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Transport: Technology

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 113460, tabled on 10 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the (a) maglev and (b) hyperloop transport systems; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

16 November 2020

Hyperloop is at an early stage of development and significant technological challenges have to be overcome before an operational system can be constructed and carry passengers.

In 2017 the Department for Transport’s Science Advisory Council (SAC) published a position statement on Hyperloop which noted that “because of the scale of the technical challenges involved, an operational Hyperloop system is likely to be at least a couple of decades away.” Officials in the Department continue to monitor Hyperloop research very closely. They do not believe that there have been any developments in the last three years that might cast doubt on the SAC’s 2017 assessment.

The Department for Transport conducted a detailed investigation last year into the feasibility of constructing a high-speed Maglev link in the UK. Its conclusion was that whilst Maglev is a promising technology, there are still several obstacles which, at present, put it at a disadvantage compared to high speed rail.

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