Moscow Wants Its Own Hyperloop

Hyperloop One
Hyperloop One / Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One, one of two companies trying to build Elon Musk’s transportation fever dream, just inked a deal to bring the near-mythical pneumatic tube system to Russia. Summa Group, an investment group owned by Russian billionaire tycoon Ziyavudin Magomedov, signed an agreement with Hyperloop One and the city of Moscow to figure out how to connect the city’s transportation network to a future Hyperloop, as The Verge reports.

Moscow has an extensive Metro system with almost 200 stations, as well as buses, trams, and a monorail to shuttle more than 16 million residents around its urban area. The city itself constitutes 970 square miles. But a Hyperloop there would do more than whisk residents from one end of the city to others. Russia is by far the biggest country on Earth, outstripping the second-biggest country, Canada, by some 2.7 million square miles. Russia’s famous Trans-Siberian Railway takes seven days to cross the country from Moscow to the eastern city of Vladivostok. If any country needs a super-fast ground transport system, it’s Russia. 

Hyperloop One has deals with other countries to conduct feasibility studies for the system, including Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Dubai, and the U.K., according to Tech Crunch.

But a Russian Hyperloop might be the most economically significant, as infrastructure goes. One of the Hyperloop One’s co-founders, Shervin Pishevar, said that the company wants to create a “new Silk Road” that could transport freight cargo from Europe to China in a single day. 

Whether it’s a real possibility, though, is still a question. Hyperloop One’s first test, in May, only showcased a sled that could travel 116 mph, far less than the 760 mph (about the speed of sound) Musk initially proposed. 

[h/t The Verge]

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