India’s First Hyperloop Transport System Will Connect Mumbai With Pune!
Hyperloop is a radical new transportation system which uses electricity and magnets to propel people through specially constructed tubes at high speeds.
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. This new transport system is expected to cut down the travel time between the 2 cities to a mere 25 minutes from the current minimum of 3 hours.
The system which will connect India’s financial capital to Maharashtra’s leading manufacturing and IT hub will also provide connectivity to the new Navi Mumbai International Airport. And all this will be accomplished by the year 2024. It will also reduce the strain on local trains and the Mumbai-Pune expressway. In all the system will benefit around 26 million people who commute between these cities for various reasons.
We had reported last year that the government of Andhra Pradesh had signed an MOU with Hyperloop one to connect Vijayawada with their new capital Amravati.
Hyperloop One Meets Magnetic Maharashtra
The Hyperloop transportation corridor is being undertaken under the ‘Magnetic Maharashtra’ initiative. While Andhra Pradesh was the first to move to even consider this technology, it looks like the first Hyperloop corridor will be set up between Mumbai and Pune. Incidentally, if the deadlines are maintained and met, India might be the first country in the world to get a working, commercial Hyperloop system of transportation.
Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder and Virgin Hyperloop Chairman, made the announcement accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadanvis. He said,
“We have signed an agreement with Maharashtra to build a Virgin Hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune, beginning with an operational demonstration track in the region,”
Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone of the transport system, accompanied by Mr Fadnavis during the Magnetic Maharashtra investor summit.
Hyperloop One: A Huge Opportunity
Branson feels that India is a ‘gigantic’ opportunity and has future plans to make India the export hub of Hyperloop tubes. The tubes are said to operate autonomously and will be powered by electricity.
Speaking at the event, he reiterated the importance of an alternate transport system to ease the congestion between Mumbai and Pune.
“Mumbai-Pune is one of the busiest routes in the world, anybody who uses it regularly knows it can be an unpleasant route to travel on. The study just shows that the opportunity is enormous and the government is welcoming it with open arms and they are working very closely with us to make it happen. Three years from now we will finish the test run on this route and six to seven years from now the route will be commercially opened,”
The Hyperloop project is also expected to bring in an investment of billions of dollars and will create thousands of jobs in addition to opening up new business and investments in the region. 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.
Richard Branson also stressed on the pricing factor claiming that it will be a transport system for the masses and not just an elite few.
“Price point will be at the level of any other alternative mode of transportation. We are not pricing this as something only for wealthy, this will be available to the masses and I think it will have an impact on peoples lives, it will increase the number of peoples jobs, in this mega-region of 26 million. This has a potential to change the economic status of this state, you could be employed in Pune and live in Mumbai or vice versa,”
While a high-speed Hyperloop system seems like a distant dream, it does feel one step closer with this recent announcement. What do you think of the Hyperloop? Share your opinion in the comments below.