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.
Mumbai: Virgin Hyperloop One, the futuristic transport startup backed by British tycoon Richard Branson, has announced plans for a superfast rail network linking India's financial capital Mumbai to the city of Pune.
Virgin Hyperloop One could become a key part of DP World and NIIF's aim of removing inefficiencies in the supply chain. Billionaire investor Branson claims Hyperloop will drastically reduce the travel time between the two cities to 25 minutes from the present three hours.
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"This network could create the largest connected urban area in the world by linking almost 75 million people across the three metropolitan areas of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to improve global competitiveness, reduce congestion and emissions, and provide citizens with better social and economic mobility", Hyperloop One had said in a statement. While the first demonstration track will be built in the next two to three years, the second phase will see the Hyperloop One being built for commercial use in five to seven years.
After the public-private partnership for building the track has been established a demonstration track will be built, and is expected to be complete within two-to-three years.
The announcement about the details regarding the project cost and time period is yet to come. 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.
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Branson said the Virgin hyperloop project in Maharashtra will be prefaced by a test track between Mumbai and Pune, work on which will start after a six-month feasibility study.
The Pune-Mumbai route is expected to pull $55 billion (Rs 3.5 lakh crore) in socio-economic benefits (time savings, emissions cuts, accident reduction, operational cost saving etc.) over 30 years of operation, as per an initial feasibility study made by Virgin Hyperloop One.
The Hyperloop One transportation system stems from the idea of pneumatic tube system that was once popular in the late 19 century. "We are moving in a direction where the state is policy driven and government is performance driven", he said. The proposed hyperloop route project will completely be an electric system and will have the capability to travel up to 1,000 km/hour. Although the Hyperloop has been hailed as an alternative to the existing transportation system, many believe that the concept is flawed and impractical. The in-depth study will reveal most of the operational issues which will then decide the feasibility of the project on the route.
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How much will it cost to ride the Mumbai to Pune hyperloop? However, according to one report, the fare would similar to airfare between the two cities - discounting factors such as time of booking and availability of seats.