India’s first bullet train project: For those aspiring to drive the country’s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, learning the Japanese language could be useful as the drivers will be trained by experts in Japan, most of whom don’t speak the English language. Achal Khare, Managing Director of the National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), which is executing the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project was recently quoted in an HT report saying that the corporation is thinking over it. According to Khare, each place across the globe is different, in Japan, they took to bullet trains from a normal train. The only element which is common is a psychometry test and it will be mandatory here also since everybody’s response to a situation is different, Khare said.
Another requirement for the aspiring drivers could be the knowledge of the Japanese language. According to Khare, those on the ground level in Japan don’t know English. If the aspiring drivers do not learn Japanese, how will they communicate, he said. Khare further stated that though NHSRCL has not yet decided, this could be one of the criteria.
For drivers of the bullet train, the minimum educational qualification is likely to be a bachelor’s degree. Initially, 56 bullet train drivers and around 50 station masters would be hired by the corporation. In 2-3 years, the NHSRCL has to send about 360 people in Japan for training, out of which 56 would be bullet train drivers, while rest of them belong to different categories such as station masters, track maintainers, signal maintainers.
According to another NHSRCL official, who was quoted in the report, the training period in Japan would range from three months to nine months. The official also informed that the hiring process will start by the end of next year and the training of the selected candidates will start thereafter.
The foundation stone for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project was jointly led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, last year in September. The bullet train is likely to start full operations by the year 2023.