Hyperloop hails Maharashtra govt nod to put Mumbai-Pune super train project on fast track

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with Virgin Hyperloop One CEO and board member Rob Lloyd in Nevada, US. (Express Photo)

A day after the Maharashtra government put the ambitious hyperloop project between Mumbai and Pune on the fast track, Virgin Hyperloop One Wednesday said the nod to form a consortium of DP World and Hyperloop Technologies for its maiden project is the first of the many key steps towards bringing the latest transportation technology to the masses.

Hyperloop is an ultramodern, superfast transport project to link Mumbai and Pune, which are located around 200
km apart, in around 25 minutes from the present 3 hours. Having already given a go-ahead to use the Swiss challenge method to hold the bidding for the Rs 70,000-crore project, the government on Tuesday named a consortium of DP World FZE and Hyperloop Technologies Inc as its original project proponent. Global firms will now be invited to challenge them under the bidding method.

The government on Tuesday named a consortium of DP World FZE and Hyperloop Technologies Inc as its original project proponent

"The race is on to host the first hyperloop transportation system in the world, and today’s announcement puts India firmly in the lead. This is a significant milestone and the first of many important steps toward bringing hyperloop to the masses," Jay Walder, chief executive officer, Virgin Hyperloop One said.

"We look forward to participating in the public procurement process and bringing this revolutionary new transport technology to the world," he added.

"Maharashtra will create the first hyperloop transportation system in the world and a global hyperloop supply chain starting from Pune. "We have just named DP World-Virgin Hyperloop One consortium as the original project proponent for the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project and preparing to start the public procurement process," the release quoted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as saying.

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Virgin Hyperloop One’s system can meet this growing demand by supporting as many as 200 million passengers annually, linking central Pune and Mumbai in under 35 minutes, the release stated.

"Support for hyperloop transportation systems is mounting across the world and India has led the charge to bring hyperloop to fruition since the early stages of development," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World and chairman Virgin Hyperloop One.

While the entire project involves construction across a length of 117.5 km, sources said that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is keen to perform a bhoomipujan for a 11.8-km test track, being developed in the first phase, before the model code of conduct for the Assembly polls kicks in.

The Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority will oversee the implementation of the first phase, which is expected to take about two to three years to complete.