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Suresh Prabhu woos US investors for Indian Railways

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Washington: In a bid to promote cooperation in Indian Railways safety, India and the US have joined hands to work on a road show to woo potential long-term investor.

The US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and visiting Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu disclosed this following a top-level talk on bilateral engagement in the transportation sector. The engagement is a part of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed when Foxx visited India last April.

At the end of a three-day visit on Friday, Prabhu said that there was immense possibilities for knowledge sharing, technology tie-ups and business cooperation between the two nations in the transportation sector.

Prabhu met the Chairman and President of the US EXIM Bank Fred P Hochberg where various issues including the possibility of structuring a financing model that caters to India’s immediate needs and to utilize the upcoming investment and business opportunities in the country’s rail sector, were discussed.

A joint press release stated that both sides have agreed to work on the road show of potential long-term investors who intend to work towards improving India’s infrastructure sector.

Prabhu also met with President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Elizabeth L Littlefield to analyse the prospect of OPIC financing for the Indian Railways.

Prabhu emphasized the significant role of the Indian railways in providing low-cost sustainable transportation. He said this while addressing the World Bank Conference on Transforming Transportation.

The Indian Railways, he said, has embarked on transforming its energy mix by using renewal energy sources like solar and wind energy, and is undertaking energy audits to improve efficiency to meet its sustainability targets.

In his meetings with the World Bank and IFC officials, Prabhu made a presentation on the railway sector to the senior officials of the World Bank Group, showcasing the new initiatives of his ministry and familirising the Bank with various ways to partner with the Indian Railways. He further discussed the Railways’ efforts to expand, modernise, decentralise decision-making, improve efficiency and meet customer expectations.

Both the World Bank and IFC are operating closely with Indian Railways to help it achieve its formidable targets.

At a roundtable conference organised by the US India Business Council, Prabhu described the Indian Railways plans to invest $142 billion in the coming five years. He further expressed hope to double this investment figure in the next five-year cycle.

The senior leadership of the World Resource Institute (WRI) and Prabhu discussed the Indian Railways desire to transform its energy mix. They intend to do that by making railways an eco-friendly organisation through the promotion of use of clean energy and various other initiatives. (Inputs from Agencies) (picture courtesy:dailyamin.com)

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Ministry of Railways And Google Launch An Application To Preserve Indian Railways

The Indian Railways started its journey in 1853 between Boribunder and Thane, and has expanded to be the fourth largest railway network in the world.

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Indian Railways is one of the most important and controversial transport in India. Wikimedia Commons
Indian Railways is one of the most important and controversial transport in India. Wikimedia Commons

In a first-of-its-scale heritage mapping and digitisation project, Google and Ministry of Railways on Friday launched a project that aims to preserve the cultural heritage of the Indian Railways.

The two-year digitisation project “The Railways-Lifeline of a Nation” is a comprehensive digital document viewable on Google’s Arts and Culture website. It was launched at the National Rail Museum here.

The project is divided into “Journeys”, “People”, “Heritage” and “Engineering” sections, each containing visual and textual narratives that rail enthusiasts can access for free.

Indian Railways
India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

It comprises photographs, documentaries, text, virtual tours, 360-degree videos, online exhibits, and maps, pertaining to the Indian Railways.

Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal via video-conferencing said that the project is an experience for the “1.3 billion people of India about what the 1.3 million railway employees are doing for serving them”.

“From the Nilgiri mountains to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Station, let the people of India relive their childhood… through the train journey to Madhira and through the Darjeeling toy train; let’s show them the Kangra Valley, the Kalka-Shimla experience so that it could be enjoyed by someone in Coimbatore or Ooty,” he said.

Indian Railways
Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons

Along with several railway lines, the project also documents stories of 32 railway employees including engineers, ticket checkers, trackmen, and shunters.

Also capturing stories from the Indian Railways are other sections like the street art, literature, Bollywood, music, and sports, which demonstrate the inseparability of trains and culture.

The online project will also materialise as digital exhibits at 22 stations in India including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Howrah, Secunderabad and Varanasi, Google said.

Indian Railways
Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal via video-conferencing said that the project is an experience for the “1.3 billion people of India .

The event also saw the inauguration of a permanent exhibition of these online resources in the National Rail Museum premises.

Also Read: Google Turns 20, Feels Nostalgic

Notably, the Indian Railways started its journey in 1853 between Boribunder and Thane, and has expanded to be the fourth largest railway network in the world. (IANS)