The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe have laid the foundation stone for India's first high speed train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
The 508km project, popularly known as Bullet Train project, will entail an investment of INR1.08 trillion ($17bn).
Of the total stretch, 92% (468km) of the route will be elevated, 6% (27km) in tunnels and the remaining two 2% (13km) will be on the ground. The bullet train would pass through the country's longest tunnel of 21km, of which 7km will be under the sea.
The train passes through 12 stations that have been proposed, including Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
The project has a maximum design speed of 350kmph and maximum operating speed of 320kmph.
The high speed train will complete the journey within two hours and 58 minutes with 12 stops and it can further reduce the travel time to two hours and seven minutes while stopping at four stations. The 10-coach bullet train will be able to seat as many as 750 passengers.
Of the total project cost, the Japanese government is providing a loan of INR880bn ($13.7bn) at an interest rate of 0.1% per annum with repayment period 50 years, including grace period of 15 years.
The high speed train project is scheduled to complete by August 2022. It will create 20,000 construction jobs, 4,000 direct employment for operations and 20,000 indirect jobs.