The line is used by more than 100 trains per day and carries over 40 million passengers annually, and traffic is growing at 4% per year.

French National Railways (SNCF) has been assisting IR on the project, which has been funded jointly by India and France, since December 2015, and three options were considered:
• minimum investment for a maximum speed of 160km/h
• upgrading to 180km/h to achieve a 2-hour journey time, and
• upgrading to 200km/h.

The objective is to segregate 200km/h trains from slower trains where possible, develop a 200km/h EMU, and set new operating and maintenance standards. SNCF will also improve IR’s know-how to enable it to upgrade other lines - IR has identified 6400km of lines for similar upgrading.

IR and SNCF will now finalise the design work for the project to enable design and build tenders to be launched by the end of the year.