Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu once again raised hopes of Indians by tweeting that High Speed Rail (railway lingo for bullet trains) were being considered for several new routes.
Railway Ministry tweeted the news tweet on Monday morning,
However officials in the city said it was not clear under which category of HSR lines these routes would fall. The railway ministry has divided its HSR category into 3 speed levels- 160kmph, 200kmph and 300 kmph, the last being touted as the bullet train.
“The announcement means nothing because a HSR takes almost half a decade to go from drawing board to the first pile on the ground. It could be a decade before work starts on any of these projects” said a top railway official.
Indian Railways High Speed Rail (HSR) dreams
Category A- 300 kilometers per hour plus (also called bullet trains) Comprises Mumbai-Ahmedabad HSR and Diamond Quadrilateral which includes Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, Mumbai-Chennai and Delhi-Chennai routes.
Category B- 200 kmph Presently the Delhi-Chandigarh route is being studied for this category.
Category C- 160 kmph The Delhi-Agra route became part of this category when the first Oscillograph Car Run at a speed of 160kmph was undertaken successfully between the two cities on July 3, 2014. The journey was made in 99 minutes.
Firms helping India with its bullet train plans:
Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
The Tainjin-based Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation which worked on the Beijing-Shanghai bullet train line
Systra France that studied the Oval Maidan-Churchgate-Virar elevated line on Western Railway
RITES, consultancy arm of the Indian Railways
INECO and TYPSA of Spain
Delhi-based ICT consultants
Gurgaon-based subsidiary of German firm Lahmeyer