Asia’s oldest network of railways-Indian Railways, with over 165 years of history is going to gather high speed with its biggest launching of Bullet train. The planned 316 miles line linking the financial capital of Mumbai with the economic hub of Ahmedabad is meant to be a big leap from the trains of Indian Railways. It will be India’s first-high speed rail line. Construction of the corridor began by August, 2018, by acquiring land for Sabarmati Terminus. The first high speed train is scheduled to leave for its first run on 15th August, 2022.
It has been almost decade since the decision to run Bullet Trains in India was first discussed. It was in December 2009, under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-2 government, that the Ministry of Railways had presented a white paper named Vision 2020 in the Parliament, which had around Six routes
Trains are proposed to have length of 10 coaches and each train will have a passenger capacity between 1300-1600 passengers. The system will be designed to operate trains at a maximum speed of 350 km/h while operational speed would be 320 km/h.
Indian Railways proposes to operate two types of service on the corridor. A Rapid Train service with only two stops at Surat and Vadodara while slower service that halts at all stations. The Rapid Train would complete the journey in 2 hours and 7 minutes while the slower service would take 2 hours and 58 minutes. The railways estimates that the high-speed rail corridor will have a daily ridership of around 36000 in 2023. The train will be able to travel 508 kms in just 2 hours as compared to 7 hours taken earlier.
COST & FUNDING
The Project is estimated to cost ₹1.1 lakh crore (US $15billion). The cost include interest during construction and import duties. After a feasibility study, talks began with Japan and it was concluded that the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would fund about 80% of the project that will come in the form of an ODA (Official Development Assistance) and the rest will be borne by the State Governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The corridor is expected to recover its cost in 25 years, mainly through the fare price.
The Bullet Train is supposed to have 12 Stations accross the 508 km stretch :- Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadaodra, Anand, Ahmedabad and then Sabarmati.
Railways will adopt a “transit-oriented development plan” for all three stations so that each becomes a commercial hub ensuring smooth connectivity with the outside world.
- Land required – 1400 hectares
- Acquisition completed – 3 hectares
- Cost – 1.01 L Cr.
- Length – 508 km
- Tentative fare – ₹2500-3000 for full route one way
- Targeted year – 2022
- Funding Agency – Japanese International Cooperation Agency
- Estimated travel time – 2 hours between Mumbai and Ahmedabad