ADBI study suggests India is not yet ready for high-speed railways

India currently does not have a high speed train and the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project will be only 508 km long. We have 3,867 km of semi-high speed rail, while 64,089 km is conventional rail.

By definition, the high-speed train is a train with a speed greater than 250 km / h, the semi-rapid train has between 160-200 km / h and the conventional rail has a speed less than 160 km / h.

India has planned a total of twelve high-speed rail corridors or lines operating at over 200 km / h, and Mumbai-Ahmedabad was one of them, which is under construction.

At present, India’s fastest train is the Vande Bharat Express with a top speed of 180 km / h which it reached in a test drive. The fastest operating train is the Gatimaan Express with a maximum operating speed of only 160 km / h. The main reason is that we don’t have high speed rail tracks and we only have a few tracks on which high speed rails could run.

Now what should India do? Should it opt ​​for a patchwork like the Mumbai-Ahmedabad LGV, or should it first strengthen its rail network to be able to withstand higher train speeds?

Conventional trains were late, some up to 10 p.m., in 2014, and were late even during the pre-pandemic year 2019. In response to a question to the Parliament of India, the Minister of Railways of iron pointed out the safety reasons for late trains, which indicated the poor condition of our tracks.

In fact, we needed our trains to run slowly to speed up to catch up with the scheduled time without being late in the first place. When our rail network was ready for it, we should have been tempted for a higher speed rail network.

What we did in the pre-pandemic year was to run high speed trains only on selected routes, less than four thousand kilometers of track, leaving over 64 thousand kilometers of track in very poor condition. , because India does not even have enough money to maintain these tracks. So why should India embark on the creation of a new LGV spending a lot of money in this time of scarcity? And why shouldn’t we use this huge expense to modernize our existing track?

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