Top Officials from NHSRCL, India and RTRI, Japan organised a seminar on High Speed Rail in India at IIT Gandhinagar

Gandhinagar: The National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL) held advisory council meeting of High Speed Rail (HSR) Innovation Centre Trust and organised a seminar on ‘High Speed Rail & Related Research Projects’ at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. Shri Achal Khare, Managing Director, NHSRCL and Dr Norimichi Kumagai, President, Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), Japan, keynote speakers at the seminar, addressed researchers, students, and faculty of the Institute and discussed the first HSR project in India and technical aspects associated with it.

The keynote speeches were followed by a panel discussion where Dr Norimichi Kumagai and Shri Achal Khare, along with some of the other advisory council members, Prof KE Seetha Ram, Visiting professor at the Centre for Spatial Information Science, University of Tokyo, Japan; Prof K N Satyanarayana, Director, IIT Tirupati; Prof Sudhir Jain, Professor, Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur; and Prof Amit Prashant, Officiating Director, IIT Gandhinagar, shared their ideas on how this project is significant for the development of the country. They also interacted with the students, researchers and faculty of IIT Gandhinagar.

Addressing the participants, Shri Achal Khare provided an overview and highlights of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project, which is aimed at saving travel time, facilitating comfort, reducing conventional traffic and boosting the movement of goods & services between the cities. Shri Khare also discussed some of the challenges and research opportunities in the project. Talking about the high emphasis being given to environmental considerations and challenges, Shri Achal Khare said, “We are looking to find innovative ways to recycle/reuse construction waste generated from the project. As a step towards Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan and a movement against single-use plastic, we will be using a large amount of this polythene waste as a cost-effective construction material like paver blocks. The project will also undertake tree transplantation to minimise environmental impact, and rain water harvesting will be used extensively in the project.”

He invited young researchers and students to come up with innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable research solutions for the development and implementation of the project in order to create a difference. Shri Achal Khare said, “India has long been a technological powerhouse, and young Indian minds are bubbling with innovative technological ideas. NHSRCL would like to collaborate with them and provide them a platform to develop sustainable and indigenous technological solutions for High-speed railways in India.”

Dr Norimichi Kumagai spoke about enhancing the value of railway through innovation. He briefly gave an idea about the development of railways in Japan and explained the technical concept of Shinkansen, its values and innovation, which has brought significant changes in Japanese economy and social life. He also talked about the safety measures adopted in Shinkansen, like earthquake early detection/warning, and vehicle behaviour prediction to prevent derailment.

Dr Kumagai concluded his speech with a message to researchers and students in India and said, “Safety should be the top priority of all railway systems. Carefully observe what is happening in railway fields, do bench test and integrate it with simulation. Railway is a sophisticated system, but still, many technical challenges remain to be addressed. Railway research should contribute to the creation of a happier society based on strong mind for customer orientation.”

Giving a piece of motivating advice to all students he said, “Don’t be scared of making mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and never give-up. We have to try continuously.”