Indian Railways is likely to place a proposal to run electric multiple units similar to those currently operated by Delhi Metro on intercity rail routes in 2014, as part of its plans to provide faster and comfortable journey for passengers.
The energy-efficient, cost-effective and technologically advanced Metro-like trains are capable of running at a top speed of 200kmph, reported The Times of India.
Indian Railways estimates that travel time will be cut by three hours and 35 minutes on a 1,440km route by operating these trains.
The sets also save time travel time by 17.5% with a faster acceleration and deceleration capability. They can be a cheaper alternative to Bullet trains, which require a lot of investment to modernise tracks.
The Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains currently run on speeds up to 150kmph. However, due to speed restrictions, their average speed is 90kmph.
Cost estimates of the Rajdhani Express with 21 car locomotive with 17 passenger carrying coaches, two power cars and two pantry cars is INR750m ($12.05m). The cost of imported train sets is INR80m-90m ($1.28m-$1.44m) per car.
According to officials the incremental investment can be recovered within five years, even if the sets are imported.
China is currently operating Metro-like train sets for overnight services with sleeper coaches.