Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train: In an interesting move, Indian Railways plans to replicate many modern features and practices of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train system such as cleaning trains in just seven minutes and encouraging passengers to carry minimal baggage. According to Indian officials, quoted in a PTI report, other than technology, the calm efficiency of the workforce is the reason behind the reliability of Japan’s high-speed network. Thus, Indian Railways is hoping that the 300-odd employees, who are being sent to Japan for training, will bring back lessons for use at home.
Brijesh Dixit, General Manager, National High Speed Rail Corporation which is implementing the bullet train project in India said that it is amazing how the cleaning crew in Japan takes just seven minutes to clean up the train. In Japan, everything is precise, with no extra movements, Dixit said. He further stated that one can hardly see any passenger carrying more than one bag or anyone using the overhead space for luggage storage. Therefore, the national transporter wants to replicate these practices as it ensures minimum waste of time whether, in boarding or de-boarding, Dixit added.
Those on board Shinkansen trains, mostly travel with just their handbags. Moreover, the passengers queue up in time before the arrival of the train and let those on board alight first. On these high speed trains of Japan, the cleaning crew are called the ‘seven-minute miracle workers’. Out of the twelve minutes in which the high-speed train is supposed to be in and out of the platform, two minutes are kept for passengers to alight and three more minutes for the waiting group to get aboard, therefore, leaving only seven minutes for cleaning. Moreover, the over-all system makes sure that the average delay time in running Shinkansen trains in Japan, including the delays incurred during natural calamities, is around 60 seconds.
India’s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will cover 12 railway stations en route, namely, Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. The bullet train project is expected to make its inaugural run on August 15, 2022.