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Hyperloop in Mumbai Pune, Bengaluru may be ready by 2029, says Virgin Hyperloop One

Hyperloop in Mumbai-Pune, Bengaluru may be ready by 2029, says Virgin Hyperloop One

Hyperloop in Mumbai-Pune, Bengaluru may be ready by 2029, says Virgin Hyperloop One
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By Mugdha Variyar  Oct 30, 2020 10:57:08 AM IST (Updated)

The company said it has held discussions with both the central and states governments and expects approval and certification by 2025.

The Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop and the hyperloop corridor from Bengaluru city to the Kempegowda International Airport could be ready by 2029 based on approvals, a spokesperson of American technology transport company Virgin Hyperloop One informed CNBC TV 18.

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The company said it has held discussions with both the central and states governments and expects approval and certification by 2025.
Virgin Hyperloop One has been in discussions with the Maharashtra state government for the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop corridor since 2017 for the project that aims to reduce travel time between Mumbai and Pune to 25 minutes. The state government has deemed hyperloop a public infrastructure project and approved the Virgin Hyperloop One-DP World (VH-DPW) Consortium as the Original Project Proponent (OPP), the company said.
Last month, Virgin Hyperloop One also signed an MoU with the Bangalore International Airport on September 27 to conduct a feasibility test on whether the Bengaluru city centre can be connected to the Kempegowda International airport, potentially bringing the travel time to 10 minutes. The company is also working with the Punjab Government to explore a hyperloop corridor between Amritsar and Chandigarh.
The Hyperloop is a futuristic transportation project that aims to transport people in pods through tubes maintained at partial vacuum at speeds of up to 1000 km/hr. The system has not been implemented for commercial use anywhere in the world, and Virgin Hyperloop is still running tests on its test tracks in the United States.
Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director, Middle East and India, Virgin Hyperloop One told CNBC TV 18 that the Covid pandemic slowed the pace of progress on the projects and that the company has held talks with the Indian government in recent days.
“I had a call this week with Niti Aayog and are engaged with the principal scientific advisor. We have been updating them on what’s happening around the world, especially about our global launch of the Hyperloop certification centre in West Virginia, US, and the set of standards that we are putting in place, which can then be adopted in India,” he said.
“The phase 1 of the Mumbai-Pune project is to get the regulators and federal government on board to witness testing, and to certify the technology. We expect that to happen by end of 2025. That will enable us to move forward into commercial passenger use. Our focus is that by the end of 2029, we will have the world’s first commercial hyperloop route between Mumbai and Pune, and by then, the corridor between Bengaluru city and Bangalore airport may also be ready.
Bangalore International Airport Ltd’s MD and CEO Hari Marar also told CNBC TV 18 that they were working with the timeline to make the hyperloop corridor operational before 2030.
“The study will look at whether from technical and financial standpoint it makes sense to connect city to airport with Hyperloop and possibly with the twin city of Mysuru,” Marar said, adding that the feasibility study had begun.
“The feasibility study will take 12 months, post which we will have to look at govt approvals and land acquisition. The establishment of test track will likely be 3 year from now, and after that it will take 5-6 to complete the project,” Marar said.
Marar said the scope of the study is to arrive at the costs and the cost-sharing model, And that the project may need a consortium of investors to come in.
Virgin Hyperloop came to India in 2017 and has been working with the Maharashtra state governments on the Mumbai-Pune project to build the world’s first commercial Hyperloop corridor.
Founder Richard Branson had held a meeting with the Maharashtra Chief Minister in Dec 2019, with the last physical meetings taking place in February, Dhaliwal said, just before the pandemic hit.
“There was some impact. If we continued at the pace we were working at, we would be further ahead. The pandemic has slowed us down a bit but we are very much focused on getting back on track. The investors are still committed to the project,” he said.
Virgin Hyperloop is also looking to source many of the components for the project from India, and from within Maharashtra itself.
“74% of the components we need can be sourced in India, and 70% of that can be sourced in Maharashtra,” Dhaliwal said. “We haven’t started procurement process as yet, but we will
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