India’s colonial era railway took some giant stride on 14th September 2017 when India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid on the foundation stone of the country’s maiden bullet train project in Ahmedabad on Thursday. India’s PM Modi while briefing the press conference said that this project will bring speed in railways and a lot of employment opportunities as well. It is both human as well as eco-friendly project.
This high speed train is expected to be launched on India’s 75th independence anniversary on 15th August 2022. It will run from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. This train will run at a speed of maximum 350km/h which is apparently twice the speed of current India’s fastest train. This will cut the Ahmedabad Mumbai journey time from 8 hours to a meager 3 hours.
More than four-fifth of the total budget £14.4bn will be funded by Japan at 0.1% interest rate. This rail project was a part of Modi’s campaign during the 2014 general elections. Modi’s government also claimed that this project will give employment opportunities to 36,000 individuals.
Modi replaced India’s railway minister Suresh Prabhu and handed the reins to Piyush Goyal after a horror last 12 months which included various rail accidents. Modi said that this government is committed to spend around £111bn over its term to upgrade the colonial era railway system by improving the substandard track structure and will introduce the track patrols and long welded rails. This will prevent railway infrastructure and will make sure that it don’t fall into despair. India’s current rail network which was built during British rule is the Asia’s oldest railway network and also the fourth-longest railway network of the world which covers around 67000kms.
As per the initial estimates around 16 million people are expected to travel annually by bullet train. On the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route 12 stations have been proposed: Sabarmati, Ahmedabad, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Billimora, Vapi, Boisar, Virar, Thane and Mumbai.
Article by Navneet