NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday tried to play down the massive resistance the Mumbai-Ahmadabad bullet train project is facing, saying there were always naysayers whenever a new technology was introduced.
Similar protests were held in Japan when the Shinkansen bullet train was first conceptualised in 1950s, he said.
Speaking at the International Conference on Technological Advancement in Railways and Metro Projects 2018, Goyal said: “I am glad to share that when the Shinkansen bullet train was first conceptualised in Japan in the 1950s, many Japanese politicians and academicians had strongly opposed it.
“We have a fair share of naysayers in the country. Whenever we speak of introducing new technology or bring up an out-of-the-box idea, there is a lot of resistance. I am sure when horse carriages were replaced by steam engine trains, there must have been many naysayers.”
The minister clarified that the idea of a bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad was “not just about speed but about introducing the latest technology” in the country and the need of the hour was to see how technological innovations could make the railways safer, more efficient and help expand its capacity at the least cost.
Goyal also proposed that the railways follow the convoy system in freight train movement, which was successfully tried in the East Central Railway zone.