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World's first hyperloop? Indian route promises Mumbai to Pune in 25 minutes

World's first hyperloop? Indian route promises Mumbai to Pune in 25 minutes

Hyperloop is coming to India.

Even as Maharashtra gears up to begin work on the Rs 1.08 lakh crore (approximately $17 billion) Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, the state government has gone ahead and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Richard Branson's Virgin Air to check the feasibility of building a Hyperloop-based transportation system between Mumbai and Pune.

Virgin Hyperloop One could become a key part of DP World and NIIF's aim of removing inefficiencies in the supply chain.

Travelling between the Mumbai, the financial capital of India and Pune, one of the biggest IT hubs of the country, would soon be reduced to only 25 minutes.

"This network could create the largest connected urban area in the world by linking almost 75 million people across the three metropolitan areas of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to improve global competitiveness, reduce congestion and emissions, and provide citizens with better social and economic mobility", Hyperloop One had said in a statement. The Maharashtra Hyperloop project will be preceded by a six-month feasibility study which will analyse the project's environmental impact, economic and commercial feasibility and the costs involved. However, Virgin cites it will be divided into two phases: the first phase will set a demonstration track to built in two to three years of signing the agreement.

After successfully completing the feasibility study to determine the public-private partnership structure, the project will enter a procurement stage. Meanwhile, the Hindu Business Line reports that it would take at least three years to complete the test run and about six years to start the commercial operations.

The details about the project cost and time are yet to be announced. It will link central Pune to Navi Mumbai global airport and Mumbai. "The Pune-Mumbai route is one of the strongest economic cases we have seen to-date", said Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. Travel time between Pune and Mumbai is expected to be cut short to 25 minutes.

The route could lead to United States dollars 55 billion (Euro 39.2 billion) in socio-economic benefits over 30 years of operation, according to an initial pre-feasibility study by Virgin Hyperloop One.

Virgin Hyperloop One, which has been testing in Nevada with speeds reaching 240 miles an hour, is working to meet a goal of having three production systems in service by 2021, according to its website.

He also said, "We are in discussion with a lot of different people in different areas".

The company also claimed that its hyperloop can travel up to the average speed of 350 km per hour and this can further increase to 600-1000 km per hour with more improvement in the infrastructure. This technology is not yet commercially operational anywhere in the world and if all goes well, India may have the world's first operational Hyperloop route. The Memorandums of Understanding signed with the latter states governments a year ago to conduct feasibility studies were a step in this direction.

How much will it cost to ride the Mumbai to Pune hyperloop?


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