New Delhi, June 22: Trains on the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah rail corridors will run at the speed of 160 km per hour after NITI Aayog approved railways’ ambitious Rs 18,000 crore project for increasing train speeds. The project will now put up for Cabinet clearance.

Currently, Gatimaan Express on Delhi-Agra route runs at the speed of 160 km per hour. The trains of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah routes runs at an average speed of 100 km per hour.

With the increase in speed, the travel time between the capitals will be reduced. The project envisages fencing off the entire 3,000 kms on both routes, upgradation of signalling system, elimination of all level crossings and installing train protection warning system (TPWS), among other works to make trains run at an increased speed of 160 kmh.

“Any project more than Rs 1,000 crore in worth will have to get the Niti Aayog clearance. So now after getting the Niti Aayog clearance, the proposal will now be examined by the expanded railway board,” a senior railway ministry official involved with the project had said.

The Railways will submit the proposal for Cabinet clearance after getting the proposal approved by the expanded railway board.

The 1,483-km long New Delhi-Mumbai rail route will also include the Baroda-Ahmedabad sector, and is estimated to cost Rs 11,189 crore. The 1,525-km long New Delhi-Howrah route, which also includes the Kanpur-Lucknow section, is estimated to cost Rs 6,974 crore.

The work on both sections will be given to a single agency through global bidding for effective implementation of the project.

With inputs from PTI