Delhi to Amritsar in just 150 min!

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With the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project initiated, Indian Railways is now considering a bullet train in northern India. It has chosen the Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar route for the train that will run at a speed of over 300 km per hour (kmph), bringing down the existing travel time from 6-7 hours to less than two-and-a-half hours, on the 450km-long Delhi-Amritsar stretch.

The Railway Ministry has done the feasibility study for the Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar route and the project is estimated to cost around Rs 1 lakh crore, which is the same amount the Mumbai-Ahmedabad section would cost.

A senior Railway Ministry official said the Rs 1 lakh crore includes the cost of rolling stock and price escalation if the project is completed in eight years’ time.

Suggesting direct State funding instead of the public private partnership mode for the section, French consulting agency Systra along with RITES, has proposed the high-speed train on a standard gauge (just like the Delhi-Badarpur Metro line) at a speed of 300 kmph. It has proposed stoppages at Ambala, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar with a higher fare slab than the existing Shatabdis on the route.

The Delhi-Amritsar section has been proposed as there is a great demand for such fast services from New Delhi to the cities of Punjab which is host and home to thousands of Non-Resident Indians who need a quicker service after they land at IGI Airport in New Delhi.

Both the bullet trains, like other high-speed trains in the category of 160-200 kmph will be monitored by the High-Speed Rail Corporation of India Limited (HSRC), a new special purpose vehicle formed by the Railway Ministry for development and implementation of high-speed rail projects.

Indian Railways also plans to roll out nine more such trains on other routes, including Kanpur-Delhi, Chandigarh-Delhi, Hyderabad-Chennai, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Goa-Mumbai and Nagpur-Secunderabad during the next three years.

The feasibility study for the Diamond Quadrilateral network of high-speed rail corridors is also underway. While Systra, which has submitted a report for the Delhi-Amritsar section, along with RITES and Ernst & Young is doing the feasibility study for the Mumbai-Chennai 200 kmph train, the feasibility study contract for Delhi-Kolkata has been awarded to a consortium of INECO (Spain)-TYPSA-Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Private Limited. The feasibility study of Delhi-Kolkata route is underway by the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation (China) and Lahmeyer International (India) Pvt.

Source: The Pioneer

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