Before Mumbai, Pune to get "world's largest Hyperloop demonstration track"
Virgin Hyperloop One, which is aiming to build a high-speed hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune, has other tasks at hand first. Like a Rs. 3,000cr project for a 15-km-long hyperloop demonstration track in Pune. This track, planned between Wakad and the Gahunje Stadium, will be the world's largest demonstration track for Hyperloop technology, said Kiran Gitte, Commissioner, Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).
Here's what a hyperloop actually is
Hyperloop is (as of now) a theoretical mode of transport which would carry people, or cargo, in pods over long distances at high speeds through steel lubes. They would be propelled by magnetic levitation and large enough vacuum pumps, letting them travel as fast as planes. Proponents claim they would be cheaper and more environment-friendly than today's modes too.
A demonstration track before an actual route
The demonstration track is being planned as a pre-cursor to the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop, Gitte said. It'll be constructed so that "it'll be a part of the final Hyperloop route between Pune-Mumbai," he added. PMRDA is supplying land for this, while Virgin Hyperloop One will provide 100% investment. Two sites have been proposed: one along the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, and another along the old Pune-Mumbai highway.
Project is going to take 2-3 years: Gitte
Describing the process, Gitte said a team from Virgin Hyperloop One will visit Pune soon and finalize the route. The company will then have to obtain several clearance certificates. The demonstration track is expected to be completed in two-three years.
Hyperloop One has big plans for India
Hyperloop One, backed by investors like the Virgin Group, Caspian VC Partners and DP World Ltd., believes this mode is the fix for India's infrastructure problems. Branson signed an agreement with Mumbai in February for a Mumbai-Pune system that would reduce travel-time to just 25 minutes. The target for rollout is 2025. It then plans to build a national network, said CTO Josh Giegel.
Mumbai-Pune hyperloop will carry 10,000 passengers per hour
Virgin Hyperloop One has already completed the pre-feasibility study for the planned route, according to the CMO. It will be able to transport 10,000 passengers in an hour at average speeds of 350kmph, that can go up to 1,000kmph. PMRDA says 3L commuters and 1.10L vehicles, including public and private, travel between the two cities daily.