Ahmedabad, Mumbai bullet train a certainty

Ahmedabad, Mumbai bullet train a certainty

Despite adverse feedbacks, the Indian Railway may approve the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project any time soon.

The project is now a certainty and will be implemented by Japan, a source told Deccan Herald. “Japan will be doing the project,” the source said while replying to the query on whether bullet trains were really going to appear on Indian tracks.

The 543-km route is likely to have elevated tracks along the existing rail lines. Important stations on it will include Surat, Bharuch and Vadodara. The travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be reduced to less than two hours from the current duration of over six hours.

 The construction, maintenance and operation including supply of rolling stock of new projects which are above 250 km per hour and not linked to the existing rail network, can now be undertaken by the developer.

Adverse feedbacks including that from French National Rail Company had pushed the project into uncertainty. The company had suggested in its study that it is financially viable in private sector. Submitted in September 2014, the report recommended that different trains be run on the same corridor with different number of stoppages. The premium trains with no or very few stoppages could charge more and have only two classes, premium and first class.

Railway Board officials too were opposed to the project.
“The cost, Rs 63,000 crore, is really inhibitive. The money would be quite enough to purchase a few aeroplanes,” an official told Deccan Herald.

 A comprehensive study on feasibility by Japan International Cooperation , which began in September 2013, is underway to cover funding pattern, alignment, patronage, possible halts and fare structure and other aspects. It is scheduled to be completed by March 2015.

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