Germany lobbies for Indian railway projects

Germany lobbies for Indian railway projects

A worker fixes a railway track in Ahmedabad, India, March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Amit Dave/Files–People wait on a platform as a train is unloaded in a railway station in New Delhi, India February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/Files

A ragpicker walks on a railway track in Lucknow, India, February 1, 2017. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar/Files

 Fri Jun 23, 2017
Berlin is lobbying for German firms to win business revamping India’s creaking railway network, one of several countries attracted by the scale of India’s transport needs and which are campaigning to export their technology.

The economy ministry said on Friday it had agreed to finance a government feasibility study into a high-speed rail link between Chennai and Mysore, and had also discussed a project to modernise the Chennai-Hyderabad route.

“The government is conducting talks … with the Indian government about two railway projects in which German companies are interested,” it said in a statement, confirming an earlier report in German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche.

It said the projects had been a topic of conversation during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Berlin in May.

The ministry did not name any companies but industrial group Siemens would be most likely to benefit from any business. Siemens declined to comment.

Under Modi, India has been talking up the appeal of bullet trains as the main rail network, slow and saturated, struggles.

India appointed Chinese, French and Spanish firms in 2015 to conduct studies into building three high-speed rail lines linking its major cities.

However, aside from one line awarded to the Japanese, Modi’s government has not said how it would pay for high-speed lines if they eventually get the green light.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in New Delhi; Writing and additional reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Mark Potter)

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