In brief

Virgin Hyperloop One's plans for a national hyperloop network in India took a step forward, with three additional regions agreeing to initial route feasibility studies. The company aims to have three working hyperloop systems by 2021.

Now going by the name Virgin Hyperloop One, after British billionaire Richard Branson invested what must have been a substantial amount into the company, the Los Angeles-based startup announced on November 16 updates to their existing plans for a national hyperloop network in India.

Virgin Hyperloop One signed memorandums of agreement (MOU) with three other Indian states for preliminary feasibility studies for the construction of hyperloop routes, to identify which ones are most utilized. “Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, home to several of India’s largest economic centers including Mumbai, Bangaluru, and Visakhapatnam, are conducting studies with Hyperloop One to understand hyperloop’s feasibility and economic impact in the regions,” the company’s press statement said.

Image: Virgin Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop One’s goal is to have three hyperloop systems operational by 2021, according to TechCrunch, and India might just be the ideal location for one of these. Their plans for India were first laid out earlier this year, and the addition of three other states is an important step forward. While hyperloop systems will eventually improve travel time between India’s busiest cities, building one will provide these regions with an economic boost.

“Investments in Hyperloop One systems will create local jobs in construction, manufacturing, research and development, and services and can have a profound secondary impact on wider industries in India. It is is a win-win,” the SVP for global field operations, Nick Earle, said in the press release. “As the only company in the world that has built and tested a full-scale, full-system hyperloop we believe we are an ideal partner for India.”