Ministry of Railways will work with IIT Madras to build a Hyperloop system that is “indigenous” to India. It will also help the best institute set up a Center of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies.
The technology would use low-pressure tubes with magnetic levitation to move people and goods as fast as airplanes. IIT Madras has said that the Project’s estimated cost is 8.34 crore. It has also asked the Ministry of Railways to help pay for it. The plan is to build a 500-m-long tube and track that can work with different propulsion and levitation systems.
- Hyperloop transports people and products at airplane-like speeds using magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes.
- Representational) The Railways Ministry would partner with IIT Madras to develop an “indigenous” Hyperloop system and set up a Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies.
- The project deliverables for IR would comprise complete design documentation for Pod, Tube & Track, detailed testing and performance data for pod prototype and vacuum tube, and Hyperloop track as a testing platform for the development of Pod technology in the interim.
- The institute has also proposed establishing a “Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies” at IIT Madras using the existing CRR.
- Officials aim to create a 500-meter (2-meter) tube and track to support various propulsion and levitation system configurations for pod technology development.
Hyperloop is a technology that uses magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes to move people and goods as fast as an airplane.
Made-in-India IIT Madras talked to Railways about Hyperloop in March 2022. (Representational) Officials say that the Ministry of Railways will work with IIT Madras to build an “indigenous” Hyperloop system and help the top institute set up a Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies.
In 2017, Suresh Prabhu, who was the Railway Minister, said that India would be paying close attention to the Hyperloop project. Since then, the ministry and Hyperloop One, based in the US, have had several rounds of talks about the proposed Project, but nothing concrete has come out of them.
Hyperloop is working on a system that would use magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes to move people and goods as fast as an airplane.
The Indian Railways Ministry said that Hyperloop is a good idea because it uses little energy and can help India become carbon neutral.
“As a result, the Ministry of Railways had been looking for potential partners and domain experts to work with to develop this new and changing idea for moving people and goods.”
“Avishkar Hyperloop,” a team of 70 students from IIT Madras formed in 2017, told the Ministry of Railways that they were using scalability and frugal engineering to build a Hyperloop-based transportation system. “The goal is to make India proud by showing the world its technologies,” the statement said.
“Collaboration with IIT Madras to develop an Indian Hyperloop system and set up a “Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies” at IIT Madras,” the Railways said.
At the 2019 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, the group was the only Asian team to place in the top 10 worldwide. At the European Hyperloop Week-2021, the “Avishkar Hyperloop” student team also won the “Most Scalable Design Award.”
In March 2022, IIT-Madras sent a proposal to the Ministry of Railways to work together on making a contactless pod prototype and building the first-ever Hyperloop Test Facility at its Discovery Campus (at Thaiyur).
Once built, the proposed facility would have the world’s largest Hyperloop vacuum tube, which Indian Railways could use as a “Test Bed” to learn more about Hyperloop.
The institute asked the Railways for help with manufacturing, set safety rules, and access its electrical testing facilities.
It has also asked the Ministry of Railways for money to help move this project forward. IIT Madras has said that the Project’s estimated cost is 8.34 crore.
Indian Railways gives a big boost to Make-In-India initiative by collaborating with @iitmadras to develop a futuristic Hyperloop technology based transportation system which will significantly reduce carbon emission & revolutionize the transportation system. pic.twitter.com/VilRJ2o1Gk— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 20, 2022
The project deliverables for IR would include detailed design documentation for Pod, Tube, and Track, detailed testing and performance data for Pod prototype and vacuum tube, providing IR with Hyperloop track as a testing platform for developing Pod technology in the meantime, and training Railway Personnel for Hyperloop technologies.
The institute also wants to set up a “Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies” at IIT Madras using the existing CRR (Centre of Railway Research) at IIT Madras.
The current CRR (Centre of Railway Research) at IIT Madras is in the MSRC building of the institute. It has been running since 2017 with funding from the Ministry of Railways.
The current CRR at IIT Madras is working on five projects, and it has been teaching railway engineers about things like Lean Manufacturing, Condition Monitoring, and Testing and Analysis of Concrete.
Officials say the plan is to build a 500-meter tube with a 2-meter diameter and a track that can support different propulsion and levitation system configurations. This will make it possible to develop pod technology quickly. The tube will be as useful as the Virgin Hyperloop facility in the United States, but it will be much cheaper, according to a statement from the Railways.
Ellon Musk and SpaceX have promoted the hyperloop idea, and other companies or organizations have been asked to work together to develop the technology.