The idea of a vacuum train were made by Robert Goddard in 1909 in the magazine “Scientific American”. He offered to organize the movement of cars in a vacuum pipe on the basis of magnetic levitation. The world’s first experiments with moving bodies in the vacuum tube due to the electromagnetic field set in 1910-ies of the Russian Professor Boris Weinberg. However, they were soon suspended due to the First world war. Subsequently, the experiments were in Germany, Japan, Switzerland and England, and in 2012, Elon Musk introduced the Hyperloop project, which is also still under development. Besides SpaceX working on the creation of vacuum trains are the Virgin One and Hyperloop Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. How to work a vacuum train — this is in the news today!
Hyperloop is an enclosed and elevated road in the form of two parallel tubes connected at the end points of the route. Inside in one direction will move single capsule with a length of 25-30 meters at a speed of from 480 to 1220 km/h Intervals according to the project will amount to only 30 seconds. Engineers designed two variants — passenger and passenger-cargo. In the first embodiment, the diameter of the pipes will be 2.2 meters and the capsule will seat 28 people. The second proposes to use a pipeline with a diameter of 3.3 meters, and in capsules in addition to people to accommodate up to three cars.
It is worth noting that in fact is not completely Hyperloop vacuum train. Enough of forwelcome (with a pressure of 100 Pascal) which is supported by a moderate pump power and pipe wall from ordinary steel with a thickness of 20-25 mm.
According to the calculations of a capsule at high speeds all will face the incoming air masses. They had decided to use to create airbag: located in the nose of the capsule nozzle will direct the flow of air under the underbody. Thus there is no need to use more expensive magnetic pillow.
The capsule will be driven by a linear motor. The stator will serve as a aluminum rail with a length of 15 meters on the bottom of the pipe, which will be repeated every 110 kilometers. The rotor will be in each capsule, thus the required continuous power is only 100 kilowatts. Since the stator does not only acceleration but also braking, in the latter case, the kinetic energy of the capsule is converted into electricity.
In case of depressurization in the nose of the capsule is an electric compressor, accumulating compressed air on Board. Additionally, the capsules will be placed 1.5 tons of batteries, charge which will last for 45 minutes, to power outages to get to the nearest station.
It is worth noting that the Virgin One and Hyperloop Hyperloop Transportation Technologies considering using magnetic levitation instead of the airbag that will increase the cost of creating a line of vacuum trains, but will minimize possible problems. While I do not mean active levitation like the Maglev, and passive. It involves the movement of permanent magnets over a conducting surface.
Currently there is active testing of vacuum trains of different companies. So in December of last year, Hyperloop Virgin One has been able to overclock their capsule to record at the moment speed 387 km/h. the First line of the vacuum trains can appear in India, USA, United Arab Emirates and South Korea.