In a move befitting the city’s stature as the financial capital of the country, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda announced in the Railway Budget yesterday that India’s first bullet train will begin from Mumbai. Here’s all you need to know about the contraption that will have you zipping from BKC to Ahmedabad in less than four hours:
Graphic: Amit Bandre
India’s first high-speed bullet train corridor is expected to begin from Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), which is close to local train stations on the Central and Western lines, the Metro corridor and the Eastern and Western Express Highways. “People using the bullet train can switch over to another mode of transport here,” said a railway official.
The next stop for the corridor, most of which will be elevated, will be somewhere in the Thane-Diva zone, for the benefit of those living in the central suburbs and Navi Mumbai. While land surveys are underway in the zone, officials said the stop here will be connected to the Thane-Panvel Trans-Harbour line and will be close to an as yet unidentified Central line station.
The train will then travel west and halt somewhere near Virar.
A further halt is being contemplated somewhere between Boisar and Palghar
Another halt will be at Vapi, an industrial hub and home/workplace to many merchants and businessmen.
Valsad is expected to be the train’s penultimate stop
The corridor will terminate near Sabarmati in Ahmedabad.
Mumbai to Ahmedabad
520km: Approximate distance the train will cover
350kmph: The expected operating speed of the train
3-4 hours: The time it will take to reach Ahmedabad using the bullet train
8 hours: The time it takes from Mumbai to ahmedabad in a train currently
50-100km: The distance between each station on the line
7: Number of stations on this high-speed corridor
Rs 60,000cr: The approximate cost of the project
Rs 100cr: The amount budgeted to initiate the project
Worth its length in gold
Rs 15cr: The cost for laying a kilometre of tracks for the current railway network
Rs 125cr: The cost per kilometre for the high-speed corridor
Show me the money
The project is being funded by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is also studying its technical and financial aspects. “Studies and surveys for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed corridor are underway. We will submit the report to the Indian Railways by June 2015,” said a JICA official.
A ticket for the bullet train will cost close to the price of a first-class AC coach in an ordinary train
Competing with the fastest trains
Shanghai Maglev tops the list with its maximum operational speed of 430 kmph and average speed of 251 kmph. The Maglev started commercial operations in April 2004.
Harmony CRH 380A
With a maximum operational speed of 380 kmph, it is currently the second fastest operational train in the world. The CRH 380A began operations in October 2010 and runs from Beijing to Shanghai.
It is the first train in the Italian AGV series and began services in April 2012. It has a maximum operational speed of 360 kmph. The train broke the 574 kmph record in April 2007. It operates on the Napoli-Roma-Firenze-Bologna-Milano corridor.
15,000: The number of passengers that travel on the Mum-Ahd route every day, at present
25: No of trains on the Mum-Ahd route
The coaches used in the train will be aerodynamic and sourced from Linke Hofmann Busch in Germany. While there is no clarity on the number of coaches per rake, the figure currently doing the rounds is 12, which will be able to carry 800 passengers.
>> The coaches will have wi-fi services for passengers
>> Passengers can book their food beforehand, through email or SMS. The food will be provided by reputed chains, which will have a tie-up with the railways.
>> The seating arrangement will be a chair- car setup to accommodate more people.
Travellers give a thumbs-up
People who have travelled on bullet trains before said it’s an experience of a lifetime
Gauri Kamath, pharma and healthcare blogger
My experience in Tokyo’s bullet train was fantastic, and it was as good as flying. I hope our bullet train compares with the best in the world. The goal of public transport should be to get people to prefer it over private transport.
Yogi Shah, CEO, The Backpackers Company
It is a great thing that bullet trains are going to start in Mumbai. Tourism is going to boom. This project will lead to better connectivity and more options for travelling. We can even save money by opting for the bullet train instead of flights. This is a positive step towards modernisation.
Gagandeep Singh Sapra, businessman
I have travelled in bullet trains in Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, among other places. India also needs one because of population growth. It will be great if Mumbai can overcome land procurement challenges and get India’s first bullet train.
Maninder Pal Singh, head, Maxima Commercial and Control
I had wonderful experiences in China, Taiwan, Europe and Korea. The connectivity there is obviously very good, and this is just India’s first such project. I hope it’s a new beginning.
Sanjay Pandit (45), Kandivli resident
The high-speed Mumbai to Ahmedabad corridor will prove to be a boon to regular travellers like me, who often have to visit Ahmedabad for business purposes. It will save a lot of time.
Jenis Makadia (35), Borivli resident
I travel to Ahmedabad thrice a month to meet my family members there. The high-speed corridor will help me get there in a very short span of time, making travelling very easy. I will then be able to go there four to five times a month.
Harshil Majithia (22), engineering student
My family is in Ahmedabad and I study in a college here. I cannot go home when I have less than a week off, because travelling takes up most of my time. When bullet train services are launched, I will be able to meet my parents whenever I want.
Pravin Sarvaiya, Charni Road resident
I have to travel to Ahmedabad often for business and the high-speed corridor will prove to be beneficial, since it will save a lot of time. I hope the rates are reasonable enough. It would be even better if authorities come up with a season ticket system for regular travellers.