Hyperloop Transportation Technologies sign MOU with Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board

File Pic: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu meeting with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Chairman and Co-Founder Mr. Bibop G. Gresta at Davos in January 2017. Theirs is a very good alternative to high speed rail and their technology is superior to bullet train or speed rail, in terms of energy consumption, and costs, he said earlier. Mr. Bibop mentioned that Hyperloop is now looking for collaborations in India

AMARAVATI (VIJAYAWADA): Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), an American research firm formed using crowd collaboration to develop ultra-high-speed transportation system based on Hyperloop concept, has agreed to build India’s first Hyperloop, connecting Andhra Pradesh’s proposed Greenfield capital city Amaravati and Vijayawada.

HTT has on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB), marking it first such agreement in India for the new transportation system.

Andhra Pradesh is India’s seventh largest state with a population of over 50 million.

The public private partnership (PPP) model, with funding primarily from private investors, will potentially turn a trip of more than an hour into a 5-minute ride between Amaravati and Vijayawada.

HTT said it will conduct a six-month feasibility study commencing in October during first phase.

“The project will involve little over $200 million of investment and take a year or so to complete it once all the approvals and Right of Way were in place,” Krishna Kishore, Chief Executive of APEDB, told.

“We are extremely delighted to have entered into a MoU with the government of Andhra Pradesh to bring the HTT Hyperloop to India,” said Bibop Gresta, Chairman and co-founder of HTT, in a statement. “In partnering with Andhra Pradesh, HTT will work with local stakeholders to build the regulatory standards necessary for safe and efficient operation.”

HTT said it will conduct a six-month feasibility study commencing in October during first phase. Working with partners in the public and private sector, HTT proposes to analyse the surrounding cityscapes to create the best route between the two cities while identifying all pertinent stakeholders in the region. After completing the feasibility, HTT in the second phase of the project proposes to construct and build its first Hyperloop in India.

“By collaborating with Hyperloop, Amravati is embracing a prototype for the mobility of tomorrow,” said Krishna Kishore of APEDB in a statement.

“India is entering into a new era in terms of technology and our goal is to put India on the global map by developing and implementing green technologies, the first Hyperloop in Amravati,” said Aviruk Chakraborty, advisor to APEDB.

It’s a good place to begin building a Hyperloop, with the distance between the two cities only being around 27-miles. Journey times right now are around the 70 minute mark, but the company claims that it can shrink that to just six minutes when finished.

The deal is structured as a public-private partnership, although nobody’s revealing just how much cash (and concessions) Andhra Pradesh is offering. The release does mention, explicitly, that the majority of the money will come “primarily from private investors,” although these things have a habit of costing the taxpayer in the end.

If completed, however, it would serve as a big win for India to boast that it has the world’s first operating Hyperloop and should provide an economic boon to the region. It will also provide a useful proving ground for a country that has its own deep attachment to the railway and its future.