Japan Builds India's First Bullet Train


Japan has agreed to help India build its first bullet train.  An Indian version of Japan's high-speed train, the Shinkansen, will travel on a route between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, reducing the travelling time from 7 hours to two hours.

The joint venture between Japan and India is the start of a government program that will improve India's railways and  speed up travelling. Japan has promised to  give India 12 billion dollars in loans to finance the train and provide the necessary technology.

With the signing of the agreement Japan has beaten China, which also wants to become India's partner in building the subcontinent's high speed rail system. China is currently helping India in other ways. They are training Indian railway engineers and  setting up a railway university .

According to experts Japan won the deal to provide high-speed trains, because the Shinkansen is fast and reliable.

Other foreign companies are competing to sell  technology for India's transportation system. France and Spain are conducting surveys to examine how high-speed trains would affect passenger travel in India.

Apart from the bullet train agreement , Japan and India have announced that they will cooperate in defence and other areas.

Construction of the bullet train will begin  in 2017 and be completed five years later. Over the next decade, the Indian government plans to spend over 100 billion dollars to modernize a railway network, that dates back to the 19th century when the British built the major lines.



Indian railways are important for the country's economy.  They are the most important means of travel for a majority  of the population.



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  • according to = as said by ...
  • affect = influence, change
  • agree = to say yes to a plan or idea
  • agreement = here: written paper signed by two countries
  • announce = to say officially
  • apart from = also; in  addition
  • billion = a thousand million
  • century = a hundred years
  • compete = to try to make people buy your products instead of those from another company
  • complete = finish
  • conduct = carry out
  • cooperate = work together
  • currently = at the moment
  • dates back = when something started to exist
  • deal = business agreement
  • decade = ten years
  • defence = protecting someone from an attack
  • economy = system by which a country's goods  and money are produced and used
  • engineer = person who builds bridges, tunnels, machines etc...
  • examine = look at carefully ; find out more about something
  • foreign = from another country
  • government = people who rule a country
  • improve = make better
  • joint venture = when companies of two countries do something together
  • loan = money that you borrow and have to pay back
  • major = most important
  • majority = most of
  • means of travel = ways of getting around a country
  • modernize = to make something more modern
  • necessary = what is needed
  • network = system
  • promise = to say that you will do something
  • provide = give something to someone
  • reduce = lower
  • reliable = something that you can depend on
  • set up = here: build
  • sign = to put your name on a document
  • speed up = to make faster
  • subcontinent = part of a continent
  • survey = ask many people  questions about certain topics
  • transportation system = system of taking people and products from one place to another