Bengaluru may have India’s first hyperloop as Los Angeles-based company Hyperloop One announced a proposal to evaluate contruction of five lines in India.
Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, on Saturday, said that it is a futuristic idea and hinted that it would be a good project if people voted for it.
Hyperloop announced the project through a global challenge and is urging people to vote for the first line to be built in India.
According to a report in Economic Times, Hyperloop is working on a technology that would use magentic levitation in low pressure tubes to transport people.
The five proposed lines include Bengaluru to Chennai, Mumbai to Chennai via Bengaluru, Bengaluru to Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai to Delhi and Mumbai to Kolkata.
If the proposed plane comes to life, people can reach Chennai from Bengaluru in 20 minutes. The traffic in the 334-km passenger and freight corridor is growing at 15% per annum. The 1,102 km Mumbai to Chennai via Bengaluru line is slated to have a travel period of 50 minutes.
“This has the potential of boosting the capacity of ports in Mumbai and Chennai and also create a link between the two coasts, a statement by Hyperloop One said.
But lest one gets too excited about this possibility, it should be noted that Hyperloop is a futuristic and highly expensive technology, and is still many stages away from being commercially deployed.
What is Hyperloop?
According to the company, Hyperloop is a new way to move people and things at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket. It's on-demand, energy-efficient and safe. A custom electric motor will be used to accelerate a levitated pod through a low pressure tube. The company claims the full system in ready to be tested in 2017 and by 2021 they will move passengers. Routes are being chalked out in five different countries.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, during his visit to Chennai on Saturday, said that the railway ministry was pursuing the project and that officials from Niti Ayog had met Hyperloop One representatives last week in this regard.
“We want to improve the speed of trains in India. We are also working on semi high-speed and high speed trains. Global players will be invited for proposing projects for a 600-km line as well. It is futuristic technology, which India must also have,” Prabhu told media persons.
He also said that the hyperloops would not be imported but the technology will be developed in India itself. The railway has tie-ups with Korea, Germany, Japan and China for introducing high-speed trains in the country, he added.
India received the highest entries when Hyperloop One had called for registration. “India led the way with the most vocal supporters on social media,” the press release said.
Last year, Dubai signed an agreement with the company to evaluate the construction of a hyperloop, a near supersonic transport link to Abu Dhabi.
A hyperloop under construction in America.