British billionaire and businessman Sir Richard Branson has unveiled plans by Virgin Hyperloop One to build a super-fast transportation system in India between the city of Pune and the airport in Mumbai.
The new transportation system is supposed to cut travel time between the two cities down to 25 minutes saving nearly three hours in travel time.
The Virgin Group founder reportedly signed a Framework Agreement for the hyperloop project in Mumbai on Sunday.
According to Branson, the hyperloop route would connect 26 million people, support 150 million passenger trips per year and “would help create a thriving, competitive megaregion”.
“We expect the high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop system to create tens of thousands of jobs, helping to attract new business and investment in the region. The 100 per cent electric, efficient system will also ease severe expressway congestion and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 86,000 tons over 30 years,” the Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman said in his statement.
Branson added that impact of Virgin Hyperloop One on India in the 21st century could be on par with the impact of trains in the 20th century. He also described the Pune-Mumbai route as an “ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that will dramatically reduce travel times”.
Reports said that a demonstration track will be built in two to three years from the signing of the final agreement. Five to seven years have been allocated to the second phase – the construction of the full Pune-Mumbai route.
According to a study by Virgin Hyperloop One, the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project could over 30 years of operation, result in $55 billion in socio-economic benefits.
The super-fast tube transportation was reportedly first theorised in 2013 by South African-born Canadian businessman Elon Musk.