Spain is likely to undertake a feasibility study for running bullet train on the high-demand Mumbai-Howrah route.
Spain has shown keenness for carrying out a feasibility study of the proposed 1968 km-long Mumbai-Howrah high-speed route, part of the Diamond Quadrilateral project, and a decision to hand over the task to it is likely to be taken shortly, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The Rs 2-lakh crore Diamond Quadrilateral project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet scheme, aims to drastically reduce the travel time between Metro cities with the introduction of high-speed trains, which will run at about 300 kmph.
Currently the travel time between Mumbai and Howrah is over 26 hours in Duronto express and it is expected to be reduced to less than half with the operation of the proposed high-speed train.
Railways had signed an MoU with Spain in 2012 for cooperation in high-speed rail sector and under the MoU the study will be undertaken, said the official.
At present, China is undertaking feasibility study of the Delhi-Chennai route, also a part of the Diamond Quadrilateral project.
Moving ahead on the bullet train initiative, railway have undertaken feasibility study for high-speed rail corridors between Delhi and Mumbai, Mumbai and Chennai, and New Delhi and Kolkata, which are part of the Diamond Quadrilateral project.
The official said 12 international companies from France, Germany, Italy and other countries are bidding for conducting the feasibility study for these three corridors of the Diamond Quadrilateral high-speed rail network project.
Currently, the superfast Rajdhani Express covers the distance between Delhi and Mumbai in about 16 hours. With the introduction of the high-speed train, the travel time is expected to be reduced by almost half.
Similarly, travel time between Delhi and the other metros will be reduced with the introduction of bullet trains.