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India: Bullet train trials to be done at speeds of 350 kmph, similar to airplane take-offs

The operational speed of the trains will be 320 kmph



A Shinkansen bullet train in Shiroishi, Japan. - AFP
A Shinkansen bullet train in Shiroishi, Japan. - AFP

By PTI

Published: Thu 14 Apr 2022, 6:34 PM

The trials of the bullet train will be conducted at a speed of 350 kilometres per hour, comparable to the take-off speed of airplanes, officials said on Wednesday.

The first such trial will be held between Bilimora and Surat in Gujarat in 2026, followed by other sections, they said.

The operational speed of the trains will be 320 kmph.

“It will be a gamechanger for travellers and competition to air travel. The bullet trains will have less check-in time, more leg space and most of all, connectivity, which is denied on-board airplanes.

“We will conduct the trials at 350 kmph, but the operational speed will be 320 kmph,” an official said.

The trains will run on special tracks called the “slab track system”, popularly known as HSR technology for construction of tracks, patented by the Japanese. Trains running at a speed of 350 kmph will be fit to run on these tracks, the officials said.

The services will come at a fare at par with economy-class flight and is likely to have a higher free-luggage limit, sources said.

With the Assembly polls round the corner in Gujarat, the thrust is on speeding up the project and taking a section up for trial, especially in Gujarat where the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has already acquired 99 per cent of the land required.

Using designs procured from Japan, construction is being done through the Full Span Launching Method (FLSM), one of the most sophisticated bridge construction technology in the world. The NHSRCL has built 200-250 pillars per month between Bilimora and Surat.

The longest (1.26 km) bridge under the project, being built bearing turbulent winds and tidal waves over the Narmada river, will be completed by July 2024.

In Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, 100 per cent of the civil contracts for the construction of the entire route of 352 kilometres have been awarded to Indian contractors.

For the track work in Gujarat, contracts for 237 km have already been awarded and those for the remaining 115 km will be awarded soon.

Of the 352 km, detailed Geotechnical Investigation (GTI) work (100-metre interval) has been completed over 330 km. Based on the GTI, good-for-construction drawings have been developed for 165 km.

The work on all eight high-speed rail stations from Vapi to Sabarmati is in various stages of construction, the officials said. The passenger terminal hub at the Sabarmati integrating HSR, Metro, BRT and two Indian Railways stations are expected to be completed by August this year.

The total length of the bullet train corridor is 508.17 km and the train is expected to take around 2 hours and 58 minutes to travel between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, covering eight stations in Gujarat and four in Maharashtra.


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