Longer wait for bullet train

Railway official says high speed train project not financially feasible

According to the Indian Railways that had commissioned a feasibility study for the introduction of such a train, the ambitious dream of the railways has to be taken up as a national project since it is not commercially viable.

This was disclosed by Praveen Kumar, member (Mechanical) of the Railway Board, here on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters after the inauguration of an international seminar on ‘Wheel Design and Manufacture for Higher Life and Safety’ here on Tuesday, Kumar said: “Any train that moves at a speed of 250km per hour is classified as a HST and a feasibility study on routes is currently being done by the Indian Railways to examine the introduction of HST by an international consultant. The report will be completed in another six months.”

However, the project may only remain on paper, Kumar said and added: “It will not pay back. There is a problem of funding, when it comes to its actual implementation. We would have to consider it on a PPP (public-private-partnership) route, since the returns will not be high.”

No dedicated tracks

Another hurdle for its introduction is the lack of dedicated tracks in the country. “For a HST to run, we should not have any level-crossing. Speeds are required for it to be viable. It has to be supported by electronic sensors and navigation in locomotives so that manual stopping by driver is not done,” he added.

High speed train proposed routes

* Delhi-Bhopal
* Bangalore-Chennai
* Bangalore-Hubli
* Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Delhi
* Delhi-Amritsar
* Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad
* Delhi-Chandigarh

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