China Successfully Tests First ‘Hyperloop’ Prototype
China Inaugurates Vacuum Tube Tests For World’s Fastest Ground Transportation System
In a breakthrough featuring Chinese engineering, the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) successfully tested a capsule traveled at speeds of up to 50 km/h for 210 meters on January 14 at a research facility in the city of Datong, central Shanxi province.
The demonstration was first reported today in the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post and is aimed at introducing a nearly empty tube transportation system that could reach speeds of 1,000 km/h. A major challenge lies in maintaining a low-pressure environment in the tube.
CASIC affirms that “critical components” worked “as planned” durint the tests, which allows for planning “future experiments at higher speeds”. While the fastest high-speed trains currently in service operate at 350 km/h, accelerating their speed would come with air resistance and excessive wear to the rails.
Nevertheless, Datong facility’s maglev, or magnetic levitation, technology eliminates the friction that wears out the rails, while its vacuum tube reduces air resistance. Last October, China inaugurated facilities for the world’s most powerful magnetic propulsion system and, in September 2022, Chengdu Jiaotong University (Sichuan, center) successfully tested a new magnetic levitation car.
In 2021, China unveiled the world’s fastest magnetic levitation train, manufactured in Qingdao city, with a speed of 600 kilometers per hour and five years of research and development.