India and Russia are in talks for its high-speed train network plans in India after the latter showed interest for a tie-up, a top railway official said here. Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways , said they were keen to tie up with Indian Railways for the planned high-speed rail links, as the country has expertise in this area.
Yakunin, who was talking to journalists on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, said that India and Russia had a relationship in technological matters, both defence and civilian, and this is likely to continue in the future.
He said earlier he had himself held discussion at top level with Indian politicians and officials on improving the signalling and safety infrastructure in India, so that the accidents happening on the Indian Railways network could be avoided.
Yakunin told that the Russian Railways had some of the most advanced systems in place in these two areas, “but for some reason, there was no finalisation even after several rounds of talks two years ago”.
Yakunin, who has led the Russian Railways for the last 10 years, said discussions with Indian officials took place recently for a high-speed rail project in India, and “hopefully, something concrete should emerge soon”.
He said Russia already has several high-speed rail links and has plans to set up over 4,000 km of lines which can run trains at 400 km an hour. In addition, around 7,000 km of fast lines would be built that will be capable of running trains at 140 km to 200 km per hour.
Russian Railways is spread over 85,000 km and has 1.3 million employees. It carries around one billion passengers a year and 1.2 billion tonnes of freight, fourth highest in the world behind the US, China and India.