Branson made the announcement during the Magnetic Maharashtra investors summit. It is also likely to deliver $55 billion (Rs 3.5 lakh crore) in socio-economic benefits over 30 years of operation, according to an initial pre-feasibility study carried out by the company.
"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 study will be done based on route alignment, the environmental impact of the proposed project, economic and commercial viability of the route, the regulatory framework, and cost and funding model suggestions, PTI reports.
The Hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25 minutes, connecting 26 million people and create a thriving, competitive mega-region. "This is a miserable way of spending one's life", Virgin Group founder and Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman, Richard Branson, said in an interaction with select mediapersons.
The technology for Hyperloop One is now in the early stages of the commercialisation phase after the successful completion of the world's first full scale hyperloop systems test at their DevLoop site outside Las Vegas.
Hyperloop transport system will allow for passengers, freight to be transported at super-fast speeds, more than 1,000 km per hour, which is faster than airlines, in a levitating pod that will travel in a vacuum tube.
"I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century". We are not pricing this as something only for the wealthy.
We have also reported that Indian Government is very interested in brining Hyperlook in India. The in-depth study will reveal most of the operational issues which will then decide the feasibility of the project on the route. Now we have another big news and it is for people living in Pune and Mumbai. Once this is completed, followed by the procurement stage to determine the public-private partnership structure, the construction of the hyperloop route will commence.
Branson said the the fifth generation transport system will create tens of thousands of jobs, helping to attract new business and investment in the region. "The demonstration track will be constructed in two to three years from the signing of the agreement and serve as a platform for testing, certifying and regulating the system for commercial operations". A demonstration track will be built in two to three years from the signing of the final agreement, while the second phase will aim to complete construction of the full Pune-Mumbai route in five to seven years. In September 2016, US-based research company Hyperloop Transportation Technology announced plans to connect Vijayawada and Amaravati in the southeastern coastal state of Andhra Pradesh. Additionally, the company expects the hyperloop route to ease expressway congestion and cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tonnes on a yearly basis.