|Abstract The aerodynamic drag on a train running in an evacuated tube varies with tube air pressure, train speed and shape, as well as blockage ratio. This paper uses numerical simulations to study the effects of different factors on the aerodynamic drag of a train running at subsonic speed in an evacuated tube. Firstly, we present the assumption of a steady state, two dimensional, incompressible viscous flow with lubricity wall conditions. Subsequently, based on the Navier-Stokes equation and the k-? turbulent models, we calculate the aerodynamic drag imposed on the column train with a 3-meter diameter running under different pressure and blockage ratio conditions in an evacuated tube transportation (ETT) system. The simulation is performed with FLUENT 6.3 software package. An analyses of the simulation results suggest that the blockage ratio for ETT should be in the range of 0.25–0.7, and the tube internal diameter in the range of 2–4 m, with the feasible vacuum pressure in the range of 1–10 000 Pa for the future subsonic ETT trains.