India to soon get high-speed train: Bansal

Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that work on the high-speed passenger corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad had been put on a fast track mode, to ensure that India's dream project of the first high speed train will be completed soon.

"Ever since I took over as the railway minister, my focus has been on the fast track train. It will run at a speed of around 350 kmph. The entire process of building the high speed corridors should be complete in the next five years,"Bansal told The Indian Express in Shimla.

While taking a walk on Mall Road, a day before New Year eve, the minister also expressed his wish to initiate the Chandigarh-Baddi rail link that was proposed in 2007. "Baddi has become an important industrial region, hence, I feel it requires a direct railway link with Chandigarh".

Two dedicated freight corridors between Ludhiana–Calcutta and Delhi-Bombay are other major ventures of the Railways. "These projects will benefit the economy immensely. The corridors are estimated to cost Rs 90,000 crore. Two locomotive production units will also be established in Bihar," Bansal added.

Answering queries on the much anticipated fare hike, the minister said, "The Railways had not made any significant price hike in its fare in the past 12 years. Internal resources are not sufficient to run the system. A price hike in the fares is essential."

Bansal, who is the Lok Sabha MP from Chandigarh, had announced on Saturday a third Shatabdi Express from Chandigarh to Delhi from January. Bansal said, "I know Himachal Pradesh has always raised complaints about being neglected by the Railway Ministry. I, however, believe that every state should get its due and I will work towards it. The World Heritage Shimla-Kalka railway line should be improved, strengthened and preserved. But for now, there are no expansion projects for the state on the cards".

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