British entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson has announced plans to construct an ambitious high-speed Hyperloop system specifically designed to revolutionize the transportation industry in India.
The business tycoon is proposing plans to build the high-speed shuttle system between two of India's major cities in Mumbai and Pune which is in the Western state of Maharashtra. According to a press release issued by Virgin, this would reduce travel time between the two cities from over three hours to just 25 minutes.
It has been disclosed that the charismatic philanthropist signed a preliminary agreement with the government officials from Maharashtra last week. It has been reported that the next phase of the project will see it undergo an extensive feasibility study.
In the press statement released by Virgin, Branson claimed that the Virgin's Hyperloop system in India could have a potentially revolutionary impact for the country which remains grossly underserved despite the efforts of the Modi government.
Branson said, "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 will dramatically reduce travel times between most of India's major cities to under two hours."
In addition to this, it has also been revealed that the revolutionary new mode of transport set to overhaul India's existing public infrastructure will also connect and serve passengers coming to and from Mumbai International Airport which is currently being constructed on the outskirts of Mumbai. The British knight says that would support over 150 million passenger trips on a yearly basis which he claims would create a thriving competitive megaregion.
SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk first outlined his vision for a vacuum-based high-speed underground shuttle system or Hyperloop in 2013 in an effort to resolve and address severe urban congestion which is affecting a number of major cities in the United States. Some have taken inspiration from Musk's whitepaper and last year Virgin partnered with Hyperloop One in their attempts to build a full-system Hyperloop.
The ambitious Virgin Hyperloop One project aims to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground according to Virgin. Passengers and cargo would be loaded into pods, which would then be propelled through a low-pressure tube.
In addition to India, the Virgin Hyperloop One team has been working on planned routes and projects in the Middle East, Europe, Canada and the United States. They say their goal is to have operational systems running by 2021.