India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has approved two projects to increase the train speed to 160 km/h on the Mumbai-New Delhi and New Delhi-Howrah railway lines.
After four years, when the projects will be completed, the travel time on Mumbai-New Delhi will be reduced by four hours, to reaching the two cities in 10 hours, from currently 15.5 hours. Travel time on the New Delhi-Howrah rout will be reduced from 17 hours to 12 hours.
The total value of the two projects is Rs 13489 crore (USD 1.9 billion), of which the 1,483-km Mumbai-New Delhi will need a Rs 6806 crore (USD 953.5 million) investment, while New Delhi-Howrah Rs. 6685 crore (USD 935 million).
The projects envisage the removal of all level-crossings on the lines, the installation of new signalling and telecommunication systems, and the modernisation of train depots.
Increasing the speed on the lines to 160 km/h will ensure up to 60% increase of the currently average train speed, doubling of average speed of freight traffic.
The project is expected to be completed in 2022-2023, ensuring improved speed, service, safety and creating capacity.
Currently, the authorities are carrying out works for train speed increase on all Golden Quadrilateral and Diagonals lines, which include Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Howrah, Howrah-Chennai, Chennai-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai routes.