Allied Industry

French experts to upgrade Delhi-Chandigarh rail route to 200 kmph

NEW DELHI: Aiming at reducing the journey time between New Delhi and Chandigarh, Railways have undertaken a pilot project jointly with French experts to run a train at 200 km per hour.

A core team comprising 30 experts from France and India has been constituted to conduct a study and submit a report to the public transporter by December this year.

According to a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the high speed project, “The pilot project will also provide recommendations for upgrading nine high-priority passenger lines to provide semi-high-speed service over a total of 6,400 km rail network.”

In addition, three banks and more than 15 French rail industry companies, including Alstom, Thales, Vinci, ETF, Vossloh Cogifer, Actia, Elno, Lumiplan, Railtech, Keolis, will monitor the study.

The official said, “We are working together with the SNCF (French railway) on the pilot project to upgrade the 245-km Delhi-Chandigarh passenger line, under a deal signed last December.”

An implementation study financed equally by France and India will examine various proposals for upgrading the line to semi-high-speed service up to 200 kmph.

SNCF will also team up with Indian Railways to renovate two stations – Ambala and Ludhaiana – between New Delhi and Chandigarh.

Railways had recently launched a programme to upgrade 400 stations to global standards. As part of the programme, railways and SNCF have agreed to join forces on a pilot project covering the Ambala and Ludhiana stations.

The objective is to benefit from France’s station improvement experience and jointly devise an approach to upgrading architecture, rail platforms and real estate tailored to each station, complete with financing arrangements.

Railways is expected to use the outcome of the pilot projects as models for modernizing other stations across the country.

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