ALSO READIndian Railways needs more private involvement in the sector: Piyush Goyal India Inc may add steam to save railway heritage assets Budget 2018: Concerned about safety, govt gives Railways Rs 730 bn Budget 2018: Hopes for Railways pinned on growth in other earnings News digest: GST return edit deadline, saving railway legacy, and more
An overnight intercity travel can soon be faster as railway board is planning to run trains at a speed of 200-250 kmph. The trains will run on new high-speed corridors, which is planning to be announced in April this year, according to a Times of India report. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has plans to announce a 10,000 km high-speed rail corridor to run trains with 250 kmph speed for overnight journeys. The minister has given the major task of identifying corridors and successful completion of the project by cutting the construction cost to half from the current allocation of Rs 1 billion per km to the railway board. According to the TOI report, a highly placed official on the condition of anonymity said that the focus is overnight journeys and need not be done in a few hours, unlike bullet trains. The official added that slashing the cost of construction will help immensely as it will save on pricey land acquisition under the current new act with options such as building two track corridors on the national highway or on existing railway land. Targeting on the cost cut, it will also reduce the project's timeline as land acquisition takes lot more time in implementing government projects. The intercity train between Mumbai and Pune takes around three hours and if this plan brings the travel duration to one hour, then people are more likely to use the high-speed train. With numerous incidents of train derailments in 2017, many questions were asked about safety, making people sceptical on the high-speed train proposals.
A high-speed train travel in India will require much funding in infrastructure for trains to be durable and for other future developments in the railway sector.