Newly created Mobility Directorate under the Ministry of Railways will now focus on increasing speed of freight and passenger trains on the congested Ghaziabad-Mughalsarai rail corridor
New Delhi: Railways has set up a separate directorate to focus on increasing speed of freight and passenger trains. In the first phase, railways has undertaken the exercise to increase train movement in the Ghaziabad-Mughalsarai corridor which includes the Allahabad junction involving movement of 120 trains in a day.
“We have created Mobility Directorate to focus on speed enhancement,” Railway Board Chairman (CRB) AK Mital said. He said at present the speed of freight train is about 25 km per hour and the plan is to increase it to 30 km per hour in less than a year. “Our target is to reach 50 kmph in five years by increasing 5 km per hour every year. It will reduce congestion to a great extent which will enable the faster movement of train,” Mital said.
However, he said, this is not an easy task. “It is a tough job but we have to do it for decongestion.” Similarly, Mital said all local passenger trains will also be replaced with MEMU trains to save time. MEMU trains have faster acceleration and deceleration than other passenger trains.
Highlighting the need for investment, Mital said it is a fact that railways is suffering from under investment which has resulted in congested network.
“There are many special trains pressed into service during the festivals but still we are not been able to run as many as required, he said, adding “So any slight disturbance like derailment in the network, the whole time table goes haywire. It takes quite some time for the system to normalise the operation.”
Mital said railways has taken steps to improve signalling, rolling stock with more investment.
NGOs urge for immediate start of work on Amritsar-Ferozepur rail link
Amritsar based NGOs requested the Union Government to immediately start the work on the strategic and commercially vital Amritsar-Ferozepur rail link.
They said the long-awaited project received a new lease of life after MP Shwet Malik took up the matter in the Rajya Sabha.Members of the Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) said the matter got across the board cooperation from members of Parliament of Punjab and Rajasthan for the immediate and speedy construction of the missing portion of the pre-1947 Ferozepur-Amritsar railway line.
They stated that the line was functioning for more than half a century but in 1947, when the province of Punjab was divided, a small portion from Ganda Singh Wala, Kasur, up to Khem Karan, fell into the share of Pakistan.India needed to rebuild an alternative portion from Patti to Ferozepur immediately but it did not happen till now.
The budgetry allocation was made for the project in 2013 but it did not translate into work at the grass-roots level till date.Malik’s request generated unanimous support for his demand from Navjot Singh Sidhu of the BJP, Ambika Soni and Partap Singh Bajwa of the Congress and Naresh Gujral, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhundar of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
The project will benefit the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and the southern Indian peninsular states, the AVM members said.
This railway route is very significant for the whole nation especially for north-east India as it will reduce the 240 km distance between Amritsar and Mumbai and the 267 km distance between Srinagar and Mumbai. A time of 6 hours will also be saved for each trip. The route from Amritsar-Patti-Ferozepur-Fazilka-Abohar-Ganganagar-Bikaner-Jodhpur-Ahmedabad- Mumbai will also benefit the border districts of Punjab and Rajasthan.
Punjab Beopar Mandal president Amrit Lal Jain hoped that the rail link would lessen the rush on the Amritsar-Delhi-Mumbai route as the goods trains have to stay for 3-4 hours in Delhi. The goods trains on Amritsar-Mumbai route via Ferozepur will run without any break. It would also decongest the highly busy Delhi railway station.
This rail route will also be an alternative route of Amritsar-Ambala-Delhi route. During the Jat andolan in Haryana a few months back, the Amritsar-Ambala-Delhi route was blocked for more than a week and travellers had to face unbearable hardships.