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Railways gears up for high-speed trains

Last updated on: June 16, 2014 12:59 IST

Railways gears up for high-speed trains

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Anusha Soni

The Indian Railways will soon start running trains at 160-170 km an hour on certain routes.

Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Kanpur and Delhi-Chandigarh lines are being prepared for the purpose.

Senior Railway officials visited Kanpur and Chandigarh to oversee the work.

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Image: The new government plans to create a 'Diamond Quadrilateral' connecting top four cities of India through high speed.
Photographs: Reuters

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Railways gears up for high-speed trains

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In May, the chairman of the Railway Board, along with the chairman of High Speed Rail Corporation, had inspected the work on the Delhi-Agra route.

Currently, the fastest train on the Railway network is Bhopal-Shatabdi Express, which runs at an average speed of 90 km an hour and touches about 140 km an hour on the Delhi-Agra route.

However, the average speed of most express trains is about 70-80 km an hour.

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Image: Indian Railways' first AC compartment.
Photographs: Courtesy, Western Railways

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Railways gears up for high-speed trains

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The running time between the two points can be shortened by one to two hours depending on how long the peak speed can be maintained.

For example, Delhi-Agra (about 200 km) is expected to be covered in 90 minutes.

Such runs at higher speed of 160-170 km an hour are seen as a learning curve that countries like France and Germany undertook before graduating to high speed rail over 250 km an hour.

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Image: Shatabdi Express.
Photographs: Prateek Karandikar/Wikimedia Commons

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Railways gears up for high-speed trains

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Experts say ensuring safety and speed is the key issue. Though Railways can run the trains at 160-170 km an hour on the existing tracks, some modifications need to be made.  

For running high speed trains with 200 km an hour, dedicated track with fencing on either side is a must and unmanned level crossings along the route should be removed.

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Image: Escalator at Dadar station in Mumbai.
Photographs: Sahil Salvi/Reuters
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Railways gears up for high-speed trains

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Besides, the Railways has to modify the existing curve and turns on these routes.

Railway officials said for high-speed trains there should be high-tech turnouts, super-elevations have to be inspected, couplers need to be changed, new coaches of existing design will be used, boundary wall needs to be made among other preparations.

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Image: For running high speed trains with 200 km an hour, dedicated track with fencing on either side is a must and unmanned level crossings along the route should be removed.
Photographs: Prateek Karandikar/Wikimedia Commons
Tags: 1

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Railways gears up for high-speed trains

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The new government plans to create a ‘Diamond Quadrilateral’ connecting top four cities of India through high speed.

It is expected to cost Rs 12 lakh crore and the government could also look at tapping sovereign wealth funds to raise money. 

With this initial low-cost experiment, the Railways is expecting to gather key lessons for the path ahead.

 


Image: Currently, the fastest train on the Railway network is Bhopal-Shatabdi Express, which runs at an average speed of 90 km an hour.
Photographs: Sumit Rajwade/Rediff
Tags: India

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