Another $50bn for upgradation of railways

  • Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2014 00:36 IST

While China has promised investments worth $50 billion for the modernisation and technological upgrade of the Indian Railways, final touches are being given to a draft MoU between the countries that envisages Chinese participation in projects including India’s plans to develop international class railway stations.

To be signed on September 18, the MoU will provide for a structured arrangement between the two countries for cooperation in critical areas — including training in heavy haul operations and plans to run semi high speed trains, sources said.

The proposed agreement — being regarded as the high point of Chinese premier Xi Jinping’s visit — is also likely to contain a proposal to set up a world-class rail university in India on the patterns of such universities in China.

China has several universities that offer railway-specific courses and the country’s experience can be hugely beneficial in designing the curriculum and setting up the administrative structure of the proposed university in India, officials said.

China is also keen to participate in India’s high speed plans, but the MoU is unlikely to make a specific mention on this issue, sources said.

Officials of the CSR and the CNR Corporations of China are understood to have held a series of talks with officials of the Indian Railways on possible participation in projects to develop international class railway stations at Baiyyappanahali and Bhubaneshwar, sources said.

Indian Railways’ engagement with China began in January 2008 when the first MoU on cooperation in the rail sector was signed between the two countries.

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