India’s railway network is one of the largest in the world. India being the 2nd most populated country, the need for more and better rail services is the need of the hour and with this there’s increased pressure on the railway system. It is the fourth largest railway network in the world, transporting 8.397 billion passengers and over 106 million tonnes of freight annually, as of 2014. Its operations cover twenty eight states and three union territories and also provide limited service to Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Transporting passengers in such huge numbers is an achievement in its own right. The onus is on the Government to keep providing hassle free and better rail services. In countries such as China, Japan, Germany etc. new revolutionary rail systems have been developed with the help of latest technology.
PM Modi had a vision- to make India’s rail services on par with the developed countries. Development and infrastructure has always been Modi’s most important agendas. To better the rail services and bring in new rail systems, Mission 350 plus was launched. In this project, plans were made to bring in speed trains or bullet trains.
Now moving ahead on its Mission 350 Plus, Railways will organise a global meet to explore the possibilities of introducing ultra-high speed technology to run trains at a speed of 500 km per hour.
Accordingly, Indian Railways has floated an Expression of Interest (EoI) tender for developing, constructing and running ultra-high speed railway system in India on PPP basis.
The last date for the EoI is September 6 and so far four global players from have shown interest in the project, a senior railway official said today.
It is expected that the EoI will give a full view of emerging technologies available in the world in this frontier area of railway technology and enable Indian Railways to move to the next step of sanctioning a project.
Trains can run at more than 350 km per hour speed with the use of levitation technology which is operational in Germany, China and Japan, among other countries, he said.
In order to take this mission further, Railways is organising a one-day international conference on September 2 here on technology for ultra-high speed rolling stock for operation at maximum speeds of 500 kmph and above. The conference has evoked interest from all major players in the field of ultra-high speed including Germany, USA, Japan, Switzerland and Spain.
HyperLoop Transport Technology from USA, Quadralev USA, Talgo from Spain, RTRI Japan, Siemens Germany, Knorr Bremse, Germany, Prose Switzerland are expected to participate in the meet.Besides, delegates numbering about 500 from railways, Indian industry, diplomatic community, international industry, federations of unions in railways are likely to attend the conference.
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