The Indian Railways is expected to sign an agreement with Spain to explore the possibilities of introducing bullet trains in the country and also bring about improvement in safety features of the Railways. The memorandum of understanding will be in operation for a period of three years.
India will also avail services of Spanish railways to increase the speed of existing trains complete with safety features. The high speed corridors is expected to be constructed at an estimated cost of `100 crore.
The identified routes for proposed bullet train service are Pune-Mumbai-Ahemedabad 650 km, Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar 450 km, Delhi-Lucknow-Patna 991 kms, Hyderabad-Chennai 644 km Chennai-Bangalore-Thiruvanthapuram 850 km and Delhi-Jaipur-Jodhpur 591 km.
The Indian Railways is also in the process of setting up a High-Speed Rail Authority to run trains at 300 km hour speed on seven selected routes.
According to a senior Railway Ministry official, “We have plans to develop high-speed train service in the country and currently we are in the process of carrying out pre-feasibility study on seven identified corridors.”
Spanish consultant Eneco has been hired to carry out studies in the Howrah-Haldia 135 km route and it has submitted the initial report. Spain has a modern railway network linking all major towns and cities.
The Railways has also roped in French firm Systra for Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad 650 km route while UK -based consultant Mott Mcdonald has been engaged to conduct the pre-feasibility study of the Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna 991 km route.