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HIGH SPEED RAIL CORRIDOR. DELHI-AGRA-LUCKNOW-VARANASI-PATNA. International Seminar on "High Speed Trains in India - Issues & Options“ 1st & 2nd February 2013 New Delhi. General. Vision 2020 identified 6 HSR corridors for pre-feasibility study (PFS)

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high speed rail corridor



International Seminaron"High Speed Trains in India - Issues & Options“1st & 2nd February 2013New Delhi.

  • Vision 2020 identified 6 HSR corridors for pre-feasibility study (PFS)
  • Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna is the longest Corridor
  • 1000+ km long corridor passes through densely populated, Northern India’s fertile Gangetic Planes
  • Connects Delhi with all major cities of UP and Bihar’s capital Patna;
  • These cities are also important historical and religious tourist destinations
  • Kanpur, Allahabad and Mathura are other major cities on the corridor
  • Mott Macdonald selected for PFS; Submitted report in 2011
  • JICA submitted a report on HSR between Delhi-Agra-Kanpur in 1987; Speed in the range of 250 kmph
  • Project dropped in 2001 perhaps because of high cost and financial unviability
existing transport infrastructure
Existing Transport Infrastructure
  • The corridor generally lies on the densely saturated Delhi-Kolkata IR trunk route
  • A separate Eastern DFC is being constructed which is expected to free additional capacities for running of passenger trains in the existing IR route
  • All these cities are also well connected by road (NH-2 and other Highways) as well as airports
  • Yamuna Expressway ( 6 lane road) between Delhi – Agra opened in 2012

Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway

  • Access Controlled, 6-lane, upgradable to 8 lane

Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway

  • 165 KM ; Total Cost Rs 13300 Crores ( @ Rs 80
  • Cr/KM)
  • 100 mts wide right of way

Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway

  • A Greenfield airport proposed along the expressway

Noida-Agra Yamuna Expressway

  • Liberal property development rights to promoter Jaypee group
  • A number of residential and commercial real estate projects
  • coming up
conditions for suitability of hsr corridor
Conditions for suitability of HSR Corridor
  • Existence of populous cities in the mid distance range of 200-800 km, having high and concentrated demand for travel
  • High disposable income and paying capacity of the travelling public
  • Existing transport infrastructure are saturated
  • High GDP growth rate

Other Factors

  • Non availability of cheap, local source of oil in plenty
  • Airports are located far from city centres
  • Increasing environmental and sustainability concerns
suitability of hsr in indian context1
Suitability of HSR in Indian Context
  • High population density
  • Relatively young age profile
    • Population growth expected to continue
    • Maximum population in working age group (Low Dependency Ratio)
  • A number of urban conglomerates within suitable distance range of 200-800 Km
  • Land becoming a scarce commodity; increasing difficulty in land acquisition
  • Increasing oil import bills to meet the growing demands from roads/airways; This is affecting India’s trade deficit and exchange rate stability.

Delhi-Lucknow-Patna HSR Corridor :

Favourable factor

  • Connects major cities of UP and Bihar with Delhi; Heavy travel demand in the corridor
  • The cities on the corridor are important historical and religious tourist places
  • Very high population density within the cities as well as catchment area
  • Population growth rate is higher than India average

Delhi-Lucknow-Patna HSR Corridor :

Favourable factor

  • Except for Varanasi all other cities are growing at very fast rate
  • Existing IR corridor, NH-2 and Delhi airport is saturated
  • The region is fertile plain land and people are generally well off
  • Plain land – so civil cost of HSR will be less
  • Land is a scarce commodity; resistance to land acquisition

Delhi-Lucknow-Patna HSR Corridor : Unfavourable factor

  • Many stretch along corridor are low lying and flood prone – elevated corridor required
  • Except Delhi, IT and other high end service and manufacturing industries not well developed
  • River crossings at many locations (major rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Sone)
  • Eastern DFC
options for hsr in the delhi agra lucknow varanasi patna corridor
Options for HSR in the Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna Corridor
  • Two options

1) Upgrade the existing rail corridor upto speed of 160-200 kmph, after segregation of DFC

2) To lay dedicated HSR corridor speed 300-350 KMPH

  • Study shows that though upgrading the existing rail corridor will meet the short/medium term requirement of 5-10 years, considering overall economical rate of return, a dedicated HSR in the corridor is desirable in long term
  • Both conventional and HSR corridor will be required to serve to different segment of customers
  • Existing Railway stations are saturated and congested

Route Alignment

Delhi to Agra

Option 1 - Follows the existing rail corridor to Mathura and Agra.

Option 2 - Initially follows the existing rail corridor to Faridabad

before using a direct (straight line) route to Agra.

Option 3 - Follows the newly constructed Yamuna Express Way

from Greater Noida to Agra

Option 4– Starting at Indira Ghandi Airport, follows a corridor to the

west of Dehli

Option 5– Follows the existing rail corridor via Aligarh.


Route Alignment

Agra to Lucknow

Option 1 - Follows the existing rail corridor via Kanpur

to Lucknow and connects to an intermediate station at Kanpur

Option 2 – Follows a direct (straight line) route between

Agra and Lucknow (avoiding Kanpur)

Option 3 – Follows a direct route to Kanpur and continues on a direct route from Kanpur to Lucknow.


Route Alignment

Lucknow to Varanasi

Option 1 - Follows the existing rail corridor via Sultanpur

Option 2 – Follows a direct (straight line) route

between Lucknow and Varanasi

Option 3 – Follows a direct route to Allahabad and also

a direct route between Allahabad to Varanasi.


Route Alignment

Varanasi to Patna

Option 1 - Follows the existing rail corridor via Arrah

Option 2 – Follows a direct route between Varanasi and Patna

but uses the existing rail corridor east of Varanasi

and also uses the existing rail corridor for the

approach to Patna.


Corridor Map: Distance and Time

  • 500 Km
  • 2 Hrs
  • 7 Hrs


  • 1000 Km
  • 4 hrs
  • 12 Hrs




  • 190 Km
  • 50 minutes
  • 2 Hrs




  • 780 Km
  • 3 hrs
  • 10 Hrs

HSR time Ex Delhi

Fastest conventional Rail Time


Features of proposed HSR

  • No interoperability with existing IR network
  • Standard Gauge
  • HSR station of Delhi – At PragatiMaidan or close to Nizamuddin
  • Station at other locations at city outskirts
features of proposed hsr
Features of proposed HSR
  • Indian market is very price sensitive; so it will become essential to keep the fares of HSR about 10-15% less than airfare
  • HSR fare would have to kept in the range of Rs 4-5 per KM
  • Train frequency – every 10 minutes
  • Station dwell time 5 minutes at intermediate stations
  • 10-30 minutes at terminating stations


Civil Structure and Track

  • On 6 m high embankment wherever possible, at low lying and congested areas on elevated viaduct
  • Standard GuageBallastless or Slab track track
  • Track seperation 5.3 mts
  • UIC 60 (CEN 60) rail
  • swing nose crossings turnouts that can be operated at 230km/h on the diverted track.
  • Horizontal Curves Radius > 6000 mts

Rolling Stock

  • Max operating speed 300 kmph (Design Speed – 350)
  • 8/16 car distributed trainset, (energy efficient, reduced energy and weight/passenger, light axle load 12-16 T, HOG, regenerative braking
  • Train length 200/400 mts
  • Passenger Capacity – 650/1300 persons
  • Power requirement – 8.5/17 MW per train

( 20-23 kW per Tonne or about 13-15 kW per seat)

  • Acceleration from 0-300 Kmph – 4-5 minutes, 14-16 KM
  • Braking from 300 – 0 Kmph - 3 Minutes, 7-8 KM
  • Articulated/Non articulated bogie

Power Supply

  • 2 x 25kV 50hz AC auto transformer feed
  • TSS - Every 50km (approx), Fed from HV supplies at 220kV, 2 x 80MVA transformers at each supply point.
  • Autotransformer system (25-0-25kV), Autotransformers located every 10km (approx)
  • SCADA system provided for control


  • Signalling and communications
    • CBTC, In cab signalling, ETCS 2 or ETCS 3
    • (Moving block, high capacity; 3 to 5 min headways)
    • Automatic train control / protection
    • Train detection (Axle counters)
  • Communication – GSM-R
  • TETRA (Voice Communication)
  • Fibre Optic Transmission Network


  • Year 2020 –
  • Nineteen 8 car units out of which 15 in operation
  • Train frequency every 10 minutes
  • Year 2045 –
  • Forty Eight 16 car units out of which forty four in service
  • Train frequency every 5 minutes
  • Depot Location at Lucknow

The terminal station in Delhi will be at PragatiMaidan. A 6-platform station is recommended with additional passive provision to extend this to 8 platforms when passenger demand justifies it. The station platforms are elevated at approximately 8m above ground level and arranged as 2 island platforms and 2 side platforms.

  • Agra station will be at grade and located on the left of the NH-2 (Agra - Kanpur), on the right side of the Yamuna Expressway at the intersection of the YEW and NH2. A 2-platform arrangement is provided at Agra that incorporates a turn back siding.
  • Lucknow station will be at grade and located in proximity to Lucknow Airport along the east part of the National Highway 25 (Lucknow - Kanpur). A 4-platform arrangement is provided which also incorporates a turn back facility.

Allahabad station will be at grade and located adjacent to the existing Phaphamau railway station just east of the NH93. A 2- platform station is recommended at Phapaphamu.

  • Varanasi station will be at grade and located in the southern outskirts of the city in proximity to Delhi Public School along State Highway98 near its intersection with SH 74. A 2-platform station arrangement is recommended at Varanasi, incorporating a turn back siding.
  • Patna station will be at grade and located at the site of the Airport (which will be vacated) in close proximity of Phulwari Sharif railway station. A 4 platform terminal station is recommended.


  • Cost – Rs 100 to 110 Crs per Route KM with land acquisition
  • - Rs 80-85 Crs per route Km without land acquisition
  • Unit Cost
  • Embankment – Rs 10 Cr/Km
  • Elevated Viaduct - Rs 50/KM
  • Bridge - Rs 500/Km
  • Tunnel - Rs 600/Km
  • Trainset ( 8 car) – Rs 220 Cr
  • O&M Cost Rs 0.5 per passenger KM (other than rolling stock)
  • Economic Rate of Return – 18-21%
  • Financial Rate of Return - 10-12%


  • Upgrading of existing IR Delhi-Kolkata line may work for short/medium term of 10 yrs
  • In long term dedicated HSR is essential for the corridor
  • The HSR should be on standard gauge
  • Mobilizing huge initial capital investment will be a big challenge. PPP route is suggested. Still Govt will have to provide for VGF and counter guarantee for Loan
  • To attract private players PPP framework should allocate risk judiciously.


  • Adequate provision for non farebox revenue by way of property development and rentals to keep the ticket price competitive
  • HSR should come up as part of overall development package including land-use, integrated transport. State government would have to play active part.
  • Associated benefits of HSR along with increased tax revenue to Govt would pay off for the initial capital investment.

France has over 1500 km of HSR route serving 9 major cities

  • Germany has 4 HSR routes covering almost 900 km with 3 further routes planned

TGV, France

ICE, Germany


Overseas HSR

  • Spain has several HSR routes open or under construction totalling over 1000 km
  • Japan opened the world’s first HSR in 1964, the Tokyo to Osaka Shinkansen, which has since been expanded (now over 2400 km)

Alaris, Spain




  • Track, Civils and Power
    • Continuously welded rail
    • Resilient trackform (quieter)
    • Viaducts, tunnels common
    • Substantially straight
    • Fairly large gradients
    • Dedicated – no mixed train types, little or no freight
    • 50kV autotransformer OLE
    • Nuclear powered….in France.

World Bank Study: High-Speed Rail: The FastTrack to EconomicDevelopment?,Paul Amos, Dick Bullock, and JitendraSondhi, July 2010

  • Most linesat least recovertheir operating and maintenance costs
  • Difficult to recover capital costsfrompassenger revenues alone, but there are strongsocio-economiceffects: