China to bring Elon Musk's dream of Hyperloop into reality by 2035

It will be built between Shanghai and Hangzhou
Ameya Paleja
Hyperloop trains will soon become a reality in China
Hyperloop trains will soon become a reality in China


Elon Musk may have given the world the idea of a hyperloop and even conducted Hyperloop Pod competitions in the U.S. in the past. However, the world's first hyperloop train is likely to come up in China in the next decade, South China Morning Post reported.

Humanity has always been obsessed with faster transport options the magnetic levitation (maglev) trains are operational in many parts of the world. In 2012, Musk took the concept a step further by operating them in vacuum tunnels that could increase train speeds to 760 miles (1,220 km) an hour and dubbed it Hyperloop.

Although Musk and his companies never really ventured into building such a system, they did organize a competition where others could test their prototypes for such a rapid transit system. The annual competition is no longer held, but the Chinese Academy of Engineering authorities are now keen to make it a reality.

World's first Hyperloop train

As per SCMP's report, the train will run on a relatively short route between Shanghai and Hangzhou in the country's east. About 108 miles (175 km) separate the wealthiest towns on the eastern coast, which can be traveled in about three hours by road or barely an hour using high-speed rails that already operate in China. With the hyperloop expected to travel at speeds of up to 621 miles (1,000 km) an hour, the travel time could be reduced to just 15 minutes.

The decision to award the project to these destinations was taken after a detailed analysis of other possible routes. Among them were Beijing-Shijiazhuang, two cities in the north that would relieve congestion on existing transport routes near the capital city.

China to bring Elon Musk's dream of Hyperloop into reality by 2035
China has invested heavily in buidling high speed rail network in the past 15 years

The other was a possible Guangzhou-Shenzhen line between two economically essential centers of the country located strategically at the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, potentially connecting them to the world.

The Shanghai-Hangzhou line was finally selected after considering technical feasibility over the relatively flat terrain, strong economic potential due to high population density and economic activity in the cities, and promoting regional integration, the SCMP report said.

Over the past decade and a half, China has invested heavily in high-speed rail networks and gained expertise in research and development, engineering, and advanced manufacturing. Experts believe these resources can now be applied to the development of hyperloop technology, which is still in its early stages. China has also conducted its tests of the Hyperloop system before.

The first line is expected to be operational by 2035, but a lot of groundwork regarding safety, regulation, and building infrastructure for the hyperloop still needs to be accomplished.

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