Notwithstanding the recent turmoil in the railway ministry following the cash-for- job scam, the government’s ambitious plan to run a high speed rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is slowly inching closer to becoming a reality.
Philippe Lorand, vice president, business development, SNCF, the French National Railways which is assisting the Indian Railways to develop the techno-feasibility road map of the over 534-km corridor – one of the six proposed high speed railway lines – told HT that the exercise is in the final stages of completion.
Considered one of the oldest operators of high speed trains, SNCF has 850 bullet trains – called TGV – that run at an average speed of 320 km per hour.
“We are in the final stages of completing our study and hope to submit our report by October. The railways will take a final call on the specifications recommended by us before inviting bids. We expect that this process would start early next year,” he said.
Building the high speed corridor is expected to cost R60,000crore at present day prices. And once work starts it will take 10 years to complete it.