28 September 2017

India Japan Cooperation in Rail Safety

Taking the technical cooperation in Rail Safety ahead, a team/ Mission of Safety experts from Japan concluded its second visit early this month. This team comprised of representatives of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and railway operators etc. This mission discussed detailed scope of cooperation. This Mission visited Indian Railway’s (IR) coach/wagon/loco maintenance facilities. The Mission also observed rail welding and track maintenance practices followed by IR.

Earlier, in response to the request from Indian Railways, MLIT deputed a team of Japanese Railway experts to India to assess incidents of rail breakage and suggest measures to improve safety in train operations. The first meeting was held on 9.1.2017 with Japanese Experts. Following this first visit, a separate Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Railway safety was signed on 17.2.2017 between Ministry of Railways, Government of India (GoI) and MLIT, Japan to cover the area adequately.

The MoC envisages cooperation in Rail Safety on area such as maintenance of Track (welding, rail inspection, track circuit etc.) and rolling stock maintenance. ‘Capacity Development’ has been taken as a Technical Cooperation project under the MoC to develop Indian Railways’ capacity in respect of the above identified areas. These areas have been incorporated in the Terms of Reference of cooperation.

Japanese Railways is one of the oldest Rail system in the world. Japan is the pioneer in the High Speed Rail ‘Shinkansen’. Japanese Railways has an impeccable record with Safety. Ministry of Railways (GoI) had requested Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for technical cooperation in Rail Safety.

The cooperation will facilitate exchange of information and visit of experts from both sides. A workshop is proposed to be organised in the first week of Nov’2017 in association with Japanese experts.