PM Modi & Abe Unveil Foundation Stone for India’s 1st High Speed Line

This news marks an excellent time for me to start tracking the 508 km Mumbai – Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (Bullet Train) project which has been in the works for over 10 years now.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe yesterday unveiled a foundation stone for the 508 km Mumbai – Ahmedabad high-speed rail project at an event organized at Sabarmati Railway Station – the line’s northern terminal in Ahmedabad.

The Rs 1.08 lakh crore project will be executed by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide a 50 year loan for Rs. 88,087 crore (81% of the project’s cost) under its Overseas Development Assistance programme. The loan has an annual interest of 0.1% and a moratorium for the first 15 years after the line becomes operational. 

A detailed alignment hasn’t been released, but the line is planned to run elevated for 460.3 km, at-grade for 12.9 km and underground for 21 kms between Mumbai – Thane – Virar which includes a small 1 km section under Vasai Creek.

Photo Copyright: Ministry of Railways

Photo Copyright: Himanshu Kaushik

The line’s rolling stock will comprise of Shinkansen E5 trains which are capable to running at a maximum speed of 350 km/hour (220 mph) with operational speeds of 320 km/hour (200 mph). Trains will have two categories, executive & economy, and the fare is expected to be 1.5 times the existing first class AC fare on the Indian Railways’ current Rajdhani service. Around 35 trains will initially make 70 trips per day which is planned to go up to 105 trains in 2050.

Trains will be operated in 2 services –

• High Speed (2.58 hour journey): Ahmedabad (Sabarmati) – Ahmedabad (Kalupur) – Anand – Vadodara – Bharuch – Surat – Bilimora – Vapi – Boisar – Virar – Thane – Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex)

• Rapid High Speed (2.07 hour journey): Ahmedabad (Sabarmati) – Vadodara – Surat – Mumbai (Bandra Kurla Complex)

The line was originally planned to be ready in 2023, but Narendra Modi would like it open up on August 15 2022 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. As per a railway official, the line will be opened to private operators in the future.

Event Video:

Images:

Photo Copyright: PMO India

Model of Sabarmati Station (in yellow) with the local Line-2 metro station (in brown) – Photo Copyright: PMO India

Model of Mumbai’s HSR station at Bandra Kurla Complex – Photo Copyright: PMO India

Checking out a simulator – Photo Copyright: Desh Gujarat

Receiving a momento – Photo Copyright: Desh Gujarat

For more updates, check out the High Speed Rail section of The Metro Rail Guy!

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

33 Responses to "PM Modi & Abe Unveil Foundation Stone for India’s 1st High Speed Line"

  1. KK says:

    Excellent coverage…keep up the good work.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Thanks. I’ve revamped the menu bar as well. Any suggestions from you or others on it?

      Reply
      • Aditya Benwal says:

        One sugeestion, under the new menu bar why dont u incorporate the Delhi NCR RRTS project. These are not Metro projects so should come under the HSR section

        Reply
  2. KK says:

    Does the national high speed rail corporation ltd have a website?

    Reply
  3. DG says:

    When does the bidding start for this?

    Reply
  4. Nihar says:

    Cool! Thanks for covering high speed rail projects as well as metro. Also, I like the updated menu bar…

    Reply
  5. Aditya Benwal says:

    Thanks TMRG for starting your coverage on bullet train.
    I have just one question.. dont you think the high speed service has too many stops..will the train be able to achieve its true speed in it. The rapid high speed service looks better than it.
    Hope in the future it extends to delhi. Although that would cost a lot.

    Reply
  6. S. MANIKANTAN says:

    Good thing to happen.

    But travel cost at Rs.3k is very high. Rs.2k would have been good.

    But I would like to know, if the cost of the project is almost free?

    And whether it will generate more employment and development/transfer of tech.-knowhow for the Indian Engineeers?

    Please discuss the benefits fo this project for indians. And also if any scope for corruption?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Fares are yet to be fixed. The 3k or 2k (or whatever) figure everyone’s discussing in the country will be the end to end travel fare. It’ll be a lot cheaper to travel within the network, and I can already see the Mumbai-Thane and Ahmedabad-Anand-Vadodara sections running at capacity.

      Repayment doesn’t start until 15 years after ops begin, so sometime around 2037 when India will be richer and in a better position to pay back the loan. Like metro systems, the HSR system will create a whole new supplier/job ecosystem to build, operate and support it.

      Reply
      • Deepak says:

        Well said…infact whoever is trying to suggest to improve the existing railway networks in India first should know that it is the Railway bureaucracy known as Babu’s who are the barriers to develop current Indian railways.

        With bullet trains, hopefully the Indian govt will be able to keep away these sinister old, cunning, lazy bureaucracy away to usher India into a new power with this boost in infra.

        Reply
        • TMRG says:

          Exactly. Indian Railways’ is archaic and beyond repair due to both human and infra challenges. This system will give us a clean slate to start with.

          Reply
  7. Deepak says:

    Do u think it is better to invest in Hyperloop than this? Plus, is this maglev train or non maglev bullet train? Bcoz 320 km is less speed in modern high speed rail technology.

    Reply
    • Saurav says:

      Hi Deepak,
      Hyperloop is in too early stage. Wait for few decades atleast. Also carrying capacity of those pods is worth knowing.

      Maglev is too expensive. Even Japan could only build a test track and currently constructing 1 intercity line.
      Shanghai maglev cant be compared to intercity lines.

      BTW, 320 kmph is “no less”. The very definition varies from 200 to 250 and operational speeds across the world are 300-320 (China recently launched a 350 one though).

      Running wheeled trains beyond 320 is although of no economic sense (high drag resistance).

      If we wait for maglev and its funding, probably we will miss the economic growth period (demographic advantage). May be, in future, better designs and light weight may push trains to designed 350 kmph.

      Thanks

      Reply
      • Deepak says:

        I would still focus on something like Skytran…which is faster to build, much much cheaper than bullet train and offers speed upto 250 km inter city as well as 110 km intra city.Gurgaon was making one..don’t know what’s the status.

        Reply
  8. Vinod BHAGWATKAR says:

    How many infra-transit project consontrated on same route.
    1. IR – doubling
    2. WDFCC- freight corridor
    3. HSR
    4. NH … any other don’t know

    Reply
  9. S. Sathyesh says:

    Why has IR gone for the Standard-guage for this HSR ? Does that mean end of days for broad-guage ? Just curious.

    Reply
  10. Anant says:

    Hopefully they have plans to connect HSR with city airports. It will be a big boost in multi modal connectivity.

    Can be used to remove congestion @ Mumbai airport, Possibly eliminating the need for NaviMumbai airport.
    Also help the Udan scheme.

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Would have been nice if T2 CSIA was at least connected, but perhaps there isn’t a high demand with such frequent services proposed. With the current setup, anyone from GJ or MH will have to get off at BKC, switch to Line-2 westbound and then switch to Line-3 northbound.

      Maybe the line’s extension to Pune in the future will have a stop at Navi Mumbai Airport? Let’s see.

      Reply
  11. Anant says:

    Would there be a public discussing on deciding the location of the stations? Or has that already happened?

    Anyone know why the trains have to be under BKC, why can it not be constructed over the current Mumbai Central station, that way we would be able to integrate the 2 railway networks right?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      From what I know, no public discussions have taken place in Mumbai or Ahmedabad. In these 2 places, they’ll be acquiring or using land already available with state or central agencies. Elsewhere, they’ll be acquiring land from private land holders.

      BKC is centrally located between the town & western/eastern suburbs. Secondary motivation is to tap business travelers.

      Reply
  12. Syed Khaja says:

    Hi TMRG any update on chennai-bangalore – mumbai & chennai-bangalore-mysuru hsrl corridor???

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      For Chennai-B’lore-Mysore, a consortium of DB E&C, Intraplan Consult and Ingenieurburo Vossing is conducted a feasibility study financed by the German Finance ministry. Whenever things move forward, I post about it.

      Reply
  13. Peter Hook says:

    Boisar? [बोईसर]? Fifteen thousand people live there.
    Wouldn’t Igatpuri or Nashik Make more sense?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Boisar has the state’s largest industrial park making it a key node on the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. It’s right between Dahanu & Palghar (2 other towns), and the Tarapur Atomic Power Station isn’t too far off.

      Igatpuri and Nashik are great contenders deserving to be connected, but the line would then have to make a detour through hilly terrain – increasing both travel time and construction cost. They’ll likely be a part of the Mumbai – Nagpur line.

      Reply
  14. Aakash Yadav says:

    When will construction work on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Amritsar hsrl corridors starts ????

    Reply

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