If you aspire to drive the high-speed bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, be prepared to brush up on some Japanese. When the project becomes operational by 2023, drivers will be trained by experts in Japan, most of whom don’t speak English, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.
Achal Khare, Managing Director, National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), said that drivers in Japan took to bullet trains after driving regular trains. He added that a psychometry test would be carried out as responses to situations differ. NHSRCL has been given charge of executing the project.
A psychometric test measures an individual’s suitability for a role, based on personality traits and aptitude. The tests help determine whether a candidate’s personality and cognitive abilities match those required for the role. Clarifying the Japanese language factor, Khare added that those on the ground level in Japan are not fluent in English, which could become an issue during communication.
For those aspiring to drive this high-speed train, the requirements are likely to include a Bachelor’s degree. An Engineering degree will not be compulsory. The NHSRCL will initially start with a team of 56 bullet train drivers, and 50 station masters.
Breaking down the contingent of 360 people who will visit Japan over 2-3 years, Khare said 56 of them would be drivers, while the others would be responsible for track maintenance, signal maintenance and station master categories.
The training in Japan will range from three to nine months, with the hiring process to start by the end of 2019, and training to begin thereafter.
Sarvesh Kumar, who is an advisor to several metro projects and has worked with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), said that the technology the bullet train employs is advanced and that people in Japan are familiar with basic English. He added that Japanese isn’t a difficult language, as he has communicated with Japanese delegations while working on the Delhi Metro.
The state-of-the-art trains will be 35 in number, with each having ten coaches. Initially running on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route, each train will have one business class coach and nine standard coaches. Equipped with advanced operational technologies, the trains will sport a variety of passenger amenities.
Land acquisition for the humongous project is already underway. The lowest fare for the 508-km long corridor is expected to be Rs 250, with the highest being pegged at Rs 3,000.
The bullet train will mark a new era in the way the country travels by train. Hopefully, the communication challenges will be overcome for the corridor to be up soon.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)