Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday said the first bullet train section in India under The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) - a 50km stretch between Bilimora and Surat in Gujarat - will be completed in August 2026. The Railways Minister announced several schemes to improve the country's rail network and services. He highlighted the Kavach system - an indigenously developed warning system to protect against collisions on track. The technology came into the limelight after the horrific Balasore train accident in which over 300 people lost their lives.
Bullet train project: 100 km of viaducts, 230 km pier work completed
On November 24, Vaishnaw gave an update on the under-construction bullet train project, which is building the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train corridor. He said that 100 kilometres of viaducts and 230 kilometres of pier work had been completed for the ambitious project.
The milestone of construction of 100 km of viaducts has been achieved through launching of 40-metre long 'full span box girders' and 'segmental girders', the NHSRCL.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw uploaded a video on X to give information about the feat.
According to the NHSRCL, the viaducts include bridges over six Gujarat rivers, namely Par and Auranga in Valsad district, as well as Purna, Mindhola, Ambika and Venganiya in Navsari district.
"The first girder of the project was launched on November 25, 2021, while the first kilometre of viaduct was ready in six months on June 30, 2022.
It achieved construction of 50 kilometres of viaduct on April 22, 2023 and, thereafter, in six months 100 kilometres of viaduct were completed," the NHSRCL said.
"The Full Span Launching technique (FSLM), where 40-metre long box girders are launched by state-of-the-art equipment, is being used along with span-by-span launching of segments.
FSLM is 10 times faster than the span-by-span method, which is normally used to build metro viaducts," it added.
The total cost of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor project is pegged at Rs 1.08 lakh crore. As per the shareholding pattern, the Union government will pay Rs 10,000 crore to the NHSRCL, while Gujarat and Maharashtra are to pay Rs 5,000 crore each. The rest of the cost is by way of a loan at 0.1 per cent interest from Japan.