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Kolkata, Mumbai to be on faster rail link with Delhi

Railways is working on multi-pronged strategy under Mission Raftaar to increase its speed

Shine Jacob  |  New Delhi 

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Adding steam to the Indian Railways’ plans for fast trains, the Ministry of will approach the Cabinet to clear two semi-high-speed projects — New Delhi-and New Delhi-Howrah — which may see investments of around Rs 180 billion.

“The project has got the nod from the Aayog. We are planning to approach the Cabinet on this soon. While the investment for the New Delhi-route (including Vadodara-Ahmedabad) will be around Rs 110 billion, the New Delhi-Howrah route (including Kanpur-Lucknow) may be about Rs 70 billion,” said an official close to the development. 

Semi-high-speed trains include those traveling at 160-200 km per hour (kmph) and high-speed ones are those that travel at around 300 kmph. At present, the only semi-high speed train in is the Gatimaan Express, which runs between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Agra Cantonment, and is the fastest train in the country.

The plan on semi-high-speed projects comes when laid the foundation stone last year for its first high-speed train between and Ahmedabad with financial and technical assistance from the Japanese government. 

This train is based on Japanese Shinkansen and is implementing it. Of the Rs 1.10 trillion required for the project, is providing Rs 880 billion as a soft loan at a 0.01 per cent interest rate.

“Both the routes that we are going to take up among the semi-high-speed projects are the busiest in We want to increase the average speed of passenger trains and freight trains by at least 5 kmph per year,” he said. While the New Delhi-train will cover 1,483 route km, the New Delhi-Howrah train will traverse 1,525 route km.

The is also working on eight other semi-high-speed routes at present. These include the 244-km Delhi-Chandigarh corridor, for which French major SNCF has submitted a feasibility report. 

“Similarly, Russian is working on a feasibility-cum-implementation study of 575-km Nagpur-Secunderabad corridor and similarly the Chennai-Kazipet and Mysuru-Bengaluru-Chennai routes are also being planned with German collaboration,” he added.

On the other hand, an action plan, in the works for improving mobility and increasing average speed, includes removing speed restrictions, constructing road overbridges (ROBs) and road under bridges (RUBs), right powering of trains, introducing twin-pipe in wagons, replacing conventional trains by Main Line (MEMU) trains and Diesel (DEMU) trains, etc.


  • is working on multi-pronged strategy under Mission to increase its speed
  • Semi-high-speed trains include those travelling at 160-200 kmph and high-speed ones are those that travel at around 300 kmph
  • Mission targets doubling of average speed of freight trains and increasing the average speed of all non-suburban passenger trains by 25 kmph in the next five years
  • Planned New Delhi-Mumbai, New Delhi-Howrah routes traverse 1,483 route km and 1,525 route km, respectively

First Published: Tue, January 02 2018. 00:07 IST