Stepping up efforts to achieve zero accident mission, Railways will form a joint working group with German Railways to strengthen safety measures in rail operations. The joint working group would look into the training, technology upgradation and processes for improving the safety, according to the discussions held between Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and the visiting German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt at Rail Bhavan here. The visit of the German minister is a follow up to Prabhu's trip to Germany in April when an agreement was signed to intensify the cooperation in rail sector between two countries. The two sides held wide ranging discussions on many specific areas of mutual interest in rail sector. The areas include speed raising, capacity increase of passenger and goods transport lines, safety, energy efficient rail operations, education and training, high speed rail, standards and norms and station development. The German minister also extended invite to Indian Railway officials to visit Germany to see its technology and safety systems. Prabhu requested the German side for extending their proposal of high speed (300kmph +) rail study of Mysore - Bangalore - Chennai Corridor to Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. It was pointed out that High Speed Rail Connectivity through Mysore - Banglore - Chennai- Vijayawada Corridor will give boost to the regional development and will link the important states of Southern India. The German Minister acknowledged this request of extending scope of study to include Vijayawada and assured to look into this positively.
The study which is fully-funded by German Government is likely to start from January, 2017. Railway Minister emphasised on station redevelopment programme of Indian Railways along with development of smart cities in India. The German Minister welcomed this idea and offered cooperation on this matter. The German side also expressed willingness to undertake feasibility study on speed upgradation on the existing Indian Railway network. The two sides decided to discuss this issue further and finalise the Railway Corridor for the study. The two sides also agreed that Indian Railways and DB Engineering and Consultancy (wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn-DB, the German Railway) together will focus on the freight operations (including cross-border transport, automotive transport and logistics), passenger operations, infrastructure building and management. The two sides were accompanied by their respective delegations during the talks.
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