Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday replied to a query on Quora – a website where users invite answers to their questions from the online community – about the need for a bullet train in India, saying the project was part of the plan to develop the country.

In his 884-word defence of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, interspersed with graphics and photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Goyal said upgrading current rail networks and developing new high-speed rail corridors is a “major component of India’s developmental plan”.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project, the minister said, will herald a new era of safety, speed and service for the people and help Indian Railways become “an international leader in scale, speed and skill”.

The project will boost job creation – initially, about 20,000 jobs when the railway network is being constructed – and exports, Goyal said, adding that it will also help 12 stations along the route emerge as economic powerhouses. “Long-run costs are also expected to fall through the advantages gained by economies of scale further developing our network,” he said.

Citing the example of the Rajdhani Express, the minister said there has always been resistance to implementing new technologies. “However, history shows us that new technology and advancements are highly beneficial for the country,” Goyal added.