SNCF to move industrious train project under way

August 3, 2016

SNCF (National Society of French Railways), France’s state-owned railway company who are also the international consultants for the Delhi-Chandigarh semi-high speed train project, have completed the initial round of feasibility studies for the project. SNCF is also studying the way forward for the renovation of two stations – at Ambala and Ludhiana.

SNCF has prepared three options which have been presented to the Indian government. The priority in the first scenario was given to minimum investments while the second option focused on completing the train journey between Ambala and Chandigarh in just two hours. The third priority was given to a possibility where the train could achieve speeds of 200 kmph. With the preparation of the three scenarios, the end of the first phase of studies is complete.

SNCF’s Asia Director, Philippe Lorand, said that SNCF would now jointly work with the Indian government representatives to help them understand the different options and the associated costs with each option. “We hope that by the time of the second steering committee meeting by the end of September, Indian Railways will be in a position to select one of the scenarios with which they want to go forward and for which they would want us to prepare the documentation so that they could launch the tenders.” He added, “The work of the steering committee is not just to select one of the options but also to tell us how they want to tweak their requirements within the budgets they have.”

On the Indian side, the steering committee members are headed by Alok Kansal, Divisional Railway Manager, South Eastern Central Railway.

The study was financed both by France and India and launched in January. The background to this is the agreement signed between the two countries when the French President visited India in February 2013, and last year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Paris in April.

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