New Indian government moots high-speed rail network

By Chris Sleight27 May 2014

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Newly elected Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is believed to be planning a national high-speed rail network, following a series of election speeches and manifesto pledges. Mr Modi assumed the office of Prime Minister on Monday following the landslide victory of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in April and May’s elections.

The BJP’s 2014 manifesto said, “Indian Railways is the lifeline of the country. It will be modernised, strengthened and upgraded to serve passengers as well as the country's economy… We will launch (the) Diamond Quadrilateral project of High Speed Train network(s) (bullet train).”

The name ‘Diamond Quadrilateral’ is a reference to the ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ road building project, a 5,850 km national highways project launched in the late 1990s by the last BJP prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Key rail corridors thought to be a priority are a 525 km link between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in the West and North of India and a 1,000 km line between the capital Delhi in the North and Patna in the North-East.

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