Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train crawls; only 30 per cent ready

The country's first bullet train has been in the making for over five years, and has achieved just 30.15 per cent overall physical progress till March 31

Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train (NHSRCL Website)
Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train (NHSRCL Website)

Quaid Najmi/IANS

The much-anticipated but hugely-delayed Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train has yet to pick up speed, as the last fiscal ended.

The mega-venture, which will be the country's first Bullet Train, has been in the making since over five years now, and has achieved just 30.15 per cent overall physical progress till March 31, as per official figures.

On the Gujarat side, the progress is a little over one-third -- 35.23 percent done; and on the Maharashtra side it's a dismal 19.65 per cent overall completed.

Around 56.34 of the civil works on the project has been achieved and pile work has been carried out on 272.89 km so far.

While pier work is done on 170.56 km, 45.40 km of girders have been launched so far, the Ministry of Railways (MoR) said recently.

India's maiden Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project (MAHSR) or Bullet Train, estimated to cost around Rs 108,000-crore, has been targeted for a trial run between Surat-Bilimora (63 km) by August 2026.

The entire 508 km-long Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor -- comprising 156 km in Maharashtra and 352 km in Gujarat -- is likely to commence full operations only by 2027.

As per the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. (NHSRCL), the Bullet Train would zoom at a maximum speed of 320 kmph, and the entire distance between Mumbai-Ahmedabad can be covered in just 127 minutes.

The MAHSR comprises 92 per cent high-speed elevated railway tracks through viaducts (total 460 km) and bridges (9.22 km), tunnels (25.87 km ), embankments/cutting (12.9 km).

A major highlight will be the rail corridor passing through the eco-sensitive Thane Creek between Mumbai-Thane on the northern side, a significant part comprising Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) which was designated as a Ramsar Site in August 2022.

To avoid disturbing the flamingos at the TCFS location and other wildlife in the adjoining rich mangroves, the MAHSR corridor will pass through an undersea tunnel at this sector.

It will be India's first undersea tunnel and the country's longest rail transport thoroughfare with a single tube of 13.2 metres diameters, as per MAHSR.

Starting from the Bandra Kurla Complex, the Bullet Train will zoom to the end destination, the Sabarmati Station of Ahmedabad.

It will zip through eight districts of Gujarat, three in Maharashtra, and the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu en route.

The MAHSR would have halts at a dozen stations on its dizzying journey -- Mumbai-BKC, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

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