Your Bandra-Kurla Complex to Thane journey will take 15 minutes on Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Your Bandra-Kurla Complex to Thane journey will take 15 minutes on Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train

Currently, it takes around 60 minutes to travel between BKC and Thane by train and around 90 minutes by road. The travel time between BKC and Virar is around 90 minutes by train and more than 120 minutes by road

mumbai Updated: Sep 17, 2017 00:57 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe press a button to launch a high speed rail project in Ahmadabad on September 14.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe press a button to launch a high speed rail project in Ahmadabad on September 14.(AP photo)

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project may turn out be a boon for daily commuters, as the high-speed train will become the fastest mode of transport between the business hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and the areas of Thane and Virar.

While the Rs1,08,000-crore project is being criticised for the exorbitant construction cost and questions have been raised over its utility, the train is expected to cut down travel time between BKC and Thane to 15 minutes and between BKC and Virar to 26 minutes. Currently, it takes around 60 minutes to travel between BKC and Thane by train and around 90 minutes by road. The travel time between BKC and Virar is around 90 minutes by train and more than 120 minutes by road.

With officials from the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC), which is the nodal agency for the project, planning to allow short distance travellers on the train, daily train commuters may prefer the comfort and convenience of the bullet train over the suburban trains. They are also mulling issuing monthly passes (season tickets) for such commuters.

The train is expected to stop at three stations (Virar, Thane and Boisor) in Maharashtra, with BKC being the Mumbai terminus, and eight stations (Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati) in Gujarat. Maintenance depots will be located in Thane and Sabarmati.

The introduction of the monthly passes will be finalised once the construction of the bullet train is complete and the ticketing mechanism has been fixed.

“Currently, the priority is to get the construction on track. Once the construction is half done, we will start working out the details of the ticketing plan,” said a NHSRC official, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media. “The season tickets for short-distance commuters will be considered at that time.”

The official said the ticket cost between BKC and Thane or Virar could be equivalent to the taxi fare between the locations, or could be even less than that. “In case of a season ticket, there could be some discount that would make travelling within the MMR using the bullet train the fastest option.”

Transport expert Ashok Datar called the decision, if it is implemented, a “big boost” for daily train commuters. “They should operate at least 20 trips of the bullet train in a day to make it feasible. The coaches will be very expensive and so will be the construction work. There should be a train every 15 minutes to make it accessible for the commuters [daily ones],” he said.

The bullet train is also expected to have access points to some railway stations of the Central and the Western Railway. The NHSRC are in talks with the state government to link the bullet train with the upcoming Metro lines in the city. Authorities believe that this could lead help build a strong integrated transport network in and around Mumbai.

The bullet trains would be operated as rapid high-speed and high-speed trains. The rapid high speed trains will halt at specific stations, while the high-speed trains will halt at all stations between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Commuters in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) can use the high-speed trains for their daily commute.

The fare is expected to be between Rs3,000 and Rs5,000, with the fare structure set to be 1.5 times of the first AC fare of a mail express.

The foundation stone for the project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on September 14 in Ahmedabad and the project is expected to be complete by 2023.