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First stretch on bullet train to be opened up by 2022, to run within Gujarat first

The proposed bullet train that will run at a speed of 320kmph and will cover the Surat-Bilimora stretch in less than 20 minutes. The Mumbai to Ahmedabad journey is expected to be covered in 3 hours.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2018 10:07 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times, Vadodara
Bullet train,bullet train launch,bullet train gujarat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (3rd L) attending a ground breaking ceremony for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project in Ahmedabad. (AFP)

The proposed bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad may start running between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat in 2022, before it begins to ply the entire 508-km stretch. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants the project to be launch on August 15, 2022, the completion of the rest of the project may take up to another year.

The 50-kilometre stretch between Surat and Bilimora has a straight allignment and no major issues of land acquisition, said a senior official from the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL). “Currently, we are in the process of land acquisition for this section,” said the official. Land acquisition has been an issue at some areas along the stretch, owing to opposition from farmers in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The proposed bullet train that will run at a speed of 320kmph and will cover the Surat-Bilimora stretch in less than 20 minutes. The Mumbai to Ahmedabad journey is expected to be covered in 3 hours. The cost of the project has been estimated at Rs 1.10 lakh crores.

Meanwhile, NHSRCL has also begun construction of a training centre in Vadodara, where 3,500 staffers will be trained from 2020 to 2023. The train pilots and other working staff will be trained on simulators, set to be imported from Japan in July 2019. A 50m slab track, which is a ready-made structure assembled with rails, is expected to arrive by December 2018.

Moreover, NHSRCL officials said they would be constructing a 220-m single span girder bridge at Vadodara station to help passengers cross over to the Indian Railways tracks. This is set to the longest such single span bridge on the entire corridor.

Pradeeep Ahirkar, chief project manager, NHSRCL, Vadodara, said, “Construction of the single span girder bridge is the most challenging work in the section, as it will be constructed without stopping rail traffic significantly. The station handles about 200 trains everyday.”

First Published: Sep 01, 2018 09:58 IST