High-speed train plans for 2 more sections may soon be the subject of a nod

India is expected to launch two more bullet train projects in 2022-2023, said two government officials familiar with the plans, even as work on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor proceeds at a slow pace.

Union budget 2022-2023 could herald a New Delhi-Varanasi high-speed rail corridor, the above officials said on condition of anonymity, adding that a Mumbai-Nagpur corridor is also likely, according to clarity of government funding.

The railways have received the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the New Delhi-Varanasi Corridor from the National High Speed ​​Rail Corp. Ltd (NHSRCL) in November. According to an NHRCL spokesperson, a detailed project report for the Mumbai-Nagpur Corridor is being finalized, and it will be submitted to the Ministry of Railways in the first quarter of next fiscal year. DPR preparation work for five other high-speed rail projects is also progressing well, and the NHRCL may be able to complete it in FY 23, the spokesperson added.

An email to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Railways went unanswered.

According to initial estimates, the Delhi-Varanasi project will cost around ??1.5 lakh crore, while the Mumbai-Nagpur corridor might cost a little less. According to the NHRCL spokesperson, the detailed project report on the Delhi-Varanasi Corridor includes several studies the company has carried out on the type of ridership expected, the impact on surrounding villages, land requirements, l assessment of the social impact and the effect on the environment.

Currently, India’s first high speed train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is being executed by the NHSRCL.

Work is progressing slowly on this project, with challenges in aligning and procuring roads. The section of more than 500 km will require an investment of more than ??1 lakh crore, with trains running at nearly 300 km / h, using Japanese E5 Shinkansen technology.

A test on a small 50 km section – Surat in Vilimura – of this project is planned for the course of 2026. The investment on the project so far is ??39,000 crores. Last year, the Ministry of Railways authorized feasibility studies for seven other high-speed train corridors, in addition to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad section.

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