INDIA’s Ministry of Railways has rejected a report on the feasibility of building a high-speed line between Delhi and Varanasi, prepared by the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL).

The report, considered by a review meeting, was rejected on the grounds that the selected route was not suitable for operation at 350km/h due to the number of curves on the alignment.

NHSRCL had selected a route alongside National Highway 2 in order to reduce land acquisition costs for the project.

“National Highway 2 has multiple curves which could prove to be risky for the train to run at 350km/h,” said an official quoted by the Hindustan Times.

The Ministry of Railways still has to consider the detailed project report for the Delhi - Varanasi high-speed line.

Difficulties in acquiring land have delayed construction and increased the cost of building India’s first high-speed line, the 508km route from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.

According to the Hindustan Times, officials at the Ministry of Railways have suggested that their focus should be on the Vande Bharat project to manufacture inter-city EMUs in India, which has the backing of the prime minister, Mr Narendra Modi.

An analysis of India’s high-speed network programme is available here.

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