High Speed Rail Corridors Planned for India's South
by Ramtanu Maitra
[Source: The Hindu: Chennai: 04/11/07]
April 11, 1300 EDT (EIRNS)--According to a senior Indian Railway official cited in The Hindu of Chennai a number of inter-city high-speed train (HST) corridors connecting cities of the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have been planned.
The rail building plans coincide with just announced plans for a vast expansion in nuclear power development in the southern region. On April 10, India's premier atomic energy research center's director, S.Banerjee , had told reporters that India would be starting 12 nuclear reactors within two years in order to add another 10,000MW of electrical power capacity by the nuclear power sector by 2012. The majority of these reactors would be located in Tamil Nadu, Banerjee added.
Power for the railway and much-needed water desalination plants will come from the nuclear reactors now approved for construction. "The railway is focusing on high-speed inter-city trains that is the most profitable segment of passenger business. HST provides the highest safety for passengers, as there have been hardly any accidents on such exclusive corridors world-over. Migration of traffic to rail will boost the nation's economy since it directly helps in energy conservation," the official told The Hindu.
Already a few private Indian corporations have expressed interest in investing in the Chennai (formerly Madras)-Coimbatore sector that would be taken up in Phase I. This will be followed by other routes identified: Chennai-Madurai, Chennai-Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Travancore)-Calicut.
For it's longer-term energy needs, India is working with Russia on a program of development of [a:href="http:\/\/larouchepub.com\/other\/2007\/3415thorium_india.html";target=_blank]thorium breeder reactors[/a], utilizing a nuclear fuel which is abundant on India's beaches.