India-European Commission railway cooperation gets cabinet nod

The Indian Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to an administrative arrangement on cooperation in railways between the Ministry of Railways, India and the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission

October 23, 2019

Indian Railways has entered into foreign collaborations related to high-speed rail, development of world-class stations, modernization of rail infrastructure

Indian Railways runs the world’s third-largest rail network spanning over 115,000 km, ferrying more than 23 million passengers in over 12,600 trains

India has planned an investment outlay of around US$117.2 billion for the period of 2016-20 to optimise the economic potential of national railways

While Indian Railways has received assistance from Japan, France, Spain, the UK, Germany, it has been instrumental in building railways in Africa and Asia

The Indian Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved an administrative arrangement on cooperation in railways between the Ministry of Railways, India and the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission. The approval was announced officially on October 23. The agreement, first signed on September 3, is in line with several global partnerships entered by the Indian Railways spanning high-speed rail, speed raising of existing routes, development of world-class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, among others. 

The latest agreement will provide a framework of cooperation for focused approved in the following key areas:-

  1. Rail reform and regulations with particular emphasis on the impact of EU legislative framework on safety, interoperability, economic governance and financial sustainability of Railways;
  2. Railway Safety;
  3. The benefits of standardisation as well as harmonized conformity assessment and procurement procedures for the economic performance of Railways;
  4. Signaling/control systems (including the European ERTMS system);
  5. Intermodality and transport infrastructure networks;
  6. Innovation and digitalisation;
  7. Experience sharing in respect of international rail conventions and standardisation bodies;
  8. Sustainable policies in railway including economic, social and environmental aspects.

Indian Railways has been a leading channel for the Government to both seek as well as offer technical and financial assistance globally. It runs the world’s third-largest rail network spanning over 115,000 km, ferrying more than 23 million passengers in over 12,600 trains. Rail and related sectors in India have received foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow of nearly US$1 billion, apart from growing partnerships under Make in India. While Indian Railways has received assistance from nations such as Japan, France, Spain, the UK, Germany, it has been instrumental in building railway infrastructure in Africa and Asia. 

To best implement the diverse socio-economic potential of India’s railway system, its long-overdue modernisation, and technological up-gradation has been taken up by the current Government. India has planned an investment outlay of US$117.2 billion for the period of 2016-20 to optimise the economic potential of national railways. This outlay is a combination of budgetary support as well as the participation of external agencies, private parties, and other stakeholders. The up-gradation is anticipated to add considerably to the national economy.