Leading Australian railway research institute lends support to Indian Railways

Monash University’s Institute of Railway Technology has entered into an agreement with a state-owned corporation in India to assist with the establishment of a new research and development institute to support the future of railways in India.

Representatives from Monash University and the Indian Ministry of Railways corporation DFCCIL (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited) signed an agreement on 16 March in Delhi, India.

The Institute of Railway Technology (IRT) together with partners, Balaji Railroad Systems Ltd (BARSYL) - leading railway consultants in India, PwC, and the Indian Institute of Bombay (IITB) were selected as the preferred supplier from a competitive global selection process. They will provide guidance  on  the  establishment of a new applied research and development institute in India known as SRESTHA (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement).

SRESTHA will be locally engaged, but have a global reach with the aim to become a world leader in the advancement of rail. Significantly, the project will provide guidance to Indian Railways on international models that will be adapted to the Indian railway environment.

Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis congratulated Monash and DFCCIL on a collaboration that he said would benefit all parties involved.

“Victoria leads the country in research and development and its great to see Monash making partnerships that showcase our infrastructure expertise to the world."

"This collaboration will not only help develop one of the world largest rail networks, it will further strengthen Victoria's strong cultural relationship and business ties with India.”

The Director of the Institute of Railway Technology, Mr Ravi Ravitharan, said that the partnership will help advance railway technology both in India and around the world.

“I am extremely pleased to be invited with our partners to assist with this significant project, which will support future research and technology development related to critical infrastructure for India.

“Indian Railways is one of the largest employers in the world and this is a very important project not only for IRT but also for Victoria and Australia,” Mr Ravitharan said.

Indian Railways is one of the world's largest railway networks, comprising 92,000 kms of track and employing over 1.3 million people. The network carries around 22 million passengers per day and over a billion tons of freight annually.

Monash University’s Institute of Technology (IRT) is the premier track and vehicle railway research centre in Australia. IRT provides efficient and practical solutions to the railway industry, creating linkages with people and institutions which deliver a range of mutual benefits in railway research  and  operations.  IRT’s projects extend from heavy haul to mass transit, high speed, general freight and passenger systems.