An agreement between Richard Branson's Virgin Hyperloop One and the government of Maharashtra will see the construction of the second ever operational test track of hyperloop, and the startup's first location outside America. The first hyperloop route in India will link central Pune with the megapolis as well as the Navi Mumbai international airport and it also aims to reduce the travel time between the two mega cities, Mumbai and Pune, to 20 minutes from three hours at the present.
The Virgin Group founder and Virgin Hyperloop One chairman Sir Richard Branson announced the framework agreement in the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to begin the development of the route on the occasion of Magnetic Maharashtra event. The key investors of Hyperloop One along Branson are Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO and Group Chairman of DP World, and Ziyavudin Magomedov, Chairman of Summa Group.
The Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson said on the first day of Magnetic Maharashtra investor summit that Hyperloop has the capability of going up to 1,000 km an hour, but on this route, it would be about 350 km. The journey to Pune would take about 14-25 minutes at 350 kmph, which now takes about 3.5 hours.
The cost of building a hyperloop is much less than that of building a high-speed railway line, he added.
Branson also said, claiming the project will create thousands of jobs. Details such as the project cost and a time-line are yet to be announced.
The present Hyperloop route, which will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai, will eventually support 150-million passenger trips annually, and will also save more than 90 million hours of travel time. Cities in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are next in the line.