New Delhi, April 19: Even as the railways have decided to start work on the Rs.98,000-crore bullet train project next year, a swanky new Spanish high-speed train will arrive here next week for trials, for a service between the national capital and Mumbai.
"This Spanish high speed train is expected to cut travel time between Delhi and Mumbai to 12 hours," a senior rail ministry official said, referring to Talgo's variable-guage train that will be tested initially for speeds of up to 200 km per hour.
"The trial will commence between Mathura and Palwal by the end of this month or in May."
With a 70-year history behind it, Talgo of Spain is a top global supplier of high speed trains. Among its various projects, it is the lead supplier of rolling stock for the Haramain line between Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The Spanish high-speed train is expected to reduce the travel time between New Delhi and Mumbai by up to four hours.
Currently, the super fast Rajdhani Express train takes around 16 hours to complete the 1,384 km stretch between New Delhi and Mumbai.
The Mumbai Central-New Delhi Rajdhani Express has an average running speed of nearly 91 km per hour. It can attain a top speed of 130 km per hour.
The Gatimaan Express can attain a maximum speed of 160 km per hour. It operates between the national capital's Hazrat Nizamuddin station and Agra Cantonment station.
In February, the Indian Railways had entered into a Rs.98,000-crore pact with Japan for a high-speed bullet train linking Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
India's first high speed train service has been envisaged to operate at speeds of 300-350 kmph. It would mostly be funded by the Japan Investment Co-operation Agency (JICA) which would provide around 80 percent of the investment as a soft loan.