Indian Prime Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe are scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the 508-km long Mumbai-Ahmadabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) on September 14 in Ahmedabad.
In order to make this happen, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already arrived India on a two-day visit and was accorded a warm welcome by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Ahmedabad airport.
Abe, who is accompanied by his wife Akie Abe, has a hectic schedule for the next two days in Modi's home state, including laying of the foundation stone for India's first bullet train, to be run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, and to attend the 12th Indo-Japan Summit.
Abe was presented a guard of honour at the airport, after which artistes performed the traditional Gujarati dance showcasing the state's rich cultural traditions.
A group of Buddhist monks were also present at the airport to welcome Abe and his wife.
The bullet train is expected to cost Rs 1.10 lakh crore for the first rail link. Japan will fund 81 per cent of the entire project in soft loans at an interest rate of 0.1%, with repayment over 50 years.
The new train can carry 750 passengers between PM Modi's home state Gujarat and Mumbai, the financial capital. In a day, it will make 70 Ahmedabad-Mumbai sorties.
It is expected to run on an average speed of 250 km per hour, with a top speed of around 320 km per hour - more than double the maximum speed of the fastest train in India.
Of the 508-km stretch, 92 per cent of the route will be elevated, six per cent in tunnel and the rest two per cent will be on the ground.
The high speed train will also pass through the country's biggest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under the sea.
Over 460 km of the route will be on elevated track, 27 km inside the tunnel and the remaining 13 km on the ground.
First bullet train is expected to run in less than five years. New Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said the train will start running between Mumbai and Ahmedabad on August 15, 2022 - when India completes 75 years of independence.
The bullet train will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad with a total of 12 stations.
The travel time will be reduced from eight hours to a little over three hours if it stops at all stations and around two hours if it stops at only four.
A greater stretch of this link, 351 km, will run through Gujarat and 156 km through Maharashtra.
Besides this much anticipated project, the twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar will host a slew of programmes during the high-profile visit, and are all decked up to welcome the foreign dignitary with streets shimmering in fluorescent lights, and hoardings and banners welcoming Abe dotting them.
Robust security arrangements have been put in place for the 12th Indo-Japan Summit and business meet where Japanese companies are likely to announce major investments in Gujarat.