Japan to train India’s national railway officials to improve safety

06, Mar. 2019

A train platform in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Japan is training Indian railway officials to improve maintenance and safety.
A train platform in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Japan is training Indian railway officials to improve maintenance and safety.

NEW DELHI, NNA - Indian railway officials will undergo maintenance and safety training in Japan as part of Tokyo’s official assistance to help improve accident-prone railway operations in the South Asian nation.

Japanese experts will train 50 officials from Indian Railways, the national railway operator, in five different areas of rail safety, the Japan International Cooperation Agency said.

“Each of these five areas will have 10 Indians … so in total 50, who will undergo training in Japan,” Kenichi Kono, representative of the JICA India office, said. The first 10 are expected to visit Japan in July for a two-week training program, he said.

The areas of training are rail welding and inspection, track maintenance, rolling stock maintenance, accident investigation and safety management.

India suffered 328 train accidents between April 2015 and November 2018, in which 446 people died and more than 800 were injured, according to the railways ministry.

Last month, JICA experts from the Japan Transport Safety Board, among others, were in India to meet senior officials of the Indian Railways to discuss safety issues and training programs.

“We are jointly planning training programs in Japan for sharing Japanese knowledge and experience in various aspects of railway safety,” M.P. Singh, chief development specialist at JICA India said in a statement.

JICA is supporting the construction of about 1,500 kilometers of freight rail track between Delhi and Mumbai, known as the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, financed with Japanese government soft loans.