China and Japan are once again in competition, this time for the lucrative high speed rail network market in India. The Japanese are already working on a feasibility study for the Shinkansen network on the Ahmedabad-Mumbai corridor, the results of which will be shared with the Indian side in the run-up to the PM’s visit to Japan this weekend. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to make a strong pitch for India to buy the Shinkansen high speed network. Kyoto, where Modi lands on Saturday, has the best known Shinkansen connection with Tokyo.
Meanwhile, China, which now has the longest high-speed rail network in the world, is keen to sell their trains to India, at a price much lower than the Japanese. The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, will arrive for his maiden visit to India in mid-September. Japan is hardselling better quality and higher safety standards, while China is pitching lower costs. China has been sounded out on upgrading India’s ageing and inefficient railways infrastructure, even building new stations. India is planning to build high speed train networks on other routes such as Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Chandigarh, Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai, Mumbai-Goa and Hyderabad-Secunderabad.