Ahmedabad bullet train: Japan to modify bullet trains for Indian conditions, trials from 2026
Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen trains will be modified for Indian conditions such as temperature, dust and weight before being sent to India for the country’s ambitious ‘bullet train project’. Satish Agnihotri, managing director of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), said the project is expected to complete a 48km section between Surat-Billimora in 2027, with first trials to take place a year earlier.
He however said the project was stalled in Maharashtra due to land acquisition issues. “We will have the E5 series Shinkansen trains currently in service in Japan. However, we are conducting studies to adapt them to India’s dust and temperature conditions,” Agnihotri said.
The E5 series is a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train built by Hitachi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
They are capable of running at a speed of 320 km/h and are 3.35 m wide, the widest among these trains are available in countries like France and Germany.
Sources said another aspect the Japanese are working on is to make sure the trains can carry “Indian weight” as the Japanese are lighter.
They said Japan will initially send six trains modified to Indian specifications, and will also bring knockdown coaches to be assembled here in the country.
Officials said actual orders would be placed once the changes were completed.
Speaking about the project, Japanese Ambassador to India, Satoshi Suzuki said, “I am very satisfied, even impressed with the progress made with the latest technologies. We are not exporting a second class train. We will share the same (E5 series), rather improved because the series has been in service for several years. So by the time India has their high speed rail, we will make sure they get the latest technology.
“This series of trains runs in the northern part of Japan and is equipped with various safety measures. It has anti-seismic technology. It is the best we can share,” he said. In Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, 100% of the civil contracts for the construction of the entire road, ie 352 km, were awarded to Indian contractors.
In Gujarat, 237 km of track works have already been awarded and the balance of 115 km will be awarded soon.
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