Minister Narendra Modi, along with visiting Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, launched
work on India's first bullet train at Gujarat's Ahmedabad this morning. The 508
km high-speed rail link to Mumbai is seen as a centrepiece of PM Modi's efforts
to demonstrate India's capability to build high-tech projects. The project is
also symbolic of New Delhi and Tokyo's close ties amid China's growing
assertiveness in the region. 10,000 people are expected to attend today's function.
Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to
- The foundation stone-laying
ceremony at the Sabarmati
railway station is PM Abe's first official engagement since he
landed to a grand reception on Wednesday afternoon. The two leaders will
hold summit meetings after the function.
- The Rs.
1.1 lakh crore bullet train project is a joint venture between the Indian
Railways and Japanese firm Shinkansen Technology, which estimates that the
first bullet train will roll out by 2023.
- Railways Minister Piyush Goyal
said PM Modi wants the train to start a year ahead of schedule - on 15
August 2022 - when India completes 75 years of independence.
- Japan will fund 81 per cent of
the project, nearly Rs. 88,000 crores, in soft
loans at an interest rate of 0.1%. The loan will have to be repaid over 50
- The new train will race between
PM Modi's home state
Gujarat and Mumbai, carrying 750 passengers. Travel time will be
reduced from eight hours to a little over three hours if it stops at all
the 12 stations and around two hours if it stops at only four.
- At an average speed of 250 km
per hour, with a top speed of around 320 km per hour, the train will run
at more than double the top speed of the fastest train in India.
- Of the 508-km stretch, 92 per
cent of the route will be elevated, six per cent through a tunnel and the
rest on the ground. The high speed train will pass through the country's
longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under sea near Thane in
- The Maharashtra government is
still undecided on where the bullet train will end in Mumbai.
The state government this week agreed to spare 9,000 sq metres plot for
the station at the Bandra-Kurla Complex on the condition that the railways
assess suitability of an alternative site.
- A greater stretch of this link,
351 km, will run through Gujarat and 156 km through Maharashtra.
- At their summit talks today PM
Modi and Mr Abe are expected to focus on bolstering defence and security
ties. They are also expected to discuss cooperation in the nuclear energy
sector. The recent nuclear test by North Korea will come up during the
talks, officials said.