‘Intend to play key role in India’s ambitious rail upgrade’

August 18, 2020 11:32 AM

Bharat Kaushal, managing director, Hitachi India, speaks to Nivedita Mukherjee on the deal and the opportunities in India.Edited excerpts:

Hitachi India, rail mobility space, Bharat Kaushal,Indian Railways, driverless train operations,artificial intelligence, internet of things,RAFTAR, Gatimaan Express, freight corridors, Aatmanirbhar BharatBharat Kaushal, managing director, Hitachi India

Hitachi India’s growing footprints in India’s rail mobility space is reflected in a recent Rs 120-crore order for transformers to enhance goal of railway electrification. Bharat Kaushal, managing director, Hitachi India, speaks to Nivedita Mukherjee on the deal and the opportunities in India.Edited excerpts:

Indian Railways is on a vigorous modernisation drive. How do you want to shape the outcome?

Hitachi India has a key role in the Indian Railways’ ambitious upgrade plan as it tries to adapt to the evolving market dynamics. We are providing our technologically advanced and intelligent solutions ranging from energy efficient, modern and aesthetically-designed rolling stock, latest signalling and train control systems with automatic, driverless train operations, advanced traffic management systems and passenger and information services solutions.
All this integrated through AI (artificial intelligence), IoT (internet of things) , machine learning, and advanced big data analytics are being leveraged by the railway operators. Under Railways’ mission RAFTAR, Hitachi has contributed in the commissioning of Train Protection Warning System signalling for running the Gatimaan Express trains at 160 kmph in the first high-speed corridor between Delhi and Agra. We have recently completed Asia’s largest interlocking at Kharagpur station which is the longest and largest railways yard with 800 routes.

What does Hitachi’s deal with the railways for transformers mean for India?
We see the locomotive order as a game changer both in terms of allowing us to advance the government’s mission for 100 % railway electrification and low carbon footprint. Hitachi India has won in July 2020 a `120-crore order for transformers for electric locomotive manufacturer, Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW), which will be used for the production of 400 passenger and freight locomotive engines. Hitachi will deliver two kinds of transformers — 6531 kilovolt ampere for CLW’s goods locomotive engines and the 7775 kVA for passenger engines. These transformers will be made and handed over to CLW by Hitachi ABB Power Grids.

What are the other big opportunities you see in rail mobility?

The government has envisioned segregating freight operations on the busy passenger routes through dedicated freight corridors along the Golden Quadilateral which will help increase the speed of both freight as well as passenger trains. This paves the way for upgradation of existing corridors with new higher speed trainsets, European Train Control System Level 2, signalling systems, traffic management and centralised operations. Given our competencies that is a very exciting opportunity going forward. Hitachi is currently installing state-of-the art signalling and telecom equipment for the Delhi-Mumbai segment of the entire western DFC, a 1,500-km stretch allowing high speed transit of 100 kph.

Urban transportation infrastructure in India can be upgradated massively with implementation of multi-modal network with last-mile connectivity. Hitachi has a strong presence in metro Mass Rapid Transport System and is working on significant projects which includes Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation and Navi Mumbai Metrorail by CIDCO. There is a lot we can do there.

There is a strong focus now on Aatmanirbhar Bharat? How can Hitachi contribute?

Hitachi is actively collaborating in ‘Make in India’ initiative. To employ local engineering and project management talent and to boost indigenous manufacturing capabilities, we have sourced and integrated locally manufactured products in our projects, while ensuring the highest quality standards in its execution. We have also invested in localisation in terms of signalling equipment and are manufacturing the Interlocking System and Multi-Section Digital Axle Counter in India as well. We have close to 250 railway engineers and management professionals implementing multiple projects across the railways and Metro rail which support the government’s mission of Skill India and also allows localisation of capacities.

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