Richard Branson unveils Hyperloop plans for India

By:Vandita Jadeja 2018-02-19

British tycoon Richard Branson is proposing to build an effective and super-fast transportation system in the country which will connect Pune with the planned new airport in Mumbai within 25 minutes that will help save three hours.

The founder of Virgin Group has signed an agreement in Mumbai for a broad Hyperloop framework. There will be a demonstration track built in two to three years from signing of the final agreement and the second phase will aim to complete the construction of the entire Pune Mumbai route within five to seven years.

The tube-based transportation system was first theorized in 2013 by Elon Musk in order to help address the infrastructure bottlenecks India is struggling with. Narendra Modi is plowing INR 8.6 trillion in order to upgrade the rail networks in the country and has also kicked off a plan to build a 316-mile bullet train line that will link Mumbai and Ahmedabad. This Hyperloop project could result in $55 billion socio-economic benefits over the next 30 years of operations.

Branson mentioned that Virgin Hyperloop One can have the same impact on India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century. The Mumbai Pune route is an ideal first corridor as a part of the national network. The route sees maximum traffic throughout the year and the Hyperloop will save on time.

Virgin Hyperloop One has been testing in Nevada with varied speeds. It has tested with speeds reaching 240 miles an hour and is working towards the goal of having three production systems in service by 2021. The startup is working on technology which would use magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes in order to transport people and goods at high speed. The cost for the same will be reasonable and the speed will be much higher.