The Western Railway is awaiting clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety, for running trains on this high-speed corridor at 130 kmph which will help cut down travel time by atleast 30 minutes.
Talking to PTI, Hemant Kumar, General Manager of Western Railway said, "the Western Railway has already carried out successful trials to run trains on the corridor at 130 kmph. We are waiting for the clearance from Commissioner of Railway Safety, after which some trains can run at this speed. This will help reduce travel time by 30 minutes."
He also gave details on submission of Rs 1,100-crore (Rs 11 billion) speed improvement project to the Railway Board for approval.
"Under this project, the plan of Western Railway is to increase the speed of some trains on the corridor to 160 kmph. For this, the Western Railway will have to undertake improvement of tracks, barricading of vulnerable locations and regulating the over head equipment (OHE), among other things.
It is also aimed at reducing travel time between two cities of Mumbai-Ahmedabad by atleast two hours," the official said.
On a regular train, it takes between seven and to eight hours to cover the 493-km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and two hours is a substantial saving in time, if it happens, Kumar said.
After approval from the Railway Board, the entire exercise can be completed in a year.
"We can complete the infrastructure improvement work on the high-speed corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in five to six months after the contractors are appointed.
It will be done in two phases. In the first phase, only trains that run with LHB-designed fully air-conditioned coaches like Shatabdi, Duranto and Rajdhani will be able to attain the speed of 160 kmph while the increase in speed in other trains will be done in the second phase," he said.
The detailed study report of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor is scheduled to be submitted in May 2015.