Transport expert ridicules HS2 as supersonic 'rail pods' could cross Britain in 12 minutes

Jasmine Andersson
Hyperloop explained

A technology transport expert has rubbished the planned £56bn ($69.43bn) spend on HS2 after he announced that a new form of transport could see travellers journey from the east to the west of Britain in just 12 minutes.

Nick Earle, the senior British vice president of company Hyperloop One, wants to introduce supersonic ground transport in the north of England that would carry passengers at 720 mph across the country, said The Times.

Trending: Transport expert ridicules HS2 as supersonic 'rail pods' could cross Britain in 12 minutes

Connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull, the "fifth mode of transport" after road, rail, sea and air could be tested in the country after Hyperloop One chiefs have met with Whitehall officials to discuss the plans.

Criticising the costly plans for HS2, Earle said that Hyperloop could be produced at two-thirds of the price per mile, would take up less space, and could be built quicker than the high-speed train line.

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"Once we prove it is cheaper than high-speed rail, faster, 30 % greener and much less intrusive to the local environment, then let's look at whether we should build the rest of the HS2 network on this 21st-century technology," said Earle.

The HS2 – High Speed 2 – project aims to link London with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds by 2033. Once the high-speed trains are built and tracks laid, HS2 planners claim travellers will be able to journey from London to Manchester in 1 hour and 8 minutes, an hour faster than the current travel times.

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Although ambitions for the Hyperloop project look bright, the UK is just one of five of the top markets for this innovative technology.

The supersonic train uses by "passive maglev" technology, in which sets of electromagnets create a lift within a pressurised tunnel, allowing pods carrying passengers to be driven along tracks by an electric motor.

The technology is due to be tested in the Nevada desert by June.

The British government said that it would publish a policy paper on Hyperloop One this year.

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