India, Japan to collaborate on railways

A preliminary agreement on capacity development related to rail safety was signed between the Indian Ministry of Railways and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

August 14, 2018

The latest signing formalised a previous deal reached between the Indian Ministry of Railways with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in February 2017

The scope of work within the agreement focuses on all aspects of railway track maintenance, including welding, rail inspection, track circuit, among others) as well as rolling stock

Missions from Japan comprising representatives of MLIT, Railway Technical Research Institute, East Japan Railway Company and West Japan Railway Company have visited India thrice in 2017

Besides Japan, India’s Ministry of Railways has signed preliminary agreements with China, France, Spain, South Korea, the UK, Russia and Germany for capacity building in the sector

Indian Ministry of Railways and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have entered into a preliminary agreement to facilitate capacity development for rail safety, according to an announcement on August 14. The latest signing formalised a previous deal reached between the Indian Ministry of Railways with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in February 2017. The scope of work within the agreement focuses on all aspects of track maintenance (welding, rail inspection, track circuit, among others) as well as rolling stock. India and Japan, a global leader in railway engineering, have signed a number of agreements in the recent past encompassing high-speed railways, railway safety, maintenance and engineering, among others, while incorporating ‘Make in India’.

To facilitate the latest agreement, both sides participated in prolonged discussions. Missions from Japan comprising representatives of MLIT, Railway Technical Research Institute, East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and West Japan Railway Company (JR West) visited India thrice between August and November 2017 for this purpose. It was agreed that Northern Railway and Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) shall be the recipients under the aegis of the cooperation programme. The Japanese team would work closely with DFCCIL and Northern Railway’s safety, civil engineering and rolling stock teams. Thereafter, 60 technical personnel from India will receive first-hand training in Japan. The partnership, touted to begin this year and extend into next year, will improve capacity in the space.

The programme is expected to yield tangible benefits in the areas of safety management and upgradation of technical skills of Indian Railways’ front line maintenance staff. The Ministry of Railways has signed preliminary agreements with China, France, Spain, South Korea, Japan, the UK, Russia and Germany for cooperation in railways. Indian Railways has also received foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow of US$390 million over April 2014 to December 2017. The world’s third-largest railway system has utilised the foreign funding in manufacturing of rolling stock (coaches and wagons including its parts), signalling equipment and locomotives (diesel and electric) as well as parts of locomotives. The projects come as the crucial transport system is going through broad changes to increase capacity and improve service.