Branson, the billionaire whose other holdings include Virgin Atlantic Airways and the Virgin Galactic spacecraft venture, also joined the board of Hyperloop One.
Trains: Hyperloop floats above the surface of the tube.
Branson and his company, Virgin Group, are investing an undisclosed sum in the startup to kick off a new global partnership. Tests of Hyperloop One in the desert of Nevada have resulted in speeds of nearly 200mph in recent months. "Virgin is an iconic brand and having Richard as an ally will help strengthen our mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world". The company's vision is for the magnetic-based system to be used as a major mode of transport between cities, eventually reaching speeds of around 760mph, and potentially connecting London to Edinburgh in 50 minutes. Earlier this year, the company completed its first test track outside Las Vegas.
'From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have always been passionate about innovation in transport too, especially the development of technology that could transform people's lives.
The maximum distance travelled was 436m, with a peak acceleration of 1.48G (0-100km/h in 1.85 seconds).
"After visiting Hyperloop One's test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times", Branson said in a statement.
Branson said the company was working on "exciting projects" around the world but no lines have been confirmed as yet.