Ministry of Railways, Government of India and the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF), the French National Railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 14 February 2013 in order to facilitate technical cooperation in Railways to each other.
Chairman, Railway Board, India and Chairman and CEO SNCF from the French side signed this MoU. The MoU was signed when the President of France, H.E. Francois Hollande was present.
There were four main areas in MoU and these were:
• Station renovation and operations
• High speed and semi-high speed rail
• Suburban trains
• Modernisation of current operations and infrastructure
Main Features of High Speed Cooperation Programme:
• A project called High Speed Cooperation Programme was decided upon as well. The project will be funded by SNCF with assistance from French Ministry of Finance.
• Under the programme, an operations and development feasibility project will be carried out on Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail.
The Memorandum of Understanding remains valid for 5 years. It is extendable by 1 year with the mutual consent. Under this MoU, certain cooperation projects will also be undertaken by India and France.
The French delegation led by SNCF Chairman also visited Central Railway and Western Railway in Mumbai on 15 February 2013.
Apart from signing the MoU, the two nations also decided for better trade cooperation.