SNCF makes a bet on the future of transportation by backing Hyperloop

SNCF makes a bet on the future of transportation by backing Hyperloop


Have you ever heard of Hyperloop? This conceptual mode of high-speed transportation has been imagined by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk a couple years ago. Since then, two Hyperloop companies have popped out -even though Musk is not affiliated with any of them.

It turns out that – according to BFMBusiness, France’s SNCF, is among the backers of Hyperloop Technologies. Indeed, the state-owned railway company participated in their new $80M series B funding -along with other VC firms such as General Electric Ventures, Khosla Ventures,137 Ventures or Zhenfund.

Hyperloop Technologies is trying to develop the revolutionary type of transportation incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on air cushions. The tube could someday transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes at a top speed of 1,200 kph, or 760mph. Three times faster than a conventional high speed train, and almost two times the speed of commercial air-liners.

Last year, SNCF chief executive Guillaume Pepy told L’Obs magazine that: “Hyperloop is a project that is both crazy and visionary. We are following it very closely.”

SNCF which has been first Alstom client for the TGV, has always felt the need to invest in the future: “We are very interested in a collaboration with Hyperloop Technologies, its a disruptive technology like the TGV, we need to apprehend the innovations that are likely to happen in 10 to 15 years”, also commented Guillaume Pépy during a panel he shared with Hyperloop Tech’s Co-Founder and CEO Brogan Banbrogan, at the 2nd Economy Summit organized last year by Challenges.

The company is expected to demo its propulsion system latter this year in North Las Vegas, where they’re currently building their test track.

The first Hyperloop Technologies installation should be completed in Sloviakia, as the Easter European country recently signed a contract with the company to link Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest.