Where: New Delhi, India
January 19, 2009 : Mr. Lalu Prasad and his team of railway officials took a ride on one of Japan’s bullet trains, which covers the 515 kilometres between Tokyo and Kyoto in two hours and 20 minutes. Back home, the minister announced, “The day is not far off when the bullet train will run in the country.” The railway ministry is appointing international consultants to plan the project. France and Germany have expressed an interest in the project in addition to Japan.
Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Patna have been identified as suitable routes which could be considered for the high-speed train corridor project. Describing his experience on the train in Japan, the Minister told reporters, “It was very good. The bullet trains are well managed in Japan.”
Japan’s high-speed rail system is called the ‘bullet train’ in most countries, but is known as Shinkansen in its homeland. The Shinkansen network has been operating for almost 40 years, having transported over six billion passengers in that time, and without a single major accident. The train service is characterised by high speed as well as high frequency. The fastest trains run at speeds up to 300 kilometres per hour, and on some lines, there are six trains every hour.