Even as the National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) is working on the construction of the 508 km-long Ahmedabad-Mumbai high-speed train or Bullet Train project, the agency is also holding studies for 5,000 km long seven new routes across the country.
According to senior NHSRCL officials, the agency has been assigned by the Railway Ministry to study the proposed seven new high-speed corridors.
The official said NHSRCL has been entrusted by the Ministry of Railways to prepare Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for the 865 km Delhi-Varanasi, 753 km Mumbai-Nagpur, 886 km Delhi-Ahmedabad, 435 km Chennai-Mysore, 459 km Delhi-Amritsar, 711 km Mumbai-Hyderabad, and 760 km Varanasi-Howrah new proposed corridors.
The official said that the NHSRCL is collecting data on the seven new proposed corridors for the preparation of the DPRs. The NHSRCL is currently constructing the Mumbai Ahmedabad High-Speed rail project.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on September 14, 2017, laid the foundation stone of the ambitious Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) project.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Union Railway Ministry have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the 508-km corridor, with Japan to partially fund the project. According to NHSRCL, a total of 1,380 hectares of land is required for the high-speed train project, out of which the Railways have acquired 479 hectares from private persons and 119 hectares from government land.
The NHSRCL is set to complete the 508-km corridor project before its deadline of December 2023. According to the official, a 21 km-long tunnel will be dug between Boisar and BKC in Mumbai, seven km of which will be under the sea.
According to the NHSRCL official, the tender for the design and construction of civil and building works, including testing and commissioning of 237 km length of the mainline out of the elevated 460 km has been floated. The mainline also has one mountain tunnel of about 280 meters, 24 river crossings, and 30 road and canal crossings.
The Bullet Trains are expected to run at 350 km per hour covering the 508 km stretch in about two hours. In comparison, trains currently plying on the route take over seven hours to travel the distance, whereas flights take about an hour.