British design firm to join Virgin Hyperloop One team in Saudi Arabia
Foster+Partners has confirmed it will be part of the team bringing hyperloop technology to Saudi Arabia.
In a tweet, the leading UK-based architectural firm said it had joined the Virgin Hyperloop One team “in developing high-speed, mass transit Hyperloop systems across Saudi Arabia. A key component of Vision 2030, it will connect people and enable tourism across the Kingdom and wider region”.
A formal announcement is expected at the Future Investment Initiative (FII), in Riyadh, which runs from October 29 to 31.
According to Virgin Hyperloop One, the technology – which is expected to reach speeds three times faster than high-speed rail systems – will be able to transport passengers and freight between Riyadh and Jeddah in 76 minutes.
Currently, the trip between the two cities takes approximately 10 hours by car, or 1 hour 40 minutes flight time.
A hyperloop trip between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, would take 48 minutes, as opposed to today’s 8.5 hours.
Earlier this year a partnership deal was struck between Virgin Hyperloop One, which is backed by Dubai-based ports operator DP World, and Saudi’s Economic City Authority (ECA), with a view to building a 35km test and certification track in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), 100km north of Jeddah.
The company is working on a number of potential projects around the world, including Missouri, Texas, Colorado, the Midwest, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
In August last year, Virgin Hyperloop One announced its intention to open an office in the UAE – the first outside the US – as it develops plans to transport people from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes.