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Mission 350 Plus: Railways To Explore Levitation Technology

Moving ahead on its Mission 350 Plus, Railways will organise a global meet to explore the possibilities of introducing ultra-high speed technology to run trains at a speed of 500 km per hour. "Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has envisioned Mission 350 Plus in which the Railways should enter the futuristic field of ultra-high speed rail network and work towards building an Indian technology which is economical and on par with the best," Rolling Stock Member Hemant Kumar said.

Accordingly, Railways has floated an Expression of Interest (EoI) tender for developing, constructing and running ultra-high speed railway system in India on PPP basis. The last date for the EoI is September 6 and so far four global players from have shown interest in the project, a senior railway official said today.

It is expected that the EoI will give a full view of emerging technologies available in the world in this frontier area of railway technology and enable Indian Railways to move to the next step of sanctioning a project. Trains can run at more than 350 km per hour speed with the use of levitation technology which is operational in Germany, China and Japan, among other countries, he said.

In order to take this mission further, Railways is organising a one-day international conference on September 2 here on technology for ultra high speed rolling stock for operation at maximum speeds of 500 kmph and above.

Mr Kumar said the conference has been organised to bring focus on development ultra-high speed railway systems in the country. "This will create a confluence of minds and ideas from across the globe and become a catalyst for a major transformation of Indian Railways to an ultra modern railway system, on par with the best," Mr Kumar added. The conference has evoked interest from all major players in the field of ultra-high speed including Germany, USA, Japan, Switzerland and Spain.

Mr Kumar said, "The Railway Minister's vision is to make rolling stock the driver for this major shift from India being a technology importer and manufacturer to becoming a developer and designer for futuristic rolling stock technologies."

HyperLoop Transport Technology from USA, Quadralev USA, Talgo from Spain, RTRI Japan, Siemens Germany, Knorr Bremse, Germany, Prose Switzerland are expected to participate in the meet. Besides, delegates numbering about 500 from railways, Indian industry, diplomatic community, international industry, federations of unions in railways are likely to attend the conference.

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