Hyperloop track tests to start in new year

Travel by Hyperloop is a step close to becoming a reality with the announcement of tests in Las Vegas early in the new year. 

Hailed as the eco-friendly transport of the future, hyperloop trains can theoretically travel through tubes at speeds of up to around 700mph. 

Electric coils in a track react with magnets in the train to propel it through tubes that have had most of the air removed from them to create low pressure and reduce drag. 

The expected application is for intercity passenger travel or, at higher speeds, for couriering urgent cargo. 

So far testing has been carried out at the Hyperloop Technologies campus in Los Angeles. 

The Vegas test track will be around a kilometre long and will be the site of the first Propulsion Open Air Test by the company. 

Hyperloop Technologies CEO Rob Lloyd said: "[This is] one of the many steps that move us closer to achieving our 'Kitty Hawk' moment in 2016.

"Our 'Kitty Hawk' moment refers to our first full system, full scale, full speed test.  This will be over two miles of tube with a controlled environment and inside that tube we will levitate a pod and accelerate it to over 700mph.  We aim to achieve this in Q4 2016."