High Speed Rail corridor targeted to begin functioning between Surat and Bilimora by 2026: Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw Ji

Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw Ji, visited the Bullet train construction sites at Vikhroli and Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai on 23rd February, 2024 and took a review of the ongoing work. He was accompanied by Shri Vivek Kumar Gupta, Managing Director/NHSRCL

Interacting with the media on the occasion, Shri Vaishnaw Ji said, “This is the country’s first High Speed Corridor project. The designing of such a project is an extremely complex process which has to ocercome a number of difficulties. But understanding and learning about the technology, design capability and contruction methodology is one of the major aims of the project. Special attention is being given to safety and the Shinkansen system which is in existence since 1969, is known for its safety across the world. The implementation of this system in India is creating a knowledge base about the system. Our country is a big country with a population of around 140 crore. Many cities are going to be megacities with a population of more than 1 crore. If we are to provide a low cost, low time solution to such cities, we will have to gain expertise in creating high speed corridors."

Elaborating on the details of the project, he continued, “After getting necessary permissions and approvals, the physical construction of the project has started and is moving forward rapidly. To further speed up the project certain innovations have been made. Instead of working only at one place at a time, work has begun from four places parallelly. It is targeted that the first section of the High Speed Rail corridor between Surat and Bilimora will begin functioning in July/August 2026. Subsequently one after th another other sections will open.”

He mentioned that, "The undersea tunnel, first of its kind in India, is part of a 21 kms long tunnel which will start at Mumbai HSR and come out at Kalyan Silphata. 7 kms out of this will be under the sea at the Thane creek. The deepest point is approximately 65 metres deep and the tunnel will be 40 feet wide. There will be two lines in the tunnel, one up line and one down line on which the highspeed rail will function. Even inside the tunnel the train will run at a speed of 320 kms per hour.”

Speaking on the benefits of such a project, the Minister concluded by saying, “The High Speed Rail Project should not be looked at just as a transporation project. When a High Speeed Train was made functional between Tokyo and Osaka - the economy of five cities - Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka grew exponentially. High speed trains connect cities in a manner that 1+1 is not 2 but 11. Through the connectivity gained because of this corridor, Mumbai, Thane, Vapi, Surat, Vadodara , Anand and Ahemadabad will become a single economic zone. This will provide a great economic boost to the region. There will be two types of trains. One with all stops and one with limited stops. The travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be two hours with limited  stops and approximately 2.5 hours when the train stops at all stops. Hence a lot of time will be saved. Apart from this huge industrial, commercial and residentital growth at all nodes along this corridor is expected automatiucally. This will result in continuous development in the region for the next 30-40 years. This is the forward thinking plan of the Prime Minister which will result in long term benefits to the nation.”

Source - PIB