Switzerland Vice President Simonetta Sommaruga on Monday called on Union Railway and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss ways to boost cooperation between the two nations and to modernise railways. Sommaruga met Piyush Goyal in the rail bhawan here on Monday.
In a statement, the Swiss Embassy said, “the Indian government would like to strengthen the country’s railways and is interested in closer cooperation with Switzerland. A body has been set up to deepen this cooperation at a technical level.”
It said that the Indian government aims to strengthen the railways and is interested in obtaining innovative technologies, high-quality rolling stock and expertise, in order to electrify railway lines, modernise train stations and optimise operations and timetables.
“Switzerland and India therefore intend to cooperate more closely in future,” it said. The
Embassy said that Sommaruga also attended the launch of the body set up for that purpose.
Goyal also took to Twitter and wrote, “Met the Vice President of Switzerland, S Sommaruga and discussed ways to boost cooperation between the two nations, aimed at obtaining cutting-edge technology and expertise for further modernisation of Railways.”
Later at the Swiss Embassy, Sommaruga inaugurated the Railtech Networking Forum organised by the Swiss Embassy. Speaking on the occasion, the Swiss leader recalled her journey to south India and travelling in Nilgiri train. She said that both the countries have a deep-rooted history of cooperation and friendship as Switzerland swiftly recognized India’s Independence in 1947.
Sommaruga, who is also the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) Minister said, “both countries have long-standing railway traditions. Switzerland’s first train was operated in 1847 (Spanisch-Bratli Bahn) and India’s first train was a goods train that was started in 1837, and the first passenger train was operated in 1853.” She said the train is the “champion” as far as climate protection is concerned.