India and Belgium have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the development and modernisation of the railway sector in both countries.

The MoU was signed between Indian Railways Minister Mukul Roy and his counterpart Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs of Belgium Didier Reynders, who was on the official visit to India.

Indian Railways has identified stations for development to the international standards and signing of this MoU will especially focus in this direction.

“Both Indian and Belgian Railways will benefit with mutual consultation and exchange of information services on development and modernisation of railway stations,” said Mukul Roy.

“Belgium Government-owned companies, namely Euro Station and Immostar, have vast experience in field of development of stations in and outside Belgium. These companies have extensive expertise in transforming historical railway stations into the modern international terminals and the experience gained by them can be gainfully emulated in India after suitable adaption to Indian conditions.”

Both countries will form Steering and Working Groups consisting of experts to determine and define detailed scope and modalities of the activities and projects to be undertaken by both the countries for mutual benefit, Roy added.

Didier Reynders said: “The size of the Indian railway sector is truly impressive and developments and opportunities in this sector are equally impressive in view of the vision and ambitions of the Indian Government. Indian Railway sector is a focus sector of Belgium economic diplomacy.

“This initiative will kick start Belgium cooperation for the development of world-class railway stations in India. Many Belgium-based companies already have their presence in fastening and coating of rails to the delivery of parts for the train construction and software for safety and network management.”

Speaking on this development, Vinay Mittal, chairman of the Railway Board (India) said: “The rich experience of the Belgium Railway companies will boost Indian Railways’ endeavors in modernising and upgrading its stations.

“Under this MoU, the areas of cooperation among others shall also include carrying out joint research and training programmes,” Mittal stressed.

The ambassador of Belgium to India, Pier Vaesen, Minister of State for Indian Railways, K. H. Muniyappa, CEO of Euro Immostar/Eurostation, Herwig Persoons and other official from Indian Railways were also present at the signing ceremony.

Caption: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs of Belgium Didier Reynders and the Indian Minister for Railways, Mukul Roy, exchanging the signed documents of a MoU on bilateral co-operation for the effective development and modernisation of railway sector of both the countries, in New Delhi recently. The Minister of State for Railways, K.H. Muniyappa (extreme left) and the chairman, Railway Board, Vinay Mittal is also seen in the background.