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India to be first to roll out rapid Hyperloop mass transport system

First mooted by Elon Musk of Tesla, the high-speed Hyperloop mass transport system is becoming a reality soon. India may be the first to roll out the system. The tube will run between Mumbai and Pune. The pods can reach speeds beyond 1,000 km per hour. The Virgin Hyperloop-DP World Consortium is building the project.

DUBAI, Oct 4: The high-speed Hyperloop transport system is likely to be rolled out first in India, said the CEO of Emirati multinational logistics company, DP World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, on Sunday at the Dubai Expo. Several countries will have the system operational by the end of the decade.

In a high-speed hyperloop mass transport system, pods run through a sealed system of tubes with low air pressure, free of air resistance and friction, like in a vacuum train. It can propel passengers and freight at speeds more than 1,000 km per hour.

Maharashtra in India is ahead in the development of the rapid transport system, between Mumbai and Pune. Virgin Hyperloop-DP World Consortium is building the project. It is likely to be completed by 2029. The cost of a Hyperloop line is estimated at over $120 million per km. The Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is building 10 km of Abu Dhabi-Dubai route.

“I will see it either in India at first, or in Saudi Arabia at the moment. Our hope is that when we achieve economies of scale and you have long routes and it is popular, probably for the speed of an airplane you will pay with the price of a truck,” PTI quoted Sulayem as saying.

A consortium of Virgin Hyperloop and Dubai-based port operator DP World is the leading manufacturer of hyperloops. The system is currently being developed by several companies, including Virgin Hyperloop, in which Dubai-based port operator DP World holds a majority stake.

Virgin Hyperloop, a part of billionaire business titan Richard Branson's Virgin Group, conducted the test on its 500-metre track outside in Las Vegas in November last year. Its manufacturing unit is in Charleston, West Virginia. The company is exhibiting a full- scale Hyperloop pod at the Dubai Expo.

Hyperloop is a concept originally developed by Space X's and Tesla's founder Elon Musk for ultra-fast inter-city travel in 2012.

However, Hyperloop has certain drawbacks:

1) Even with a minor crack on the tube, outside air would rush in and the system can explode

2) it is vulnerable to easy terrorist attacks

3) An earthquake can also be devastating

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