Your journey to one of the holiest shrines of Sikhism, the Golden Temple in Amritsar may just get shorter. Believe it or not a proposed bullet train will get you to the city in just two hours from Delhi.
Just imagine traveling at a speed of 300 km/hour in an Indian Railways bullet train. Well, if everything goes according to plan this dream will become a reality in coming years. The proposed bullet train will take you from Delhi to Amritsar via Chandigarh, a 458-km long train journey in 2 hours and 3 minutes. The bullet train will also make a stop at Panipat, Ambala, Chandigarh and Ludhiana.
Presently, the Delhi to Amritsar Shatabdi Express train takes around 6 hours. Effectively, your train travel time from Delhi to the Golden Temple town would reduce down to one-third!
The feasibility study for the corridor, the details of which were shared with the media, has been done by France’s Systra.
“The feasibility study report of high-speed rail corridor between Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar has been submitted to the Ministry of Railways in 2016. The report has been accepted by the Ministry of Railways and is currently under consideration,” a Railway official told the media.
The distance between Delhi to Chandigarh is 258 kms which will be covered in 1 hour and 12 minutes. A base fare of Rs 4.5 per kilometre has been recommended at the 2015 price level, the official said.
What this means is that for the Delhi-Amritsar trip, you will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 2061 (4.5*458). On the other hand, for the Delhi-Chandigarh journey, you will have to spend a minimum of Rs 1161. The minimum Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi fare is Rs 890, while the Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi fare is approximately Rs 650.
A random check on online portals will tell you that a Delhi-Amritsar flight takes over an hour at an average of just over Rs 2,000. The Delhi to Chandigarh flight takes similar time with fares around Rs 2,000.
The total project cost at the 2015 price level has been estimated at Rs 61,412 crore. The project should take anywhere between 6 to 8 years to complete. The study expects the bullet train to start operating by 2025. However, the Ministry of Railways will take the final call on the implementation of this project and its finer aspects once the studies for all other high-speed rail corridors are completed.
The Ministry of Railways has set up the High Speed Rail Corporation of India (HSRC) to deal with all the proposed high-speed rail corridors, apart from the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train.
The project for India’s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad comes under the National High-Speed Rail Corporation. The other proposed high-speed rail corridors are: Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur-Chennai, Mumbai-Nagpur, Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore.