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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Supersonic train Russia could use


Russia is ready to implement such innovative projects like bullet train Hyperloop, says the Ministry of transport. And Russian Railways had several months studying this project, devised by an eccentric American billionaire. Than Russian officials and businessmen carried away but this is still a futuristic idea and worth it to invest money?

Russia today, as no other country is ready to implement such a project like Hyperloop (hyperloop, or hyperpathia), said transport Minister Maxim Sokolov.

“If you let these trains to Nizhny Novgorod, this city has become a suburb of Moscow”

“As for the Hyperloop project, similar work is being done for a long time. If we assume some steps in this regard? In principle, Yes, and in our transport strategy till 2030 reflects the use of new developments in the field of transport, including new means of transport”, – said the Minister.

“Similar work is underway for a long time, and not just in America. Of course, the project Elon musk is structured correctly to attract investors, including Russian, he has got some momentum recently,” said Sokolov.

According to him, in the transport strategy until 2030 is aimed at creating corridors for development of high-speed communication, including with the use of new developments. For example, this train the message Moscow – St.-Petersburg. “There is a separate bar that will be reserved, and if there are investors and technology will be developed, including for passenger transport, not just trucks (that technology may be applicable),” – said Sokolov. “The same corridor laid in the direction of Sochi, in the ports of the Azov-black sea basin. This HSR project Moscow – Kazan, the corridor extends further to Beijing,” – said Sokolov.

“Because all the projects are reflected in the scheme of transport planning, we are ready to offer them for this kind of project, it is important that the project has received recognition and has passed all necessary certification,” he said.

Hyperloop is a superfast vacuum train. The idea is that in the pipes above the ground are moved in the vacuum ultra-fast capsule (train), capable of speeds up to 1,220 km per hour. To carry these capsules are at first still loads, and then, perhaps, and people.

Most interesting is that not only the Minister of transport considers this project a success for Russia. They have seriously interested in “Russian Railways”. Recently it became known that experts of the Russian Railways a few months ago joined the working group, with the company developing Hyperloop One to study this technology. Literally 12 may, the U.S. successfully tested an engine designed for future vacuum trains. In Russia, this project already has fans with money. The project implements venture Fund Caspian VC Partners, established by Russian businessman Ziyavudin Magomedov (Summa).

In the Railways said that today, it is not about the project and about the concept, which now seems fantastic, but after a few years can become a reality. Prior to the implementation of a real project is still very far away. While it is not even known how much money may be involved.

The idea was invented by the billionaire Elon Musk, whose projects such as Tesla Motors (creation of electric vehicles) and SpaceX (the first private manufacturer of space rockets). Perhaps the most successful project Mask can be called the creation of PayPal. To make the electric car he managed, but inexpensive and mass – yet. With mass sending tourists into space case is also far from realization. Although designed reusable launch vehicles Falcon 1 and Falcon 9, as well as the reusable spacecraft Dragon. While Musk promises after nine years (2020-2025) to carry out a flight to Mars.

Hyperloop One – it is a concept, not a real project. The capsules disperse up to 1200 km per hour is also just a theory. When testing the power plant it was about twice lower speed is 560 km/h, in the pipe and almost no air, but it’s still not a vacuum. “Its principle of operation is similar to the game air hockey: for every 5% the race pipe is magnetic razgonova station that is pushing it like a hand. Acceleration is not carried out along the entire length of the pipe that allows you to make operating costs low. The container moves by sliding on the air cushion without rails”, – told RIA”news” managing Director of Caspian VC Partners William shore.

At the end of the year they promise to conduct full scale testing of pipe at the site in Nevada with a length of 3.2 km and the pipe is with a diameter of 3.3 meters, that is sufficient for the transport of people. According to the developers, capex per kilometer can range from 5 to 20 million dollars, depending on materials used and complexity of the route.

However, at first it is still on the carriage of goods and for a very short distance. So, the stories of the shore, the possibility to apply this technology in the port of Los Angeles for delivery and develop a rapid discharge of the load from the pipe as a whole.

And just when the technology will be successfully implemented at short distances, we can talk about long routes. “In this case, the technology will change the whole process of cargo delivery. For example, we would not need to be stored in the fridge somewhere near the manufacturing in China, then to marine vessels or trains to send them by batches to the market. Made a refrigerator – and it can theoretically be delivered to the customer tomorrow,” says shore.

“This is a way to deliver goods from China to Europe in just 10 hours”

Further – more, this way you can deliver goods from China to Europe in just 10 hours. “Today, to ship a container from China to Hamburg by sea takes about seven weeks and costs about $ 700, and given the ports work – $ 1200. Railway shipping from China to Hamburg via Russia at high speed takes about two to three weeks, but is significantly more expensive,” says shore. How much will it cost shipping for Hyperloop, he can’t say yet.

And, apparently, only in the third stage we can talk about transportation of people in capsules. According to Shor, in Russia there are places where it would be possible to try the transportation of people to start at a distance of 100-150 km. for Example, if to allow such trains to Nizhny Novgorod, this city has become a suburb of Moscow, according to the investor.

It is not surprising that the Railways and the transport Ministry expressed interest in such a project. So the optimal solution of the main infrastructure issues for such a large country as Russia, and even from the point of view of its location between Asia and Europe, are able to dramatically accelerate its economic growth. The Russian company “the Sum” is also not by chance expressed interest in the Hyperloop. For her transport business is a major, and she hopes to use the technology in the Russian regions.

The developers are looking for investors for the development of their ideas. And Russia for that role fits perfectly. So they first appealed to the Railways for support. In the same Europe, for example, the problem of transportation is actually not worth it and so all is covered by high speed blades. Even China over the last 10-15 years has just managed to transform their road infrastructure, including rail.

However, whether it is worth the Railways and Russia interested in this project, isn’t it a waste of time and resources? Isn’t it better the “Russian Railways” to focus on solving current problems and objectives for the nearest future? When the prevalence in Russia of a simple high-speed trains of the type “Sapsan” in the whole country is virtually zero, about any vacuum pods can be discussed? Or such projects of the future and should do so at this time, to be first, not last, as, for example, in the history of the construction of high-speed transit?

“To deal with Russian Hyperloop is, after all, is a great way to attract investments to the country, perhaps in the form of a joint project, the first Vice-President of the Russian Union of engineers Ivan Andrievsky. – Our country is an excellent testing ground for unproven technologies in virtue of the difficult state of the transport system as a whole. It’s attracting money, scientists, the creation of new jobs, the development of the logistics industry. Cannot give up technology, especially when the market has not yet formed. While there is only a partial prototypes for the project Elon musk, and that’s all.” In his opinion, Russia could work together with China to participate in the competition for the right to market share: Russia has the research potential, and China – financial and operational opportunities.

“Technology similar to the Hyperloop, have more chances of implementation in countries with a large territory, as the Russian Federation, and unfavorable climatic conditions. The magnetic levitation train, moving in a closed tube with the rarefied atmosphere, we will last much longer than conventional HSR or W/d structure,” – said Andrievsky.

But engineers and designers will have to solve a large number of tasks. This technical vacuum to reduce friction in the tunnel and to provide great speed with less effort. Another problem is how to protect the object against penetration of small rodents and insects, which can easily disrupt any system, the expert said. “The accident on the transportation system, where the constant speed of the train is about 500 km per hour, and the final excess of 1,200 miles per hour, is really a serious problem,” – said Andrievsky.

On the other hand, in Russia today, and so has limited resources to spend either on the project with the result still unclear and unclear costs. While this is a risky idea, which may not be realized due to technical, economic or other barriers.

“History of Russia in the last hundred years is the attempt to surprise everyone, to get ahead and become the best. But, unfortunately, we see that such approaches do not work, with rare exceptions. Given the current situation, it seems to me that the best way to invest in real problems, to solve the problems of today. And wait until you reach a particular decision when they are tested, and then decide,” – said General Director of CJSC “Magistral” (a developer of systems for rail transport) Gennady Ratin.

After all, Russia already has a huge number of projects announced in the railway industry, which require billions of dollars of investment. It and development of high-speed lines and the modernization of Transsib and BAM.

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