Indian Railways highlights $140bn sector at ME Rail 2018

Delegation shares details on expansion plans, future growth prospects and opportunities

Indian Railways has sent a high-profile delegation of railway officials and experts to Middle East Rail 2018 in Dubai, UAE, as it looks to highlight opportunities available in the sector, which includes $140 billion worth of current and future rail projects that are being developed by the Indian government.

The delegation will be led by Mahesh Kumar Gupta, member (Engineering) of the Indian Railway Board, while Indian Railways will be represented by two of its overseas arms – Rites and Ircon International Limited. The former deals in the consultancy of transport and infrastructure and export packages of rolling stock, while Ircon mainly focuses on the construction of railway projects.

Experts from both branches will share details about Indian Railways’ expansion plans and future growth prospects, while also outlining opportunities that the industry – the largest railway network in the region – offers in the Metro, Tram, Monorail, Long-distance freight and Passenger train sectors, as well as in High-speed rail.

“We will highlight some of our achievements, growth prospects and future projections during this two-day event. This kind of events help in creating awareness about gigantic organisations like Indian Railways, which deals in mega projects such as high-speed trains, dedicated freight corridors, electrification, capacity expansion and tech development,” said Gupta.

“These are exciting times for the railway industry. Since there are serious challenges in the road and air transportation sector, the upgrading of the railway infrastructure is the need of the hour.”

Gupta added that Indian Railways has realised that accumulated backlog investment is the root cause of its inability to improve the market share or quality of services.

He explained that major investments are now being made through budgetary allocation of ₹8.56 lakh crore in the financial year 2015-16, with contribution from gross budgetary support (₹2.56 lakh crore), internal generation (₹1 lakh crore), JV/cost sharing (₹1.20 lakh crore), PPP/partnerships (₹1.30 lakh crore), debt (₹2.50 lakh crore), rolling stock lease (₹1.00 lakh crore) and institutional funding (₹1.5 lakh crore).

Furthermore, he revealed that Indian Railways aims to concentrate on major investment projects in the areas of dedicated freight corridor, high speed rail, modernisation of signalling system, track and rolling stock maintenance with major emphasis on safety.

“Our future plan is to focus on electrification, 100% use of LED lights, ETCS level II of signalling and high-speed technologies,” revealed Gupta.

Ankala Saibaba will speak on the opening day of Middle East Rail, where he will discuss a megaproject underway in India, which will include more than 45 tunnels and 125 major bridges, at a total cost of $1.7 billion. He is scheduled to share and highlight the various challenges associated with designing and constructing the world’s tallest railway bridge, besides also showcasing the state-of-the-art technology adopted by Indian Railways.

Saibaba will also highlight forthcoming major railway projects during his talk, as well as the opportunities available to international companies.

Jayanth Pandey, assistant general manager, Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, will also share details about Phase One of Ahmedabad’s Metro, while Sanjay Kumar, chief engineer (signalling and telecommunications) for Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation, will take part in a panel discussion on day two of the event.

Middle East Rail 2018 is the largest railway industry event in the region. It runs from March 12 to 13 2018 at the Dubai International Convention Centre.


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