Edinburgh-London Hyperloop could take 20 years to build
The UK’s “dense population and intensive land use” could make construction more difficult than in other locations, a new report stated.
The need to build the network either partially or fully underground in the UK would have a “significant impact” on capital costs, maintenance and emergency evacuations, the Department for Transport’s Science Advisory Council (SAC) said.
The technology, first proposed in 2013 by Tesla boss Elon Musk, involves propelling passengers and freight in pods through low pressure tubes at high speed.
Sir Richard Branson, who invested in a Hyperloop firm last month, claimed it could enable people to travel between London and Scotland in 45 minutes.
The company, Hyperloop One, is aiming to achieve speeds of up to 670mph and have “operational systems” ready by 2021.
The SAC accepted that such technology could have a “transformational impact” on travel, enabling commuters to live “anywhere in the country”.
But it concluded: “Because of the scale of the technical challenges involved, an operational Hyperloop system is likely to be at least a couple of decades away.”
Hyperloop One is in the early stages of making the technology commercially viable after completing a full-scale test in Las Vegas.