Whats in news?
• On 14th September, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, along with Prime Minister of Japan Shri Shinzo Abe laid foundation for the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (MAHSR).
• The total project costs around Rs. 1,10,000 Crore, of which Rs. 88,000 Crore (approx 80%) will be funded by Japan as a loan.
• The loan will be payable in 50 years with a moratorium of 15 years at a 0.1% rate, which means, India can start repaying the debt after 15 years from the start of the bullet train.
• The distance covered by the train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be 508 Km.
• The Indian Railways will operate 35 trains per day, which will include two types of trains – one with halt only at Surat and Vadodara, which covers the distance of 508 Km in 2 hours and 05 minutes; the other with halts at 10 stations, which will cover the distance in 2 hours 58 minutes.
• Of the 508 Km stretch, 468 Km will be elevated track, 27 Km inside tunnels and the remaining 13 Km will be surfaced. About 7 Km will be undersea.
• The bullet train will run at an average speed of 320 Kilometers per hour and can go up to 350 Kilometers per hour.
• The bullet trains are most likely to be introduced with either 10 coaches (750 seats) or 16 coaches (1250 seats).
• The famous “Shinkansen” technology will be used for the bullet trains in India, which is well known for its punctuality and safety system. In Japanese, Shinkansen means, a new trunk.
• The train will run between Sabarmati Junction and Mumbai BKC Bandra Kurla Complex) stations.
Why Japan is being preferred over other countries for Bullet Trains?
• At present, there are six countries including Japan which are using the High Speed Rail projects.
• China boasts itself to be having the largest HSR network with 27000Km track, where as other countries have network of 1000Km or more.
• Then why did India choose to ink pact with Japan alone?
Here are the few reasons –
>> Japan’s bullet trains are known for their punctuality and impeccable safety
>> There has been no incidence of technical fault or mishaps of the bullet trains since 1964, the year Japan invented the bullet train.
>> The financial help at a lower rate of interest can also be pointed as one of the reasons for this partnership
>> Apart from the financial help, Japan will now transfer its knowledge on technology to us! This means that, Japan will be aiding our country’s engineers from railways to learn the technology related to the bullet trains.
Finally, we are going to a bullet train for us! Yesss!! But wait! What will be the advantages we are going to gain if we get it? After all, it’s just a train! Let us see some examples which, I think, are enough to explain the advantages:
• With the introduction of bullet trains, though we may not decrease the distance between two places, we surely can decrease the travel time between those two destinations.
• For example, take the MAHSR project, in a normal train it takes 7 hours to travel between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Whereas, in case of a bullet train the distance is covered in 2 – 3 hours.
• Employment opportunities: To build a 508Km stretch of track in a period of 5 years, you need a lot of skilled labour. So in short, there can be a huge demand for labours during this project including those of engineers!
• Make in India: The manufacturing of rolling tracks will be done in India itself, which will be supported and supervised by the Japanese, which will fulfill the Make in India project!
• Technology Transfer: With this reason, our companies (including many start ups) will be able to learn their way of technology by tying up with Japanese companies (joint Ventures). In short, this project can lead to technological upgradation in our country – which again leads to Make in India.
• Bullet trains will be the gift from Indian government and railways to the country for 75th Independence Day.
• Japanese Prime Minister: Mr Shinzo Abe
• Indian Prime Minister: Mr Narendra Modi
• Japanese Currency: Yen
• Indian Currency: Rupees
• 1 Japanese Yen equals 0.58 Indian Rupee