Russia wants Musk’s Hyperloop to China

Russia’s wish to attract Chinese investment knows no boundaries


Russia’s Transport Ministry is considering the Elon Musk-proposed Hyperloop concept to connect China with the Russian Far East, built with Chinese cash.

TASS reported that the high-speed Hyperloop would potentially be between China and the Russian port of Zarubino.

The Russia-China intergovernmental council will convene in a month. I will suggest that my counterpart consider this project, in particular in terms of investments. Today we discussed this project with the company’s leadership under the aegis of Elon Musk. We agreed that we would offer a project for developing the Primorye-2 corridor, a 70-kilometer section between China and the Primorye territory with an exit to Zarubino port, to the company as a pilot project. Colleagues claim that the infrastructure will be cheaper than the railway: the cost of construction of a 70-kilometer-long railway may vary from 30 to 40 billion rubles ($470 million – $625 million U.S. dollars). There is already a fund to support Silk Road projects and the Hyperloop may count on 100% co-financing from this fund.

Maxim Sokolov

Invented by Elon Musk, the Hyperloop high-speed trains use magnetic propulsion in a near vacuum, travelling along a long straight tube. Musk’s Hyperloop One recently announced that its first track test of the magprop technology was a success. The Hyperloop can travel close to 1,000 mph. The company was set up in 2014 to bring about a super-fast and affordable public transport network.  It is estimated that a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles would take 30 minutes.  If a new Hyperloop tube was constructed along the Trans Sib route, cargo pods could theoretically make the journey in a day.

The Russian Transport Ministry comments come after Moscow City Government signed an agreement with the Los Angeles-based “Hyperloop One” to explore a high-speed transportation system ‘Hyperloop’ concept in the nation’s capital. Moscow’s Metro existing mass transit system is one of the busiest and best of its type in the world with over 7 million daily journeys and trains arriving at stations up to every 90 seconds.

Hyperloop systems are radically different to the norm as magnets levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods can shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph (1,200 kph).

“Hyperloop can improve life dramatically for the 16 million people in the greater Moscow area, cutting their commute to a fraction of what it is today. 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.”

Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop One.

The Hyperloop One chief executive officer, Rob Lloyd, said it is unclear how much it will cost to build a Hyperloop in Moscow, and the system would not necessarily travel at its top speed in such a metropolitan area.

A memorandum of understanding was signed at the St Petersburg international economic forum by Hyperloop One, the city of Moscow and the Russian infrastructure investment business ‘Summa Group’.

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