Mumbai-Pune superfast Hyperloop system could soon become the world's first fully-functional Hyperloop project, courtesy of an American transportation technology company called Virgin Hyperloop One. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis-led cabinet has designated Virgin Hyperloop One's futuristic transportation system a “public infrastructure project.” As a result, it can now be recognised as one of the traditional forms of mass transit among others.
Maharashtra Infrastructure Development Enabling Authority has already approved Virgin Hyperloop One-DP World (VHO-DPW) Consortium as the Original Project Proponent (OPP). This Hyperloop project aims to connect people in both the cities in less than 35 minutes.
“Support for hyperloop transportation systems is mounting across the world and India has led the charge to bring hyperloop to fruition since the early stages of development,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman Virgin Hyperloop One.
“This is history in the making. The race is on to host the first hyperloop transportation system in the world, and today’s announcement puts India firmly in the lead. This is a significant milestone and the first of many important steps toward bringing hyperloop to the masses,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One.
DP World (DPW) investing $500 million USD in private capital to complete Phase One of the project that includes the construction of demonstration of its test track. Virgin Hyperloop One's deadline for the construction of Phase-1 is 2023 while the development is set to begin sometime 2019-2020.
Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said, “Maharashtra and India is at the forefront of hyperloop infrastructure building now and this is a moment of pride for our people.”
The distance between Mumbai and Pune is about 150 kilometres. By road, it takes more than 3 hours to complete the journey. The Hyperloop project aims to cover the same distance in less than 35 minutes. The project is expected to benefit more than 150 million travellers annually.
Hyperloop can move passengers and cargo faster than traditional methods of transport.
The Hyperloop tube vehicle accelerates, courtesy of electric propulsion in a low-pressure tube and floats above the track using magnetic levitation. Essentially, Hyperloop pods can travel at airline speeds with the help of ultra-low aerodynamic drag. Virgin Hyperloop One is said to make 50 rides per day with each pod carrying 28 passengers at a time.