Semi high-speed trains, connecting New Delhi to Mumbai, are on the cards, Indian authorities have announced.
The idea, proposed earlier this year, seeks to raise passenger train speeds up to 200kmph using existing tracks, which would cut travel time by half on this important route between the country’s capital and its economic hub, from 16 hours down to seven.
The "Golden Rail Corridor" project will be executed with help from a team of experts from Japan, which landed in India last week to analyse the feasibility of the plan. A spokesperson from the railway ministry told the Economic Times, a respected local paper: "A team will submit a report to the railway ministry and to the Japanese government on why Japan should be granting loans to Indian Railways for the project."
High-speed trains, like the ones in China, operate at speeds of at least 250kmph yet they would require completely new infrastructure and land. Alternatively, semi high-speed trains operating at 200kmph would only require an upgrade of the existing tracks thus saving on costs of building new framework from the ground up.
The new railway system is not only necessary to keep up with India’s robust economy but also act as a catalyst for economic growth. When the trains finally roll off the tracks, these will provide a legitimate alternative link on the most popular route in India, which is currently served by up to 61 flights per day.