Virgin Hyperloop One To Build India’s First Hyperloop System
It’s am ambitious plan, but it could pay big dividendsby Jonathan Lopez, on
Virgin Hyperloop One just announced plans to build India’s first hyperloop transportation system. The new high-tech train will connect the cities of Pune and Mumbai and will help to support economic interests in the region.
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Once complete, the network would reduce travel time between the two cities to just 25 minutes
Founded in 2014, Hyperloop One is based out of Los Angeles, California, employing some 280 individuals. Despite being relatively small and new, the company received significant investment from English billionaire Sir Richard Branson, and just last year renamed itself “Virgin Hyperloop One.” Now, the company has big plans, as it was recently announced it would build the first hyperloop route in India as part of a partnership with the Indian State of Maharastra.
“I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century,” said Hyperloop One Chairman Sir Richard Branson in a press release. “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.”
For now, the proposed route will connect Pune and Mumbai, linking up with the Navi Mumbai International Airport along the way. Once complete, the network would reduce travel time between the two cities to just 25 minutes, as compared to two-and-a-half hours it would take by car and the more than three hours it would take by train. It’s said the system would provide service to some 150 million riders annually, and could save over 90 million hours of travel time per year.
It's believed that the system would provide upwards of $55 billion in socio-economic benefits over a 30-year operational period, including time savings, accident reduction, emissions reduction, and operational cost savings.
In addition to passengers, the hyperloop could also be used to move freight. It’s believed the system would provide upwards of $55 billion in socio-economic benefits to the region over a 30-year operational period, with the myriad benefits including time savings, accident reduction, and operational cost savings. The all-electric technology could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 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 business,” said the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra 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.”
Before construction can begin, Virgin Hyperloop One and the Indian government will conduct a six-month feasibility study looking at things like the possible environmental impact, economic impact, commercial impact, funding, costs, and other more. Once all the paperwork gets finalized, the next step will be to build an “Operational Demonstration Track” between two locations on the route. After that, the final route will be built in five to seven year’s time.
Once all the paperwork gets finalized, the next step will be to build an “Operational Demonstration Track” between two locations on the route. After that, the final route will be built in five to seven year's time.
Why India? While the nation’s rail network is considered absolutely vital to daily life, it’s also extremely dangerous, with an excessive accident rate and hundreds of fatalities every year. To make matters worse, there’s also a growing pollution problem and widespread congestion as passenger cars become more and more widespread.
The hyperloop looks to address these issues head on. Using an electromagnetically levitated “pod” traveling through a low-pressure tube, the technology would conceivably be much safer than traditional rail, especially when compared to the aging infrastructure seen in India. The hyperloop will be much faster as well – upwards of 670 mph, if preliminary testing holds true in the real world.
Read more about Hyperloop One.
Source: Virgin Hyperloop One