Information published on 17 January 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 274.

Indian Railway Minister holds discussions with visiting Japanese Transport Minister on high speed rail corridors

The Minister of Railways, Government of India, Shri Dinesh Trivedi, along with Indian Railway Board Members, held discussions on 12 January with a visiting Japanese delegation led by Mr. Takeshi Maeda, Minister for Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), Government of Japan on bilateral issues in the field of rail transportation and various aspects of high speed train corridors (popularly called bullet trains).

The members of the Japanese delegation included Mr. Ryuhei Maeda, DG for International Affairs, MLIT, Mr. Akhihiko Tamura, Sr. Dy. DG, Railway Bureau, MLIT, Mr. Akitaka Saiki, Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Satoshi Seino, President, East Japan Railway Company, Mr. Tadaharu Ohashi, Chairman, Kawasaki Heavy Industry and Mr. Makoto Washizu, President, Japan International Transport Institute. Indian Railways delegation consisted of Shri Vinay Mittal, Chairman, Railway Board, Ms. Vijaya Kanth, Financial Commissioner, Shri K. K. Srivastava, Member Traffic, Shri A. K. Vohra, Member Staff, Shri Kul Bhushan, Member Electrical, Shri A. P. Mishra, Member Engineering and Shri Sanjiv Handa, Member Mechanical.

There had been efforts from both sides in the last year in the direction of high speed train systems. A delegation led by Mr. Ryuhei Maeda, DG for International Affairs had visited Delhi in October 2011 and held fruitful interaction with Shri Trivedi and Railway Board officers. This was followed by a visit of Indian Railway officers to Japan to have first hand understanding of the shinkansen system. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are also working in this direction.

It may be worthwhile to mention that the Indian Ministry of Railways has selected six corridors for conducting pre-feasibility studies. These are: 1) Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, 2) Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad, 3) Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai, 4) Chennai-Banalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam-Trivandrum, 5) Howrah-Haldia and 6) Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi.

The consultants for the pre-feasibility study for four corridors have already been appointed, namely M/s Systra, M/s Italffer and M/s RITES Limited for Pune – Mumbai – Ahmedabad; M/s Mott MacDonald for Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi-Patna; M/s INECO, M/s PROINTEC, M/s Ayesa for Howrah-Haldia; and M/s. Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Oriental Consultancy along with Parsons Brinkhoff India for Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai. However, the process of appointing consultants for the corridors Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar and Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam-Trivandrum is still ongoing. The final report for the pre-feasibility study for Pune-Mumbai-Hyderabad high speed rail corridor has already been submitted by the consultant.

In the Railway Budget 2010-11 of the Government of India, the Indian Minister for Railways had announced the setting-up of a National High Speed Rail Authority (NHSRA) for the planning, standard setting, implementing & monitoring of high speed rail projects. The process for its approval by the Union Cabinet is ongoing.

(Source: Indian Railways)