India, home to the world’s largest railway network, is set to undergo a transport revolution with its newly elected prime minister, Narendra Modi, promising to modernise the ageing rail infrastructure.
The news comes as chancellor George Osborne joins foreign secretary William Hague on a visit to the country in hopes of securing Britain a part in a £7bn infrastructure project announced by Modi’s Government. The Government is hoping the massive infrastructure program will give the stagnant economy a kick start and see growth rates reach the levels they were in the early part of the last decade.
The plan seeks to increase safety, reliability and speed on the network, as well as modernise the bureaucracy and management systems of the network. It has over 1.3m employees.
At the same time, a “semi bullet” train was tested last week and made an Indian record by reaching a speed of 160km/h (99mph). In comparison, Japan’s bullet trains reach up to 320km/h.