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Indian state of Maharashtra announces intent to build first Hyperloop route

Indian state of Maharashtra announces intent to build first Hyperloop route

On
Feb 18, it was announced that Indian State of Maharashtra signed a historic
agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One to begin the development of the first
Hyperloop route in India, connecting Pune and Mumbai.

Currently,
the Pune-Mumbai corridor serves 130,000 vehicles daily and over 100 million
people annually.  Once completed, the
Navi Mumbai International Airport along the Pune-Mumbai corridor will be able
to serve 60 million passengers annually.

The
Framework Agreement was announced by Virgin Group Founder and Virgin Hyperloop
One Chairman Sir Richard Branson, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra
Modi and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis.

According
to press
release
issued by Virgin Hyperloop One, Indian State of Maharashtra announced
its intent to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai. Construction will
begin with an operational demonstration track.

Pune-Mumbai
route will support an annual number of 150 million passenger trips and help
India boost its economic competitiveness through high-speed transportation
innovation and job creation.

The
hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and
Mumbai in 25 minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving,
competitive megaregion.

The high-capacity
passenger and cargo hyperloop route eventually will support 150 million
passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, and
providing citizens with greater opportunities and social and economic mobility.

The
hyperloop system will also have the potential for the rapid movement of
palletized freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune,
creating a robust backbone for on-demand deliveries, supply chains, and
next-generation logistics.

“With
Virgin Hyperloop One, we can create a sustainable infrastructure that will
enhance the State of Maharashtra's competitiveness and attract new investment
and businesses,” said Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis.

He
also commented that the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route will be an economic
catalyst for the region and create tens of thousands of jobs for India’s
world-class manufacturing, construction, service, and IT sectors and aligns
with Make in India initiatives.

Virgin
Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd also commented that India would be a tremendous
market for hyperloop and that the Pune-Mumbai route is “one of the strongest
economic cases” the company has seen to-date.

According
to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One, the Pune-Mumbai
route could result in US$55 billion in socio-economic benefits over 30 years of
operation, through time savings, emissions and accident reduction, operational
cost savings, etc.

The
electric, efficient hyperloop system will ease severe expressway congestion and
could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tons annually.

The
Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will begin with a six-month in-depth feasibility
study which will analyse and define the route alignment including environmental
impact, the economic and commercial aspects of the route, the regulatory
framework, and cost and funding model recommendations.

The
feasibility study will build upon the findings of the pre-feasibility
study signed
in November 2017
between the Pune Metropolitan Regional Development
Authority and Virgin Hyperloop One.

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

“The
Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project will ultimately be executed by a public-private
partnership which will save taxpayer money while delivering a transport option
that will help the State of Maharashtra support economic growth, improve
sustainability, and meet the transport demands,” said CEO of the Pune
Metropolitan Region Development Authority Kiran Gitte.

Construction
of the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route would commence after procurement and will be
completed in two phases, beginning with an operational demonstration track
built between two points on the route:

(1)      The
demonstration track will be constructed in two to three years from the signing
of the agreement and serve as a platform for testing, certifying, and
regulating the system for commercial operations.

(2)      The
second phase will target to complete construction of the full Pune-Mumbai route
in 5 to 7 years.

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.

“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 Virgin Group Founder and Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman Sir
Richard Branson.

Other
than the Indian state of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh is also exploring hyperloop
transportation technology for connecting two cities, Amravati and Vijaywada.

As reported
earlier
by OpenGov, the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDBsigned a Memorandum of
Understanding
 (MOU) with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) to facilitate the development of
HTT's Hyperloop Transportation System. The project will use a Public
Private Partnership (PPP) model, with funding primarily from private investors.

The
Amravati-Vijaywada hyperloop could potentially reduce travel time between the
two cities from 1 hour 10 minutes to 6 minutes.

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