French, Indian rlys ink deals to study station renovation

French, Indian rlys ink deals to study station renovation

French Railways (SNCF) on Monday announced that it would work with the Indian Railways in developing stations and semi-high speed trains.

In the announcement made on the occasion of French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India, SNCF said it will join forces with Indian Railways to study renovation of New Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Ambala stations.

While the agreement for feasibility study for New Delhi and Chandigarh was signed last April, the joint deal for renovating Ludhiana and Ambala was signed on Monday.

The six month study of station renovation would involve experts in architecture, rail operation and finance from both the countries. SNCF and IR will use its result to develop models for modernising other stations.

The study would greatly aid IR’s programme to bring 400 stations up to international standards.

The two national railways have also inked a preliminary agreement in  December to determine the feasibility of upgrading the 245-km-long  Delhi-Chandigarh passenger line to accommodate semi-high-speed trains.

Upgrading plans

An implementation study financed equally by France and India will examine upgrading the line to semi-high-speed service at 200 km per hour. The year-long study will also offer recommendations for an IR programme to upgrade nine high-priority passenger lines to semi-high-speed over 6,400 km.

India and France also signed a shareholding agreement on Monday between Alstom and Indian Railways to produce 800 electric locomotives at Madhepura in Bihar.

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