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Hyperloop One Plans West Virginia Test Center

Virgin Hyperloop One will construct its second test facility in West Virginia. They will locate the Hyperloop Certification Center on 800 acres of land in Tucker and Grant counties.

The Certification Center will contain manufacturing facilities, a test track, and training facilities, Smart Cities Dive reports. West Virginia University and Marshall University will partner with Hyperloop One to construct the center.

Tucker and Grant counties are in Northeastern West Virginia, near the Virginia and Maryland state lines. The Verge claims the Hyperloop Certification Center will cost $500 million.

Hyperloop could come to West Virginia

The purpose of the Center will be to test a full-sized Hyperloop track. Hyperloop One operates a test track and manufacturing center in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

A long term goal at Hyperloop One is to build a Hyperloop system that connects big cities in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Another is to develop a freight hauling system with port operator DP World. DP World invested $25 million in Virgin Hyperloop One in 2019.

Articles and a press release do not say when they will break ground on the Hyperloop Certification Center. I suspect the Hyperloop Certification Center will resemble the facility HyperloopTT operates in Toulouse, France.  

Importantly, several political leaders including West Virginia U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R) and West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether Congress will appropriate enough money to build a Hyperloop System.

Only time will tell if Virgin HyperloopOne can build a Hyperloop capable of carrying people or cargo. A Virgin Hyperloop One press release claims the company hopes to receive a safety certification in 2025 and begin commercial operations by 2030.