German government proposed a plan for a high-speed rail network between Chennai and Mysore which will cut down the travel time between the two cities by more than 5 hours.
German Ambassador Martin Ney on Thursday submitted the feasibility study for the 435 km route to Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani. The report proposes covering the 435 km distance with a maximum speed of around 320 kmph resulting in an overall reduction in time between the two cities from the present 7 hours to 2 hour and 20 minutes. Ney said,“The study was both commissioned and financed by the German government. The route was found to be not only extremely viable, but also prove to be the most effective solution to manage traffic growth.”
The estimated infrastructure cost of the project is reportedly around 1 lakh crore and an additional cost of 150 crore for rolling stock. The route – Chennai-Arakkonam-Bangalore-Mysore – will be 85% elevated and have 11% tunnels. It will reduce travel time between Chennai and Bangalore by 100 minutes and between Bangalore and Mysore by 40 minutes.
The German report has further suggested that India should combine the existing conventional railway line with the high-speed line instead of dedicating a seperate high-speed corridor in order to not only reduce costs but also minimise land acquisition issues. The Railway Board, however, rejected the plan stating that India’s present network was too over-saturated and complicated for this.
Lohani said,“We are expecting that we will be able to ground some passengers from airlines when they see that the travel time has been reduced so drastically. Unless one lives near to the airport, trains will be faster than airlines once this kind of high speed rail network is introduced.”
The feasibility report has assured that after a planning period of 3 years and a construction period of 9 years, the route will be operational by 2030.
Other routes on which feasibility studies are being conducted include New Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur and Mumbai-Nagpur.