A 14-minute hyperloop route between Mumbai and Pune could result in India’s “first and largest megapolis” if the Maharashtra government’s pact with an American company succeeds, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Thursday.
Virgin Hyperloop One signed a pact with the Pune development authority on Thursday to conduct a preliminary study to identify possible routes for the new transportation mode. The study will analyse the economic impact and technical viability of hyperloop in India, the company said.
The company also signed a pact with the Karnataka government on the same day for a similar study.
Hyperloop involves high-speed movement in capsule-like vehicles through a pressurised tube, using magnetic levitation. It has not been implemented for practical purposes yet, and is still only at the trial stage across the world.
“A hyperloop solution could revolutionise the transport experience,” the company said. It estimated a travel time of 14 minutes between Mumbai and Pune, much shorter than the current three hours by road.
“A hyperloop route requires high-density traffic to become viable as a means of rapid public transit,” Fadnavis said. “Mumbai and Pune, the most and seventh most populous cities in India respectively, have the potential to provide an optimal route with a high density.”
Virgin Hyperloop One is working on similar projects in the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Canada, Finland and the Netherlands.
In September, the Andhra Pradesh government had signed a pact with US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to connect Vijayawada and Amaravati. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies had also reportedly submitted its proposal to Maharashtra last year for a Mumbai-Pune route.