News Railways

Shirdi may get high-speed train connectivity: Devendra Fadnavis, ET Infra

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recently disclosed a significant modification to the proposed Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project, a venture that has encountered delays in recent years. Fadnavis announced that the new route could include Shirdi, which could result in a surge in ridership as a result.

This announcement was made during his participation in the inauguration of the refurbished Mela Bus terminus of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) in Nashik. Originally, the Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project intended to traverse Nashik-Sangamner-Pune, spanning a distance of 235 km, with an estimated cost of Rs 16,000 crore.

The Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project is being implemented by Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited, a joint venture between the Government of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Railways.

The alteration in the route to include Shirdi adds an additional 30 km to the Nashik-Pune route. Fadnavis explained that discussions with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw revealed that the initial route would escalate project costs substantially due to extensive tunneling requirements, a challenge alleviated by the new route.

Fadnavis clarified that the revised project proposal of including Shirdi awaits final approval from the Union Cabinet. He assured that once approval is granted, project specifics would promptly follow. Despite the increased distance, Fadnavis said that travel time would remain unaffected.

About Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project

The Nashik-Pune semi-high-speed rail project gains significance against the backdrop of rapid economic growth experienced by Pune and Nashik in recent years. Often dubbed as the “golden triangle” of Maharashtra, comprising Mumbai, Pune, and Nashik, these cities have witnessed remarkable socio-economic development in recent years.

Presently, there is no direct rail link between these pivotal cities. The proposed route not only anticipates an uptick in train frequency but also foresees heightened passenger demand owing to faster travel times. Furthermore, the project is poised to catalyze industrial development along the corridor, bolstering regional revenue streams.

Key highlights of the project include its passage through three prominent districts of Maharashtra—Pune, Ahmednagar, and Nashik. It is slated to become the country’s first low-cost semi-high-speed corridor. Additionally, it aims to facilitate seamless connectivity to industrial hubs such as Alandi, Chakan, Khed, and Satpur, fostering the development of container depots, private freight terminals, and commercial hubs along the corridor. (With TOI inputs)

  • Published On Feb 12, 2024 at 05:22 PM IST

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