In the year 2016, Indian Railways has initiated the first semi high speed train in the country, Gatiman Express which runs from Delhi to Agra. It is the fastest train in India that runs at 160 km/hr of top speed. The Rail Budget 2014 has proposed high speed trains in Indian Railways to run on 10 routes at the top speed of up to 160 to 200 km/hr. According to Rail Budget 2014, high speed train corridors also include Delhi to Varanasi and Mumbai to Ahmadabad.
Inaugurated on April 2016, Gatimaan Express is India’s first semi high speed train running from Delhi to Agra at 160 km/hr of top speed. It is yet another fastest running train in the country after Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express.
Approved in Railway Budget 2014, Indian Railways will start its semi high speed rail network of up to 915 km with the speed of 160 km/hr.
Recently, Union Railway Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu said that the Indian Railways will soon start working on the planned semi high speed corridor from Chandigarh to New Delhi. According to him, Chandigarh railway station is proposed to be developed as per international standards. The transportation facility will also be doubled. He has planned to install up to 10000 water coolers over the next two years and generate job opportunities for up to 20000 candidates.
As of now, no start date has been announced to inaugurate semi high speed train from Delhi to Varanasi. For government, this project has much importance than other projects. The bullet train corridor may take a couple of years to complete. There are a few facilities that government has to consider to start this project. When it comes to speed, it will be somewhere from 200 km/hr to 350 km/hr, according to corridor’s capacity. The train is proposed to be passing from Sultanpur, Lucknow, Agra, Aligarh and Kanpur. According to the speed, the train will cover 782 km of distance from Delhi to Varanasi within 3 hours (expected 2 hours and 40 minutes).
Recently, the Konkan Railway Corporation started the Bullet train from Goa to Mumbai by considering poor traffic on the route. But there are certain issues that need to be fixed. It needs to be enough traffic to operate Bullet train. Goa would have up to 10 times of population to compete with the traffic from Mumbai to Ahmadabad route. The whole population of Goa matches up to the population of just a suburb of Mumbai, including tourists who flock in Goa. Hence, the bullet train needs the whole new infrastructure and higher speed to be achieved when the existing network upgrades.
The high speed rail corridor from Mumbai to Ahmadabad is an approved project by the Ministry of Railways. The corridor is proposed to connect Mumbai to Ahmadabad. It is going to be the first high speed rail corridor in India once prepared. The Governments of Japan and India signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 12, 2015 to adopt Japanese Shinkansen technology to build the line under Make in India initiative. Japan is also ready to provide staff training.
This time, Germany has been roped in to conduct feasibility study with a plan to run high speed trains from Mysore to Chennai, via Bangalore. The Railway Ministry met German delegates and higher authorities to run high speed train. The railway is also planning to raise the speed by 200 km per hour. Germany will also conduct the study of a station for redevelopment or renovation.
Along with these, two other high speed rail corridors have been proposed in Rail Budget 2014 –