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West Virginia Chosen as Site for Hyperloop R&D Center in Grant County Area

October 8th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on Wednesday announced the state will be the site of a $500 million development center for high-speed pod-and-tube transportation, after Virgin Hyperloop agreed to locate a certification facility on nearly 800 acres of land across Grant and Tucker counties.

A hyperloop system, which is still in the developmental stage, has been touted by company owner Sir Richard Branson as a way to connect cities by utilizing transportation pods inside sealed tubes moving at speeds of 600 miles an hour or faster.

Seventeen states were in the running to become the future site of the company’s first certification center, which will function as a research hub, including high-speed testing experiments

Work on the certification center 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.

West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research predicts the total economic impact of the center’s ongoing operation on the state's economy will be $48 million annually.

The land, owned by Western Pocahontas Properties and located near Mt. Storm, is being donated to the WVU Foundation in partnership with Virgin Hyperloop.