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Will raising speed of Shatabadi Trains to 160 Kmph happens in reality?

By on February 28, 2014

Indian finally decided to plan for increasing the speed potential of coaching train particularly of Shatabadi route to 160 Kmph for which technology exists with Indian Railways. Even though technology from ABB (for loco) and LHB (for coaches) does exist for the last 15 years yet why so late? There is news the other day wherein Chairman Railway Board Arunendra Kumar stated

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/transportation/railways/railways-gearing-up-to-lyrun-shatabdi-express-at-160-km-per-hour-speed/articleshow/31114779.cms

“We have given the responsibility of preparing detailed project report for running semi-high speed train in Delhi-Agra and Delhi-Chandigarh route to High-Speed Rail Corporation,”

Why only two networks?

This has been the approach of Indian Railways not only to act slow but also plan slowly for an incremental change only. Why not think big to cover at least all the Shatabadi Route to 160 Kmph as a “Mission 160 Kmph” and plan its announcement during the budget speed of the next Ministry of Railways in the Parliament. This has been done in the past for projects such Uni-gauze, Air Brake Conversion, Modernization of Signalling System etc. Enough of NEWS material on “High Speed” has been supplied in the name of ‘feasibility studies’ in the past that there are now few takers to believe such news stories.

Indian Railways has been talked to raise the speed to 160-200 Kmph during the recent High Speed conference held during the launching of “High Speed Rail Corporation”. Why give a range from 160 to 200 Kmph? Range is always given when you plan for 160 kmph with a potential to raise it to 200 Kmph later on with incremental input. This does not hold well as per the present status of speeds over Indian Railways.

http://www.railelectrica.com/status-of-train-speeds-over-indian-railways/

Indian Railways had the potential to achieving 160 Kmph with indigenous technology whereas it has to depend on import for 200 Kmph. Therefore, there is no link between two ends of this range. Speed of 200 Kmph or more will be a subject on some other platform.

Shatabadi network is popular over Indian Railways meeting the demand of passengers travelling up to a distance of 500 Km and not preferring air or road travel. Raising speed to 160 Kmph will immediately boost and attract more passengers on Shatabadi network. In fact, raising speed to 200 Kmph will not make significant difference in the travel time for Shatabadi journeys as against the expenditure involved.

Looking eagerly towards the Budget Speed of Railway Budget July 2014 announcing “Mission 160 Kmph”

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