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General Electric, SNCF may join Hyperloop project in Russia as investors — official

June 22, 2016, 14:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The fund and foreign investors will support g the project not only in Russia but on the Middle Eastern and Asian markets

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© AP Photo/John Locher

MOSCOW, June 22. /TASS/. General Electric and SNCF may join the project of high-speed Hyperloop train in Russia as investors, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said in an interview aired by the Rossiya-24 TV news channel on Wednesday.

"We’re now discussing with Russian Railways first pilot projects and therefore will hopefully be testing them in the nearest future in Russia as well, and such major investors as General Electric and SCNF (French National Railways - TASS), the leading industrial companies, are putting their faith in the project and obviously we hope it will be successful in Russia as well," he said.

The official stressed that the Russian Direct Investment Fund and foreign investors would support the project in Asia and the Middle East.

"RDIF together with international partners will be supporting the project not only in Russia but on the Middle Eastern and Asian markets," CEO Kirill Dmitriev was quoted as saying.

Also, the Fund announced its investment in Hyperloop One, which develops the Hyperloop transport system, in Series B financing round in April 2016 together with Sherpa Ventures, Formation 8, ZhenFund, CaspianVenture Partners, 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, FastDigital, Western Technology Investment (WTI), GE Ventures, SNCF.

The Hyperloop train technology, an invention of billionaire Elon Musk, makes it possible to produce trains with the highest speed for a contemporary mode of ground transport.

As was reported earlier the Russian Direct Investment Fund might attract Chinese investment in the project. According to Russia’s Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov, the cost of a pilot section of the Hyperloop railway, which will connect China to Russia’s far eastern port Zarubino, is estimated at 30-40 bln rubles ($455.4-607.2 mln).

The Russian Railways said earlier it studying the possibility of using high-speed Hyperloop trains for freight carriages. Its experts have formed a joint working group to study the technology. The Caspian VC Partners venture fund set up by Russian businessman Ziyavutdin Magomedov is the project’s investor in Russia.

Musk’s idea consists in the fact that capsules with passengers and cargoes will move in tubes installed above the surface, in which technical vacuum will be maintained at a speed of 1,220 kilometers per hour with intervals of no more than 30 seconds. Next time the Hyperloop train will be tested in Nevada (the United States) in December 2016.

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