Virgin Hyperloop One and the Indian state of Maharashtra have signed an agreement to build the country’s first hyperloop system between Pune and Mumbai.

The 100% electrically operated hyperloop route is slated to connect central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai with a 25-minute journey time.

According to an initial pre-feasibility study completed by Virgin Hyperloop One, the Pune-Mumbai route could also result in up to $55bn in socio-economic benefits over 30 years of operation.

It is expected to support 150 million passenger trips annually and assist in the rapid movement of palletised freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune.

"The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities."

Additionally, the hyperloop system will help to reduce traffic congestion on expressways and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000t annually.

Virgin Hyperloop One chairman Richard Branson said: “The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours.”

A six-month, in-depth feasibility study of the project is set to be carried out to analyse and define the alignment of the planned route.

The study will also evaluate the environmental impact, regulatory framework, and cost and funding model, as well as highlight the economic and commercial aspects of the route.

Following the completion of the feasibility study, the project will enter a procurement stage in order to determine the public-private partnership structure.

The construction of the hyperloop system will then commence, which will be completed in two phases.

Phase one will see the construction of an operational demonstration track between two points on the route.

The track is slated for completion in two to three years and will serve as a platform to test and certify the hyperloop system.

The project’s second phase will involve the construction of the full Pune-Mumbai hyperloop route over a five to seven year period.