What you need to know about India’s underwater bullet train
INDIA’s highly anticipated underwater bullet train will likely start running between the cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad, with 12 stations in between, in less than five years.
The 508-kilometer, high-speed train corridor is being built with Japanese assistance, The Economic Times reported. India is set to purchase 18 E5 series Shinkansen train sets from Japan at a total cost of about IDR7,000 crore (US$965 million).
But that is not the most mindblowing part about the travel technology that the South Asian country is about to get.
While the high-speed bullet train will run at an elevation of 18 meters for most of its route — 471 kilometers out of 508 kilometers — there is an undersea stretch included in the proposed route map.
The seven-kilometer route will pass from Thane, going under the Thane Creek, to Vasai via a submerged corridor.
It is the first time a rail track is constructed underwater in India.
India’s new bullet train service is similar to Japan’s Tokyo to Hakodate route which links Japan’s main island of Honshu with the northernmost island of Hokkaido via the undersea Seikan Tunnel.
“Each train will have 10 coaches and would be able to cruise at the speed of 350 kilometers per hour,” The Economic Times cited an official as saying.
This means the service will reduce the seven- to eight-hour journey down to just two or three hours.
India’s high-speed bullet train is a pet project of prime minister Narendra Modi under the country’s “Make in India” initiative.
It is expected to be used by 18,000 passengers with fares between the two cities likely to be less than IDR3,000 (US$41) in economy class. Its first class will include amenities similar to those in airlines.
If all goes according to plan, the first high-speed bullet train is scheduled to leave for its first run on sometime in August 2022.