'Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project' is a rather dreary name for a duck-billed locomotive that thunders down a set of tracks at more than 300kph; we much rather prefer the moniker 'bullet train'. After decades of hearing about these deadly-fast trains in other parts of the world, we are finally slated to get one of our own, and the numbers themselves are getting our hair on edge!
Our first bullet train will boast a maximum design speed of a whopping 350kph, though maximum operating speed will be capped at 320kph. The train will average 250kph on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad run, taking into account start/stop times.
2. Rs. 110,000 crore:
The project will cost us an eye-watering Rs 1,10,000 crore. With that much money, you could have bought 11,000,000 Tata Nanos when the car first launched in 2009. Of this, Rs 88,000 crore will be financed by a soft loan from Japan at an interest rate of 0.1 percent per annum, with a repayment period of 50 years.
3. 2.07 hours:
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad journey will be completed in 2hr 07 min if you opt for the limited-stops option. If you opt for the all-stops option, it’s going to take you 2hr 58min; still better compared to the current 7-8 hour travel time.
The bullet train will traverse a total distance of 508km. 92 percent (468km) of this will be on elevated tracks over your regular railway lines, 6 percent (27km) will be through tunnels and just 2 percent (12km) will be on land. It will run through a long 21km tunnel, of which 7km will be submerged under the waters of the Thane Creek.
5. 750 people:
The first bullet trains will consist of 10 coaches that will have a combined capacity of 750 passengers. The plan is to upgrade that to 16 coaches with a capacity of 1,200.
6. 35 trains:
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train system will run 35 trains in one direction every day, ferrying about 36,000 people daily. The aim is to be able to ferry 1,60,000 passengers per day by 2050.
7. 12 stops:
A total of 12 stops have been planned for the bullet train: Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati. The limited-stops journey will halt at just four of these.
8. Rs 3000:
Ticket prices are expected to start at Rs 3000 and go up to as much as Rs 5000 depending on the speed and number of stops. It’s pricier than bus and train travel but cheaper than flying.
9. 4000 staff:
Since this is a first-of-its-kind project in India, a High Speed Rail Training Institute will be set-up in Vadodara to train 4,000 people for operations and maintenance.
10. 5 years:
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project was initially pegged for completion in December 2023, but the commencement date has been advanced to August 2022, thus putting the total project completion time at 5 years. Not bad, eh?