NAGPUR/SECUNDERABAD: A 10-member Russian railways team on Wednesday began a feasibility study for running high-speed trains between Nagpur and Secunderabad that will drastically cut down travel time in the corridor. The trains will run at 150 kmph. A protocol for undertaking feasibility study of raising speed was signed on October 15, 2016, between Indian and Russian Railways in Goa during the bilateral between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As part of the joint venture, the Russian team led by Alexander Kulagin reached Nagpur on Tuesday and visited Nagpur, Ajni, Sindi, and Butibori stations on Wednesday. Last year, a similar study was conducted from Secunderabad to Nagpur.
In South Central Railway zone, railway authorities have begun examining tracks and signalling systems to execute the project that will be carried out on 50:50 cost sharing basis. A few months ago, Railways inked a similar agreement with Germany to raise speed of trains to 200 km on Chennai-Kazipet corridor. Russian and German teams are examining strength of tracks and sharing ideas to beef up signalling system. “The inspection is on and action plan will be drawn up to execute the project,” an official said.
Chairman, Railway Board Ashwani Lohani also held a meeting with SCR Railway Officials during his visit to Secunderabad Station this week. Central Railway assistant commercial manager SG Rao said, “The team is also studying the status of tracks and overhead equipment system and will submit a report to Railway Board whether it needs to replace existing tracks or upgrade to make it a high-speed corridor.” Railway officials said the protocol covers technical and execution study for upgradation of speed to 160-200 kmph from the current 120 kmph in Nagpur Secunderabad section. The railway ministry has allotted Rs 1,000 crore in 2016-17 for operating semi-high speed trains.
The meeting that was held last year as a carry forward of the MoU signed between the Ministry of Railways in India and the Joint Stock Company “Russian Railways” on technical co-operation in Railway sector and subsequently the signing of a protocol in October, 2016 between the two entities on co-operation in “Semi-High Speed Rail” enabled both the parties intending to carry out a Joint Technical and Execution Study for up-grading the speed of passenger trains on the Nagpur-Secunderabad Rail Corridor up to 200 kmph on the Secunderabad-Ballarshah Section of Secunderabad-Nagpur Corridor, which forms a part of SCR’s network.
The Russian delegation sought to know the technicalities of the section in terms of its Engineering, Geography, Traffic forecast, existing Infrastructure etc since then. Issues concerning various components of Rail Infra such as Civil Engineering involving Bridges, Tracks and Maintenance Technology; Signalling; Rolling Stock pertaining to Locomotives and Coaches, Power Supply etc also were analysed by Russian Delegation before commencing the work.
Officials of Secunderabad Division accompanied the delegation during the Study Tour and Assessment.