High speed trains in India? Wait for 6 months for answer

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 18:24

Bangalore: A feasibility study undertaken by
an international consultant on introduction of high speed
trains in the country with the speed of above 250 km per hour
would be completed in six months, a key Railway official said
on Tuesday.

The feasibility study was being conducted on the sections
of Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chandigarh and Bangalore-Hubli,
Member, Mechanical, Railway Board, Praveen Kumar said.

"The problem is, it (the project) has to be taken up as a
national project because it will not pay back", he told
reporters in response to questions on high speed trains. "The
cost of the project will be so high that it will not be
commercially viable initially".

So, the problem would be one of funding, Praveen Kumar
said but added the consultant was expected to "find out
some method". "Some attempts are being made to get funding by
PPP (public-private-partnership) route. If funding is
available, then only the project can be done".

He also favoured the model of states sharing expenditure,
similar to shouldering burden in some other railway projects.

"Ours is a big country and we need to travel faster but
then it has to pay back", Praveen Kumar said. "For high speed
trains to run, there is need for dedicated tracks, and one
cannot have level-crossing, and there should be grade
separator," he pointed out.

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First Published: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 18:24

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