Japan and China prepare terrain for Indian High Speed Rail Battle

HSR War China JapanAfter fiercely battling it out in Indonesia, where China won the first round and has already signed the deal to build the 150 km Jakarta to Bandung High Speed Rail line, Japan and China are very aggressively competing on the Indian High Speed Rail (HSR) arena.

Japan has just offered to finance the 505 km high speed corridor that will link Mumbai to Ahmedabad. 15 Billion USD the total estimated cost, less than 1% the proposed interest rate. Japan would cover 80% of the project cost, and India would purchase 30% of equipment from Japanese companies.

China was awarded a contract only last month to assess the feasibility of the 1,200 km high speed corridor between Delhi and Mumbai. The winning consortium includes the Third Railway Survey and Design Group (a unit of China Railway) and some local Indian companies.

The current state of play regarding Indian high speed projects is as follows:

1. Diamond Quadrilateral High Speed Rail Corridors

  • Delhi-Mumbai (Package-I): Feasibility Study Contract awarded to a Consortium of M/s The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation (China) and Lahmeyer International (India) Pvt. Ltd, India.
  • Mumbai-Chennai (Package-II): Feasibility Study Contract awarded to a Consortium of M/s SYSTRA (France) – RITES- Ernest &Young LLP.
  • Delhi-Kolkata (Package-III): Feasibility Study Contract awarded to a Consortium of M/s INECO (Spain) – M/s TYPSA- M/s Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Private Ltd.

2. Delhi – Chandigarh – Amritsar High Speed Rail Corridor

Pre-feasibility study in progress. Interim Report-II has been submitted by the consultant M/s Systra of France in Sep 2015.

3. Delhi – Chennai High Speed Rail Corridor

Delhi-Nagpur section is being taken up as Phase I under Government to Government cooperation. Planning study report by China Railway SIYUAN Survey and Design Group Co. Ltd has been completed. Project Feasibility Study is yet to be taken up by SIYUAN.

4. Chennai – Bengaluru – Mysore High Speed Rail Corridor

Feasibility Study for raising the speed on this section, in cooperation with China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group, is in progress. China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group has submitted an Interim Report in June 2015.

 5. Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor

Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd and High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd have been assigned the implementation of high speed projects. Mumbai – Ahmedabad is the first corridor planned for implementation.

An MOU was signed on 7 October 2013 between Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Indian Ministry of Railways for conducting a joint feasibility study. JICA submitted its Final Report of Feasibility Study to the Ministry of Railways in July 2015.

Just to give an idea of what rail services could be like in the future, the Rajdhani Express currently covers the distance between Delhi and Mumbai in roughly 16 hours; with the introduction of high speed services travel time will be halved. Between Mumbai and Ahmedabad travel time will be cut from 7 to only 2 hours.

A link to the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Website follows: http://hsrc.in/index.html

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