The transport of the future is here in York! 650mph Hyperloop pod arrives at the NRM

National Railway Museum director Judith McNicol with Flying Scotsman, electro-diesel loco Prometheus and the Hyperloop – past, present and future. Photograph: YorkMix
26 Apr 2018 @ 9.32 pm
| News

They all travel on rails – but they couldn’t look more different.

Transport of the past, present and future came together at the National Railway Museum on Thursday.

Alongside the replica of that steam original Stephenson’s Rocket, was the legendary Flying Scotsman and a modern electro-diesel locomotive Prometheus.

But the star of the show was something that looked more like a giant paracetamol than a railway loco.

This was Britain’s first Hyperloop prototype.

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Developed by students at the University of Edinburgh, the experimental Hyperloop craft represents the possible future of high-speed passenger travel and brings ideas from science fiction into reality.

This revolutionary technology could see passenger pods travelling inside near-vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 650 mph. That could theoretically reduce York to London journey times to just 20 minutes.

Future of the museum

Hyperloop and steam legend together at last

The launch event was also a chance for the museum to look to the future.

Not only was it unveiling new branding, the NRM was looking forward to its £50m masterplan, first unveiled in YorkMix in January.

National Railway Museum director Judith McNicol said:

Today’s event offers an exciting glimpse of what could be around the corner in terms of high-speed passenger transport and is a celebration of the past, present and future of the railways.

As part of our £50m masterplan, we will be radically reimagining the Great Hall – our venue for today’s event, to tell the epic story of how railways have changed the world and how modern science and engineering continue to transform the railways.

Unveiling our new visual identity is an important step in achieving our masterplan and as well as confirming our exciting vision for the future, the new brand will bring us closer to the Science Museum Group family.

Jonny Lees pushes Britain’s first Hyperloop prototype past Flying Scotsman. Photograph: Danny Lawson / PA Wire

The first stage of the masterplan will see the redevelopment of the Great Hall, the creation of a new Open Store to display up to 11,000 railway objects and an interactive ‘Wonderlab’ gallery to help young people develop engineering skills.

Planning and fundraising for the masterplan is underway and building work is expected to start on the Great Hall in 2019 and to be completed by 2021. The wider masterplan is scheduled to be ready by 2025 to mark the historic 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington railway.