News / HIGH SPEED RAIL IN INDIA. Pros and cons


🕔 July 6, 2011

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If you are a frequent visitor you already know that feasibility studies for six high speed corridors in India will be developed. These rail corridors are the following: (Updated July 30th 2011)

  a) Pune- Mumbai- Ahmedabad. Completed by Systra, Italferr and RITES. Update 2  b) Delhi- Chandigarh - Amritsar. c) Delhi - Agra-Luknow-Varanasi-Patna. Under finalisation by Mott MacDonald (UK)  d) Haldia - Howrah. Completed by  Ineco along with Prointec and Ayesa (Spanish consortium).  e) Hyderabad - Dornakal - Vijayawada - Chennai. Tender closed June 15th  f) Chennai -Bangalore - Coimbatore - Ernakulam
AVE train from Spain
The newspaper the Times of India discussed yesterday whether it was good or bad for the nation to build the proposed high speed rail corridors accross India. Some of the pros mentioned in the article are the following:
  • Sustaining demographic pressures through mass transport systems
  • Spawning industrial corridors
  • Moving people and good around fast and efficiently
  • Emitting low amount of greenhouse gases compared to other systems
  • Integrating other transportation systems
On the other hand a counterviews was also given by The Times of India to show the reality that the country is probably divided by these high speed trains (as it happens elsewhere...just see what happened to high speed rail in Florida, USA). See the cons mentioned in the article as follows:
  • Being a vision that the government does not have the capability of realising
  • Being great for executives but not olving problems for ordinary conmmuters
  • Requiring an impressive amount of new land (...and new problems). Let's upgrade conventional railway lines already existing
  • Having accesibility problems to stations as it happens in China
As you can see the case of India is quite particular. It is the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world. People are moving to urban areas from rural ones crazily and big transportations issues are arising in big cities.
In my opinion Railways has to study the feasibility studies one by one to see whether there is enough demand for each corridor. High speed rail corridors can be a big expense if demand is low. They have done a good job selecting the best designers from all over the world such as Systra, Ineco, Mott Macdonald to study carefully each corridor.
Last week, the Beijing-to-Shanghai line opened on Monday amid controversy over the prestige project's high cost 1,318-kilometer (824-mile) trip.
Last week as well, we got to know that Railways is mulling to name its proposed high speed train service as TGS (Tibra Gatee Seva) on the pattern of TGV, the bullet train service in France.
Let me share some questions with you:
  • What name would you use fo the high speed rail trains in India?
  • Do you think the speed rail trains have to be built accross the nation?
  • What corridor do you see as a priority in terms of demand?
It would be great if you drop a comment!

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