technology can reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia, exponentially increasing connectivity across not only across the country but throughout the Gulf Corp. Council, which includes the countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.
Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would take 76 minutes (currently over 10 hours) utilizing the land bridge for both passenger and freight movement, positioning Saudi Arabia as the gateway to three continents. Traveling from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi would take 48 minutes (currently over 8.5 hours).