Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, recently shared an animated video of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad train corridor, popularly known as the ‘Bullet train’, on the microblogging platform X. With the caption “Stay tuned for #BulletTrain in Modi 3.0!”, Vaishnaw’s post ahead of the upcoming elections hinted at yet another significant development in Indian railways if Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is re-elected for a third consecutive term in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor, a project that commenced in November 2021, has been steadily progressing. Last year, the Railway minister announced that the first bullet train section in India, a 50km stretch between Bilimora and Surat in Gujarat, will be completed by August 2026. The Railways plans to operate 35 bullet trains initially, with about 70 trips per day, aiming to increase the number to 105 trains by 2050. It is estimated that around 1.6 crore people will travel by train annually once operations commence. Vaishnaw had earlier informed the Rajya Sabha about feasibility studies being conducted on three Golden Quadrilateral routes — Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Mumbai, and Mumbai-Chennai — for the development of high-speed rail corridors.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train corridor boasts several notable features. Covering a distance of 508 km, it is expected to achieve a maximum speed of 320 km per hour, significantly reducing travel time to just 2 hours. The corridor will feature a slab track system, a technology to be implemented for the first time in India, ensuring smoother and more efficient operations. An early earthquake detection system will enhance safety measures along the route. Construction efforts include the erection of 24 river bridges, 28 steel bridges, and 7 mountain tunnels. The corridor will include a 7-kilometre-long undersea tunnel, a remarkable engineering feat. 12 state-of-the-art railway stations are planned as part of the project, promising enhanced comfort and convenience for passengers.
Described as a “marvel of world-class engineering” and the “future of India” in the video, the project’s estimated cost is approximately ₹1.08 lakh crore. The Centre has committed ₹10,000 crores, with Gujarat and Maharashtra each contributing ₹5,000 crores. The remaining funding will be secured through a loan from Japan at a minimal interest rate of 0.1 percent.
With its cutting-edge technology and ambitious vision, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train corridor represents a significant step towards modernizing India’s transportation infrastructure and fostering economic growth. As the project continues to progress, it holds the promise of revolutionizing rail travel in the country and shaping the future of mobility for generations to come.