For Indian Railways, vertical go is impossible for either semi or high speed trains on the existing track because it will affect FOB, ROB, says World Bank in its report submitted to the Railway Board.
Discounting the vertical expansion of rail network for semi-high speed and high speed corridor on Delhi-Varanasi and Mumbai-Nagpur routes, the World Bank has suggested upgradation of existing track to run trains at 160 kmph-200 kmph speed.
In a physical survey of these two busy routes, the World Bank has examined the various possibilities of increasing speed on Delhi-Varanasi and Nagpur-Mumbai routes to see what are future options for network expansion available with Indian Railways.
Ruling out vertical structures over the existing track, the World Bank has observed that there are many foot overbridges (FOB), rail overbridges (ROB), overhead traction with high transmission wire enroute.
For Indian Railways, vertical go is impossible for either semi or high speed trains on the existing track because it will affect FOB, ROB, World Bank said in its report submitted to the Railway Board.
However, the World bank has suggested that existing track can be easily upgraded to 160 kmph to 200 kmph because Indian track structure and geometry are high quality.
Currently the Railways is having rolling stock for 160-200 kmph like Vande Bharat trains or LHB coaches. Besides, the Railways is also developing signalling system Kavach which is again compatible for 160kmph-200 kmph train speed.
Most importantly there is a huge unmet demand for passenger traffic especially from urban centres and towns for long distance travels which cannot be catered to by the aviation sector. Even the road sector will be able to cater partially because comfort, safety and travel time do not match the train journey.
That is why it becomes all the more critical for the Railways to increase speed upto to 160 kmph to 200 kmph to reduce journey time.
The third conclusion of the World Bank is that the high speed corridor like Mumbai-Ahmedabad in future will cater to a distinct class of passengers who are willing to pay high fares. So there should be point-to-point elevated corridors which are stand alone and necessarily connected to the rail network.
Ideally these should be connected to major townships like Delhi-Chandigarh, Bangalore-Hyderabad and Hyderabad-Chennai, Mumbai-Pune.
Since demand on passenger travel by rail on existing track is going to be high, the Railways should consider expanding its rail network by building more DFC corridors.