The bullet train stations at Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati will be built over the existing railway platforms belonging to the Indian Railways, said Achal Khare, Managing Director of National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) that is building the ambitious bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. This is being done to provide bullet train connectivity to passengers travelling by the Indian Railways and the metrorail in Ahmedabad.
“We wanted to give connectivity to the people travelling on the existing network of Indian Railways. So at Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati we will be building the platforms over the existing Indian Railways platforms,” Khare said while delivering the second Dr AN Khosla Lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) on Saturday.
“We have to build (the platforms) without closing the existing railway stations in these places. This is a big challenge,” he said adding the platform number 7 at the Vadodara station will be used to assemble and erect the bullet train structures. The high-speed rail alignment between Ahmedabad and Vadodara passes close to the existing rail network and it crosses the major stations of Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
Special bridges are planned to span over existing railway tracks in these places. “Vadodara will have the longest bridge, that crosses the entire railway yard. Steel bridges with 240 meter span is planned over the existing railway tracks. There are multi-storeyed buildings on both sides and so we do not have space to do free work. It is one of the biggest challenge for the project,” he told a gathering largely full of engineers and members of Ahmedabad chapter of IIT-Roorkee Alumni Association. Ahmedabad will also have a special bridge with a 120 meter span near the railway station. He said the Japanese will be helping NHSRCL to construct these structures without closing down or stopping the busy network of Indian railways operating below.
Khare said that Sabarmati will not only have a “very big high speed terminal” at the very spot where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had laid the foundation for the project, it will also have a parking for 1500 cars and will have a connecting link to the Ahmedabad metro station which is coming up in the immediate vicinity.
Though NHSRCL will initially run bullet train with 10 coaches, the platforms are being designed to accommodate 16 coaches. Apart from these three stations in Gujarat, most of the alignment of the 508 kilometer long bullet train between Ahmedabad- Mumbai is being built about eight kilometers away from the existing Indian Railways rail network.
Khare said that NHSRCL will be operating two services one with limited stops which will take just 2.07 hours to reach Mumbai and the other with 12 stops which will take 2:58 hours.