In a significant development, Indian Railways on Thursday joined hands with China to increase speed in its existing rail network, modernise stations and enhance mutual cooperation in the sector in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed total 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU), including cooperation in rail sector.
Under the MoU for Railways, both sides have agreed to enhance cooperation in the railway sector in speed-raising on the identified route and studying feasibility of cooperation in bullet train projects among others.
The MoU signed by Chairman Railway Board Arunendra Kumar and Administrator of China's National Railway Administration Lu Dongfu also envisages heavy-haul transportation training of Indian Railway personnel and redevelopment of railway stations and setting up of a RailwayUniversity in India.
Railways have identified Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore section for speed raising to 160 km per hour with help from China.
As per the action plan on the proposed semi-high speed, China will conduct design and survey for the specified sections and also impart training to railway personnel on speed-raising.
China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group will be coordinating with the High Speed Rail Corporation, a subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited on the cooperation on raising speed.
On training of heavy-haul transportation, the two sides have agreed on a training programme for batches of 20 trainees for duration of two-three weeks and a total of 5 batches with maximum of three training programmes in a year.
There will be emphasis on onsite training covering operational and maintenance facilities, monitoring systems and traffic control. The Beijing Jiaotong University will start the first training programme next month.
For co-operation in the bullet train project, China and India have agreed for a project feasibility study report to be taken up for financing by China. Railways will advise the proposed rail route before October and it will provide all necessary technical policies, documents and facilitation for the project survey.
China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group and other enterprises of China will undertake work related to this cooperation.
The MoU envisages that Indian Railway Station Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Rail Land Development Authority of Railways will visit China and study redeveloped and new stations in China next month, followed by a visit to India by China Railway Construction Engineering Group to study at least two stations identified for redevelopment in the country.
Stations at Bhubaneswar and Bangalore are likely to be chosen for redevelopment as world class station with help from China.
China also agreed to carry out a pre-feasibility study of two stations with their financing and prepare a report indicating further course of cooperation after discussions with Indian Railways.
The two sides also agreed that the Chinese experience of Rail Universities will provide very useful inputs to develop a Railway university in India as proposed in the Budget. The two sides agreed that a delegation from India will be organized and visit China within the current year and a road map for cooperation in this area will be developed.