Indian cities to be linked by near-supersonic Hyperloop trains

If turned into a reality, the train would be double or triple the speeds of India’s fastest high-speed rail. Source: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

It may look like a scene of a science fiction flick, but levitating trains traveling at nearly the speed of sound will soon be connecting two major cities in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

The state government recently gave the green light to build the Hyperloop project which will see levitating pods whizzing 48km between Amaravati and Vijayawada on the southern coast in five minutes, Tech In Asia reported.

In July, Tesla boss Elon Musk, a pioneer in the state-of-the-art technology received a “verbal government approval” to build the futuristic transportation mode to connect New York and Washington DC in under half an hour.

The ambitious project in India has been assigned to US company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), a US company that relies on crowdsourcing and collaboration to construct the high-tech trains inspired by Musk’s concept.

If turned into a reality, the train would be double or triple the speeds of India’s fastest high-speed rail with the pods able to reach a peak speed of 1,000km per hour.

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The frequency of departures was also expected to be high, with every pod being launched every 20 seconds. The technology also boasts having a smaller environmental impact compared to other conventional transportation with no direct emissions or noise.

The company on Wednesday announced a memorandum of understanding with the Andhra Pradesh government to develop the project.

According to the Indian Express, the agreement signed between HTT and Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board could “potentially turning a trip of more than one hour into a 5-minute ride”.

The company said the project will use a Public Private Partnership model with funding primarily from private investors.

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Beginning October, the company will conduct a six-month long feasibility study before proceeding to build the rail link.

“Working with partners in the public and private sector, HTT will analyze the surrounding cityscapes to create the best route between the two cities while identifying all pertinent stakeholders in the region,” the company said in a statement.

Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board chief executive officer Krishna Kishore said Amravati is embracing a prototype for the “mobility of tomorrow” by collaborating with Hyperloop.

“Major cities of the world has seen declines in livability and transportation has been a major contributor due to congestion, air pollution and accessibility and Andhra Pradesh is shaping the way it approaches transportation in the future.”

Andhra Pradesh is the seventh largest in India with a population of over 50 million people.