The transportation of men and material safely at a faster speed is a major activity and challenge for the growing economies of the world. India is no exception to this, the country is facing a big challenge in providing the mass transit systems to its burgeoning population. Different modes of transportation are being tried and worked out like railways, metro rail, road transport, air transport, and now attempts are made towards reviving the water transport system in a big way. New age transportation like Bullet train and Hyperloop are very much in the news. India has already started implementing the first bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai promising high speed rail services between the two cities. Hyperloop transportation, a new technology is being tested in Pune, which promises to run at aircraft speed and complete 4 to 6 hours journey in 20 to 35 minutes flat. Hyperloop technology, brainchild of SpaceX famed Elon Musk is being implemented by Virgin Hyperloop in India. Sandeep Sharma takes a closer look at the futuristic transportation mode that has the potential to change the way we commute in India. It has the potential to make the other modes of transport outdated.
The Hyperloop mode of transportation allows 20-25 passengers seated in a floating pod to travel through tubes or tunnels up to a speed of 750 miles per hour. The pods use magnetic levitation to reduce friction while moving through the tubes or tunnel from which most of the air has been removed. Hyperloop is considered to be the future of mass transportation, which would be cost effective and fastest. Wikipedia describes Hyperloop as a proposed mode of passenger and/ or freight transportation, first used to describe an open-source vactrain design released by a jointteam from Tesla and SpaceX. Drawing heavily from Robert Goddard’s vactrain, a hyperloop is a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at high speed while being very efficient, thereby drastically reducing travel times over medium-range distances. Number of companies are working on Hyperloop, with many test runs conducted worldwide. Full fledge deployment of Hyperloop is yet to happen, and it has the potential to become the preferred mode of mass transportation.
Mumbai-pune Hyperloop Project
The proposed Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop Project would be the largest private infrastructure investment in the state of Maharashtra. The proposed project promises to link central Pune and Mumbai in less than 30 minutes, supporting up to 200 million passenger trips annually. Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), the project proponent, has proposed a two-phased approach for the project, with the construction of an 11.8 km demonstration track, followed by Phase 2 which would build the rest of the 100 km hyperloop system connecting Pune with Mumbai, with the option to add a stop at the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport. The Government of Maharashtra has recently declared the Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop Project as a public infrastructure project, with the Virgin Hyperloop One-DP World Consortium as the Original Project Proponent (OPP), thus recognizing hyperloop technology alongside other more traditional forms of mass transit. VHO is the only hyperloop company who has built a full-scale hyperloop test track and has completed hundreds of test runs to date. The company successfully operated a fullscale hyperloop vehicle using electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuumconditions, realizing a fundamentally new form of transportation that is faster, safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than existing modes. They currently have projects underway in India, KSA, the U.S. and the UAE. Learn more about Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology, vision, and ongoing projects.
As India moves ahead to create the first hyperloop project in the world, VHO has released new jobs figures for the entire project verified by KPMG, a strategic partner, estimating that it will create over 1.8 million direct and indirect jobs in the region. The projections take into account the jobs created via construction, operation, manufacturing and research and development over the life of the project. According to estimates by VHO in conjunction with KPMG, the total project will attract an investment of more than Rs.70,000 Crore over the duration of construction. Over its lifetime, the project is likely to create over $36 billion USD in socio-economic benefits resulting in a 2.6% increase in State GDP, and create new hyperloop component and manufacturing opportunities for the state of Maharashtra to supply projects within India, and export to the rest of the world.