Indian State Signs Up for Hyperloop

file photo: hyperloop test site
file photo: Hyperloop test site

By MarEx 2018-02-19 18:21:03

The Indian State of Maharashtra plans to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai.

Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman Richard Branson announced the framework agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis. The signing was also attended by key investors Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO and Group Chairman of DP World, and Ziyavudin Magomedov, Chairman of Summa Group.

“I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century,” says Branson. “The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours. Virgin Hyperloop One can help India become a global transportation pioneer and forge a new world-changing industry.”

The hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai in 25-minutes, connecting 26 million people in the process. 130,000 vehicles travel between Pune and Mumbai daily and the route sees over 100 million people annually. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route eventually will support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time. The hyperloop system will also have the potential for the rapid movement of palletized freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune.

The Pune-Mumbai route could result in $55 billion in socio-economic benefits (time savings, emissions and accident reduction, operational cost savings, etc.) over 30 years of operation, according to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One. The 100 percent electric, efficient hyperloop system will ease severe expressway congestion and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tons annually.

“With Virgin Hyperloop One, we can create a sustainable infrastructure that will enhance the State of Maharashtra's competitiveness and attract new investment and businesses,” said Fadnavis. “The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route will be an economic catalyst for the region and create tens of thousands of jobs for India’s world-class manufacturing, construction, service, and IT sectors and aligns with Make in India initiatives.”

The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will begin with a six-month in-depth feasibility study which will analyze and define the route including environmental impact, the economic and commercial aspects of the route, the regulatory framework and cost and funding model recommendations. The feasibility study will build upon the findings of the pre-feasibility study signed in November 2017 between the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority and Virgin Hyperloop One.

Construction of the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route will be completed in two phases, beginning with an operational demonstration track built between two points on the route. The demonstration track will be constructed in two to three years from the signing of the agreement and serve as a platform for testing, certifying, and regulating the system for commercial operations. The second phase will target to complete construction of the full Pune-Mumbai route in five to seven years. 

Future projects could also extend the route to link central Pune with the New Pune International Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai with Pune’s industrial economic zones.