Bullet Train- High Speed Rail Project: The high speed rail was expected to run in the country in 2023 but due to non-completion of land acquisition works in Maharashtra, the time required for this plan has increased. According to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, in 2026, the trial of the high-speed train will only be for a distance of 48 km.
At present, the Minister of Railways does not even have the answer as to when the high-speed train will start running for passengers.
High speed rail is suspended in Maharashtra due to non-completion of land acquisition works. So far, only 20% of land has been acquired in Maharashtra. According to railway sources, the Maharashtra government shows no interest in acquiring land for the high-speed rail.
Land acquisition did not take place in Maharashtra
According to the officials, the rulers of Maharashtra believe that the high-speed rail will not bring any particular benefit to the state. On the contrary, due to the convenience of traffic, the risk of Mumbai business shifting to Surat and Ahmedabad will increase.
This is the reason why even the Maharashtra BJP leaders avoided making any statement regarding the bullet train. Maharashtra BJP leaders also did not raise the issue of land acquisition for the high-speed rail.
In Palghar, Maharashtra, maximum land must be acquired for the high-speed rail. The railways intend to work in the high speed train project from Ahmedabad to Navsari until land acquisition works are not completed in Maharashtra.
91% of the high-speed train is elevated. A part has been prepared. In the remaining part, the high-speed train will travel 7 km under the sea and 4 km underground. The total length of the tunnel passing under the sea is 21 km through which this high-speed train will pass.
What is the Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail Project?
The government is working on the high-speed rail project totaling 508 km from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. In 2026, a high-speed train trial is proposed between Surat and Navsari.
There will be a total of 12 stations in this project. Of these, 8 stations will be in Gujarat and 4 stations will be in Maharashtra. In total, a high-speed train of 352 km will run in Gujarat from Sabarmati to Vapi. High-speed train pillars have been installed on 61 km of this section and work is underway on 170 km.
- Surat High Speed Rail Station will be ready in 2024. It will be the first station to be built in this project.
- The elevated bridge of the high-speed train is composed of two types of beams. A small scope and a large scope. A large number of small spans are ready at a site in Surat and new deliveries are made daily. They are installed in the elevated deck of the high-speed train.
- A large part of 320 meters of the elevated bridge under construction with a beam of 40-40 meters is ready. In this work progresses 40 meters every day. At the time of writing this report, this bridge has crossed a distance of 500 meters.
- Out of a total of 25 high-speed train sites, work has started on 8 sites. The high-speed train will pass 45 feet under the sea, between Mumbai’s Vikhroli and Silpata.
How many miles under the sea will the train travel?
There will be a tunnel from BKC to Silpata, while from Vikhroli to Ghansoli, a high speed train will cover a distance of about 7 kilometers under the sea. After exiting from Silpata to Mumbai, the high speed train will return to the elevated lane.
Around 1 lakh 8,000 crore is to be spent on the 508 km high speed rail project from Ahmedabad to Mumbai. This is the estimated cost. Due to the delay of this project, its cost has now increased significantly.
Land acquisition in Gujarat for the high-speed rail project is almost complete, but the big challenge lies in Maharashtra. Where land acquisition has not yet been made for the elevated high-speed rail corridor. It is clear that this part of the high-speed train has become a victim of politics. Finding the cost of a high-speed train can be a big challenge.
The Minister of Railways said that the fare of the high-speed train will be lower than that of the flight. In such a situation, cost recovery can take a long time, which raises questions.
On the other hand, the reality is that, according to the rules, the fare for the high-speed train will be one and a half times higher than the AC-1. In other words, this fare can be equal to or higher than the air fare. Apart from this, due to the good road connectivity between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, the train occupancy on this route is also not full.
The high-speed train was scheduled to run on August 15, 2022
The bullet train project was started in 2017. The bullet train was supposed to run on the track on 15 Aug 22 but its deadline was extended to 15 Aug 23 and after that no deadline was given until nowadays.
The railways expect it to be completed by 2028, but experts believe that it may take much longer to run the high-speed train in Gujarat only.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has announced that the first high-speed train trial will take place in 2026. This trial will be only 48 km long.
The Minister of Railways had launched the 320m section of the high-speed train’s elevated bridge earlier this month. The tracks will soon be installed on the flat ground above this elevated bridge, approximately 50 feet high and 12.5 meters wide.