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Shinkansen Technology: India's First Bullet Train Project Gets Going

TOKYO -- The detailed design study for India's first high-speed railway project, has formally begun.

The project involves the construction of a 505 km line connecting Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat and the country's commercial capital Mumbai using Japan's shinkansen technology, shortening the journey time between the two to just over two hours.

Plans foresee the Mumbai terminal station built under the Bandra Kurla Complex, a modern business hub in the north of the city where a large number of major domestic and foreign companies have offices.
India's Bullet Train 

India's first undersea tunnel will be built between Mumbai and the next station Thane.

With the Indian government bringing forward the groundbreaking ceremony to within 2017, trains could be speeding along the line at 320kph by 2023, revolutionizing the country's transportation infrastructure -- an area in which the country has lagged behind of China.

According to feasibility studies, the line will have 12 stations between Ahmedabad, where the adjacent Sabarmati station will serve as the terminal, and Mumbai. A rapid service will only stop at Surat in Gujarat, home to diamond processing plants and textile companies, and the ancient city of Vadodara, famous for its oil industry.

The minimum two hours and seven minutes it will take the bullet train is a mere third of what the existing express train takes. The planned fare for the entire route will be about 3,300 rupees ($50.38), 1.5 times the price of a first-class ticket for an air-conditioned coach on the existing special express.

High Speed Railway Corp. of India, which is tasked with implementing the project, plans for 10-car trains to make the round trip 35 times a day during the initial year, carrying 35,800 passengers a day. By 2053, the company aims to increasing the number of cars to 16 per train, daily services to 105 and number of passengers to 185,800 a day.

The target figures could be changed depending on more detailed demand forecasts at a later date. The high-speed trains will run on the same 1,435 mm track gauge as Japan's shinkansen bullet trains. Rail yards will be built in Sabarmati and Thane.

The feasibility study proposes constructing embankments for 64%, or about 322 km, of the line; elevating 28%, or 144 km; and building tunnels and bridges for the rest. - Online Sources

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