Monday, March 31, 2014

India-China to collaborate on building semi-high speed rail

INDIA and China would look at collaborations in semi-high speed rail and building world-class railway stations. This was decided at the strategic and economic dialogue between the two countries earlier this month when an Indian delegation, headed by Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, had visited Beijing.

“We have discussed participation for raising speed on existing tracks to about 160-200 kilometres per hour wherein they could provide technical support,” said Arunendra Kumar, chairman of the Railway Board.
“The other area where we could cooperate further is in building world-class stations. We have suggested that they could form a joint venture with our station development corporation. They will let us know if they would like to proceed with that,” added Kumar, who was speaking along the sidelines of a PHD conference on railways.
India will also receive training inputs for heavy haul operations. The Railways ministry also has plans to develop high-speed rail network, in which China has already seen success. However, collaboration is unlikely to be sought in this area.“We are already doing a study on high-speed rail with JICA so we will collaborate in areas that are open like upgrading speed in existing tracks,” said Kumar.
In November 2012, the two countries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in the railways sector that would remain in force for 5 years. Under this MoU, both countries will enhance mutual cooperation across various areas of rail technology including high speed rail, heavy haulage and station development.
At the time this was signed, it was agreed that future cooperation on railways between the two countries will be carried under the Infrastructure Working Group constituted under the India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue.
Kumar also said that the last date for nominations for Rail Tariff Authority is now over and the ministry would now be reviewing all applications.
In addition, the chairman also said that, the fuel adjustment component (FAC) linked tariff revision that is done twice a year, usually expected in April and October, cannot happen this time because of the model code of conduct.


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