In a telephonic interaction with media, Subrat Nath, Director, India and Asia-Pacific, Talgo said that if everything went according to plan, the rake could be in commercial operation by the middle of next year.
MUMBAI: Spanish train manufacturer Talgo is in talks with the Railway Ministry to lease its trains for some short-distance routes, preferably under 500 kilometres, on a profit-sharing basis. In a telephonic interaction, Subrat Nath, Director, India and Asia-Pacific, Talgo said that if everything went according to plan, the rake could be in commercially operational by the middle of next year.
Hypothetically speaking, Nath said, if the Railway Ministry accepts a proposal to have Talgo trains on lease by March 31 this year, then the rakes could come in by April 2018 and after a trials of a few months, it could be ready for commercial operation by August 2018.
“A three-member team of the Railway Board consisting of additional members is looking into the feasibility of deploying Talgo trains on the Indian Railway network. Only after they submit the report can things move forward.
There are two options, first of which is a global tender where there will be several more participants. That could take time. The other is the leasing model that we have suggested where our rakes can be leased over some routes on the Indian Railways on a profit-sharing basis. But as I said all the financial details can be made only after the three-member team submits their report,” Nath said.
The current plan, according to him, is to provide just Talgo coaches to the Railways because the Spanish firm during the trials found the quality of Indian locomotives very good. “What we want to do is to provide Talgo coaches to the railways on lease and use locomotives from the railways to haul the train.
The locomotives in the railways’ fleet are very powerful, capable of high speeds. That is why we believe the best value for the railways would be to have Talgo coaches hauled at higher speeds by Indian locomotives,” said Nath.
Nath said that in case the Talgo is chosen by the railways, it will have to further undergo a full set of trials supervised by the RDSO (Research Design Standards Organisation – the apex technical authority of Indian Railways headquartered at Lucknow) and also have to get the approval of the Commissioner of Railway Safety.