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Blog Entry# 2044054  
Posted: Nov 01 2016 (13:12)

1 Responses
Last Response: Nov 01 2016 (13:12)
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Nov 01 2016 (12:32)   India may give second high-speed rail contract to Japan - The Economic Times

Jayashree ❖ Amita*^   36160 news posts
Entry# 2044054   News Entry# 284472         Tags   Past Edits
NEW DELHI: India is exploring a proposal to award its second highspeed rail contract to Japan and the two sides would work on it during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the country starting November 11.
This could be Japan’s second such project in India, just like the first high-speed rail link, which is based on the Shinkansen bullet train train technology and is proposed to connect Mumbai with Ahmedabad, indicated people familiar with the developments.
Sources told ET that Tokyo is likely to fund the project just like the
first high-speed rail link. Indian and Japanese officials are discussing the proposal, including the route for the second high-speed rail link, which is expected to be built in southern or central India. Japan is keen to expand the highspeed rail network in India and the goal fits well with the Narendra Modi-led government’s stated agenda of revolutionising the time taken for train travel in India.
Japan, which has decades of expertise in developing and running highspeed rail networks, will be key to the government’s plan, according to people familiar with the subject. The agreement for the first link was signed in December last year during Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Delhi. Engineering design work for the link, which includes a number of tunnels and bridges, is expected to start in December and the network is expected to be ready by 2023-24. The government has said that tariffs on this route will be less than the airfare.
Japan is providing financial assistance for the project in the form of a loan of up to 81% of the cost at a nominal interest rate of 0.1% per annum. This loan has to be repaid in 50 years with a 15-year moratorium. The Indian Railways has identified at least five other corridors — Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur and Mumbai-Nagpur — for running 300 kmph or higher speed trains. Feasibility studies are being conducted for these routes. China is also in the reckoning for developing highspeed rail networks in India.
ET View: Railways Must Keep Off
High speed train travel for short distances between nearby towns makes sense. India should negotiate a loan on extremely favourable terms with Japan for this project as well, and more so if it is tied aid. But the Railways should not waste resources on the project and add to its debt burden. The project must be open to private sector which can take risk based on an assessment of its commercial viability. The Railways’ focus should be to modernise the rail network, and not get side-tracked.

Nov 01 2016 (13:12)
For Better Managed Indian Railways~   1933 blog posts
Re# 2044054-1            Tags   Past Edits
HST project is very high capital intensive and its intended benefits like 12% economic rate of return are very much based on assumptions rather than proven facts, especially with reference to India. Even the 500km HST line (MUM-AHM) is costing a humongously whopping amount of Rs 1,00,000 Crore Rs. Since this is the first HST project in India, and the experience of super premium train like Gatiman is not very encouraging, it is better to go full throttle and timely (rather before time) implementation of the MUM-AHM project only.
Prosperous and rapidly developing/expanding city of Surat is a trump card in this project because, this almost mega city is not very well connected by air and does not have adequate rail
facilities as well. Surat have capacity to give a high number of passengers to bullet trains for Ahmedabad, its state capital, as well as for Mumbai, the financial capital.
Going for second HST train by selecting a route of GQ, the length of which shall be almost 3-4 times of MUM-AHM shall cost Rs. 3,00,000 Crore to Rs. 5,00,000 Crore, and anything going wrong with this project shall be disastrous for IR as well as Indian Economy.
It is better to have MUM-AHM completed and get firsthand experience of HST route in India, based on which decision may be taken to go for the rest of projects.
Pvt Sector shall be extremely reluctant to fund HST project due to very high costs involved unless given many other concessions/ opportunities to earn revenues are given to them.
Instead of emphasizing HST lines, more efforts are required to get funding tie-ups for the DFCs, so that the 6 routes (sides + diagonals) of the GQ of DFCs are constructed and commissioned within a decade. This will enable IR to operate freight trains at running speed of 100 kmph and at avg speed of 65-75 kmplh on DFCs. And operation of full ac trains express trains upto 160/200kmph and avg speed of 100-140kmph and operation of other trains at 130kmph speed with avg speed of 70-90kmph, on the upgraded routes vacated by freight trains due to DFCs. These increments in operating/avg. speeds of passenger & freight trains in IR network, along with an operational Mum-AHM HST corridor (and more under construction based on the experience/ response of MUM-AHM HST corridor) would present a good enough picture for IR, with reference to speed of trains after a decade from now. The financial risks involved shall be minimised and development/ augmentation and speeds shall be maximised in this plan.

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