MUMBAI: Travel time to Ahmedabad may get reduced to five hours even before the bullet train project takes off, as Spanish firm Talgo has offered to operate on the route. The railway board has formed a committee to evaluate the proposal.
The hi-speed trains from Spain can achieve faster acceleration and deceleration, besides running faster on curves. Its coaches are lighter and can hence reach destinations faster than conventional Indian Railway coaches.
At a maximum speed of 130kmph, Shatabdi Express is the fastest on the route, and it takes six hours and 20 minutes to traverse 493km. Talgo trains can run at a maximum speed of 200kmph without any major change to track infrastructure.
Source said Talgo has offered to run the trains on lease at fares equivalent to Shatabdi. Talgo said it has offered four trains on lease that can run on shorter Mumbai-Ahmedabad and Delhi-Amritsar routes.
The board had thought of introducing this services on the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express route. A series of trials were carried out before which the board conceded that the train was fit to run on Indian Railways.
Source said, “The Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express route is 1,384km. If we run trains for this distance, maintenance facilities will have to be created at both places. If we run shorter distance, the facility will have to be in only one city.”
Shatabdi Express departs from Mumbai Central at 6.25am and arrives in Ahmedabad at 12.45pm. On its return journey, it departs at 2.40pm and arrives at 9.20pm.
Nine state-of-the-art coaches manufactured by the Spanish firm had arrived in Mumbai in April 2016 and completed their trials in September.
Mumbai-Ahmedabad distance | 493km
Fastest train between the two cities | Shatabdi Express
Travel time | 6 hours, 20 minutes
AC chair cars | 15
AC executive class | 2
Carrying capacity | 78 per coach
Maximum speed | 130kmph
Average speed | 78kmph
Fare Rs1,920: AC executive class; Rs 1,005: CC
It can cover the distance in 5 hours
Maximum speed | 200kmph
Average speed | 105kmph
Mumbai-Ahmedabad distance | 508km
Max speed | 350kmph
Travel time | 2 hours
Fare | 1.5 times AC fare
Route | BKC, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad (11 stations, 9 intermediate halts)