South Korea to build the world's first Hyperloop track

People always wanted to move from point A to point B with minimal time costs. This desire permeates many fairy tales, where we are talking about boots, walkers, stupas, brooms, carpets, and so on. At the beginning of the last century, when technologies began to develop at a very fast pace, some authors began to offer ideas for land and air transport, which could shorten the time required to move from one locality to another by dozens of times.

One of the ideas is a high-speed continental underground train that moves through tunnels with thin air. The air masses are pumped out by powerful pumps, the friction force is reduced and the train can travel very fast. The offer is interesting, but its implementation requires a powerful bundle of technologies and financing. This was only possible now. Four years ago, the project Hyperloop was proposed, which, with some changes, represents the realization of the very fantastic idea with train, tunnels and a weak vacuum at the beginning of the 20th century.

The implementation was worked out by Ilon Mask (about which an article has already been published on Geektimes) with colleagues, they described some key technical points. Hyperloop, as planned, is a special vehicle with cars that moves through tunnels at the speed of sound. It uses magnets, and vacuum, and more. By the way, technology alone is not enough; we also need active work by government officials from countries where it is planned to build the Hyperloop infrastructure. Officials must create a legal framework that allows the existence of a new type of transport. Naturally, we need money, and a lot of it.

Mask suggested only an idea , saying that he was not going to deal with its implementation independently. A month after the publication of the “alpha version” of the project, a computer model of the new transport system appeared, and then the organization Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. (HTT), which took over the technical issues. JumpStartFund co-founder Dirk Ahlborn (Dirk Ahlborn) and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell became key figures. HTT raises funds for work through crowdfunding and investment.

After that, several other organizations declared their desire to create their own versions of the system proposed by Musk. In addition, officials from Russia, the United States and other countries spoke about cooperation with the HTT at various times. In January of this year, the Korea Railways Research Institute (KRRI) announced plans to develop its own version of Hyperloop. “We hope to create a super-fast train that will travel through the advanced low-pressure tunnel at lightning speeds in the near future,” a KRRI spokesman said in a press comment.

Well, now it turns out that South Korea, in fact, has signed an agreement with the HTT. This treaty was approved by the government at the same time, in January of this year, but it has become known about it only now. In order to implement the technology, the government needs to get the right to use HTT technologies, which, in fact, has already been done. Now it is planned to build a full-scale route with a vacuum tunnel, equipment for acceleration and deceleration using magnets and other technical elements. Plus, officials are simultaneously working on a legislative framework.

If everything works out, in a few years a transport system will appear in South Korea, which has no analogues in the world. And passengers will be able to travel from Seoul to Busan in just 20 minutes. By car from one city to another you have to travel for three hours. This is a very significant time saving. According to the project participants, a new type of transport will change the lives of people, it will allow to unite people in different regions, first Korea, and then the whole world.

Not only HTT is working on a project of super-fast train, there are other companies

In addition to HTT, companies such as Arrivo and Hyperloop One are working on similar projects. True, the last one in the last year had several strange personnel changes and the scandals accompanying these changes. On the other hand, Hyperloop One is a company that was able to interest the officials of Russia and China, so last year they even started talking about the possibility of creating a “Europe-China” route.

But for now this is only talk. Probably, which of the listed companies for the first time will show a working full-scale transportation line, that will remove all the “cream” in the form of investments, both commercial and state.


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