By CLINT THOMAS
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — If and when it comes to full-speed fruition, the Virgin Hyperloop system won’t move the world’s populace and products forward at “Star Trek”-like warp speed, but it will move them a lot faster, more efficiently and more sustainably than any other known mode of Earth-bound travel.
Its path has taken a major turn into West Virginia. Virgin Hyperloop announced on Oct. 8 it will build and operate a certification facility on nearly 800 acres in Tucker and Grant counties on the site of a former coal mine.
The Hyperloop Certification Center will use established technology to develop the hyperloop as a safe, commercially viable form of transportation, hoped to be carrying passenger traffic by 2030. (Safety certification is anticipated by 2025.)
What is a hyperloop?
Using electric propulsion coupled with electromagnetic levitation, hyperloop travel moves people and cargo in pods through a vacuum tube at speeds exceeding 600 mph…