China to upgrade speeds of Indian trains

  • Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2014 22:31 IST

Chinese engineers will help India strengthen rail tracks to upgrade speeds of passenger trains.

As part of the agreement worked out between the two countries, China will assist India’s semi high speed plans (upgrading top speed from the existing 130 kilometers per hour to 160 kmph) by commissioning one rail corridor to begin with.

Such plans are likely to find mention in the Memorandum of Understanding that will be signed on Thursday in the presence of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

After the recent successful trial on running a semi high speed from Delhi to Agra, the Indian Railways identified eight other corridors to run semi -high speeds on routes including Delhi-Kanpur and Delhi-Chandigarh.

India’s public transporter has been in the process of undertaking structural reforms following reformist moves such as the NDA government’s July decision to permit 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) through the direct route in the rail sector.

Following the decision, five model agreements on private sector participation (including foreign investments) have been framed and a five member departmental committee has also been constituted to frame draft sectoral guidelines and to identify potential areas and projects for FDI.

“Investment bankers and investors are increasingly getting interested in India’s rail sector”, said an official.

A Chinese delegation comprising officials of the CSR Corporation discussed potential areas of mutual cooperation between the Railways of the two countries at a meeting with the Chairman Railway Board (CRB) Arunendra Kumar on Thursday.

The Indian Railways have also initiated moves to seek clearance of the union cabinet on nine identified projects costing approximately Rs. 5000 crore to build 310 kilometers of lines, including seven projects of port connectivity.

Of these, the 35 kilometer long Digni-Jaigarh port line has already been sanctioned, while others in the pipeline include the proposal to build 75 kilometers of new lines to connect the Astranga port in Odisha and the 17 kilometer long new line to connect the Tuna port in Gujarat.

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