India’s debut bullet train is all set to hit the tracks by 2026. This was hinted by Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar. However, the first journey is likely to be between Surat and Bilimora.
Vaishnaw stated, “We’re gearing up for the first bullet train ride between Surat and Bilimora in 2026.”
Updating on the progress, Vaishnaw said a 270 km of groundwork for the bullet train was already done. The installation of a 270 km long wire duct was a success, Vaishnaw said assuring that the project was right on track, ticking off the milestones according to schedule.
“We’ve got a 270-km-long wire duct in place. The Mumbai-Thane under-sea tunnel work has kicked off. Bridges over eight rivers on the route are shaping up fast, with two already done. The Sabarmati terminal station is almost a wrap too,” added Vaishnaw.
In a milestone achievement on January 8, the Ministry of Railways proudly announced 100 percent land acquisition for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Rail Corridor, commonly known as the bullet train project, spanning Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train corridor, managed by the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), is Rs 1.08 lakh crore project. The financial plan includes Rs 10,000 crore from the Union government, and Rs 5,000 crore each from Gujarat and Maharashtra. The remaining funds are secured through a 0.1 percent interest loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Initiated with the laying of the foundation stone in Ahmedabad in September 2017, this ambitious project aims to cover a distance of over 500 km in just about two hours. Utilising Japan’s Shinkansen technology, the high-speed rail line aims to revolutionise mass transportation with efficiency and high-frequency services.
Originally slated for completion in 2022, the timeline faced hurdles due to land acquisition challenges. However, fear not! The government is now eyeing the kick-off of the first phase, connecting Surat and Bilimora in south Gujarat, by the year 2026.