The government has approved the railways' proposal to increase the train speed on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes to 160 kmph which will reduce travel time by 3.5 hours and five hours respectively, making them overnight journeys.
While the cost of the project for the Delhi-Mumbai route will be Rs 6,806 crore, the cost for the other route will be Rs 6,685 by 2022-23. This was part of the ministry's 100 day agenda.
The decisions were taken in the Cabinet meeting held on Monday, but were made public on Wednesday. It was during this Cabinet meeting that the decisions on Kashmir were discussed with Union ministers.
The increased speed on these routes will ensure improved service, safety and will create capacity, a statement from the government said.
Increasing the speed of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah sections to 160 kmph will ensure up to 60 per cent increase in average speed of passenger trains and doubling of average speed of freight traffic, the statement said.
Together these two routes account for 29 per cent of passenger traffic and 20 per cent of freight traffic.
The government has also approved the ministry's plan to construct a new line between Vaibhavwadi-Kolhapur (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) (108 km) with an estimated cost of Rs 3,439 crore.
The project will be completed by 2023-24 and will be executed by Construction Organization of Central Railway.