India Rising & Shining

Japan, Bullet Train and India

Many Indians have grown up with the wonder of Bullet Train, a synonym for technology, speed, and comfort. The Japanese are the pioneers of high-speed trains (French close competitors with TGV in Europe) and due credit to Mr. Hideo Shima, the father of the Shinkansen train aka the bullet train. It’s not a pleasant surprise that the Japanese government will be facilitating the development of high-speed rail in India. The public-private partnership model sponsored by Japan offers an extremely generous rate of 0.1% with repayment of 50 years for the yen denominated loan. A huge game changer for India, trains would be operating at speeds between 300 to 350 km per hour. It’s going to save travelling time, increase productivity and over medium term bring down costs of traveling within India especially airfare. India will buy 18 Shinkansen train sets with the first high-speed rail working by 2022 between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Apart from extremely benevolent funding agreement,  there is also  provision of transfer of technology to develop production locally. An article published in Economic Times, states that the economy class will only cost INR 3000 (USD 40) for travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad (508 km). This is one of the best policy initiatives taken by the government and must be given the utmost importance for support for effective implementation. Further high-speed railway network should be implemented nationally along key routes with increased alacrity. 

To sum up, in a decade high-speed train project will catapult Indian railways globally as an emerging powerhouse ninja. Let’s call it Ninja strike one...Also, its duty of Indians to replicate Japan’s goodwill in mutually beneficial way. We highly appreciate this gesture on part of the Japanese government and its people and salute the spirit of this holistic partnership. When the first high-speed train will begin in India, I will have tears in my eyes. My first high-speed train experience was my ride from Shanghai to Suzhou in China (whilst studying in China),  a ride to remember. Finally thanks to Modi and his government for having the foresight and vision to making this dream of many Indians come true…