Who could have seen this coming?

Comments in brackets.

Virgin Hyperloop axes half its staff in focus on freight

by Simeon Kerr and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson

Virgin Hyperloop has made almost half of its staff redundant as the company developing the high-speed transport system pivots from passenger travel to freight.

[In the overwhelming majority of cases, speed is worth far more money for people than for freight. When time is that valuable, you can always go by air, which also offers flexibility of destination.]

The US company said that 111 people were laid off on Friday, as the group focuses on delivering a cargo version of the experimental transport, which propels pods through low-pressure tubes at speeds of up to 670mph.

[Because completely changing your business model and infrastructure requirements requires way fewer staff.]


The company is “changing direction”, it added. “It really has more to do with global supply chain issues and all the changes due to Covid.”

[Just so we're clear. This is a land-based system that is, under the most wildly optimistic assumptions, years away from having a single operational line, let alone the extensive network needed to make this model viable. And they're making these changes in response to current "global supply chain issues."]

Backers of the company, which is developing technology first proposed by Elon Musk, include Dubai government logistics provider and ports operator DP World and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

[Neither Virgin nor any other "hyperloop" company has spent a single dollar developing Elon Musk's completely unworkable air-caster based (Read more...)