PUNE: The first phase of the 15-km Hyperloop track in Pune, from Balewadi to Gahunje, will serve as the testing track for passenger movement.
Kiran Gitte, the commissioner of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), said a transactional advisor will be appointed within a fortnight and the track will be ready by next year.
The advisor company would need to have prior experience in handline high-speed transport, as the PMRDA itself does not have the adequate knowhow on the subject. The chosen firm would be required help with project structuring, finances as well as engaging in other parameters. It must also work closely with the Virgin Hyperloop team.
Virgin Hyperloop One will fully fund the 15-km demonstration track, which will cost roughly Rs 3,000 crore. The PMRDA will provide the required land. It has recommended two sites — one along the Pune-Mumbai Expressway and the other along the old Pune-Mumbai highway.
Hyperloop is a high-speed mode of travel, where pod-like vehicles pass through tubes at speeds reaching up to 1,000 kmph. The state government is exploring the technology for the busy Pune-Mumbai route, with the aim to reduce travel time. According to the PMRDA, more than 3 lakh commuters and 1.10 lakh vehicles — including 80,000 buses and 6,000 cars — travel between the two cities every day.
The futuristic Hyperloop technology promises to reduce the travel time to just 25 minutes.
Freight testing is already being carried out in Dubai. “Passenger trials will have to be conducted here for the first phase of the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route,” Gitte said.
The feasibility report, prepared by the PMRDA along with the officials of Virgin Hyperloop One, will be submitted next month. The estimated cost for the demonstration track is Rs 3,000 crore. A team from Virgin Hyperloop One has been working with PMRDA officials to finalize the route.
“The demonstration track will be constructed in such a way that it eventually becomes part of the final Hyperloop route,” Gitte said. He added that the Pune-Mumbai route will be the longest track made by Virgin Hyperloop One in the world.
Last month, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other government officials had visited the Virgin Hyperloop One test site in Nevada.