[op-ed snap] Why India needs a bullet train

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Mains Paper 3:Economy ] Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.

Once you are done reading this op-ed, you will be able to attempt the below.

Explain the advantages of having a bullet train in India?

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Shinkansen technology

Mains level: Infrastructure developments in India – challenges ,pros, way forward etc



  • Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Shinzo Abe will be laying the foundation stone of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, popularly known as the bullet train


  1. Attractive low-cost long-term financing. 
    • Government of Japan will provide a soft loan of about Rs 90,000 crore at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent over 50 years.
    • Such loan, from other multilateral or bilateral development financing institutions, would cost between 3-7 per cent with a repayment period of 20-30 years.
  2. Stimulus for advanced components’ manufacture and construction
    • One of the stated objectives of the project is “Make in India”
    • As per the agreement the MAHSR Project has “localised manufacture” and “transfer of technology” as objectives.
  3. Employment Generation
    • This project is likely to generate employment for about 20,000 workers, who will then be equipped to take up construction of more such projects in India.
    • The new areas where construction skills would be developed are ballast-less track, under sea tunneling et al.
  4. Professional capacity-building.
    • A dedicated High Speed Rail Training Institute is being developed at Vadodara.
    • This institute will be fully equipped with equipment and facilities, such as a simulator, as exist in the training institute at Japan.
  5. Speed
    • There are two types of services proposed. A “rapid train” service with only two stops — at Surat and Vadodara — and a slower service that halts at 10 stations en route.
    • The “rapid train” would complete the journey in 2 hours and 7 minutes, while the slower service would take 2 hours and 58 minutes.
  6. Cutting edge operational technology.
    • The Shinkansen technology is renowned for its reliability and safety.
    • The train delay record of Shinkansen is less than a minute with zero fatalities.
    •  The technology regarding disaster predictions and preventions will also be acquired as part of the project.