According to Reuters, a former coal mine in West Virginia is the new location for Virgin Hyperloop's new Hyperloop Certification Center and test track for billionaire Richard Branson's high-speed rail system.
Hyperloop's new testing-ground will begin construction in 2022 on a former coal mine site in Tucker and Grant Counties, West Virginia, with safety certification by 2025 and commercial operations by 2030.
... so much for President Trump reviving this coal mine.
The center will be the first U.S. regulatory proving ground for a hyperloop system to test floating travel pods, eventually meant for passengers, traveling through vacuum tubes at 600 mph.
Reuters said Hyperloop and the Transportation Department Secretary Elaine Chao, Branson, and U.S. Senators from West Virginia Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, and Joe Manchin will host a press conference unveiling the new $500 million certification center and six-mile test track.
WATCH: The Hyperloop Certification Center in Tucker & Grant counties will create thousands of #jobs. I advocated for this partnership with @virginhyperloop since last year because I know #WV & our strong workforce can lead our nation & the world forward with Hyperloop technology. pic.twitter.com/e7SRYSFAZZ— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) October 8, 2020
Today's announcement comes three months after the Transportation Department published new rules for hyperloop systems across the country.
Today is one of the most exciting days in @VirginHyperloop’s history. The Hyperloop Certification Center is the start of the hyperloop journey for West Virginia, for the United States, and for the world. https://t.co/DeT8YjXY0c pic.twitter.com/NzOFP0QGle— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) October 8, 2020
"Today is one of the most exciting days in Virgin Hyperloop's history," said Branson. "The Hyperloop Certification Center is the start of the hyperloop journey for West Virginia, for the United States, and for the world. We're one step closer to making hyperloop travel a reality for people everywhere."
By 2030, if all goes well, and commercialization is seen, the hyperloop system could allow commuters to travel between New York City and Washington, D.C., in just 30 minutes.
As for the coal industry, Trump promised to save - well - maybe Hyperloop is offering job opportunities for miners?