Karnataka plans bullet trains to Mysore, Chennai

Karnataka plans to operate bullet trains from Bangalore to Mysore and Chennai, with the help of Japanese technology and funds, to decongest the city and facilitate speedy intra and inter-state travel, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Monday.

“I have invited Japanese experts for discussions with Indian Railways and our officials to explore introducing bullet trains initially between Bangalore and Mysore and Chennai to provide high-speed travel between intra and inter-cities,” Siddaramaiah said on return from a week-long visit to China Sunday.

During the China visit from Sep 9-15 to participate in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Dalian in the northeastern Liaoning province, Siddaramaiah met Japanese Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura and discussed on getting his country’s technical and financial support for the high-speed trains and infrastructure corridors.

“As Japan was the first country in the world to introduce bullet trains and operate them successfully since the sixties (1960s), I am sure their experts will be able guide us in having similar high-speed travel in the state as it will help us to decongest Bangalore,” Siddaramaiah said.

Cruising at 300 km per hour, a bullet train will cover the 150 km distance from Bangalore to Mysore in 30 minutes and Chennai, which is 360 km away, in over an hour.

“We are exploring the possibility of having high-speed trains to tier-two cities like Mysore, Hubli and Mangalore in the state and cities like Chennai outside the state for fast movement of people and goods. A bullet train will bridge the travel time between Bangalore and Mysore leading to their development as twin cities,” Siddaramaiah said.

The chief minister invited Shimomura to participate in the third Global Investors’ Meet (GIM) the state government will hold in Bangalore in October 2014 to attract global investments across the state in diverse sectors.


Published in: on September 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bullet Trains Set to Arrive in India

India is set to benefit from the famed Japanese bullet train technology, with Tokyo today pledging to invest heavily in building high speed railway systems in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement today in which they laid down the course of co-operation between the two countries on setting up high speed railway systems in India.

The two sides signed the Exchange of Notes for yen loan totaling $424 billion. This includes a $71 billion for the Mumbai Metro Line-lll project as well as the yen loan of the fiscal year 2012 for $ 353.106 billion for eight projects.

Prime Minister Singh noted Japan’s interest in supporting the introduction of high speed railway systems in India.

Singh appreciated Japan’s high level of expertise in designing and implementing Shinkansen (Bullet Train) systems.

Singh conveyed that India will plan such projects based on its infrastructure priorities, commercial viability and financial resources in India.

“The two Prime Ministers decided that the two sides will co-finance a joint feasibility study of high speed railway system on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route,” the joint statement issued after the bilateral summit said.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail line would stretch 500 kilometers at an estimated cost of up-to one trillion yen.

he two Prime Ministers, recognizing the importance of upgrading the speed of passenger trains on the existing Delhi-Mumbai route to 160-200 kmph (semi-high speed railway system), welcomed the final report of the feasibility study undertaken with Japan’s cooperation, and confirmed that further consultation between the two countries would be continued to draw up a road-map.


Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Travelling on high-speed trains may be a reality now

India’s dream of travelling on high-speed trains may finally get fulfilled in this rail budget. While the promise of a Bullet train has remained just a promise so far, sources say Railway Minister Pawan Bansal’s rail budget speech on February 26 may hold the announcement for introduction of modern electrical multiple units (EMU), which provide safer, faster, cleaner and comfortable passenger-friendly alternative.

Even though the initial announcement for introducing Bullet trains in India was made during the tenure of RJD leader Lalu Prasad, paucity of funds and high costs involved saw proposals not progressing much further. Officials say Bansal may make announcement for increasing speed of existing Rajdhani and Shadabdi trains with the help of EMUs on existing tracks like Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Amritsar, Delhi-Kolkota, Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Ahmadabad.

EMU trains are not the same as Bullet trains that run on dedicated high-speed corridors at speeds 350kmph and above. EMUs are designed for operations at the maximum speed of 130kmph/150kmph, exceeding up to 200kmph but without any additional expenditure on existing tract or signalling infrastructure. Officials explain that they have no link with separate high-speed corridors being planned for Bullet train operations for which another announcement is possible in the rail budget.

Highly energy efficient and aerodynamically designed light weight, the EMUs ply on existing tracks on Rajdhani and Shatabdi routes which are fit for running trains up to a speed of 150 kmph. Even though the premium trains are expected to run at a maximum speed of 100 kmph to 120 kmph, their average speed is usually less than 90 kmph due to a large number of speed restrictions and poor acceleration and deceleration characteristics of existing trains.

The officials explain that the EMU train sets will be free from these bottlenecks and provide faster and safer movement while substantially reducing run time. Since EMU Train sets have very high acceleration and deceleration, it takes them much lesser time in negotiating speed restrictions and achieving maximum permissible speed. For example, it is possible to reduce the run time between Howrah and New Delhi by 2.5 to 3.0 hours by operating train sets at existing speed of 130 kmph without any additional expenditure on track and other infrastructure.

A train set can do extra trip/day for inter-city travel, are eco-friendly, noiseless, consume 30% less energy, and do not pollute the environment as in case of conventional loco-hauled trains with diesel power cars. Since there are cabs at both ends, turn-around time required at a station is less than 15 minutes, thus leading to improved utilisation.

Safer, faster

EMU trains are not the same as Bullet trains that run on dedicated high-speed corridors at speeds 350kmph and above.
The EMUs are designed for operations at the maximum speed of 130kmph/150kmph, exceeding up to 200kmph but without any additional expenditure on existing tract or signalling infrastructure.
Officials explain that they have no link with separate high-speed corridors being planned for Bullet train operations for which another announcement is possible in the rail budget.


At 50 kmph, trains lag way behind cars

You may be driving your car faster than mail and express trains.

The railways could manage to run its mail and express trains at an average speed of only 50km an hour during 2011-12. The average speed of EMUs (electrical multiple units) was 40km an hour and ordinary passenger trains covered 36km in an hour. Goods trains ran at an average speed of 25km an hour.

Though the transporter may be planning to run bullet trains, the trains could achieve these speeds only on broad gauge. On metre gauge, the trains slowed down further, with mail and express trains plying at 30km an hour and goods trains at 14km an hour.

The speed of trains, according to the railways, was dependent on various factors such as the trains themselves, the signaling system, rolling stock and stops. “It is a constant endeavour of Indian Railways to improve the average speed of trains,” minister of state for railways K J Surya Prakash Reddy said in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.


How Indian Railways plans to run bullet trains!

The Indian Railways has joined hands with China for cooperation in developing high-speed rail corridors in selected routes in the country.

Besides, Railways will also seek Chinese expertise in carrying out heavy haulage in dedicated freight corridors and developing stations.

“We signed a MoU with China for mutual cooperation in rail sector,” said a senior Railway Ministry official, adding, “The agreement will remain in force for five years.”

Chairman Railway Board Vinay Mittal and China’s Vice- Minister of Railways Wang Zhigue signed the agreement. A MoU was signed with China on January 14, 2008 which has since expired.

Now an Infrastructure Working Group will be constituted under the India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue to work out details for the future cooperation in the rail sector, the official said.

Railways has identified seven routes for exploring possibilities of running high-speed trains known as bullet trains at a speed of about 300 km per hour.

Pre-feasibility study has been carried out for five corridors, said the official.Japan is also keen to provide its technology to Railways in high speed rail corridors.

Railways plans to take up the proposed Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor on a priority basis as the government has given the in-principle clearance to the project.

It is estimated to cost about Rs 60,000 cr to run train at 300 km per hour speed in the proposed corridor.


Published in: on November 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Trains at 200 kmph between Delhi-Mumbai soon

For a nation that has come to take trains running at 100 kmph as superfast, there is good news on the way. Indian Railways is working on a plan to run passenger trains at a speed of 200 kmph between Mumbai and Delhi by 2017.

And these won’t be bullet trains, which will take more time to become reality, the new superfast trains will use the existing tracks once the freight trains shift to the dedicated freight corridor being laid between Dadri in Uttar Pradesh near Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Mumbai, a newspaper reported.

Dubbed as semi-high speed trains – bullet trains run at speeds over 350 kmph – will significantly reduce the travel time between India’s two biggest cities. However, the tracks would have to be strengthened to make them capable to handling trains at 200 kmph.

The current fastest train on the section, the Rajdhani Express have a maximum speed of 120 kmph.

As per The Economic Times, the Railways had commissioned a study last year to identify the infrastructure that needs to be upgraded for the high-speed service. A railway official told the business daily that the work can be completed within four years of commissioning.

The other big advantage of the dedicated freight corridor (DFC) is that freight trains would also speed up considerably as the current average speed of freight trains increase from the present 25 kmph to 75 kmph.

The first phase of Rewari-Vododara of Western DFC will be commissioned by December 2016 and the entire line will be operational by March 2017.


Railways signs pact with Spain on high speed trains

The railways on Friday signed an agreement with Spain to promote cooperation and information exchange in the areas of bullet trains, enhancing speed of passenger trains on existing lines and improving safety of train operations.

The MoU was signed by railway minister C P Joshi and Spanish minister of public works and transport Ana Pastor Julian for technical cooperation in the rail sector that includes modernization of rolling stock among others.

Railways has announced seven high-speed corridors and has prepared a Cabinet note to set up a high-speed rail authority to run trains at 300 km/hour.


Bullet trains to slow down to 110 kmph for India tracks

The train sets (bullet trains), which India had proposed to acquire, will be “intensively modified” so that they can run at a much slower speed on the country’s existing Broad Gauge (BG) tracks.

These customised train sets in turn are likely to raise the acquisition costs by several folds, an official from a visiting Japanese team informed at the first meeting of the India-Japan working sub-group on High Speed Rail on Thursday.

It had earlier been estimated that the six train sets would come at a cost of Rs. 25,000 crore.

Bullet trains – designed to run at a speed of 325 km per hour (kmph) – are run on the standard gauge; but the railways wants to run these at a speed of 110 kmph on BG routes.

The railways will also need to carry out massive upgrades in the track structure and signaling systems – which will also come at a huge cost, officials said.

The railways plan to build a “Golden Rail Corridor” for running these slow-moving bullet trains on four other routes apart from the Delhi-Mumbai sector. Routes identified for this corridor includes the Mumbai-Kolkata and the Chennai-Bangalore sectors, besides the Delhi-Jaipur and the Ahmedabad-Mumbai routes.

“Most advanced countries have switched over its locomotive hauled conventional inter-city trains to Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) train sets for operating speeds ranging from 130-160 kmph,” an official said.

But some sections feel that given the astronomical costs involved, the acquisition is unjustified – particularly since the railways can work on an alternative model at a fraction of the costs.

“The LHB-design coaches (certified for 160 kmph speed) can be upgraded to 180-200 kmph to create a train set with two locos at each end… This train set may not resemble an Inter City Express or a Shinkansen, but will more than serve the purpose,” officials said.


Published in: on October 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bullet trains might be a reality soon

Trains running at a speed of more than 350 kmph might might become a reality in days to come. Railways have identified seven corridors for conducting pre-feasibility studies for running high speed trains or ” bullet trains”.

These corridors will be set up through Public Private Partnership (PPP) route. A study is also being done on Delhi-Mumbai route with Japanese help to raise the speed of passenger trains from 160 kmph to 200 kmph being referred to as Semi-High Speed.

At the same time, railways is working on the concept of acquiring Electrical Multiple Units (EMU) Train sets for intercity journeys for operating speed ranging from 130-160 km/hour.

Besides, railways also proposes to introduce in near future such modern EMU train sets designed for operations at maximum speed of 130 kmph/150 kmph for running premium Shatabdi/Rajdhani trains, without any additional expenditure on existing track and signalling infrastructure.

Existing Railway track on Rajdhani route is fit for running trains up to a speed of 150 kmph, but average speeds of Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains is less than 90 kmph due to large number of speed restrictions and poor acceleration and deceleration characteristics of existing loco hauled trains.

The proposed modern distributed powered EMU train sets will be free from these bottlenecks and provide faster and safer movement and will substantially reduce run time.


Soon: Bullet trains for tortoise tracks

The railways have decided to go in for six bullet train-sets at an estimated cost of Rs. 25,000 crore and an announcement is expected in the next rail budget. Bullet trains are capable of clocking a speed of 325 kilometres per hour. But in the absence of requisite infrastructure, these will run at an 110 kmph on existing broad-gauge routes.

Japanese, French and German consortia are in the race to sell these train-sets, even as the Japanese are sponsoring a study on high-speed rail possibilities in India.

Justifying the “piecemeal and premature” acquisition proposal, an official said, “Such projects have a long gestation period, but one has to start somewhere.”

The Japanese consortium has quoted a price of Rs. 54 crore per coach — the cost of the train-set working out to approximately Rs. 900 crore

“We will go in for some mix-and-match to negotiate a better price. Each train-set should come at a cost of about Rs. 300 to Rs. 400 cr,” an official said.


Published in: on October 6, 2012 at 6:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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