India's first Bullet Train will be operational by 2026

Anushka Khare Posted on: 2024-03-20 07:00:00 Viewer: 3,392 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

India's first Bullet Train will be operational by 2026

New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, speaking at the Rising Bharat Summit 2024, confirmed that India's first Bullet Train will be operational by 2026. The train will initially run from Surat to Bilimora in Gujarat as part of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (HSR) project, which spans 508 kilometers and is expected to be completed by 2028.

According to reports, India is on track to finalize the procurement of 24 E5 Series Shinkansen trains (bullet trains) from Japan by the end of March. Minister Vaishnaw emphasized that bullet trains would not only facilitate travel but also provide a significant boost to the economy.

In his address, Railway Minister highlighted three factors that have expedited the modernization of Indian Railways: increased funding, a systematic plan for future maintenance, and depoliticizing the railway sector.

Regarding increased funding, Railway Minister noted a substantial budgetary transformation for Indian Railways, with allocations rising from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 2,52,000 crores since its merger with the general budget. He also underscored the systematic approach taken for future maintenance, citing achievements such as the electrification of 40,000 kilometers of tracks and the addition of new tracks covering 30,000 kilometers during the tenure of the Modi-led government.

The Railway Minister emphasized the importance of depoliticizing Indian Railways, stating that prior to 2014, the focus was primarily on announcing new trains and infrastructure without considering track capacity or passenger needs. He praised Prime Minister Modi for initiating a technical overhaul of the railway sector and fostering a culture of decision-making based on technical expertise.

Looking ahead, Railway Minister outlined the government's goal of strengthening the foundations of a developed India (Viksit Bharat) over the next five years. He highlighted initiatives such as Vande Bharat and NaMo Bharat trains, aimed at providing world-class experiences for middle-class Indians and aspiring youth. Additionally, plans for Vande Metro and Amrit Bharat Train were mentioned as part of the government's vision for regional transport development.

Regarding safety measures, Railway Minister acknowledged the delayed adoption of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) technology in India, which began in 2016 under PM Modi's leadership. He suggested that previous governments should have invested in safety measures earlier, emphasizing the importance of initiatives like Kavach-like ATPs. Despite the delayed start, he noted significant investments of over Rs 1,87,000 crores in railway safety measures under the current government.

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