Monday, October 8, 2012

Bullet trains to slow down to 110 kmph for India tracks
Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 07, 2012

The train sets (bullet trains), which India had proposed to acquire, will be "intensively modified" so that they can run at a much slower speed on the country's existing Broad Gauge (BG) tracks. 

These customised train sets in turn are likely to raise the acquisition costs by 
several folds, an official from a visiting Japanese team informed at the first meeting of the India-Japan working sub-group on High Speed Rail on Thursday.
It had earlier been estimated that the six train sets would come at a cost of Rs. 25,000 crore.
Bullet trains - designed to run at a speed of 325 km per hour (kmph) - are run on the standard gauge; but the railways wants to run these at a speed of 110 kmph on BG routes.
The railways will also need to carry out massive upgrades in the track structure and signaling systems - which will also come at a huge cost, officials said.
The railways plan to build a "Golden Rail Corridor" for running these slow-moving bullet trains on four other routes apart from the Delhi-Mumbai sector. Routes identified for this corridor includes the Mumbai-Kolkata and the Chennai-Bangalore sectors, besides the Delhi-Jaipur and the Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes.
"Most advanced countries have switched over its locomotive hauled conventional inter-city trains to Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) train sets for operating speeds ranging from 130-160 kmph," an official said.
But some sections feel that given the astronomical costs involved, the acquisition is unjustified - particularly since the railways can work on an alternative model at a fraction of the costs.
 "The LHB-design coaches (certified for 160 kmph speed) can be upgraded to 180-200 kmph to create a train set with two locos at each end... This train set may not resemble an Inter City Express or a Shinkansen, but will more than serve the purpose," officials said.


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