India offers land to Elon Musk to test Hyperloop

As Elon Musk struggles in acquiring land rights for testing his audacious Hyperloop project in the United States, India has emerged out of nowhere to offer him a helping hand. 

India is offering Musk’s SpaceX a big chunk of land and permission to do the required testing in Pune, a city 118 kilometers away from Mumbai. The country’s Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said he made the proposal to Hyperloop’s parent company SpaceX during his recent visit to the United States.

“I just offered them … they want some road for experimental purpose. I offered them the westerly bypass of Pune connected to the Express Highway. The idea is they can take an experiment between Mumbai and Pune as a pilot project,” he said. ‘”It is up to [SpaceX] to decide whether or not to accept my offer,” he added.

If Hyperloop manages to materialize its commercial plans – and bring it to India — it would enable people in Mumbai to go to Nagpur in 35 minutes, Gadkari said. In comparison, the same 800 kilometers trip takes nearly 14 hours by train.

The Chief Minister of western Indian state of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, added that his state government has also asked SpaceX to develop the product and then test it in the state.

With Hyperloop, Musk has a vision to change the way people travel between cities. One of biggest hurdles for his superfast train, which uses air for propulsion and runs along magnetic tracks, has been convincing local governments and dealing with politicians to acquire land rights.

Earlier this year, Hyperloop Transportaion Technologies announced that it had signed an agreement with the government of Slovak Republic to explore building a Hyperloop system that connects Bratislava with Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary.