Russia Wants Hyperloop (And Chinese Funding)

SpaceX Rocket Launch Elon MuskImage Credit: SpaceX-Imagery / Pixabay

Russia is looking at building a Hyperloop in the Far East, and wants assistance from China to help fund the project.

Russia Wants Hyperloop Technology

Russia’s transport ministry has revealed that they are interested in using Hyperloop technology along a 70 kilometers (43.4 miles) strip in the Far East, known as the Primary-2 corridor. This stretch of land connects harbors in Russia’s Far East Region, with the Jilin province in China, and has become an increasingly important trade route.

Maksim Sokolov, the Russian Minister for Transport told a domestic TV Channel, NTV, at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, “I have already held talks with Hyperloop company and its management. We have suggested the investors consider the construction project of the zone within the corridor ‘Primorye-2’ in the Far East, with access, across the border with China, to the port of Zarubino,”.

It is not clear whether the Hyperloop company that Sokolov is referring to is, HTT (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies) or Hyperloop One, the two companies leading the charge to make Elon Musk’s dream a reality.

And they want China to help pay for it

Russia is hoping that China will be open to the idea of contributing to the project.

“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,” Sokolov explained to journalists.

“Especially because we have a fund to support the Silk Road projects, I believe that this project may count on 100% co-financing from this fund,” he continued. The Silk Road projects referred to are ventures designed to help China better connect with European and Middle Eastern markets.

China, who are Russia’s second largest trading partner after the EU, have already shown a willingness to participate in projects like this. They have recently authorized spending on a high-speed train link between Moscow and Kazan (the capital of Tatarstan, a Russian republic).

China has indicated that they would be prepared to provide $6 million of the expected $15 million cost, to build the 770 kilometer rail link that will reduce the journey time between the two cities from 12 hours to 3.5 hours.

Sokolov has stated that the building of the super-fast Hyperloop would actually be cheaper than putting down regular track. He expects the project to cost in the region of 30 to 40 million rubles (approximately $450 to $600 million).

The Hyperloop – Crazy idea to reality

Hyperloop was first conceived by Elon Musk in 2012. Using tubes or pods, he imagined capsules being propelled through the system at incredible speeds (700+ mph).

While having the idea and giving his thoughts on how he imagined the physics would work, Musk was not interested in building it himself and let others with the time, energy and money, bring his idea to fruition.

The two companies mentioned earlier are working away on the project in the US and we have already seen some live outdoor testing by Hyperloop One in the Nevada desert.

In this test, they transported a pod half a kilometer at 330 mph, although they haven’t yet mastered the braking part so used a huge sand dune to stop the pod (we hope they will get this sorted as soon as possible for peace of mind…)

It is expected that a journey for people or cargo from San Francisco to Los Angeles could be completed in 35 minutes and the early indications are that it may be ready by late 2018 / early 2019.

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About the Author

Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at

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