Richard Branson and The Indian State of Maharashtra announced their intent to build a Virgin Hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai, this weekend. Beginning with an operational demonstration track.
Mr Branson, the flamboyant founder of Virgin Group, said “It was an honour to have Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, alongside us as we signed a Framework Agreement for the project.”
The hyperloop route would link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25-minutes and connect 26 million people. Supporting 150 million passenger trips per year, it would help create a thriving, competitive megaregion.
Mr Branson went on to say “As Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman, I’m incredibly excited about the potential to truly transform not just transportation, but wider society. Virgin Hyperloop One can help India become a global transportation pioneer and forge a new world-changing industry.
“As our team’s studies have found, the Pune-Mumbai route could result in USD $55 billion (INR ₹350,000 crores) in socio-economic benefits, time savings, accident reduction and operational cost savings, over 30 years of operation.”
The Hyperloop project has a target of 3 years for a test run, with full commercial operations, hopefully, up and running by 2025. Which, could make India the first country in the world to host the futuristic transport system, challenging the Dubai Hyperloop with a similar completion date.
Branson, went on to say “At Virgin we are always focused upon innovating in the present, while pioneering into the future. As the brilliant teams at Virgin Trains, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Voyages, Virgin Australia and other companies around the Virgin Group continue to push their industries forward, we are excited by businesses such as Virgin Galactic, Virgin Orbit and Virgin Hyperloop One breaking through further barriers in the coming years.
Virgin Hyperloop One is the only company in the world that has built a fully operational Hyperloop system. I have been fortunate to visit the wonderful team and see them in action at our fully operational test site in Nevada, working hard to make hyperloop a reality. I’m excited to see what’s next. He added.