Minister of Railways Mallikarjun inaugurated a two day international technical conference on “High Speed Rail Travel; Low Cost Solution” in New Delhi on November 2. While addressing the conference, the Railway Minister said that India’s primary focus has been to provide a mass mode of safe, reliable and affordable transport, being the largest passenger Railway in the world, it is a natural aspiration of the people of this country that Indian Railways provide them high speed rail travel.
Kharge said that most countries consider high speed capability to be in the range of 250 to 300 kmph which requires a dedicated track with fencing and can be prohibitively costly. For a country like ours track fencing also has its own set of associated issues. Thus, leveraging Rolling stock technologies may provide a lower cost solution to meet the immediate needs of achieving speeds of 160 to 200 kmph and that too on the existing track.
For speeds above 200 kmph the costlier and time consuming solution of providing a separate dedicated track with fencing becomes inescapable. Therefore, the focus of this conference is to consider achieving higher speed trains in the range of 160 to 200 kmph with marginal inputs in the existing infrastructure, besides given the financial constraints and issues related to land acquisition and track fencing, as an interim step, the Railway Minister said.
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