Railways approves funding for IIT Madras’ Hyperloop technology


Union Railways Minister hands over approval letter for ₹8.34-crore funding on Thursday

The Ministry of Railways has accorded its approval for funding of ₹8.34 crore to IIT Madras to participate in a collaborative project on Hyperloop technology. Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw handed over the approval letter to IIT Madras on Thursday.

The institute had submitted a research proposal to the Railway Ministry for collaborative working for indigenous development and validation of Hyperloop-technology based transportation system and its subsystems. The proposal also included setting up a Centre of Excellence at IIT Madras for Hyperloop Technology, says the letter.

“The funding is till 2022. As the progress happens, we will take more steps,” the minister said, when asked if more funds would be provided to the institute. “Hyperloop is still an evolving technology, but we are encouraged by the development and progress that has happened so far,” he told newspersons after looking at a demo of the Hyperloop technology presented by IIT Madras students’ Team Avishkar, developing the Hyperloop technology.

Hyperloop is the buzzword in transportation today with many companies proposing routes, including Mumbai-Pune and Chandigarh-Amritsar.

The Team Avishkar Hyperloop is developing a model that can achieve a top speed of over 1,200 kmph. The team is aiming to build the world’s largest student-developed Hyperloop testing facility at IIT Madras and is hoping to complete the construction of the 500-metre-long Hyperloop facility by this year. The facility will be constructed at Discovery Campus, the satellite campus of IIT Madras located about 35 km from the main campus, says a release.

Vande Bharat trains

On increasing train speeds, the minister said that the Railways would be looking at certain sections that are connecting large cities to be converted into Bullet sections. The other sections that are smaller cities, the Railways would be targeting speeds of 160 kmph. “I am feeling proud of Tamil Nadu that Vande Bharath trains, capable of travelling at 160 kmph operating speed and 180 kmph as the peak speed, are manufactured here. It takes just 52 seconds to reach 100 kmph,” he said. 

By 2023, there would be 75 Vande Bharat trains connecting the entire country. The first two prototypes of Vande Bharat coaches to come before August 15 are ready at ICF, Chennai. These trains would travel inter-city at high speed. The minister said that he would be inspecting the Vande Bharat coaches at ICF on Friday.

The government had approved 400 Vande Bharat trains. The Railways will slowly shift from slow-speed trains to higher-speed trains, he said.

Published on

May 19, 2022

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