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“Russia is technologically ready to launch such large-scale projects as Elon Musk’s Hyperloop,” Russian minister of transport Maxim Sokolov said in mid-May at a press briefing in the southern Russian city of Sochi.

As reported by Russian business daily RBC, this Hyperloop-like transport system would link the western and eastern ends as well as the northern and southern ends of the country — the largest in the world.

The first section of the transport system could link Moscow to St. Petersburg — a distance of nearly 650 kilometers, — according to Anatolyi Zaitsev, an official from the St. Petersburg State Transport University cited by RBC.

“According to western price standards, implementing such a project would cost $21 billion, while in Russia the cost would not exceed $12-13 billion,” RBC quoted Zaitsev as saying.

Zaitsev also said that the project has been backed by Gordon Atlantic, an international economic development service operator.

“At the opening phase, which has been funded by [Gordon Atlantic], we have managed to create magnetic levitation to lift any weight. The platform and the container in question are located in St.Petersburg and are available to the public. Supported by the investor, we are now taking final steps in equipping the laboratory where materials to be used in the project will be selected. In the future, however, more significant funding will be required,” adds Zaitsev.

On its side Russian Railways, the national railway company, is considering cooperation with Hyperloop One, one of the two US companies developing such projects.

Russian Railways and Hyperloop One have created a working group to study the concept, Russian business daily Vedomosti has learned from Caspian VC, a Russian venture fund which owns a stake in Hyperloop One.  Formed a few months ago, the working group is waiting for the results of the recent testing of high-speed Hyperloop trains.

This post first appeared on East-West Digital News.

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