Virgin ties up with Maharashtra to build Mumbai-Pune 'hyperloop'

Rodiano Bonacci
Febbraio 19, 2018

Los Angeles based Virgin Hyperloop One has signed a framework agreement with the Maharashtra government to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai beginning with an operational demonstration track.

With Maharashtra planning to build a hyperloop system between Pune and Mumbai, India may perhaps be the first country to host the high-speed travel system, even as Dubai is close on the heels.

The Virgin Hyperloop One team will begin operations only after studying the proposed route for six months. The proposed route will pass through the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport and eventually undertake 150 million passenger-trips a year.

The company has, however, assured that the Virgin Hyperloop will be delivered at an affordable price, and will be available for all, not just for the wealthy.

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. And, according to The Economic Times, India just might be the first market for Hyperloop One, ahead of the Middle East, Northern Europe and the U.S., where the company is considering rolling out its service. The system, within 30 years, would result in $55 billion (Rs 3.54 lakh crore) in socio-economic benefits, time savings, accident reduction and operational cost savings, the businessman added, quoting from a feasibility study that the company had conducted. "The socioeconomic benefits of the project is United States dollars 55 billion", Branson said, claiming that the project will create thousands of jobs. In the future, there could be another channel for light cargo movement, linking central Pune with the New Pune International Airport, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, in Mumbai, with Pune's industrial economic zones. "Price point will be at level of any other alternative mode of transportation".

"I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century". It takes three to four hours at present to travel the 140-km distance.

Actually, the company hopes to eventually set up a network, creating "the largest connected urban area in the world by linking almost 75 million people across the three metropolitan areas " of the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh". Reliance Industries CMD Mukesh Ambani laid out the framework of the first-ever integrated digital industrial area in partnership with global companies. We will invest more than Rs60,000 crore in collaboration with global companies including Dell, HP, Cisco, Seemens.

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