Travelling time between Delhi and Kolkata will be cut down to as less as five hours by operating a bullet train on the route, a firm commissioned by the Railways has suggested.
The feasibility study is being undertaken for the 1513-km- long Delhi-Kolkata high-speed corridor along with two other routes of the Diamond Quadrilateral project, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The corridor is estimated to cost around Rs 84,000 crore.
Diamond Quadrilateral, an ambitious programme of the NDA government, will connect four metro cities through the high-speed rail network.
According to the feasibility report by the Spanish firm, travel time between Delhi and Kolkata on the proposed bullet train will take 4 hours 56 minutes, as against 17 hours on the Rajdhani.
The bullet train is expected to run at a speed of about 300 km per hour on the dedicated track.
There are 12 cities including Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna, on the Delhi-Kolkata high speed route.
As per the report, the travel time for Lucknow, Varanasi and Patna will also decrease significantly, once the high speed corridor is commissioned.
While the travel time for Lucknow is likely to be 1 hour 45 minutes, one will be able to reach Varanasi in 2 hours 45 minutes from the national capital.
The official, however, said there are no separate studies for the Delhi-Varanasi or the Delhi-Lucknow routes and that the study is for the whole Delhi-Kolkata route. The final report will be submitted by the end of the year.
Feasibility study is also being carried out for Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Chennai high speed corridors of the Diamond Quadrilateral project. The study for the Chennai and Kolkata route is yet to be taken up.
Meanwhile, the Railways has decided to go ahead with the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor, with help from Japan.