May 28, 2014

New Indian government to push ahead with high-speed projects

Written by  Raghav Thakur
  • Print
  • Email

THE massive electoral win of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in India's recent general election has accelerated plans to build the country's first high-speed line.

India's new prime minister Mr Narendra Modi reportedly gave the go-ahead to develop the 545km Mumbai - Ahmedabad line as a showpiece project at a recent meeting with the chairman of India's High Speed Rail Corporation (HSRC) Mr Satish Agnihotri.

Indian Railways (IR) and French National Railways (SNCF) are understood to have developed a detailed business plan for the corridor, the prefeasibility study of which has been completed by a consortium of Systra, Italferr and Rites.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is currently preparing a detailed study of the proposed Rs 700bn ($US 12.1bn) corrido, which is scheduled to be submitted in May 2015. Jica is believed to have agreed in principle to part-finance the project by way of a soft loan.

IR is expected to freeze technical specifications and formalise systems contracts ahead of the submission of the Jica report, while the Railways Ministry has started to finalise a status report relating to the financial, technical and business models for all planned high-speed lines.

A prefeasibility report by MottMacdonald on the 1044km New Delhi - Patna line has also been submitted and is under the ministry's consideration, sources said. Project cost is estimated at Rs 1300bn.

Get the latest rail news

IRJ Rail Brief newsletter covers global railway news