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Russia's Next-Gen Vacuum Transport Experiment

Hyperloop One under construction
Hyperloop One tube segments construction

According to news from Russia's Transport Ministry, the US company Hyperloop One may be the first to build a high-speed vacuum transportation tube in Russia's Far East. The transport tube from China to the Amur region was announced at last week's St. Petersburg Economic Forum. 

Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov told attendees and reports on June 16th, about a project to be carried out with state support, to later become part of the Priamurye-2 transport corridor linking China's Jilin province with the port of Slavyanka in the south of Russia's Far East territory. According to Sokolov, the tube link would have an annual freight capacity of 10 million tons, and will be 30 percent cheaper than the cost of building a conventional railroad. Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar was on hand at this year's St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to present the innovative high-speed transportation project, which was first tested in Nevada in May 2016. The company and the Transport Ministry have agreed to set up a working group for the construction of a high-speed transportation link in Russia.

Hyperloop One pod in its doc (Conceptualization by Hyperloop One)

The futuristic project was first presented in 2012 by inventor Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, as a system of vacuum transportation capsules capable of developing speeds of up to 760 mph. Two competing American companies are currently working on implementing the next-gen transport innovation. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Hyperloop One apply different technical approaches to solving for the same transportation solution. While HTT uses an air cushion system; Hyperloop One, applies a passive magnetic levitation technology. 

Just last month, the team at Hyperloop One performed an open air test of the experimental propulsion system for this revolutionary closed transport system. The video of the test below reveals just how close the world is to a paradigm shift in transport capability. Image cargo moved in minutes or hours, rather than days or even weeks. Better still, try and envision the expanse of Russia traversed by passengers in a tenth of the time normally needed. Where air transport cannot go, this new system will might take everyone in a few short years. 

 

The Hyperloop One Far East project is but one of the suggested applications of this riveting technology. This blog post at Hyperloop One discusses briefly, the plans for a St. Petersburg to Moscow spur in collaboration with Russian Railways. According to the post, Hyperloop One will have a working transport system as a template by 2020. According to Crunchbase, Hyperloop One has already raised nearly $100 million in funding, and the effort is sure to attract both Russian and Chinese venture shortly. The Hyperloop trains will be able to accelerate from 0 to 400 mph in 2 seconds, and they will be able to attain and sustain speeds of up to 750 mph. 

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