Is The Bullet Train Network, A Beneficial Proposition for India?

The highly ambitious dream of India's first high-speed bullet train which would run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is close to becoming a reality. According to Piyush Goyal, Union Railway Minister,the operations for this project will commence from 2022. Though bullet trains will usher a new era of growth and development but the investment capital is humongous. In this backdrop, the issue becomes highly debatable and may appear in GD of some B-schools. The article below has been written to throw some light on the project, key statistics and its pros and cons.

Background:

The Indian Ministry of Railway prepared the “Indian Railways Vision 2020” in December 2009, and proposed seven routes that are candidates for the construction of high-speed-railways or Bullet trains.The line between Mumbai and Ahmedabad (approximately 500 km long) has been declared as the first high-speed railway section to be planned and constructed.

The High Speed Railway Line (HSRL) will connect Mumbai, the capital city of the State of Maharashtra and the second most populous metropolitan area in India with Ahmedabad which is a metropolis in the State of Gujarat. The approximately 500 km long line will consist of High-speed Railway vision running along the Arabian Sea coast side and connecting with Surat and Vadodara en-route which are the second and third largest city in the State of Gujarat.

The proposed High Speed Railway corridor between Ahmedabad and Mumbai aimsto improve connectivity between the two business centers and make it more easily connected.

Key facts and Figures

  • On 7 October 2013, India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for joint feasibility study on the construction of HSR between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
  • The estimated Cost for the entire corridor is Rs.1, 08,000 Crore.
  • Japan has offered a loan of Rs 97,636 Crore to fund about 81% of the project at an interest of 0.1%. The repayment period for the loan is 50 years,beginning from the 16th year of operation.
  • There will be 12 stations on the route. The majority of the route will be elevated. A part of it will run through a 7 km long undersea tunnel.
  • The Maximum Design Speed of the train will be 350 kmph and Maximum operating speed of will be 320 kmph.
  • The 750-seat train is scheduled to run from August 2022.

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