Mumbai to Delhi in 12 hours?

Western Railway is planning to convert the line into a semi-high speed corridor under its Mission Raftar. If all goes well, the journey time between the national capital and the financial capital will be cut down to 12 hours

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Soon, it might be possible for passengers to travel between Mumbai and Delhi in 12 hours via the rail route. In an ambitious move, the Western Railway has undertaken a ₹4,011-crore mission Raftar to convert the line into semi-high speed corridor. The semi-high speed corridor will allow trains to run at speeds of up to 160 km per hour.

The 1,384-km corridor at present takes 15.5 hours to cover. However, with Mission Raftar, Western Railway aims to reduce it to 12 hours.

“The detailed estimate for the work on the WR portion is ₹4,011 crore. This includes upgrading tracks, bridges, signalling and overhead equipment installations and the removal of some permanent speed restrictions. A combined estimate for the entire project is being prepared and will be finalised soon,” Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer, WR told The Hindu.

As per the rail corporation's proposal, the civil works amount to ₹1,933 crores. Of which ₹660 crores will go towards building boundary walls and fencing of the corridor. The boundary walls are being set up for the safety of passenger as well as the cattle that are run over occasionally.

Other than that, WR plans to close level crossing gates by providing road overbridges and subways. This will cost WR around ₹4,400 crore but will be financed under a separate budgetary head. Of which, ₹330 crore will be used to replace the bridge over Vaitarna creek in Palghar.

Alongside, an expense of ₹1,237 crores will be made for electrical works including critical upgrades to the current system. Western Railway will also spend to upgrade the signalling systems across the corridor to facilitate semi-high speeds.

However, as per railway officials, the trains in the suburban sections of Mumbai will continue to run at its current maximum speed of 110 km per hour due to operational constraints. The project cost is estimated at ₹10,070 crores. For which, the Railway Board has allocated ₹1,000 for 2020-21.  The project involves four railway zones; Northern Railway, North Central Railway, West Central Railway and Western Railway.

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