India and France signed two agreements for cooperation in the railways sector with a focus on high speed rail networks. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ministry of Railways and SNCF Mobilities, France, on technical cooperation. The MoU was signed by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.
SNCF is already working with railways on India’s first semi-high speed rail project between Delhi and Chandigarh which aims to bring down the travel time between the two cities to two hours.
“The purpose of this MoU is to build upon and deepen the mutual cooperation and focus on priority areas of high speed and semi-high speed rail; station renovation modernisation of current operations and infrastructure; and suburban trains,” a Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement said.
The cooperation agreement includes training of drivers of semi-high speed trains and safety and security of train networks.
The two countries also signed a Letter of Intent for the creation of a permanent Indo-French Railways Forum, whose purpose is to enhance the already existing cooperation so that representatives of the two countries can share information.