India's first high-speed rail project to be launched by Chennai IIT

In 2017, Suresh Prabhu, who was the then Union Railway Minister, had initiated the steps and the federal ministry also held talks with US-based Hyperloop One. However, no progress was made on that.
India's first high-speed rail project to be launched by Chennai IIT
Representative image

CHENNAI: Indian Railways is planning to usher in a new era of transport in an effort to move people quickly from one city to another. Accordingly, it has decided to create a technology-based transport called Hyperloop. For this, Railways is joining hands with IIT.

What is a hyperloop?

  • Through a low-pressure tunnel, pressurized vehicles are the mode of transport that travels at high speeds. In this journey through the air, there will be no obstacles. Thus, at airspeed, a vehicle on the ground will move from one end of the low-pressure tunnel to the other.

  • It uses Mag-Lev (Magnetic Levitation) technology. Thus, friction-free travel is possible. This trip is very fast and environmental-friendly.

  • It consumes less energy than an electric train. Hence, it would be emission-free unlike airplanes or diesel trains.

In 2017, Suresh Prabhu, who was the then Union Railway Minister, had initiated the steps and the federal ministry also held talks with US-based Hyperloop One. However, no progress was made on that.

In this context, the Avishkar Hyperloop group of Chennai IIT formed in 2017 involved in creative work for the development of a Hyperloop-based transport system in India. The group ranked in the top 10 of the 2019 SpaceX Hyperloop competition and is the only group that went from Asia to win the Best Design award at the 2021 European Hyperloop Week event.

In March 2022, as a joint venture with the Ministry of Railways, the team embarked on the task of setting up the first Hyperloop testing infrastructure. Since then, the team is set to build the world's largest Hyperloop vacuum tube. It will help in future research of the Hyperloop system of the Indian Railways.

For the implementation of this project, Chennai IIT has sought financial assistance from the Union Railway Ministry. The Ministry of Railways is also planning to provide Rs 8.34 crore to meet the cost of production, development of safety regulations, and electrical testing infrastructure. The high-speed rail, which will be developed with the help of this technology, will be used not just for passengers but also for freight.

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