Russian company Summa Group has signed an agreement with Elon Musk’s Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One to explore building a futuristic, high-speed commuter system in Moscow and a transport network between China and Russia.
The Hyperloop system involves using magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods can transport people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph (1,200 kph).
Currently, designers are developing plans to build a new ultra-high speed Silk Road to transport cargo connecting China’s Jilin Province and Zarabino, near Moscow.
“Our longer term vision is to work with Russia to implement a transformative new Silk Road: a cargo Hyperloop that whisks freight containers from China to Europe in a day,” Pishevar said.
According to Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd, the company wants to build a system capable of transporting cargo by 2019 and passengers by 2021.
Transportation infrastructure developer Summa Group and Hyperloop One signed a memorandum of understanding at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Pishevar during the forum and expressed his support for the project. The president’s backing though didn’t mean public fund investments and tax breaks because it’s a private investment project, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Hyperloop was first proposed in 2013 by US billionaire Elon Musk as an up-to-date, open-sourced concept.
While as yet there are no functioning Hyperloops in the world, skeptics claim the idea of traveling at such high speeds in a sealed tube seems like a science fiction dream and presents many challenges that the designers and engineers will have to overcome, such as motion sickness.
Hyperloop feasibility studies are underway in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Dubai, the Port of Los Angeles, and the United Kingdom.