How fast will India’s first bullet train be?
India is feeling the need for speed, and it’s getting its fix from Japan. The country’s first bullet-train project is about to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe. Here are all the details:
What route will the bullet train operate on?
India’s first bullet train will cover 508km between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The route will have 12 stations: Mumbai (either Bandra or Kurla), Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
It will hug the coast for the most part, but only 13km will be on flat land! For 468km, it will run on an elevated track, 21km will be underground and 7km undersea. (Don’t worry, it should be safe. The Channel Tunnel, or Chunnel, between UK and France runs 37.8km under the English Channel).
The next in line is a Delhi–Chandigarh bullet train, which will take around 2hrs! Now that is fast.
Just how fast are we talking about?
The Mumbai–Ahmedabad bullet train is expected to cruise at an average speed of 250km/hr, hitting top speeds of 350km/hr. With this, it will cut a journey that takes over 6hrs 51min down to just 2hrs 58min (in high-speed mode) and 2hr 7min (in rapid high-speed mode, with fewer stops).
Getting a seat on this one won’t be easy, will it?
One can understand why. But consider that each Japanese-made Shinkansen E5 bullet train will carry around 750 passengers in its 10 coaches, with an option of more coaches being added later. And 35 such trains will make return trips each, which means 70 trips between Mumbai and Ahmedabad every single day. Whoosh!
That’s more than the number of flights between the two cities, right?
Correct. But tickets won’t be cheap. Official figures aren’t out yet, but we’re talking in the range of Rs3,000-Rs5,000 per seat. Of course, the ride will be a lot more comfortable than your average Indian Railways tin can. The train will have wheelchair-friendly toilets, feeding rooms for newborns, and other features for comfort and safety.
When can you hop on for a ride?
If all goes well, you should be able to get on one after 15 August 2022.
Just 5yrs from now. That’s fast!
But may not be fast enough. Andhra Pradesh has just signed on for India’s first hyperloop, which will cover the 43km between the two cities of Vijayawada and Amaravathi in just 6min. In theory, a hyperloop could travel at speeds up to 1,200km/hr, which is over four times as fast as the bullet train. And they say, it will be ready in 2021. The race is on!