Hyperloop: the future of travel

Posted by Aimee Pace on 30 January 2019

If the fifth mode of transport, called the Hyperloop, becomes a reality, it could take you only 90 minutes to travel from Cape Town to Johannesburg. This is three times faster than a plane, considering the extra time you spend arriving before the flight, boarding and luggage collection.

This futuristic transport mode was first considered in 2012, when South African born Elon Musk called for a fifth mode of transport to add to the existing car, plane, boat and train.

Musk then dubbed this new transport form the “Hyperloop” which he interestingly described as “a cross between Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table”.

In reality, this invention works much like a vacuum and basically sucks pods through huge pressurised tubes at lightning speeds of up to 1,000km per hour using electric propulsion and magnetic levitation.

This innovative creation could fix a number of the world problems, from elevating bumper to bumper traffic in hotspots, to decreasing carbon monoxide emissions.

Two companies namely, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) and Virgin Hyperloop One, are currently working on making the Hyperloop a reality.

Both companies say the world ‘could’ be using this invention in roughly three years time.


For now, the idea of Hyperloop in South Africa seems far-fetched. Virgin’s Hyperloop One website allows you to use an estimator to determine how long a trip in your country from one point to another would take via the Hyperloop.

According to their estimates, the Hyperloop would allow travellers to go from Cape Town to Johannesburg in a total of 90 minutes and will eliminate all of the unnecessary bits in between to make travel simpler.

Check your travel time estimation here.

If the idea of the Hyperloop is still a little hard to understand here is a video that explains exactly how it works:


Pictures: Facebook/Virgin Hyperloop One

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