With half-a-dozen high speed rail projects under consideration, India's bullet train dreams have only just begun.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will lay the foundation stone for India’s first high-speed railway project, popularly called the "bullet train" on Thursday.
The service, modelled on Japan's famous Shinkansen bullet train, will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Construction of the project, pegged at Rs 1.08 lakh crore, is scheduled to begin by the end of 2018 and completed by 2022. Japan will be providing 80 percent of the total funding as a loan.
Travelling at an average speed of 320 kilometres per hour (kmph), the train will cover the 508-km distance mostly on elevated tracks and partially through a sea tunnel in Mumbai.
Watch | India's Bullet Train Ambitions
While existing trains connecting the two cities take a minimum of six hours, the bullet train, which will use the Shinkansen technology, is expected to take less than three hours to complete the journey.Currently, the fastest Indian train — Gatimaan Express — runs at a top speed of 160 kmph. This means the bullet train, with a maximum speed of 350kmph, can more than double that pace.
PM @AbeShinzo & I will attend the programme to mark the start of work of India’s first high-speed rail project between Ahmedabad & Mumbai.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 12, 2017
However, India's bullet train ambitions don't end there. Riding on the potential of high speed railway, the government has identified five other high-speed corridors for future development.
The Centre is planning to extend the line up to Delhi, connecting Mumbai and the national capital, with a bullet train. A Mumbai-Chennai high speed rail corridor is also under consideration.
Some of the other proposed corridors include Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur and Mumbai-Nagpur.
In August, media reports suggested that the government was mulling another bullet train line connecting Delhi and Amritsar via Chandigarh and Ludhiana.
Running between 300 to 350 kmph, the 458-kilometre long route is expected to be covered in 2 hours and 30 minutes from a current duration of around six hours.