Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in his Rail Budget Speech of 2014-15 announced that New Delhi – Chandigarh Corridor will be upgraded for increasing the speed of passenger trains to 160/200 kmph. Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India had already signed an MoU with the French National Railways (SNCF) on dated : 14.02.2013 on technical co-operation in various fields of Railways. One of the areas of co-operation mentioned in the MoU is regarding exchange of experience, technologies & know-how for upgrading speed on existing infrastructure of Indian Railways. To discuss the co-operation issues and specific projects, a high level delegation headed by CRB had visited the SNCF/France in May,2014. During the discussion, it was decided to take up speed raising on Delhi – Chandigarh Corridor. Later, during Hon’ble PM’s visit to France in April,2015 a protocol with SNCF on co-operation in Semi-High Speed rail on Delhi – Chandigarh Section was signed with the approval of Minister of Railways. In December, 2015, an agreement was signed between Ministry of Railways and SNCF vide which the feasibility/implementation study of Delhi – Chandigarh Corridor for raising the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph was awarded to SNCF on 50:50 percent cost sharing basis. The total cost of the study is Rs.19,69,02,721/- (without taxes) and the total time duration for its completion is one year. The study commenced on 19th January,2016. The study has been divided into three phases and details of areas to be covered under each phase is indicated below :-
Phase – I (In four months from the date of commencement.) – Technical Assessment involving field visits, surveys, review of possible technical solutions and development of three high level upgrading scenarios.
Phase – II (In two months from the date of completion of Phase –I) – Operation/Economic impact involving assessment of scenarios, impact on transport and operations plan, economic/financial impact for IR and selection of a preferred scenario with Indian Railways.
Phase-III (In six months after completion of Phase –II) – Execution plan and tenders involving reference design, bill of quantities, tender preparation and recommendations for a broader HSS upgrading programme by Indian Railways on a selected scenario.
At present Phase – I of the project is in progress. The total four months duration of Phase–I has been divided into four equal parts i..e each of one month duration and after every month, a detailed meeting is held with SNCF and concerned Northern Railway officials and the same has been named a Project Review. In today’s meeting i.e. on 18th May,2016, the third Project Review has been done.