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The Diamond Quadrilateral is a project of the Indian railways to establish high speed rail network in India.
In 1853, when a steam locomotive chugged out of what was then known as Bombay, for a trip to Thane, it marked a very humble beginning by a monolith that was to emerge in the next 100-odd years as the world’s eighth largest employer and the lifeline of the second most populous nation on earth. Today, with 115,000km of tracks, ferrying close to 25 million passengers daily, Indian Railways is an amazing tale of agony and ecstasy, trials and tribulations, dream and reality … all rolled into one behemoth of an institution, a journey in itself. The first major step towards realising this dream was taken during the erstwhile Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government, with the setting up of the High Speed Rail Corporation (HSRC) of India in 2012, under the chairmanship of Satish Agnihotri.
However, according to Railway Ministry insiders, the dream project received a huge boost with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally taking a lot of interest in this aspirational venture. Even before Modi was officially sworn in as the Prime Minister, three top officials from Indian Railways were instructed by Modi to visit France and carry out a reconnaissance mission with the French National Railways (SNCF). Accordingly, a team comprising Agnihotri, Arunendra Kumar, the chairman of the Railway Board, and Girish Pillai, Railway Board director (infrastructure), were in Paris towards the end of last month. Modi held preliminary talks with Agnihotri before the latter left for France and by the time the new prime minister was at his desk at the South Block for the first time, a blueprint for the dream project, along with a detailed report on the France recce mission, were already on his table. The idea of a high-speed rail link first germinated in the 1980s when the late Madhavrao Scindia was the Union railways minister in the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government.
Scindia’s dream to have a set of trains faster than the Rajdhanis eventually saw the birth of the inter-city, premier Shatabdi Express trains that primarily connected the metros to business points that were about six-seven hours away. Over the years, these Shatabdi Express trains became immensely popular across all classes of passengers and their services increased manifold, though in terms of speed they did not offer anything more than the Rajdhanis. Agnihotri also said that while the cost-factor of building and operating such a capital-intensive project is a huge challenge, India’s advantage lies with economies of scale. He added that a high-speed rail project for India need not necessarily be a replica of what exists in the developed world. Imagine starting off with a quick breakfast in New Delhi at 9am, tucking into a hot, onboard lunch at 1pm and arriving in Mumbai around 4pm — just in time to catch the action live for an Indian Premier League match!
Terms of Agreement and Work Plan between China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group and High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd.
A railway ministry team is in China to discuss the Chinese offer to conduct a feasibility study for the 1,754-km Chennai-Delhi line which could cost over $32 billion. If it works out this could be the first such project abroad for China which has the world's largest high-speed rail network. A suggestion that China might partner with India to provide high-speed rail has not yet been well-received by the Indian public, the article said referring to Japan undertaking a similar study on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector.

Earlier this month, the Mexican government abruptly cancelled a $3.7 billion contract for a high-speed rail project with Chinese firms due to suspected corruption on the Mexican side, which shocked and frustrated the Chinese market. Another article in the same daily said India should take over some manufacturing sectors from China, just as the Chinese mainland once did from Japan and the four Asian Tigers, namely, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. And if the two countries can draw up a plan of comprehensive cooperation in manufacturing, it will exert far-reaching influence upon the changes in the Asia-Pacific architecture, it said. BEIJING: An Indian Railways team is in China to chalk out plans for conducting feasibility study to build the 1,754 km-long Delhi-Chennai high-speed train corridor, world's second largest bullet train line.
The high-level team of officials from Rail Vikas Nigam Limited led by Satish Agnihotri arrived here yesterday and is in talks with China's High Speed Rail Corp to build the Delhi- Chennai corridor for which the communist giant has agreed to conduct the study free of cost during President Xi Jinping's visit to India in September, officials here told PTI. The proposed corridor could be the second largest in the world after China's 2,298 km-long Beijing-Guangzhou line which was launched last year. The Delhi-Chennai high speed line could cost around USD 32.6 billion, state-run China Daily quoted Chinese officials as saying. Under the agreement, China has agreed to provide training in heavy haul for 100 Indian Railways officials, redevelopment of existing railway stations and establishment and establishment of railway university in India.
The two nations have also agreed to cooperate to identify the technical inputs required to increase speed on the existing railway line from Chennai to Mysore via Bangalore. The Delhi-Chennai route is part of the proposed Diamond Quadrilateral project, which aims to build a high-speed train network between different cities, including Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Chennai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Delhi and Mumbai-Kolkata.
Currently, Rajdhani Express train covers the distance between the two cities in 28 hours and as per the plan, the proposed bullet train at 300 km per hour speed will reduce the travelling time to six hours.
If materialised, the Indian bullet train project could be a major gain for China which is making an aggressive pitch to market its high speed train technology outside the country. On November 20, China signed its largest overseas project worth about USD 11.97 billion with Nigeria to build a railway line along the African country's coast.
Earlier this month, CRCC lost a USD 3.7 billion contract to build a high-speed rail link in Mexico after the country's legislature raised concerns about the nature of the bidding process.
Commenting on the India-China High Speed train deal, Feng Hao, a researcher at the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation, said if the deal is made, the project opens the door for Chinese companies to provide new railway design, tracks made of durable materials, automated signalling for faster trains and modern stations in India.
India has added 11,000 km railways track in 67 years since its independence while China, whose operating rail mileage exceeded 100,000 km by the end of 2013, including 10,000 km of high-speed railroads, is pushing for a bigger share of the lucrative high-speed train market in India and other parts of the world, the China Daily report said.
Besides cooperation in Railway development, China has agreed to invest about USD 20 billion in two industrial parks in India during Xi's visit.
India is pushing China to step up investments in the country to address the huge trade deficit which officials say averaged to USD 35 billion a year in the last few years in favour of China.

The major terminal will be at Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Thiruvanathapuram,Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. In terms of logistics and the feasibility study carried out so far, this 534-km corridor has emerged as the most viable one for a pilot project. A policy decision clearing the decks for FDI in railways is a strong possibility in this year’s Railway Budget, which is due to be presented by Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda next month. People thought it would be a very expensive proposition to build, operate and even take a ride on the Metro. Lu Dongfu, Vice Minister of Transport and Administrator, National Railway Administration, China visited India Railways from 15th to 18th September 2014. What India needs to move into are the products China has been making but lacks advantages in doing so compared with India," the article said.
Chinese corporations that manufacture these products can bring not only capital and order, but also technologies, managerial expertise, market and support in other arenas," it said. While Japan is conducting feasibility study for the Bullet train project in Mumbai-Ahemdabad corridor, China will do the same for the Delhi-Chennai route which expected to begin by early next year.
The contract is its single largest overseas project, China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC) said.
This project is similar to Golden Quadrilateral which is a roadway project which connects the four metros by Express Ways.
These states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The Golden Quadrilateral falls under National Highways Development Project which has helped to build better road transport in India.
India today is planning to start Semi-high speed trains on nine corridors and has ambition to run bullet trains in future.
High-speed train on Mumbai-Ahmedabad section will be the first bullet train corridor to be implemented in the country. On 9 June 2014, the President of India Pranab Mukherjee, officially mentioned that the Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a Diamond Quadrilateral project of high speed trains.

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