Rail sector cooperation with China on track for Modi visit

New Delhi: India and China are likely to sign an agreement to enhance cooperation in the railway sector during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit.

While China is keen to expand its footprint in the Indian infrastructure sector, the government too is looking to leverage Chinese investment and technology to upgrade the country’s British era railway network. The PM has also been pushing for railway modernization to rev up economic growth.

A top source in the railways said the government is giving final shape to Chinese investment plans in the rail sector. The government has also relaxed FDI norms to attract foreign investment in the sector – from high-speed rail projects to station upgrades.

China is currently conducting a feasibility study for the 1,754-km Delhi-Chennai high-speed corridor. The study is being carried out by China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group Co Ltd following an MoU signed with the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd.

India is also cooperating with China to increase the speed of the Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysuru section to 160 kmph. A feasibility study is being carried out.

A railway official said China had shown keen interest to cooperate in the areas of high-speed trains and station modernization. China will also impart training in heavy-haul systems for 100 Indian railway officials and help in the redevelopment of railway stations and establishment of a railway university in India.