Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is arriving in India on September 13 for his two-day visit and will be inaugurating the project of India’s first bullet train with Modi on Thursday in Ahmedabad. The project that marks a great advancement in the transport infrastructure and railways of the country is a joint venture between Indian Railways and Shinkansen Technology, a Japanese company. The first bullet rail link being established between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will prove to be the biggest development in railway transport in post-Independence India as it will reduce the travel time between the two cities from the present 7-8 hours to less than 3 hours.
The project will cost Rs. 1.10 lakh crore, 81 per cent of which will be funded by Japan in a soft loan at an interest of about 0.1 percent and a repayment period of 50 years. The train is expected to run at an average speed of 250 km per hour and a maximum speed of 320 km per hour, which is more than double the maximum speed of the fastest train in India. It will be capable of carrying 750 passengers at a time and have 12 stations on the route. Of the 508 km stretch between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, 92 per cent (460 km) of the track will be elevated, 6 per cent (27 km) will be in a tunnel, and the remaining 2 per cent (13 km) on ground level. During the journey, the bullet train will also pass through the 21 km long tunnel which is the country’s biggest tunnel and has 7 km of its stretch under the sea.
The new Railways Minister, Piyush Goyal, has said that the first bullet train is expected to be functional on August 15, 2022, the day India will complete 75 years of Independence.