India’s highspeed rail corridor ambitions continue

Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad High Speed Rail

Plans for the creation of a highspeed rail network in India look promising as the National High Speed Rail Corridor (NHSRCL) has invited bids from engineering consultancies to provide a detailed project survey for the Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad highspeed rail (HSR) project.

The chosen consultancy will need to provide surveys of the at-grade, underground, and overhead conditions for the route and identify the available utilities and power sources along the route.

Once built, travel times for the Mumbai-Pune-Hyderabad will be reduced by around 9.5 hours. Travelling at 320 km/h, the HSR will take commuters from Mumbai to Hyderabad in 3.5 hours instead of the current 13 hours.

The line should open in 2028.

Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail

In September this year the NHSRCL also requested technical and financial proposals for the design and construction of the Mumbai to Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Corridor. Reports in India have already claimed that the Indian conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) been successful in securing the work with the lowest priced bid. If true, it will be L&T’s largest ever contract.

Also competing for the design and construction contract were:

  • Afcons Infrastructure Limited, IRCON International Limited, JMC Projects India Ltd, and;
  • NCC Limited Tata Project Ltd. & J. Kumar Infra Projects Ltd.

The NHSRCL routes

In total, eight HSR routes are being planned and will all needing to be fully costed once surveys are complete. The routes planned are:

  • Delhi-Ahmedabad (886 km)
  • Delhi-Amritsar (459 km)
  • Delhi-Varanasi (865 km)
  • Chennai-Mysore (435 km)
  • Mumbai-Ahmedabad (507 km)
  • Mumbai-Hyderabad (711 km)
  • Mumbai-Nagpur (753 km)
  • Varanasi-Howrah (760 km)

The Current status of HSR in India

Put simply, India doesn’t currently have any highspeed rail routes – which is way they’re trying to play catch-up with their Asian counterparts, especially their neighbour China, which has built thousands of miles of HSR routes over recent years.

India’s fastest current active service, the Gatimaan Express, can travel at up to 160 km/h – but actually averages 113 km/h along its route. The Vande Bharat train is capable of travelling at 180 km/h, but its speed has been capped at 130 km/h because the infrastructure of the route is not sufficient to allow safe travel at higher speeds.

Once India has trains travelling at 320 km/h, the requirement to provide sleeping facilities is no longer necessary, meaning that the country’s “sleeper trains” may eventually become “a thing of the past”.

Concurrently with the NHSRCL project, India is also working with Virgin Hyperloop to produce a hyperloop project that can also drastically reduce travel times. You can read more about that here.

Drop me a line at if you’d like to discuss this project in more detail.

Asia, Bridges, Construction, Futurity News, India, Rail