Railways Minister Mallikarjun Kharge Tuesday launched the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd (HSRC), a subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) and tasked to develop High Speed Rail (HSR) Corridors in India to run passenger trains at speeds up to 350 km per hour.
Inaugurated a two-day international technical conference on “High Speed Rail Travel; Low Cost Solution” here, the minister also unveiled the logo of HSRC that has been designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
Kharge said most countries consider high speed capability to be in the range of 250 to 300 km per hour, 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,” he said.
For speeds above 200 kmph, the costlier and time-consuming solution of providing a separate dedicated track with fencing becomes inescapable, Kharge said.
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, he added.
Addressing the conference, Arunendra Kumar, Railway Board chairman, said Indian Railways have undertaken pre-feasibility studies of seven high-speed corridors. A preliminary study for Mumbai-Ahmedabad route has estimated its cost to be around Rs.65,000 crore.
The conference is being attended by policy makers, senior administrators, rolling stock manufacturers, research institutions, consultants and industry professionals from India and abroad. The participating countries are Germany, Spain, Australia, the US, Britain, Japan, France, South Africa, Switzerland, Italy and China.
Major rolling stock manufactures such as Bombardier, Talgo, CAF, Alstom and Siemens are also taking part in the conference.