In future, Delhi to Chennai in 6 hrs by train

  • Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2014 08:39 IST

Railways minister Suresh Prabhu has fast-tracked plans to build the world’s second-longest high-speed rail corridor between Delhi and Chennai that will see trains running at speeds of 300km/hour, covering the 1,754-kilometre distance between the two cities in six hours.

The corridor is likely to cost Rs. 2 lakh crore and is proposed to be developed jointly with China, home to the world’s longest high-speed rail line between Beijing and Guangzhou.

A high-level Railways team will visit Beijing on November 24 to complete formalities with Chinese counterparts for the project’s feasibility study, ministry officials said.

The team – comprising officials of the High Speed Rail Corporation and the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited– will sign an agreement with the China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group.

“An Indian Railways team will visit China for training. The study on the Delhi-Chennai line can be expected to begin early next year”, ministry officials said.

The exercise will be completed free of cost by the Chinese company, in line with terms of the September 18 Memorandum of Understanding signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in New Delhi.

The Delhi-Chennai corridor is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “diamond quadrilateral” project that aims to build a network of high-speed trains between different cities, including Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Chennai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Delhi and Mumbai-Kolkata. Shortly after taking charge on Monday, Prabhu took several decisions to expedite the PM’s pet project.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is currently conducting a feasibility study on the proposed Mumbai-Ahmedabad stretch, India’s first high-speed rail project.

India’s engagement with China in rail development began as recently as last month, when the Railways signed a pact with the China Rail Eryuan Engineering Group Company for ramping up speeds on the Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai line.

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