Virgin Signs Agreement to Build Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop

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Under the proposal, the final route would be built within seven years, following the successful completion of a test track.

The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route is eventually expected to make 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time. "It will be an economic catalyst for the region and create tens of thousands of jobs for India's world-class manufacturing, construction, services and IT sectors, and aligns with Make in India initiatives".

The deal that could propel Maharashtra to great heights was signed by Virgin Group Founder, Richard Branson in the presence of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during the "Magnetic Maharashtra" investment summit on Sunday. Additionally, the company expects the hyperloop route to ease expressway congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tonnes on a yearly basis.

Aiming to reduce the travel time between Pune and Mumbai, Richard Branson-backed Virgin Hyperloop One has signed a Framework Agreement with the Maharashtra government to build a hyperloop transportation system between the two cities.

That's important, since around a quarter of all the freight that passes through Mumbai's ports has Pune as its destination or place of origin.

Hyperloop One's parent company Virgin has dropped some concrete details about their plans to bring Hyperloop to regions across the globe. So if you're all ready to hop onto the hyperloop in about five years and pick up some baked goodies from Kayani's, Pune, here's everything you need to know about Virgin Hyperloop One's latest project and how it will impact your travel.

Hyperloop is the name given to a proposed ground-transport system that could potentially travel faster than a commercial airliner and at a fraction of the price.

The route could lead to United States dollars 55 billion (Euro 39.2 billion) in socio-economic benefits over 30 years of operation, according to an initial pre-feasibility study by Virgin Hyperloop One. But thanks to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Hyperloop One, it will soon be neither one of those.

The Virgin Hyperloop has a capability of going at an average speed of 350 km per hour, which can be stretched to 600-1000 km per hour with further development in infrastructure.

A six-month in-depth feasibility study will analyze and define the route alignment including environmental impact, the economic and commercial aspects of the route, the regulatory framework, and cost and funding model recommendations. The passengers are carried in a pod which travels at super-speeds in low-pressure tube. While Andhra Pradesh was the first to move to even consider this technology, it looks like the first Hyperloop corridor will be set up between Mumbai and Pune. According to Branson, the project will be privately funded and the company is also in discussion with various other Indian partners.

The test track is expected to be built within three years, meaning that India could be running test journeys by 2021.