Bullet Trains in India

India planned to focus on the speed of trains in the country due to its growing dependence on Railways as a transportation medium. Another reason for the same was the growing economy. Thereby, the Bullet Train Project in India was introduced. 

It was in 2017 that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation of the Mumbai to Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project. 

In this article, we bring to you the details of the Bullet trains in India, their need, and the arguments about their inclusion in the Indian Railways. Candidates preparing for the competitive or IAS Exam must thoroughly analyse the aspects discussed further below. 

Bullet Trains in India [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

What is the Bullet Train Project in India?

The project was launched with the objective to bring a revolution in the railways’ mode of transportation for the people of the country. Through this project, the government aims at:

  • Running High-speed trains (speed >300 kmph)
  • Running Semi-speed trains (speed >160 kmph to 200 kmph)
  • Introduction of fast & faster train sets
  • Increasing the speed of existing trains

India’s first bullet train project in the country has already started with the construction of a corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Further, the Indian Railways’ Ministry has decided to undertake a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the following six High-Speed Rail (HSR) corridors:

  • Delhi -Varanasi
  • Delhi – Ahmedabad
  • Mumbai– Nagpur
  • Mumbai – Hyderabad 
  • Chennai – Mysore 
  • Delhi –Amritsar

What is a Bullet Train?

The bullet train, or “Shinkansen”, is a type of passenger train that operates on a high-speed railway network. It is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 320kmph. 

It mainly operates in Japan as a passenger train and is known as Shinkansen in Japan. 

Advantages of Bullet Train in India

  • Time-Saving – The biggest advantage of bullet trains is that they are fast and save up a lot of commuting time. For example, a general train stopping at all railway stations between Mumbai and Ahmedabad may take up to 7 to 8 hours. Whereas, the bullet train, even after stopping at all stations shall take less than 3 hours.  
  • Eco-Friendly – Bullet trains are fuel-efficient. Since it is a passenger train, if commuters opt for these trains, they will save up a lot of fuel on their personal vehicles and the train itself is also highly fuel-efficient. Once it is functional, people would opt for this instead of taking up their personal vehicles regularly
  • Reduced Congestion on Roads – If commuters move to take trains for travelling, there will be a lot less congestion on the roads. This will automatically reduce traffic, air and noise pollution 
  • Economic Boost – Not just people, but even cities along the line of the corridor are expected to have greater connectivity and experience a jump in their socio-economic status. It will increase direct and indirect employment, boost tourism and business.
  • Comfortable and Safe – Over the years, the number of road accidents has massively increased. These bullet trains are safe and comfortable at the time. 
  • Boost to Make in India – The trains are being made with an amalgamation of Japan’s technology and India’s expertise in creating world-class parts. For the parts that are to be made in India, Japan will share the blueprints and methodology behind their creation with their Indian counterparts. This will progress on the country’s Make in India initiative
  • Advantageous to Real Estate – The construction of the Bullet train corridor requires a lot of land and space. With so much of economic activity happening around these towns, a boom in the real estate market of these areas cannot be underestimated.

Disadvantages of Bullet Trains in India

  • Improvisation in Present Railyway Conditions – A lot more can be done to improve the condition of the present-day Indian Railways. The authorities can first improve the present day conditions with the amount being dedicated for bullet train corridor construction. Then, invest in the high speed rail project
  • Expensive Infrastructure – The cost of setting up a corridor is extremely expensive. The Mumbai- Ahmedabad high-speed rail costs around one lakh crore Indian Rupee.
  • High Fares – With the convenience that the train shall provide, the fares too are expected to be high. This may result in it not being affordable for all
  • Land Acquisition – To get the desired space for construction, the authorities may have to ask people to vacate a few places and relocate them. This through will help in the best route of construction but shall cause inconvenience to the affected people

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Conclusion – Does India really need a Bullet Train?

In terms of development, bringing a bullet train into India is a big move by the Government of the country. The idea behind it will definitely boost a lot of sectors and bring about a boom in the overall growth of the country. 

This being said, high speed trains will definitely come along with a set of drawbacks. Economically it is a big step that is being taken as the budget for the new corridor could first be utilised for the existing facilities in the Indian railway sector. Following which the investments could be made into the high speed trains. 

However, if the desired outcomes are achieved through this project, India may take a big leap in terms of development. 

For any further details, study material and preparation tips, visit BYJU’S. 

UPSC 2021

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