Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

Is the Hyperloop bound for India?

Is the Hyperloop bound for India? Virgin
23 Mar
2018
Public transport in India could be on the verge of being revolutionised by the construction of a ‘hyperloop’ between major cities

If Elon Musk had his way, we would probably all be commuting to work in huge rockets, capable of quickly transporting people around the Earth. The visionary founder of PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX hasn’t been shy about his ambitions, which even extend to rhetoric about establishing human colonies on Mars during his lifetime. 

One idea which has been taken more seriously is the ‘hyperloop’, first presented in August 2013 as a way of transporting people along the busy 350 miles (563km) corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just half an hour. By releasing the technology for the idea – involving the all-electric transportation of pods sucked at ultra-high speeds through low-pressure tubes – as ‘open source’, other companies were invited to undertake the research and development involved in bringing it to reality.

Richard Branson’s Virgin has been one such company. Virgin Hyperloop One has undertaken tests in Nevada to try and bring the concept to life, proposing such future possibilities as a journey from London to Edinburgh in just 50 minutes.

hyperloop

However, it may be set to make its debut in the state of Maharashtra, India. Virgin is exploring the possibility of opening a hyperloop between the cities of Mumbai and Pune, a 95km journey it claims would take only 25 minutes – compared to three hours at present – and be capable of over 150 million passenger trips per year.

‘I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century,’ said Branson, as he signed the initial framework agreement alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

mumbaiCould traffic congestion into Mumbai be eased by Hyperloop One? (Image: monotoomono)

‘India is a country that is desperately hungry for infrastructure,’ comments Pranjal Sharma, author of Kranti Nation: India and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. ‘The idea of a hyperloop is not outlandish. Intercity trains are running to full capacity and even the recently privatised airports are reaching peak numbers. In such a situation, a hyperloop connection between cities could be a miracle cure. If the hyperloop can offer affordable, scalable and efficient services, it would transform mobility in India.’ 

This was published in the April 2018 edition of Geographical magazine.

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter and get a free collection of eBooks!

geo line break v3

Related items

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in PLACES...

Places

In the first of a series on geopolitical curiosities and…

Cities

A socioecological model is predicting the areas of major US…

Mapping

Following the collapse of the upstream tailings dam in Brumadinho,…

Mapping

The domestication of animals for food, secondary products, labour and…

Cities

Strap in for a newer, greener experience in virtual city…

Water

A major investment in data collection along the Nile could…

Forests

Several factors are contributing to extreme deforestation in Haiti, with…

Cities

Illegal wells are depleting groundwater basins beneath Tehran causing it…

Mapping

Mapping the trade war between the US and China and…

Mapping

Check out this superb selection of mapping books - ideal…

Water

Glacial melt is increasing  land instability in mountainous regions, with huge tsunamis…

Mapping

A large-scale terrain mapping project makes Antarctica the best-mapped continent…

Water

New research reveals that microplastics can survive in mosquitos from…

Cities

New research measures the ability of major cities to re-use…

Deserts

Biosphere 2 was one of the most ambitious experiments in…

Forests

High-quality, affordable drones can revolutionise the way that landscape and…

Mapping

Benjamin Hennig charts the impact of volcanoes on nearby human…

Mapping

A volunteer-led digital mapping project is at the heart of…

Cities

As the planet urbanises, attention is turning towards the most…