In order to launch the longest girder of India’s first bullet train, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has decided to set up a new satellite station for Indian Railways in Vadodara, Gujarat.
The 220-metre long girder is the longest being used in the bullet train project and is also longer than any girder, even in Japan’s Shinkansen; it will come where current platform number 7 of Vadodara station is.
This platform is used by seven pairs of trains daily for reversal only. In other words, trains which come to Vadodara from two different directions Delhi and Ahmedabad, have to use this platform to reverse here.
Speaking to The Indian Express, NHSRCL Chief Project Manager (Vadodara) Pradeep Ahirkar said the new Chhayapuri station, which is five kms away, will give Vadodara the new satellite station, like Delhi’s Nizamuddin station.
To be built at a cost of Rs 40 crore, which has been handed over to Western Railway by NHSRCL, the station will consist of three floors and modern facilities, a far cry from the current halt station with a thatched roof for a single storey building without platforms. The new building will have two platforms for the four lines.
The building, the construction of which has already begun, is expected to be ready by March 2019 following which operations will begin. The launching of the girder will take around two years after which the concerned platform will be restored. The new platform 7 in Vadodara, when it comes up, will be linked to the Mumbai line, thereby adding to the capacity of the Vadodara railway station.
The 508 km Ahmedabad to Mumbai corridor is being built for Rs 1.08 lakh crore with 80 per cent loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency. At an unusually attractive rate of interest of 0.1 per cent, the loan is said to be the result of direct parleys between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Last year, Modi had termed the loan “as good as free”.
The NDA government has advanced the deadline of the project by a year so that the country’s first bullet train service can be dedicated to the nation by August 15, 2022 to coincide with 75 years of Independence.
The fare between Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai and the Sabarmati Railway Station in Ahmedabad will be around Rs 3,000 (economy seats). There will be a business class as well at higher fares.
Initially, there will be a train every 20 minutes while eventually, the frequency will be increased to a train every eight minutes.