Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One has signed an agreement with the Indian state of Maharashtra to build a test track to establish the feasibility of constructing a hyperloop system between Mumbai and Pune.
The tube-based transport system, formerly known simply as Hyperloop One, was conceptualised by SpaceX boffin Elon Musk and was rebranded Virgin Hyperloop One after a sizeable investment from the Virgin Group, placing Richard Branson among the board members.
If the complete hyperloop route gets built, it will link central Pune to Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai in 25-minutes, compared to a two-and-a-half hour commute by car, or over three hours by train.
“I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours,” said Sir Richard Branson.
Ryan Kelly, Virgin Hyperloop One’s director of marketing says that the track from Mumbai to Pune could be completed in three to five years.
Virgin Hyperloop One has been testing in Nevada (reaching speeds of 386km/h) and plans on having three production Hyperloop systems in service by 2021, according to its website.
Source: Virgin Hyperloop One