High Speed Railway Cooperation between India and France

Namta Gupta, India, Bullet train, Japan China rivalry, India Japan relations, Shinkansen bullet train technology

Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu today held meeting with the Minister of State for Transport, Marine Affairs and Fisheries of the Republic of France, Alain Vidalies.

The two of them were accompanied by their respective delegation and recalled the long-standing technical cooperation between French National Railways and the Indian Railways (IR) and reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their cooperation in the field of Railways.

India and France said that they are committed to develop this cooperation under the aegis of the Memorandum of understanding signed in 2013 between the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and the French National Railways (SNCF). This meeting was, the joint pres release said, to build upon and deepen the mutual cooperation already existing between the two countries.

India has over 66600 km of railways and over 7000 stations. It is focusing in areas like the safety speed upgradation, renovation and improvement of stations, passenger amenities, freight transport and network decongestion.

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France has 30 000 km of railways, more than 2000 km of High Speed tracks and about 3000 stations and the High Speed network is still expanding.

The security and improvement of the facilities is of course a constant concern in France.

India and France have agreed that mutual collaboration and exchange of expertise will benefit the stakeholders in the two countries.

This collaboration between the two countries will focus on the following:

High speed and semi-high speed rail ;
Modernisation of current operations and infrastructure ;
Station renovation and operations ;
Suburban trains ;
Safety systems, operations and Security.

On Semi High Speed, the two sides have decided in 2015 to carry out a technical and execution study for upgrading the speed of passengers trains on the current rail corridor between Delhi and Chandigarh (244 km) up to 200 kmph. The study is likely to be completed by Sep’2017.