India’s first bullet train: The nation’s first ever bullet train service between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is coming up under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative.
The foundation stone for the bullet train project was jointly laid by Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, last year in September.
The overall development of the Bullet train project is likely to be over by 2022 and on August 15, 2022, the bullet train is likely to commence its first run between the two cities.
Recently, Achal Khare the project in-charge and MD of National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited has said that the bullet train will have a frequency of 20 minutes for peak hours and 30 minutes during lean hours.
He has also said that the work for the bullet train project is going on in full-swing and the design work for 80% of the bridges and tunnels on the network is complete. As Indian Railways looks to introduce the country’s first bullet train in a few years time, we look at 10 developments and details about the project that you would love to know:
1) With a speed of 320 kmph, the bullet train will complete its journey in a duration of around 2 hours. This will help passengers save an ample amount of time as currently the rail journey between Mumbai and Ahmedabad takes around 7 hours. Moreover, as stated above, the bullet train will depart in every 20 minutes from Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex. This means that an impromtu, last minute journey between the two cities is now much easier.
2) Initially, reports suggest that the bullet train will have 10 coaches with seating capacity of 750 railway passengers. However, by year 2033, the bullet train will be extended to 15 coaches, hence increasing the seating capacity to 1,250.
3) The Bullet train will have two kinds of coaches – economy and executive. The economy class coach will have a seating configuration of 3+2, while the executive class coach will have a seating configuration of 2+2. Reports suggest that out of the ten coaches nine will be standard while one will be executive-class.
4) Toilets: The Bullet train will also boast of many other modern facilities like vaccum toilets, baby toilet seats, separate washrooms for women, men and divyangjan.
5) Passenger amenities: The bullet train will have a multi-purpose room for feeding mothers or sick passengers, luggage space, staff rooms, folding beds, fast food vendors on-board etc. In addition to this, the seats of the bullet train will have automatic rotation facility.
6) Executive comforts: The business/executive class passengers will enjoy facilities such as seats with leg rests, extensive luggage space. The executive coach will also have a staff rooms with facilities such as tea and coffee makers, boiling water, refrigerators and hand towel warmers.
7) For operating the Bullet train service in India, NHSRCL 24 bullet train rakes of E-5 series running on Japan’s Shinkansen technology will be used, said the MD. However, 20 trains will be functional while the rest of the trains will be kept for emergencies.
8) There are also reports that a special train will check tracks every 10 days to ensure passenger safety.
9) Bullet train fare: Also, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis recently told the Legislative Council that the cost of travelling in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train would be as much as the normal railway fare.
10) According to Achal Khare, there would be 35 pairs of bullet train services, which means that in a day, the bullet train will make 70 trips between the two financial hubs, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
While traveling from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, the bullet train will start its journey from Bandra Kurla Complex station in Mumbai and will cover Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Baroda, Anand, Sabarmati stations before reaching Ahmedabad railway station. Therefore, en route, the train will cover 12 railway stations in total. For the implementation of the project, which is the nation’s first ever bullet train project, financial aid and technical assistance is being provided by Japan, which is estimated to cost around Rs 1.08 lakh crore. A high-speed rail training centre for the first bullet train project will be set up in Vadodara at a cost of Rs 600 crore. The institute will be set up in order to train around 4,000 people to run the bullet train project. Last year, during an interview with Financial Express Online, Khare said that with the implementation of bullet train service in India, a lot of traffic from the roads is expected to shift to high-speed trains.