|The Minister of Railways Shri Mallikarjun inaugurated a two day international technical conference on “High Speed Rail Travel; Low Cost Solution” in New Delhi today. While addressing the conference, the Railway Minister said that India’s primary focus has been to provide a mass mode of safe, reliable and affordable transport, being the largest passenger Railway in the world, it is a natural aspiration of the people of this country that Indian Railways provide them high speed rail travel.|
Shri Kharge said that most countries consider high speed capability to be in the range of 250 to 300 kmph which requires a dedicated track with fencing and can be prohibitively costly. For a country like ours track fencing also has its own set of associated issues. Thus, leveraging Rolling stock technologies may provide a lower cost solution to meet the immediate needs of achieving speeds of 160 to 200 kmph and that too on the existing track. For speeds above 200 kmph the costlier and time consuming solution of providing a separate dedicated track with fencing becomes inescapable. Therefore, the focus of this conference is to consider achieving higher speed trains in the range of 160 to 200 kmph with marginal inputs in the existing infrastructure, besides given the financial constraints and issues related to land acquisition and track fencing, as an interim step, the Railway Minister said.
Wishing all the success to Conference, Shri Kharge said that the deliberations in this conference between the various stakeholders will bring about a better understanding of the underlying technology issues and make higher speed rail travel in India a reality.
The Railway Minister formerly launched High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd. (HSRC), a subsidiary of Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) and also revealed the logo of HSRC that has been designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
Addressing the conference, Shri Arunendra Kumar, Chairman, Railway Board, said that Indian Railways has undertaken pre-feasibility studies of seven high speed corridors. A preliminary study for Mumbai-Ahemdabad route has estimated its cost to be around Rs. 65,000 crore. He said that towards this purpose the Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers (IRSE) with support from Indian Railways and RITES is organising this International Technical Conference. The themes of the conference will include: World overview of High Speed technologies, High speed Bogie Technologies, Importance of Train Dynamics for high speed operation, Wheel sets for high speed operation, Lightweight coach Technologies, Track & infrastructure, Signalling technologies, Traction related issues, brake systems, Crashworthiness Manufacturing and maintenance aspects specific to High Speed operation and Safety.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Satish Agnihotri, Chairman of HSRC and CMD of RVNL said that HSRC has been formed to develop High Speed Rail (HSR) Corridors in India to run passenger trains at speeds upto 350 km per hour. It will undertake the project activities such as preparation of project related studies, preparation of the technical standards for HSR Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor and any other corridor decided by the Government. It will provide support to Ministry of Railways and Government of India in finalizing the financial and implementation models.
The conference is being attended by policy makers, senior administrators, rolling stock manufacturers, research institutions, consultants and industry professionals from India and abroad. This will provide networking opportunities with senior railway officials as well as other stakeholders. There are opportunities for displaying capabilities through advertisements and exhibition stalls. For helping in better understanding of High Speed rail travel implementation challenges and their solutions, many equipment manufacturers are also present who will be presenting the latest development in high speed technology and the benefits thereof. Many international consulting experts as well as universities are also participating in the conference sharing their rich project experience in the field of high speed travel.
Total of 49 papers will be presented in the conference, which include 25 papers by foreign delegates, 13 papers by Research Design and Standard Organisation and Indian Railways, and balance by the Industry and case-studies for high speed network from Australia, and SPAIN will be discussed during this two day conference. Eleven Countries representing the Conference are Germany, Spain, Australia, USA, UK, Japan, France, South Africa, Switzerland, Italy and China. Major rolling stock ‘manufactures such as Bombardier, Talgo, CAF, Alstom and Siemens will be among those participating in the Conference. They will share their knowledge in high speed technology as well as experience in various parts of the world and also in providing low cost solutions.
Shri Arvind Khare, Additional member, Production Unit, Railway Board who is also Chairman of IRSE and Chairman Organising Committee of the Conference proposed a vote of thanks on the occasion. It is expected that low cost solutions would emerge at the end of the deliberations to make high speed a reality for the developing world, where the demand is high, yet cost-effective solutions are evasive.