Railway's High-Speed Train Corridor Plan

Indian Railways would soon announce a ₹10 lakh-crore high-speed train corridor construction plan to connect all major cities in the country, covering almost 10,000 kilometres, along the lines of the government’s Bharatmala highways development programme.

Trains would be able to run at 200 km per hour on the new rail lines that would come elevated atop the existing or upcoming national highways or on rail land that runs parallel to existing rail routes. Railways would come out with large tenders, inviting all global majors, to keep the cost of construction minimal. The government plans to build double lines on single pillars to halve the cost of construction from ₹200 crore per km to ₹100 crore per km. Also, light-weight aluminium coaches would be specifically designed for trains to be run on electric traction.

The mechanism of funding would most likely be borrowings from financial institutions and multilateral agencies along with monetisation of land bank. Railways minister Piyush Goyal has asked his officials to work on speed, scale and skill to achieve early implementation of these projects.

The government is currently constructing a 534-km long bullet train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad at a cost of over ₹1 lakh crore. The project is likely to be completed by the end of 2022. Feasibility studies for various other corridors, including Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata and Bengaluru-Chennai, have already been done.

No comments: