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There’s enough policy but we can support India in execution of rail projects: Michele Molinari

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Interview with Michele Molinari, board member Swiss Rail

Jyoti Mukul[2] | New Delhi http://mybs.in/2TJBpLo

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Michele Molinari, Board Member, SwissRail Industry Association, President & CEO of Molinari Rail Ltd

Earlier this year, Switzerland opened the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel the Gotthard tunnel after almost two decades of construction work. The Swiss railway industry has also envisioned interest in the huge market thrown open by the Indian Railways.

In an interview with Jyoti Mukul, Michele Molinari, member of Swiss Rail Board and president of Molinari Rail, however, says availability of smooth passage for train systems was more imperative than just speed. Edited Excerpts:
[3][4] What is the role of Swiss Rail and what kind of collaboration are you looking for in India?


Swiss Rail is the industry association where all companies in the Swiss rail industry come together.

The first railway in Switzerland[5] started in 1847 and since then we have been innovating in the rail sector. We have companies like ABB, Bombardier which has important operations in Switzerland, and Stalder Rail which has collaborated with Indian company Medha for the Rs 20,000 crore Kanchrapara facility in West Bengal. My own company Molinari is working with GE in their locomotive programme for the Indian Railways.

We will deliver the auxiliary power unit for locomotives for which we are collaborating with Prag Industries from Lucknow.They are partners with us in this venture. First part will be Swiss but later will be made in India.

With opening of the Gotthard tunnel, is the Swiss railway system moving towards more cargo from the current passenger dominated business?


We have primarily passenger traffic but Switzerland[6] is in the heart of Europe so all the cargo traffic that goes from north to south and vice-versa, big majority goes through the Switzerland[7] rail system. The Gotthard tunnel, which was just inaugurated, was one part of the initiative to bring cargo traffic to railway and take it away from road.

What do you think is the best way to create more capacity for dealing with increased volume in India?

Is it through capacity expansion or improving technology on the existing system?


Capacity can be expanded through increased rolling stock and infrastructure or technology can help. The main thing is to increase capacity by more signalling system and the availability and reliability of rolling stock. Speed is not the key issue.

It is important to have a slot that when you inject a train it moves till the end without stopping or slowing down. And that’s part of organisation. It is something in which Switzerland[8] excels.

Operators are very well organised and make it work like Swiss clock 24×7 365 days a year. So, you need infrastructure, signalling system to increase reliability, reliable energy supply and electronic system, maintenance. The aim is to use available infrastructure, rolling stock to maximum.

The Swiss industry not only wants to support the Indian Railways but also the private sector here.

What are the main learning points for the Indian Railways?


Planning would have to be done but where we excel is we make sure that financing is in place. We have a public fund for railway infrastructure. We see to it that every year there is certain amount of money that goes into it and then the administration works with it.

The money cannot be taken away suddenly for some other stuff. Planning, funding and then execution is important. For instance, the Gotthard tunnel took 17 years to build but the interesting thing it was done within budget though it was set 20 years ago.

I think this is a lesson which is very good.


Execution is very hard to do because you have to align everybody. Railway is such an important thing in India so in my opinion, it should have the highest priority. There is enough policy but we can support India in execution.


Is the Swiss industry looking at urban rail systems in India also?


If you compare the number of people who move in India, it is huge.

It is real mass transportation here. In Switzerland, we have a highly synchronised transportation system and if there is an interchange it is done within few minutes. It is important to have synchronised train, terminal and bus movement where commuters can move with single ticket through a mobile application.

This is what we can bring to India.

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There’s enough policy but we can support India in execution of rail projects: Michele Molinari

Interview with Michele Molinari, board member Swiss Rail

Interview with Michele Molinari, board member Swiss Rail Earlier this year, Switzerland opened the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel the Gotthard tunnel after almost two decades of construction work. The Swiss railway industry has also envisioned interest in the huge market thrown open by the Indian Railways.

In an interview with Jyoti Mukul, Michele Molinari, member of Swiss Rail Board and president of Molinari Rail, however, says availability of smooth passage for train systems was more imperative than just speed. Edited Excerpts:
[9][10]

What is the role of Swiss Rail and what kind of collaboration are you looking for in India?


Swiss Rail is the industry association where all companies in the Swiss rail industry come together. The first railway in Switzerland[11] started in 1847 and since then we have been innovating in the rail sector.

We have companies like ABB, Bombardier which has important operations in Switzerland, and Stalder Rail which has collaborated with Indian company Medha for the Rs 20,000 crore Kanchrapara facility in West Bengal. My own company Molinari is working with GE in their locomotive programme for the Indian Railways. We will deliver the auxiliary power unit for locomotives for which we are collaborating with Prag Industries from Lucknow.They are partners with us in this venture.

First part will be Swiss but later will be made in India.

With opening of the Gotthard tunnel, is the Swiss railway system moving towards more cargo from the current passenger dominated business?


We have primarily passenger traffic but Switzerland[12] is in the heart of Europe so all the cargo traffic that goes from north to south and vice-versa, big majority goes through the Switzerland[13] rail system. The Gotthard tunnel, which was just inaugurated, was one part of the initiative to bring cargo traffic to railway and take it away from road.

What do you think is the best way to create more capacity for dealing with increased volume in India? Is it through capacity expansion or improving technology on the existing system?


Capacity can be expanded through increased rolling stock and infrastructure or technology can help.

The main thing is to increase capacity by more signalling system and the availability and reliability of rolling stock. Speed is not the key issue. It is important to have a slot that when you inject a train it moves till the end without stopping or slowing down.

And that’s part of organisation. It is something in which Switzerland[14] excels. Operators are very well organised and make it work like Swiss clock 24×7 365 days a year.

So, you need infrastructure, signalling system to increase reliability, reliable energy supply and electronic system, maintenance. The aim is to use available infrastructure, rolling stock to maximum. The Swiss industry not only wants to support the Indian Railways but also the private sector here.

What are the main learning points for the Indian Railways?


Planning would have to be done but where we excel is we make sure that financing is in place.

We have a public fund for railway infrastructure. We see to it that every year there is certain amount of money that goes into it and then the administration works with it. The money cannot be taken away suddenly for some other stuff.

Planning, funding and then execution is important. For instance, the Gotthard tunnel took 17 years to build but the interesting thing it was done within budget though it was set 20 years ago. I think this is a lesson which is very good.


Execution is very hard to do because you have to align everybody.

Railway is such an important thing in India so in my opinion, it should have the highest priority. There is enough policy but we can support India in execution.


Is the Swiss industry looking at urban rail systems in India also?


If you compare the number of people who move in India, it is huge. It is real mass transportation here.

In Switzerland, we have a highly synchronised transportation system and if there is an interchange it is done within few minutes. It is important to have synchronised train, terminal and bus movement where commuters can move with single ticket through a mobile application. This is what we can bring to India.


image

Jyoti Mukul

Business Standard

177 22

Interview with Michele Molinari, board member Swiss Rail

Earlier this year, Switzerland opened the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel the Gotthard tunnel after almost two decades of construction work. The Swiss railway industry has also envisioned interest in the huge market thrown open by the Indian Railways. In an interview with Jyoti Mukul, Michele Molinari, member of Swiss Rail Board and president of Molinari Rail, however, says availability of smooth passage for train systems was more imperative than just speed.

Edited Excerpts:
[15][16] What is the role of Swiss Rail and what kind of collaboration are you looking for in India?

Swiss Rail is the industry association where all companies in the Swiss rail industry come together. The first railway in Switzerland[17] started in 1847 and since then we have been innovating in the rail sector.

We have companies like ABB, Bombardier which has important operations in Switzerland, and Stalder Rail which has collaborated with Indian company Medha for the Rs 20,000 crore Kanchrapara facility in West Bengal. My own company Molinari is working with GE in their locomotive programme for the Indian Railways. We will deliver the auxiliary power unit for locomotives for which we are collaborating with Prag Industries from Lucknow.They are partners with us in this venture.

First part will be Swiss but later will be made in India.

With opening of the Gotthard tunnel, is the Swiss railway system moving towards more cargo from the current passenger dominated business?

We have primarily passenger traffic but Switzerland[18] is in the heart of Europe so all the cargo traffic that goes from north to south and vice-versa, big majority goes through the Switzerland[19] rail system. The Gotthard tunnel, which was just inaugurated, was one part of the initiative to bring cargo traffic to railway and take it away from road.

What do you think is the best way to create more capacity for dealing with increased volume in India? Is it through capacity expansion or improving technology on the existing system?

Capacity can be expanded through increased rolling stock and infrastructure or technology can help.

The main thing is to increase capacity by more signalling system and the availability and reliability of rolling stock. Speed is not the key issue. It is important to have a slot that when you inject a train it moves till the end without stopping or slowing down.

And that’s part of organisation. It is something in which Switzerland[20] excels. Operators are very well organised and make it work like Swiss clock 24×7 365 days a year.

So, you need infrastructure, signalling system to increase reliability, reliable energy supply and electronic system, maintenance. The aim is to use available infrastructure, rolling stock to maximum. The Swiss industry not only wants to support the Indian Railways but also the private sector here.

What are the main learning points for the Indian Railways?

Planning would have to be done but where we excel is we make sure that financing is in place. We have a public fund for railway infrastructure. We see to it that every year there is certain amount of money that goes into it and then the administration works with it.

The money cannot be taken away suddenly for some other stuff. Planning, funding and then execution is important. For instance, the Gotthard tunnel took 17 years to build but the interesting thing it was done within budget though it was set 20 years ago.

I think this is a lesson which is very good. Execution is very hard to do because you have to align everybody. Railway is such an important thing in India so in my opinion, it should have the highest priority.

There is enough policy but we can support India in execution. Is the Swiss industry looking at urban rail systems in India also? If you compare the number of people who move in India, it is huge.

It is real mass transportation here. In Switzerland, we have a highly synchronised transportation system and if there is an interchange it is done within few minutes. It is important to have synchronised train, terminal and bus movement where commuters can move with single ticket through a mobile application.

This is what we can bring to India.

image

Jyoti Mukul

Business Standard

177 22

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