Traveling at a speed of 300 km/hour, an Indian Railways bullet train will take you from Delhi to Amritsar via Chandigarh in the coming years. The bullet train would complete the 458-km long train journey in 2 hours and 3 minutes, a senior Railway official told Financial Express Online. The bullet train will also stop at Panipat, Ambala, Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Presently, the Delhi to Amritsar Shatabdi Express train takes around 6 hours. In effect your train travel time from Delhi to the Golden Temple town would come down to one-third!
The feasibility study for the corridor, the details of which were shared with FE Online, has been done by France’s Systra. “The feasibility study report of high-speed rail corridor between Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar has been submitted to the Ministry of Railways in 2016. The report has been accepted by the Ministry of Railways and is currently under consideration,” the official said.
The distance between Delhi to Chandigarh – 258 kms – will be covered in 1 hour and 12 minutes. A base fare of Rs 4.5 per kilometre has been recommended at the 2015 price level, the official said. This means that for the Delhi-Amritsar trip, you will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 2061 (4.5*458). On the other hand, for the Delhi-Chandigarh journey, you will have to spend a minimum of Rs 1161. The minimum Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi fare is Rs 890, while the Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi fare is approximately Rs 650. A random check on online portals by FE Online shows that a Delhi-Amritsar flight takes over an hour at an average of just over Rs 2,000. The Delhi to Chandigarh flight takes similar time with fares around Rs 2,000.
The total project cost at a 2015 price level has been estimated at Rs 61,412 crore. The project should take anywhere between 6 to 8 years to complete. The study expects the bullet train to start operations by 2025. However, the Ministry of Railways will take a final call on the implementation of the project and its finer aspects once the studies for all other high-speed rail corridors are completed.
The Ministry of Railways has set up High Speed Rail Corporation of India (HSRC) to deal with all the proposed high-speed rail corridors, apart from the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train. The project for India’s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad comes under the National High-Speed Rail Corporation. The other proposed high-speed rail corridors are; Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur-Chennai, Mumbai-Nagpur, Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore.