The railways have decided to go in for six bullet train-sets at an estimated cost of Rs. 25,000 crore and an announcement is expected in the next rail budget.
Bullet trains are capable of clocking a speed of 325 kilometres per hour.
But in the absence of requisite infrastructure, these will run at an 110 kmph on existing broad-gauge routes.
Japanese, French and German consortia are in the race to sell these train-sets, even as the Japanese are sponsoring a study on high-speed rail possibilities in India.
Justifying the “piecemeal and premature” acquisition proposal, an official said, “Such projects have a long gestation period, but one has to start somewhere.”
The Japanese consortium has quoted a price of Rs. 54 crore per coach — the cost of the train-set working out to approximately Rs. 900 crore
“We will go in for some mix-and-match to negotiate a better price. Each train-set should come at a cost of about Rs. 300 to Rs. 400 cr,” an official said.