Exclusive Interview with Mr. Gunjan Vakharia, Head of Mobility Business, Siemens Limited


“Not just building Railways, building a Nation”

Interview Insights:

Rail Analysis: Siemens is participating in IREE 2023 with the campaign #TranformRailInIndia. Please share with us more insights into this and the focus of the campaign?

Mr. Gunjan Vakharia: India is a country on the move. It has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world on the back of a robust democracy and strong partnerships. Manufacturing is at the epicenter of achieving this success, whereas railways has been vital to this growth.

“Therefore, this year at the International Railway Equipment Exhibition 2023 (IREE 2023), we have a simple mantra – Transform Rail, Transform Mobility, Transform India, i.e., Transform Rail in India.”

At IREE 2023, we are going to showcase a wide range of solutions on how to optimize lifecycle costs, achieve 100% system availability, improve customer experience, and maximize network capacity – with our advanced technologies and pioneering solutions.



Rail Analysis: Indian Railways has also awarded Siemens a contract of Rs. 26,000 crores to supply 1200 locomotives with 35 years of maintenance in 2023? Please share some progress with us on this project?

Mr. Gunjan Vakharia: We have received the order for 1,200 locomotives of 9,000 horsepower (HP) from Indian Railways in January 2023. Deliveries are planned over an eleven-year period, and the contract includes 35 years of full service maintenance. We are closely working with Indian Railways and firmly committed  to deliver one of the most powerful electric locomotives available. The state-of-the-art locomotives will be used for freight transport throughout the Indian Railways network and are specified to haul loads of 4,500 tons at a maximum speed of 120 km per hour.

Producing 9,000 HP, they will be one of the most powerful freight locomotives in the world. They will be equipped with advanced propulsion systems that are also produced locally in Siemens India’s Mobility factories. We will use the power of the Railigent X technology to deliver highest availability and performance.



Rail Analysis: What is the Siemens’ outlook for Indian Railways?

Mr. Gunjan Vakharia: We have a vision to help deliver safer, greener and smarter railways. Along with sustainable mobility, it will continue to focus on providing cutting – edge technologies for passenger train and freight transportation.

Together with Indian Railways and Metro operators, the Mobility Business aims to achieve optimized rail network throughput and higher asset availability. The Ministry of Railways has been driving upgradation of technology and modernization of infrastructure (track, signaling and telecommunication). With the National Rail Plan 2030 setting the blueprint, investments are expected to further boost development of infrastructure and products under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. Innovation through research, design, manufacturing and digitalization will continue to be key drivers in transformation of Indian Railways.



Rail Analysis: Please share with us your insights into the increasing investments in India in the railway sector. How is Siemens advancing innovation in the field of rolling stock, railway signalling and electrification?

Mr. Gunjan Vakharia: The transformation in mobility is being driven through technology, with digitalization enabling the railways to increase throughput, reduce energy costs and increase value sustainably over the entire lifecycle.

Facilitating the transformation, we are leveraging their expertise and know-how in automation, digitalization and intelligent electrification to provide smart mobility solutions. With digitalisation, we are enabling operators to make intelligent trains and infrastructure, increase value sustainably over the entire lifecycle, enhance passenger experience, and guarantee availability. Digital technologies are emerging as key drivers in the creation of intelligent, state-of-art infrastructure.



Rail Analysis: What is your opinion on the future of the Indian metro’s infrastructure & technology landscape by 2030? What are the new technologies and methods needed to adopt and make the project’s future ready?

Mr. Gunjan Vakharia: Metro rail will play a pivotal role in enhancing quality of life and economic growth of the cities and in times to come it will be crucial to partner such projects with global expertise and local know – how to help improve connectivity and public infrastructure.

“Metros are turning into a terrific growth story in the country as more and more cities are developing their own metro networks.”

Even as the economy improves and the working population expands, metros offer a safe mode for urban transit. Multi-modal, integrated connectivity is one of the most sustainable and cost-efficient modes of moving people.

Digitalization is the key to developing and maintaining intelligent future-ready rail assets and services, enabling maximum process efficiency. These efficient technologies and solutions for passenger and freight transportation cover the entire gamut of rail infrastructure and metro-rail solutions.

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