High Speed Trains in India
France, known for its expertise in high speed trains, will soon be helping India in the creation of such a network in the country.Indian Railways will be signing a MoU with French Railway to expand the area of cooperation between the two railways.Besides high speed rail corridor, French expertise may be sought on maintenance and upgrading of tracks and signalling system as per the provision of the MoU.On the safety aspect, there is also a possibility of cooperation between the two railways.France will become the seventh nation to sign an MoU with Indian Railway.Russia, Italy, Austria, Germany, China and South Africa are other nations who have signed MoU with Indian Railways.
Railways had invited global tenders for conducting a pre-feasibility study of a high-speed train on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar route. The project aims at cutting travel time between the cities by nearly half.The study will focus on technicalities, financial and operational viability of the project. Besides Delhi-Amritsar route, the Railways have decided to conduct pre-feasibility studies for four more high speed passenger routes which are Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai, Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulum and Howrah-Haldia.The trains are expected to run at a speed of 300 km/hr.
The French team is expected to provide more detailed inputs focusing on technicalities, financial implication, traffic pattern, funding plan, stakeholders' view, fare structure and other related issues in the high speed rail project.Since the corridor is expected to cost about Rs 50 crore per km, state governments and civic bodies have also been approached for sharing the expenditure. "Many states like Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, West Bengal and Maharashtra have agreed to partly-fund the project," said the official. There are many countries including Japan, China and Germany which have shown interest in being part of the high speed corridor project.