In response over text to a friend that shared this:

I think we have to factor in exponential growth and then some. For example the Bombay metro should look to 100x, not 10x today’s local train capacity.

That seems to be how the Chinese think. What they do defies imagination literally. If one were to imagine how many daily Beijing Shanghai high speed trains existed I’d have said 3 or 4. Never 35.

We are thinking of one ‘bullet’ train between Bombay and Ahmedabad five years from now. Why not plan for one every 20 min like a Bombay-Poona bus from day one?

Public infrastructure is almost always a case of build it and they will come. Instead we build private infra unscrupulously and with abandon, then pressurising politically some bare bones public infra to be built, the design bad scope of which is beholden to and limited by what exists. This is effectively then privatisation of public infra. Case in point is all of the excess real estate in Poona built right up to the literal edge of the national Poona Bangalore highway.

Speaking of China, I’d read this on a blog post:

“That’s the distance from Hong Kong to Beijing, and if you’re on a train that cruises at 306km/h, you can leave at 8:05AM and arrive one minute past five in the afternoon. The train has a number and a Wikipedia entry: G80”

Packed, uncomfortable train rides to undergrad college had had a few of us thinking about the impact of near-universal high speed trains in India: it wouldn’t just mean shorter travel times, but changes beyond that as well. There would be no sleeper cars. Railway food and support infra would be therefore vastly more efficient. Shorter times = more predictable arrival times => you could book hotels + trains together like you do with flights today. Housing changes altogether. Many more people could live in, say Aurangabad and Ahmedabad and even Belgav and commute to Bomay in a hour or so. Pressure on flights reduces. It’s crazy.