Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Corridor update
Project highlights –
Total length – 508km
Elevated – 471km
Tunnels – 25km
Embankments and cuttings – 12km
Stations – 10
Design speed – 350km/h
Journey time – 2h 10 min
Achal Khare, Managing Director, National High Speed Corporation has his task cut out. Multiple project delays has led to cost escalations. From the initial estimate of Rs 970bn, the project cost climbed to Rs 1080bn after the Indian government opted for an almost entirely elevated line, and there have been indications lately that the project cost could rise still further.
However, there is some progress to be reported.
- tendering of civil works for 345km out of a total length of 508km
- relocating 916 of the 1638 public utilities involving state governments
- completion of joint measurement surveys in 291 of the 297 villages identified for purchase
- acquisition of 810 hectares of the total of 1396 hectares needed for the project, and
- finalization of a system to pay compensation to farmers for land surrender.
The project, however, will miss the 2023 deadline.
Private players to enter Indian railways
In a significant move, the Indian railways is preparing itself for participation of private players in this government owned department. It has invited Request for Qualifications proposals, for scrutiny of vendor capabilities, from those who can bring modern trains for operations on existing rail infrastructure.
Does this auger well for the Indian Railways? When private players were allowed in the aviation sector there was a massive benefit to consumers in terms of price and efficiency. But so may not be case in allowing private players in the railways as cost of travel has been heavily subsidized by the government for so long. Let us wait and see how the plan unfolds.
Hitachi Batteries for UK Railways
United Kingdom: Hitachi Rail and battery company Hyperdrive Innovation have signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint development of a battery pack suitable for powering trains, and a roadmap towards a manufacturing agreement which would cover any future orders.
Hitachi estimates that there is a potential market for over 400 battery trains in the UK. It said its existing trains were ‘potential early recipients’, along with new trains that would be needed to replace ageing diesel fleets in the coming years. As well as eliminating emissions at the point of use, retrofitting batteries could extend the range of existing trains and allow through running of electric trains onto non-electrified branch lines. – Railwaygazette.com