The high-speed rail (HSR) between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is likely to be operational by 2021 if every thing went according to the plan, according to Gaurav Agarwal, director of the Railway Board, Ministry of Railways. Speaking at a seminar on “High-Speed Rail in India —What, Why, When, Where, How?’’, organised by the Research Centre for Infrastructure Transportation and Water Management of the Gujarat Technological University (GTU) here on Sunday, Agarwal said that HSR would cover the distance of 546 kilometre between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in just one hour and 52 minutes by running at a speed of 350 km per hour.
Quoting from the project report, Gaurav Agarwal said that the if the speed was to be kept at 300 km/hour, then it would take 12 minutes more but could save 27 per cent energy.
Construction of the high-speed rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, he said, would cost around Rs 45,000 crore at a cost of Rs 80 crore per kilometre, besides additional rolling stock cost of Rs 5000 crore.
Agarwal said that India had one of the largest rail networks but it did not have any HSR lines capable of supporting speeds of even 200 km per hour.
He revealed that the Ministry of Railways was considering options for funding of the mega project through public private partnership (PPP) as well as foreign direct investment (FDI).
The senior railway official said that high-speed trains would be aerodynamic and would have noise reduction systems.
Seat design of high-speed trains would be comfortable and light weight.
The high-speed rail ill cover 364 km in Gujarat, 176 km in Maharashtra and only six km in Dadra & Nagar Haveli. The route will have terminals at Mumbai and Ahmedabad only and no halts in between.
Quoting McKinsey Global Institute report, he said that 40 per cent of India’s population would be globalised by year 2030. And thus there would be growing demand for inter-city transport-between metro city and tier-two and tier-three cities.
He said that in the absence of high-speed rail , airlines and car traffic was growing at 15-20 per cent annually.
Indian Railways transports two crore passengers and four metric tonnes of freight every day. A total of of nine semi-high speed trains, he said, were planned in 2014-15.
The speed of semi-high speed trains would be 140 km per hour to 160 km per hour, he added.