Indian Railways is planning to run high-speed passenger trains in six select rail corridors in the country. The railway ministry has invited bids from domestic as well as foreign firms for conducting prefeasibility studies for the project.
The six corridors include:
- Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar (450 km),
- Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad (650 km),
- Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai(664 km),
- Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram (850 km),
- Howrah-Haldia (135 km), and
- Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna (991 km).
Out of the six corridors, consultants for four have been selected and studies are at various stages of progress, minister of state for railways K H Muniyappa informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply today.
The railway ministry has also decided to set up a National High Speed Rail Authority for planning, standard setting, implementing and monitoring of high-speed rail projects, the minister added.
He said the Railways have added 129 new lines while 45 gauge conversion and 166 track-doubling projects are going on. The review of projects is also being undertaken as a continuous process, depending on the availability of resources, he said.
The projects together are estimated to cost around Rs1,25,000 crore as of 1 April 2011, the minister said, adding, no sanctioned project has been shelved.