When the 1st bullet train invented by Japan’s chief railway engineer Hideo Shima, was launched in Japan on the 1st of October 1964, it had a significant impact on Japan’s business and economy, and all the other nations around the world, including India, looked at Japan with envy. But today the good news is that the day is not far off when India will also own a bullet train and the news that the first bullet train will be introduced in Kerala, makes every Keralite feel proud and prestigious. Bullet train got its name because of its round shaped nose which looks like a bullet.
Kerala, known as God’s Own country, because of its natural beauty, attracts millions of tourists every year. The discussions between Japan and E. Sreedharan, State Planning Commission Board member and Delhi Metro Rail Company former chairman, and, T. Balakrishnan Kerala High Speed Rail Company Chairman, has taken place and the Kerala Bullet Train project is a great hope for the Kerala Government to uplift the economy of the State. Riding the bullet train which is known as a Shingansen, is such a thrilling and wonderful experience which every person in Kerala is waiting for, because Japan has agreed to provide Kerala with its most advanced 1-700 model from the series. These model trains are equipped with an engine which is capable of running at a speed of 350 km/hr and is proposed to link Thiruvanthapuram and the Northern districts, up to Mangalore. This means that people can travel between the State capital and Kasaragod within a few years, say around 3 hours, instead of the normal 15 hours. There is also proposal to run trains between Thiruvanthapuram and Chennai.
Apart from agreeing to provide the bullet train to Kerala, the great news is that Japan has also agreed to finance 70% of the High Speed Rail Corridor Project, and the proposed corridor would span 560 km set up on 13 meter wide pillars, a d is expected to be commissioned by March 2020. The train will be able to carry 817 passengers per journey and while the travel time between Kochi and Thiruvanthapuram will be about 20 minutes instead of the normal 4-5 hours, the ticket rate per ticket will be around 1000 Rs, according to the Chairman of High speed Rail Company. The State has made a provision of 20 crores in the current financial year’s budget, and which is to raise 25,000 crores in capital expenditure in the next two years. The estimated cost for this bullet train project is around 1.18 lakh crores and it will benefit Kerala economically and environmentally helping Kerala to contribute towards creating a greener, less-polluted planet for the future generations.