New Delhi: Bullet trains may soon become a reality in India with the government giving its nod to the proposal of a high-speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, which would reduce the travel time between the two financial hubs to two-and-half hours from seven hours.
"The 492-km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail route is going to have the first bullet train as the proposed high-speed rail corridor has got the green signal in a high level meeting presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently," a senior Railway Ministry official said.
The proposed bullet train with a speed of 300 km per hour would drastically bring down the travel time of passengers frequenting these two vital and financially strong cities to a mere two-and-half hours from seven hours by Duronto, the fastest train at present.
"The high speed elevated rail corridor, which will be a stimulus for the development of satellite towns, will later be extended to Pune," the official said.
The project is estimated to cost Rs 60,000 crore the Railways is considering various options for its execution.
"While one option is to execute it on a PPP model, the other is to opt for tying up with another country on government to government model...The funding pattern has not been decided yet," the official said.
There are many countries like Japan, Germany, France and China which are known for high-speed train technology.
There are seven high-speed corridors which have got in-principle approval. Besides Mumbai-Ahmedabad, others are Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Hyderabad- Dornakal-Vijayawada-Chennai, Howrah-Haldia, Chennai-Bangalore- Coimbatore-Trivandrum and Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Allahabad-Patna.
The Railways has already taken up pre-feasibility study of these routes.
Rail Budget 2012-13 had also proposed to take up the study for the new corridor of Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur. State governments and financial institutions are expected to be stakeholders of the high speed rail corridor project as these projects will be executed through PPP mode.