Virgin Hyperloop Just Hosted Its First Passengers

A test run on Sunday in Nevada was a "moon landing" moment for the high-speed transport company

Virgin Hyperloop first passengers
The first run of the Virgin Hyperloop with passengers took place on Sunday.
Virgin Hyperloop

The Virgin Hyperloop, a proposed rail system started by billionaire Richard Branson that uses magnetic levitation to travel at blistering speeds, just completed its first crewed trip in Nevada.

According to Engadget, the test run was completed on Sunday at the DevLoop facility, where two passengers (company co-founder Josh Giegel and head of Passenger Experience Sara Luchian) were fired through the 500-meter tube. The final production vehicle will potentially seat up to 28 people.

The XP-2 pod reached 107 mph, or less than half of the projected top speed (the test run was more about safety and proof of concept than showing off). After hundreds of unmanned test runs, this was the first trial with people inside. “This is our moon landing,” one company rep told Engadget.

“We’re building for fast, effortless journeys that expand possibilities,” the Hyperloop site notes. “Our system can propel passenger or cargo pods at speeds of over 1000 km/h. That is 3x faster than high-speed rail and more than 10x faster than traditional rail.”

The Hyperloop could theoretically get passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 43 minutes — essentially combining the speed of a flight with the same G-force as rail and the ease of riding a train or subway.

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