Construction on India’s first HSR launched

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, jointly laid the foundation for India’s first high speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Speaking on the occasion Narendra Modi spoke about authorities’ ambitions and willpower of “New India.” He said that the bullet train project will provide speed and progress, and deliver results quickly. “The Government’s focus is on increasing productivity through high speed connectivity. (…) This high speed railway would not only bring two cities closer, but also bring the people living hundreds of kilometers away, closer to each other. A new economic system is being developed along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor, and the entire area would become a single economic zone,” Modi said.
The Mumbai – Ahmedabad high speed railway will have a length of 508 km with 12 stations including Bandra Kurla, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapl, Billmora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati.
92% of the line will be elevated, with 460 km of viaducts and 13 km of embankments and cuttings. Under the project there will be constructed a 7 km undersea tunnel at Thane Creek and it will be built India’s longest tunnel which will have a length of 21 km.
“My good friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a far-sighted leader. He took a decision two years ago to bring high-speed train in India and to create a new India,” Japan’s Prime Minister said.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is financing 81% of the USD 18.9 billion project through a soft loan with an annual interest rate of 0.1%.
The needed rolling stock will be produced by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), an Indian state-owned company. The trains will run at speeds of up to 320 km/h.
The project is estimated to be completed in 2022 and will reduce the travel time between the two cities from 7 hours to 2 hours.

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