Ocado-backed network of Hyperloop-style underground tunnels for delivering packages across London moves a step closer after raising £1.5 million.
Magway, based in Wembley, London, was founded in 2017 by Rupert Cruise, an engineer on Elon Musk's Hyperloop project, and Phill Davies, business expert.
They took to crowdfunding website crowdcube in November in the hope of raising £750,000, but they more than doubled that goal, hitting £1.58 million.
The money will allow them to expand their team and enter the pilot stage - which will see a 1.2 mile test track of 3ft wide magnetic tubes built later this year.
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A series of tunnels would transport 72,000 carriages per hour each holding four parcels along a magnetic track
The company says it's network of underground tunnels could deliver more than 600 million packages a year in London alone once fully installed.
A series of tunnels would transport 72,000 carriages per hour each holding four parcels along a magnetic track, which propels them forward at just under 40mph.
They hope to build the first operational track between London, Hertfordshire and on to Milton Keynes where there are a number of fulfilment centres.
'We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to our crowdfunding campaign.' said Magway Managing Director, Anna Daroy.
'It shows that people, particularly younger generations, are prepared to back innovative businesses, such as Magway, in their drive to change existing, out-dated modes of transportation.'
The team say their network of tunnels will give retailers a quick and cheap way to move goods between distribution and fulfilment centres, and could be up and running in as little as three years.
The company has also raised £1.5 million through investors including Ocado - who may use the service in the future - and a government grant of £650,000.
Magway transports goods including groceries and small parcels on carriages moving along a magnetic track. Pictured is a still from an animated video showing a carriage moving along a track
The Magway tunnels could run under the embankment by the side of the hard shoulder and help cut down on congestion
However estimates for building the tunnels and carriages to carry the packages alone will cost a massive £1.5m per mile - with an extra £3.5m needed to get planning and legalities secured.
Currently a comparable feat - the Crossrail project -is to cost the UK £20 billion to build a 62 mile track with only 26 miles of underground tunnel, however these tunnels were much larger than the 3ft tubes planned to transport the packages.
In order to transport packages along London's 9,197 miles of road far more than 26 miles of tunnels will be needed.
Magway calls itself a 'delivery utility' and plans to deliver parcels between distribution centres and consolidation centres via underground pipelines similar to those used by water, gas and electricity companies.
The company says it hopes to start with a series of short routes for airports to alleviate freight traffic with a UK wide network starting development in 2023.
The company is currently mapping its route across London from north London in Hatfield, to Park Royal in west London
The full-scale roll-out would eliminate millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions annually by removing heavy good vehicles
Similar to the hyperloop technology proposed by Elon Musk,