BUSINESS Tongren debunks critics of hyperloop project


Tongren debunks critics of hyperloop project

People's Daily app

18:18, July 23, 2018

The hyperloop project, a superfast vacuum-tube transportation system that will be constructed in Tongren, Southwest China's Guizhou Province, will bring great benefits to the province's manufacturing and tourism industries, a local official told the China National Radio on Saturday, in response to some criticism of the viability of the project.


Photo: Global Times 

"The project will help develop the high-technology industry, equipment manufacturing and tourism industries of Tongren and the whole of Guizhou. Precisely because our province is underdeveloped we must seek innovative industries, else we will always remain behind China's wealthy coastal provinces",  Zhou Fuzong, deputy director of the Committee of Industry and Information Technology of Tongren, was quoted as saying.

The municipal government of Tongren and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) signed Friday an agreement with US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to build an ultra-high speed rail in Tongren. 

Under the agreement, a joint venture will be set up to build two lines, one running 10 kilometers from the airport to the city, and another from the city to a tourist attraction 50 km away, at a cost of about 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion), according to media reports.

The project soon faced criticisms online, with people saying an ultra-high speed train line is unsuited to Tongren's poor economy and hilly terrain. Tongren is located amid the karst terrain in Southwest China, and its per capita GDP in 2017 was only 30,722 yuan, compared with the nation's average of 59,660 yuan, according to official figures. Some critics called the idea a white elephant and reckless use of public money for political purposes.

Zhou rebuked the critics by noting that project expenses will be shared evenly with HTT. 

"We are not just spending money buying foreign technology. HTT itself will fund half of the project. Building costs are also cheaper than traditional high-speed rail, so this project will not become a burden to the city's finances," he said.

Zhou also noted that all intellectual property involved in the project, including design, development, construction and operation will be owned by the joint venture.

"China already has three institutions researching vacuum-tunnel maglev trains. The technology is solid, and our project is our effort to contribute to the development of China's domestic ultra-high speed rail industry." 

(Source: Global Times)

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