If Tuesday’s meeting between Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Railway Board Chairperson J.P. Batra in New Delhi is anything to go by, you may soon be able to zip from Mumbai to Pune at 200 km per hour.
A special purpose vehicle will soon be set up to start a world-class high-speed train between the two cities. A feasibility report on the project has been commissioned by the Railway Board.
Deshmukh said this project should be considered on a priority basis by the railway ministry.
Preliminary costs for a high-speed train can be a whopping Rs 20 crore per km of new track and Rs 4 crore to Rs 5 crore to upgrade an old track.
Batra said the railway board had initiated talks with some states to set up high-speed trains in cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Surat.
Earlier, Finance Minister Jayant Patil had dashed off a letter to railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav seeking introduction of high-speed trains.
He had termed it one of the best means to propel economic growth from the current 8.5 per cent to the coveted 10 per cent.
Earlier, the state had worked out a joint venture with the Indian Railways and set up Maharashtra Rail Vikas Corporation for the World Bank-funded Mumbai Urban Transport Project’s rail component.