Russian Railways and Railway Research Institute (VNIIZhT) research team aim to present the concept for the vacuum – levitation high speed train by the end of 2016, stated Boris Lapidus, Chairman of the Joint Scientific Council of Russian Railways at the Council’s February meeting. As part of the vacuum-levitation transport system (VLTS) project, Prof. Dr. Vasily M. Fomin has presented a study on determining the characteristics of the vacuum environment, taking into account cost-effectiveness and possible technical solutions. According to him, the next stage in the development of the new transport systems concept creation based on vacuum technology should be the feasibility study.
Currently, Russian engineers are working on creating a controlled near-vacuum environment and reducing aerodynamic drag on the magnetic levitation vehicle. The operating principle of vacuum-levitation transport system (VLTS) as described by Prof. Lapidus is based on magnetic suspension rail system with uni-polar magnets attached to the track structure.
The 1200 km/h “flying” train will pose serious compete to airline transport, shortening journey times from Moscow to Siberia’s third largest city, Krasnoyarsk to 3 or 4 hours.
In 2014, Russian Railways and the state owned nuclear power company Rosatom Corporation signed an agreement to jointly develop a magnetic levitation (maglev) rail line for container freight transportation. The cooperation agreement also included the creation of a 3-kilometre test system in the port of Ust-Luga. Last year, the Russian Government has endorsed a USD 780 million project for a 70 km long dedicated container maglev (magnetic levitation) railway connecting terminals in Bronka and Ust-Luga sea ports. According to World Cargo News, a successful demonstration of a platform with a 28t 40ft container being levitated 25mm took place at the Alexandrovsk rail plant (Pushkin). The plant is part of the Saint Petersburg Railway Innovation Development Centre, whose head, Anatoly Zaytsev, said the load could be increased to 80t at a travel speed of 250 km/h.