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High Speed rail – challenges & options: indian perspective International Seminar on High Speed Rail in India February 01, 2013 Vinay Kumar Singh GM (PP&D) Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. Contents. WHAT IS HIGH SPEED RAIL?.

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High Speed rail – challenges & options: indian perspective

International Seminar on High Speed Rail in India

February 01, 2013

Vinay Kumar Singh


Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd.

what is high speed rail
  • As per UIC definition, trains running at speed of 200 kmphon upgraded track and 250 kmphor faster on new track are called High Speed Trains.
  • These services may require separate, dedicated tracks and "sealed" corridors in which grade crossings are eliminated through the construction of highway underpasses or overpasses.
energy efficiency
ENERGY Efficiency

High Speed saves Energy Costs and reduces Greenhouse Gases




Private Car




Classic Train

High Speed










“Fuel equivalent grams” per passenger-kilometer

land requirement
Land requirement

Land requirements are Smaller

A HSR-line allows more passengers than an six lane highwayper hour

Elevated rail corridors reduce the hassle of Land Acquisition.

35 m

decongestion and capacity addition
Decongestion and capacity addition

Reduction in commuting time between cities and added capacity gives an excellent opportunity for decongestion of the mega urban centers and growth of smaller towns and other cities.

increasing urbanization
Increasing Urbanization
  • The major challenges faced are:
    • Major Urban centers are severely congested:
      • Dramatic growth in vehicle ownership in the past decade.
      • Accessing jobs, education - becoming increasingly time-consuming.
      • Billions of man-hours are lost with people stuck in traffic.

Increasing Urbanization

  • Explosion in Inter City Travel
    • India’s urban population - 285 million reported in the 2001 census and 377 million in 2011 census.
    • McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) projects - 590 million by 2030 (40% of India’s total projected population).
  • The rapid urbanization in the country has triggered a growing demand for inter city traffic between metropolitan cities and 2nd and 3rd tier cities.
  • In absence of HSR, passenger traffic of Airlines/ Car users is growing at 15-20%
decongestion of metropolitan cities
DECONGESTION of Metropolitan cities

Tier II

Tier II city

Tier I City

Without HSR

Tier II city

Tier I City

Tier I City

With HSR

Small towns and Tier II & III Cities

travel time trigger for modal shift
TRAVEL TIME ( Trigger for modal shift)

Journey time for air travel involves travel to airport, away from city centers and waiting time at Airports. Distance between DELHI to CHANDIGARH is 245 Km.



(city centre)


(city centre)

Delhi Airport


.75 hr

1.25 hrs at Terminal + 1 hr Flying time

30 min

Total time: 3.5 hrs


(city centre)


(city centre)

High Speed Railway

Total time: 1 hr



HSR is energy efficient and is less polluting than Road/Air travel.

Indian imports about 80% of its oil requirement. HSR will use indigenous energy resources like thermal/hydel/nuclear based energy

  • Economically as well environmentally, Rail based Transport system is ideally suited for India.

Introduction of TGV service in 1981-83


  • Existinglong distance rail services have difficulties in competingwith road and air modes of transport,
  • The new HSR linescanstop the decline of the railway’sshareon the long distance transport segmentalongthosecorridor.
  • It provides an attractive transport offer in terms of reducedtraveltimes and comfortablejourney.
  • Despitethe highinvestmentcostitiseconomicallysustainable and need of the hour.

Evolution of first Class rail traffic in France

Before and afteropening of the first HSR line


key issues challenges

(1) Political Will

System Integration

(3)Economic &

Financial Viability

(5) Land Acquisition

(4) Financing

HSR Project(s)

Key Issues & Challenges

(2) Selection of

Project Corridor(s)

(7) Selection of


(6) Policy Framework

High Speed Rail Development

1 political will
  • Each HSR corridor will have a long gestation period and will be highly capital intensive, so, strategic thinking is required at the Apex level for implementing in a programmed manner
  • Coordination among Central Government Ministries, State Governments and Government Agencies
  • Success stories- National Highways, Airport up-gradation, Yamuna express-way
2 selection of project corridor s for implementation
(2) Selection of Project Corridor(s)for Implementation
  • Vast country – Many potential corridors - Selection of pilot Project;
  • Economically/financially viable projects to be given priority;
  • Willingness of local governments to participate in the project by way of land and funding support.
3 economic financial viability of the project
(3) Economic & Financial Viability of the Project
  • High capital cost will impact viability
  • HSR will be a dedicated line; High demand risk due to higher tariffs as compared to conventional rail.
  • Emphasis on other alternative revenue sources like Real estate revenues, carbon credits, cross-subsidy from road/air travelers.
4 financing of the project s
(4) Financing of the Project(s)
  • The high capital costs of HSR makes it a financing challenge.
  • GOI may not fully fund the corridors.
  • Most state governments will have to raise finances by extra levies, real estate etc. even for part funding
  • Private sector may not have adequate financing capability to fund the large HSR projects. Proper project structuring by unbundling the projects into smaller packages may be essential.
  • Funding by multilateral and bilateral funding agencies
5 land acquisition
(5) Land Acquisition
  • Critical due to stringent alignment requirements
  • HSR corridors pass through conurbations or sensitive land;
  • Strong public protests adversely affecting large number of projects.
  • Mix of alignment choice- grade/ elevated/ tunnels
6 policy framework
  • Robust policy framework for:
    • Seamless implementation of projects
    • Assurance for attracting International investors
  • Creation of National High Speed Rail Authority
7 selection of technology
(7) Selection of Technology
  • Choice of Technology:
    • A) Fixed Infrastructure:
        • Mix of Embankment/Elevated/ Underground Structures and their dimensional control;
        • Construction Gauge;
        • Fencing of the complete track/elevated track;
        • Electrical Installations.
    • B) Fast Upgrading Technology
        • Rolling Stock
        • Signaling and Communication
        • Train Control
        • Fare Collection
tgv france
TGV, France

Borrowing from the international markets to enable it to undertake major projects but not on a particular project basis. This funding is supported by government guarantee but is restricted to the amount that RFF can repay from the access fees

The rolling stock for the TGV lines is procured by SNCF and is funded through lease commitments


French Govt.

Infrastructure Manager

  • The first opened in 1981 between Paris and Lyon (480 Km) and now total network 1887 km. French govt. plan to have new 2000 km HSR lines by 2020.

Access Charges

(for use of rail infrastructure)

RéseauFerré de France (RFF) – State owned

SNCF - French national rail operator

tgv france1
TGV, France
  • In addition to borrowings, the TGV lines have also been developed with grant funding from local sources. Funding pattern for three TGV lines are:

Concession model

Partnership contract

Forms of PPP models followed by RFF to create Infrastructure

  • Rail operators pay an access charge based on their actual use of the infrastructure
  • Demand risk lies with the concessionaire
  • RFF pays a rental or availability fee based on the performance of the private sector partner
  • Demand risk remains with RFF
hsl zuid netherland
HSL Zuid, Netherland
  • Dutch govt – 6 D&C contractors


  • 125 km line between the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Belgium border (Schiphol).
  • This lines provides connectivity of Amsterdam to Brussels and Paris
  • One D&C contractor

Rail Systems

Network Connections

Infraspeed Consortium: Fluor Daniel BV, Koninklijke BAM/NBM Amstelland NV, Siemens Nederland NV, Siemens Transportation Systems, Innisfree Limited and Charterhouse Project Equity Investment Limited

30 years Concession on DBFM (PPP) basis

Passenger Transport


hsl zuid netherland1
HSL Zuid, Netherland
  • The PPP did not include the transfer of any demand risk. Infraspeed is remunerated on an availability basis, subject to deductions for unavailability of the infrastructure.
  • The Dutch government finances:
    • The substructure of the HSL
    • The PPP infrastructure payments to Infraspeed
    • These are partly financed by revenue from HSA Total costs: €7.2bn.
  • The value of the PPP element of the project was approximately £1bn. The £1bn project financing for the PPP includes:
    • €605m syndicated term loan (comprised of two Senior loans with a term of approximately 27 years)
    • €119m subordinated debt bridge facility
    • €15m working capital facility
  • .

A concession to finance, construct, and operate the High Speed Rail System for a period of 35 years and a concession for HSR station area development for a period of 50 years.

  • Demand risk transferred to the private sector operator
  • The link Taipei to Kaohsiung - total length of 345km.
  • The project had a construction value of approximately US$18bn.

Taiwan Govt.

10 % of yearly earnings to government for further HSR development during the HSR operating concession period regardless of the performance of the concession company.

The accumulated amount could not be less than US$3.4bn.

Infrastructure Manager

Procurement of Rolling Stock

Consortium led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation:

Alstom Transport SA of France and Siemens AG of Germany


Implementation Options

  • Considering the case studies, following could be the implementation options
  • Non – PPP Option: The project are implemented by the Government on EPC basis
  • PPP Options
    • Option 1: Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) of the entire project by a single Private Developer
    • Option 2: Unbundling the project into different components, so as to make the project components attractive to private players from the perspective of affordability in terms of size and risk allocation:
      • B&T (Fixed infrastructure)
      • DFOT (Train operations)

Implementation Options

  • Whether project is implemented through PPP or partial Government funding route, pre-construction activities should be started in a programmed manner – Government guidelines
  • MOR has already created a company named High Speed Rail Corporation of India as a subsidiary of RVNL.

Funding Options

  • Project Development Activities
      • A separate fund may be created
      • To be recovered from viable projects along with additional fee
      • Rolling fund for further project development activities
  • Funding Support for PPP projects:
      • Viability Gap Funding
      • Multilateral/Bilateral loans by providing Centre government guarantees
      • Centre government guarantee for Long term Bonds of Project SPVs

Funding Options

  • Funding Support for Non-PPP Projects
    • Directly funded by Centre/State Governments
  • Other Sources of Funds
    • Revenue share from Concessionaires (train operators)
    • Contribution from State Governments
    • Real Estate Development