Railways wants faster Maglevs

The excitement over the proposed Mumbai to Ahmedabad bullet train service, promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 2014 election campaign, may not have yet materialised but that has not stopped the Indian Railways from aiming higher.
According to sources, the country's rail operator is planning to run high-speed Maglev (magnetic levitation) trains between prominent cities of the country, on a public-private partnership.
“We are trying to bring about a revolution just like the one seen in air travel post the `90s liberalisation,“ said Ajay Singh, Secretary of Western Railways.
It is learnt that the Railway Board has already floated an expression of interest (EOI) in the last week of July and are now awaiting responses from private players offering such services abroad. Currently Maglev technology is used in countries like Japan, China and Germany.
“Maglev trains run faster, can touch even 500 kmph and has a minimum speed of 300 kmph. Yes, these sound expensive but the way we are planning it requires us to only lend our land,“ said Hemant Kumar, Member ­ Rolling Stock, Indian Railways. According to the proposed model, interested parties, which fulfil the Railways criteria, will be free to establish their own rolling stock, platforms, tracks, signal systems, fare structure including operational control systems while the land required for the project will be provided by the Railways.
“Although the project still remains on paper, our preliminary research shows that these trains can be used in Nagpur-Mumbai, New Delhi-Chandigarh, Bengaluru-Chennai and Hyderabad-Chennai routes,“ said a railway official who added that these trains would drastically cut down the time taken to cover these distances.

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