High – Speed/Semi High-Speed Train Corridors: Indian Railway

High – Speed/Semi High-Speed Train Corridors: Indian Railway

Indian Railway is in the path of drastic change. Now top to bottom modernization is the strategy of Indian Railway. The introduction of high speed and Semi high-speed train corridor is one among those changes. Indian Railways is working on a multi-pronged strategy for the running of high-speed trains, with a speed of 300 kmph and semi high-speed trains with a speed of 160 kmph – 200 kmph, running of existing trains with increased speeds and introduction of faster trains and faster train sets.

MoUs with Foreign Countries for High Speed / Semi High Speed Trains

Ministry of Railways have signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for technical cooperation with various foreign countries railways to get latest technical know-how of the world Railways, and the countries are  France, Germany, Czech Republic, China, South Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, Slovak Republic, United Kingdom, Japan, Russia and Sweden which includes modernization of rail infrastructure including railway stations. The ongoing cooperation projects through the MoUs signed between Ministry of Railways and foreign countries’ railways are:-

  • China : (i) High Speed Rail feasibility study for Delhi-Nagpur section with financing from Chinese side (ii) Feasibility study for upgradation of Speeds to 160 kmph on Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore corridor with financing from Chinese side.
  • South Korea : Feasibility Study for speed raising of Delhi-Mumbai route to 200 km/h with financing from South Korean side.
  • Japan : The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project has been taken up for implementation with financial and technical assistance of Japan. An SPV, namely, National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHRC) has been formed to implement the project. The implementation of this project has already begun and is now targeted for commissioning in 2023-24. The study for this high speed train popularly referred to as Bullet Train has been done by JICA. Government of Japan is providing financial assistance in the form of loan upto 81% of the project cost at a very nominal interest rate of 0.1% per annum to be repaid in 50 years with a 15 year moratorium.
  • France : (i) Technical and Execution Study for upgrading the speed of passenger trains between Delhi-Chandigarh upto 200 kmph. (ii) Renovation/development study of Ludhiana and Ambala railway stations.
  • Germany: Feasibility study for High-Speed Rail of Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore Section with financing from the German side.

High Speed Train Corridors

A high-speed train (300 kmph+) has already been sanctioned on Mumbai – Ahmedabad high-speed corridor with financial and technical assistance from Government of Japan. This train is based on Japanese Shinkansen high-speed technology. A company for the implementation of this project with the name “National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited” has already been formed. In addition to Mumbai – Ahmedabad high-speed corridor, five more corridors covering sides of diamond quadrilaterals and semi diagonals in the country are being explored and Consultants have been appointed to undertake feasibility studies. Following are the name of the High-Speed Corridors.

  • Delhi – Mumbai 
  • Mumbai- Chennai
  • Delhi – Kolkata
  • Delhi – Nagpur
  • Mumbai – Nagpur

Semi High Speed Train Corridors

With the running of Gatimaan Express between Hazrat Nizamuddin to Agra Cantt Railway has started a programme of running of semi high-speed trains in a big way. The Semi-high speed train Gatimaan Express started from 05.04.2016 with a maximum speed of 160 kmph. Indian Railway also identified eight more semi high-speed train corridor. Following are the details.

  • Delhi-Chandigarh : Northern Railway zone
  • Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore : Southern Railway, South Western Railway zones
  • Delhi-Kanpur : Northern, North Central Railway zone
  • Nagpur-Bilaspur : South East Central Railway zone
  • Mumbai-Goa : Central, South Western Railway, Konkan Railway zone Railway
  • Mumbai-Ahmedabad : Western Railway zone 
  • Chennai- Hyderabad : Southern Railway zone, South Central zone
  • Nagpur – Secunderabad : Central Railway zone, South Central Railway zone

Trial run of Talgo coaches on existing New Delhi – Mumbai Corridor is an achievement of Indian Railway. These are faster trains which may run at around 200 kmph. Indian Railways is also working on a proposal to acquire modern electrical EMU train sets which will have a good average speed thereby saving travel time substantially. Besides above-mentioned measures, the Ministry has also announced the introduction of faster train services like TEJAS which requires minimal technological inputs and aims at attaining speeds above 130 kmph.

Mumbai – Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project

Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor to be completed in six years and fare will be less than airfare. Mumbai – Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor will help to reach Ahmedabad from Mumbai in two hours.   The high-speed bullet train is expected to cover 508 km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph and operating speed of 320 kmph. At present, Duronto Express takes about seven hours to cover the distance between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.   The high-speed rail project has been sanctioned with technical and financial assistance from the government of Japan. Joint feasibility study of the project has already been done by the Japanese International Agency.

Prabhu said feasibility studies for other high-speed corridors have been awarded to various railway companies. Delhi-Mumbai high-speed corridor has been awarded to the consortium of the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation (Chinese consultant) and Lahmeyer International from India. Feasibility study of high-speed corridors on Mumbai- Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur and Mumbai-Nagpur have also been awarded to different global consultants.   Minster also said railways have identified nine corridors for the feasibility of semi-high speed rail. The semi-high speed routes are Delhi-Chandigarh, Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore, Delhi-Kanpur, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Mumbai-Goa, Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Chennai-Hyderabad and Nagpur-Secunderabad


India and Japan signed the agreement for the Bullet Train project. Cabinet already cleared a $14.7 billion Japanese proposal to build the country’s first bullet train line. The agreement is for high – speed rail for Bullet train between the Financial Capital of India, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat. The total estimate of the project is 98000 Cr Indian Rupees. Normally the travelling time of 505 km is eight hours between both the places but the bullet train will cut the journey time to just three hours.   Bullet Trains will revolutionise Indian Railways and will become the engine of economic transformation in India. It is a package of twelve billion dollars and technical assistance on easy term. The bullet trains project railways plan several years ago.

During the Indian rail budget, 2014 – 2015 Indian railways seriously discuss the Super Fast bullet trains and allocate some serious money to implement this project.   The current movement is quite appreciatable and we are getting some assurance to the success of Faster train travel movement across the country. Once this kind of trains will introduce to link across the country everybody can travel from Kashmir to Kanyakumari very easily. We are expecting this will do railways soon after the success of this project. This kind of travel system not only reduced the time between different location but also get a chance to work on a long distance.  


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