China and Russia are eyeing the Hyperloop – will this miracle vehicle take over from the high speed rail?
The 21st century Silk Road that is busily taking shape now through the planned construction of 64,000 kilometres of rail tracks may eventually use the Hyperloop if China and Russia have their way. It was reported last year that CRRC Corp, China’s largest maker of railway equipment, was in talks for a potential investment in Hyperloop One, the company behind the idea. Several months following that, Vladimir Putin reportedly expressed an interest in it too.
So, what is Hyperloop One? Briefly, it is a super high-speed, levitation-based, low-pressure tube travel. Originally the idea of billionaire genius Elon Musk, shared with the world in 2013, it envisioned high-velocity train travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in a loop of tubes. Low air pressure inside the tubes and magnetic track levitation remove most of the friction from the journey, thus allowing the pods inside to travel incredibly fast.