Have you ever noticed the catapult functionality on Citymapper? It tells you, very helpfully, exactly how long it would take you to get from one place to another if you were launched through the air. (Coming to think of it I’ve only ever seen this once and it was illustrated by Sadiq Khan sat on a red double decker bus, about to be slung from Camden to Clapham. In hindsight it sounds a bit like a really bizarre dream, but I took a screenshot so it must’ve really happened).
Anyway, let’s get back on track – pun intended. The relevance of this anecdote is that we could soon be travelling just as fast as Sadiq Khan via catapult, but in the slightly more cosy form of a futuristic vacuum.
A few years back, talks were had and new proposals were made for a super speedy train that would change the way we travel across the country. The train, coined the Hyperloop, was designed by mega-rich billionaire, Elon Musk, and is set to eventually reach speeds of 760mph, which is almost as fast as the speed of sound. Flashy.
The plans will see London connected to various northern cities in less than half an hour, and it’s said that a trip to Manchester could take just 18 minutes. The train works by carrying passengers in a small, magnetic capsule through an airless vacuum, enabling it to blast at speeds never reached before on public transport.
At the moment a trip to Manchester takes over 2 hours via train, but using the upcoming Hyperloop One service, the commute will be slashed sevenfold.
Well, the Hyperloop One is actually in the testing stages over in Nevada and, though not quite reaching the fast-as-lightening speeds it has promised just yet, it does prove that it could in fact, one day, become a reality.
The future is now.