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Blog Entry# 1069463
Posted: Apr 24 2014 (11:01)

4 Responses
Last Response: Apr 24 2014 (11:18)
Rail News
Commentary/Human Interest
Apr 24 2014 (04:39)   Modi proposes bullet trains, but Railways disposes idea in favour of cheaper version

rdb*^   133332 news posts
Entry# 1069463   News Entry# 174575         Tags   Past Edits
The Indian Railways is taking baby steps towards high-speed travel in India. According to a report in The Financial Express, it is planning to launch a kind of bullet trains that have a modest speed of 130 km per hour in one year. This compares with a scorching 310 km per hour speed that the Japanese trains have.
The plan is to roll out the service on Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Bhopal routes initially, the report said. The travel time between Delhi and Chandigarh—a distance of 266 km—will be cut to less than two hours. Currently, Shatabdi Express, India’s fastest trains, takes three hours 20 minutes, the report says.
railways’ proposal comes close in the heels of BJP’s election manifesto proposing to bullet trains as part of the party’s plans to spruce up India’s infrastructure.
“We will launch Diamond Quadrilateral project - of High Speed Train network (bullet train),” the party’s manifesto said.
However, as per the FE report, the railway is not ready to bite off larger than what it can chew. RITES, the railways’ arm that takes care of the infrastructure, has estimated the cost at Rs 2.5 crore per km. For the original high-speed train network, the cost is about Rs 200 crore per km, the FE report states.
“We have to be realistic and understand that we can't achieve 350 km per hour of speed overnight from the current average of 60 km per hour, irrespective of the promises in political manifestos. High speed is not the (first) priority (of railways). We, however, have to take the average speed to 130 km per hour and it would be financially feasible,” a top railway official has been quoted as saying in the FE report.
The BJP’s election proposal has already come under fire, with critics terming it utterly populist.
TN Ninan in an article titled “High-speed folly” in the Business Standard dubbed the proposal “one of the hopelessly premature ideas”.
“The trouble is that it will cost a bomb and, if not substantially subsidised by the government, could bankrupt the Railways,” he said.
Going by the FE report, there are officials in the railways who don't want to commit the high-speed folly. And hopefully, it will be saved from a financial break-down even if Narendra Modi pushes his dream down its throat.

4 Public Posts - Thu Apr 24, 2014

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