Suresh Prabhu promises 2 high-speed trains to Andhra Pradesh


New Delhi : A day after getting elected to Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh, railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday had gone into an overdrive with a flurry of announcements for the state. Meanwhile High-speed railway lines would be built between Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bengaluru-Amaravati in collaboration with foreign countries, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Saturday.

The foreign collaborator would be decided after talks with different countries, he said.
"I held talks with French officials yesterday but that was only a preliminary meeting. We will talk with other countries as well and choose a partner," the minister said. Briefing reporters after a three-hour high-level meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, he said a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)\Joint Venture (JV) company would be formed by the railways with the state government in a couple of months for taking up major rail projects in the state.

"Through the proposed SPV, 21 railway stations in the state would be redeveloped as airports. The South-Central Railway General Manager would coordinate with the state government in this regard and review the works every month," Prabhu said. The Railway Minister also announced an aggregate capital investment of Rs 1,000 crore for setting up two new railway workshops at Kurnool and Tirupati and a wagon overhaul facility at Visakhapatnam.

These facilities would create hundreds of jobs, he said. Prabhu also announced that a major Rail Neer plant would also be set up in Andhra Pradesh. Two special tourist trains would also be introduced in the state, one of which would be run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), he said."The second tourist train would be modelled on the Palace on Wheels and the Deccan Odyssey. We would work with the state government on this," he said.