Why didn't India opt for 600 kph Maglev technology and rather opted for 300 kph wheel based HSR technology for India's bullet train program?





Raghunandan Reddy C, studied Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University - Kingsville (2017)
Answered Feb 6

To expn briefly, more expensive and an unproven technology



Piyush Mahajan

Beggers can not the choosers



Rohit Kapoor, lives in India
Answered Jul 2, 2017

Investment issues… too high for being viable that too when logistics and maintenance back up for a 600 Kmph train may not be available in India!



Sashank Reddy, works at Neato Robotics

Updated May 4, 2018


1. The cost : Maglevs need completely new land, new all elevated route for the train and new stations. You are looking at 4+ times the cost. Spending that much is nonsense when the public cant afford $1 ticket every day. All foreign technology costs in $$ ; about 10 times what it would cost us.

2. Maglevs need superconducting materials to a certain degree. They are expensive and need to be fully imported.

3. There is only one maglev commercially running in Shanghai . It has been making headlines for not being so profitable to operate.




If India went for maglevs, we would be the second nation to commeecialise it. Thats a huge expensive risk.


India did a study on feasibility and found that the maglev would be unaffordable for the public who buy tickets in the range of 200 to 500. Single ticket in maglevs would be over INR 1500 to 2000 and would break even after 8+ years. The go nment will incur a huge subsidy charges in its budget to keep it affordable.


You can reach 350kph with bullets by only changing tracks and upgrading stations. Waaaay cher than maglevs. Ticket prices may go up by a 100 but thats affordable to many.


I had the same question and started to read a bit to understand the apparently "stupid" decession of the go nment. Once you look at the reality, the 600+ kph sounds like an overkill for India. We cant afford it untill our economy is 4 times its current size in GDP and we can make substantial gains in Research and Development to reduce costs.



Rajesh Perumal R, Indian Go nment Policies Follower

拉杰什佩鲁马尔 R,印度政府政策的追随者

Answered Sep 26, 2017

Let me put a question back to you. You have two options to chose (1) 50Year casualty free (no human affected of accident) Rail project with 80% funding with 50year loan repayment term with 0.1% interest (15 year grace period). (2) Not yet widely proven rail method, which will cost almost India’s GDP.


Please s an option from above two.


If your answer is option (1), That’s what India have done it. It doesn’t want to just add something(Just because it’s faster) into its network. But it wanted to have a quality oriented Accident free Rail sy em, which is Shinkansen Model.


If your answer is option(2), you need to study more about Indian Economics.



Abdulwaheed Sayed, rical engineer and rail fan


Answered Dec 15, 2015 · Author has 148 answers and 524.1k answer views

on a Km-to-Km basis, Maglev trains are more expensive to construct [1]. The technology behind them, while not new, hasn't been really put to much use else where in the world (only has done it) unless the conventional rail on wheels technology which has a proven track record of years and has been successfully implemented in various countries.


Maglev has its own set of advantages, the biggest being the ability to climb on tracks with more gradients and better acceleration and deceleration figures [2] but they aren't very important to this line as:


The halts are at quite a distance. It is expected to have 11 halts in a distance of 534 Km (giving average distance between halts of about 50 Km), allowing sufficient distance to accelerate and decelerate[3].


there are no significant grades along the route[4]. As evident from the map (link below) it is an almost flat terrain between Mumbai and Ahmadabad.


Hence, considering the above point, it is better to go for conventional technology for HSR in India rather than the even more expensive, not much used Maglev technology.



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