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    A representative image of how the bullet train in India might look

    Traveling in a bullet train in India is a dream that may soon come true. And it is going to change the way we travel today. How, is what this blog tries to explore by answering questions about ‘when will the bullet train run in India’ and ‘the cities to be connected by bullet trains in India’.

    When Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he would bring bullet trains to India, sceptics scoffed. When he finalised the deal with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), they were still indifferent. But with the testing of the Spanish Talgo trains in Uttar Pradesh, his vision of starting high speed trains in India seems to have gotten a new boost altogether.

    But like any other government project of this magnitude, the Bullet Train India project is going to take time. The entire project is divided into various phases that will connect different cities of the country.

    Here’s a detailed account of the various phases that are going to shape up the first bullet train project in India and the cities they will connect.

    Ahmedabad to Mumbai Train: The First Bullet Train In India

    1. India will soon get its first underwater railway track.

    A representative image of the underwater track of the first bullet train in India

    Out of the 508 km long corridor of the high speed bullet train in India, a 21 km stretch from Thane to Virar (Maharashtra) will go through an underwater sea tunnel. This will India’s first underwater railway track.


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    2. The speed is a whooping 320 km/h!

    Two modern bullet trains speeding with motion blur

    The proposed bullet train in India is expected to run at an operating speed of 320 km/h (350 km/h being its top speed) as opposed to the 160 km/h speed that the recently unveiled Gatiman semi-bullet train can achieve.

    The current fastest train in India between Delhi and Agra

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    3. The journey will be covered in a little over 2 hours.

    A representative image of a speeding bullet train in India

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    As opposed to the 7 hour journey between Mumbai and Ahmedabad by the Duronto Express, the Bullet Train is expected to complete the entire journey in mere 2 hours 30 minutes. The entire railway line will have 10 stations between the two financial centres.

    A snap of the Duronto Express that is one of the fastest trains in India

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    4. It will be one of the world’s cheapest bullet train projects.

    The bullet train project in India is being funded by Japan

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    Out of the estimated INR 98,000 crore, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has agreed to fund about 80% of the project through a soft loan of INR 79,000 crore at 0.1% interest rate, with a tenure stretching over 50 years.Imagine INR 98,000 crore being considered cheap!

    5. The ticket is expected to be priced at INR 2,800 per person.

    Another representative of the proposed high speed bullet train in India

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    A study at IIM-Ahmedabad states that this bullet train in India will have to ferry a minimum of 88,000 persons daily to keep the project financially viable.

    6. The project will be ready by 2023.

    A news clipping claiming that the first bullet train in India will be operational by 2023

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    Hon’ble Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, said that the first bullet train in India will begin operations in 2023. The work is expected to begin by the end of 2018.

    Delhi-Varanasi Bullet Train: Another High Speed Train In India

    an infographic on the proposed bullet train in India between Delhi and Varanasi

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    1. This is the second Bullet Train project in India.

    A snap of the Shinkansen bullet train exiting a tunnel

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    The 782 km proposed bullet train route in India Delhi-Varanasi stretch will pass through Aligarh, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Sultanpur.

    2. It is a part of a longer Delhi-Kolkata corridor.

    A representative image of the bullet train in India passing through a city

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    The proposed Delhi-Varanasi stretch is going to be a part of the bigger Delhi-Kolkata corridor. The Delhi-Kolkata stretch will be 1,513 km long.

    3. And all this will be covered at astonishing speeds!

    The Shinkanse bullet train stadning at the railway station

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    The travel time between Delhi and Lucknow will be under 2 hours. Even the fastest trains plying between the two cities take over 6 hours for the journey. And when compared to the 18 hours’ journey between Delhi and Kolkata by Rajdhani Express, the bullet train is set is cover this distance in mere 5 hours.

    4. But all of this comes at a price. Big numbers! Yet, cheap compared to other bullet train projects.

    An infographic showing the proposed bullet train route in India and the estimated cost

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    The estimated pre-liminary cost of the Delhi-Varanasi stretch is around INR 43,000 crore. The entire Delhi-Kolkata corridor will, however, cost about INR 84,000 crore.

    But till the bullet trains are built, the Indian Railways department has been testing with Spanish Talgo super fast trains in India

    A snap of the Talgo train running in Spain

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    Beginning with Bareilly-Moradabad line in Uttar Pradesh

    Pilots of Spanish train Talgo wave on their arrival at Moradabad Railway Station during the first trial run of the train between Bareilly and Moradabd

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    Trial Dates: May 29 – Jun 12

    Spanish train Talgo began its test run on May 29, 2016 at the speed of 110-115 km/h on the Bareilly-Moradabad line in Uttar Pradesh as a part of the Indian Railways’ strategy to induct faster trains.

    The nine-coach Talgo train consists of two Executive Class cars, four Chair Cars, a cafeteria, a power car and a tail-end coach for staff and equipment.

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    The lighter and faster train, with nine coaches and hauled by a 4,500 HP diesel engine, covered the 90 km distance in 70 minutes.

    In addition to being quick, Talgo’s lighter trains consume 30 per cent less energy.

    This was followed by Mathura-Palwal line

    The spanish Talgo achieved a speed of 180 kmph during the trial on 13th July

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    Trial dates: 9 July – 26 July

    After the trial run on the Bareilly-Moradabad line, it was tried on Rajdhani route between Mathura and Palwal with speed up to 180 km per hour.

    A shot of the Talgo train during the second trial

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    The Indian Railways department aims to cover the Delhi-Mumbai journey in 7 hours with Talgo trains

    And the actions are already being implemented to increase the speed of Indian trains.

    A view of the Gatiman Express standing at the railway station

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    A part of this plan of the Indian Railways – the Gatiman Express – is already whizzing between Delhi and Agra. Currently the fastest train in India, Gatiman covers the 200 km railway route between Delhi and Agra in 100 minutes.

    A bullet train whizzes pass a station

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    Sceptics will continue to doubt the advent of bullet trains in India. If anything, the whole attempt has given the nation its currently fastest train – the Gatiman Express. This has given a major boost to the struggling Indian Railways. The Talgo trial, too, is going good.

    Only time will tell how successful the bullet train plan will be. So, let us hope for the best and wait for the arrival of these super fast trains in India.

    Further Read: 18 Insanely Beautiful Train Journeys In India That Will Compel You To Log-in To IRCTC Right Away


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