Indian Railways is all set to launch an ambitious project to reduce travel time by interconnecting the four major metro cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata with a high-speed network of trains running at a speed of 160 kmph.
The current average speed of trains on this network is around 88-90 kmph. The project is called “Golden Quadrilateral” and it envisages the creation of a 10,000 km network of semi-high speed routes connecting the four major cities and is likely to be launched on 15 August 2022, to coincide with 75 years of Independence.
In a meeting on 28 November 2017, the railway board started the process of drawing up a blueprint to interconnect the four metros: Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Howrah, Delhi-Chennai, Chennai-Howrah, Chennai-Mumbai, and Howrah-Mumbai.
The project has been assessed and approved by the Niti Aayog and is awaiting cabinet sanction. “We are still finalizing the blueprint and efforts are on to officially launch the project by August 2022 to coincide with the celebrations around India’s 75th year of Independence. However, everything depends on how we manage to meet every deadline set for the project”, a Railway official said.
While the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes were included in Budget 2017-2018 at a cost of Rs. 11,189 crore and Rs. 6,975 crore respectively, the estimates for the other four routes are under process for inclusion in the 2018-2019 budget. The board will finalize a detailed budget estimate for the remaining routes by 31 December 2017, officials have confirmed.