Bullet train to run on Surat & Bilimora sections in 2026: Rly Minister

Undersea tunnel, 1st of its kind in India, is part of 21-kms-long tunnel, which will start at Mumbai HSR & come out at Kalyan Silphata. 7 kms out of this will be under sea at the Thane creek

Bullet Train

Mumbai: Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said that first section of the high speed rail corridor between Surat and Bilimora, meant for the bullet train, will become operational in July/August 2026. Subsequently, the another sections will be open for the train traffic.

Vaishnaw said this while interacting with the media after visiting the bullet train corridor sites at Vikhroli and BKC in Mumbai. He said, “This is the country’s first high speed corridor project. The designing of such a project is an extremely complex process which has to overcome a number of difficulties,” he added.

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“But understanding and learning about the technology, design capability and construction methodology is one of the major aims of the project. Special attention is being given to safety and the Shinkansen system, which is in existence since 1969, is known for its safety across the world. The implementation of this system in India is creating a knowledge base about the system. Our country is a big country with a population of around 140 crore. Many cities are going to be megacities with a population of more than 1 crore. If we are to provide a low cost, low time solution to such cities, we will have to gain expertise in creating high speed corridors,” said the minister.

Elaborating on the details of the project, Vaishnaw said, “After getting necessary permissions and approvals, the physical construction of the project has started and is moving forward rapidly. To further speed up the project certain innovations have been made. Instead of working only at one place at a time, work has begun from four places parallelly. It is targeted that the first section of the high speed rail corridor between Surat and Bilimora will begin functioning in July/August 2026.”

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Vaishnaw further said that the undersea tunnel, first of its kind in India, is part of a 21 kms long tunnel, which will start at Mumbai HSR and come out at Kalyan Silphata. 7 kms out of this will be under the sea at the Thane creek. The deepest point is approximately 65 metres deep. The tunnel will be 40 feet wide. There will be two lines in the tunnel. One up line and one down line on which the high speed rail will function. Even inside the tunnel the train will run at a speed of 320 kms per hour.”

Speaking on the benefits of such a project, Vaishnaw concluded by saying, “The high speed rail project should not be looked at just as a transportation project. When a high speed train was made functional between Tokyo and Osaka –– the economy of five cities-Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka-grew exponentially. High speed trains connect cities in a manner that 1+1 is not 2 but 11. Through the connectivity gained because of this corridor, Mumbai, Thane, Vapi, Surat, Vadodara, Anand and Ahmedabad will become a single economic zone.

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Officials of the railway ministry said that the high speed rail corridor will provide a great economic boost to the region. There will be two types of trains. One with all stops and one with limited stops. The travel time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will be two hours with limited stops and approximately 2.5 hours when the train stops at all stops. Hence a lot of time will be saved.

Apart from this huge industrial, commercial and residential growth at all nodes along this corridor is expected automatically. This will result in continuous development in the region for the next 30-40 years. This is the forward thinking plan of the Prime Minister which will result in long term benefits to the nation.”

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