Railways has undertaken a massive exercise of imparting training to over 500 railwaymen on high- speed rail technology in China and Japan, ahead of running trains at speed ranging from 160 to 200 kmph in select corridors in the country.
Railways has firmed up plans for running trains at higher speed of 160 kmph in the busy trunk routes of Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai section to reduce travel time between these metropoles.
Besides, the public transporter has asked SNCF, the French railways, to explore possibilities of running trains at 200 kmph on the Delhi-Chandigarh route.
"There is a need for imparting training on high-speed rail technology to our officials before the introduction of the service here," a senior Railway Ministry official involved in Mission Raftaar said.
Railways has launched Mission Raftaar, a programme to increase speed of trains in all busy routes to reduce journey time between cities.
There will be about 550 railway officials from directorates concerned, including traffic and electrical, who will be trained in China and Japan as arrangements for such training has been put in place, the official said.
While the first batch of 40 railway officials are being trained in high-speed rail technology at Chengdu in China, 20 officers have already been trained in Japan and 38 more are undergoing the training programme there.
The training programme in China is for two weeks and in Japan the study course is for 20 days.
They will learn the functioning of high-speed train service and its maintenance operations as part of their training module, the official said.
Railways is forging ahead to ensure 160 kmph speed on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes and the contract for strengthening of the track, upgrading of signalling system and fencing off vulnerable sections along the route are to be awarded.
While the Delhi-Howrah route is used by about 120 passenger trains and around 100 goods trains every day, some 90 passenger services and an equal number of freight trains run on Delhi-Mumbai corridor daily.
Once these two major routes are upgraded to the speed of 160 kmph, there will be a scope for launching more passenger trains in these sectors. This will reduce the waiting list of passengers in some of the popular trains as many more such services with similar facilities will be on offer.