Virgin Hyperloop One to connect Mumbai and Pune by 2024

Sir Richard Branson making the announcement at the Magnetic Maharashtra summit. Source Facebook

Sir Richard Branson making the announcement at the Magnetic Maharashtra summit. Source Facebook

If the project goes through as planned, India could be one of the first markets globally for the super fast transportation system ahead of North America, the Middle East, and Europe. "Supporting 150 million passenger trips per year, it would help create a thriving, competitive megaregion", he wrote on his blog. It should reduce the 2.5-hour auto journey or 3-hour train journey between the two cities to just 25 minutes, and will also stop off at Mumbai airport.

Though it is still too early to tell where exactly the hyperloop stations would be located in Mumbai, the transport system's city of origin, and Pune, its destination, what one does know for sure is that the Mumbai to Pune hyperloop will pass through the Navi Mumbai International Airport. The study is said to help them examine environmental and economic / commercial aspects, in addition to cost and funding model recommendations.

The project will enter a procurement stage upon the successful completion of the feasibility study to determine the public-private partnership structure.

Sir Branson also announced that the test run on this route would be completed within three-years and the route will be commercially opened three-years after that. Additionally, it will do so at little to no cost to the environment as the project will be completely self-powered with electricity generated by its own solar panels. Future projects could also extend the route to link central Pune with the New Pune International Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai with Pune's industrial economic zones.

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All our global businesses grew adjusted profits and we concluded the transformation programme that we started in 2015", he said. The company has set aside a further $164 million of regulatory provisions, but this is down from $344 million in 2016.

Maharashtra's Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop would serve as, "an economic catalyst for the region and create tens of thousands of jobs for India's world-class manufacturing, construction, service and IT sectors". This travel system will drastically reduce the traveling time between the two cities to 25 minutes.

Virgin Hyperloop claimed that this Hyperloop project will bring forth tremendous economic and social benefits for people.

The Virgin Hyperloop is capable of reaching speeds up to 1,000 km/h, however the latest study has been based on an average speed of 350 km/h, while the infrastructure will be able to handle speeds up to 600-1,000 km/h. The Hyperloop One is capable of travelling at speeds up to 1000 kmph. "It's quite possible that India would be the first", Branson said, adding the system costs about hundreds of millions of dollars to build. However, according to one report, the fare would similar to airfare between the two cities - discounting factors such as time of booking and availability of seats. The Memorandums of Understanding signed with the latter states governments previous year to conduct feasibility studies were a step in this direction. A ticket for a 500-km distance on HTT's Hyperloop may cost under $30 (about Rs 2,000), Gresta explained.

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