Bullet Train: A Dream or Reality?
In the world today, pollution is a major problem. But, with the rise of new technologies, we hope to diminish this problem forever. New inventions are on the way to tackle this major problem. Some have already been introduced, such as hybrid cars, electric scooters and other electrical machines. A big contribution to pollution is the smoke from today’s cars and buses.
But thanks to a new and efficient way of transportation, that will decrease the smoke emitted by them: the electric bullet train. A bullet train is a high-speed train that is shaped like bullet, sounds childish, but in a layman’s way we can shape the definition of bullet train in this form. Bullet trains are streamlined so that they can travel faster. Electrically powered bullet trains offer amazing benefits: a quiet, high-speed mode of mass transportation with low environmental dangers.
In Japan, bullet trains are known as shinkansen the world's first truly high speed locomotive. Japan’s train travel offers the fastest point to point service of any rail line in the world. But the best addition of the trains in Japan is not their speed but their frequency, there are about 6 train stops in an hour; therefore, you are never being late for your train and be just early for the next one. Since bullet trains are effective way of transportation being that it is fast almost noiseless, non-polluting and luxurious, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the first bullet train in India for Ahmedabad-Mumbai link covering 534 kilometres at about 300 kilometres per hour speed. Embracing the idea of bullet trains means that the Railways will rid itself of a lobby that has always advocated enhancing Train speed with minor changes.
In 2009, Railways vision 2020 document reiterated the need for High Speed Rail corridor but the wide range of speed 250 km to 350 km an hour for the proposed bullet trains cast doubts if they would stay true to character. The fastest train in India now is the Shatabdi which runs at 140 km per hour, the record was previously held by Rajdhani Express which clocks at a speed of 130 km per hour. The world has moved on, with France, Spain, China, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Japan boosting trains that zip at 300 km per hour. India, in sharp contrast, has been stuck in a time warp for decades. Bullet trains are very efficient in resource utilisation, be it time, money land or energy. The lower limit of the proposed High Speed Rail is about 300 km/h which is much higher than the allowed Road speed limit in India.
High Speed Rail can accommodate more passengers at far higher speeds than automobiles. A typical passenger rail carries 2.83 times as many passengers per hour metre width as a road.
In many countries, example Germany and China high speed Railways share tracks with freight trains. This can help move around goods faster. Even if the tracks are not shared the high speed network will free capacity for rail freight on the conventional network. As more goods are moving faster, it helps the common man by bringing down the prices and empower businesses to scale and speed.
An investment in high speed trains will increase efficiency, will be environment friendly, will be economically profitable, will empower the businesses and the common man.
However, this won’t be easy. Sure there are and will be challenges. There will be challenges regarding the traffic optimisation, finances, construction, land acquisition and many more. But we can overcome them. We have done this time and again. We have succeeded on several challenging initiatives, and few years down the line- this will potentially be just another such success.