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June 7, 2024

As Indian Railways Aims for 250 kmph: A Look at the World’s Fastest Trains

In an ambitious move to modernize and enhance India’s rail network, the Ministry of Railways has instructed the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai to manufacture two state-of-the-art trains capable of reaching speeds of 250 kilometers per hour (kmph). This directive, detailed in a Railway Board letter dated June 4, is part of the production program for the fiscal year 2024-25.

The New High-Speed Trains

The upcoming high-speed trains will feature robust steel bodies and be designed for a maximum speed of 250 kmph, with an operational speed of 220 kmph. These trains will be constructed on the standard gauge, which is the globally accepted track gauge. This alignment with international standards marks a significant step in modernizing India’s rail infrastructure and enhancing its global competitiveness.

Preparing for High-Speed Rail

Over the past year, Indian Railways has been diligently preparing a test track for standard gauge trains in Rajasthan. This development is a crucial part of the railways’ strategy to develop high-speed trains domestically. The test track will also play a key role in facilitating the export of Vande Bharat trains, which require conversion from the broad gauge commonly used in India to the more universally adopted standard gauge.

The Challenge Ahead

With the ambition of operating trains at speeds exceeding 200 kmph, the Railway Ministry faces numerous challenges. Upgrading infrastructure, ensuring safety, and maintaining cost-efficiency are significant hurdles that need to be addressed. Additionally, the integration of advanced technology and training of personnel to handle high-speed rail operations are essential components of this ambitious project.

Looking Globally: The World’s Fastest Trains

As India steps up its game in high-speed rail, it’s worth looking at the world’s fastest trains for inspiration and benchmarks:

  1. Japan’s Shinkansen (Bullet Train): Renowned for its speed and punctuality, the Shinkansen trains can reach speeds of up to 320 kmph. The network has set global standards for high-speed rail travel since its inception in 1964.
  2. France’s TGV: The TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) holds the world record for the fastest wheeled train, reaching speeds of 574.8 kmph during test runs. In regular operation, it travels at speeds of up to 320 kmph.
  3. China’s CRH (China Railway High-speed): China boasts the world’s largest high-speed rail network, with trains running at speeds of up to 350 kmph. The country continues to innovate, aiming to push these speeds even higher.
  4. Spain’s AVE: Spain’s AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) trains are known for their comfort and speed, operating at a maximum speed of 310 kmph.
  5. Germany’s ICE (Intercity-Express): Germany’s ICE trains are a staple of European high-speed rail, reaching speeds of up to 300 kmph and providing efficient service across major cities.

Conclusion

Indian Railways’ ambitious plan to introduce high-speed trains capable of 250 kmph is a significant leap forward in the nation’s rail modernization efforts. Aligning with international standards through the adoption of standard gauge tracks and focusing on domestic development and export potential, India is poised to transform its rail infrastructure. As these developments unfold, the successful implementation of this high-speed rail project could place India among the ranks of countries with the most advanced rail systems in the world.

Read more latest news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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