Virgin Hyperloop says world's first commercial loop in India by 2025
First operational cargo network expected to link Mumbai and Pune, Virgin Hyperloop and DP World announce
DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One have revealed more details of their plans for a global hyperloop network.
At an event in Dubai, the companies unveiled DP World Cargospeed,l the brand for its international hyperloop-based cargo services, and said that India will likely see the first commercial loop operational by 2025.
The launch was held in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The event was hosted by Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, and Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder and Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman.
Speaking at the event, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said that Cargospeed aims to become a global network of on-demand cargo transport, that will be able to deliver worldwide in under 14 hours, and between centres in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in under 45 minutes.
The service "will deliver freight at the speed of flight and at the cost of trucking", he said.
The service aims to transport high-value, low-weight commodities, using an integrated transport network and a new standard and size of ‘palletised' cargo.
The network will aim to be able to launch a hyperloop cargo pod every six seconds, and the overall improvements will mean 500% more efficiency in cargo handling and a 25% reduction in global inventory.
The same network of hyperloop tubes will be used to transport people and cargo, although cargo services are likely to launch first.
Following testing in Nevada, USA, the next stage of development for the Virgin Hyperloop One is the laying of a 13km track in India. This track will eventually become part of the first production route for Virgin Hyperloop, a 170km link connecting Mumbai to Pune.
Construction will begin in Q1 2019, and the process of certification will be done in 2021-2022. Commercial services, beginning with cargo services by 2024 or 2025, the company said.
Virgin Hyperloop said that the company has made number of advances in hyperloop technology in the ten months that it has been running its DevLoop site in near Las Vegas, Nevada.
For propulsion, the company has developed a next generation of magnetic levitation (maglev) technology which is cheaper and much more robust that existing maglev trains that operate in Japan and Europe. Linear electric motors will be able to propel pods at speeds of up to 1,200kph, with not carbon emissions across the whole system.
The company said it has also made advances in constructing the tubes for hyperloop, which can be metal or concrete, and is now able to lay hyperloop tubes at a ‘dramatic' speed and at a fraction of the cost of high speed rail.
DP World is the biggest investor in hyperloop technology, but the state-owned company has declined to reveal the value of its investment.