Presenting the Railway Budget for 2015-16 in the Parliament on Thursday, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced that feasibility report of high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad was expected by mid-2015.
Efforts would continue to 'pursue with vigour' this special project, the minister said.
"Quick and appropriate action will be taken once the report is available with us," he added.
A PTI report last year, however, had stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project -- the Rs 65,000 crore (Rs 650 billion) Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train service -- might be shifted out of Maharashtra if the Railway ministry and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority fail to arrive at an agreement over the allocation of land.
The speed of trains connecting major metro cities would be increased up to 200 kilometres per hour on nine select railway corridors in a bid to reduce travel time, the minister said.
The speed of nine railway corridors will be increased from the existing 110 and 130 km per hour to 160 and 200 kmph respectively so that inter-metro journeys like Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai can be completed overnight.
The increased speed will involve upgradation of track including turnarounds, improve rolling stock to higher standards and adopting improved methods of track recording, monitoring and maintenance.
Regarding other high speed routes on the diamond quadrilateral, the minister said studies were being commissioned.
He also proposed to increase average speed of freight trains, both in empty and loaded conditions to be enahnced.
A policy of attaining speeds of 100 km per hour for empty freight trains and 75 km per hour for loaded trains was being put in place to pursue the objective of maximising loading in every trains, Prabhu said, adding that loading density on all major freight-bearing routes would be upgraded.
Image: A bullet train. Photograph: Reuters
The image is used for representational purpose only