There was a time when journey between Mumbai and Pune used to take five hours. Then came the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in 2002, which cut down this time to 3 hrs. But if you thought that this was the best that could happen for journey between these two large cities of Maharashtra, you’re wrong. Your expectations are about to be blown away with a new type of transportation system that’s going to be developed between these two cities.
The system is known as Hyperloop, and it can cut down the travel time between Mumbai and Pune to 25 minutes! Mind blown? That’s what’s gonna happen in near future.
That’s right. Five to seven years from now, and the system will be ready to work (that’s why I said “near future” above). And once it’s functioning, Mumbai and Pune will seem like Metro stops within the same city. The government of Maharashtra today announced that it has entered into a framework agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One of USA to develop the route and transportation system between two cities by 2025.
The company will first of all conduct a feasibility study to determine the cost and most effective route for the project. Then a test track will be built between the two points of proposed route, which should be completed in two-three years. Once test ride on the demonstration track is completed successfully, work will begin on the final version of track that can be opened to public by 2025.
If this particular route remains successful, additional routes are also planned between other important trade points and cities. They include a channel for light cargo movement between central Pune and New Pune International Airport, and another channel linking Jawaharlal Nehru Port of Mumbai with Pune’s Industrial Economic Zones.
What is Hyperloop?
It’s a system that envisions to revolutionize long distance travel by offering speeds 2-3 times higher than any those of any other high-speed rail systems. Like any other high-speed rail transport system, it will require underground tunnels to work. The tunnels house low pressure tubes, and a pod carrying the cargo/people travels through those tubes with help of electric propulsion. Once the pod has been loaded with cargo or people, it’s lifted above the track with magnetic levitation, and then it glides at the speed of an airplane between the two points due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag inside the tunnel.
Why is it so significant for India?
Hyperloop is a significant development for India’s development story not only because of the economic and infrastructural advantage that it can bring but also because if this route becomes successful then India will be first country in the world to have such an awesome high-speed rail transport system. You can imagine what this will do to Brand India.