New Delhi: With foreign collaborations in place, the Railways is embarking on an ambitious path for total modernisation in operation and station development. While France will develop Ludhiana and Ambala stations, which figure on the upcoming New Delhi-Chandigarh semi-high speed route, Japan’s assistance will be taken for solutions for critical technological challenges of the Railways, including running trains in times of fog.
“France has expertise in station development and accordingly we have assigned them the two stations of Ludhiyana and Ambala to develop in a manner that they become major hub and attractions. Japan is also going to help the Railways tap the land value capture in a manner that it becomes a major source of revenue,” said a senior official of the Railway Board.
Incidentally, the Railways has roped in France for the “speed enhancement” on New Delhi-Chandigarh to run 200 kmph trains. “France is conducting an execution study, which is a step ahead of feasibility study, and we actually are looking to unveil the semi-high speed mode on New Delhi-Chandigarh in a year’s time,” said the official.
The Railways is also undertaking trials of the LHB coaches being manufactured at the rail coach factury at Kapurthala to meet the 200 kmph requirements.
“We already have the LHB coaches being manufactured in the country in Kapurthala and Rai Bareli, which are designed to clock the speed of 180 kmph. With a few changes, we are seeking if they could clock the 200 kmph speed,” added the official.
Besides, the premier research and design operation (RDSO) of the Railways will partner with its Japanese counterparts to develop cutting-edge technologies in signalling, operation and maintenance.
“With Japan, we are looking at the possibility of their model to have electric sub-stations at 110 km stretch against our current practice of 30 km distance. Also, Japan cleans a train in flat nine minutes that we will seek to replicate,” added the official.