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Hyperloop train might be coming to India

(CNN) — Mumbai to Pune in less than half an hour?
That could be the case if a new train concept comes to India.

Virgin Hyperloop One is a Los Angeles company originally based on an idea by Tesla founder Elon Musk.

The company has just hired Jay Walder as their new CEO, and his plans for the business — which has Virgin founder Richard Branson as its chairman — are ambitious.

Its first project will be a hyperloop between the Indian cities of Mumbai, India’s most populous city, and Pune, which clocks in as its ninth.

Both cities are in Maharashtra state, about 150 km (about 93 miles) apart, and driving between them can take upwards of four hours with traffic.

Hyperloop, however, claims it’ll be able to get people from A to B in 25 minutes.

Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One launched in 2014.

Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One launched in 2014.

Virgin Hyperloop One

“This is the first new technology of transportation in 100 years,” Walder says. “Let’s stop talking about just mitigating the impact of the automobile and instead create something really new.”

Although Virgin Hyperloop got a lot of press when it first launched in 2014, it has yet to produce a real-world product.

Walder has a strong background in transportation. Previously, he worked at the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) — the greater New York City area transit system, which includes the subway — and Motivate, a bike-sharing company.

And this isn’t just about speeding up commute times. A Hyperloop spokesperson claims that people using their train instead of traveling by car will benefit the environment by preventing 150,000 tons of carbon from being pumped into the air by automobiles.

“We have always believed that India would be a tremendous market for hyperloop,” Harj Dhaliwal, the company’s managing director, writes in a blog post. “The Indian State of Maharashtra announced their intent to build a hyperloop route between Mumbai and Pune, beginning with an operational demonstration track.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been supportive of the project and was present, alongside Branson, when the deal was signed.


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