A bullet train simulator shipped specially from Japan has been put on display at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show thrown open by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. This simulator is proposed to be stationed in Ahmedabad after the summit and will be used for future displays across the country, said officials of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL).
“The simulator belongs to the Japanese company JR (East) which has sent the simulator for the Vibrant Gujarat summit. We had requested them that we want to retain the simulator here in India. They have agreed to this on a zero rental basis. So we plan to keep it in Ahmedabad and from here we can take it for future exhibition and public displays anywhere in India,” said Vijay Kumar, Director (Rolling Stock) of NHSRCL.
Prime Minister Modi who visited various exhibits at the trade show at helipad grounds did not visit the simulator.
The predominantly green-and-silver simulator on display is the Series E5 Shinkansen train which has a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour. This “exhibition simulator” provides visitors with a basic idea of what it feels like to be inside the cockpit of a Shinkansen. The train was shipped to Gujarat four days ago through one of the ports in the state, said officials.
“The simulator is nothing but a replication of a driver’s console on the bullet train. You can do everything that a bullet train driver can do. You can increase and decrease speeds, you can play a horn and you can see the elevated corridor in front on the screen,” said Kumar said adding that the simulator can also touch speeds of 320 kilometers per hour. Inside the simulator is a driver’s seat with three displays dealing with signalling and the performance of rolling stock. It also have an air-conditioning vent, brake controls, pressure gauges and a horn that one can blow by pressing a pedal with the feet.
“We are expecting quite a bit of people to turnout to see the simulator. The simulator is not an unknown territory in India. We have simulators for electric locomotives. We thought it would be good give a feel to the people about what a bullet train looks like and so we got this simulator here,” the official added.
The simulator being placed in Ahmedabad assume significance according to the NHSRCL who said that Sabarmati will have a bullet train workshop and a depot which will be as big as the Shinkansen depot at Sendai in Japan. “The depot and workshop and Sabarmati will be much bigger than the depot at Thane (Maharashtra). Here it is spread over 75 hectares and will be able to carry out major overhauls for the bullet train bogies. It will propose similar in size and capacity to the biggest depot for bullet trains currently at Sendai,” Kumar added.
Japanese Consul General in India Ryoji Noda who came along with other Japanese visitors to see the simulator at Vibrant summit told The Indian Express, “As the bullet train project gets close to completion, we plan to ship the first two prototypes of the Shinkansen from Japan to India.”
Sabarmati will also be developed multi-modal transport hub that will facilitate passengers interchanging between Indian Railways, Bullet train, metro rail or BRTS. The terminal at Sabarmati is proposed to be a twin structure having six and nine floors respectively. It will have three levels of parking which can accommodate 1115 cars, 300 two-wheelers for bullet train passengers.