The National Power Traction Laboratory of Southwest Jiaotong University is developing a vactrain, or a maglev train that runs through in an airless tunnel, allowing it to run at speeds of 600 kilometers to 1,000 kilometers per hour, Beijing Times reported.
The new technology can be put into operation in 10 years, said Zhang Yaoping, a researcher at National Power Traction Laboratory.
In high-speed evacuated tube transportation, the absence of air friction allows trains to run at extremely high speeds. The train carriages will be pressurized so passengers will not feel dizzy, Zhang said.
While the traditional railroad costs 150 million yuan (about US$22 million) each kilometer to build, the vactrain will be less expensive because it has smaller tunnel section. But ticket prices for the vactrain will be more expensive than that of the high-speed trains, though they will become cheaper as technology improves, Zhang said.
Besides China, Switzerland and the U.S. are the only two countries developing vactrain technology. Zhang said whether the new technology can be applied to business operations in China depends on the Ministry of Railways.