Saturday, 2 November 2019

Hyperloop – futuristic travel!






 In December 2017, Hyperloop One’s pod reached a top speed of over 38 Kmph on its test track in the Nevada desert, north of Las Vegas. The targeted speed is 1,223 Kmph. Propulsion is required for only 5 percent of the track. Once the top speed is reached, a pod can glide for 100 miles without the application of any energy.

It can go to a maximum speed of approx 1000 Kmph. It’s about approximately twice faster than the bullet train and about ten times faster than the traditional rail. A real game-changer is mass transportation. A futuristic travel mode!


The hyperloop train in its current version was conceptualized by billionaire inventor Elon Musk, who publicized it in 2012, open-sourced it and encouraged others to take the ideas and develop them. Hyperloop One, is now called Virgin Hyperloop One. Hyperloop One’s first-generation pod combines a carbon fibre shell around a custom-built levitating chasis. The aeroshell is made of carbon fibre panels. The material is much lighter and stronger than steel. The levitating chasis is made of aluminum and houses the propulsion system and magnets for levitation and guidance. Its design is similar to a Formula 1 car. It is built like a shell to be lightweight but strong.

It is not operational anywhere in the world as yet but feasibility studies are underway. Hyperloop is conceptualized to operate in vacuum or low pressure tunnels on columns or underground. At 1000 kmph, it is likely to be the fastest mass transportation system in the world. It is designed to consume relatively less energy, thus making it cheaper and environment friendly.

Plans are underway to connect Mumbai with Pune through Hyperloop. The estimated cost of the route is around Rs 20,000 crore, which officials say works out cheaper than other forms of high-speed on-ground travel. The system will have a capacity of 150 million passengers per year, saving more than 90 million hours of travel.

Can high-speed, energy-efficient travel improve the quality of living in Indian cities? A Mumbai-Pune hyperloop of 140 Km is planned and likely to be operational by 2024. This will reduce the time taken to cover the distance between the two cities from three hours to just 25-30 minutes. Such a system may soon become a reality, as announced at Mumbai at the investment summit Magnetic Maharastra held some months ago. Besides, a US-based company has also proposed to evaluate construction of five Hyperloop lines in India – Bangalore to Chennai, Mumbai to Chennai via Bangalore, Bangalore to Thiruvanthapuram, Mumbai to Delhi and Mumbai to Kolkata. Feasibility studies are also proposed in Andhra Pradesh, connecting the new state capital Amravati to Vijaywada and Vishakhapatanam.

Imagine hopping on to a car shaped pod in Mumbai and being zipped away inside a 140-Km long vacuum tube and reaching Pune in 25 minutes. For the harried citizen facing traffic jams and crowded roads, this would be a boon. This may push the convectional mode of transport to just old memories.

The magical concept that can transport people and goods in pod like vehicles propelled through vacuum tubes with magnetic levitation, Hyperloop will be magical and exciting energy-efficient and emission-free high speed high speed travel. Hyperloop is a futuristic idea and if implemented, change the way we travel. However, the initial capital cost and investment is likely to be very high, with long term gains in energy and operational costs.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharastra government, Prithvi Sankar, Business Development head, Hyperloop India; hopes to complete a ten Km long test track on the Mumbai-Pune route within two years, to assess the feasibility of this technology in India.

R Branson, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), said his company had signed an intent agreement with the state government to develop a hyperloop route between Pune Central, the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai, beginning with an operational demonstration track. He said that the near supersonic mode of on-ground passenger travel could cut travel time considerably. The hyperloop mode uses technology in which a vehicle in a special tunnel floats above the track, using magnetic levitation, at a top speed over 1000 Kmph.

With Hyperloop test tracks and trial runs being undertaken all over the world from the US to South Korea and UAE to Slovakia, many experts believe that India could be among the early adopters of this technology.

However in a country like India, as in most infrastructure and development projects, land acquisition is a major challenge, followed by the large cost factor. If these hurdles are overcome with proper compensation to land owners and allocation of funds for this new project, it will be a game-changer in long distance mass transportation.



Rama & Thailand ?

You must be aware, centuries ago, the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism spread to Far East and South East Asian countries like Cambodia (earlier known as Kambhoj), Thailand, Indonesia, etc. Did you know that in Bangkok, has a Sri Ayodhya road and Rama-I road. There are more such interesting facts.

Bangkok itself was established as the capital of Thailand by King Rama –I, the founder of the Chakri dynasty. It is evident from the history of Thailand that many generations of Thai Kings have identified themselves with Rama, who was regarded as an ideal ruler. And therefore, successive kings of the dynasty, have continued to hold the title of Rama with their names. The present king, His Majesty Bhumi Pol Adulyadej, is called King Rama –IX.

Alongwith Buddhism, the Hindu epic of Ramayana (known as Ramakin in Thai version) has excerised powerful influence over the Thai people. There is another Ayodhaya situated about 90 km north of Bangkok. Now lying in ruins, this ancient city, known as Ayutthaya in Thai, was founded as the capital of Thailand in 1350 by King Rama Thibode.


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Picture Post:

Bappanadu Durga Parmeshwari Temple,
 Mulki, Mangalore, Karnataka
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