“The priority now is to modernise the existing Indian railway network. India is constantly growing, and it has an important railway market.” This is what Renato Mazzoncini, CEO and General Manager of Gruppo FS Italiane said during the India Time to be in convention organised by MF-Milano Finanza and MF International, not much more than a month after the signing of a MoU between FS Italiane and Indian Railways to increase the security level of Indian railways.
The sector driving the investments in India is above all infrastructures. The country has a railway network of almost 70,000 km, used every day by 23 million travellers but which dates back to the times of British dominion, therefore greatly obsolete. The Indian government has allocated 150 billion in investments to the country’s infrastructures over the next few years. 15 billion will be available immediately and will be used for railway safety.
“Speaking with the Minister for Transport and the Chairman of the Indian Railways,” said Mazzoncini, “I believe that today they have to concentrate their investments on updating the current network. It’s evident that several thousand kilometres of high speed will be important for them in the future, but at the moment it isn’t a priority. In a situation where the conventional network is so much in deficit, the first thing to do is take the performances of the current network, together with safety and speed, to the maximum levels that the network can reach, then we can start building other railway lines. At the moment, though, the focus is on upgrading the existing network.” In addition, “we are evaluating management of a railway network in India to demonstrate the positive effects that line upgrading can have”. In India, for example, “there is no train running control system, an extremely important element.”
“One of the pillars of the ten-year industrial plan presented in September by Gruppo FS Italiane is internationalisation, with a growth in foreign turnover of from 1 to 4 billion. Today, our foreign turnover signifies Germany above all, therefore the MoU signed at the end of January with India is important. We believe that internationalisation is one of society’s development lines. In India there are great opportunities for cooperation.” finished Mazzoncini.