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Indian Railways engineers want trains to 'fly'

City hosts two-day seminar for engineers and top railway officials to chalk out plan for turning 200 km per hour dream into reality

The ambitious Indian Railways (IR) engineers, who want Indian trains to fly at over 200 km per hour, have initiated a nationwide study to identify routes than can be quickly upgraded to support superfast rail corridors.

Two-day meet
At present, railway engineers and heads of various divisions of IR from all across the country are attending a two-day seminar on introduction of high-speed trains through upgradation of existing tracks as well as elimination of level crossings. Organised by the Indian Railways Institute of Civil Engineering (IRICEN), the seminar commenced yesterday at Alpabachat Bhavan behind Council Hall. 

Research papers and theses will be presented and studied at the national conference along with the incorporation of new operational techniques from the pool of ideas that will converge at the seminar.

Official word
A P Mishra, a member of Engineering, Railway Board said that the fastest train running in the country runs on the Delhi-Agra corridor at a speed of 150 km per hour for a distance of only 200 km. "Our objective is to run trains at 200 km on the existing tracks. We are awaiting cabinet's approval for the proposed National High Speed Rail Authority along with the conclusion of a feasibility study being conducted by a Japanese firm. The upgrading would cost around Rs 2.5 crore per km," said Mishra. 

The IR has identified six corridors for the planned upgradation. These are Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar, Pune- Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Hydera-bad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chen-nai, Howrah-Haldia, Chennai-Bangalore, Coimbatore -Erna -kulam-Thiruvananthapuram and the Delhi-Agra-Lucknow-Varanasi corridor.Mishra also talked about railway's ambitious plan to reduce the number of level crossings by building Road Under Bridges (RUBs) and Road Over Bridges (ROBs) at appropriate junctions. 

This is being done with a view to reduce the number of mishaps. "There are about 17,800 level crossings (LC) of which, about 14,800 are unmanned and 40 per cent of railway accidents have taken place on LCs. We also want to upgrade LCs by spending about Rs 25 lakh each on the identified ones and close the ones where traffic is less," said Mishra.

Dignitaries at event
Central Railway General Manager (GM) Subodh Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Pune Division) Vishal Aggrawal, C P Tayal, Director of IRICEN, Deepak Krishnan, GM, Southern Railway, G C Agarwal, GM, Eastern Railway and Prashant Kumar, Chief Commissioner of Railway Safety were some of the dignitaries present at the conference.

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