The Japanese-made Shinkansen trains will travel at speeds up to 217mph (349km/h) taking passengers between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, a distance of 315mi (507km), in around three hours – less than half the time it takes on the Duronto Express (the name literally meaning ‘restless’ in Bengali).
Construction on the high-speed railway began last month and is scheduled for completion in early 2022 to mark the 75th anniversary of Indian independence. It’s being built with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan’s overseas development agency.
‘This is the new India and the flight of its dreams is endless,’ said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a recent visit by his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe. ‘The bullet train project will bring speed and employment. It is human-friendly and eco-friendly.’
India’s old railway system will still be up and running, although Modi is reportedly considering another six high-speed rail corridors. ‘India runs more than 10,000 trains each day, which carry the equivalent of the population of Australia – you can’t just discontinue them,’ said the former chairman of India’s railway board Vivek Sahai.
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