Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India's first bullet train project in Ahmedabad on Thursday. The bullet train project is touted to revolutionise railways technology in the country. The first line which will connect Ahmedabad to Mumbai can cover the 508 km distance in as little as two hours, the government said. The project will be executed as a joint venture between the Indian Railways and Japanese firm Shinkansen Technology at an estimated cost of Rs 1.1 lakh crore.
- Bullet train project to be executed as JV between Railways, Japanese firm
- First bullet train line to connect Ahmedabad with Mumbai
- Bullet train to cover distance of 508 kilometres in two hours
Here's all you need to know about the bullet train project:
1) While the Japanese team estimated that the first train would roll out by 2023, newly-appointed Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said PM Modi wants the train to start on 15 August 2022 - when India completes 75 years of Independence.
2) The train will cover the distance between Ahmedabad and Mumbai at an average speed of 250 km per hour, with a top speed of around 320 km per hour, the train will run at more than double the top speed of the fastest train in India.
3) Once it starts operating, the Bullet train will reduce travel time between the two cities from eight hours to a little over three hours if it stops at all the 12 stations and around two hours if it stops at only four. Currently the flight time between the two cities is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
4) Of the 508-km stretch, 92 per cent of the route will be elevated, six per cent through a tunnel and the rest on the ground. The high speed train will pass through the country's longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under sea near Thane in Maharashtra.
5) The train will carry 750 passengers at one time. According to the government the service is expected to be used by 36,000 commuters daily.
6) Twelve stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
7) Japan will fund 81 per cent of the project, nearly Rs 88,000 crore, in soft loans at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent. The loan will have to be repaid over 50 years. Also 4,300 railways officers and staff will be trained in Japan for the project.
8) Addressing the crowds at the launch ceremony PM Modi said that the bullet train was a "big gift from Japan to India". "Our stress is now on high-speed connectivity which will improve speed, reduce distance and ensure economic progress," he added.
9) The Maharashtra government is still undecided on where the bullet train will end in Mumbai. The state government this week agreed to spare 9,000 sq metres plot for the station at the Bandra-Kurla Complex on the condition that the railways assess suitability of an alternative site.
10) The railway minister later tweeted that the "Bullet Train project will open up huge job opportunities for people, apart from boosting economies all along its route."