A futuristic transport network, Hyperloop would slash journey times in India. Hyperloop has approached Union ministry of road transport with a letter of intent. Sources said the routes being considered were meant to run bullet trains, and Japanese and Chinese teams have started studying the Chennai-Bengaluru route to find out if they can lay tracks to run high-speed trains.
The brainchild of billionaire and head of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, Hyperloop will use magnetic train-like pods to shuttle passengers and freight around a network of tubes at 12,00Kmph.Traveling at speeds equivalent to a hypersonic jet, the Hyperloop would have the capability to travel Chennai from Bengaluru in roughly 30 minutes.
Using electricity as a power source would make the Hyperloop a clean method of transport, and greener than its two equivalents – plane and train travel.
According to its website, Hyperloop says it can move people for the price of bus tickets and that they are going to charge for the time taken and not the transport. The team which is behind the project says it is planning to install prefabricated tubes atop pillars, a move aimed to cut down cost and time of construction. Solar panels on top of the tubes and windmills on the pillars to tap energy will further reduce operational cost. The pod uses the magnetic system to move.
It needs energy only when it begins the journey and can glide for more than 200 miles once it touches top speed.
It will take Rs 300 crore to build 1km high-speed line, but HyperLoop, citing its San Francisco to Los Angeles plan, says it will take Rs 72 crore per kilometer.”It is difficult to fix ticket prices professionally because the government wants to keep them low.
Going by the current rate of cost of construction, it will cost Rs 6,000 to Bangalore from Chennai
“Hyperloop is a new technology and a new regulatory body will have to be formed to ensure safety and accountability. It is unlikely that the government will allow the company to go unmonitored,” said an official.
Engineers at Indian Railways are skeptical. “Any plan which aims at high-speed connectivity is good. But they may take more than a decade to take off because of different reasons,” a senior railway official said.”There will be procedural delays and time taken for approvals from the government.”