By CHINA DAILY
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
But if the dream of business magnate and Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk is realised, travel time between Los Angeles and San Francisco — which is just next to the wine county — will be reduced to just 35 minutes.
Musk wants to build a hyperloop rail system that would operate at a top speed of 1,200 kilometre per hour.
Ambitious as this project is, Chinese scientists are planning an ultra-fast rail transportation system of their own that would run at up to 1,500 km/h.
This would make it possible to enjoy wine in the Napa Valley at midday and, for example, watch a baseball game just three hours later in New York City.
Zhang Weihua and his team at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province in central China, are building a high-technology tube transportation system to test methods of carrying commuters and cargo at ultra-fast speeds. This will be tested at speeds of up to 1,500 km/h. The top speed is expected to be reached in April 2021.
The hyperloop idea was first proposed by Musk in 2013, but was met with a mix of enthusiasm and scepticism.
Unlike ordinary trains and tracks exposed to the atmosphere, trains operating on this system would run inside a partial vacuum. The prototype loop can raise a train above ground and enable it to run inside the tube without air resistance.
Other countries, such as France and Japan, are also speeding up their research on ultra-fast trains.
“Speed has become the focus of competition,” Zhang said.
Once it has been completed — in less than three years according to Zhang — all types of ultra-high-speed Maglev transportation tests can be carried out, including those on high- and low-temperature superconductor Maglevs.
A prototype was built to one-tenth the scale of the proposed train, he said.