New Delhi, May 14 : India and France today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for promoting bi-lateral cooperation in the railway sector.
A MoU was signed by R.K. Goyal, Additional Member Planning, Indian Railway Board and Jean-Pierre Lubinox, Chairman and Managing Director, SNCF International (French Railways).
Minister of State for Railways Naranbhai Rathwa and the visiting Minister of State for Transport, Government of France Dominique Bussereau were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Rathwa said, "India and France cooperate in a number of spheres and there are a number of areas where Indian Railways can benefit by cooperation with the French Railways."
He said that Indian Railways have an ambitious plan of network expansion, increase in rolling stock production capacity, world-class passenger terminals and in future country requires high speed passenger services also.
This MoU will further promote cooperation and be of a benefit to Indian Railways and also to the French Railways, added Rathwa.
Bussereau said that France is interested in forging ties with Indian Railways in specific areas like freight corridor, safety telecommunications, rolling stocks, locomotives and rakes and high-speed train.
"Railways will be the future mode of transport in the face of Global warming as it is fuel efficient and environment friendly mode of transport," Bussereau added.
Under the MoU, a steering committee composed of two representatives of each country will be set up which will meet alternatively in Paris and in India on a time scale to be agreed to by mutual consent of both the countries.
The first meeting of steering committee will mainly take up various issues for strengthening and promoting technical cooperation between the two countries.
The areas of cooperation include line capacity, safety, maintenance and upgrading of tracks and structures, signaling, telecommunications, power supply, electric or diesel traction stock, information technology, training, high speed rail projects and regional and urban development.