China Successfully Tests Hyperloop-Type Train Inside Vacuum Tube

Suck it, Elon Musk.


China claims to have become the first country in the world to successfully test a Hyperloop-style magnetic levitation train inside a vacuum tube – or “vactrain” for short – according to a report from the newspaper. State China Daily.

Researchers tested the train on a roughly 1.25-mile track in Shanxi Province in northern China. During the test, it reached speeds of up to 80 mph inside a “weak vacuum tube”, according to the report.

The team is just getting started. The goal is to eventually build a full-scale 37-mile test track and have the trains reach speeds of up to 621 mph.

The test could lay the groundwork for an entirely new kind of high-speed rail system, much like the “Hyperloop,” a design popularized by Elon Musk about a decade ago.

world premiere

According to the researchers behind the test, this is the first successful demonstration of a maglev train of its kind traveling inside a low-vacuum tube.

While maglevs are an established, albeit rare, form of transport – this week Japan broke its own speed record by running its maglev bullet train at 374mph — the concept of a vactrain has not yet been realized.


Perhaps the most famous vacuum tube train concept is Elon Musk’s “Hyperloop”, which he first proposed in 2012. Despite much optimism and early testing, we haven’t yet to see a full-scale Hyperloop system being built, in use.

Earlier this year, Musk claimed The Boring Company would finally attempt to build an underground Hyperloop “in the years to come,” we remain skeptical of his infamously ambitious timeline.

But given China’s advances, the billionaire has clearly been outpaced.

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