Higher capacity lines to fuel semi-high-speed trains on Mumbai-Delhi route
Two major works are underway to this effect—doubling the capacity of overhead power lines between Virar to Ahmedabad and laying of cattle safety walls. This will ensure the current travel time via Rajdhani and Shatabdi express will be cut by two hours.
Mumbai: Travel time between Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Delhi is all set to reduce as semi-high-speed trains will run at 160 kmph by March 2024. Two major works are underway to this effect—doubling the capacity of overhead power lines between Virar to Ahmedabad and laying of cattle safety walls.
This will ensure the current travel time via Rajdhani and Shatabdi express will be cut by two hours.
The Western Railway (WR) has started work on augmenting the power systems that will fuel these semi-high-speed trains as part of Mission Raftaar. “We have begun the process of installing necessary infrastructure to supply electricity that will start from Virar all the way further north. When trains run at 160 kmph, they will need more juice to run and so we are going to ramp up the power supply using 2x25,000 volt traction system,” a senior WR official said.
The 2x25 kV traction system means transmission at 50 kV and using a 25 kV voltage system.
The WR authorities are working on upgrading the infrastructure all the way from Mumbai to cities in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh for semi-high-speed trains. On the Mumbai-Delhi route, the first phase will be on Mumbai-Ahmedabad route further taking it till Nagda and finally to Delhi.
At present, Rajdhani Express is the fastest train on the Mumbai-Delhi route, covering the journey in 15 hours 40 minutes at an average speed of 89 kmph. Increasing the speed of the section to 160 kmph will ensure up to 60% increase in the average speed of passenger trains and doubling of the average speed of freight traffic.
The semi-high-speed trains are a prelude to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project. The Vande Bharat trains can reach a speed up to 130 kmph. “The existing Vande Bharat train is already gaining popularity. When the infrastructure is ready, including tracks, power supply lines and even steel barrier walls along the sides, we will be in a position to run semi-high-speed trains,” another WR official said.
A metal fencing called cattle barrier fencing wall has already been installed on a 120-km stretch on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. The fence will be installed on a 622-km stretch at a cost of around ₹265 crore. These barrier walls will prevent cattle run over incidents, which had initially affected the Vande Bharat trains.
Currently, around 90 passenger trains and an equal number of freight trains run on the Delhi-Mumbai corridor daily. Once this route is upgraded to 160 kmph, there will be scope for launching more passenger trains in the section. This will reduce the waiting list of passengers on some of the popular trains as more such services with similar facilities will be on offer.
The WR covers the biggest stretch on the Mumbai-Delhi route between Mumbai Central and Nagda. The Indian Railways has decided to go for this upgrade to 160 kmph on the Mumbai-Delhi and Delhi-Howrah routes. Passengers from seven states will benefit from the project as the Delhi-Mumbai sector covers Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.