Photograph Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons (for representational purpose only)
Right now, if you have to travel from New Delhi to Chandigarh, you have 13 direct trains to choose from, including the Kalka Shatabdi, the Uhl Janshatabdi and the Himalayan Queen. It takes at least three and a half hours for a train to reach Chandigarh, and up to seven and a half hours if you opt for the cheapest route to Chandigarh. But a new semi-high speed train could be on the works to cut down the time between the capital cities to a flat two hours. Also Read - 'Corona Won't Have a Chance Bro'! Indian Railways Releases Anthem to Spread COVID-19 Awareness
The Delhi-Chandigarh corridor is a 245 km long route and one of the busiest in the country. With around ten major curves in just 32 km on the current rail route, this isn’t really the ideal corridor for fast trains. Still, the Indian Railways is charging ahead with the project that will allow trains to run at up to 200 kmph. This will be the first semi-high speed project between Indian Railways and its French counterpart, the SNCF. ALSO READ: This passengers tale of what Indian Railways did for an infant will melt your heart! Also Read - Lockdown: IRCTC Suspends Bookings For Its 3 Trains Till April 30, Passengers to Get Full Refund
Rather than straightening the curves on the route, which will require the Indian Railways to acquire more land, the train will simply slow down on the curves and adjustments would be made on the curves using the land that is already available. According to a senior Railway official, the initial plan did involve straightening the curves, but it was scraped to avoid any delays in the project because of the lengthy land acquisition process. Right now, SNCF has been asked to provide an implementation model and execution strategy for the route, along with the project cost. It is expected to submit its report by October 2017. Also Read - Photos of Blue, Clear and Breathtaking Yamuna River Amid Coronavirus Lockdown go Viral
The cost for this semi-high speed train project between New Delhi and Chandigarh could hover at around INR 10,000 crore, with INR 46 crore per kilometer to run the train at 200 kmph. This will include upgrading the Delhi-Chandigarh corridor and rolling stock. If completed, this will make it easier to travel from New Delhi to Chandigarh, allowing travelers to head to the mountains of Himachal Pradesh a little more quickly. Chandigarh is a popular destination for Delhi residents and is also an important transit hub to head to Himachal destinations like Dharamsala, Manali, Shimla and other places further North, including Ladakh and Spiti.