Charleston, W. Va. (WDVM) — Since January of this year, seventeen states were vying for the first certification center of the Hyperloop One, a revolutionary, new mode of transportation.
Governor Jim Justice, Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, and other state officials joined Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and a member of the Virgin Hyperloop One board of directors, Thursday morning to announce that West Virginia has been selected for the $500 million certification center for the groundbreaking new form of high-speed transportation.
The Hyperloop One is a train system that uses magnetically levitating pods that travel through nearly airless tubes, similar to that of a vacuum, with the pods’ theoretical speed reaching up to 700 miles per hour.
Virgin Hyperloop One has a full-scale test track and development site in Las Vegas where they test the hyperloop passenger pod also known as the “XP-1.” The pod has never been tested with passengers inside and currently, there is no fully-functional hyperloop anywhere in the world. Despite these facts, the federal government released a framework plan to regulate hyperloop travel in July.
Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin were thrilled with the announcement.
“They [Virgin Hyperloop One] have decided that West Virginia is on the edge of the tech economy. This is going to be a magnificent, I think, display to the rest of the country that West Virginia is moving forward and we have what it takes.”Sen. Shelley Moore Capito
Senator Manchin echoed his colleague and explained that the new project is monumental for the Mountain State.
“It is something that is basically going to be innovative and creative for the new transportation of the 21st century. It’s going to be moving people and moving goods at over 600 miles an hour. It is going to be an unbelievable opportunity for all of us. So it’s a great, great day for West Virginia.”Sen. Joe Manchin
This new certification center will include a 6-mile test track and will also create upwards of 13,000 jobs in West Virginia.
Hyperloop One was founded in 2014 and later re-branded to Virgin Hyperloop One following an investment from Sir Richard Branson who also joined the board of directors.
For more information on the Virgin Hyperloop One, visit their website.