28 July 2016

Indian Railways working on a multi pronged strategy for a high speed travel in the country

Indian Railways working on a multi pronged strategy for a high speed travel in the country  
High Speed Train between Mumbai Ahmedabad Corridor already sanctioned and under implementation 
Other high speed corridors along the diamond quadrilaterals are under exploration

Semi-High Speed Train between Delhi – Agra called Gatimaan Express already started

8 More semi-high speed corridors are under study

Indian Railways working on a proposal to acquire modern EMU Train Sets for improved average speed

Field trails are underway with Spanish Talgo Train for saving substantial travel time

Mission Raftaar launched to work towards increasing speed of existing trains in Indian Railways

Process is on for introducing faster trains Tejas as announced in the Railway Budget

Indian Railways is working on a multi pronged strategy for running of high speed trains (with a speed of 300 kmph+), semi high speed trains (with a speed of 160 kmph+ - 200kmph), running of existing trains with increased speeds and introduction of faster trains and faster train sets.
          A high speed train (300 kmph+) has already been sanctioned on Mumbai – Ahmedabad high speed corridor with financial and technical assistance from Government of Japan. This train is based on Japanese Shinkansen high speed technology. A company for the implementation of this project with the name “National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited” has already been formed. The implementation of this project has already begun and is now targeted for commissioning in 2023-24. The study for this high speed train popularly referred to as Bullet Train has been done by JICA. Government of Japan is providing financial assistance in the form of loan upto 81% of the project cost at a very nominal interest rate of 0.1% per annum to be repaid in 50 years with a 15 year moratorium.
          In addition to Mumbai – Ahmedabad high speed (300 kmph+) corridor, five more corridors covering sides of diamond quadrilaterals and semi diagonals in the country are being explored and Consultants have been appointed to undertake feasibility studies as per details given below : -

High Speed Corridor
Consultants undertaking feasibility study
Consortium of M/s.  The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation (Chinese Consultant) and Lahmeyer International (India) Private Limited, India. Interim report 1 received. Interim report 2 expected in November, 2016. Final Report expected in January, 2017.
Consortium of M/s. SYSTRA (French Consultants), RITES and  Ernst and Young LLP. Interim report 1 received. Interim report 2 expected in November, 2016. Final Report expected in January, 2017.
Consortium of M/s. INECO- M/s. TYPSA- M/s. Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Private Limited (Spanish Consultants). Interim report 1 & 2 received. Final Report expected in January, 2017.
Government to Government cooperation with Chinese Railway Company. Inception report received.
Government to Government cooperation with Spanish Railway companies. Interim report 1 received. Interim report 2 expected in November, 2016. Final Report expected in January, 2017.

          Railways has also taken up a programme of running of semi high speed trains (160 kmph+ - 200kmph) in a big way. It has already started running such a train with the name Gatimaan Express between Hazrat Nizammuddin to Agra Cantt Station w.e.f. 05.04.2016 with a maximum speed of 160 kmph. In addition to this Delhi –Agra semi high speed corridor, Indian Railways have also identified eight more corridors for feasibility of semi high speed rail, Zone wise details are as under:

Zonal Railways
Feasibility-cum implementation study awarded to SNCF (France) on cost sharing basis.
Southern, South Western
Feasibility Study for upgradation of speed awarded to ERYUAN Group of Chinese Railways at their cost.
Northern, North Central

Quantum of Technical inputs required for upgradation of speed to 160 Kmph have been identified by the concerned Zonal Railways and KONKAN Railway.
South East Central
Central, South Western, Konkan Railway
Chennai- Hyderabad
Southern, South Central
Nagpur - Secunderabad
Central, South Central

          Indian Railways is also currently undertaking field trials for assessing savings in transit time by using special type Spanish Talgo Coaches on existing New Delhi-Mumbai corridor. These are faster trains which may run at around 200 kmph.
          Indian Railways is also working on a proposal to acquire modern electrical EMU train sets which will have a good average speed thereby saving travel time substantially. 
            With a view to increasing speed of existing trains in Indian Railways, ‘Mission Raftaar’ has been announced in the Railway Budget 2016-17.  The mission envisages a target of doubling of average speed of freight trains and increasing the average speed of all non-suburban passenger trains by 25 kilometre per hour (kmph) in next 5 years.  The present level of average speeds in Indian Railways for non-suburban passenger trains is 46.3 kmph and for freight trains the average speeds is 24.2 kmph. In order to implement this, a cross-functional mission directorate has been created in Railway Board. 
Action Plan for improving mobility and increasing average speed of trains, inter-alia,  includes removal of speed restrictions, construction of road over bridges (ROBs) and road under bridges (RUBs), right powering of trains, introduction of twin-pipe brake system in wagons, and replacement of conventional loco hauled commuter trains by Main Line Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) and Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains.
Some of the important achievements in mobility improvement in Indian Railways are;
o   Two pairs of trains between Kanpur-Allahabad section, and one pair of MEMU train  between Asansol-Dhanbad section in place of conventional loco hauled passenger trains have  already been introduced.
o   Two more pairs of trains have been scheduled for switch over to MEMU in Allahabad-Mughalsarai section in July 2016.
o   Mobility study of high density Ghaziabad-Allahabad-Mughalsarai section completed. Short term Action Plan under implementation.
o   Introduction of twin-pipe brake system in freight trains approved in-principle for implementation in all freight stocks. This will result in faster application and release of brake system consequent increase in speed of freight trains.
o   Action Plan for Right powering of freight trains is being worked out. Optimum horse power to trailing load ratio will speed up freight trains and reduce transit time, directly benefitting the customers.
o   Removal of Level Crossing Gates for achieving faster speed and improved safety for 2787 level crossing gates targeted for removal in 2016-17.
Besides above mentioned measures, Ministry has also announced introduction of faster train services like TEJAS which requires minimal technological inputs and aims at attaining speeds above 130 kmph.