INDIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe attended a groundbreaking ceremony at Sabarmarti in Ahmedabad on September 14 to officially launch India?s first high speed rail project.
The planned 508 km Mumbai ? Ahmedabad line is to use Japanese Shinkansen technology including 1 435 mm standard gauge tracks. The alignment would be elevated, apart from a 21 km underground section north of Mumbai including a 7 km undersea tunnel, with a design speed of 350 km/h and operating speed of 320 km/h.
There would be an underground station at Mumbai, and elevated stations at Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
Services are to be operated using a 10-car variant of JR East?s Series E5 Shinkansen trainset, with Indian Railways expecting to order an initial 25 trainsets for Rs50bn.
The Ministry of Railways said India would ‘leapfrog to the cutting edge of latest train developments’, offering a journey time of 2 h 07 min for limited stop services calling at Surat and Vadodara and 2 h 58 min for stopping services, compared to a current travel time of 7 to 8 h.
Completion is planned by December 2023, but MOR said ‘all-out efforts’ would be made to finish the line by August 15 2022, the 75th anniversary of independence.