India’s first bullet train to connect Kerala-Tamil Nadu
India’s first bullet train will be introduced between Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai. The train will pass through Kochi and is expected to give a boost to the business and tourism sectors of the city.
The high-speed rail corridor project was proposed in the 2010 Indian railway budget. A total of six high-speed corridors were proposed in the budget including Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai. The total length of the Thiruvanathapuram-Chennai corridor will be 869 kilometres. The high-speed corridor will connect Chennai with Bangalore, Coimbatore, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram.
The total project cost is estimated at `87,000 crore. According to Indian Railways, ‘Vision 2020’ action plan, the project will be implemented in a Public-Private-Participation (PPP) mode. Major international agencies have already approached the Railway Ministry to carry out a feasibility study on high-speed rail corridor. These agencies include Japan Railway Technical Service, Korea Rail Network Authority, Belgium Rail Engineering and a consortium of five Spain-based companies.
The Railway Ministry is expected to select one agency from this group by next month and entrust it with the preparation of a feasibility study report. The representatives of ‘Shinkansen,’ a network of high-speed railway lines in Japan operated by four Japan Railways Group companies, is expected to arrive in India by next week.
The high speed rail corridor is expected to be implemented in different phases. The first phase from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi is expected to attract an investment of Rs 43,000 crore. And the work is expected to commence in 2013. The maximum speed that can be achieved is 350 km per hour on the proposed high-speed track and the 230 kilometre length between and Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram is expected to be covered in 45 minutes.