Infrastructure

After Stalled Talks With Suppliers, India Set To Build Its Own Bullet Train

Swarajya Staff

Jun 07, 2024, 03:46 PM | Updated 03:45 PM IST

These two trains are intended for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor. (MAHSR)
(Representative image via Encino)
These two trains are intended for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor. (MAHSR) (Representative image via Encino)

As India advances its first high-speed rail network, the state-owned Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has been assigned the task of locally producing two standard-gauge bullet trains this fiscal year.

According to a report by Economic Times, this decision follows stalled negotiations with Japanese suppliers over pricing.

These two trains are intended for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) corridor and will mark the first time India manufactures a train capable of reaching speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour.

In 2018, the estimated cost of a 10-coach bullet train was Rs 389 crore, with each train expected to reach cruising speeds of over 300 kmph. By 2023, this estimated supply cost had increased to Rs 460 crore per trainset.

The initial plan involved sourcing trainsets from Japanese companies, as the Japan International Cooperation Agency provided Rs 59,396 crore to fund the bullet train project.

Although the Japanese consortium showed a willingness to supply the 'Shinkansen' trainsets, Indian Railways remains unconvinced by the price offered.

As per the report, a senior official stated, "ICF, Chennai has been assigned the task of constructing and delivering two standard-gauge trainsets of eight cars each, featuring a steel car body, with a running speed of 220 kmph and a maximum speed of 250 kmph."

He added that the order for the trains was issued earlier this week. Discussions with a consortium of Japanese rolling stock suppliers — including Hitachi and Kawasaki — have been ongoing for a considerable time but have not made significant progress.

The trains will likely be built on the Vande Bharat platform. While using an existing platform would help ICF expedite the rollout of the trainsets, delivering them within this fiscal year remains a challenge, according to experts.

Currently, the MAHSR is the only sanctioned high-speed rail project in the country.

Operating at 320 kmph, the high-speed rail will cover the 508.17 km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in approximately two hours.

This will significantly reduce travel time compared to the current nine hours by bus or six hours by conventional rail.


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