South Korea’s hyperloop train reaches over 1,000 km/h in recent tests
The Korean Railroad Research Institute (KORAIL) recently announced that its Hyper Tube Express (HTX) train achieved a speed of over 1,000 km/h (621 mph) during a test, marking a significant achievement in the race to create the world’s fastest train system. The HTX is an ultra-fast transit system that moves trains at near-supersonic speeds by leveraging the magnetic levitation principle inside a tube under partial vacuum – a concept similar to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop design. To test their concept, KORAIL developed a 1:17 scale test model.
Key to the propulsion technology is an electric air compressor fan on the front of the Hyper Tube Express, which will transfer high air pressure from the train’s front to its rear and sides. The fan reduces friction in front of the train, helping propel it and create an air cushion around it to reduce the air friction and the air resistance when the train moves through the vacuum tube. During the scaled model testing, pressure, temperature, and velocity data are gathered for air resistance analysis and the air compressor’s design optimization. Also, vibration data is acquired to study the train’s stability and proper acceleration moving at super high speed.