MUMBAI: The first Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train proposal may get a push in the new government’s maiden rail Budget considering PM Narendra Modi’s promise of a diamond quadrilateral of bullet trains to connect the four major cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai.
A high-speed train will run at a maximum of 320kmph and cover 534km between the two cities in two hours. Railway officials in Mumbai said a lot of brainstorming has gone into taking the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project forward as it involves Modi’s home state of Gujarat.
An official said, “Japan International Consortium is expected to complete the project feasibility report by 2015. However, trains are most likely to originate at the Bandra-Kurla Complex in Mumbai.” Moreover, it has been decided that the corridor will not have more than five stations, against the initial plan for 11.
“The station’s location at Ahmedabad is yet to be finalized, but the train in all likelihood will start at BKC and travel to Thane (near Diva), before heading towards Palghar via Virar. It will then follow the existing alignment in Gujarat with halts at Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad.” The official said in Mumbai, the corridor will run underground between BKC and Thane.
An official said, “The project is going to be a major challenge as apart from engineering challenges, we will also have to overcome other hurdles such as land acquisition, cooperation, relief and rehabilitation of project affected people and raising of funds.”