You’ve heard of supersonic planes but they’re largely limited to the airforce because the only passenger supersonic jet, the Concorde, has been out of service for many years now and won’t be returning. It might be a while before we get to fly in a supersonic airplane once again but perhaps we’ll come close to breaking the sound barrier in a train. South Korea is working on a near-supersonic hyper-tube train that could travel at speeds of up to 621 miles per hour.

The state-run Korea Railroad Research Institute is working on this project which involves developing a hyper-tube train that’s capable of reaching new-supersonic speeds. The Korea Railroad Research Institute has said that this train is going to be ready in the “not-too-distant future.”

“We hope to create an ultra-fast train, which will travel inside a state-of-the-art low-pressure tube at lighting speeds, in the not-too-distant future. To that end, we will cooperate with associated institutes as well as Hanyang University to check the viability of various related technologies called the hyper-tube format over the next three years,” said a spokesperson for the KRRI.

The spokesperson added that countries such as the United States and China are also competing to take the lead in hyper-tube train technology so South Korea is going to try its best to preempt its global rivals.

When this train enters service, it will be able to ferry passengers between Seoul and Busan in under half an hour. This trip normally takes around five hours on public transportation or just under an hour by airplane.

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