Saudis to travel between cities using Hyperloop by mid-2020

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Vice President of Virgin Hyperloop One in Arabian Gulf, Colin Rhys, speaking in the UAE. — Courtesy photo

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH —
The Vice President of Virgin Hyperloop One in Arabian Gulf, Colin Rhys , expects Saudis to begin using the latest transport technologies in the world by mid-2020.

Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Rhys said the travel time between Riyadh and Jeddah will not exceed 50 minutes. Meanwhile, the distance between Riyadh and Qidiyyah Recreation City will take just seven minutes.

He stressed that tickets and service charges will be at the level of bus and train fares and less than air-tickets. He declined to disclose details on the total cost of the project. At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that the price per kilometer is in the range of $15m to $20m. He added that they are keen to transfer this world class technology to Saudi Arabia.

Rhys asserted that the “Hyperloop One” transport system will not only contribute to creating thousands of high value job opportunities within the first year since its launch, but the technical specifications that will accompany the system will require cooperation with many effective, big authorities in various sectors.

These include building and construction, programming and architecture sectors.

These will make it necessary for these companies to Saudize their industrial operations and train the Saudi youth so as to meet the commercial demand created in the wake of the Hyperloop system.

Rhys expects the system to begin reaping returns from the injected investments within ten years from now. The system will fetch huge profits for the Kingdom, he added.

The system will include other options, like Riyadh to Dammam line, Jeddah to Neom, and Riyadh to Qidiyyah.

As to the countries that have started actual operation of the “Hyperloop System”, Rhys said that the currently supported projects are with the governments of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India, Spain and the US.

As to the highest speed the Hyperloop System can reach, he said the maximum speed for a passenger car or that with a light load will be 670 miles per hour (mph?) or 1,080 kph. He added that this is rocket speed, thrice the speed of a high-speed train and of magnetic levitation trains (maglev).


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