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UK engineering firms developing Hyperloop routes

Engineers from Arup, Aecom and bodies including the Department for Transport are developing plans for the first potential UK routes for Hyperloop One.

The nine prospective routes in Europe, including three in the UK, were named last week. Now the company has released plans and reasons for choosing the routes.

The first of three routes listed in the UK is a 1,060km long Scotland to Wales route going from Glasgow via Edinburgh, Newcastle, Nottingham, Cambridge, London, Oxford, Bristol and finishing in Cardiff and aiming to connect into existing motorways and railways. The design for the route is being led by Aecom director Simon Kaufman and is being supported by the Department for Transport, Catapult and Virgin Trains.

The second route, the north - south connector, is pledged to reduce an 8 hour car journey to just 50 mins and will run from Edinburgh to Manchester, Birmingham and on to London. The project is being led by University of Edinburgh student Adam Anyszewski together with a team of 50 university students.

The third route, the northern arc, will run from Glasgow, across to Edinburgh, to Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester ending in Liverpool, the full journey time pitched at just 47 minutes. This project is being led by Ryder Architecture partner Paul Bell and Arup director Nic Merridew, supported by Newcastle City Council, Newcastle City.

With the route of one UK line mirroring that of the yet to be built High Speed two, Hyperloop One said there were four main differences between it and high speed trains. It said it would be faster, on demand leaving when ready and not to a timetable with departures up to every 20s, more environmentally friendly and less expensive claiming the new system will be 60% per kilometre less to build and less to maintain.

The company is aiming to provide three, ‘affordable for everyone’ systems in service by 2021 and is planning to carry out its first public tests in the coming months.


Route length

Journey time

Journey description

Led by

By car

By Hyperloop

UK-North-South Connector



8 hours


50 mins


Edinburgh –Manchester –Birmingham –London

Led by University of Edinburgh student Adam Anyszewski with a team of 50 university students with backgrounds in engineering, business and law.

UK-Northern Arc




1 hour 53 mins (for the Newcastle to Leeds leg) 


13 mins (for the Newcastle to Leeds leg)

47 mins total


Glasgow –Edinburgh –Newcastle –Leeds –Manchester –Liverpool route

(passenger + cargo)


Led by Ryder Architecture partner Paul Bell and Arup director Nic Merridew, supported by Newcastle City Council, Newcastle City Futures, Newcastle International Airport, Port of Tyne, North East Local Enterprise Partnership, KPMG, Aecom, Turner & Townsend, Nexus and Arriva.

UK- Scotland-Wales




7 hours 20 mins (London to Glasgow)


1 hour 3 mins

Cardiff –Bristol –Oxford –London –Cambridge –Nottingham –Newcastle –Edinburgh –Glasgow route

Led by Aecom director Simon Kaufman with support from Members of Parliament, the Department for Transport, Catapult and Virgin Trains.



3 hours 20 mins (Warsaw to Wroclaw)

37 mins

The Warsaw ModlinAirport –Warsaw CBD –Skierniewice–Lodz –Sieradz–Olesnica–Wroclaw –Wroclaw Copernicus Airport (passenger + cargo)

Led by Carbon Workshop chief executive Krzysztof Tabiszewski supported by the Ministry of Economic Development, Polish Development Fund, Institute of Aviation, Warsaw University of Technology, Wroclaw University of Technology, Katowice School of Technology and Baumalog.



6 hours 20 mins (Madrid to Algeciras)

42 mins

Madrid –Algeciras –Tangiers route

(passenger + cargo)

Led by Luis Gonzales who leads 25 recent graduates and experts from Fundación Universidad-Empresa. Sponsored by companies including Acciona, and supported by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructures of Spain.

The Netherlands


1 hour 15 mins (Amsterdam to Rotterdam)

7 mins

Amsterdam –Rotterdam –Einhoven–Den Bosch –Arnhem –Lelystad–Amsterdam route

Led by TNO Nico Zornigof a research organization focusing on innovation. The proposal won the Netherland’s ConnektDutch Hyperloop Challenge and has support from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Ministry of the Environment.



1 hour 10 mins (Oristano to Cagliari for comparison)

8 mins

Bastia –Aleria–Bonifacio/Porto Vecchio–Sassari –Oristano–Cagliari (passenger + cargo)

Led by FemuQuìVentures managing partner Ghjuvan’CarluSimeoni, supported by the Sardinian and Corsican regional governments.



2 hours (by boat)

8 mins

Helsinki –Tallinn via Muuga (passenger + cargo)

Led by private sector architect and urban planner Stanislav Popkov. Supported by the Estonian prime minister’s Office and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure.



3 hours 20 mins (Hamburg to Berlin)


20 mins

Hamburg –Berlin –Leipzig –Nuremberg –Munich –Stuttgart –Frankfurt –Cologne –Hamburg loop (passenger + cargo)

Led by Aecom, supported by the University of Kaiserslautern, University of Stuttgart and Vision Electric



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