This will lead to the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route being built in two phases, with an operational demonstration track constructed between two points on the route. It will reduce the travel time between the two megacities to 25 minutes from 3 hours. And, according to The Economic Times, India just might be the first market for Hyperloop One, ahead of the Middle East, Northern Europe and the USA, where the company is considering rolling out its service. Reportedly, the manufacturing facility for the tubes is likely to come up in and around Pune.
The company says when the hyperloop is complete, it will connect the cities of Pune and Mumbai in just 25 minutes. It would involve a train-like pod, one gathers from Virgin Hyperloop One's designs, which will gain acceleration through the phenomenon of electric propulsion.
Virgin Hyperloop One is working on technology that would use magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes to transport people and goods at speeds of at least 240 miles an hour.
Richard Branson revealed that he considered India to be a big opportunity and also that there are plans to make India one of the export hubs for Hyperloop tubes.
The announcement follows the completion of a preliminary study into a hyperloop system between the two largest cities in Maharashtra. Neither Branson nor any government official has revealed any timelines for the hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune.
This isn't the first such project announced in India.
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When will the Mumbai to Pune hyperloop be ready?
We had reported a year ago that the government of Andhra Pradesh had signed an MOU with Hyperloop one to connect Vijayawada with their new capital Amravati.
Last year, the Andhra Pradesh government signed a MoU with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) for developing the project. And the test rides could start as soon as 2021.
How will the Mumbai to Pune hyperloop benefit you?
The first hyperloop route will link central Pune with Mumbai and the proposed Navi Mumbai global airport, the foundation stone for which was laid by Prime Minister Narenda Modi. According to Virgin, this could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tonnes annually. Additionally, by providing a cost-effective, time-effective and environmentally sustainable mode of transport would free up the now congested Mumbai-Pune expressway.
"The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will ultimately be executed by a public-private partnership which will save taxpayer money while delivering a transport option that will help the State of Maharashtra support economic growth, improve sustainability, and meet the transport demands", said Kiran Gitte, CEO of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority.
Who is investing in the Mumbai to Pune hyperloop?