NEW DELHI: Railways' ambitious project of running bullet trains in six select corridors has been fast tracked as the state-run transporter is ready with the Cabinet note for setting up of a high speed rail authority.
Railways' top brass are also in intense negotiations with the visiting Japanese delegation, seeking their cooperation for introduction of a high speed train that can run at 300km per hour.
The authority will be empowered to decide on whether a particular corridor project will be implemented on PPP or non-PPP mode based on pre-feasibility study. Sources said that the authority will have the power to decide on ownership and management of each high-speed corridor. Besides, it will take a final call on project packaging, such as operator, fixed infrastructure and rolling stock.
Railways has selected six corridors for conducting feasibility study for running high speed trains. The transporter has completed the pre-feasibility study for the 650 km Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed corridor. It has selected a Japanese consortium to explore the feasibility of running a bullet train on the proposed Hyderabad-Vijayawada-Chennai high speed corridor.
The consultants for the pre-feasibility study of Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna and Howrah-Haldia corridors have been appointed and they are expected to submit reports soon, said an official.
Tenders for the study of Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram corridor are under finalization. The state governments are ready to meet 50% cost of the consultancy. While Japan has shown interest in India's high speed train, it is funding 80% of the cost of construction of the 1,499 km-long Western Dedicated Freight Corridor.
Railways believes that Japan, which runs the high speed train Shinkansen, can show India the way as both nations face a similar situation as far as population density and station-to-station distances are concerned.
It is being estimated that dedicated high speed corridor will cost about Rs 100 crore per km.
Railways puts bullet train project on fast track - The Economic Times