“India-Japan to sign bullet train deal”, CRB tells on his return from Japan

New Delhi:  In a move that could speed up the bullet train dream, the railways will ink an agreement with Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for comprehensive study of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed rail corridor.

On his return from Japan, rail board chairman (CRB), Mr Arunendra Kumar, claimed that the JICA is serious about execution of the bullet train project, which as per an initial estimate would cost a whopping `63,000 crore.

Mr Kumar stated that the agreement of the study, which was stated in a joint statement issued after the summit meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, would be signed by the end of this month. “The study will be completed in 18 months time, which will look into all aspects like cost, passenger, alignment, the funding pattern, fare structure, etc. It’s a big step and JICA has shown seriousness to also follow up after the study,” Mr Kumar told reporters on Friday.

The proposed 543 km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor would be both underground as well as elevated, added Mr Kumar. India had earlier been cold to the idea of the bullet train, which will run at a speed of 300 kmph, but after PM’s strong backing the idea is now being seriously followed up.