Published: Tue, February 20, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mumbai to Pune in 25 minutes via Hyperloop

Mumbai to Pune in 25 minutes via Hyperloop

On Sunday, February 18, when India was holidaying, the Richard Branson-led Virgin Group signed a framework agreement with the Government of Maharashtra to build a Hyperloop transport system between Mumbai and Pune.

The inaugural hyperloop route, which will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai, mostly running alongside the Expressway, is expected connect 26 million people.

A new a partnership with the Indian State of Maharashtra has set out the planned route, which has the potential to link central Pune with the New Pune International Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai with Pune's industrial economic zones.

Hyperloop, which uses magnetic technology to move tubes at high speed, will make it possible to travel from Mumbai to Pune in 25 minutes.

"I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century", said Sir Richard.

Hyperloop is the name given to a proposed ground-transport system that could potentially travel faster than a commercial airliner and at a fraction of the price.

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If all goes to plan, and travel time is indeed cut down to less than 30 minutes, Mumbai and Pune could balloon into one megapolis, and what is now an intercity travel could end up being a routine commute. The futuristic technology uses magnetic levitation or air caster "skis" along with low-pressure levels inside the steel tube to create little to no friction for the pods so that they can travel at projected speeds that exceed 1,000km/hr. Neither Branson nor any government official has revealed any timelines for the hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune. "The Pune-Mumbai route is one of the strongest economic cases we have seen to-date", said Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. According to The Economic Times, India could 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.

"With Virgin Hyperloop One, we can create a sustainable infrastructure that will enhance Maharashtra's competitiveness and attract new investment and businesses".

Notably, Virgin began identifying "potential routes", analyse "high-level economic" and "technical viability of hyperloop transport solutions" in India in November previous year, BGR noted. The Times of India reported, quoting sources, that construction of a test track can start in early 2019 and finish by the end of 2021 at an estimated cost of 200 billion rupees ($3.09 billion). The company will soon begin a six month in-depth feasibility report where it will analyse and plan the route alignment, taking into consideration various factors such as environmental impact, economic and commercial viability, the regulatory framework, and cost and funding model suggestions.

Where is the Mumbai to Pune hyperloop being built?

It is also worth to note that the cost of building a Hyperloop system is much less than the cost of high-speed railway line.

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