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द्रुतगामिनी Railroad - Update

I wrote about an idea of a high-speed railway service for India which I christened द्रुतगामिनी Railroad. Indian Railways is now planning a small pilot in a similar direction - a bullet train connecting Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune [HT reports].

Inspired by China’s plans to develop the world’s fastest bullet train, the Indian Railways has taken the first step to construct high-speed corridors on the Pune. Mumbai-Ahmedabad route for bullet trains running at speeds between 300 km and 350 km per hour
.. it could mean the 93-km Mumbal-Pune stretch could be done in 20 minutes. The fastest train on this route, Deccan Queen. presently takes 3 hours 15 minutes. 
Similarly, 444 km between Miunbai and Ahmedabad could be travelled in 120 minutes. The fastest train on this route, Shatabdi Express, currently takes 6 hours 45 minutes.
Even if it wasn't this blog post which sparked the fire, it makes me happy that the idea is going to be a reality. However, the only grouse is that the Indian railways is still thinking piecemeal than think BIG! 

But probably a slow and steady approach works better in India where Land acquisition is a major pain (case in point: Singur) and so is financing of such huge projects. As HT right points out, "WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA":
  • Corridor between Pune and Mumbai could cost Rs 74,400 crore. Mumbai to Ahmedabad Rs 3,55,200 crore - approximately 2.5 and 10 times more than Railways’ total earnings of Rs 32,303.66cr for 2008-09 (until August 31)
  • Project will need to pass through labyrinthine procedures involving multiple departments and state governments
  • Land acquisition, environmental and other clearances could exceed 7 years (conservative estimate), said one official
Had the railways planned a whole national network then one more 'bad' would have been added to the list - political interference to get the railroad pass through their constituency! :-P

Anyway - a beginning in the right direction is half the work done!!

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