Aug 28, 2014

India-Japan rail diplomacy – Modi, Abe to discuss bullet trains

Prime Minister Narendra Modi File photo (PTI) 

The best way to judge the progress of any country is by looking at its railway connectivity. The much awaited dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring high-speed trains to India is going to become a reality soon. On his first trip to Japan next week, he will be discussing bullet train project besides other issues. The multi-million dollar venture is a part of NDA Government’s ambitious – Diamond quadrangle project.

However, China which has the largest high-speed train network in the world is also trying to sell its trains to India at a much lower price in comparison to Japan. The cost of one bullet train is estimated at Rs 60,000 crore, as announced by the Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda during his Budget speech. While presenting his first Rail Budget, Sadanand Gowda said, ” Indian Railways is on course to fulfill its long cherished dream. I propose a Bullet train on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai sector.” Railways being an important mode of transportation in India is in dire need of overhaul as most of India’s 1.2 billion people travel in it. Therefore, India cannot ignore the opportunities to restructure the entire system.

It was reported that both Japan and China are at loggerheads to build high-speed train network in India. Japan which is already working on the plan and will hard sell Shinkansen network for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai network to the Prime Minister during his Japan visit. It was reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to convince Prime Minister Narendra Modi to buy trains from Shinkansen. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his maiden trip to Japan and is expected to land in Kyoto this weekend. In 2007, as the Gujarat Chief Minister, Modi took first ride of high speed train in Tokyo. He was sitting in operational part of the train during that ride.

Bullet trains will help in cutting down traveling time. China is looking for private investment in India. Its Government recently announced private investment in this sector. Chinese President Xi Jingping will be visiting India in mid-September this year. He too is expected to sell Chinese rail network to India. However, Japan has an edge when compared to Chinese trains. Japanese trains are of better quality and maintain higher safety measures. China has a record of a major train accidents in which several hundred people have been killed. Therefore, chances are that India will prefer Japanese bullet trains. This is another thing that despite having a fail-proof safety and speed system, Japan has not been able to sell its rail network successfully overseas.

But now with the assistance of Japan’s International High-Speed Rail Association that builds high-speed trains, Japan will try to sell the product to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Japan. Several feasibility studies have been conducted for bullet trains on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai route. Presently, the fastest train between the two cities is the Shatabdi Express, which takes nearly seven hours. India is planning to build high-speed rain networks on other routes as well such as Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Chandigarh, Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai, Mumbai-Goa and Hyderabad-Secunderabad. These high-speed trains are expected to run at a maximum speed of 320 km per hour.

With Narendra Modi’s Diamond Quadrilateral Rail Project on cards, it seems that Indian Railways will definitely write a better story. It will end traveling woes and will also help India develop at a faster pace.
Source..niti central

More cities will get Metro rail: Venkaiah Naidu

Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said the government is thinking of building metro rail systems in cities with a million residents.
Currently, cities with a population of two million are being considered for the metro system, he told mediapersons here. This was part of the government’s plan to improve mass transportation in urban centres.
Naidu was in Kochi to review the progress of work of Kochi Metro. He said the work on the project was satisfactory and hoped it would completed on deadline, in 2017, and within the budget.
The ₹ 5300-crore, 25-km Kochi Metro – a joint project of the Kerala and Central governments which is supported by Canara Bank and a French aid agency – is expected to tremendously ease the transportation woes of Kochi and nearby towns.
Source..the hindu business line

China plans undersea rail tunnel to link provincial capitals

BEIJING: Opening its railway sector to private investment, China is planning to connect capital Beijing with all provincial capitals by high-speed bullet trains through undersea railway tunnel, spanning 5,700kms. 

The nationwide undersea tunnel through the Bohai Gulf will be built as part of a network to connect Northeast China and South China's Hainan Province, extending 5,700kms in 11 provincial regions. 

The new undersea rail network will connect Beijing with all provincial capitals with a travel time of eight hours, state-run Global Times said, citing Wang Mengshu, a railway expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Source..Times OF India

Railway stocks rally after Govt notifies FDI liberalisation

Railway-related stocks are trading higher by up to 12% after the government notified the liberalised foreign direct investment (FDI) norms for rail infrastructure, allowing 100% FDI through automatic route in the sector.

Texmaco Rail & Engineering (up 12% at Rs 85), BEML (up 5% at Rs 568), Titagarh Wagons (up 5% at Rs 224),Kalindee Rail Nirman (5% at Rs 87.85), Kernex Microsystems (up 5% at Rs 51.45) and Stone India (up 4.5% at Rs 33.50) are up between 5-12% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). In comparison, the benchmark Sensex was up 0.20% at 26,616 at 0920 hours.

The government on Wednesday opened the railways for private and foreign investments in select areas - high-speed train, suburban corridors and dedicated freight lines. Foreign investment would also be allowed in construction and maintenance of these lines and rolling stock manufacturing facilities, electrification and signaling, the Business Standard report suggests.

However, FDI beyond 49% in sensitive areas will require Cabinet approval on a case-to-case basis. FDI was so far allowed only in mass rapid transit (MRT) systems of railways, added report.
Source..Business Standard





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