It will cost about Rs 11,000 crore ($1.7 billion) to increase the train speed up to 200 km per hour on the Delhi-Chandigarh route so that a passenger can travel the distance in two hours, according to the draft final report submitted by SNCF, the French railway, to Indian Railways.
The 245-km Delhi-Chandigarh corridor, one of the busiest routes in north India, is slated to be the first semi-high speed project being taken up by the state-owned transporter to run trains at maximum speeds of 200 kmph with French help.
The 1,700-page detailed report will be taken up for finalisation in Indian Railways on Monday for preparing tendering documents and drawing out an action plan as a way forward.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to visit India in January 2018 when the project will be formally launched.
The railways will sign a MoU with SNCF next year expanding the scope of cooperation in the rail sector, including training of drivers of semi-high speed trains and safety and security of train networks.
The total travel time will be 2 hours and 2 minutes at a maximum speed of 200 kmph with two stoppages at Panipat and Ambala, according to the report.