In the next 30 years, will all Indian trains become Maglev trains?
Shubham, Applications Engineer at KLA-Tencor, India (2018-present)
Currently there is only one commercially operating Maglev in the world i.e. the Shanghai Maglev in which runs over a distance of only 30km with a top speed of 431 kmph.
Japan is currently testing Maglev which reached a top speed of 603 kmph during test runs. The operational speed will be around 500 kmph and the service will be between Tokyo and Nagoya covering a distance of 286 km. The travel time would be cut down by half in comparison to the current bullet trains. But Maglevs have a big problem; they’re extremely expensive to operate. The 286 km Tokyo-Nagoya stretch would require a $100 Billion investment. On comparison, the 508 km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project is expected to cost $17 Billion.
If you ask about India, I don’t think India will ever have a Maglev. By next 20 years, Hyperloops would materialise. They would offer much higher speed than Maglevs at a much lower cost. Until then India would focus on bringing more wheel based bullet trains. More and more cities would be connected with high-speed railways. But India could have Maglev if Hyperloops use this technology instead of what Elon Musk proposed.
As for all trains in India after 30 years, no they will not be Maglevs. By that time, I expect majority of the network to be upgraded at semi-high speed level. India could well have Rajdhani & Shatabdi trains which would run between 200–250 kmph. There will be express trains as we have today, there will be superfast trains with a higher MPS than today. New parallel tracks will be constructed in the high density regions, maybe dedicated for only semi-high speed trains.
Maglevs are way too costly for any country, not only India. started commercial service of Shanghai Maglev in 2004 and have stalled the expansion plans for years. Japanese would be commercially deploying Maglev by 2027. Countries like UK, Australia, Mysia/Singapore have cancelled Maglev proposals already due to high costs.
Rkrishnarao Inegenti, former Retired at Indian Railways (1970-2009)
It is not possible that all train's in India to be maglev ,because it required a lot of structural works to made and required an advanced technology. Maglev technology is on the of progress in the world and lots of things to be improve.
Prasanna Bhalerao, M.Sc. Physics & Electronics, Fergusson College, Pune
Extremely unlikely. Maglev is a completely different technology and will require replacement of esting rails, new trains and coaches, etc. Maglev is extremely expensive - even more than Bullet Trains. Maglev was invented years ago but has not been implemented apart from some small metro routes.