The Indian Railways is among the world’s largest network carrying 23 million passengers every day. The wide connectivity with stations and major junctions makes it the most preferable transport of India. The Government of India is focusing on the initiatives to improve Indian Railways by planning and implementing various projects, thus making it efficient and one of the most convenient modes of transport in India. Many investor-friendly policies and huge infrastructural changes will be witnessed in the upcoming years, which will upgrade Indian Railways to a position of the largest railway systems and most preferable mode of communication in the world.
With a view to establishing a high-speed rail network in India and the maximum connectivity between states, Indian Railways will commence Diamond Quadrilateral Project which will join the four major cities of India. The Diamond Quadrilateral Project was announced the BJP Government which would connect Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai through bullet trains. The estimated cost of this project is 980 billion which is financed by a low-interest loan from Japan. This operation is targeted to commence from 2023. The ticket prices in the bullet train will be less than the airfare.
Major Terminals Covered in the Project:
The major terminals will be at Delhi, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. These trains will operate at a speed of 320 kmph crossing through 14 states and territories of India. The states are: Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The details of major corridors to get bullet trains are below:
Delhi-Mumbai corridor: New Delhi – Dwarka – Gurugram – Rewari – Jaipur – Kishangarh – Ajmer – Bhilwara – Nathdwara – Udaipur – Himmatnagar – Sabarmati – Ahmedabad – Anand – Vadodara – Surat – Vapi – Boisar – Virar – Thane – Mumbai
Delhi-Kolkata corridor: New Delhi – Aligarh – Agra – Kanpur – Lucknow – Sultanpur – Varanasi – Buxar – Gaya – Patna – Dhanbad – Asansol – Bardwan – Howrah
Mumbai-Chennai corridor: Thane – Navi Mumbai – Lonavala – Pune – Solapur – Gulbarga – Raichur – Guntakal- Kadapa – Tirupati – Chennai
Kolkata-Chennai corridor: Howrah – Haldia – Cutttack – Bhubaneshwar – Vijayanagram – Vishakapatnam – Rajahmundry – Eluru-Nellore – Chennai
Delhi-Chennai corridor: New Delhi – Agra – Gwalior – Guna – Bhopal – Itarsi – Betul – Nagpur – Nizamabad – Hyderabad-Vijaywada – Ongole – Chennai
Mumbai-Kolkata corridor: Thane – Nashik – Aurangabad – Akola – Nagpur – Durg – Raipur – Bilaspur – Rourkela – Kharagpur – Howrah.
The first corridor which is expected to get the fastest bullet train In India is the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route as per the ridership survey conducted on this route. This ambitious dream project of Mr. Narendra Modi will be a modernized, strengthened and upgraded gift to the passengers across India and a new technical recognition to the Indian Railways.The project is currently under the research and development phase conducting feasibility studies and expected to be completed by the year-end.
Challenges in the Transit:
Implementing a large-scale infrastructure project is susceptible to pass with pitfalls and same is the case with the Diamond Quadrilateral project. Land acquisition is a major concern as high speed rail demand special tracks to be laid on these routes. Financial viability is also a concern. For a country like India, implementing high speed train with such a limited time and resource will be a tough challenge to conquer.
“The new government is supposed to work out innovative financing models for the projects. We are looking forward to that.” a senior Railway ministry official said.