A planned bullet train would reduce travel time between Delhi and Varanasi (a distance of 720 km) from the present 12 hours to just 2 hours and 37 minutes. The project linking the holy city, Lok Sabha constituency of PM Modi, with national capital is a key concern for the ruling BJP.
Once ready, travel from Delhi to Lucknow (440 km) will take just one hour and 38 minutes.
A Spanish firm Ms INECO-TYPSA-ICT, which was studying the project, has submitted the draft final report to high-speed rail corporation and railway board.
Reportedly, the fare of Rs 4.5km was considered as base fare which means travel between Delhi to Lucknow will cost at least Rs 1,980. For Delhi to Varanasi, it will cost around Rs 3,240.
Times of India report suggests that if the project begins in 2021, the Delhi-Lucknow stretch will be operational by 2029. The Delhi-Varanasi stretch will be operational by 2031.
The Delhi-Varanasi stretch will cross Greater Noida, Aligarh, Lucknow, Sultanpur and Jaunpur. A railway official said the project was discussed by the railway board on Thursday. Some changes were also suggested that will be incorporated.