Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and representatives from the state government, including the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), visited Virgin Hyperloop One at their full-scale hyperloop test site in the Nevada Desert – building upon the historic Framework Agreement signed in February to build the first hyperloop in India. Justin Fishner-Wolfson and Nick Fox were in attendance as well, representing Virgin Hyperloop One’s Board of Directors. The Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project has currently reached the midpoint of the in-depth feasibility study, which is on track to finish this summer.
“This was a very fruitful discussion and we should be able to start moving on this project very fast,” said Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra.
The feasibility study will build upon the findings of the pre-feasibility study signed in November 2017 between Virgin Hyperloop One and the PMRDA. Virgin Hyperloop One’s feasibility study team consists of world-class experts from Systra, KPMG and Turner & Townsend who will analyse and define the route alignment including environmental impacts, the economic and commercial aspects of the route, the regulatory and safety framework, and cost and funding strategies to deliver the project. A significant proportion of the Virgin Hyperloop One system components are expected to be manufactured locally, especially in Maharashtra – creating new high-technology and manufacturing jobs.
The hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25-minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving, competitive megaregion. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route will eventually support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, and providing citizens with greater opportunities and social and economic mobility. The hyperloop system will also have the potential for the rapid movement of palletized freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune, creating a robust backbone for on-demand deliveries, supply chains, and next-generation logistics.
“I am incredibly excited to see this Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project go from a vision to reality as it starts detailed planning. The opportunity is enormous – to connect 26 million people with access to affordable infrastructure that will unlock significant economic and social value,” said Sir Richard Branson. “It is an honour to work with the State of Maharashtra and its key stakeholders, sharing their vision to transform not only transportation but wider society.”
The Pune-Mumbai route could result in USD$ 55 billion (Rs 350,000 crore) in socio-economic benefits (time savings, emissions and accident reduction, operational cost savings, etc) over 30 years of operation, according to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One. The 100 per cent electric, efficient hyperloop system will ease severe expressway congestion and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tonne annually.
“Traditionally, transportation has been very vertically integrated. With a wealth of talent and technological prowess right here in India, we’re looking for local partners to scale an integrated supply chain ecosystem,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO, Virgin Hyperloop One. “The state of Maharashtra is positioning itself at the epicenter of a new global supply chain.”