High Speed Rail network is one of the show piece of any developed country, and it is also considered as mandatory for accelerating growth and sustaining the economy at a speed.
High Speed Rail network is one of the show piece of any developed country, and it is also considered as mandatory for accelerating growth and sustaining the economy at a speed. The Japan bullet train [Shinkansen]; a super-fast, modern, clean and safe way to travel has been transporting users for over 50 years at an average speed of over 200 mph in Japan. It has become an icon of Japanese culture and a means of transport for millions of people every year. It is nothing but pure engineering beauty.
About 800 Bullet trains per day, are in service. The reliability of Japanese train is such that According to many research reports, the Shinkansen’s average delay from schedule per train is 36 seconds, including delays due to uncontrollable causes, such as natural disasters. With an impressive safety record of 50 years running history, carrying nearly 10 billion passengers, there have been no passenger fatalities despite frequent and heavy earthquakes and typhoons.
Indian and Japan Government teams are working for past 5 to 6 years towards implementing this Superfast Shinkansen trains in India to provide extremely efficient time and energy saving along with security and safety for passengers. The actual construction work for first ever bullet train line in India is expected to begin in 2017, and expected completion in 2023 and made operational by 2024. The Japan International Cooperation Agency recently submitted the final study report on the feasibility study of the proposed high-speed rail system on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route to the Indian Railways minister, estimating the ambitious project would cost Rs 988,050 million. Japanese government has offered to fund the project at a low interest rate. However, the loan offer comes with the rider that 30 per cent materials for the project would be sourced from Japanese firms.
Many Japanese firms who are notable for Super-fast trains in Japan; have started bidding for this project funding and also have started approaching the Japanese agencies in identifying to sell their equipment’s or services for India bullet train plan. Not only the firms that are pitching for this project; along with this project there is industrial corridor planned in which zones are expected to be developed. In other words multi-dimensional output is expected along with bullet train corridor.
While technically every aspect of modernizing the transportation is appreciable by everyone; the cost factor seems to be not welcomed by everyone. Even in Japan; shinkansen ticket pricing is considered as every expensive travel mode if considered to travel less than 2 hours route. There are low cost carriers both train and flight which is far lesser than shinkansen pricing. The Bullet trains either be run on the long distance, medium distance routes, the fact is it will be more expensive than Normal trains or other transportation modes.
There is a view to the consumer cost that is cost of implementing this train line and the impact to the economy. UCLA`s economic analysis of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train and its impact on the growth of cities raised a question in the report mentioning Construction of Japan’s bullet train did not generate higher economic growth or additional jobs, according to the study.
In comparison with China often it is told that china in way had made its way to achieve the bullet train capability by implementing on its own and implementing bullet train has brought china a new industrial image, while India is nowhere less then implementing on its own when it comes to these hi-fi technologies; the other nations are also in competition to provide technologies to India. China is also one of the country currently conducting feasibility study for a high speed railway in the over 2000 km long New Delhi-Chennai corridor, while Japan is doing the same for Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.
Whereas India has lots of challenges to overcome in implementing superfast bullet train line; not limited to fencing, passenger pricing and or building entirely new terrain tracks. Many engineers in India who work in the old train lines consider that spending crores of rupees on the bullet train project is an unnecessary expense. Many of these think that this money would be better spent on improving the trains that they already have and expanding the number of train lines.
The good news is most people in India do agree with these new super-fast trains because of all the conveniences they bring and eagerly are waiting for Bullet train riding. India is a fast growing economy and getting from point A to point B needs to become faster and companies need to trust that their employees will get to where they need to be on time and that’s where the Shinkansen trains are best. Despite the challenges that the firms may face; one fact is that it certainly improves in providing job along the corridor as many firms are expected to pop up.
Writer Profile: Junko Nirmala is a Tokyo resident with 16 years of experience in technology and business consulting services mainly focusing on India-Japan Market and cross border related services. Writer can be reached at email@example.com
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his/her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of the The Financial Express, or any other entity of the Indian Express Group.