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Hyperloop Certification Center bringing jobs to W.Va.

Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 7:20 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WSAZ) - West Virginia Gov. 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 about 600 miles per hour. For example, individuals can travel from Pittsburgh to Chicago in about 41 minutes.

“It’s about transforming transportation. It’s America at its best,” Justice said.

He said Virgin Hyperloop announced it will locate its new HCC in Tucker and Grant counties.

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.

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.

Officials say this will be about 6 miles long with a curved track 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.

“We did a feasibility study in Missouri and it was about the same cost of a train ticket,” said Kristen Hammer, Virgin Hyperloop.

Officials say this will bring thousands of new jobs with construction, manufacturing, operations and high-tech sectors.

“We are talking about 150 to 200 full-time jobs with Virgin Hyperloop. On the construction side of things, we are talking thousands of jobs and these are not permanent they are during the length of construction," Hammer said.

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.

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.

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

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