A mobility expert made a case for the construction of an inter-city high-speed rail (HSR) network for India here on Wednesday, while acknowledging that it would not be without challenges.
BENGALURU: A mobility expert made a case for the construction of an inter-city high-speed rail (HSR) network for India here on Wednesday while acknowledging that it would not be without challenges.
Dr Ashish Verma, Associate Professor, Transportation Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), spoke about the advantages of having such a system in the country. Such a high speed rail network is currently being operated in five countries — Japan, France, Germany, China and Spain.
The trains are typically powered by electricity, travel at speeds of around 250-350 km/hr and operate between major cities in the country. India has taken one step towards this by sanctioning an HSR track network between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Highlighting the significantly higher cost of such a network, Dr Verma said HSR costs Rs 216 crore per km, as compared to Rs 60-70 crore for a 6-lane expressway and Rs.5-6 crore for the existing railway network. However, he said their advantages make it worth the investment.
“HSR network can induce more competition with other modes of transport, redistribute population into smaller cities and towns, easily and quickly, not only change the travel behaviour but reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
“India has a broad gauge network while the other HSR networks are standard gauge; so that is an issue. In addition, challenges in land acquisition, environmental clearances and pricing will have to be overcome,” he said.
Dr Verma also called for one umbrella organisation to manage all transport systems, on the lines of the system in the UK.