Moving ahead with the Diamond Quadrilateral project, railways have selected companies from China,FranceandSpainto carry out feasibility study of three routes connecting Delhi with Mumbai and Kolkata and also between Mumbai and Chennai.
The Rs 2 lakh crore Diamond Quadrilateral project aims to drastically reduce the travelling time between the metros with the introduction of the high-speed trains, which will run at speeds of about 300-kmph.While a company fromChinawill study Delhi-Mumbai route, another company from France has been given Mumbai-Chennai corridor. A Spanish company will conduct the route between Delhi and Kolkata, said a seniorRailwayMinistryofficial.
High Speed Rail Corporation has awarded the contract to the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute (China), Systra (France) and Ineco (Spain) to carry out feasibility study of three highspeed corridors.The feasibility study for the three routes is estimated to cost about Rs 30 crore.Currently, the superfast Rajdhani Express coversthe distance between Delhi and Mumbai in about 16 hours.
With the introduction of the high-speed train, the travel time is expected to be reduced by almost half.Similarly, the travel time between Delhi and the other metros will be reduced with the introduction of bullet trains.At present, a Chinese company is already involved in undertaking feasibility study of the Delhi-Chennai route, also a part of the Diamond Quadrilateral project.
Taking a major step under the Narendra Modi government’s flagship, Diamond Quadrilateral Bullet Train project, the Railway Ministry today handed over three corridors for feasibility study to China, France andSpain to revert back with detailed reports within 12 months.According to high level Railways sources, the Delhi-Mumbai bullet train project would be completely different from the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project.
India’s first bullet train corridor, between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, could turn out to be the cheapest high-speed train service inthe world.The Japanese team working on its feasibility study has worked out its “fare box revenue” model, according to which the bullet train fare will be just one-and-a-half times more than the AC-I fares of other trains on the same route.According to this model, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train fare works out to about Rs 2,800, calculated on the basis of the current AC-I train fare of Rs 1,895. Currently, trains on this route take about eight hours for the 534-km journey. The bullet train is expected to take less than two hours.
As per the team’s estimates, about 40,000 people are going to use the corridor every day by 2023 — when the bullet train serviceis expected to begin. The AC-1 fares for this sector in 2023 would serve as the reference for the bullet train fares.The study found that pricing the tickets anyhigher would make the flights a more attractive option, and any lower would not support the maximum revenue generation. By keeping the fares low, the bullet train will be able to steer clear of a fare war withairlines, while also retaining the existing business of higher-class railway travel.The corridor is expected to have around 10stations, and is supposed to cost Rs 98,000 crore, after factoring in inflation and taxes. Work on the corridor is expected to be completed about eight years after it is commissioned.