Japan’s bullet trains to be modified for Indian conditions; trials to begin in 2026

Japan’s high speed Shinkansen trains will be modified for Indian conditions like temperature, dust and weight before they are sent to India for the country’s ambitious ‘bullet train project’. Satish Agnihotri, Managing Director, – (NHSRCL) said the project is slated to complete a 48 km section between Surat-Billimora in 2027, with the first trials to be held a year earlier.

He, however, said the project is stuck in Maharashtra due to land acquisition issues. “We will get the E5 Shinkasen series trains currently operating in Japan. However, we are conducting studies to upgrade them to Indian conditions in terms of dust and temperature, ” Agnihotri said.

The E5 series are Japanese Shinkansen high-speed train types built by Hitachi and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

They are capable of running at a speed of 320 kmph and are 3.35 m wide, the widest among such trains are available in countries like France and Germany.

Sources said another aspect that the Japanese are working on is to ensure that the trains are able to carry the “Indian weight” as the Japanese are lighter.

They indicated that Japan will initially send six trains which are modified according to Indian specifications, and also bring in coaches in knockdown condition to be assembled here in the country.

Officials said actual orders will be placed after the modifications are completed.

Talking about the project, Japanese Ambassador to India, Satoshi Suzuki noted, “I am very satisfied, actually impressed by the progress made using the latest technology. We are not exporting a second class train. We will share exactly the same one (E5 series), rather an improved one because the series has been in operation for several years. So, by the time India has its own bullet train, we will make sure that they get the latest technology.

“This series of train is running in the northern part of Japan and is equipped with various safety measures. It has anti-seismic technology. This is the best one we could share, ”he said. In Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, 100 per cent of civil contracts for construction of the entire route, that is, 352 kms have been awarded to Indian contractors.

In Gujarat, track work for 237 km has already been awarded and the balance 115 km will be awarded soon.

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