Train In Vain

14Oct17

Richard

“In business, if you realize you’ve made a bad decision, you change it”.

That’s a quote from Richard Branson. This week he announced that his Virgin Group has invested in Hyperloop One. They’re a company that wants to bring Elon Musk’s magnetically-propelled high-speed transport system to life.

A hyperloop is a pod that travels through a sealed tube at up to 760 miles per hour. According to Hyperloop One’s website, you’d be able to travel from London to Edinburgh in 41 minutes. Right now, one of Richard Branson’s Virgin trains from London Euston to Edinburgh Waverley takes four and a half hours.

Britain’s roads are clogged, our trains are overcrowded and our airspace is full. If a hyperloop system could be made to work, it would change public transport forever.

Unfortunately the British government is already committed to a thing called HS2, which is a new high speed train line. This is a taxpayer funded project that has already cost a billion pounds and the government estimates, that HS2 would cost another £56 billion to build. Phase one will only cut around half an hour off the time it takes to get from London to Birmingham and will still take 49 minutes. A hyperloop system could have you in Edinburg in that time.

Henry Ford changed the world. He gave ordinary people the chance to own a car. He is supposed to have said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” There’s no evidence to prove that he ever said that but the point is, he changed the world by giving us something completely different. He didn’t just take something we already had and make it a bit better.

HS2 is just a faster version of a transport system that hasn’t been cutting edge technology since Victorian times.

When Steve Jobs gave the world the first smart phone he supposedly didn’t do any market research. He didn’t make mobile phones better, he created a gadget that’s now so important, most of us can’t imagine life without one.

British taxpayers have invested a billion pounds in HS2 so far. If it’s such a great idea, why is the bloke behind the company that operates long-distance passenger trains in Britain, investing in a different system?

Maybe the British government should realise they’ve made a bad decision with HS2 and change it.

Craic on!

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