High speed / Semi-High speed rail projects of Indian Railways

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NEW DELHI/TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese steel and engineering companies are in the driver’s seat to bag major supply contracts for a $17 billion Indian bullet train, several sources said, undermining a key component of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic policy - a push to ‘Make in India’.

Japan is funding most of the project, and Japanese companies are likely to supply at least 70 percent of the core components of the rail line, said five sources in New Delhi with direct knowledge of the matter.

A spokesman for Modi’s office declined comment.

A Japanese transport ministry official involved in the project said the two countries were still working out a strategy for the supply of key components, and would unveil a plan for procurements around July. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

The September 2017 agreement between Japan and India for the bullet train project included two clauses - the promotion of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Transfer of Technology’ - through which New Delhi had hoped to set up manufacturing facilities in the country, generate jobs and get a toehold in Japanese technology.

Modi faces a general election in 2019 and is under pressure to provide more jobs to millions of unemployed in India. Critics also say the bullet train is wasteful and that the money could be better used elsewhere.

“The Japanese have reservations on certain issues because they have a concern that there is a difference in the culture and systems of Japan from the culture and systems in India,” said Achal Khare, the managing director of National High Speed Rail Corp Ltd (NHSRCL), the agency tasked to execute the bullet train project.

“The work culture is very different,” he told Reuters.

Khare did not elaborate but two Indian railways officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said their Japanese counterparts had raised questions about efficiency in Indian companies and their ability to meet timelines.

The World Bank currently ranks India 100th out of 190 nations on the ease of doing business, giving it relatively low marks for starting a business, enforcing contracts and dealing with construction permits.

Tomoyuki Nakano, director for international engineering affairs in the railway bureau at Japan’s transport ministry, said the issue was that Indian companies had no experience or technologies specialising in high-speed railway systems at present.

“I don’t think Japanese are concerned about a difference in the work culture,” Nakano said. He and other Japanese officials said efforts were continuing to fulfil the ‘Make in India’ component of the agreement by promoting collaborations between companies from the two countries.

Still, several Indian officials said it was by and large accepted that Indian companies would not have a major part to play in the bullet train project.

Japan will get major leeway because the bullet train is largely funded by a 50-year loan provided by its government, said a close aide of Modi, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“At this stage to expect Indian companies to have a bigger share in manufacturing appears to be a little difficult,” said a senior official at the Indian government’s policy think-tank, NITI Aayog, who is involved in the negotiations.

Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative aims to lift the share of manufacturing in India’s $2 trillion economy to 25 percent and create 100 million jobs by 2022.

However, midway through Modi’s five-year term, manufacturing was still at 17 percent of India’s GDP in the 2016/17 financial year from 15 percent previously.

ONLY ONE JOINT VENTURE
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train in September last year. It will link Mumbai with Ahmedabad, the largest commercial city in Modi’s home state Gujarat.

Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp (5401.T), Japan’s biggest steelmaker, and other companies like JFE Holdings Inc (5411.T), Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (7012.T), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (7011.T), Toshiba Corp (6502.T) and Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) are likely to bid for various contracts, said three senior Indian government officials directly involved in the project.

Nippon Steel said it would not comment on specific projects.

JFE, Hitachi and Toshiba said they were interested in the project but had not finalised plans, including any possibilities of joint ventures with Indian firms.

Mitsubishi Heavy said it had not decided if it wanted to be involved.

The sole collaboration aimed at the bullet train project is between Kawasaki Heavy Industries and India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL.NS), which aims to win carriage orders.

Japanese government officials have asked for more bullet train corridors in India before transferring technology, three senior Indian officials said.

But New Delhi is unlikely to announce any new projects until the final cost and commercial feasibility of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad link is clear, the officials said.

“It’s like a chicken and egg situation on technology. The Japanese want an economy of scale and business but the Indian view is that India is a big market that once this market is explored the business will automatically be generated,” said Khare from NHSRCL.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY
New Delhi has tried to help Indian steel companies grab a slice of the pie.

The Indian government last year mediated negotiations between Nippon Steel and India’s Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JNSP.NS) to set up a joint venture to manufacture rails, but the talks fell through after the Japanese major raised quality concerns, three sources in New Delhi said.

State-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL.NS) (SAIL), which for decades has been the main supplier of rails to Indian Railways, was also overlooked by Japanese companies due to quality concerns, the sources said.

Nippon Steel declined comment and while Jindal and SAIL did not reply to e-mails seeking comment.

Left with little choice, Indian firms will now largely provide raw materials like cement and supply manpower for the assembly of rails, the sources said.

India’s UltraTech Cement Ltd (ULTC.NS), Larsen & Toubro Ltd (LART.NS), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd <BHEL.NS > and Ambuja Cements Ltd (ABUJ.NS) are among those in the race for the supply of construction materials and power, the two Indian railways officials said.

Exclusive: Japan in driver's seat for Indian bullet train deals
 
NEW DELHI/TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese steel and engineering companies are in the driver’s seat to bag major supply contracts for a $17 billion Indian bullet train, several sources said, undermining a key component of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s economic policy - a push to ‘Make in India’.

Japan is funding most of the project, and Japanese companies are likely to supply at least 70 percent of the core components of the rail line, said five sources in New Delhi with direct knowledge of the matter.

A spokesman for Modi’s office declined comment.

A Japanese transport ministry official involved in the project said the two countries were still working out a strategy for the supply of key components, and would unveil a plan for procurements around July. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

The September 2017 agreement between Japan and India for the bullet train project included two clauses - the promotion of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Transfer of Technology’ - through which New Delhi had hoped to set up manufacturing facilities in the country, generate jobs and get a toehold in Japanese technology.

Modi faces a general election in 2019 and is under pressure to provide more jobs to millions of unemployed in India. Critics also say the bullet train is wasteful and that the money could be better used elsewhere.

“The Japanese have reservations on certain issues because they have a concern that there is a difference in the culture and systems of Japan from the culture and systems in India,” said Achal Khare, the managing director of National High Speed Rail Corp Ltd (NHSRCL), the agency tasked to execute the bullet train project.

“The work culture is very different,” he told Reuters.

Khare did not elaborate but two Indian railways officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said their Japanese counterparts had raised questions about efficiency in Indian companies and their ability to meet timelines.

The World Bank currently ranks India 100th out of 190 nations on the ease of doing business, giving it relatively low marks for starting a business, enforcing contracts and dealing with construction permits.

Tomoyuki Nakano, director for international engineering affairs in the railway bureau at Japan’s transport ministry, said the issue was that Indian companies had no experience or technologies specialising in high-speed railway systems at present.

“I don’t think Japanese are concerned about a difference in the work culture,” Nakano said. He and other Japanese officials said efforts were continuing to fulfil the ‘Make in India’ component of the agreement by promoting collaborations between companies from the two countries.

Still, several Indian officials said it was by and large accepted that Indian companies would not have a major part to play in the bullet train project.

Japan will get major leeway because the bullet train is largely funded by a 50-year loan provided by its government, said a close aide of Modi, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“At this stage to expect Indian companies to have a bigger share in manufacturing appears to be a little difficult,” said a senior official at the Indian government’s policy think-tank, NITI Aayog, who is involved in the negotiations.

Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative aims to lift the share of manufacturing in India’s $2 trillion economy to 25 percent and create 100 million jobs by 2022.

However, midway through Modi’s five-year term, manufacturing was still at 17 percent of India’s GDP in the 2016/17 financial year from 15 percent previously.

ONLY ONE JOINT VENTURE
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for India’s first bullet train in September last year. It will link Mumbai with Ahmedabad, the largest commercial city in Modi’s home state Gujarat.

Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp (5401.T), Japan’s biggest steelmaker, and other companies like JFE Holdings Inc (5411.T), Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd (7012.T), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (7011.T), Toshiba Corp (6502.T) and Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) are likely to bid for various contracts, said three senior Indian government officials directly involved in the project.

Nippon Steel said it would not comment on specific projects.

JFE, Hitachi and Toshiba said they were interested in the project but had not finalised plans, including any possibilities of joint ventures with Indian firms.

Mitsubishi Heavy said it had not decided if it wanted to be involved.

The sole collaboration aimed at the bullet train project is between Kawasaki Heavy Industries and India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL.NS), which aims to win carriage orders.

Japanese government officials have asked for more bullet train corridors in India before transferring technology, three senior Indian officials said.

But New Delhi is unlikely to announce any new projects until the final cost and commercial feasibility of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad link is clear, the officials said.

“It’s like a chicken and egg situation on technology. The Japanese want an economy of scale and business but the Indian view is that India is a big market that once this market is explored the business will automatically be generated,” said Khare from NHSRCL.

MISSED OPPORTUNITY
New Delhi has tried to help Indian steel companies grab a slice of the pie.

The Indian government last year mediated negotiations between Nippon Steel and India’s Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JNSP.NS) to set up a joint venture to manufacture rails, but the talks fell through after the Japanese major raised quality concerns, three sources in New Delhi said.

State-owned Steel Authority of India (SAIL.NS) (SAIL), which for decades has been the main supplier of rails to Indian Railways, was also overlooked by Japanese companies due to quality concerns, the sources said.

Nippon Steel declined comment and while Jindal and SAIL did not reply to e-mails seeking comment.

Left with little choice, Indian firms will now largely provide raw materials like cement and supply manpower for the assembly of rails, the sources said.

India’s UltraTech Cement Ltd (ULTC.NS), Larsen & Toubro Ltd (LART.NS), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd <BHEL.NS > and Ambuja Cements Ltd (ABUJ.NS) are among those in the race for the supply of construction materials and power, the two Indian railways officials said.

Exclusive: Japan in driver's seat for Indian bullet train deals

Let's not forget two important things here . The interest rate is extremely low because the costs are padded up and repayment of the loan amount stretched to several decades and secondly the Japanese will go out if their way to ensure that their companies bag the lions share of the contracts .

Let's see how our bania measures up to Japanese business tactics .
 
Let's not forget two important things here . The interest rate is extremely low because the costs are padded up and repayment of the loan amount stretched to several decades and secondly the Japanese will go out if their way to ensure that their companies bag the lions share of the contracts .

Let's see how our bania measures up to Japanese business tactics .
Not really. Even though the interest rate is low the money we are paying is 20-25% higher than Chinese or europian rail. As the article says the problem is quality and scale. If they have a guarantee of another line this might not be a problem.
 
Not really. Even though the interest rate is low the money we are paying is 20-25% higher than Chinese or europian rail. As the article says the problem is quality and scale. If they have a guarantee of another line this might not be a problem.
That 20-25% is the difference between the actual cost of interest payment at today's rates and a nominal interest rate the Japanese have charged us for repayment over several decades . That extra cost is also a premium the Japanese charge over the Chinese .

At the moment , its a vanity project. We'd need at least a decade after operations commence before we can pronounce on its financial viability .

I don't see how we can't manufacture the steel for rails & rolling stock ( minus the locomotive ). While I'm no metallurgist , perhaps you or someone else could explain what exactly do we mean by quality issues here .
 
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Japanese way of saying "If our companies don't get contracts we don't take responsibility." Lets see how govt responds to that, Modi should be strict about this project, he should neither compromise on quality nor jobs & domestic industries. Because at the end of the no one was buying ShinKasen other than India, and it is India which will end up paying the loan to the Japanese, so friendship aside, we are talking business.

If ShinKasen is not feasible then no more other lines and bad publicity for Japanese companies, not only that, the Chinese will also get into Indian market and will grab it with both hands.
 
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India on track to buy 18 bullet trains from Japan for Rs 7,000 crore
India will purchase 18 bullet train sets from Japan at a total cost of about Rs 7,000 crore in a deal that includes a pledge to transfer technology for local production, an official said.

The country’s first bullet train is likely to start running between Mumbai and Ahmedabad by the end of 2022. The 508-km, high speed train corridor is being built with Japanese assistance.


“We’ll be getting 18 Shinkansen train sets from Japan,” said the official cited above. “Each train will have 10 coaches and would be able to cruise at the speed of 350 km per hour.”

Japanese manufacturers will participate in a tender that will be floated soon to procure the high-speed trains. They will follow the Japan Railways design. The official said Japanese bullet trains are among the safest in the world and those imported will have automatic protection systems to ensure safety.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad route is expected to be used by 18,000 passengers with fares between the two cities likely to be less than Rs 3,000 in economy class. The trains will also have a first class with amenities similar to those in airlines.

bullet-train

In parallel, Indian Railways will start the process of setting up a bullet train assembling facility in India on a public private participation (PPP) basis that will cater to future needs. Japanese train technology companies such as Kawasaki and HitachiNSE -1.10 % may set up facilities in the country, the official said.

“We’ll be inviting bids to set up an assembling plant here in India as well under the Make in India programme,” the official added. Construction on the bullet train project is likely to start in January next year with Indian Railways hopeful of meeting the December 2018 deadline for acquiring land.

The bullet train corridor will have sound baffles along the route that will have 12 stations, with about 350 km of it in Gujarat and 150 km in Maharashtra. The government has already started getting funds from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, which is providing a soft loan of Rs 88,000 crore for the project over 50 years at an annual interest rate of 0.1%. Repayments will start after a moratorium of 15 years from the date the loan was released.
India on track to buy 18 bullet trains from Japan for Rs 7,000 crore
 
Japan’s E5 Shinkansen bullet train to be modified for Indian needs! 24 rakes coming under ‘Make in India’
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train from Japan – Indian Railways first such project – will be modified for the Indian climate, says Achal Khare, man in-charge of the ambitious project. According to Khare, who is the MD of National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), to begin with 24 bullet train rakes will be procured from Japan for the project under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. “We are supposed to procure 24 rakes and the two governments (India and Japan) are working on the ‘Make in India’ aspect of the project,” Achal Khare told Financial Express Online in an exclusive interaction. These 24 rakes will be procured from Japan with varied degrees of ‘Make in India’. India is getting Japan’s Shinkansen E5 series of bullet trains, but with India-specific modifications.

Elaborating on the same, Achal Khare told FE Online, “The main modifications will be based on the environmental considerations. Our environmental conditions are different from Japan. It is more cold in Japan compared to India. On the other hand, India is hotter compared to Japan.” While from the passengers perspective the train will be similar to the E5 Shinkansen bullet train series, the air-conditioning will be more effective. “The bullet train air-conditioning for India has to be different. We do not require the heating mechanism here in India, unlike Japan where temperatures dip to minus. The air-conditioning, on the other hand has to be stronger in India,” Khare said. “Dust content is another factor – Japan does not use filters in its important components, but in India the dust content is more so we need to design some systems keeping that in mind,” he added.

According to Khare, the ‘Make in India’ modalities of the project are being worked out with Japan. “We have come to an agreement that we will have 6 rakes (out of 24) assigned for ‘Make in India’. There will be three phases of ‘Make in India’, and phase 3 will have a greater aspect of Make in India. Maybe some critical parts which cannot be manufactured in India may come from Japan. The Japanese side is in talks with the Indian counterparts. Further details of this will be worked out between them, but broadly 6 rakes will initially be made in India,” Khare said. “For the other 18 rakes, there will be the other two phases of Make in India. Like in phase I, a few rakes will come from there and in phase 2 the assembly, testing and commissioning of the rakes may be considered. Phase 3 will involve manufacturing of the rakes in India. Every 10 years additions will be made to the fleet,” Khare explained.

The two manufacturers of bullet trains in Japan – Hitachi and Kawasaki – are reportedly in talks with Indian companies to set up a manufacturing plant in India. India’s first bullet train is slated to start service in August 2022, with full operations beginning in 2023. The bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai will take less than 3 hours, covering 12 stations; Sabarmati, Ahmedabad, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Bilimora, Vapi, Boisar, Virar, Thane and Mumbai.
Japan’s E5 Shinkansen bullet train to be modified for Indian needs! 24 rakes coming under ‘Make in India’
 
Not really. Even though the interest rate is low the money we are paying is 20-25% higher than Chinese or europian rail. As the article says the problem is quality and scale. If they have a guarantee of another line this might not be a problem.

I don't think Chinese or Europan systems have any comparison with the near flawless track record the japs have. I don't mind japs getting the contract if part of their production happens here.
 
Goodbye Shatabdi, hello Train 18: Country’s fastest train set for year-end launch

Goodbye Shatabdi, hello Train 18: Country’s fastest train set for year-end launch
PM Modi is likely to flag off Train 18 on December 29 from his constituency Varanasi. The gleaming blue-nosed train comes fitted with amenities at par with the best in the world -- from on-board WiFi to a GPS-based passenger information system.

Updated: Dec 20, 2018 13:02 IST

Press Trust of India
train-new-trial-run-delhi-safdarjung-station_08a972ee-0426-11e9-a51c-e557d890966b.JPG

A view of 18 at Safdarjung station, during its trial run in New Delhi in November.(Mohd Zakir/HT file photo)

Train 18, the fastest from railways’ stable that will replace Shatabdi trains, is likely to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 29 from his constituency Varanasi, sources said Wednesday.

The country’s first engineless train will run between Delhi and Varanasi, the source said. Shatabdi was introduced in 1988 and is presently running on over 20 routes connecting metros with other important cities.

Train 18, manufactured by ICF Chennai at a cost of Rs 100 crore, recently became India’s fastest train by hitting speeds of over 180 kmph during trial-run on a section of the Delhi-Rajdhani route.

(Read more: All you need to know about Train 18)

The gleaming blue-nosed train comes fitted with amenities at par with the best in the world -- from on-board WiFi to a GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points and a climate control system that adjusts the temperature according to occupancy and weather.

The train will have two executive compartments which will have 52 seats each and trailer coaches will have 78 seats each. The executive class will have rotating seats to match the direction of the train.

According to the tentative plan, the train will start from New Delhi station at 6 am and is expected to reach Varanasi at 2 pm. For the return journey, the train will start at 2.30 pm from Varanasi and reach the national capital at 10.30 pm on the same day.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, impressed with the success of Train 18 during trials, has recently asked ICF to build four more similar rakes in the current financial year.

First Published: Dec 20, 2018 13:00 IST
 
some people have a very funny habit of scratching brand new cars. Its the same folks who have done this.

May be, but, this problem plagues the network pan india, most probably where encroachment exists:

Stone pelting on trains in Pune: Railway officials blame illegal hutments, encroachment around railway tracks

Stone pelting on trains in Pune: Railway officials blame illegal hutments, encroachment around railway tracks
Officials said stone pelting incidents have increased in the past few days. In a recent incident, passengers of Thirunvelli-Dadar Express had a narrow escape as some miscreants pelted stones on the train.

CENTRAL Railway officials have blamed illegal hutments and encroachment around the railway tracks for incidences of stone pelting on trains on Chinchwad-Akurdi and Ghorpadi Saswad stretches. Recently, long-distance trains had suffered due to stone pelting by miscreants while passing through these stretches, especially during night hours.

And

Stone-throwing menace in trains


Chennai

Stone-throwing menace in trains
Staff ReporterCHENNAI:,February 25, 2016 00:00 IST
Updated:February 25, 2016 05:44 IST

Despite a crackdown on miscreants by the railway police, incidents of stones being thrown at suburban and long-distance trains continue. Absence of illumination at some spots is reported to be the reason.

These incidents cause anxiety for police personnel. In a recent incident, a passenger on Nellai Express was injured. Railway Protection Force sources said a miscreant hurled a stone at the train, which left a passenger injured.

A few weeks ago, a similar incident was reported on a suburban train. Though no one was injured, government railway police (GRP) combed the area. Officials suspected youth to be involved in the incident, in which ballast stones were thrown at the train.

A senior GRP official said they picked up a few minors and let them off after a warning. “People who throw objects at trains risk a prison term if found guilty,” he said.
 
High speed camera that is programmed to activate during any considerable external pressure on the window panels with a foregin object would do the trick,they should be programmed to start recording or clicking photos in such situations. Two at each ends of a coach with all of them activating at such situations can catch the culprits faces easily also with date,time and location, all this should be sent to a dedicated office in real time.
 
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Middle East countries want to import Train 18 from Indian Railways
Even as the Train 18 project awaits its first commercial run in India, Some countries like Peru, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and others Middle East companies have shown interest in importing the Indian Railways’ state-of-the-art Train 18.

India’s first engineless semi high-speed Train 18 which has run at a maximum speed of 180 km per hour during its trial run will have its debut journey from Varanasi to Delhi. The Indian Railways is awaiting a green signal from the Prime Minister’s Office as the train will start its commercial run between Varanasi and New Delhi.

“Many countries have expressed interest in the train set and we are happy and proud that an indigenously made product is attracting so much interest. The rolling stock market worldwide is worth about 200 billion dollars and we want a significant share of it. Now, the aim is to successfully run the train,” said Rajesh Agarwal, member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board.

According to sources, the train sets available worldwide at the standard of Train 18 at a cost around Rs.250 crore, while the Indian Railway’s Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, made the Train 18 in cost around Rs. 100 crore.

“The production of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches increased from around 685 coaches in 2014-2015 to 4,016 coaches during the current year. The actual production up to December 2018 has touched 3,106 coaches with three more months to go. In fact, total LHB production of first 17 years has been exceeded in the last two years which is unprecedented,” he added.

Agrawal said that Train 18 is our latest creation which has taken us 18 months from the idea stage to completion and manufacturing stage.
Middle East countries want to import Train 18 from Indian Railways - Urban Transport News
 
Second Train 18 to be rolled out this month; to sport more 'Make in India' components than first one
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had announced last month that the newly-launched superfast Vande Bharat Express, also known as Train 18, will soon run on three new routes, Bangalore-Mangalore, Mangalore-Hyderabad and Chennai-Mangalore.

The latest buzz is that the upcoming trainsets will boast more local components, giving a boost to the Modi government's Make in India initiative. Almost 130 of these engine-less, semi-high speed trains - India's fastest currently - are reportedly on anvil over the next few years.

In the case of the first Train 18, which rolled out of the Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in 2018, although the Railways tried to tap its existing Indian vendor base to keep costs low, it wasn't completely successful.

A few components, the glass windows for one, had to be imported as the Indian vendors wanted higher and assured volumes to provide better quality products, The Hindu Business Line reported.

While the second Train 18, scheduled to roll out of ICF this month, will also sport imported glass, the third one will sport Slick glasses on windows that are 'Made in India'.

These windows will be shatter-proof to boot. The third Train 18 on, the window screens will boast "laminated glass" like those used on cars, which crack but do not break.

Saint Gobain is one of the companies making such products in the country and has supplied glass for the glass-roofed Vistadome coaches used by the Indian Railways in tourist locations.

At present, the windows of the Train 18 are layered with "shatter-proof polymer film, which crack", officials told the daily.

In addition, the subsequent Train 18s will also boast improvements over the first trainset. Like seats where the lower portion can be pulled or shifted out by five inches against three currently, providing more comfort to passengers.

These seats are based on the latest European trends. Moreover, the new trains will reportedly also have two centimetres lower space per seat in order to create space for food carts.

A day after the Vande Bharat Express' inauguration, when it broke down 200 km outside Delhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had taken to Twitter to criticise the premium train.

"Modi ji, I think Make in India needs a serious rethink. Most people feel it has failed," he had tweeted. The above moves by the Railways are a clear attempt to prove the Opposition wrong.

The 130 upcoming trainsets are expected to cover about 50-60 routes depending on the route length. It is expected to compete with flights particularly in mid-distance segment routes such as Bengaluru-Chennai, Pune-Mumbai, Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Jaipur.

According to reports Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli, will also be roped in to handle the increased production of these trains.
Second Train 18 to be rolled out this month; to sport more 'Make in India' components than first one
 
New Train18 to withstand hits by stray cattle
The second 'Vande Bharat' train will be on tracks by mid-April. The new train, featuring improvised safety features, is being designed at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai. The train will have 16 coaches, all of which are nearly ready, while its interiors are also being redone. The refurbished train can withstand accidents involving cattle on tracks, while sturdier windows will be safe from stone-pelters.

Sources said that chairman of Railway Board, VK Yadav, visited the factory on Friday and inspected the manufacturing of India's fastest running train. "Work on the second Train18 is almost done. It's likely to be completed by mid-April. But until fencing along all tracks is completed, trespassing will remain a problem," said a railway official. The initial deadline was March 31, but this could be delayed slightly, officials said,

The decision to have a sturdier cattle guard was taken on February 15, when the train, while making a non-commercial run from Varanasi to Delhi, ran over bovines on the tracks. This accident damaged the front portion of the coach. The train's commercial run started from February 17.

Meanwhile, the railways is also looking at giving the train's windows an extra layer of protection. Senior officials said they are looking at the possibility of having transparent or vinyl coated sheets on the windows, which would protect it from miscreants who throw stones. "Because the train travels at such high speeds, even trains coming in the opposite direction can cause ballasts to fly. Such a film could protect the train's windows," explained another railway official.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had announced the Vande Bharat train would connect cities that are 6-8 hours apart. In all, 130 trains are expected to be manufactured. The future ones would also feature sleeper coaches.
New Train18 to withstand hits by stray cattle
 
Bullet train: CISF to finalise security steps
When should a passenger travelling by the bullet train report to the station? What can’t be carried on the train? These are some of the questions which the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is helping the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) answer.

The first bullet train service in India, between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is to be launched in August 2022.
Since the bullet train will compete with flights, NHSRCL would like to score over airlines by allowing passengers to literally walk in just before the train departs. “We provide security consultancy to many establishments and since this will be the first bullet train project for India, NHSRCL has approached us for consultancy. We will review the security structure of (high speed trains in) other countries and will suggest a measure accordingly,” said a CISF officer who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since many of the stations will be interconnected with the railway stations, the Railway Protection Force might also be entrusted for security. CISF will suggest the surveillance structure, deployment pattern, requirement for Quick Reaction Teams and patrolling inside the trains. “The security of some of important structures is under consideration. All infrastructure needs to be looked at from security and safety perspective,” said Sushma Gaur, spokesperson for NHSRCL .

RPF is already helping the corporation protect employees as they go about surveying and acquiring the land meant for the project amid protests by the local population, disruptions supported by political leaders, and not much support from the state administration. RPF officers are coordinating with the state police to ensure no violence takes place during land acquisition.

The foundation stone for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe last year. The introduction of the bullet train, capable of hitting speeds of up to 350 kmph, will mark the country’s shift from an era of slow to high-speed trains.
Bullet train: CISF to finalise security steps
 
Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project: NHSRCL Invites Bids for Tunnelling Works
The National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) has invited bids for tunnelling Works on Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, Rail Analysis reported.

The scope of work include testing and commissioning for double line high-speed railway using tunnel boring machine (TBM) and new Austrian tunneling method (NATM) between Mumbai underground station at Bandra-Kurla Complex and Shilphata in Maharashtra as a part of the construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail. The length of tunneling work will be over 20 km.

As distinct from the old Austrian tunnelling approach, NATM uses the geological stress of the surrounding rock mass to stabilize the tunnel itself.

Earlier last month, NHSRCL invited bids for 237 km out of 508 km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project. The tender has been invited for projects totalling close to Rs 20,000 crore.

The bidding process was opened as per the guidelines of Japanese ODA Loans. As per the agreement with the Japanese funding agency, JICA, only Indian and Japanese construction firms are qualified to bid. It is likely that some of India’s leading Infrastructure companies like L&T and AFCON will form joint Venture with Japanese companies like Hitachi Construction and Mitsubishi Construction to bid for Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project.

"Bids must be delivered on or before 15:00 hrs on 16th July 2019 and must be accompanied by a Bid Security of INR 200 Crores," said the NHSRCL in its bidding document.

Expected to be completed in the next 48 months, the total length of proposed High Speed Rail Corridor works out to be 508.17km. 155.642 km of the proposed alignment falls in Maharashtra, 350.530 km in Gujarat and 2 km in UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

The route of Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail will be passing through two states, Maharashtra and Gujarat and one Union Territory, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, of the Union of India. The train will start from Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai and will end near Sabarmati Railway Station in Ahmedabad.

The high-speed corridor has been proposed with 12 Stations i.e. Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand/Nadia, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati, all near major traffic points. Two depots are proposed on either end of the corridor one near Thane and one near Sabarmati Rail Depot.
Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project: NHSRCL Invites Bids for Tunnelling Works