The already proposed high-speed rail corridors, as part of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), are:
Under the draft NRP, the following high-density passenger routes have been identified for introduction of bullet trains:
1. Extending Delhi–Chandigarh–Amritsar bullet train corridor to Jammu via Pathankot. The aim is to give an economic boost to Jammu and Pathankot and also cater to the tourism potential of Vaishno Devi.
2. Delhi-Agra-Kanpur-Lucknow-Varanasi bullet train corridor to be routed via Ayodhya. This has also been proposed in the draft report of the Delhi-Varanasi High Speed Rail Corridor Survey.
3. Delhi-Agra-Kanpur-Lucknow-Varanasi bullet train corridor to be extended to Patna and Kolkata.
4. A new bullet train corridor from Patna to Guwahati via Katihar and New Jalpaiguri. The new corridor will help connect Guwahati to the Delhi-Agra-Kanpur-Lucknow-Varanasi bullet train corridor.
5. A bullet train corridor between Hyderabad and Bengaluru by extending the Mumbai-Hyderabad line. This will connect Mumbai to Chennai and also help bring cities in North India such as Jammu, Amritsar, Delhi and Jaipur closer to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai.
6. Another high-speed rail line is proposed between Nagpur and Varanasi by extending the Mumbai–Nashik–Nagpur corridor. The aim is to connect Mumbai with Varanasi, which in turn will connect with Delhi–Varanasi–Patna–Guwahati corridor.
The draft plan talks of phased implementation of the bullet train corridors:
Proposed phasing of bullet train corridors by Indian Railways
According to the draft NRP, some of the highly utilised corridors for passenger trains include; Delhi-Mumbai via Kota Ratlam and Delhi Guwahati via Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Delhi-Kolkata via Kanpur, Prayagraj, Mughalsarai. With the increasing railway traffic, the average speed of passenger trains has taken a hit and the national transporter is losing out to other transport modes on account of speed, the document states, justifying the need for high-speed rail connectivity.
India’s first bullet train project is already being implemented between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. The project has been delayed due to land acquisition hurdles. Last month, TOI reported PM Narendra Modi’s displeasure with the Maharashtra government for not keeping its part of the bargain. PM Modi is believed to have told railway officials to complete the portion of the high-speed rail project in Gujarat if the issues in Maharashtra are not resolved.