India begins building first high speed rail with Japan’s help

India as begun building a high speed rail line with a low interest loan from Japan that will cut the 316-mile journey from Ahmedabad to Mumbai from eight hours to around three. India aims to begin operating the line by 15 August 2022 from Ahmedabad, the Gujarat capital, to the financial hub of Mumbai.

Indian officials say the train will have a maximum speed of 217mph (350km/h), more than twice the speed of the country’s current fastest train, which runs from the capital, Delhi, to Agra at a comparably sluggish maximum of 100mph.

More than four-fifths of the project’s $19bn (£14.4bn) cost will be funded by a 0.1% interest-rate loan from Japan as part of a deepening economic relationship that both countries hope will act as a bulwark against Chinese influence in Asia.

China has proposals to construct HSR lines from Delhi to Nagpur and Delhi to Chennai.