Central Railway leaves Japan transport minister dumbstruck

Updated: Dec 27, 2017, 15:34 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar

Japan's transport minister amazed by how suburban railway operates

India may have sought Japanese expertise in building the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train, but when it comes to managing operations of the suburban railway, India seems to be the expert. In the country to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations, Japan's transport minister Keiichi Ishii admitted that he was dumbstruck by the volume of local trains that chug along the suburban railway system and the number of commuters the state railways ferries on a daily basis.

Japan's transport minister Keiichi Ishii (C) during a walk down the CSMT building, along with Central Railway officials on Tuesday
Japan's transport minister Keiichi Ishii (C) during a walk down the CSMT building, along with Central Railway officials on Tuesday

On his first visit to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Ishii, who was accompanied by 24 delegates, said, "How can a single service provider run as many services and ferry so many passengers every single day? This is astonishing."

Ishii was given an overview of the Central Railway's (CR) operations module and apprised about the functioning of the Central and Western Railways. Speaking to mid-day, CR's chief public relations officer Sunil Udasi said, "Japan's transport minister was awestruck by our numbers. He expressed disbelief about the sheer number of trains that ply across the city and the number of commuters availing of railway services. He spent a great deal of time at the CSMT watching arrival and departure of trains, crowd dispersal and studying our commuter management module. He was amazed when we told him that the CR runs 1,706 trips daily, in addition to freight and mail/express trains."

Signing an agreement with contractors for the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project, Ishii said, "We strongly believe that only efficient infrastructure puts countries on the forward path."

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