Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train to run on Elevated Tracks

Mumbai: The Bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will run on elevated corridor for most part of its journey. The track would be along the existing railway track.

India’s ambitious plan to construct the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor reached a decisive stage on Tuesday, following the Japanese government’s offer to fund the Rs 988,050 million project at a low interest rate of 0.25% at Tuesday’s meeting of the Indo-Japan Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC).

The Japanese government’s loan offer comes with the rider that 30% of the rolling stock for the project would be sourced from Japanese firms, sources said.

A financial rate of return (RoR) of 4% and an economic RoR of 12% has been projected on what will be India’s first high-speed rail line, which is estimated to have a daily ridership of 40,000 passengers.

From the initial estimated cost of Rs 650,000 million, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) — which recently completed a feasibility study on the line — has indicated a substantial cost escalation by factoring in components including price escalation during construction (estimated at Rs 172,212 million ) and interest during construction (estimated at Rs 115,709 million). Basic capital cost has been projected at Rs 700,129 million in the draft JICA report.

If work begins in 2017, the line can be completed in 2023 and made operational in 2024.

An official told that the feasibility study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) suggested that the track for the Bullet Train on elevated corridor will constitute 60 per cent of total track on the route.

The senior official said, the JICA has estimated 40,000 passengers per day. The cost of the ticket has been estimated to be one and half times more than that is being charged by the Rajdhani Express for the same distance. The distance from Ahmedabad to Mumbai will be 543 km to be covered by Bullet Train in less than 2 ½ hours i.e. at an average speed of 200 Kms per hour on this route. However the track shall be built to cater to a speed of 600 Kms per Hour for future operational requirements.

The JICA, which has submitted its draft report and made presentations before the Railway Board, on Tuesday gave a presentation before the joint monitoring committee comprising of Railways and other ministries.

“China has also offered to fund the project. The political leadership will need to take a call on funding options,” a senior official said.