Global tender to study feasibility of bullet trains in India

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 7 (UNI) The Indian Railways will float global tender in August to undertake study on the feasibility of running high speed passenger bullet trains on five selected routes, Railway Board Chairman K C Jena said here today.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr Jena said though the concept of bullet train was not feasible in the Indian context due to large concentration of population, yet five states had shown keen interest in the concept.

He said these states were also prepared to provide funds to the Railways to undertake feasibility study for running high speed passenger trains in their area.

Accordingly, five projects namely Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai- Ahmedabad Chennai-Coimbatour-Bangalore-Ernakulum, Delhi-Amritsar and Howrah- Haldia would be taken up for the study.

''By September next we would be able to select a consultant to undertake the feasibility study on the running of bullet trains on these routes,'' Mr Jena said.

He, however, said Taiwan High Speed Corporation has the latest set up on the bullet train concept.

The Railway Board Chairman said the arrangement of a dedicated high speed passenger train in the country was not feasible as there is a level crossing after every 5 to 10 kms.

Moreover, the cost for laying one km track for the bullet train would be nearly Rs 600 crore, which if at all, could be taken up only in private participation. This apart, the fare of the bullet train would be very high which would be beyond the affordability of a common man, he observed.

To a question, Mr Jena said the anti-collusion device which was introduced in Konkan Railways and proved very successful, would be introduced in Southern, South Central and South Eastern Railways during 2008-2009.

After Konkan Railways, the anti-collusion device has been taken up in the North Frontier Railways and by next year the system would be installed in all the railways.

Mr Jena said the anti-collusion device, developed by the Konkan railways, is the cheapest in the world and countries like Israel, Australia and Egypt had shown keen interest to adopt the method.

The Railway Board Chairman said the railways had given safety as top priority and deputed teams to Israel and Germany to study their safety system.

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