The railways have been, perhaps, one of the most revolutionary inventions essential for the transport of goods and services, and the connectivity of humans. It is, therefore, no wonder that the constant improvisation of associated infrastructure and systems is paramount.

Governments strive to make their railway systems safer, faster and more efficient. No wonder, the 12th International Railway Equipment Exhibition: IREE 2017 at Pragati Maidan saw Japan participating as a partner country.

The government of Japan will continue to contribute towards India’s development through its active support in the HighSpeed Rail System and the conventional rail system in India. This year, 54 Japanese companies, government and non-government organisations and research institutions participated in the IREE 2017.

Ambassador of Japan to India Kenji Hiramatsu, in his opening remarks at the special plenary session, explained how the introduction of Shinkansen, the Japanese high speed rail system, played a vital role in driving the Japanese railway industry and in bringing constant innovation in railway technologies.

He expressed hope that the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) project will become a catalyst for further innovation, not only in the Indian Railways, but also in Indian society and economy.

Giving an example of Shinkansen’s impeccable safety record, Ambassador Hiramatsu stated that not a single one of 23 running Shinkansen trains derailed during the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March, 2011 which had a magniture of 9.0.

A commendable feat, indeed! Currently, the government of Japan is implementing projects not only inthe area of Indian High-Speed Railways but also in metro projects in major Indian cities, and in the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project.

As regards safety of the conventional railway network in India, the government of Japan has already dispatched twice, in January and August this year, a team of Japanese railway safety experts, emphasising the importance of safety along with efficiency.