India’s bullet train dreams, under Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways, seem to be on a fast track to being realised in some years. If a feasibility study, conducted by a Spanish firm, is anything to go by, then the travel time between Delhi and Kolkata may actually come down to less than five hours!
Multiple reports suggest that the feasibility study, which is being undertaken for the 1513 km long Delhi-Kolkata high speed corridor along with two other routes of the Diamond Quadrilateral project, has projected the travel time between Delhi and Kolkata to be as less as five hours.
Not only that, the train travel time between Delhi and Varanasi will be reduced to as little as 2 hours 45 minutes, suggest reports about the study.
We take a look at five things we know about the bullet train project study between Delhi and Kolkata via Varanasi.
- According to the feasibility report, the travel time between Delhi and Kolkata on the proposed bullet train will be 4 hours 56 minutes as against the 17 hours in Rajdhani.
- The Delhi to Kolkata bullet train corridor is estimated to cost about Rs 84,000 crore. Diamond Quadrilateral, one of the ambitious programmes of the NDA government, will connect four metro cities through high speed rail network.
- The bullet train is expected to run about 300 km per hour on the dedicated track.
- There are about 12 cities including Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna between Delhi-Kolkata high speed route. While the travel time for Lucknow is likely to be 1 hour 45 minutes, one will reach Varanasi in 2 hours 45 minutes from the national capital.
- Feasibility study is also being carried out for Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Chennai high speed corridors of the Diamond Quadrilateral project. The study for the Chennai and Kolkata route is yet to be taken up. Meanwhile, the Railways is going ahead with the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor with the Japanese help.
The study is underway even as Spanish firm Talgo is conducting high-speed trials of its coaches on existing railway tracks. Talgo’s coaches are said to weigh much less than an average Indian Railways coach, and that is what the company claims will help it run trains at a higher speed. They also consume 30% less energy, the company says.
The coaches are being tested on several parameters to check that they are fit for “safe use” on the Indian tracks. Talgo coaches are also being tried on the Rajdhani track at speeds of up to 180 kmph. The route chosen for the high-speed trial run is between Mathura and Palwal.
(With inputs from PTI)