Branson brings hyperloop to India

The journey time between Mumbai and the university town of Pune could be slashed from three hours to 25 minutes within a decade, if  Virgin boss Richard Branson’s plans for a hyperloop  link between the two conurbations ever get off the ground; and what seemed to be literally a pipe dream a few years ago came closer to becoming a reality  earlier this week when the hugely successful British entrepreneur signed an agreement of intent with the authorities in Maharashtra that could see work begin on a 10km test track for Virgin Hyperloop as early as next year and operational by 2021.
Based on the technology designed by Tesla’s Elon Musk, the hyperloop would use electricity to transport passengers and cargo in capsules through a network of low-pressure tubes between the two cities, and is expected to have the capacity to carry up to 150 million passengers each year. 
“I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th,” Branson told potential investors  at the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit.   “The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours. Virgin Hyperloop One can help India become a global transportation pioneer and forge a new world-changing industry.”
According to a statement released jointly by Virgin and the Maharashtra government ,the Pune-Mumbai route could result in $55bn  worth of socio-economic benefits for the  corridor running  between the two cities  over a  30-year period, as well as easing chronic  expressway congestion and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tons per annum. 
“The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will ultimately be executed by a public-private partnership which will save the taxpayer money while delivering a transport option that will help the State of Maharashtra support economic growth, improve sustainability, and meet the transport demands,” the CEO of Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority Kiran Gitte added.
Marahastra is the second Indian state to look seriously at the potential of  hyperloop technology in the last six months. Last November,  the south-west state of Andhra Pradesh also signed a memorandum of understanding – in this case  with  California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies – to explore the possibility of connecting the cities of Vijaywada and Amaravati.
The authorities in Marahastra also looking to use more traditional high-speed rail technology to cut the journey time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad  from seven hours to two. Japan is providing a low-interest yen loan to cover roughly 80% of the $17.5bn, 12-station project’s cost.

Source: nikkei