China could still get a network of Hyperloop routes ahead of the rest of the world. Media reports show a concept that is to be used for short, medium and long distances – for passengers and freight and at speeds of more than 4000 kilometers per hour.
The Chinese Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, as reported by The Register, citing Chinese media, is planning to use magnetic levitation trains in vacuum tubes that are going to the whole country. On short distances between cities speeds of 1000, on medium distances between conurbations 2000 and on long distances and with cargo loads even 4000 kilometers per hour are to be reached.
The consortium behind the concept has, according to own data, more than 200 patents with which the plans are to be implemented. For the energy supply of the network, the tubes should also be covered with solar cells on the upper side – China’s own Hyperloop could even be neutralized in combination with nuclear power plants.
The cost of such a stretching net would be immense. Many conventional railroad lines in China are, for this reason, only laid on a single track in the mountain regions and are therefore heavily utilized. Train rides from one to the other end of the country can take several days. Nevertheless, the construction of a Hyperloop could actually take place for political reasons: the Lhasa railway to Tibet has also cost the People’s Republic a lot.
Whether the technical requirements for such a project exist is doubtful. Recently, teams from all over the world had taken test drives with sledges at the Hyperloop competition in Nevada. The record was set by a team from Munich with a speed of 324 kilometers per hour, far from the 4000 kilometers per hour postulated in China.
In Shanghai, however, the Transrapid, developed in Germany, has been operating as a magnetic levitation train with proven technology for more than a decade.