UPDATE | Governor announces Hyperloop Certification Center to be built

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has announced Virgin Hyperloop will build a Hyperloop...
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has announced Virgin Hyperloop will build a Hyperloop Certification Center in the mountain state.(Governor Jim Justice)
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 10:07 AM EDT
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UPDATE 10/8/20 @ 1:31 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Construction for the Hyperloop Certification Center could begin in Tucker County by the middle of 2021.

The State of West Virginia and Virgin Hyperloop held a media roundtable Thursday afternoon.

It’s expected to be about six miles long with a curved track that features West Virginia’s geographical elements.

Officials say this will be used both as a training facility and for commercial use. They are encouraging consumers to use it as a way to get to and from work every day.

The average cost of a ticket for daily use should be around the cost of a train ticket per day.

According to officials at the roundtable, there will be about 150 to 200 full time Virgin Hyperloop jobs. Local talent will fill short time jobs such as construction and oversight personnel. They are in need of engineers and construction workers.

ORIGINAL STORY 10/8/20 @ 10:07 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has announced Virgin Hyperloop will build a Hyperloop Certification Center in the mountain state.

A Hyperloop moves people and goods in pods through a vacuum tube going approximately 600 miles per hour. For example, individuals can travel from Pittsburgh to Chicago in about 41 minutes.

Gov. Jim Justice says Virgin Hyperloop announced it will locate its new HCC in Tucker and Grant counties.

This will be on nearly 800 acres of land, which is owned by Western Pocahontas Properties. It’s near Mt. Storm. Officials say it’s being donated to the WVU Foundation in partnership with Virgin Hyperloop.

It will leverage intellectual capital and resources from WVU, Marshall University and from across the state.

“West Virginia is well-positioned to provide a fully-integrated solution that advances the nationwide opportunity for hyperloop,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “The engineering and scientific talent, combined with the skilled workforce and collaborative spirit we know is critical to this project, is all right here.”

Walder says the HCC’s role is a necessary step in taking technology and demonstrating to regulators and certifiers that it works and is safe for passengers.

In West Virginia, work is expected to begin in 2021 with a Welcome Center, Certification Track and Operations Center, Pod Final Assembly Facility, Production Development Test Center, and Operations, Maintenance and Safety Training Center.

Officials say this will bring thousands of new jobs with construction, manufacturing, operations and high tech sectors. Virgin Hyperloop plans to source locally.

The economic impact this will bring to West Virginia is predicted to be $48 million each year, according to WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

“Today is a fantastic day for the state of West Virginia, and I’d like to be the first to officially welcome the folks from Virgin Hyperloop to their new home,” Gov. Jim Justice said. "For years, I have been saying that West Virginia is the best kept secret on the East Coast, and it’s true. Just look at this announcement and all it will bring to our state – investment, jobs, and tremendous growth. It’s a true honor and privilege to be selected as the site for the Hyperloop Certification Center and lead the nation in this next step forward for transportation.

“When we approached Virgin Hyperloop, I told them that we would do everything we could to bring this opportunity to West Virginia,” Gov. Justice continued. “We look forward to working with the Virgin Hyperloop team to create a lasting partnership for years to come.”

This is a developing story.

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