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Saudi Arabia: ECA, Virgin Hyperloop Sign Agreement

Saudi Arabia: ECA, Virgin Hyperloop Sign Agreement

Wednesday, 24 July, 2019 - 10:00
Journalists and guests look over tubes following a propulsion open-air test at Hyperloop One in North Las Vegas, Nevada, US. (File Photo: Reuters)
Riyadh - Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Arabia’s Economic City Authority (ECA) and Virgin Hyperloop One announced a development partnership to conduct a study to build the world’s longest test and certification hyperloop track, as well as a research and development center and hyperloop manufacturing facility.

The study will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia which be commercialized and scaled.

It will also facilitate the development of localized hyperloop supply chains and the acceleration of innovation clusters across the Kingdom.

Speaking on the occasion, ECA Sec-Gen Mohanud Helal said the authority continues to help deliver the strategic pillars of Vision 2030.

Helal was speaking during ECA’s visit to Virgin Hyperloop One’s Los Angeles headquarters and noted that having hyperloop at the Economic City is going to act as a catalyst for a Saudi Silicon Valley effect and galvanize software development, high technology research, and manufacturing industries.

Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Jay Walder asserted that with Vision 2030, the Kingdom has demonstrated bold leadership to advance game-changing solutions.

Walder noted that 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.

“I look forward to this collaboration with our visionary partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to turn this technology into a mass transportation solution.”

Virgin Hyperloop One is a leading company in the development of the integrated hyperloop system and has made significant strides over the past months as it is expected to be available for commercial operation in the near future.

The Hyperloop technology, which is being developed at the company's headquarters in Los Angeles, can transport passengers and goods at fast speeds. it relies on depressurised tubes carrying passenger or cargoes in pods at speeds of up to 1,080 kilometers per hour, nearly three times faster than a conventional high-speed rail.

Hyperloop transportation would dramatically shorten journey times and improve connectivity across the Gulf, with a journey from Riyadh to the port city of Jeddah taking 76 minutes. 

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