Los-Angeles based Virgin Hyperloop One on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government to build and develop the world's first operational hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune.
Travellers who currently require roughly three-four hours to complete the 140-kilometre stretch can now wave their traffic woes goodbye as hyperloop is expected to cover the same in 14-25 minutes. Hyperloop does have the capability to hit much higher speeds (up to 1,000 kmph), but as mentioned in a report by The Hindu Business Line, on this route, it would be limited to roughly 350 km. This, however, will be raised to about 600 kmph in time.
Pune-Mumbai @Virgin @HyperloopOne route could result in USD $55 billion in socio-economic benefits, time savings, accident reduction & operational cost savings, over 30 years https://t.co/IkYbfIs2yi pic.twitter.com/wnPzCOFkHN
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) February 18, 2018
The route is also expected to connect Navi Mumbai International Airport which would make it easier for more travellers. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Magnetic Maharashtra Global Business Summit in Mumbai.
What would be even bigger news is the fact that India may become the first country to have an operational system, even as Dubai is a close second.
Richard Branson, Company Chairman and business tycoon, stated that it would take the project three years to complete the test run and roughly 7 years to begin commercial operations.
Interacting with journalists, he said, "I have sat in Indian traffic every time I have come here, it’s not a pleasant experience, and if I were an Indian a lot of my life would have been spent sitting in traffic jams. This is a miserable way of spending one’s life."
Branson also added that the project will be "for the masses" and not a premium priced service. Virgin Hyperloop One is also in talks with the Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka state governments to add projects in India.