The Indian Railways and IIT-Madras are setting off a joint mission to develop India’s own Hyperloop. A new system proposes using magnetic levitation technology in tubes to enable travel at airplane-like speeds. The Hyperloop’s low energy requirement has drawn the Railways towards the project. A statement issued by the Ministry highlights the help this technology can offer as the country endeavors to attain Carbon neutrality.
When complete, the Indian system will be at par with the Virgin Hyperloop facility in the US in terms of functionality. But will significantly outperform it in terms of cost, the statement added. The Railways will also be helping the institute set up a Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies.
IIT Madras proposed developing a contactless pod prototype and the first-of-its-kind Hyperloop Test Facility at its Discovery Campus.
The statement said the Ministry’s interest was piqued when it came to know a team of 70 IIT-Madras students called ‘Avishkar Hyperloop’ has been working on the technology since 2017. The team is applying scalability and frugal engineering concepts for a Hyperloop-based transportation system. The team finished in the top-10 global ranking at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition-2019. The only Asian team to do so. Their project also bagged the ‘Most Scalable Design Award’ at the European Hyperloop Week 2021.
In March this year, the Ministry was approached by IIT-Madras, which proposed to collaborate on a project. IIT proposed developing a contactless pod prototype and the “first-of-its-kind Hyperloop Test Facility” at its Discovery Campus. As estimated by the institute, the project cost is Rs 8.34 crore. Once established, the proposed facility will offer the world’s largest Hyperloop Vacuum Tube that can be used as a Test Bed for further research on Hyperloop by Indian Railways.