By Erika Owen
February 23, 2017

In 2018, a new undersea train route from Mumbai to Ahmadabad will begin construction. The new train is expected to cut travel time between the two cities from seven to two hours.

On Sunday, ground was broken to obtain samples. “Soil and rocks below the 70-meter-deep sea are being tested as part of the geo-technical and geo-physical investigation undertaken for the entire project,” a senior Railway Ministry official told The India Times.

The testing will determine if the ground is suitable for supporting a railway.

This will be India's first bullet train project. Once built, the train is expected to travel at speeds up to 217 miles per hour.

The train will be in a tubular encasement, saving some money on land acquisition, though some sections of the railway will run underground. The entire endeavor is estimated to cost upwards of $14.5 billion. According to the New Delhi Television Limited, 80 percent of the funds are coming from the sam group who operates the Shinkansen bullet train which runs between Osaka and Tokyo.

The hope is that the train will be finished by 2023, if all testing is cleared and the construction begins on time.