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Saudi Arabia plans world's longest hyperloop track.

Virgin Hyperloop One, the only hyperloop company in the world to successfully test its hyperloop technology at scale, has announced a development partnership with the Saudi Arabia's Economic City Authority (ECA) to conduct a study to build the world's longest test and certification hyperloop track, as well as a R&D centre and hyperloop manufacturing facility north of Jeddah.

The announcement came during a visit by a senior ECA delegation led by secretary-general Mohanud Helal to the Virgin Hyperloop One's Los Angeles headquarters.

The study will focus on King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), located 100 km north of the Red Sea port of Jeddah. The project, which would include a 35-km test and certification track, will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia which be commercialised and scaled, said the statement from Virgin Hyperloop One.

The study will also facilitate the development of localised hyperloop supply chains and the acceleration of innovation clusters across the kingdom, it stated.

"Our partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One is a matter of pride for us and all of Saudi Arabia," remarked Helal.

Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Jay Walder said: "A hyperloop system could help enable Saudi Arabia to become a global transportation powerhouse, nurture the nation's innovation and entrepreneurial culture, and grow an innovative knowledge workforce."

Virgin Hyperloop One's technology features depressurised tubes that carry on-demand passenger or cargo "pods" at speeds up to 1080 km 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 not only across the country but throughout the GCC, said the top official.

Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would take 76 minutes (currently over 10 hours) utilising 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), he added.

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Publication:Gulf Industry
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Aug 8, 2019
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