China Railway Rolling Stock Corp Ltd (CRRC) will provide 14 subway trains with 112 carriages in total to Kolkata, CRRC said in a statement, state-run China Daily reported. This is the first overseas order that CRRC has received after merger of China's state-owned train manufacturing firms - China North Railway (CNR) and China South Railway (CSR) this month.
The Kolkata order was secured by CNRC subsidiary company - CNR Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company in February. The value of the order has not been mentioned.
As the third-biggest city in India, Kolkata will replace the old trains that have been running for over 30 years in its south-north subway line which reaches a length of 23.45 km in order to ease the transportation pressure, the Daily reported.
According to the company, this is the first time that CNR Dalian has entered the market of South Asia. CRRC started trading on the Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses on Monday, becoming the world's biggest rail conglomerate in terms of market value and sales.
The Kolkata order came ahead of the visit of a high power delegation from West Bengal headed by Finance Minister Amit Mitra here to explore investment opportunities for his state. Indian officials said the delegation will meet Chinese investors to showcase investment opportunities in the state.
This is the first time that CNR Dalian has entered the market of South Asia
Chief Ministers of several Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka have visited China to woo Chinese investments.
The two countries have also launched India-China Forum for State and Provincial Leaders during the last month's visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China to facilitate direct interaction between Indian states and Chinese provinces.
The order came as China is trying to make all out efforts to bid for high speed bullet trains against stiff competition from Japan.
China, which has built 40 bullet train lines with 16,000 kms of tracks in most part of the country, is currently conducting a feasibility study for the over 2,000-km New Delhi-Chennai high speed line while Japan is conducting a similar study for Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.
India has stepped up cooperation with China to modernise its railways with agreements in a number of area including speed raising of the tracks (Chennai-Mysore sector via Bangalore), training of 100 railway personnel in heavy haulage, setting up of railway university and modernisation of railway stations in Bangalore and Bhubaneshwar.