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India's bullet train faces $US1 billion problem: cows on the track

Jun 12, 2014
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http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/...ns-between-mumbai-and-ahmedabad/1/681328.html

Modi's high-speed Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project may take elevated route

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, may take the elevated route. That is if the Japanese consultants give a go-ahead to Rail Bhavan's request for a route review before the execution stage.

Top Rail Bhavan officials confirmed that the Indian government wants the entire 508-km corridor to be built on an elevated stretch to avoid any legal and environmental hurdles regarding land acquisition. PM Modi, who has been pushing his ministers to speed up the big-ticket projects, has often encountered legal barriers in several states.

Bullet trains facing legal issues

Top Railway Board officials told Mail Today that anticipating a possible derailment of the bullet train project because of legal issues, they have requested the Japanese government "to revise and reassess the feasibility of doing away with constructing the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (HSR) link on embankment and build it entirely on an elevated corridor". The government wants to know the cost implications of this idea.

A senior Railway Board official said: "Constructing the elevated corridor will save the Centre the hassle of land acquisition. For an elevated corridor, compensation amount to land owners will be little. Also, it will ensure speedy execution of the project."

Already more than 440 rail projects have been stuck over land acquisition. This, according to a CAG report of 2015, has resulted in cost overrun of Rs 1.07 lakh crore. Railways also faced major hurdles in acquiring land for its ambitious dedicated freight corridors that will significantly decongest the railway network and increase the speed of passenger trains.

Rail Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has announced that the bullet train will start its operation in 2023. But if both the Indian and Japanese governments agree to the idea of an elevated corridor, the deadline can also be advanced, say Rail Bhavan officials.

The Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted by Japan to the Rail Ministry has proposed 25 per cent of construction on elevated corridor, 64 per cent of the work on surface (mostly embankments) and 6 per cent as tunnels. This includes the 21-km undersea tunnel between Thane creek and Virar in Mumbai. However, the rail ministry has proposed to the Japanese government to explore the feasibility of converting the entire route running through 12 stations into an elevated corridor.

"If the Japanese authorities find the proposal feasible, the DPR will be revised," an official said. "The difference in the project cost would only be Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 crore. Construction of the elevated corridor will be costlier per km, but the government may save on the cost of land acquisition and delay overruns.

India may follow China's strategy

India is also closely watching China, which has managed to bring down its cost of construction by going elevated. To put the project in a fast lane, the Rail Bhavan is also urging their Japanese counterparts to appoint a design consultant soon. According to the MoU between India and Japan, the loan agreement will be signed by December 2016 only after which Japan will go ahead with fund disbursal by mid-2017. The appointment of design and general consultants for the project can take place only after that. The construction work is scheduled to begin by 2018. But the Railways officials are in no mood to sit idle for nearly a year.

India has requested Japan to appoint the consultants before the loan agreement is signed and make possible a grant of Rs 1,500 crore towards fees (total consultancy charge being nearly Rs 3,000 crore) for consultants to get the work started. This will advance work by at least a year.

The urgency to save time is also because the project is not without a few engineering challenges. Such pioneering projects like the Kashmir Rail Link had posed many problems delaying them by years. Railway officials on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad HSR route are readying for a similar challenge in constructing the undersea tunnel in Mumbai. But this time, India has with it Japanese experience and expertise in constructing tunnels under the seabed. Japan and the UK have undersea tunnels. The 53.85 km Seikan Tunnel in Japan is the longest one followed by the 50.5 km Channel Tunnel between the UK and France.


http://www.newindianexpress.com/nat...ias-famous-cows/2016/06/01/article3461468.ece

Bullet train project didn't reckon with India's famous cows

India’s cows are famous for making themselves comfortable amidst traffic jams but now they are getting in the way of trains. Bullet trains, in fact.

India is travelling at breakneck speed to introduce bullet trains by 2023, but the foreign contractor engaged for the project is apprehensive about cud-chewing cows crossing the tracks and endangering safety.

The project was initially estimated to cost 14.6 billion dollars, but realizing that cattle crossing rail tracks are a ubiquitous danger in India, the contractor has upped the cost to 16 billion dollars, Bloomberg reported.

To avoid cows, the bullet train builders will have to build underpasses, for which land would have to be acquired.

Initially it was thought it would be enough to fence off the track and the Commissioner of Railway Safety ordered fencing all along the Delhi-Agra route to assess its efficacy. Railway engineers, however, argued that even if the entire track were to be fenced, it would not stop cattle or even people from coming in the way of trains at level crossings.

The government then switched to options like building elevated railroads to avoid disasters. Therefore the cost overrun.

The Railway Ministry has asked the Japanese consultants to redraw its detailed project report (DPR) factoring in cow crossings all along the 508 km long corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

“Land acquisition hurdles as well as the people and animals potentially wandering in front of carriages speeding at 350 km an hour make the option of an elevated link attractive,” livemint.com reported.

The bullet train is expected to help drag India’s railways into the 21st century. Earlier this week, the Railways had the first trial run of the Spanish-built Talgo on the Bareilly-Moradabad route in Uttar Pradesh.




http://www.afr.com/news/world/asia/...ion-problem-cows-on-the-track-20160531-gp8mgz

India's bullet train faces $US1 billion problem: cows on the track

India may spend as much as $US16 billion ($22.1 billion) – more than $US1 billion more than initially estimated – on the nation's first bullet train to elevate the entire railroad, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Land acquisition hurdles, as well as people and animals potentially wandering in front of carriages speeding at 350 kilometres (217 miles) an hour, make the option of an elevated link attractive, the person said, asking not to be identified as the plans are private.

Construction would start in 2018, the person said.

India is working with Japan to build the 508 kilometre high-speed track from financial capital Mumbai to the economic hub of Ahmedabad in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat.

A Japanese-designed Shinkansen train will connect the cities in a project initially estimated to cost 980 billion rupees ($US14.6 billion or $20.1 billion), one of India's biggest infrastructure endeavours.

Modi's government is keen to elevate the entire railroad – at an extra cost of about 78 billion rupees – and operate the train from 2023, the person said. A dozen stations are planned and 2000 jobs may be created in a project officials expect to spur economic growth, the person said.

A bullet train would help drag the world's fourth-largest railroad into the 21st century. The network carries about as many passengers daily as Australia's population, but is congested and aging, with roots dating back to British colonial rule. Modi is seeking to spend 8.5 trillion rupees through 2020 on new tracks, trains and stations.

The challenge is to execute the bullet train project on time, said Gaurang Shah, vice president at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. Success would help improve the railway's image, which has been battered by years of losses despite government investments, he said.

A $US16 billion outlay would be close to 1 per cent of India's $US2 trillion gross domestic product, which is already expanding at the fastest pace among major economies. Japan has offered to fund 81 per cent of the initial project cost with a 50-year loan at a 0.1 per cent interest rate.

A state company is being set up for implementation, and at least half the spending will probably go to local contractors such as Larsen & Toubro, Gammon India and GMR Infrastructure for track and stations, the person added.

Anil Kumar Saxena, an Indian Railways spokesman, didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Japan pioneered bullet trains, debuting them in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Since then, roughly 5.6 billion passengers have used the Tokaido Shinkansen, which links Japan's three largest metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, according to the Central Japan Railway Co.

About 15 billion rupees of the project will go to Japan for elements such as train design and signalling, the person said. India wants local train manufacturing, but one challenge is that companies may be reluctant to set up plants with Japanese partners without a pipeline of similar future projects, the person said.

India has a mixed record on railway infrastructure projects.

A plan to add 3360 kilometres of track dedicated to cargo trains, first announced in 2005, still hasn't been completed, with 14 per cent of the land needed yet to acquired. In contrast, the 213-kilometre New Delhi-metro system is seen as defying perceptions that India's infrastructure projects are graft-addled and routinely exceed cost estimates.

Modi has described the bullet train project as historic, but opponents question the plan, arguing fares will be beyond the reach of many in a country where most people live on less than $US3.10 a day. The money could be used on basic needs such as housing for the poor, according to main opposition Congress party.

A survey of the railroad's route is under way and will be used for the design of the link, the person said. The credit agreement with Japan for the long-term loan is due to be finalised this year, the person added.

"What you have to crack is the ability to replicate this technology - to develop the capability in our country to do this in-house," said Rajaji Meshram, a director of infrastructure and government services at KMPG in New Delhi.

"We have to start somewhere."

Bloomberg
 
Jun 12, 2014
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Elevated tracks are a great idea! See these Chinese elevated tracks to get an idea what they will look like in India. This is ver exciting and very innovative!

India will soon become a bullet train superpower. This is all due to Modi-ji's brilliant leadership. India will be a superpower by 2020!







 

Blue Marlin

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Elevated tracks are a great idea! See these Chinese elevated tracks to get an idea what they will look like in India. This is ver exciting and very innovative!

India will soon become a bullet train superpower. This is all due to Modi-ji's brilliant leadership. India will be a superpower by 2020!







going over land is cheaper than going under land. personally i think its a great idea as its safer from foreign object [cows] among other thing s like people and other animals. and it would be easier to build as you only have to work on the pillar holding the track up not the entire lenght. also its safer as it removs the need for leval crossings which are lethal if misused. so yeh raise the tracks
 
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AndrewJin

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going over land is cheaper than going under land. personally i hink its a great idea as its safer from foreign object [cows] among other thing s like people and other animals. and it would be easier to build as you only have to work on the pillar holding the track up not the entire lenght. also its safer as it removs the need for leval crossings which are lethal if misused. so yeh raise the tracks
Going over land is of course cheaper than going under.
I think a more sensible comparison should be between going over land and going right on land.
I understand very few railways in the west are elevated, China is quite different though.
 

Blue Marlin

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Going over land is of course cheaper than going under.
I think a more sensible comparison should be between going over land and going right on land.
I understand very few railways in the west are elevated, China is quite different though.
indeed to be honest im quiet suprised they never thought of this in the first place? what of china? what percentage of hsr tracks are raised?
 

AndrewJin

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indeed to be honest im quiet suprised they never thought of this in the first place? what of china? what percentage of hsr tracks are raised?
Every HSR different, China's geology is very complicated.
The new high-speed railway due to open in this December, 2000+km Shanghai-Kunming HSR, Guizhou Province section is 80%,driven by complicated geological conditions. Shanghai-Hangzhou section also 80+%, driven by extremely pricey land acquisition fee, though on very flat land.
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Beast

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copycat technology hummm...
:lol:

Copycat shall not be superior than original but fact is our bullet train elevated track technology is the best in the world. Even Swedish transport head who travel in our bullet train agrees that.

Somebody just can't stomach the fact, China has outdone the rest and become the best. Dont be surprised when your Modi come begging from us for your so called "Copy" from us. :enjoy:
 
Jun 12, 2014
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16 billion USD in 2023?

India would be lucky to have this project done for 26 billion USD in 2026.

All difficulties can be overcome. India has the brains and the money to achieve anything. Only leadership was lacking before. With Modi-ji in charge, India is racing ahead in all fronts. There is no doubt that India will quickly surpass China and America to become a superpower by 2020!
 

AndrewJin

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16 billion USD in 2023?

India would be lucky to have this project done for 26 billion USD in 2026.
They are really gonna be bullied hard, just like how they are bullied by French for the jets.

All difficulties can be overcome. India has the brains and the money to achieve anything. Only leadership was lacking before. With Modi-ji in charge, India is racing ahead in all fronts. There is no doubt that India will quickly surpass China and America to become a superpower by 2020!
Well, they are now the richest, I think they are willing to pay double the money compared to a normal HSR project in China. And in China, we are so poor, so it's Chinese company that builds the railway and supplies the train. But they are rich, why bother?
 

nair

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HSR will not be viable for India....... Our population cannot afford it now..... Priority should be on improving the road infrastructure and expansion of current rail network...... Upgrading of signal system can improve the productivity to a great extent......

Indian railway is one of the cheapest transport system in the world, going to be remain one for a very long time.......
 

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