Six Corridors Identified for High-Speed Rail Project: Pawan Bansal

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The government has identified six corridors for developing high-speed rail transit systems and is working on a pilot project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said on Friday.

The minister said that a project steering group is assessing options for the pilot project and viable financial models need to be evolved.

"High speed trains that run up to 350 km/hr are an aspiration. One route has been chosen but it is hard to say when it will be done... We have to work on the models and state governments must be our partners," Bansal said.

The minister said public private partnerships could be explored for such projects, but added that no private firm would participate in such projects for 'altruistic purposes' so returns on their investment must be ensured. Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal however, expressed caution over private participation.

"Countries who have introduced high speed operation have done it mainly with public funding. Some experiments with private funding have taken place but they have not been successful because of high costs, long gestation period," he said.


The Economic Times , February 02, 2013