Ukraine has plans for a hyperloop

 cnet.com  6/14/2018 6:06:53 PM  2  Marrian Zhou
Artist's rendering of a completed hyperloop train system

Industry watchers say hyperloop systems will reach airplane speeds and shorten travel time from hours to minutes.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Ukraine is yet another country hopping on the hyperloop train to the future.

The country's Infrastructure Ministry signed an agreement Thursday with US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to begin building a commercial hyperloop system -- a trainlike transportation setup that industry watchers say will be able to hit airplane speeds and shorten travel time from hours to minutes.

"Ukraine is at the crossroads of the new Silk Road transportation corridor and we can expect Hyperloop to play a major role in connecting Europe and Asia," HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said in a release.

Ukraine is the latest country added on the hyperloop waitlist after the US, Korea, France and others. It's been more than four years since Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk open-sourced his design for the system. Last year, HTT revealed specs for its hyperloop capsule, which it says will be about twice the size of a New York City subway car and could hit speeds of 760 miles per hour.

"We welcome working with proactive governments to bring hyperloop to life," said Ahlborn in an email statement. "A technology like this can only be realized as a collaboration between the innovation community and the government."

The project in Ukraine is planned to be financed as a public-private partnership after the completion of the initial study, Volodymyr Omelyan, the country's minister of infrastructure, said in the release.

However, it's unclear when the hyperloop system will be available to the public. The first tests are scheduled for next year, the Kyiv Post reported. With conflicts still brewing in Donbas and Crimea and a nation to rebuild, a hyperloop system might not be a top priority for Ukraine.

First published on June 14, 10:50 a.m. PT.

Update, 11:06 a.m. PT: Adds second Dirk Ahlborn statement.

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