Trains have always been a part of my travel. Hence, I love to write about trains and how they impact the life of travellers and commuters in India. I have written previously on different train-related topics like heritage and luxury trains, mountain railways, the Mumbai’s suburban railway and many more. However, taking inspiration from one of my fellow bloggers Dan Antion who writes at No Facilities this is my take on Hyperloop vs Bullet Train in India.
Let’s have some tea while we talk this over, shall we?
“Ah, there you are. Finally. I see you’re quite late once again.”
“Well, don’t blame me. You know how Mumbai suburban trains are. Plus there are other factors that never let you be on time.”
“I believe there is a thing called planning. So, rather than conveniently blaming on the train why don’t you stay ahead of your schedule to compensate for the minutes you lose during the commute.”
“Not everyone is a blogger and professional writer that works from the comfort of home.”
“Ouch! That hurts. Do you intend to say I don’t know the hassles of commuting in a suburban train?”
“Maybe. When was the last time you worked in a company?”
“Hmmm…Okay. I’ll keep this work-from-the-comfort-of-the-home debate aside for now. Let’s order something?” (The order-taker arrives).
“I’ll have a tea.”
“I’ll have the same.”
“Hey, have you heard about all this bullet train debate happening all over?”
“Yes, I have. Some people like it, some don’t. The debate on the TV and newspapers is endless.”
“And about the Hyperloop?”
“Hyperloop? What’s that?”
“Well, typically both are futuristic train transport options that will come to India in the future. I believe that should allow India to become a punctual country. You might not have the excuse of blaming it on the pathetic railway conditions, then.
“I never blamed the railways. I was just saying there are other factors that you can’t control.”
“Okay, buddy. Calm down. I’m just kidding around.”
“So, you were saying something about this bullet train and hyper look…something”.
“Yes, hyperloop. So what is it?”
“Technically, both use magnetic levitation technology to provide high-speed travel. However, Hyperloop is faster than the bullet train mainly because it uses a vacuum tube that mimics high altitude travel and reduces drag.”
“Oh! So now you’re a civil engineer cum blogger?”
“No, I’m not.”
“What I meant to say is that hyperloop pods travel inside this vacuum magnetic tube and hence it can achieve faster top speeds than a regular bullet train. You got me. No air, less drag. Come on, use some imagination.”
“Yeah, I get it now. So, hyperloop route is also Mumbai – Ahmedabad?
“Nope. It’s Mumbai – Pune.”
“Quite a small distance, but that’s good.”
“Yeah, you can then cover Mumbai to Pune in 25 minutes instead of 3 hours time.”
“That’s good news. But, wait? What about the Mumbai-Pune Expressway?”
“What about it?”
“I love visiting my relatives in Pune on weekends especially during the monsoon season.”
“So, what about it?”
“I mean you said the Hyperloop pod travels within the tube, so that means I can’t enjoy the waterfalls, mountains, scenery and all that along. No more wada pav on the way.”
“Well, I guess technology is a two-way street. You get some, you lose some. You think bullet trains will have food vendors loitering around in there?”
“Hmmm. Never thought about it.”
“Yeah. Don’t worry too much about it because both these projects will take time to complete.”
“The bullet train topic is always in the news so you’ll never miss a beat. The hyperloop India project is in the testing phase now and so it will take another 6-7 years in the making.”
“Oh! That’s a really long time.”
“Large-scale projects take time. I would rather allow the engineers to take their own sweet time rather than skipping on quality to cut the project time into half. After all, I would want to travel safely.”
“Yeah, but you know what’s faster than the bullet train and hyperloop?”
“The population of India. By the time these technologies are ready our population will exceed the then current requirements.”
“So, you mean to say. Our development pace is always few steps behind our population speed.”
“Exactly. I mean no matter how good the technology is you cannot get a better experience because there’s so much crowd and pressure. The consumption level is very high.”
“I think that is why these new technologies are going to come in. To divide the audience.”
“Yes, of course. Do you think everyone is going to afford a hyperloop or bullet train initially?”
“Look at the Mumbai Metro and that new AC local train. How many commuters use it in comparison with the local suburban train?”
“Yeah, I see your point.”
“Both these technologies can boost our travel options but you can’t tell for sure how they will impact our lives in the near future.”
“Yeah. True…….. Oh my God!
“You’re a talkative person, Sharukh. I have an appointment. I gotta go.”
“Okay, I’ll finish my tea. You go ahead. I’ll pay”
“Talk to you later.”
“Sure. And don’t blame the railways again if you’re late for the appointment.”
“Yeah, I’ll blame you and your talkative mouth.”
Note: Thank you, Dan, for inspiring me in many different ways.