There is considerable excitement about India’s first fast speed rail network between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It is a bold and necessary step towards a safer and modern rail network. But the latest technology that is most likely on its way to India will allow you to travel at a speed three times faster than a bullet train, is faster than even a plane and will cost just 1/10th of airfare. This technology is known as the Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO).
Hyperloop is a pod-based terrestrial transportation system which can carry passengers or freight through anear-vacuum tube at airline speeds. Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have signed deals with VHO to assess the possibility of developing hyperloops in these states.
This ‘hyperloop’ concept of transportation is a brainchild of Elon Musk, there are many other trying to develop this mode of transportation. VHO has the backing of billionaire Richard Branson. He says that a full-scale hyperloop system has been built and tested in the Nevada desert in America.
What VHO Means for India!
Navi Mumbai to Pune takes 3 hours by road; by hyperloop, you can cover the distance in 14 minutes! Similarly, an hour-long trip between Amravati and Vijayawada can be reduced to just 5 minutes!
The project isn’t only incredibly fast which save time and a lot of fuel, it is also much cheaper and requires very little land acquisition. A 100 km hyperloop line between Navi Mumbai and Pune will cost around Rs 26,000 crorewhich is lower than the cost of an underground Metro.
This means that the per km cost comes to Rs 260 crore which is about the same as the cost of an elevated metro line, while building an underground metro corridor costs a mammoth Rs 750 crore per km.
Boost to Make in India!
A huge advantage that India will have if it becomes one of the first few nations to adopt this technology is that the manufacturing of the necessary physical equipments such as tubes and other IT-related softwares would be done in India giving a major impetus to Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India programme.
Overall, if the safety requirements are met, there is no reason why the VHO shouldn’t be seen in India; it is cost effective on the pockets of both the government and the people, and is extremely fast.