1. Bullet train in India has multiple benefits; it’s economically viable: Achal Khare, man in-charge of project

Bullet train in India has multiple benefits; it’s economically viable: Achal Khare, man in-charge of project

India's first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will benefit the country and its industries, besides giving a boost to skill development, says Achal Khare.

By: | Updated: September 29, 2017 12:56 PM
bullet train india, bullet train india news, bullet train india latest news Achal Khare, the MD of National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited highlights the importance of the project and why one can’t compare it to Hyperloop.

India’s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will benefit the country and its industries, besides giving a boost to skill development, says Achal Khare the man who is leading the project’s minute-to-minute implementation. In an interview with FE Online’s Smriti Jain, Achal Khare, the MD of National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited highlights the importance of the project and why one can’t compare it to Hyperloop. Edited excerpts:

Why does India need a bullet train? What is its economic viability?

Japan has done a very detailed feasibility study. As per their assessment, the economic rate of return is around 11.8%. So, economically the project shows a good sign. Savings on account of time, reduction in accidents and fuel – all add up. A lot of traffic from the roads is expected to shift to high-speed trains. As of now the project is economically viable.

Wherever Japan has built bullet train (network) in its country, earnings have increased drastically. If the normal growth was 60-70%, the growth in areas where high-speed rail runs is 150%. The overall area gets developed. That opportunity is there in India too. I am hopeful that in addition to the bullet train per se, transit oriented development will happen along the route. A number of hubs will come up. I hope that Virar will get developed into a major hub, because it will have connectivity with Mumbai with hardly 27-28 minutes distance. Boisar is another area that can come up as another major commercial hub. The project also has an element of Make in India. The industry will benefit because of that. We hope that a number of joint ventures will take place.

What are the engineering challenges? Can India absorb 100% of the technology?

There are challenges other than the under-sea tunnel. We are working in Indian Railways territory in Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. We have to work in a very limited area, with train operations on the existing track. Above that we have to build the high-speed network. For example, at Sabarmati, we have to build high-speed train over the rail overbridge and the metro network. There are technical challenges which we are confident we will find solution to with the help of our Japanese colleagues.

Bullet train in India: This Shinkansen E5 Japanese high-speed train is coming to India; check stunning pics

What are the roll-out milestones?

Immediately, the training institute will come up in December 2020. It is an integral part of this project because we have to train people for absorption of technology and skills. About 4,000 people will be trained before we commission the project. We will start the land acquisition shortly and the construction will continue even as the institute comes up.

Why did India choose Japanese technology?

Many deliberations were done. The Committee on Innovative Collaboration under the aegis of NITI Aayog has examined this. In a nutshell for common man’s absorption – Japan was the first to develop bullet train in 1964. It has a track record of zero fatalities and accidents. The train’s punctuality (delay record) is less than a minute. That takes care of passengers’ needs. Also, the kind of funding Japan is giving, probably no other country had offered it.

Hyperloop may cut travel time between Vijaywada and Amravati from 45 minutes to 5 minutes; is this radical? Find out

Will existing Indian railway system benefit from the learning of this safety technology?

You cannot put the technology from one place (project) to the other. But the overall work culture can be translated on Indian Railways. So, yes it will definitely benefit the existing India railway system also.

Hyperloop will be tested in Amravati. What is the longevity of a bullet train project? Will it get outdated in the next few years?

There is no commercial service available for Hyperloop as of now. Once it is put to commercial service, then only we can talk about it. But the bullet train technology has been serving Japan for the last 52 years. It is a proven technology. With Hyperloop, I can’t comment.

  1. Ganesan S
    Oct 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm
    1. Bullet Train project is intrinsically not viable, but at 01 Interest, it is VERY viable also it offers many spinoff benefits. Please read: s: pgurus /how-bullet-train-is-commercially-viable/ 2. EMI on Rs 89,000 Crore Yen loan for 50 years at 0.1 Interest Rate is the same as EMI on Rs 26,700 Crore Yen loan at 6 Interest. So, effectively, the Project Cost is much lower. 3. It will generate IRR of 8 to 80 , with reasonable assumption like Average Fare of Rs 1,500 (at today’s rate), Opex as 75 of the revenue (against 20 -40 assumed in the IIMA Report), and discounting cash flow at 5 per year. We need just 24,000 daily passengers (as of today, increasing at just 5 per year), NOT any higher number. 4. Yen appreciated 80 vis a vis Indian Rupee (INR) in the last 10 years, 6 CAGR. But, INR appreciated against Yen by about 20 in the last 5 years, 3.5 CAGR. Recency is more relevant. 5. There will be multiple trains making 100 trips per day, not a single train.
    Reply
    1. A
      Arch Stanton
      Sep 30, 2017 at 11:39 pm
      Japan was "chosen" because Japan is basically giving india "FREE MONEY" to SUPPOSEDLY build the HS line........ if india did not "choose" Japan to build the HS line then there is no Japanese "FREE MONEY".
      Reply
      1. Raghu Iyer
        Sep 29, 2017 at 3:32 pm
        instead of extravagant show offs like bullet trains tallest statues, at a fraction of those cost, government must repair maintain the existing roads railways, unify all rivers, improve the existing hospitals, schools, police stations,...the list of priorities goes on. first let us try to fulfil the basic necessities later we may think of those luxuries.
        Reply
        1. Damodardas Subodhdas Deshaabhimaani
          Sep 28, 2017 at 6:30 pm
          the gentleman is mercenary! he is in love with shri modi and himself! he cares nothing for India! we are buying a more than half a century old technology! today a decade is old! half a century is ancient! japan will itself go to newer technologies soon! it is dumping outdated technology onto India! shri modi is enamoured with bullet train! the great man had the audaucity to say that bullet train is to show off that india is technologically advanced! ha ha! you dont show off a geriatric technology! indian railways,despite all disadvantages of being a sarkaari service are able to build trains half the speed of bullet train at a minuscule fraction of the cost of this geriatric bullet train! this bullet train is no different to an 65 year old geriatric arab shaik bribing an Indian agent, a kazi and assorted police etc and marrying a 19 year old nubile virgin! shri modi and this henchman of shri modi are doing to India what agents and kazis are doing to poor Indian teens!
          Reply
          1. S
            Shinde. S
            Sep 28, 2017 at 3:26 pm
            Bullet train project will be flop project . Also economically it will be not viable as its cost is huge and benifeciaries are very few and they will prefer air travel rather than bullet train .The vast majority of people will not be abale to afford the ticket and they will prefer to spend more time for traveling ordinary train rather than paying the high ticket money for bullet train .secondly as digitalization is advancing with such fast speed people physically travelling for buisness will be limited. future people will travel for lesiure activities and goods transportation will increase Non of these aims will be acheived with bullet train . So it is better to scrap this porject immediatly
            Reply
            1. Damodardas Subodhdas Deshaabhimaani
              Sep 28, 2017 at 6:32 pm
              very well said sir! air service can be run like bus service by just building a runway with about thousand rupee ticket. bullet train is going to cost about 2500 to 300 rupees
              Reply
            2. Load More Comments

            Go to Top