India and Japan have laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train project in Ahmedabad. The rail project will transform railways and ‘create new India’.
The Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed bullet train project will cost an estimated Rs 1.08 lakh crore or USD 17 billion. The project is expected to be completed by 2022.
The bullet trains would have two categories of seats, executive and economy, and the ticket fares will be comparable to that of AC-2 tier fare for Rajdhani Express.
The bullet train will run at an average speed of 320 km per hour which can go up to 350 km per hour. The bullet train will cover the distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in 2 hours and 58 minutes if it halts at 10 stations. The travelling time, however, will come down to barely two hours if the train halts at only two stations. A 21-km-long tunnel will be dug between Boisar and Bandra Kurla Compex (BKC) in Mumbai, with seven km of the stretch under sea.
Roughly 1.6 crore people are expected to travel by the high-speed bullet train annually.
The Railways will operate 35 bullet trains but the number will increase to 105 by 2053.
The bullet train in India will be based on Japan's famed Shinkansen network which is known for its punctuality and cutting-edge technology.
The Shinkansen uses 1,435 mm standard gauge tracks in contrast to the 1,067 mm narrow gauge. The Shinkansen uses an automatic train control system, thereby, doing away with the need for trackside signals. Trains running on Shinkansen network are extremely punctual and have an impeccable safety record.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Railway Ministry have inked a Memorandum of Understanding for the 508-km bullet train corridor. Japan will partially fund the bullet train project.