As part of its plan to increase rail speed on the Golden Quadrilateral, the Indian Railways has initiated feasibility studies for high-speed rail. One such study has already been completed and the report submitted has proposed that a bullet train can be launched on the Delhi-Varanasi route. The proposed bullet train will allow users to travel from Delhi to Varanasi in just 2 hours 37 minutes. The travel time between Delhi and Lucknow by the bullet train will be even less at 1 hour 38 minutes. While Delhi-Varanasi distance is 720 km, the Delhi-Lucknow route is 440 km. The high-speed bullet train route will extend up to Kolkata, which is 1474.5 km.
As per the report, the entire project will cost Rs 1.21 lakh crore and the Delhi-Varanasi project will cost Rs 52,680 crore. The halting stations for the train have also been identified, which includes Greater Noida, Aligarh and Jaunpur. The bullet train will have a maximum speed of 300 km per hour and operational speed of around 250 km per hour. The fare for the bullet train has also been estimated at Rs 4.5 per kilometer. This implies that for the Delhi-Varanasi route, users will have to shell out around Rs 3,240.
Speaking about the high-speed bullet train project, spokesperson for Indian Railways Anil Saxena said, “This study is being done by three Messrs – Spain’s INECO, TYPSA and ICT. Right now the draft final report has been submitted to Railways. Various divisions will now study and give their inputs, which in turn will be incorporated by these firms in their final report. The final report will be submitted to the Railway Board in 2 months’ time and after that, a decision on the project will be taken.”