India will run super-fast bullet trains

January 19th, 2009 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Enthused by an exhilarating ride on a Japanese high-speed train last week during his visit to Japan, Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Monday said India would soon have similar bullet trains on selective routes and that his ministry would start scouting for global consultants.”The day is not far off when the bullet train will run in the country,” Lalu Prasad told reporters here.

“The railways ministry will be appointing global consultants for introducing the high-speed trains in India,” he said, adding that his ministry has begun examining the feasibility of the train and possible routes.

These routes will include the Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Patna corridors.

Lalu Prasad, who travelled from Tokyo to Kyoto on Japan’s famed Shinkansen high-speed train last week, announced his plans in Singapore on Saturday that he would introduce bullet trains to link major metropolitan cities in India.

“Such bullet trains can link city to city. Very soon we shall be inviting global tenders for pre-feasibility studies and I plan to place the proposal before parliament,” Lalu Prasad had said at Singapore’s prestigious Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

The minister said he had met Japanese railway officials to discuss the possibility of introducing the bullet trains on high traffic rail sectors in India.

However, the primary focus of the minister’s visit to Japan was not bullet trains but to smoothen out details of the nearly $4-billion soft loan that India is seeking for a dedicated freight corridor project. The first phase of the corridor will link New Delhi and Mumbai.

The second phase of the freight corridor would link Mumbai to Chennai, with the Chennai to Howrah corridor forming the next phase of the mega project, the minister said.

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