Amid reports of uncertainty and delay in the bullet train project, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, on Thursday (11 January), announced that India's first bullet train is poised to commence the run between the 50-km-long Surat and Bilimora stretch by 2026.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor project aims to run the train at maximum speed of 320 kmph, covering a distance of 508 km and stopping at twelve stations.
Announcing the major update on the status of the ambitious project, he made the significant announcement at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit where he categorically stated that the inaugural high speed train service is scheduled to operate between Surat and Bilimora.
According to National High Speed Rail Corporation, the trial run will commence between Surat and Bilimora in 2026 and the service will be extended gradually.
Addressing the gathering at Vibrant Gujarat Summit Railway Minister Vaishnaw said, "The bullet train project is going on at a very, very rapid pace. I would like to thank the Gujarat CM; due to his support, PM Modi's vision to connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad via a bullet train is progressing very successfully. So much so that work on 272 km viaduct is practically complete, and there is a complete possibility that the first bullet train will run between Surat and Bilimora in 2026."
Vaishnaw further added, "The work on the Mumbai-Thane undersea tunnel has also commenced. The construction of bridges across eight rivers that will cross the route is progressing swiftly. Two bridges are already finished. The work on the Sabarmati terminal station is also practically finished."
The aim is to reduce the travel time between the two major cities from six hours to nearly three hours.
Noting that the bullet train dream is “turning into reality now," Vaishnaw further said that it is not just a transportation or infrastructure project, but will lead to regional development of the region as well.
The high speed railway will connect Mumbai, Thane, Vapi, Vadodara, Surat, Anand and Ahmedabad.
The Minister added that the bullet train project will be a boost to the economy of the region.
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