No Hyperloop system has yet hit the subsonic speeds that are promised with it. But, the routes are being mapped out and feasibility studies are being conducted. Virgin Hyperloop One announced the plans to build a 25-minute Hyperloop connection in India, connecting the cities of Pine and Mumbai. This currently takes 2 hours by car.
One the Hyperloop is fully developed, it will have passengers and cargo pods travel through near-vacuum tubes somewhere around 700 mph. There are many competitors for this technology but Virgin Hyperloop One is the only company so far to have built a full-scale test track, pod and shuttle. They also achieved a velocity of 240 mph in December tests.
“Fifty-one percent of total investments in India have come to Maharashtra, and the state is attracting global investors,” says Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The state’s overall development in the past few years is a shining example of change thinking and improving conditions in the country. Maharashtra government was ahead of all other Indian states in terms of infrastructure spend and the state is on its way to achieving its bold vision of a trillion dollar economy.”
According to reports from Virgin Hyperloop One, the 25-minute track between central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai will connect 26 million people and will be able to provide 15 million passenger trips per year. This could bring $55 billion worth of socio-economic benefits over 30 years of operation and more importantly will cut greenhouse gas emission by up to 150,000 tons a year.
These are the figures from the initial feasibility study by the company and a deeper six-month study will reveal more data. A demonstration track will be built in the next two to three years and a complete track will be finished in the next 5 to 7 years.
“I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century,” says Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman Richard Branson. “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.”
We will have to wait and see how the track fares and if we are actually going to see the Hyperloop in action.