Soon, officials could visit Japan for India’s bullet train project
The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has sought nomination of officers, who could be sent to Japan to prepare for certifications required for India’s first bullet train project, according to officials aware of the development. NHSRCL is executing the project that is expected to link Mumbai and Ahmedabad by 2023.
The Commission of Railway Safety (CRS), which certifies new rail tracks and trains in the country for safe operations, has no experience of certifying bullet trains and tracks, which are being introduced in India for the first time. This is the reason why officers are being sent to Japan, which is backing the project.
“Before offering trains and tracks for inspection to CRS, we will do a trial run… We have requested the aviation and railway ministries to constitute a team so that in future we have resources to certify bullet train operations. We have already sent two CRS officials to Japan,” said NHSRCL managing director Achal Khare.
Khare added they have requested for creation of a dedicated CRS team as it will require training as much as any other staff.
Former Railway Board member Shri Prakash said something new is coming to the country and most of the things associated with the project will happen for the first time. “CRS has no experience related to high-speed train operations and training will help it identify the shortcoming, if any, regarding bullet trains operations in Indian conditions.”
The NHSRCL also plans to run a confirmation car daily just before the start of regular bullet train operations. “Since the trains will run at a very high speed, a confirmation car from both directions will help us in identifying if there are any foreign objects on the tracks. We will have eight to 10 confirmation cars for this purpose,” Khare added.
India is also working with Japan to make key technical changes to the bullet trains so that they can handle extreme heat and high levels of pollution.
NHSRCL believes the trains will have to be customised for Indian conditions so that they do not break down due to heat and dust.
The government has set a deadline for completing the project by August 15, 2022, when India would complete 75 years of independence. NHSRCL expects to open one portion of the network by then and complete the entire Mumbai-Ahmedabad stretch by December 2023.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, laid the foundation stone for the project in 2017. The project will mark India’s shift to an era of high-speed trains capable of hitting speeds of up to 350 km per hour.