Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train’s 7 km journey will be from undersea


Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train’s 7 km journey will be from undersea

The Bullet train project construction is underway...

 
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On November 23, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw shared exciting news on social media, celebrating a significant milestone in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. The achievement highlights the completion of 100 kilometers of viaducts and 250 kilometers of pier work. This marks a crucial step forward in the ambitious project, showcasing substantial progress in the construction of key infrastructure elements. Minister Vaishnaw's announcement underscores the dedication and successful efforts of the teams involved in making this milestone possible.

The completion of 100 kilometers of viaducts and 250 kilometers of pier work reflects the project's commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure and connectivity between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It sets a positive tone for the continued advancement of this high-speed rail initiative. A viaduct is like a really long bridge held up by a bunch of arches or spans between tall towers. In the 508km high-speed rail corridor, over 90% of the track will be up in the air, giving it that elevated road or railway line feel.

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL), the group making it all happen, is aiming for a new deadline in 2026 for the 51km section between Surat and Bilimora in Gujarat. They're hustling hard on the work, making good progress.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) corridor covers a distance of 508km and links India's financial hub with Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Along this route, there are 12 stations. The ambitious project, costing Rs 1.1 lakh crore, is in progress under the management of NHSRCL. Japan has extended a loan of Rs 88,087 crore for a duration of 50 years with a low interest rate of 0.1%. Repayment is set to commence 15 years after receiving the loan.

The super modern trains, inspired by the Japanese Shinkansen (bullet trains), will zoom at top speeds of 320km/h. That's more than twice as fast as India's current speediest trains—the Gatiman Express and Vande Bharat Express—which cruise at 160km/h.

The route spans 508 kilometers, with 465 kilometers elevated, including a 10-kilometer steel bridge. Additionally, there are 27 kilometers of tunnels, out of which 7 kilometers pass beneath the sea near Thane, marking India's inaugural underwater rail route. The remaining 7 kilometers are at ground level.

The route has 12 stations, with eight in Gujarat (Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad, and Sabarmati) and four in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Thane, Virar, and Boisar). The trip takes 2 hours and 7 minutes with brief stops at Surat, Ahmedabad, and Vadodara. If the train stops at all 12 stations, it will take 2 hours and 58 minutes, running at a speed of 320 km/h. 

When the high-speed train is running, the trip from Mumbai to Ahmedabad will take only 2 hours and 7 minutes, a significant reduction from the current 5-6 hours. The expected fares for this high-speed service are anticipated to be 1.5 times higher than the existing first-class AC fare on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.

Critics argue that the high-speed train project could be expensive, estimating a cost of Rs 10,000-15,000. They believe this high cost may make it unaffordable for many travelers. Some critics suggest that the funds allocated for the train could be better used to address essential needs like hospitals, schools, child nutrition, and housing in the states.

Environmental activists have criticized the project, pointing out that in 2018, a coalition of organizations revealed that approximately 80,000 trees in reserved and mangrove areas would be cut down to make room for the high-speed rail corridor. Some argue that the project seems to primarily benefit the elite class. 

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