Bullet trains in India: pros and cons

Bullet trains in India: pros and cons

While the country seemed excited when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a diamond quadrilateral of bullet trains to connect the four major cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai in his venture called “Smart cities” project, critics have a lot to say. There are reasons to be happy about this project and there are reasons that drive us to ponder if this is the first priority of a nation with majority of its population below poverty line. Let us look at it from all point of views and generate our own opinion on this.

Pros of Bullet trains:

1. Speed: High speed is one of the biggest reasons for the proposal of this idea when it was first initiated in India. Major cities connecting with towns of economic growth face the problem of fast transportation. This would save time and boost businesses amongst the connected cities. Reduction in commuting time is greatly required in Mumbai and other metro cities where a lot of time is consumed in the process.

2. Comfort: These trains would utilize high grade technology to provide comfortable journey of long hours within just a few hours. Improvising on the comfort level of train journeys have been a missing factor in Indian railways and the introduction of bullet trains would be a great development in this factor.

3. Safety: Earlier there were questions raised on the safety issues of these high speed trains but the Shinkansen network of Japan shows excellent records of safety. Ever since the bullet trains started in 1964, the Shinkansen has reported zero fatalities.

4. Avoid overcrowding: Making commuting easier from small town to major cities would lessen the crowd of settlement and migration in major cities which would reduce pressure on growing urban areas. Chief Minister has rightly mentioned decongestion of Bangalore as one of the reasons for the bullet train.

5. Stronger and eco-friendly: Not only these High speed trains are stronger enough to carry heavier weight but are also eco-friendly as they do not require deforestations to set tracks. It is a modern and technologically advanced means of transportation which can be a step towards growth and development in India.

Cons of bullet trains:

1. Cost of construction: The cost of laying a bullet-train corridor is estimated to cost up to Rs 100 crore a kilometre. After summing up the costs of signals, rolling stock, etc, the cost can rise up to Rs 115 crore a km. Operation and maintenance costs would also be high.

2.High fares: Fares of these trains would be high too in order to compensate the expenses and maintenance. One way fare on Mumbai-Ahmadabad route is projected to be around Rs 5,000. Quite few Indians would be able to afford travelling with these expenses. And even those who would be willing to pay such a high price might prefer travelling planes instead. If this factor is not considered, then the project might prove to be a loss for the government.

3.Time consuming project: The project is at its initial level of planning and it is predicted that the implementation of the plan would take years. In between if there is a change in government, and then the project could face the consequences.

4. Land acquisition: For laying tracks, there would be issues of land acquisition which might trigger anger amongst commoners whose everyday living might come under menace. For instance laying these tracks in Mumbai would require acquisition of land which has the largest slums in the city.

5. Other issues: This project might have other issues under India’s present condition including plaguing of power sector, choice of speed and gauge, minimum length of the route for the viability of the project, etc. It is important to understand whether or not India is ready for this change.


Bullet train has sets of pros and cons under India’s present situations and they need to be properly handled so that it brings prosperity and development in the country and not debacles. Every factor must be considered wisely and safeguarding of people’s living should not be compromised. There are risks in this project but without risks nothing big can be acquired.
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  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Bullet trains - group discussion (04/23/18)
  • Being the lifeline of the country, Indian Railways has a huge network, connecting the innermost rural to urban areas. Inter connection is vital for good transportation, fulfilling daily requirement of ours. Despite such an old railways network, we couldn't work on major overhaul of railways. We couldn't develop even 1 km of high speed track till today while China has already more than 80,000km of bullet train track. Fast commuting and transportation will open many new avenue for growth. The good from rural area can be transported to urban places within few hours which otherwise can take 2 days to reach. Perishable foods can also be transported easily. So, it is a win win proposition for all, we should have been proposed to start such project a decade earlier. Nevertheless, its not too late, let's not be a road block.
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Gaurav Kumar (12/11/16)
  • Tanks it was helpfulness but not so.
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Gaurav Kumar (12/11/16)
  • Tanks it was helpfulness but no so.
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -menal (07/07/15)
  • good evening friends;
    according to new data for rural house holds reaveled by SECC(socio economic caste cences)90 percent households the main earning member getting 10,000/- per month and even less in some houses.so, by this we came to know that India is not a rich country.moreover we can know that lot of our indian people are not in a position to get minimum needs like food and basic education.and what my opinion is ,without having all these things efficiently and effectively.what is need of implimenting this crore project corridor that too not all over india just starting at a part of india.
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Ranjith (07/07/15)
  • Its clear that the project is benificial.

    We have to start it than planning for ever.

    My suggestion. Get a surcharge of Re 1 per ticket. Use it for funding the project. Start it. Later will get investors.

    Action is always better than words
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -rahul (01/10/15)
  • yes...Bullet trains are a great asset and it will definitely bring prosperity and advancement in infrastructure to OUR COUNTRY..but seeing the expenses it will take..i think that we should not incorporate so much money in BT at this point of time..where we already have some problems like..cleanness of toilets,dustbins,food quality etc..existing in our current trains.Beside this..we all have heard so many times about the derailment of trains causing fatalities...and other safety issues.
    SO i think we should look forward to improve this current condition we are suffering from and then of course think about the BULLET TRAIN project in future.
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Jayant (12/29/14)
  • I think it is a idiot plan of govt. Because we the common people of india is facing already a plenty of problems in the journey of a train. So, the very first thing that have to do i.e. Just bring the changes in the present condition of railway, provide good protection for the cummuters, pay attention towards the cleaniness of railway station, etc. Thereafter, you can think for the bullet train...
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Deepak Tulshyan (12/28/14)
  • I think bullet trains in india is a great idea..
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -saket (11/05/14)
  • 1> A considerable fraction of the train passengers includes students nowadays...if mumbai-ahmedabad journey costs rs 5000, i dont think such high fares would be student friendly...

    2>80cnt of the indian population is just above the poverty line as of now..they bleed their sweats out get their daily bread....the increase in tax amounts (to meet the expenses of the project) will surely decline the standards of living of the common people..

    3>So much investment to carter the 2-3% of the population of the country is just stupidity

    i would like to say that bullet train in india seems exciting and is definitely a good project but before that ve have to strike out the problems like unemployment, illiteracy, poverty n make at least 70 cnt of the population capable enough to pay "5000 for mumbai to ahmedabad"
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Md Irfan Ashraf (11/04/14)
  • We all know that India is a developing country. According to me investments in such a project is not a good idea because India should first upgrade the existing one,like Indian railways and other services.
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -mayank (11/04/14)
  • well friends, according to me bullet trains in India is a good idea because it will help India to move in a growth place and improve infrastructure. but if we go to another side for this project we need a lot of money to invest in this project so i think government should not think about this project
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -nisha pandey (10/30/14)
  • India is developing and not rich country.Bullet train project is need huge amount of money and India is facing the problem of basic infrastructure like- education, road, electricity . basic infrastructure direct hit to FDI . so India should expand their money not on bullet train project
  • RE: Bullet trains in India: pros and cons -Deepa Kaushik (10/29/14)
  • Bullet trains in India - the topic itself creates an anxiety and excitement for travelling. But is that really all that exciting taking to consideration the cost added with this project? It us definitely a plan to be thought of deeply. Yes, India definitely requires alternative mode for travel, but Indians always prefer a cost-effective mode.

    Every new project would face some basic concerns viz space, infrastructure and cost added to it etc. But this bullet train project calls for a heavy cost input which would be none other than the money of taxpayers. Though it is not a wastage of money to create an alternative mode for travel, still we need to check if an average Induan citizen can afford this mode for travel all that often.

    It is acceptable that people do travel in flights despite its heavy fare and many a times the ticket availability goes doubtful. But as we are looking to avoid overcrowding in major cities with this bullet train in action in much faster speed, it is doubtful whether this mode of transport could be used on a regular basis. The heavy construction charges would be levied in the form of train fare and added taxes to make the project a success. Reducing the fare would put the government in vain leading to loss.

    The only people who could be happy with bullet trains are those from the affordable income class who avoid air travel due to phobias or medical reasons. These people can get a faster means of transport with less time consumption. Hence, to be orecise, bullet trains seem to be bigger bite than a mouthful for the current Indian lifestyle