High-speed Rail: An Investment in future?

As the BJP manifesto spoke about implementation of bullet trains in India in their election manifesto, many Indians saw a ray of hope of a new dawn to arrive in India’s crippling infrastructural woes.
Bullet trains, which are already running successfully in several European & Asian countries, has ignited the imagination of a billion plus country. China, which currently connects its major cities with Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) trains, has successfully demonstrated the power of what high-speed rail (HSR) can achieve.

Maglev Train (China)

TGV- Bullet train ( France)
When Laloo Prasad Yadav was at the helm of rail affairs, he had clearly taken aside the proposition of India ever having a high speed rail network citing soil, climate and land factors as permanent hindrances.

However, with the promise of the launch of the Diamond Quadrilateral project - of High Speed Train network (bullet train) tourist rails, railways modernization, R&D for indigenous railways, and special focus on developing skilled human resources, India can gain a lot out of these.

Shinkasen-bullet train-Japan
Quoting the head  of State of Columbia wherein he said   ” Any country cannot be called ”developed” until its citizens whether rich or poor use the same mode of mass transport system.”
India’s infrastructural woes can be sorted by developing this mode of transport which not only positively affects the real estate, manufacturing & service sectors, infact it creates the ease of living a far more comfortable life and saving years, yes years, since an average mobile Indian spends 80 % of his time traveling.

ICE-Bullet train (Germany)
Also if we look around the world, most of the airports are slowly reaching a saturation point where expansion is impossible and hence may become an extremely costly affair. Something like bullet trains can come in handy in such a situation since they can handle the interstate and intercity travel freeing the airport for more important international travel and very long distance travel. The existing bullet trains like the TGV (France), ICE (Germany) & the Shinkasen (Japan) have average speeds upto 450 km/hr,faster than a F1 car. Infact, new technology in high speed trains like the Maglev can achieve speeds upto 3000 km/hr, way  faster than an airplane.

Is it feasible?
Yes it is feasible, and the answer lies in going in phase wise across India. Such a system can definitely help India build new cities and new industries. It is a known fact that cities around such a high speed network have become engines of growth and prosperity.
As the new government promises a strong developmental agenda, this will be one of the most discussed subjects. While we discuss, our neighbour China has shown the way by building a world class HSR network to the tune of more than 10000 Kms with a daily ridership of more than 1.33 million. And the decision has transformed the way people used to travel and do business in China. Hope we also start investing in building capacities which may serve us well for the coming decades and change the way we travel and do business in India.
Hope 7 Race Course Road is listening.

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