China to host Hyperloop TT test centre

Remote city of Tongren in country's impoverished Guizhou province will feature the latest demonstration project

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies said on Thursday it will team up with a south-western Chinese city to build a new 10km test track for its high-speed hyperloop transport system.

California-based HyperloopTT is one of several ventures to take Elon Musk's idea for a new type of transport system propelling capsules through vacuum-sealed tunnels and attempt to make it a reality, according to AFP.

It has struck similar agreements with several other countries, with construction of its first capsules - intended to magnetically levitate in low friction tubes - underway at its innovation centre in France.

In April, The National reported a cargo hyperloop is to be developed by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Hyperloop and backed by Dubai Ports.

The new venture is called DP World Cargospeed and will provide deliveries at “air speed at the price of transport by land”, said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the CEO of DP World.

The proposed network would serve both passengers and freight, connecting ports to the supply chain.

For Hyperloop TT, the remote city of Tongren in China's impoverished Guizhou province will host the latest demonstration project, according to the plans.

"China leads the world in the amount of high-speed rail constructed by far, and now they are looking for a more efficient high speed solution in hyperloop," HyperloopTT chairman Bibop Gresta told AFP.


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"We have spent the past few years finding the right partners to work with in China and now, with a strong base network of relationships in place, we are ready to begin work to create the system," he added.

HyperloopTT said financing would come from a public-private partnership, with Tongren directly contributing 50 per cent of the funds.

"HyperloopTT will be responsible for providing technology, engineering expertise, and essential equipment," the company said, without providing further details.

Local Chinese media, citing the agreement, said Tongren and HyperloopTT would invest in the new local joint-venture building the demonstration track on a one-to-one basis.

State-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry, a major aerospace company, is also looking to pioneer the next generation of high-speed train technology in China, and last year announced a similiar hyperloop project in the city of Wuhan.