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Japan edges China to secure lead role in India’s high-speed future.

Posted by Luke Upton on Dec 15, 2015

R Central 700 series shinkansen set C1 passing through Maibara Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen“Prime Minister Modi's economic policies are like Shinkansen - high speed, safe and reliable while carrying many people along..."

This week marks a major step forward for India’s high-speed ambitions, with the announcement during a state visit to the country from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Tokyo will support a bullet train project. The project, India’s first, will receive a $12billion loan (98000 crore rupees) from Japan along with technical advice and support. The project will link the cities of Mumbai and Ahmedabad and aim to cut the 511km train journey between the two from eight hours to about two. And is part of a political and economic agenda from Japan, who launched the world’s first high-speed train in 1964, to step up its technological exports within rail, particularly in response to rise of China in this area.

The high-speed agreement was signed this week by the prime ministers of the two countries, Shinzo Abe and Narendra Modi. "This enterprise will launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India's journey into the future," stated Modi, who has made an upgrade of the dated Indian rail network a priority during his premiership. "Prime Minister Modi's economic policies are like Shinkansen - high speed, safe and reliable while carrying many people along," added Abe. Both Prime Ministers also agreed to work together on defence, energy and other projects. No start-date has been yet offered for commencement of this high-speed rail project.

SMA_Ebook-6And last week saw further good news for Japanese rail with the confirmation from Hitachi of the signing of two contracts for signalling and telecommunications work on a dedicated freight corridor project in India. The contract is worth a total of approximately 1,800 crore rupees, will cover the 915 km distance between Rewari in the State of Haryana and Vadodara in the State of Gujarat. In addition, a three-company consortium consisting of Hitachi, Mitsui and Hitachi India has won a contract worth approximately 610 crore rupees to supply and install an automatic train control system along a 1,337 km section from Rewari in Haryana State to JNPT (Mumbai) in Maharashtra State. These two orders are the biggest ever placed in India for Japanese signalling and telecommunications works.

These agreements are a welcome boost for Japan failed to win a high-speed train deal in Indonesia earlier this year, losing out to a Chinese proposal. They are now turning their attention to a bullet train being planned between Singapore and Malaysia that will cut the travel time for the 300-kilometer trip to 90 minutes, from at least four hours by car. The government supports such a bid, Japanese Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii told reporters Tuesday in Tokyo, as reported by Bloomberg, and we can except to see a similar combination of government and business allying to woo ASEAN decision makers as seen this week in India. SmartRail & Metro Eurasia

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Topics: Signalling, Rolling Stock

Luke Upton

Written by Luke Upton

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