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Apple helping Indian Railways hike train speed to 600 kmph: Is it fastest in the world?

Apple helping Indian Railways hike train speed to 600 kmph: Is it fastest in the world?
Passengers board an overcrowded train at a railway station in Ajmer, India, October 23, 2016. [Representational picture]Reuters

Apple is helping Indian Railways develop the speed of one of its trains — the Gatiman Express — to 600 kilometres per hour (kmph). If the train indeed reaches that speed and maintains it in commercial use, it could be the fastest train in the world!

India is making rapid strides in modernising its train services, be it in terms of services developed or energy consumed. This latest step will put it on a par with some of the best railway companies in the world.

If indeed the step, which is part of a Rs 18,000-crore project that India is implementing, comes to fruition, the Gatiman Express will also be the country's first high-speed rail (HSR), a term reserved for trains who travel at an average speed of 200 kmph.

'Already working' with Apple

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, at an event organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (Assocham) on Friday, July 21, said the Central government was working with global technology firms like Apple — which is more famous for its iPhones and gearing up for the release of iPhone 8 — with a view on achieving speeds of 600 kmph for Indian trains.

The NITI Aayog — the premier think-tank that takes the biggest decisions on national policy — has also given its nod to a proposal from the Ministry of Railway for Rs18,000 crore to increase speeds.

The proposal will see the push for hiking of speeds of the Gatiman Express in the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata corridors. These are the two busiest and most lucrative routes for the train.

The initial idea is to increase the speed of the train to 200 kmph. "You can yourself imagine how much travelling time this will save," he said at the Assocham event.

In picture: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu speaks at an Assocham event on Friday, July 21, 2017.Twitter/DigitalAssocham

Fastest in the world?

The 200 kmph speed is peanuts when compared to some of the fastest trains in the world. The current commercial record is believed to be held by the Shanghai Maglev train, which runs at an average approximate 431 kmph.

The fastest train in testing, however, is a Japanese Maglev that set a record of 603 kmph in April 2015 during tests.

If the Gatiman Express, at some time in future, indeed achieves the 600 kmph target and runs at that speed commercially, it could well be the fastest in the world, provided no other train has already crossed that barrier.

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