A study will be conducted to build the world’s longest test and certification hyperloop track in Saudi Arabia, American transportation technology company, Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), announced on Tuesday.
A 35-kilometer test and certification track will be built 100 kilometers north of the Red Sea port of Jeddah, in King Abdullah Economic City.
The project, which will include a research center and a hyperloop manufacturing facility, will be in partnership with the Kingdom’s Economic City Authority (ECA). It will facilitate the development of localized hyperloop supply chains and the acceleration of innovation clusters across the Kingdom.
The hyperloop technology is expected to reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf.
Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would be reduced from 10 hours to 76 minutes, a statement from VHO said. While travel from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi in the UAE would be shortened to 48 minutes from 8.5 hours.
The announcement stated that the partnership will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia which be commercialized and scaled.
“As we continue to help deliver the strategic pillars of Vision 2030,” Secretary-General of the ECA, Mohanud A. Helal, said during his visit to the VHO headquarters in Los Angeles.
“Having hyperloop at King Abdullah Economic City is going to act as a catalyst for a Saudi Silicon Valley effect and galvanize our software development, high technology research, and manufacturing industries,” Helal added.
Last year, the CEO of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson, was in Dubai to unveil the DP World CargoSpeed, which aims to build a hyperloop system for cargo in the UAE.