Lost in Music, Student run over by Train

गाज़ियाबाद Ghaziabad (GZB):  Crossing railway tracks while listening to music on the headphones proved costly for a Class XII student when a train ran over him in Vijay Nagar area on Monday afternoon. According to police, the deceased has been identified as 18-year-old Vishal, who lived with his family in Pratap Vihar area of Ghaziabad. Police said the incident took place at 12.30 pm when he was crossing railway tracks with his earphones on.

“Some witnesses told the police that Vishal had his earphones on and was listening to music on his mobile phone. He crossed the tracks oblivious to an oncoming Jalandhar Express,” said a police officer. The officer also said it seems Vishal was distracted; he could not hear or see the train approaching him, adding, he died on the spot after being hit by the train. Police have sent his body for a post-mortem exam and further investigation is on.

Skywalk linking Yeshwantpur Metro and Railway Stations ‘up in the air’

Officials unclear over time frame for the project

YPR2GMTOSOYO630यशवंतपुर Yesvantpur Jn (YPR): A proposal to build a skywalk to connect the Yeshwantpur railway and metro stations appears to be gathering dust with officials unclear over when it will be constructed.

The skywalk will provide seamless access to passengers from the railway station to the metro station and vice-versa, akin to the one in Byappanahalli.

Though the Green Line of the metro between Swastik and Peenya was launched two months back, there has been no news of the proposed skywalk. As a result, passengers have to cross the road to access either station.

While this is not much of an issue for the average passenger, some commuters complain that it is difficult for the elderly and children.

Pradeep Singh Kharola, managing director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL), said they were in talks with South Western Railway (SWR) over the project and were chalking out details. He said they would take up the construction as soon as possible.

Anil Kumar Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, SWR, said the SWR had no objection over the proposed skywalk.

However, he added that it was up to the BMRCL to build it as they were funding it.

“A skywalk connecting the railway station with the metro station, like in Byappanahalli, is the simplest thing to do. Now we have to exit one station and walk up the other. It has rendered the services not user-friendly and is particularly taxing for children and elders,” said Sukumar G., a commuter.

Entry gate closed

Meanwhile, one of the entry gates to the Yeshwantpur metro station has been shut, which means passengers have to walk to another entrance to access the escalator and steps of the station.

One official said this was because the traffic on the metro was still low and keeping the entry gate open would mean having to install an X-ray machine and ensure two security guards. Since the traffic was low, it was not viable to keep it open at present.

Another official said the gate was being used earlier and was shut as it is near the pre-paid auto stand and a few drivers created a ruckus a few nights ago.

Whether this had anything to do with access to the metro is not clear. However, Manjunath Kumar, an auto driver, said, “After the metro came up, most commuters don’t hire autos to destinations along the metro route and this has hampered our business.”

B.L.Y. Chavan, general manager (Operation), BMRCL, said the entry gate was closed only temporarily and once all reaches are opened and traffic on the metro increases, it would be put to use.

He said there was another entrance that was equipped with an escalator just 200 metres away and they had opened that entrance where commuters had better facilities.

Electric Traction on Virudhunagar-Tirunelveli section to be ready by June

“Extensive tests on this section under way”

r165विरूदुनगर Virudunagar Jn (VPT):  Travelling by train from Chennai to Kanyakumari along the southern trunk route, through Tiruchi and Madurai, is set to be quicker with Southern Railway planning to commission the electrified Virudhunagar-Tirunelveli segment by June.

While electrification of the broad gauge line had extended from the Chennai side to Madurai and from the Kanyakumari end to Tirunelveli, the roughly 110-km Virudhunagar-Tirunelveli segment had been the missing link to providing seamless operation of trains with electric traction from Chennai and Kanyakumari.

“We are carrying out extensive tests on this section, and the commissioning of electric traction is expected in a couple of months,” said R.P. Udayakumar, Chief Project Manager (Railway Electrification), Chennai unit of the Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE).

According to railway officials, the travel time from Chennai to Kanyakumari along what is one of the most congested trunk lines in the zonal railway could come down by from 30 minutes to an hour once end-to-end seamless electric traction is provided, as trains will no longer be required to change traction mid-way.

For peculiar reasons, the railways have been a slow-coach in launching electrification of this major route even as it accelerated a slew of projects elsewhere. For over three decades, the electrification of lines did not extend beyond Villupuram, even as projects were launched and completed on the Jolarpettai-Salem-Coimbatore-Palakkad mainline.

Initially, express trains underwent traction changeover with diesel locos taking over at Villupuram, before the switch was shifted to Tiruchi, and later to Madurai — a process that consumed 20-30 minutes.

It was only in 2009-10 — the same year that electric traction was fully aligned in the Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram segment — that electrification beyond Villupuram lit up on the railways’ radar. For the past few years, however, the Virudhunagar-Tirunelveli segment ended up being bookended by fully electrified sections on the Madurai and Tirunelveli sides.

“For trains powered by electric traction, this segment was a bottleneck as it required a traction change to diesel for the rest of the journey,” an official said.

The Chennai Project unit, which executes electrification works across zones, is geared up to commission the Villupuram-Vellore (150 km) segment shortly. Recently, electric traction had been commissioned in the 103-km Dindigul-Madurai-Virudhunagar section.

“Once electrification of a few more line segments is completed, we will turn our focus to smaller inter-connecting lines,” Mr. Udayakumar said.

Southern-most tip of India urge for Urgent Doubling of 276 Km Madurai-Kanyakumari Section

Vivekananda Rock Memorialकन्याकुमारी Kanyakumari (CAPE): The Chennai-Trichy-Madurai-Kanyakumari main line (738 km) is the most important route of the Southern Railway (SR) of Indian Railways, as it connects the entire part of Tamil Nadu, particularly the central and southern parts of the state with State capital Chennai in general and the other parts of India in particular. This line is also considered to be the back bone of the state as well as the Southern Railway, as this route generates maximum revenue to the SR while also being one of the most attractive tourist destination of India on Indian Railways, besides catering to other main artillery lines including the Madurai-Rameswaram, Dindigul-Coimbatore, Trichy-Nagapatinam, Virudunagar-Senkottai, Virudhachallam-Selam, Maniachi-Tuticorrin etc with many large scale industrial belts developed over a period of time along this route, and despite having huge potential of passenger and freight traffic, most part of this main line connectivity to Southern-most tip of India is currently a single line.

thiruvallur-kanyakumari-IndiaConsidering the potentialities of this route, the Ministry of Railways allowed doubling for Chennai-Villupuram-Trichi-Madurai sections in different phases and the works are going on in different stages, which are expected to complete by 2015/16. The only left out portion of the Chennai-Kannyakumari main line which is now the Madurai-Tirunelveli-Kannyakumari section for which, the Ministry of Railways had already sanctioned the survey (2012-13 Railway Budget) for the doubling of this section. As announced, the survey has now been completed for the Madurai-Tirunelveli-Kannyakumari section including the Maniachi-Tuticorrrin (276 km) section and the Railway Board is believed to have principally approved the project and has forwarded the same to the Planning Commission for approval. The project has a rate of return of 8.095% which is above the minimum required value.

Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, industrialists, politicians, political groups and public strongly believe that if this project is approved by the Planning Commission and sanctioned in the forthcoming budget, the doubling work on this section would also be completed parallel with other sections of the Chennai-Kannyakumari route and the entire 738 Kms long Chennai-Kannyakumari main trunk route will get doubled by end of 2016 that which would facilitate the Indian Railways to operate more and more freight and passenger trains towards the Southern tip of Tamil Nadu from all over India.

St.Xaviers Church, KottarThis will also importantly boost the operational efficiency, tourism, increased freight and passenger traffic, industrialization in the region. Doubling of this section would strengthen and support the freight movement of Tuticorin port and the upcoming ports at Colachel and Vizhingam. It is also required to cater the freight movement from the upcoming Special Economic Zone at Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district and to accommodate the growing demand from people working at Koodankulam Atomic Power Station, and the Mahendra Giri unit of ISRO, and, moreover, it would also help to get the economically and industrially backward southern districts of Tamil Nadu into a developed region, at par with the Northern and Western Corridors.

What People’s Representatives say?

P Edward Jeni, secretary of Kanyakumari District Rail Users Association (KKDRA) said that if the project is completed it will boost the entire economic growth of the region. “The southern region has sound academic growth but lags behind in industrial development. The doubling will help the industrial growth of the area,” he pointed out. Besides, the travel time between Chennai and Kanyakumari can be reduced greatly. At present it takes 13 hours between these destinations which will come down to seven to eight hours, Jeni mentioned. Meanwhile, Colachel MLA, J G Prince has petitioned the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on various occasions to implement the project. Doubling work has been undertaken on the Chennai-Madurai section already and if Madurai-Kanyakumari is also undertaken immediately, the entire section may be completed by 2016. In addition to operating more trains, the doubling will be useful to support the freight movement of Tuticorin port and the upcoming ports at Colachel and Vizhingam. It is also required to cater the freight movement from the upcoming special economic zone at Nanguneri in Tirunelveli district and to accommodate the growing demand from people working at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and the Mahendragiri unit of ISRO, Prince observed in his various petitions. PTKA Balasubramanian from Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee and President of Sattur Chamber of Commerce said that operating more trains to the southern region will remain in the paper without taking up this doubling project.
LPSC Mahendragiri

Nanguneri SEZ – prime growth corridor for the region to boost the freight traffic of Railways

SEZ at NanguneriOne of the first SEZs located in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, Nanguneri SEZ was launched in 2001. But, subsequently the project was mired in controversy. It has now taken off with more than half a dozen units commencing production in the 2500-acre SEZ.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

A separate 230 kv power sub-station has been completed now resolving electricity shortages and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa is scheduled to inaugurate it shortly. Also, with Kudankulam nuclear power plant going on stream more power would be available for the SEZ shortly.

The proposal is to acquire an additional 1500 acre land around the area to ultimately convert it into a NIMZ, said minister of state for commerce and industry EMS Nachiappan.

“Nanguneri has been revived…We have suggested that it be further expanded to graduate into a NIMZ by acquiring an additional 1500 acres,” Nachiappan told RailNews.

The proposal is to expand the SEZ by acquiring land in nearby districts of Tuticorin, Virudhanagar, Sivaganga and Ramnad to create industrial clusters taking advantage of the 18 benefits available to such clusters in national manufacturing policy. It would then be graduated into a NIMZ. “We have requested the Tamil Nadu government to set up such clusters,” he said.

2418601Nanguneri Special Economic Zone promoter AMRL Hi-Tech City has signed a pact with Great Shine Engineering, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Zynergy Capital to set up a Rs 1,500 crore modern facility for manufacturing solar power peripherals over 40 acres.  A Japanese firm that is into, manufacture of high precision scales for use in research laboratories is in advanced stage of negotiations with AMRL to set up its base in the SEZ. Kerala-based surgical gloves manufacturers would invest around Rs 20 crore at Nanguneri SEZ.  AMRL had concluded agreements with 15 industries including a Dubai-based company to take up around 45 acres so far. The SEZ consists of processing zone, spread over 1,780 acres with industries and non-processing zone spread over 740 acres, which would house social infrastructure.

Nachiappan said that negotiations are also on with Japanese agencies to implement the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor. “Japanese are very much interested in the industrial corridor particularly because more than 2500 Japanese are already working in companies set up in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu has one of the largest presence of Japanese professionals and 40 percent of Japanese investments in the country.  With Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor being set up with Japanese collaboration, more countries like US, UK and Canada are keen to participate in such corridors in the country. United Kingdom has evinced interest in setting up the Bangalore-Mumbai corridor. “We proposed to set up two nodes (industrial townships) in the Chennai-Bangalore corridor initially,” he said.

Tussle over higher fare demand by R-Infra set to delay Mumbai Metro further

RInfra’s arm Mumbai MetroOne has sought almost a two-fold increase in fares compared to the fare already notified by the state government

मुंबई Mumbai:  Even as the final clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety is expected shortly, the much-delayed Mumbai Metro is set to be postponed further as the state administration has turned down the operator Reliance Infrastructure’s demand for a steep hike in fares.

R-Infra’s arm Mumbai MetroOne has sought almost a two-fold increase in fares compared to the fare already notified by the state government.

As per the notification, the minimum fare would be Rs.9 and maximum Rs.13 in the initial year of operations.

Then after every four year, the fare will increase by 11 per cent and at the end of the concession period – that is by 2044-45 – the minimum fare would be Rs.24 and maximum Rs.37.

However, according to sources, R-Infra has sought a steep revision in the fares with minimum Rs.22 and maximum Rs.33, citing a near-doubling of its cost.

“The company has sought higher fare citing huge cost escalation. But the government has already notified the fares so there is no question of any revision,” Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority additional commissioner Sanjay Sethi told.

The minimum fare was already revised upwards from the original proposed Rs.6 to Rs.9 in the initial period.

RInfra had argued that due to cost escalation as well as inflation, it would be difficult for them to sustain at the government notified rates.

The cost of the project, which was earlier estimated at Rs.2356 crore (Rs.23.56 billion), jumped 82 per cent to Rs.4291 crore (Rs.42.91 billion), largely due to delays in securing right-of-way from the Railways and civil authorities, as well as various other approvals from the Railways.

The company approached the Research, Design and Standards Organisation of the Railways this February and got the approval on April 2.

The project is now awaiting the go-ahead from the Commissioner of Railway Safety, currently carrying out safety checks.

When contacted, an Mumbai MetroOne spokesperson said, “We are ready to start operations subject to final safety approval from CMRS.”

The company is opposing the fares fixed by the government and wants it to be revised as per the provisions of the Central Metro Act, as is done for other metros in the country, including Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai.

“The fare shall be fixed as per the provisions of the Central Metro Act, which are applicable to the project,” the spokesperson said.

The Mumbai Metro fares are envisaged to be 1.5 times of the BEST fares, which currently is Rs 6 for a minimum distance of 3 km.

The Delhi Metro, however, considers AC bus fare as the benchmark for deciding its fares.

Mumbai MetroOne is a joint venture between Reliance Infrastructure, French firm Veolia Transport and MMRDA and with the parties respectively holding 69, 26 and 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Railway Safety PS Baghel told that the inspections are going on and the issuance of a final certificate may get delayed by a few days.

“We are still in the process of inspecting various parameters and we will then come out with our observations.

“We will then co-relate our inspection report with our observations and thereafter a final report will be prepared.

“A final certificate to the metro may then be issued by May 1 or it may also get delayed by a few days,” Baghel said.

Since April 17, Baghel has been rigorously inspecting various parameters of running the metro in the city.  He first visited D N Nagar car shed in Mumbai and then took a review of the entire metro system, which includes rolling stocks, workshop, depot, corridor, stations, track, etc.

CRS safety check is the last statutory certification requirement before the 11.4 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line is opened for public.

After being satisfied with results of detailed tests and trials, the CRS would authorise Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd to commence passenger operations on the line.

However, social activist Anil Galgali said as per his information, the authorities want to start operations on the line only once the code of conduct gets over so that it makes a good impact for the people of Mumbai.

Galgali, in a letter to CRS, has demanded that the metro be opened for Mumbaikars without delay and that this may not be made a political issue.

“We demand an immediate opening of the project once the final certificate is issued for the convenience of the citizens of Mumbai.

“The project should not be used to score political brownie points,” Galgali said.

With opening of the line, the journey will be reduced to about 20 minutes on Ghatkopar-Andheri-Versova corridor, which at present takes almost two hours through various other modes of transport.

NR implements best Energy Efficiency norms; saves Energy with Automatic Lighting System

With the new system, 70 per cent lights at platforms where sensors have been installed will go out after the departure of trains and come on automatically with the arrivals of trains!

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  The Delhi division of Northern Railway has installed automatic lighting systems at some railway stations in the Capital and other stations across the division in order to conserve energy.

d2_iwyesN1603With the new system, 70 per cent lights at platforms where sensors have been installed will go out after the departure of trains and come on automatically with the arrivals of trains. Railway officials said the system has been installed on one platform at each station and on an average the new system cuts down the energy demand at the platform by half.

The automated system has been installed at New Delhi, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi Cantonment and Sabzi Mandi railway stations in the Capital, and Panipat, Kurukshetra and Meerut City railway stations in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

“The system has been installed on platform nos. 10 and 11 at New Delhi railway station.,” said a Northern Railway official.

“At the other stations, the system is connected with the home signals of platforms,” he added.

Installation cost

The official said the average cost of installing the energy conservation system at one platform is Rs.90,000- Rs.95,000.

The energy saving mechanism will be extended to other stations depending on availability of funds.

Apart from the automatic lighting system, authorities have also installed energy saving lights in the three high mast towers at New Delhi railway station premises.

“Nine fittings of 400 Watts each have been installed at each of the three towers. On an average, each of the high mast tower now consumes nine units of power less than usual,” said the official.

DMRC gives nod for 3 new Metro Lines from Greater Noida, Noida and Delhi NCR Region

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has given a nod to construct three metro lines for a direct metro connectivity from Greater Noida, Noida and Delhi NCR region. Noida Industrial Development Authority (NIDA) claims of no more delay as the roadblocks in the project have been cleared and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is slated to be signed soon.

There is a dire need to have a direct metro connectivity from Greater Noida, Noida and Delhi NCR region for which NIDA has proposed to construct three metro lines. Noida Industrial Development Authority (NIDA) claims that there will be no more in this project in Noida as DMRC has approved this suggestion floated by NIDA. They also mentioned that the roadblocks in the project have been removed and a final report has been sent to the Uttar Pradesh government.

“Final report was sent to the state government for approval and we are hopeful towards government’s approval,” says VK Pawar, Additional Chief Executive Officer (ACEO) of NIDA said. ACEO also told that state government have forwarded some queries which would be submitted within a week. The official also stated that DMRC has agreed to sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU).

On the occasion of the Noida foundation day, Chairman Rama Raman mentioned to start the project very soon. “NIDA has prepared all required documents and reports and has sent it to DMRC and state government. There will be no more delay in project.” He also added that the MoU will be signed soon as the government has assured of speedy approval.”

This move has been taken to have a direct metro connectivity form Greater Noida, Noida and Delhi NCR area for which construction of three metro lines is in pipeline. DMRC will develop a 3.962 km long metro line between Kalindi Kunj and Botanical Garden, Noida at a cost of Rs 845 crore.

Another extension will be made from Sector 32 to Sector 62 at a cost of Rs 600 crore. This will be 6.675 km long metro track.The third metro will be from Noida City Center, Alpha-2 to Greater Noida. This 30 km long metro track will be developed at a cost of 5000 crore. According to officials, Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC), a newly-formed company, will undertake the construction of the 30 km metro line between Noida Sector 37 to Alpha-2 in Greater Noida. “Noida authority will bear 80 per cent of total cost while 20 per cent remaining will be allotted by the central government. The cost for the construction in Noida and Greater Noida will be shared by both Noida and Greater Noida authorities as per the proportionate area,” VK Pawar, ACEO, NIDA concludes.

“NIDA has prepared all required documents and reports and has sent it to DMRC and state government. There will be no more delay in project”, said Rama Raman, Chairman, NIDA

Ajmer-Puri Express Derails – train services affected on Sambalpur-Angul section

जरापादा Jarapada (JRPD): Movement of trains in Angul-Sambalpur section of East Coast Railway (ECoR) was affected on Sunday afternoon after two coaches of Ajmer-Puri Express got derailed on the Jarapada-Boinda Chhak section about 38km from Angul.

The mishap took place on the level-crossing intersecting NH-55 between Boinda and Jarapada stations at about 2.20pm.

Mercifully, there were no reports of any casualties or injuries in the incident.

According to sources, the train stopped on the level-crossing after the derailment of the coaches leading to congestion of vehicles on both sides of the road for nearly two hours.

“After two hours, the technical team came from Sambalpur and separated some coaches facilitating the engine to run to Angul station with the attached bogies. The traffic on the NH too started moving then,” said a source.

The officials in ECoR informed that the divisional railway manager (DRM) Mr Debaraj Panda reached the spot with relief and rescue teams. “The passengers of the two affected coaches were shifted to the other unaffected coaches and the train dispatched from the spot on priority. Though railway medical team reached the site with full preparedness, no medical attention was required due to no injuries reported,” claimed an official.

Following the accident, some trains were cancelled, diverted and short-terminated.

The 18304 Puri-Sambalpur intercity express from Puri was cancelled, while the 18106 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela intercity express ran via Jakhapura and Jaroli towards Rourkela. The 18425 Puri-Durg express ran via Vizianagaram and Rayagada instead of its scheduled path.

Similarly, the 12894 Bolangir-Bhubaneswar intercity express was short-terminated at Sambalpur and remained cancelled between Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar. The 58131 Rourkela-Puri passenger was short terminated at Rairakhol and remained cancelled between Rairakhol and Puri.

Meanwhile, the railways has ordered a high-level enquiry to find out the exact cause of the derailment.
“The report of the enquiry committee is expected to be available within seven days,” said an official.

Trials for fire-detection tech in non-AC coaches from May

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO):  From next month, the Indian Railways will conduct trials for a  new technology that will automatically detect and prevent fire in non-air-conditioned coaches. For past several years, the Railways has been focussing on such technology for only AC coaches.

Unlike the controlled environment of the AC coaches, the chances of false alarms are thought to be high in case of non-AC coaches. Similarly, detection in such coaches is also a challenge.

“The challenge is to differentiate between actual fire and smoke coming in from outside or some errant passenger smoking or lighting a match,” said a senior Railway Board official.

An offshoot of an Italian technology, which is being modified by the research arm of the Railways — Research Design and Standards Organisation, Lucknow, the new technology is based on sensing the size of the smoke particles and the length of the time from a source of fire to intelligently differentiate between actual fire and false alarms. Once it is able to detect the fire, the system will be designed to either trigger an alarm or activate mist spray or both, depending on the trial results.

The cost is expected to be around Rs 2.5 lakh, almost same as that used in an AC coach. Around two-third of the 60,000-odd passenger coaches in circulation are non-AC. Fire in non-AC coaches — sleeper and general classes —  has been cause of concern for the Railways mainly because a majority of the incidents in these coaches have been result of human errors as opposed to short-circuit in AC coaches.

Lucknow Metro to convene urgent Board of Directors’ meeting today

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO): Following chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s clear instructions to complete the first phase of the project before December 2016, Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) is left with no option but to speed up decision making and execution of the project on a priority basis.

The corporation has put its foot down on the matter by calling an urgent meeting of its board on Monday under the chairmanship of chief secretary Jawed Usmani .

Responding to the delay, a senior official in the housing and urban planning department said “after Sreedharan suggested hiring technical hands as MD and directors of LMRC, we worked on criteria of qualifications, seniority , past track record and expertise .”

Rail Land Development Authority to recruit for 14 posts

Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has invited applications from dynamic, experienced and motivated persons working in Central government/State Government/Indian Railways/Public Sector Undertakings/Statutory Authorities for the under mentioned posts on deputation basis.

RLDA is a statutory authority under the Ministry of Railways set-up by an amendment to the Railways Act, 1989, for development of vacant railway land for commercial use for generating revenue by non-tariff measures.

Rail Land Development Authority

Vacancies: 24

  • GM/Projects : 01
  • JGM/Civil : 04
  • JGM/REUP : 01
  • JGM/Finance and Accts : 02
  • Manager/HR:  01
  • Manager/REUP : 01
  • Manager/Projects : 02
  • Manager/Vigilance : 01
  • Accounts Assistant : 03
  • Office Assistant /HR : 01
  • Office Assistant / Projects: 01
  • Private Secretary 03
  • Hindi Translator 01
  • Draughtsman 02

Educational qualification and work experience required for different posts is different. Candidates should be a Central government/ state government/ Indian Railways / PSU/ statutory  authority  employee on a mentioned grade pay. Candidates must have completed academics as per the post applied for. Check advertisement for details on eligibility criteria.

How to Apply:

Intended candidates may download the application proforma from the official advertisement present at the official website under the ‘Career’ section.

Fill it carefully with all the important details such as Present Grade/Pay (on regular basis) (IDA/CDA), name of present organisation with complete address, date of initial appointment (government), substantive post/grade/pay (IDA/CDA).

Attach all the mandatory enclosures along with a duly filled form with last five years SPE/DAR/VIGILANCE clearance certificates.

Send it at the below mentioned postal address.
Joint General Manager (HRD),
Rail Land Development Authority,
Near Safdarjung Railway Station,
Moti Bagh-I, New Delhi-110021

Important Dates:

Last date for submitting application form : May 26 , 2014

Official website link:

NIT, Rourkela conferred Honorary Degree to Metro Man Sreedharan

रौरकेला Rourkela (ROU): Padma Vibhushan Engineer Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, popularly known as Metro Man, was conferred with honorary degree of D.Sc. by NIT, Rourkela (NITR) at a special convocation held in Bangalore.

The convocation was chaired by BS Sudhir Chandra, FNAE Chairman, Board of Governors and attended by Prof SK Sarangi, Director, Prof KK Mohapatra, Dean (AR) and SK Upadhyay, Registrar of the institute. Dr Sreedharan was conferred the D.Sc in recognition of his contributions to the nation particularly in developing the Metro Rail Project of Delhi. All the scheduled sections of the Delhi Metro were completed by their target dates or before and within their respective budgets.

Later, Dr Sreedharan was appointed Principal Advisor of the Kochi Metro Rail Project and Chief Advisor for the proposed Lucknow Metro Project.

Central Railway to lower tracks for DC/AC switch

मुंबई Mumbai: Central Railway finding no way to lift some British-era steel bridges between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Kurla to facilitate conversion of its electrical systems from 1,500 Volt Direct Current to 25,000 Volt Alternating Current, is planning to do the next best thing. It will be spending more than Rs 70 lakh to lower the tracks at several places between these two stations to compensate for the inability to lift the bridges.

Among these bridges are the Carol bridge over Parel-Elphinstone and the Currey Road bridge — both over 100 years old and important east-west road connectors, which, if disturbed, can lead to large-scale traffic disruptions in the city, said officials.

While the short-cut of lowering tracks will allow CR to convert from DC to AC and it will be able to run faster and higher number of local and outstation trains, a fairly large section of railway officials said that lowering tracks in a network that is flood-prone is never a good idea. CR plans to start the work of lowering the tracks by June, said officials.

As reported earlier, AC traction requires a greater gap between the overhead wires and the roof of the train because of the higher power. The non-lifting of these bridges would have meant that once the conversion from DC to AC gets completed, the height available for trains coming out of CST would be just 4.265 metres. Trains that have LHB coaches have a height of 4.381 metres. Currently, due to DC traction, the height available for trains is 4.710 metres. This would mean that all new trains in the future would start from LTT in Kurla. It’s to avoid this scenario and to ensure that CST maintains its primacy, the tracks are being lowered so that a safe height is maintained and all kinds of trains can be used at CST.

However, the naysayers are pointing to another issue that might come to haunt CR and that too maybe as early as the coming monsoon. Out of a total fleet of 105 rakes that CR has, 65 are older rakes which have a lesser ability to combat water-logging than the newer Siemens rakes. While the newer rakes can manage to run even if the water level is around 175 millimetres above the rails, the older rakes tend to get flooded and marooned if the water level reaches 125mm, said officials.

“Lowering of tracks will increase the problems related to water entering the train equipment, especially among old rakes,” said an official.

Southern Rly stood Second in the Country in reduction of Signal Failures: S.Manohar, CSTE

New system cuts signal failures by 30% for Southern Railway

मधुरय Madurai (MDU):  By introducing modern signalling system, the Southern Railway has reduced the number of signal failures by 30 per cent in the last year, according to S.Manohar, Chief Signal and Telecommunication Engineer. “The Southern Railway stood second in the country in reduction of signal failures,” he told reporters after giving away awards to the officials and employees of his department from Madurai, Tiruchi and Thiruvananthapuram divisions.

Stating that signal failure was one among the various reasons disrupting rail movement, he said such failures were reduced through reliability improvement works like using LED lamps for signals, using self restoring fuses, high thrust point machinery and electronic inter-locking systems. The LED colour light signals consumed less power, provided more visibility and were maintenance-free. Similarly, integrated power system introduced by the railways provided uninterrupted power supply doing away with failure of signal for want of power.

Mr. Manohar said that over 70 stations in the zone had been provided with electronic inter-locking signalling systems.  “This system will be provided in 70 more stations soon. In another two years, all the stations will get this system,” he said. Introduction of modern gadgets in signal system would help to increase track utilisation by running more trains, he added.

A total of 14 officers and 165 staff members received the awards in connection with the 59th Railway Week celebrations. Chief Communications Engineer Deepak Balla and Chief Signal and Telecommunication Engineer (Project), Chennai, V.Ajith Kumar, and Additional Divisional Railway Manager R.V.B. Babu spoke.
SManohar CSTE

Delhi Metro engineers to be trained in Malaysia

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: The Delhi Metro on Sunday said its engineers would be trained at Malaysia’s Tunnel Training Academy in skills and techniques required for underground tunnelling.

The Delhi Metro has tied up with the academy and the first batch of 10 engineers would be sent for training to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur next month.

The Delhi Metro is also planning to establish its own such tunnel training academy in Delhi.

“The training is aimed at increasing the level of skills of the Delhi Metro engineers in underground tunnelling as 53 km of rail line in Phase-III is being constructed underground using tunnel boring machines,” said Mangu Singh, Delhi Metro managing director.

The Delhi Metro engineers would be given hands-on training in a classroom underground tunnel environment in the Malaysian academy using audio-visual three-dimensional tools to erect tunnelling segments using wireless controls.

Mumbai Metro Rail likely to get final certification before Maharashtra Day

मुंबई Mumbai: Final testing of Metro rail by the Commissioner of Rail Safety (CRS) is in the last leg and if insiders are to be believed the Metro could get the final certificate before May 1, the Maharashtra Formation Day.

The CRS P S Baghel has been inspecting various parameters of running  Metro in the city since April 17. He first visited in D. N. Nagar carshed and then took a review of entire Metro system which includes rolling stocks, workshop, depot, corridor, stations, track, OHE etc.

On being satisfied after tests and trials, the CRS would authorise MMOPL to commence passenger operations on the line.

The CRS safety check is the last statutory certification requirement before the 11.4 km Versova-Andheri Ghat-kopar line is opened up for public.

With opening of the line, journey on route will be reduced to approximately 20 minutes between Ghatkopar-Andheri-Versova corridor which at present takes almost two hours through various modes of other transports.

Mysore Rail Museum set for expansion

Railway-museum-Mysore (2)The Railways hope to make the museum a landmark for tourists visiting Mysore

मैसुर Mysore (MYS): Steam engines with its rhythmic beats, belching smoke and rolling wheels will be the highlights at the Mysore Rail Museum that is set for expansion at a cost of about Rs.4.62 crore.

Rajkumar Lal, Divisional Railway Manager, told that the work on embellishment of the museum had begun.

The Railways hope to make the museum a landmark for tourists visiting Mysore. The icing on the cake will be a sound and light programme on steam engines. “The work on the renovation of the meter gauge brake van and the rail bus has begun. I have written to divisional railway managers across the Indian Railways to identify railway artefacts that can be displayed at the museum,” Mr. Lal said. Efforts were on to procure steam locomotives to expand the existing collection here, he added.

railway-museum-mysoreThe area of the railway museum will be increased to accommodate new exhibits, for which land in the adjoining area is being developed. Existing exhibits including the Maharani’s Saloon would be spruced up without marring the heritage value, Mr. Lal said. Established in 1978, the museum was the second in the country after the National Rail Museum in New Delhi. It has a small but diverse collection of railway artefacts including meter gauge steam locomotives.

These vintage beauties chugged across the length and breadth of the country until they were supplanted by diesel engines. A few were preserved, while the rest went under the auctioneer’s hammer to be sold as scrap.

railway-museum-mysore (1)

It may take 5 years for Central Railway to modify rakes

मुंबई Mumbai:  After the Bombay high court asked the suburban railways to have a separate coach for senior citizens, railway authorities have said that they would require five years to modify the trains to include a separate coach for senior citizens. The Bombay HC had asked the railway authorities to come up with a plan within six weeks to make travel more comfortable for senior citizens. The order came on Wednesday as a PIL had asked for separate coaches like the ones provided for the handicapped.

A CR officer, on condition of anonymity said, “We have around 1,700 coaches in the suburban system, it will take us a minimum of five years to make the modifications that the PIL asks for.”
“This will also mean that the new rakes will have to incorporate these modifications as well. Currently the designs of the 72 new Bombardier trains are being finalised and they will also have to be restructured,” added the official. Fearing that they may be asked to add a separate coach, officials are tight-lipped about what they are going to suggest.

Divisional Railway Manager however stated that currently they are evaluating all the options and would reply once all options are completed.

3 GRP constables suspended for assaulting 5 Journalists

इंडोर Indore Jn (INDB): Three policemen were today suspended for allegedly attacking five journalists causing them injuries at the Government Railway Police station here.

The five journalists were injured and admitted to hospital when they were allegedly assaulted by the policemen at the Government Railway Police station here.

“After watching the video-footage of the incident, a head constable and two constables were suspended,” the Superintendent of Railway Police, R C Burra told.

The incident took place late last night when some TV journalists had a dispute with the men employed by the parking contractor near the Indore railway station. A group of scribes reached the GRP station on the premises, demanding immediate arrest of those involved in the dispute.

As the GRP personnel were not ready to entertain the complaint, a heated argument ensued, in which three of the policemen allegedly attacked the mediamen with sticks.

Five journalists were injured and three of them admitted to a private hospital.

Later, on the intervention of senior officials, a case was registered against two of the parking contractor’s men for manhandling and abusing.

RPF to form detective dog squad in Villupuram junction

Second station in Tiruchi Railway Division to have such a squad

विल्लुपुरम Villuparam Jn (VM): The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will soon raise a detective dog squad at Villupuram Railway Junction, a major station falling under the limits of Tiruchi Railway Division, as part of an effort to enhance security.

Villupuram will be the second station after Tiruchi Junction to have a dedicated detective dog squad in place.

28TYDOGSQUAD1622A newly established kennel to house the sniffer dogs has already been opened at Villupuram Junction from where several long distance trains bound for different destinations branch off.

The squad will have two sniffer dogs to start with — one trained in detecting explosive and inflammable substances and the other would be a “tracker” used for crime detection.

Four field-level RPF personnel would be deputed as handlers to maintain the canines.

A proposal in this regard has already been forwarded to the Inspector General-cum-Chief Security Commissioner, RPF, Southern Railway, Chennai for approval. Funds for maintaining the canines have already been sanctioned.

RPF sources here told that the Villupuram dog squad would be utilised for anti-sabotage and other missions at places including Villupuram, Puducherry, Tiruvannamalai, Cuddalore, Mayiladuthurai and Vellore stations.

At present, dogs from Tiruchi squad were sent across the division that encompasses over 10 revenue districts in Tamil Nadu besides the Union Territory of Puducherry. The idea of forming a dog squad at Villupuram is cater to emergency requirements swiftly at the station and for those situated few hours from Villupuram without having to take the canines all the way from Tiruchi, a senior RPF official here said.

The RPF, which is entrusted with the responsibility of escorting passenger trains, providing security on platforms, passenger and circulating areas besides protecting railway property, has already brought Villupuram and Tiruchi Junctions under the scope of the Integrated Security Scheme to fortify security.

2 Bogies of Ajmer-Puri Express derail, Train movement hit

भुवनेश्वर Bhubaneswar (BBS): Two bogies of Ajmer-Puri Express got derailed between Boinda and Jarapada stations in Angul-Sambalpur railway section under Sambalpur division today.

No one was injured as the coaches of 18422 Ajmer-Puri Express jumped off the tracks, railway sources said.

The train left the spot in the evening towards Puri after the affected coaches were separated.

The passengers were accommodated in other compartments, East Coast Railway (ECoR) said in a release.

The mishap led to diversion, short termination and cancellation of some trains, ECoR said, adding the 18106 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela Inter City Express will run via Jakhapura and Jaroli towards Rourkela.

Similarly, 18425 Puri-Durg Express scheduled to leave Puri today will run via Vizianagaram and Rayagada instead of its scheduled path.

12894 Bolangir-Bhubaneswar Inter City Express will be short terminated at Sambalpur and will remain cancelled between Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar today.

Similarly, 58131 Rourkela-Puri passenger will be short terminated at Rairakhol and will remain cancelled between Rairakhol and Puri.

18304 Puri-Sambalpur Inter City Express scheduled to leave Puri today will remain cancelled, the release said.

East Coast Railway authorities have ordered a high-level inquiry into the incident with the report of inquiry committee is expected to be available within seven days.

Railway authorities, headed by the Divisional Railway Manager/Sambalpur, Debaraj Panda, reached the spot with Relief and Rescue teams.

Delhi’s old railway stations are filthy, unsafe

दिल्ली Delhi (DLI): Some of the oldest railway stations in the national capital are in a shambles while others have dark, unsafe zones within their premises. Even as 10 April to 16 April was observed as the Railway Week, Delhi’s busiest railway junctions are found to be failing on several counts. They lack basic amenities and hold several unsafe spots. The traffic management around the stations is erratic in a manner such that it hampers passengers’ movement.

The oldest railway junction in the national capital is the Old Delhi Railway Station or Delhi Junction and is housed in a heritage building established in 1864. It was opened to the public in 1903 by the British Indian Government. However, the station over the years has come to be synonymous with filthy platforms, persistent stench, poorly maintained civic amenities and bad management of trains. Once the most important and only connecting link to other states, this station has now been reduced to operating mostly low-grade trains. The junction that handles 250 mail and passenger trains witnesses a footfall of over 3,00,000 passengers every day. Passengers must weave their way past the manually-pulled carts carrying huge cargo cartons.

“It is almost a stampede-like situation here on each platform. Passengers boarding often stumble over the goods carts haphazardly kept in the middle of the platform. Many people have complained about this problem to the station manager, however the situation remains unchanged,” said Sanjay Kaushik, who frequents this junction for his business tours to Kanpur.

When this correspondent visited the spot, the station’s white roof and walls on platform number 1 were freshly painted. However, it could not hide the patches of the leaking roof and spider webs in its corners.

Many platforms were broken in the middle and at the corners while some had been dug up for maintenance work since quite a few months. Heaps of waste could be seen on the platforms and the stench of urine emanating from the tracks was almost unbearable.

“The walls were painted a few days ago because of the impending railway week. This station was renovated some time back, but has returned to its old, neglected form,” said a railway worker, who has been working here for the last 30 years.

Elevators, including those to the waiting room and station exits, were not functional.

“Though the escalators to platforms are running, the huge rush on it makes it difficult for the elderly to step on it. My grandmother had to walk up the long flight of stairs, as the lifts here remain out of order most of the times,” said another commuter who lives in the nearby Chandni Chowk.

However, a Northern Railway official denied that the station has been in a state of disrepair since long. He said, “Plans are in pipeline to refurbish the station and the connecting rail bridges.”

The Sarai Rohilla Railway Station on the New Rohtak Road is another place that raises serious questions on passenger security and lack of basic amenities. Built in 1872, as a halt terminal, the station has not been upgraded over the years. There are no elevators or escalators to its six platforms.

“One of the two main entry points to the station has a large abandoned field next to it, which has become a hub for anti-social elements. There are no police barriers erected nor any police personnel guarding this vulnerable entry/exit point,” said a member of the local railway passengers union.

Even the interiors of the station have deserted corners adjoining a dilapidated building and huge bushes around the corner. The washrooms are filthy with broken ceilings and are located far from the platforms.

The scan machines for security check at the entry to Anand Vihar Railway Terminal often remain non-functional while at times the RPF has to carry out searches without the use of metal detectors. The terminal does not even have a taxi stand and passengers have to walk a few kilometers before they can avail public transport.

Meanwhile, the VIP entry to platform number 1 of the New Delhi Railway Station on the State Entry Road remains a dark zone even after the horrific incident of gang rape of a foreign national here this year.

7000 Rail Coach Factory employees of Kapurthala can cast vote despite ink on fingers

कपूर्थाला रैल कोच फैक्टरी Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory (RCF): The Election Commission of India has allowed over 7,000 employees of Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, to participate in voting even as they already have mark of indelible ink on their index finger, which was put during an in-house election of RCF a couple of weeks back.

Meanwhile, Akhil Bhartiya Grahak Panchayat organizing secretary Brij Mohan has sent a complaint to the ECI, demanding action against RCF officials, who used indelible ink during the in-house election while fully aware that Parliament elections were around and it could cause a major problem.

Over 7,000 employees, who participated in the in-house election, were apprehending that they could lose their right to vote in this election and represented to Kapurthala district election officer D S Mangat, who referred the matter to chief electoral officer, with a report by himself.

Mangat said these employees would now bear the mark on their middle finger, instead of index finger.

Meanwhile, Brij Mohan’s complaint to ECI said that using indelible ink in the in-house election was not at all necessary. This never happened in the past, as the in-house election could have been made fair even otherwise, by employing an alternate mechanism, it said.

Arunachal Pradesh and IRCTC sign pact to give boost to tourism

इटानगर Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh has signed a pact with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd for promoting and giving boost to the tourism sector in the state.

To provide value-added tour package services and booking facilities to the visitors in Arunachal Pradesh IRCTC has decided to tie up with the state government.

The officials are also also exploring the feasibility of opening a tourism facilitating centre at the newly constructed railway station at Yupia.

Activist fighting hawker mafia gets no help from CST

RBI employee says hawkers harass women and block commuter movement, but railway official says it’s not in his jurisdiction.

10-01मुंबई Mumbai:  A citizen activist has complained to the top brass of Central Railway on how the hawker mafia is proving to be a threat in several ways to the Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji railway terminus, a UNESCO world heritage site, from hammering nails into its structure to being a nuisance to women commuters.

Ramchandra Karve, an RBI employee and citizen activist, has also claimed that the building’s administrators have split the station into “territories”, leaving the hawker problem unattended.

Karve, who found several hawkers inside the station complex, said he was turned away by the station manager on Wednesday, who also refused to give him the complaint book saying managing hawkers did not fall under his jurisdiction.

“There should be a one-point command for a station of this size. This kind of separate territorial jurisdiction at a major station like Mumbai CST poses a serious threat to the safety of commuters and railway property,” Karve said in his complaint to the additional general manager, Central Railway.

The government railway police, railway protection force and the station staff have different sets of duties, many of which overlap leading to complications, his complaint claimed.

“At CST, the territorial jurisdiction of the RPF, GRP and the Station Manager is separated in such a manner that it gives free hand to undesirable elements such as hawkers to operate freely. Every afternoon, there are hawkers selling garments, leather belts, perfumes and other articles near the gate leading to the bus depot and in front of the station,” Karve said.

On April 23, Karve said he spotted hawkers inside the station premises and approached the Station Manager (Suburban) to register a complaint, but the official refused to let him access the complaint book.

“The official told me that the part of the station where I spotted hawkers didn’t fall under his jurisdiction. Multiple territorial jurisdictions within one station is that threat to commuters and railway property,” he added.

Central Railway chief spokesperson Narendra Patil said responsibilities have been clearly earmarked, and there is no confusion at any point. “There is no question of such threats arising. The divisional manager is the sole authority and the overall head,” Patil said.

However, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) said any threat to the heritage structure should be taken seriously. “We have to take serious note of nails being hammered into the CST station building. It is an important city landmark and we were the ones who prepared the original plans and proposals for it to be included in the world heritage list. It is a shame the way this monumental structure is being treated,” said Tasneem Mehta on behalf of INTACH.

Mumbai Metro may get Safety Nod before May 1

मुंबई Mumbai: The final safety certification of Mumbai’s first metro is nearing completion and if insiders are to be believed, the train could get the nod before May 1, which is Maharashtra Day.

Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) P.S.Baghel has been rigorously inspecting various parameters of running the metro in Mumbai since April 17. He first visited the D.N.Nagar car shed, later reviewing the entire metro system, comprising rolling stocks, workshop, depot, corridor, stations, track and OHE.

The CMRS will authorise MMOPL to commence passenger operations on the 11.4 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro line upon being satisfied with detailed tests and trials.

An MMOPL spokesperson said that the line would be opened for commercial use as soon as the safety certificate was issued. Joint project director of MMRDA (projects), Dilip Kawathkar, said, “We are just awaiting the certificate of CRMS, which is a statutory requirement to operationalise the system.”

Once the metro line is thrown open to the public, commuters’ travel time will be cut down to approximately 20 minutes from the current nearly two hours through various modes of transport.

Ruins of 1500 year old temple discovered in Kendrapara

हरीदासपुर Haridaspur (HDS): Ruins of a nearly 1500-year old temple have surfaced during digging for the Haridaspur-Paradip rail line project at Bhuinpura in Kendrapara district.

Labourers stumbled upon the summit structure (Dadhi Nauti) of the place of worship during earth digging work at the village coming under Bagada gram panchayat, District Culture Officer Golakh Chandra Behera said today.

The archaeologists of state archaeology department have inspected the site. The administration is yet to receive the report of their findings, he said.

The curator of state archaeology department S K Badu, however, said “we visited the site where the remnants of a Hindu temple were discovered. The department is examining the remains to ascertain its antique character. However our preliminary view is that the temple must be over 1500-year-old.”

The village where the chance discovery was made is situated in close periphery of the Luna river and it has a history of causing recurring flood. Thus there is possibility that the temple might have been destroyed by nature-induced devastation, he said.

Side by side with Hinduism, Buddhism flourished in large areas of Kendrapara under Bhaumakar dynasty. There is every possibility that Buddhist treasures might be discovered from the spot. There are plenty of instances in these areas where Hindus worshipped Buddhist divinities, claimed historian Harischandra Prusti.

Odisha govt denies inaction over prevention of Elephant deaths on Railway Tracks

भुबनेश्वर Bhubaneswar (BBS): Denying inaction on its part to curb death of elephants caused by train hits and electrocution in the state, the Odisha government has informed the Supreme Court in an affidavit that it will be soon signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF), Bangalore for undertaking follow-up action for conservation, preservation and development of elephant habitats and corridors as per the field requirements.

The state government’s statement came in the form of a counter affidavit in response to a PIL filed in the apex court by wildlife activist Shakti Nayak expressing concern over reports of unabated deaths of elephants across Odisha and India due to train hits and electrocution.

The affidavit said coordination meetings between Forest and Railway authorities at various levels were being held on a regular basis to deal with elephants deaths caused due to train hits.

It said Forest department employees have been stationed in the Central Control Room at the Khurda Road Divisional office of the Railways to pass on information on movement of jumbos. VHF frequencies have been matched between Railways and Forest department staff for exchange of such information.

Similarly, the state government further stated that regular meetings with electricity authorities are being held to take steps to prevent death of elephants due to electrocution.

“Rs 21 crore has been provided to the Energy department during 2013-14 to strengthen the electricity distribution system in areas of movement of elephants,” it mentioned.

Arunachal Pradesh residents thrilled to have train access

इतानगर Itanagar:  Residents of Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar have expressed their happiness of the city now being accessible by train.

Itanagar has become the second capital in the eight north eastern states, after Guwahati, to appear on the railway map of the country.

The passenger train will travel between Naharlagun and Dekargaon in Assam, a journey of 181 kilometers, reports ANI. A passenger said: “I have come from Harmutty. I feel really good travelling by train. It will be even better if there are more facilities. It will be very convenient for us.”

Another passenger said: “It’s good that the railway service has reached us. We will get to travel to Harmutty by paying Rs. 5 only. When we take a bus or tempo, we have to pay more; around Rs. 30 to 40. That is why we are very happy that train services have reached Arunachal.” The construction of the 22-km-long broad gauge line from Harmuti in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh cost Rs.406 crore. There are 46 minor bridges and 11 major bridges on the line.

Plans are on to link Arunachal Pradesh with New Delhi with the launch of Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains. Sugato Lahiri, Chief Public Relations Officer, Northeast Frontier Railway, said:”By making the railway line up to Naharlagun, we have linked Arunachal Pradesh with the railway map of India, and it is having access to all other places connected by railways. This is expected to provide a lot of impetus to the commercial activities in the place.Moreover, it will also make it easier for the people from that place to go out to other parts for job or education and also for people from other places to come here.” he government has been taking steps to expand the rail network in the landlocked northeastern region. Railway projects in Assam and Manipur are underway.

Meghalaya also recently became a part of the Indian Railway network with the first rail engine reaching the Mendipathar railway station in North Garo Hills district from the Dudhnoi railway station in Assam for a trial run.

Better connectivity will give a fillip to the tourism industry in the region, and will also speed up industrialization. It will also boost trade and people to people contact with rest of the country, as well as neighbouring ASEAN countries.

Filthy Five get month-long jail for soiling women compartments in Mumbai Suburban Locals

The convicts lived at railway platforms or footpaths outside Dadar station. Between 2 am and 4 am, the gang would soil railway seats, grab handles and the door passage in railway compartments with feces


कल्याण Kalyan (KYN): A railway magistrate court in Kalyan Friday convicted five men for soiling train compartments reserved for women and sentenced them to one-month imprisonment.

The five men, all of them allegedly drug addicts, have been identified as Chandan Kumar (19), Mohammad Saddam (24), Faizrul Hasan Firdul Hasan (20), Manish Shivraj Shrivastav (20) and Mahesh Kumar Rambabu (20). They were apprehended by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) around midnight on April 23.

During their interrogation, they allegedly confessed they would regularly gang up inside a toilet towards the south end of platform 3 and 4 at Dadar station and consume ganja or other drugs at night. Once under the influence, they would target compartments reserved for women, especially from CST, Sandhurst Road, Currey Road and Dadar stations.

Between 2 am and 4 am, the gang would soil railway seats, grab handles and the door passage in railway compartments with feces.

After their arrests, all five were booked under the Railways Act for nuisance, endangering safety of railway commuters, trespass and obstructing railway servants from duty.

“There have been cases in the past when drug addicts have thrown feces at commuters and security personnel to prevent them from taking action. Drug addicts are so dirty and smelly that passengers rarely attempt to remove them from the compartments. However, this emboldens them to board railway compartments,” said a senior RPF officer.

Following repeated complaints, a special RPF cleanliness squad from Karjat, Turbhe, Wadala and Thane stations was formed to catch the culprits.

According to RPF sources, a team of sub-inspector Subhash Thakur, head constable R M Rajput, constables Nitin Chauhan, Sachin Londhe and R K Yadav had been keeping an eye on the suspects for weeks.

At midnight on April 23, the five were caught soiling a second class compartment reserved for women commuters in a Karjat local between Dadar and Currey Road station.

“Whenever commuters spot drug addicts inside compartments, they should immediately inform the RPF helpline so that assistance can be provided at the earliest,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner at RPF (Mumbai division), CR.

The convicts lived at railway platforms or footpaths outside Dadar station.

Alstom unaware of GE takeover plans

shutterstock_164980310French rolling stock manufacturer Alstom has issued a statement in which it says the company has not been informed of any approaches US giant General Electric (GE) to buy the company.

Alstom said it has not been “informed of any potential public tender offer for the shares of the company” following press reports suggesting that GE is currently discussing a €13 billion buyout with the French government.

The rumour was initially reported by Bloomberg but has since been carried by several major news outlets.

Alstom said: “The group constantly reviews the strategic options of its businesses.

“Alstom plans to communicate as scheduled on May 7 its annual results and will use this opportunity to give an update on the prospects of its activities.”

Doha win makes us a Leading Metro Systems contractor: L&T

S.N.Subrahmanyan, Whole-time Director & Senior Executive Vice President (Construction), L&T, says the company won’t be executing the order on its own – a consortium including L&T will execute the job. This is a win on top of the Riyadh Metro which we got a few months back

L&T recently won the Rs 4500 crore Doha Metro award, making the company one of the leading contractors of metro systems in the world. S.N.Subrahmanyan, Whole-time Director & Senior Executive Vice President (Construction), L&T, says the company won’t be executing the order on its own – a consortium including L&T will execute the job. He adds that the Doha Metro project is a prestigious one and is towards the FIFA 2020 games, hence it is a part of the country’s (Qatar) development.

Below is the verbatim transcript of SN Subrahmanyan’s interview:

What would the margins be on the Doha Metro order that you have won, and with this Rs 4500 crore order what would the order book now stand at?

A: The order is a big win, it is a very prestigious order doing about 11 kms of underground metro. It is a very prestigious Qatar metro project in the city of Doha. This is towards the FIFA 2020 games and therefore to be part of country’s development – in that way is a very significant achievement from our point of view.

It is not a job which L&T does on its own, we have partners there, a consortium which will execute the job, L&T has got a significant share there and we will be looking at the consortium with some of our senior people who will go there to execute it.

This is a win on top of the Riyadh Metro which we got a few months back and as you are aware in India we are very well present in Delhi metro, in Kolkata Metro, in Bangalore Metro, Chennai Metro, Hyderabad Metro which is a huge project that we are doing. So it adds significantly to our metro portfolio and makes us probably one of the leading contractors of metro systems in the world at least. Having said that, this has been one against global competition, it is a reasonable job and if we do it well the margins that L&T normally does should be there.

What kind of an order book are you targeting for FY15?

A: As of date, March end, construction should end up with a backlog of about Rs 150,000 crore and we have just started the year so let us see how it goes. We will announce the targets when we announce the results or give guidance.

Larsen Stock Price

On April 25, 2014, Larsen and Toubro closed at Rs 1350.80, down Rs 26.5, or 1.92 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 1387.85 and the 52-week low was Rs 678.10.

The company’s trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 51.37 per share as per the quarter ended December 2013. The stock’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 26.3. The latest book value of the company is Rs 272.53 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 4.96.

Gurgaon Rapid Metro’s Cyber City station opens

गुड़गाँव Gurgaon (GGN):  After a delay of over a year, the Cyber City Rapid Metro station located at Shankar Chowk finally opened on Friday for public. Although the formal launch is likely to happen next week, the unofficial opening of the station, the sixth in the 5.1-kilometre network, provides connectivity to hundreds of office-goers in Cyber City and Udyog Vihar area.

According to sources, the mandatory nod from the commissioner of metro rail safety (CMRS) was received a couple of days ago. “We have received the clearance that we had been waiting for and decided to open this strategically located station immediately without any further delay. The official launch will take place next week,” said a source.

Rapid Metro authorities have tied up with several corporate entities to brand their six stations in Phase I and sources attributed the delay in the formal launch of the station to the non-availability of the brand partner, which in this case is a private bank.

For hundreds of employees working in Cyber City, the launch came as a pleasant surprise. “I was not aware that the train would stop at this station. I usually get down at the Phase II station and walk to my office in Gateway Tower. However, on Friday morning when I got into the train I heard that the train would stop at this station. I can now save at least five minutes,” said Pooja Singh, an executive.

There are two foot overbridges that connect this station to Gateway Tower side and Cyber Hub. The first is around 85 metres while the second is 120 metres. Authorities hope that within the first quarter this station will receive the maximum number of footfall. Right now, the Phase II station receives the maximum footfall.

“This station has opened at the best possible time considering the rising temperatures. The walk to my office in Cyber Hub will be more comfortable now,” said Rajeev Kumar, a banker.

Passenger Traffic on Mysore-Bangalore line registers growth

मैसूर Mysore (MYS): Even as the major part of the works to complete doubling of Mysore-Bangalore rail line are nearing completion, passenger traffic on the stretch has registered growth.

As against Rs.4.77 crore passenger traffic during 2012-13, it has jumped to Rs.5.40 crore last fiscal, which is an increase of 13.18 per cent. Some 80 per cent of the Rs.5.40 crore passengers traffic comes from the Mysore-Bangalore section. There is also an increase in the passenger earnings; while it was Rs.157.94 crore during 2012-13, it ended at Rs.196.75 crores last fiscal, which is an increase of 24.57 per cent.

As the Mysore division of the South Western railway celebrated the 59th railway week, the divisional railway manager Rajkumar Lal on Friday said the division has earned Rs.477.89 crore during 2013-14. This includes goods earnings of Rs.251.54 crores. While there is an increase in the passenger earnings, the goods earnings have fallen owing to the ban on iron ore mining.

While the railway authorities are expecting sharp rise in the passenger traffic, especially on Mysore-Bangalore sector, they are focusing on the punctuality of the service too. Sources said the traffic on the sector has jumped after the number of trains doubled in five years. The traffic is bound to rise with the major works on Mysore-Bangalore track doubling project nearing completion. The completed line is expected to be opened for traffic year end, they stated. Eight trains were introduced or extended in a year.

Faced with growth in the traffic on Mysore-Bangalore stretch, the officials are focusing on the improved services. It is no wonder that the DRM stressed on it while explaining the achievements of the division. “Punctuality of express trains is 98.80% against 95.72% during 2012-13 and that of passenger is 99.30% against 96.76% in 2012-13,” he said adding that the division’s safety and security performance is pleasing. He said alert train escorting RPF staff prevented an attempt of dacoit on Mysore-Nizamuddin express and Chennai-Vasco express at Holalkere station in Chitradurga in mid-March. He put ticket checking earnings at Rs.4.13 crores compared to Rs.3.43 crores during 2012-14.

The division has provided lot of facilities like Computerised Reservation Centers, Un-reserved Ticketing Systems, Jan Sadharan Booking Sewaks, India Post PRS Centers, Catering Platform Stalls, Onboard Infotainment System, Microprocessor based LED destination Boards on the coaches as per norms of Railway Board for the convenience of passengers at various stations.

The DRM said he plans to make the railway museum a must visit spot for the tourist visiting the city.

NFR to take up Gauge Conversion on Lumding-Badarpur-Silchar & Badarpur-Agartala sections

गुवाहाटी Guwahati (GHY): The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has said that the gauge conversion works on the Lumding-Badarpur-Silchar and Badarpur-Agartala sections are on. To complete the project, a ‘mega block,’ during which no train services will be operated to facilitate uninterrupted work, is likely to be taken up.

NFR Chief Public Relations Officer Saugata Lahiri said, “Once the work on the mega block for the Lumding-Badarpur-Silchar section commences, no metre gauge services can operate on the Badarpur-Kumarghat-Agartala section and the other metre gauge isolated sections. This is because all facilities and infrastructure for maintenance of the locomotives are at Lumding which would be cut off from other metre gauge sections once the mega block is taken up.”

Lahiri said train services on broad gauge in the Lumding-Badarpur-Silchar and the Badarpur-Kumarghat-Agartala sections would resume only after the gauge conversion work is completed.

Doubling works of rail tracks in Ernakulam – Trains to be disrupted today too

एर्नाकुलम Ernakulam (ERS): Trains journey in the state is to be disrupted today too as the doubling of rail tracks in Ernakulam North has led to the disruption of traffic. Trains that pass through Kottayam are especially expected to be late indefinitely today. On Friday, trains such as Ernakulam-Kannur intercity and Janashatabdi were late by three hours. The controls on rail traffic are expected to continue until the 29th.

On Saturday, Bangalore-Kanyakumari Express is expected to run via Alleppey and would stop at places such as Alappuzha, Ambalappuzha, Harippad and Cherthala. Since signals are being upgraded, rail traffic is to be regulated for eight hours in two phases in the Kottayam-Ernakulam route. The traffic regulation is to come into effect from 10.20am to 2.20pm and 6pm to 10pm.

While trains travelling through Ernakulam South would not be affected, those travelling through Ernakulam North would be affected by the changes in traffic. Area manager  P L Ashok Kumar has said that all works would be completed by the 29th of this month.

Meanwhile the derailing of a goods train at Nellore is adding more problems to the railway. Home minister Ramesh Chennithala said that the help of the police would be available to ensure that passengers reach their destinations safely.

Finally, Railways sets its mind on passenger security on Mumbai Suburban

मुम्बई Mumbai:  Finally, Indian Railways seems to be taking the security of its passengers seriously. As per a passenger safety plan drawn up by the Railway Board, its security agencies will list out the vulnerable stretches on its massive 70,000 Km nationwide network, and then deploy cops as well as ticket-checkers in these stretches to weed out vandals.

The emphasis would be on undertaking joint drives involving railway police, Railway Protection Force and ticket-checkers so that offenders can be booked under a whole range of laws, including Indian Penal Code and the Railway Act.

According to officials, instant action would be taken against offenders as local railway magistrates will be accompanying the railway and police personnel on these drives.

“It will be something like the ‘fortress checking’ employed at railway stations in Mumbai to catch ticket-less travellers. It will allow us to concentrate on a particular stretch and employ the maximum number of personnel there. A lot of crime is committed by people well-versed with the details of a particular route as they travel regularly on that stretch, mostly without tickets,” said a senior railway official.

In Mumbai this pattern was detected by the Western Railway’s RPF unit, which in the past few months has increased security during non-peak hours between Churchgate and Dadar stations. During non-peak hours, especially early mornings or late afternoons, women’s coaches have just a handful of commuters, and chances of someone mugging a commuter is high.

The railways also plans to display, digitally, helpline numbers of local police, the RPF and railway police inside long-distance trains to enable commuters to summon help quickly. It may also come in the form of announcements inside the coaches. The modalities of these technology-intensive works are being worked out, said officials.

Bulox Equipment Cyclosystem Pte Ltd. plans to enter India’s Railway Infra sector

हैदराबाद Hyderabad:  BULOX EQUIPMENT, currently trading under Cyclosystem Pte Ltd, is a rapidly expanding division of BULOX Corporation. The evolution of BULOX Equipment comes as a result of the success of Cyclosystem Pte Ltd – an established company involved in the design, manufacturing and distribution of a wide range of quality standard and customised equipment for the process and cleaning industry. It is with this same conviction to innovation, passion and realistic approach to providing practical solutions that the clients entrusted Cyclosystem to design and customise more and more equipment which are non-cleaning related in the Rail and Track industry. This business has since outgrown itself to such a level that it is now necessary to establish a separate entity to fully focus in this business and respond to the changing needs in the Railway industry so as to serve our customers better.

With the introduction of its new internal business division, Bulox Equipment, Cyclosystem is cleaning up in the field of railway depot equipment. It has been more than 15 years since the concept behind Cyclosystem sparked into life – a company that in many ways was an extension of Managing Director Darell Koh’s passion for engineering. “When I was younger I used to help my father in his motor rewinding business, where my task was to clean the electric motors. After several years of doing this manually, I believed there should be a more efficient way to clean motor parts automatically and systematically without getting my hands dirty,” he begins.

“This became a reality when I attended a seminar and saw a wide range of cleaning machines using jet-based technology on display. Many of these products were bulky and crude, and I realised that such technology was in its infancy, so I went about trying to introduce it in Singapore. It took some time to get a manufacturer to sell me a unit, which unfortunately was a very basic low-end model. As such, I proceeded to strip the equipment, de-rust and re-spray it, which opened my eyes to how I could design and develop my own range of cleaners that were better and more affordable,” he continues.

This led Darell to establish Cyclosystem, which has grown from its original aim of designing and manufacturing quality industrial cleaning machines for the maintenance, repair and operation (MRO) market, to become a leading provider in the region. The company also designs, manufactures and distributes other customised processrelated equipment for a wide variety of industrial applications.

“Our primary strategy was to focus on spray-jet cleaning technology, however such technology can only cover a certain market, typically the heavy duty MRO sector. As an engineering based company, we found it difficult to say no to our clients when we were being challenged to provide a solution for their cleaning needs. Therefore, Cyclosystem now not only uses jet-based cleaning technology but many others as well such as ultra-high pressure, immersion cleaning, ultrasonic/megasonic, vapour degreasing, or a combination of the above,” enthuses Darell.

Cyclosystem now serves a wide client base including aerospace and military, electronics, manufacturing, metal stamping, marine and offshore, and rail. The company’s long list of satisfied clients is not limited to the local Singapore market only, but also wider afield in countries like Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, US, and Vietnam.

As to the reasons behind the company’s success, Darell reveals his thoughts: “Personally I believe that we have come to where we are today because we are able to address the challenges posed to us by our customers. After so many years of developing customised solutions, we have been able to organise and standardise those system. Today, our business is focused around 80 per cent on our own standard equipment, and 20 per cent on customised solutions. Having our own in-house design and manufacturing capabilities also allows for continuous innovation, and flexibility in responding to every requirement whilst continuously leveraging the industry’s latest technological advancement.”

As well as its own Cyclosystem line of equipment, the company is engaged in a second stream of business known as Bulox Equipment – a rapidly expanding division of the Bulox Corporation, which is currently trading under Cyclosystem Pte Ltd. “The evolution of Bulox Equipment comes as a result of the success of Cyclosystem. The same conviction of innovation, passion, and practical solutions has led customers to entrust Cyclosystem with more and more equipment that is non-cleaning related within the rail and track market. This business has outgrown itself to such a level that it is now necessary to establish a separate entity, Bulox Equipment, to focus on this and respond to the changing needs of our customers,” explains Darell.

Together Cyclosystem and Bulox offer one of the widest ranges of standard and customised railway depot equipment in the world. This includes test stands, component cleaning machines, railway cleaning equipment, lifting and handling systems, maintenance vehicles, and other depot equipment. Throughout the company strives to add value to its clients through services like optimisation of machinery, safety regulation compliance, and on-site support.

“The railway industry, especially the metro system in Singapore, has come a long way since we began supplying equipment to the first Singapore MRT system in the early 1980s,” notes Darell. “Today, having proven to be a reliable and safe public transportation system, the Singapore government has put more resources into expanding the fleet and building more depots. Now almost all the big cities in the region are following suit and investing in MRT systems. It is almost a recession-proof business as most governments are investing in such costly infrastructure projects to spur the local economy, due to its visibility and public benefits.”

As in its history, Cyclosystem’s strategy for the future is to continue to innovate and develop its range of products and services, standardising as much as possible to make them easily available to customers at an affordable price. “One area that we find challenging to penetrate is environmentally friendly products where costs are a major factor considered by clients,” says Darell.

“We aim to not only gain business in this area, but to make our own mark. We have already designed and supplied many forms of waste water treatment systems into our projects, and are now considering how to package and market them in a modular ‘mix & match’ form that makes it easy for the client to select the system themselves. We are also on the look-out to collaborate with more partners who can complement our products and services so that we can continue providing our customers with a whole suite of solutions to meet their needs,” he concludes.

The introduction of Bulox Equipment fast-tracked the group’s aspiration to establish itself as one of the leading design and engineering companies with production of both standard and customized equipment. Bulox Equipment is one of the very few if not, the only company in the world that fully focuses on the design, manufacture and distribution of the most comprehensive range of Depot equipment in the Railway industry. The company also collaborates with many other companies worldwide with leading edge technologies to provide a comprehensive solution to its clients. Most of Bulox-Cyclosystem equipment are designed to be simple, modular, practical and reliable, yet much emphasis has also been put into its aesthetic appearances and quality.

With a young and modern management team coupled with its vast experience in designing customized equipment, Bulox Equipment is fully equipped to undertake the toughest challenges the industry can offer. The company has, time and again, delivered on its commitment despite sometimes running into an unchartered ground but this is the same reason which sets the company apart from its competitions.

Smith Bros & Webb reap the benefits of overseas Rail Infrastructure Investment

Smith Bros & Webb is one of the early entrants in India into the field of Train and Heavy-Rake Washing Systems – Contracts have been won far and wide including the Mumbai Monorail and Metro for which Smith Bros & Webb is providing two Britannia Train Wash plants together with installations for Peenya & Baiyappanahalli in Bangalore, Taiwan and Hong Kong with several others in the pipeline. The Britannia train washing system can be designed to accommodate any type of rolling stock and will efficiently wash anything from one single car to up to 200 carriages per hour.

बंगलुरू Bangalore (SBC):  Smith Bros & Webb is a specialist in train and heavy-vehicle washing systems. Washing trains can be very complicated but with the Smith Bros & Webb it is easy. These highly technological machines sense the shape of the different rail cars and wash in both directions.

The Twin Line’s high-density brushes are profiled to match the train’s contour and can wash the front, roof and rear in a single wash cycle. To optimize results the wash system can be delivered with dryers / blowers and window squeegees.

productPhoto_177_lElectric and diesel train washing equipment

Smith Bros & Webb’s train wash equipment is available for both electric and diesel trains and has minimal installation dimension requirements. Optional equipment includes:

  • Heating / cooling arches – oxalic acid / detergent arches, detergent pumps, detergent metering systems
  • High pressure arches and pumps – chassis wash / side-spray with high pressure
  • Dryer / blowers with window squeegees – manual spray equipment
  • Water recycling system with ozone generator – Renaren water purification system

productPhotoTrain washer water-treatment system

Environmental thinking does not have to be difficult – this is proven by Smith Bros & Webb’s brilliant water treatment system. The water from the train washer is purified in two stages – water recycling and water purification.

Smith Bros & Webb’s water treatment system entirely fulfils even the strictest of regulations regarding water quality standards. This includes the rules of the Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency, which are among the most stringent in the world. All parts can be delivered separately.

auto_train_wash_systemsRail washer water-reclamation system

Water recycling and re-use is environmentally and fiscally beneficial and therefore an increasingly important component of any modern vehicle-wash system. Smith Bros & Webb ‘ proven water reclamation system utilizes cyclonic separation to achieve water quality of 10µm.

Odor control is achieved by use of ozone injection, which safely and effectively eliminates any odor-causing bacteria in the system as well as accelerating solids precipitation. This process enables water reclamation of up to 85%, greatly reducing sewer impact fees as well as monthly bills.

For decades, Smith Bros & Webb  has been producing effective, cost-efficient water reclaim equipment that meets the stringent requirements of the Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency and complies with ISO 14001 standards.

Water purification system

In applications where waste wash water must be purified, Smith Bros & Webb’s Renaren system is the answer. Water that is not recycled passes through the oil / water separator and into Renaren. The method is based on electro-flocculation, which is a technical combination of electro-flotation and electro-precipitation. No chemical supplements are needed during the purification process.

Renaren is so effective that it can produce a water purification level of more than 99%. After having gone through the Renaren, the water can then proceed out into the sewage system.

Renaren has proved to be useful in many lines of business where purification of oil-mixed water is necessary. It is patent-protected and has been DNV-certified for ship installations.

Vehicle washer card-reader system

Any model of Smith Bros & Webb’s automated and manual vehicle wash equipment can be coupled with the Wash Control 3000 card reader system to create a highly profitable and dependable retail wash bay.

The vehicle can enter the bay after the driver swipes a proprietary ‘wash’ card. At the Wash Control 3000 console the driver selects from a menu of both manual or automated wash programs, then all of the selections are billed. Once the automated wash program is complete, the exit door opens and the vehicle departs. The bay is now ready for the next wash.

The entire process is extremely user-friendly, eliminating the need for personnel to operate the wash equipment. Wash Control 3000 makes the washer accessible day and night, without the need for permanent staffing.

Train identification and registration systems

Smith Bros & Webb also supplies systems for identification and registration of trains.

CONCOR’s Khodiyar ICD registers 1.76 lakh TEUs – Highest Throughput during 2013-14

खोडियार Khodiyar (KHD): The Container Corporation of India’s North West Region, comprising ICD-Khodiyar, Sabarmati, Vadodara, Ankleshwar and Gandhidham, achieved a benchmark handling performance of 2.55 lakh TEUs in 2013 to 2014, an overall growth of 3.35%. The year saw a record 500 rakes a month being handled in July 2013, surpassing the previous best 490 rakes in February that year. CONCOR’s rail operations are steadfastly catering to Gujarat ports, i.e. Mundra and Pipavav and Hazira for evacuating boxes to various ICDs/CFSs in the state, North India and NCR.

CONCOR currently operates 200 trains a month each from Mundra and Pipavav, up 13.35% compared to the previous year, in the process offering the fastest turnaround of trains and import containers and leveraging the ever-increasing cost of transport, highlighted a release.

Despite the increasing competition in the sector, CONCOR’s ICD-Khodiyar registered its highest throughput of 1.76 lakh TEUs during 2013 to 2014, an increase of 7.6% over the previous fiscal, with the highest ever performance of 16,163 TEUs in February 2014. It attributed the improved performance to the continuing addition of infrastructure capacity at the ICD, the customer friendly approach and support of the trade. The ICD also saw increase in train movement to 72 rakes in March 2014, with 33 rakes to Mundra Port and 24 rakes to Pipavav Port, totalling 735 trains during the year.

The ICD received permission from CDSCO to import drugs and pharmaceuticals, a P&Q office was established for expeditious clearance of agro products and the process was initiated to shift the CRCL laboratory from Vadodara to ICD-Khodiyar.

CONCOR envisages a sizable addition to infrastructure capacity at the ICD, more rolling stock and commissioning of a multimodal logistics park during the current financial year.

ICD-Ankleshwar was supplemented with massive infrastructure in the form of extended paved area for container storage, full length rake facility, new warehouse and administrative building. It is also making headway in catering to Hazira and JN Port, with more than 45,000 TEUs during 2013 to 2014, up 43% over the previous fiscal.

Mr A Vaasudeve Rao, CGM of CONCOR’s North West Region, stressed that CONCOR will continue to facilitate the trade by adding the requisite infrastructure to ease operations at all its terminals. It will also establish new facilities near industries, which will help the trade to avail of one-stop logistics solutions. CONCOR has major expansion plans to increase capacity of CC paved area, warehousing, rail sidings and other amenities at its Ankleshwar, Vadodara and Gandhidham terminals to keep abreast of the growing demand from the trade. Efforts are on to commence ex-im traffic movement from Morvi too.

YatraChef makes every Train Journey a Culinary Exploration

Who doesn’t love a train ride? Staring out of the window, striking up new friendships and munching on savouries as the train chugs along lazily is a pleasure. One hitch, though, is that the hygiene of the food we get inside the train is suspect. Most of us have had our share of tummy troubles after succumbing to the temptation of oily samosas, vegetable pulavs and egg puffs served at the seat. Well, we don’t have to worry about this anymore.

Thanks to YatraChef, an online marketplace for food, train travellers can order their pick of food from their preferred restaurants, fast food chains and catering services across the country, which will be delivered to them en route.

In fact, YatraChef came into being after Arun Rajan – who is now CEO and Cofounder of the startup – suffered a bad bout of food poisoning in the beginning of 2013. He was working as the operations manager with an ecommerce company in Australia and decided to spend the New Year in Goa. After the holiday, he was heading to Mumbai by train, ate everything he could get his hands on, and fell sick. Home was in Kochi, Kerala, and it was a much less enthusiastic Arun that boarded the connecting train. This experience got him thinking aloud with his friend, Rameez Ashraf, on how to solve a problem almost every train traveler faces in India. Rameez seconded it immediately and Arun quit his job to get started on this. They began working on it from February 2013, soft-launched the product by July and started an online pilot run by October. “In retrospect, it does look funny,” Arun laughs while relating the story to us.

Travellers can get on to the YatraChef site, key in their travel details and choose from the array of restaurants available en route. YatraChef has a multi-lingual helpline for placing orders as well.

At designated halts along the way, local restaurants and caterers will deliver the food to passengers in the train. “The very idea of having your favourite meal delivered at your seat during your train journey is the core idea that makes this click,” says Arun. “People have the choice of selecting food they like from a restaurant of their choice at a convenient time, and above all, not have a fear about stale food or diarrhea. As a foodie, I feel India has a great selection of local delicacies at each station, and if people can have that during their journey it’s priceless and YatraChef does just that.”

Intelligent ordering platform

YatraChef follows a proper marketplace model where users are aware about which restaurant they are ordering from, what kind of restaurant it is, and they can cross-check the restaurant online if they want. “We are transparent in every aspect, including the naming and pricing. Another differentiator is our highly intelligent ordering platform, which splits and sorts up the menu according to breakfast, lunch and dinner based on the time the train passes the station. This drastically reduces cancellations as customers can be sure that the food they ordered will be available. Our success rate is more than 97% with that,” Arun says.

Since YatraChef is chiefly in the logistics and operation subdomain, Arun’s technology and logistics background did help to an extent. But as we all know, entrepreneurship is a minefield of challenges and no amount of planning can prepare you perfectly for this.

Initially, they faced three main challenges:

  1. It was tough to get restaurants to come on board and agree on a revenue sharing model. “Since we were new in the field, we had to meet each one of them and convince them to join our service.”
  2. Language barrier was another hurdle in communicating with both the customers and the clients. “We do have a multilingual call centre but finding people in Kerala who can speak a lot of languages is a herculean task in itself. But we are slowly overcoming that.”
  3. Hiring the right people was the next challenge. “Many a time, candidates we selected rejected the offer after they realised we were a startup.” Arun adds that Suchithra, their first team member, helped him and Rameez channel their energies and stay on course.

Bootstrapping to meet 300-400 orders a day

YatraChef bootstrapped with an initial investment Rs 15 lakh from the two founders. Their core service area initially was Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Increasing demand osoon had them expanding to North India. “Now we are getting more than 1500 unique visitors and almost 300 – 400 orders on a peak day. Almost 90% of customers come back and order for their next journeyThat is a huge confidence booster for us,” Arun says.

Their core market comprises passengers who book train tickets online – “The number is more than 450,000 per day and considering the fact that Indian Railways is an institution, which transports nearly 8 billion passengers every year, the size of the market is huge. Our serviceable market alone is immensely big for any company to flourish,” he says.

Presently, their main focus is to introduce more food providers on their network of railway stations so that customers would have a wider choice. “We are planning to start marketing our service more aggressively to gain visibility in the market.”

For Arun, YatraChef wasn’t a lifelong dream. “I was never an enterprising guy. This was something which was instinctive, interesting and challenging, and one which did cling on to me.” He believes a service like YatraChef was the need of the hour, and so he started up. Now that the model has been proved, YatraChef is in talks with venture funds to raise funds for the next leg of expansion.

What are your thoughts about a service like this? Tell us in the comments below.

Konkan Railway gets Excellent Ratings for Governance

मंगलूर Mangalore (MAQ):  Konkan Railway has been rated “Excellent” for its Corporate Governance by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).

The rating is for the year 2012-13 and is based on degree of compliance to guidelines issued by DPE on Corporate Governance. The financial year 2013-14 also saw augmentation in various passenger amenities on the Konkan Railway route as well as in earnings.

For the first time since the start of its operations phase, Konkan Railway has earned a record Rs 400 crore alone from freight traffic in 2013-14 which is an increment of 17.5% over the previous year. Konkan Railway has posted total earnings of approximately Rs 1,220 Crore (unaudited) in the financial year 2013-14 compared to Rs 1,137.23 crore in 2012-13 – an increase of 7.3%, and Operating Surplus of Rs 205.68 crore (unaudited) compared to Rs 158.36 crore in 2012-13 – an increase of 29.8%. The NTKM (Net Tonne Kilometer) – which is considered the bread and butter for Railway system – also registered an 8.7% growth over the previous year.

Konkan Railway also introduced five new trains on the route and took steps to improve passenger amenities. The new trains introduced are 22629 / 22630 Dadar-Tirunelveli Weekly express, 22113/22114 LTT – Kochuveli bi-weekly Express, 22636/22635 Madgaon – Mangalore Central Intercity Express, 70105/20106 Bhatkal – Mangalore DMU service, and 70103/70104 Madgaon – Karwar DEMU service. Train No. 12450 / 12449 Nizamuddin – Madgaon ‘Goa Sampark Kranti Express’ was extended upto Chandigarh. Frequency of Train No.12218 / 12217 Chandigarh – Kochuveli ‘Kerala Sampark Kranti Express’ increased from Weekly to Bi-Weekly.

DMRC to recruit retired and experienced personnel for various posts

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  Delhi Metro Railway Corporation has invited applications from retired / experienced, dynamic and motivated persons of Indian nationality, having relevant work experience in six different executive and non-executive posts on re-employment/contract basis for a period of four years.

Organization : Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC)

Vacancies: 51

  • General Manager (Civil) : 07 posts
  • General Manager (Electrical) : 03 posts
  • General Manager (Signal & Telecom) :  02 posts
  • Dy.General Manager (Civil): 10 posts
  • Dy.General Manager (Electrical): 04 posts
  • Dy. General Manager (Signal & Telecom): 04 posts
  • Dy. General Manager (Traffic): 01 post
  • Assistant Manager (Civil): 05 posts
  • Section Engineer (Civil/Track): 10 posts
  • Junior Engineer (Civil / Track) : 05 posts


Candidates should have a B.E/B.Tech degree in the respective discipline applied for except for assistant manager, section Manager and junior engineer posts where candidates can have a diploma in (Civil) Engineering.

Candidates should have work experience as Government organisations or PSUs.
Upper Age Limit for all the posts is 61 years and 50 years for Dy. General Manager (Traffic) as on January 1, 2014.

Selection Procedure:

The selection methodology will comprise of two stage processes – Personal Interview followed by medical examination.

The selection process would judge different facets of knowledge, skills, experience, expertise, aptitude and physical fitness. The candidates will be shortlisted for interview, based on their eligibility/ experience in the relevant field, in the ratio of 1:5.

The selected candidate will have to undergo medical fitness examination in DMRC nominated hospital as per the prescribed medical category.

How to Apply:

Eligible and interested candidates may apply as per prescribed application format along with the official advertisement at the career section of the DMRC website. All relevant documents should be attached with the application and the envelope should be properly sealed and super scribed with
Name of the post———–, post code——————

The application should be send at the below mentioned address:

General Manager (HR)
IIIrd Floor, Metro Bhawan
Fire Brigade Lane
Barakhamba Road
New Delhi-110001

Important Dates:

  • Last date for completed application form to reach office: May 16, 2014. 
  • List of shortlisted candidates for interview release date: June 06, 2014 (6 pm). 
  • Interview commencement date: June 10, 2014

Official Website Link:  http://delhimetrorail.com/

SAIL bags Rs.650 Crore Rail supply orders from RVNL

भिलाई Bhilai (BIA): Steel Authority of India (SAIL) today said it has won two global tenders for supplying over 1.17 lakh tonne of rails worth Rs.650 crore. The company in a statement said two global tenders totalling to Rs.650 crore were floated by Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) for major passenger railway line projects in the country.

SAIL would supply varieties of rails to RVNL for four important passenger railway line projects connecting Hospet-Tinaighat, Daund-Gulbarga, Titlagarh-Raipur and Sambalpur-Titlagarh.

The schedule for supply of the high quality (Grade 880 Class A) rails by SAIL would be completed within 18 months from the date of award of contract, the company said.

SAIL’s flagship Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), which had been supplying rails to the Indian Railways since its inception fulfilled total requirement of seven lakh tonne annually. BSP was gearing up to meet all future requirements of the Railways, including head-hardened rails with ongoing Rs.17,265-crore modernisation and expansion programme.

SAIL said work was progressing rapidly at BSP’s new 1.2 million tonne per annum capacity plant.

SAIL Stock Price

On April 25, 2014, Steel Authority of India closed at Rs 71.35, down Rs 0.55, or 0.76 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 75.90 and the 52-week low was Rs 37.65.

The company’s trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 6.32 per share as per the quarter ended December 2013. The stock’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 11.29. The latest book value of the company is Rs.99.32 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 0.72.

L&T wins INR 4,510 Crore order from Qatar Railways

L&T wins contract from Qatar Railways for design and construction of the rail line for the Doha Metro project in Qatar – The total value of the order for the JV Consortium is $3.3 Billion (approximately INR 20,000 Crore),” L&T said in a statement

Mumbai: India’s largest engineering and construction company Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), on Friday, said its heavy civil infrastructure business unit has secured a $740 million (approximately Rs.4,510 crore) order from Qatar Railways Co., for the design and construction of the rail line for the Doha Metro project in Qatar.

L&T secured this order along with its joint venture partners Aktor SA of Greece, Yapi Merkezi Insaat of Turkey, STFA Group of Turky and AlJaber Engineering LLC of Qatar.

“The total value of the order for the joint venture is $3.3 billion (approximately Rs.20,000 crore),” the company said in a statement.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 54 months.

“We are very seriously pursuing our programme of internationalisation and such orders go a long way in opening the doors to new geographies and opportunities,” said S.N.Subrahmanyan, Member of the Board and Senior Executive Vice President (Infrastructure and Construction) at L&T.

While announcing its December quarter results, L&T had slashed its forecast for growth in orders for the full fiscal year by five percentage points, citing a weak investment climate and policy uncertainty ahead of Indian general elections.

The firm is strengthening its presence in select overseas markets to combat slow economic growth in the country, it had said in its outlook in January.

“The strategy of going international helped us to maintain our order booking,” K. Venkataramanan, Chief Executive Officer and managing director at L&T had told reporters in late January.

At 11.10 a.m., L&T shares were trading at Rs.1,365 per share, down 0.91% on the BSE. The benchmark BSE Sensex was trading at 22,846, down 0.13%.

Karnataka proposes High Speed rail links to various cities in the State

बेंगुलुरू Bangalore: High Speed Rail Link from Karnataka’s capital city of Bangalore to other important cities in the State like Mangalore, Mysore, Tumkur, Kolar, Hubli and Belgaum to ensure better connectivity and decongest Bangalore is one of the key features of the proposed new infrastructure policy 2014, which is being finalised.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore on Thursday, Infrastructure and Information Minister Roshan Baig said the new infrastructure policy was aimed at attracting mega investments for implementing high speed rail links from Bangalore to other cities in the State, including Mangalore.

The State government has decided to bring out an Infrastructure Policy 2014 to attract investment in the infrastructure sector, particularly in rail, road and entertainment sectors, he said.

Baig said the new policy would be launched in the next two months.

The policy would be formulated after consultations with stakeholders and trade and industry bodies.

A convention centre would be set up near the Kempe Gowda International Airport with an investment of Rs 500 crore.

An Australian firm has shown interest to take up the project.

A total of 419 acres of land adjacent to the International Airport is available to development of a sport city and other entertainment centres.

The long-pending proposal for setting up of the film city in the State would be expedited.

He said the proposed film city project would be set up in 300 acres at Hesaraghatta, in the outskirts of the city.

Govt to acquire 84 acres for expanding Mysore Airport

As part of the plans to exploit the heritage of Karnataka’s cultural capital of Mysore and its immense tourism potential, the State government has decided to expand the Mysore Airport by acquiring 84 acres of additional land.

Infrastructure and Information Minister Roshan Baig told reporters that the government has asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to realign the existing road to enable the government to acquire the land.

The Airport Authority of India, which has reserved funds for expansion of the airport has made it clear to the government that it will not take up works to expand the airport until Mysore-Nanjangud stretch is realigned.

Though the existing airport in Mysore was not economically viable, it was decided to expand the airport taking into consideration future growth of the city and flow of tourists.

Baig said he would visit Delhi on April 29 for holding talks with the GMR Group and request them to withdraw their objection to operation of facilities available at Bidar airport.

“I will try to convince them to lift their objections against operation of facilities available at Bidar airport,” he said.

The GMR Group had objected to the operation of facilities at Bidar airport citing distance factor from Hyderabad Airport, he said.

The government was ready to hand over maintenance and operation of Bidar Civilian Airport facilities to the GMR Group, which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.

The minister said he would meet officials of the Civil Aviation Department, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Defence Ministry and discuss various issues with regard to improving air connectivity across the state.

Work on the terminal building at Bidar airport had been completed and the government had obtained the clearances from the Civil Aviation Department and the Defence Ministry.

The Minister said the Gulbarga airport would become operational soon as the differences amongst the partners of the joint venture company Regional Airport Holdings International (Rahi) and IL&FS, had been solved.

“IL&FS has agreed to complete the project,” he said.

Rahi was granted the lead role to develop, finance and build the Gulbarga airport through a government order on February 18, 2010.

Lucknow Metro Rail Corp gets deadline to issue tender for Business Consultant

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO): After Metro man E Sreedharan’s visit to Lucknow, the Metro rail project seems to have picked up steam. LMRC’s Principal Advisor has set deadlines for completing different stages of the project.

Sreedharan has asked Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation to publish tenders for hiring business consultants for the project before May 20. The consultant would be responsible for preparing a business plan that makes maximum use of land available, designing metro stations according to the heritage monuments of the city and ensuring optimum utilization of land on both sides of the north-south corridor.

The business consultant is also required to prepare a transit-oriented development strategy, suggest feeder services and conduct techno-economic feasibility studies of development projects proposed along corridors.

Last month, LMRC had organized a pre-bid conference last month to attend the queries, suggestions and objections of the interested companies in preparing business plan of the project. It received encouraging response from major international companies like Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Ernst and Young LLP, Gurgaon, KPMG, Lucknow, Knight Frank (India) Private Ltd, Gurgaon, Jones Lang LaSalle Property Consultants (India) Private Ltd, Gurgaon, Darashaw and Company, Mumbai, Urban Mass Transit Company, New Delhi, CBRE South Asia Private Ltd, Gurgaon etc.

Though LMRC’s board had approved the pre-bid document prepared by a committee headed by the chief town and country planner of the state, Sreedharan has asked for a revised document after incorporating changes suggested by companies that participated in the pre-bid conference.

LMRC Managing Director Rajeev Agarwal said, “We would soon release an advertisement in print. LMRC’s board has to approve the final document. June 10 is the last date to receive bids from interested companies”.

Agarwal added that LMRC was working on changes suggested by Sreedharan, who is also the principal advisor of corporation. Sreedharan has asked to build the first stretch of corridor from Transport Nagar to Charbagh which would give a good number of ridership.

The consultant would be selected after technical and financial evaluation of all the bids received. LMRC is also looking for new avenues of revenue generation around the project as ticket fares alone may not make the project commercially viable.

Meet Suman Lakda, the first woman Loco Pilot on Chakradharpur Division

5743_00चक्रधरपुर Chakradharpur (CKP): A new chapter to the achievements of women was added on Wednesday to the Railways on Chakradharpur Division of South Eastern Railway when Ms.Suman Lakda from Ranchi has created history by becoming the first woman to drive a goods train.

Suman has become the first assistant Loco Pilot in Railways department. She drove on the route from Chakradharpur to Tatanagar. She flared the green flag at around 2:10 in the afternoon which signaled the start of the journey.
5746_01The Senior Railway officer Mr.S.D.Sharma encouraged Suman and congratulated her on the occasion.

Many other women are taking training for Loco Pilot in the Chakradharpur railway department. Saban Surin, Divya Anand, Savita Kindo, Sushila and Soni Kumari are among those who have completed their training and are waiting for their turn. Sonn they will be seen driving the train.

Suman seemed enthusiastic before driving the train as her childhood dream was about to come true. She said that when she was small, she used to think of driving the train and told her father about it. Her father used to laugh a lot on her conversation.
5750_02Suman said that after her father’s death, her mother took care of the family. Suman’s mother used to get annoyed with her whenever she told her that she wants to drive a train but later agreed with her decision.

In the meanwhile, the applications for assistantLoco Pilot were invited by the railways department. Suman filled in the form from Ranchi. She appeared in the test and passed it

Suman has become the first woman Loco Pilot in the Chakradharpur railways department. She drove the freight train to Tatanagar. Suman has proved that women are not behind men in any field. Becoming a loco pilot is no easy task to do and that too of a goods train is even tougher. Suman is hard working as well as a brave girl. -SD Sharma, Senior DEE (OP), Chakradharpur Railways Department.

Cape need more trains towards Chennai and other important cities/towns of TN via.Madurai

कन्याकुमारी Kanyakumari (CAPE): MLA J.G.Prince, Colachel Constituency and District President, Indian National Congress represented on behalf of the people of Kanyakumari district for operating more trains to and from Kanyakumari towards Madurai and other important towns and cities of Tamil Nadu. He observed that people from the Kanyakumari District have to commute more towards various destinations in the Tamil Nadu from this part of Cape City, however the Railway administration is operating more trains towards Trivandrum and other Kerala towns.

Prince observes that Kanyakumari District was was once upon a time part of the South Travancore – Cochin State in Kerala for several centuries prior to India’s independence.  Due to politically alienated from the main stream Tamil Nadu for centuries, the Tamils of this region feel exploited and ill-treated earlier socially and politically under the rule of Keralites.  However, after a long struggle the southern Tamil Nadu region was carved out from the Kerala state in 1956 integrating it with the mother state of Tamil Nadu as a Kanyakumari District.

He stressed that people from this region were politically constituted under the state of Tamil Nadu and are more  connected with the Tamil regions, whereas the Railway administration is governed by the Trivandrum Division under Southern Railway.  Due to this, the Trivandrum Division is operating more and more trains towards Kerala from Kanyakumari, and not towards the Tamil regions, and hence people are suffering.  He argues that since Kanyakumari District socio-politically has more connection with Tamil Nadu state and Chennai, there is an urgent need to operate more and more trains via Madurai and other Tamil Nadu cities/towns from Kanyakumari, and not towards Trivandrum and other Kerala territories.

He also appealed that most of the people’s representatives have to commute between Nagercoil and the state Capital Chennai very often to attend the Legislative Assembly, visit the Secretariat and other offices to resolve various socio-political public issues, whereas, due to the region controlled by the Trivandrum Division of Kerala in Railways parlance, the people of the region are suffering with inadequate allocation of berths/seats and also do not get AC class tickets for their journey to Chennai and other cities/towns and back.

He argues that Kanniyakumari Express and Ananthapuri express run with huge waiting list all the times, through out the year. These trains do not have adequate A/C coaches to meet the demand. Thus, we end up travelling by bus to Chennai. The huge waiting list in the Kanniyakumari and Ananthapuri express itself speaks about the need of another train to Chennai, he expressed. “We do not have any premier A/C trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdhi, Janshatabdhi, Double Decker, Garib Rath etc. south of Madurai. Hence, I request you to convert the existing 22205/06 Chennai-Central-Madurai biweekly Duronto express into an A/C express and extend it to Trivandrum Via. Tirunelveli, Nagercoil. Or else introduce new full AC super fast trains between Nagercoil – Chennai Central route. Via. Chenani Egmore, Vridhachalam, Tiruchi, Madurai and Tirunelveli“. says J.G.Prince, MLA, Colachel Constituency.

He strongly believe that Railway administration consider fulfillment of the genuine demands of the people of Kanyakumari District atleast in the near future.

Track doubling work at Ernakulam to delay trains today

एर्नाकुलम Ernakulam (ERS): The doubling works in Ernakulam railway section will disrupt train traffic on Friday and already, several trains are running late because of this work. Railway officials informed that two trains – Kottayam-Ernakulam service which starts at 5.25am and Kollam-Kottayam passenger which departs at 7.55am – have been cancelled.

All trains passing through Ernakulam Junction were delayed by several hours and many trains were halted in various other stations. Kerala Express, Chennai Mail and other trains were delayed. Many were halted in Tripunithura, Mulanthuruthy and other stations. Ernakulam Railway area manager P L Ashok Kumar said: “We have already issued alerts about the cancellation of many trains and several trains have been delayed. We expect that trains will resume normal service tonight.”

Substitute Employee can’t claim Family Pension against norms

नागपूर Nagpur (NGP): Allowing Central Railway’s plea, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has ruled that temporary employee is not eligible for family pension without following procedure. “Though service of more than six months as a ‘substitute’ employee was rendered, that would not be sufficient to hold the respondent entitled for the family pension. The procedure prescribed has not been shown to be followed and, hence, mere acquisition of the status of a temporary employee would not make his family eligible for the pension,” a division bench comprising justices Vasanti Naik and Atul Chandurkar held.

Hari Borkar was employed as a ‘substitute’ ladderman with the Indian Railways on January 16, 1967, and after working for about three-and-a-half years, he expired on August 12, 1970. His wife Kamlabai sought settlement of dues, including family pension. However, the railways informed her in 1996 that there was no provision for it since her husband worked as ‘substitute’. She then knocked Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) door which granted her pension from November 12, 1994.

The railway challenged this order contending that there was no automatic absorption/appointment to its service of a ‘substitute’ employee unless the prescribed procedure was followed and therefore, Kamlabai was not entitled for the pension.

Kamlabai, in reply, argued that if a ‘substitute’ completed six months continuous service, the status of a temporary employee was attained, and on that basis, their family members were entitled for the pension.

The petitioners, however, pointed out that the Indian Railway Establishment Manual defines ‘substitute’ as persons engaged in the railway establishments on a regular scale of pay and allowances applicable to posts against which they are employed. It also clarifies that the conferment of temporary status on a ‘substitute’ on completion of six months continuous service would not entitle him to automatic absorption/appointment to the service unless the person is selected in the approved manner for appointment to the regular post.

“It is clear that mere completion of six months continuous service by a ‘substitute’ would not automatically have the effect of absorption/appointment to railway service unless the procedure prescribed for absorption/appointment has been followed,” the court held.

Wagons of goods train derail at Chheoki

छियोकी Chheoki (COI): Two wagons of a goods train derailed at Chheoki on Thursday. Accident relief train (ART) was rushed to the spot to haul the wagons back on the track. Movement of two special trains was affected due to derailment.

The goods train laden with onions was coming from Jabalpur and going towards Fatua in Bihar. When it was passing through Chheoki, wheels of two wagons came off the tracks at 12:38 pm. ART and railway staff rushed from Allahabad railway station at 1:05 and reached the spot at 1:55 pm. Due to the derailment, onions also spread on the tracks.

One wagon was rerailed by 4:20 pm while process of rerailing other wagon was in progress.

The derailment resulted in late movement of the special trains 1027 Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus-Varanasi special and train number 1047 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Gorakhpur special.

Kerala CM to hold meet on 29th April on Kochi Metro

तिरुवनंतपुरम Thiruvananthapuram (TVC): Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will chair a meeting of agencies concerned and people’s representatives on April 29 in Thiruvanathapuram to discuss issues pertaining to the progress of the Kochi Metro Rail project. According to an official statement from the Kochi Metro Rail Limited, the meeting is being held to evolve solutions to the burning issues affecting the progress of the project and senior officials from all departments concerned including Finance, Revenue, PWD, KSEB, KWA and representatives from the Kochi Corporation, and the GCDA would participate in the meeting along with KMRL and DMRC.

A formal decision to hold the meeting came on Thursday. Meanwhile, sources said the meeting was most likely to deliberate on the direct land purchase plan mooted by the KMRL, which had already given a letter to the Chief Secretary seeking permission in this regard.

Bookings for 26 holiday special trains to Kerala to start from Saturday

थाने Thane (TNA): Central Railway on Thursday announced that bookings for the 26 holiday special trains to Kerala will start from Saturday. When highlighted the issue yesterday, after the Railways failed to open bookings despite its announcement last week, the Railway had promised to sort out the issue at the earliest.

Train No 01067 will now run till Tirunelveli instead of Kochuveli as announced earlier. Train No 01067 Down will leave Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at 2.20pm every Friday from May 2 to June 6 (6 trips) and will arrive at Tirunelveli at 2.25am on the third day. As many as 14 trains will run between Ernakulum and Mumbai, while the rest will ply till Tirunelveli.

This move has brought cheer among passengers. “We can now plan our holidays. We had waitlisted tickets of other trains, but now we will book tickets here,” said a commuter from Thane.

Railways audit fire retardant materials in coaches

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: In the wake of increasing fire incidents in trains, railways has undertaken an audit exercise of passenger coaches to ensure that the best quality fire retardant materials are used.

“I had given instructions to all General Managers in GM conference in January to conduct an audit of materials being used in coach building. This audit will help us in reducing the incidents of fire in future,” Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge today said here.

He was speaking at the global conference on “Emerging fire protection technologies rolling stock” here.

There were two major fire mishaps in recent times – in Bangalore-Nanded Express on December 28, 2013, and other in Dehradun-Mumbai Express on January 8, 2014, claiming total 35 lives.

Fire retardant materials used in coaches play crucial role in preventing fire in coaches.

Expressing concern over fire incidents in trains, Kharge said the audit will help railways improve quality of materials being used.

“This will ensure that casualties in cases of fire are minimised,” he said, adding that loss of precious lives in fire mishaps had caused him pain.

Railways have organised the international conference to seek experts views on fire prevention measures in trains. Rail experts from nine countries including Japan, Italy, USA and UK participated in the meeting.

Kharge also advocated use of latest technology in fire prevention exercise.

“There is also a need for creating diverse technology absorption strategies with respect to upgrading of design and manufacturing technologies in India relating to prevention of fire in coaches,” he said.

He said matters such as transfer of technology through acquisition or joint ventures and research and development through university and industry participation need our special attention.

Goods train derails near Nellore; rail traffic hit

मनुबोलू Manubolu (MBL): Derailment of the loco and 14 wagons of a goods train today in Andhra Pradesh led to disruption of services on a section of the South Central Railway (SCR).

The train loaded with rice coming from Mahasamund (Sambalpur Division of East Coast Railway) and heading towards Tirunelveli derailed near Manubolu between Nellore and Gudur stations in Andhra Pradesh.

The mishap led to obstruction of both up and down lines, hampering train services on the Vijayawada-Gudur section, SCR officials said here.

At least three passenger trains were cancelled, while as many were partially cancelled. Similarly, five other passenger trains were diverted.

Personnel and equipment were rushed from Chennai and Vijayawada to undertake track restoration work.

Long distance express trains on the affected route have been diverted.

Kharge inaugurates Conference on emerging Fire Protection Technologies for Rolling Stock

International Conference on – ‘Emerging Fire Protection Technologies for Rolling Stock’ Inaugurated by Mr.Mallikarjun Kharge.  Minister says Indian Railways shall take measures to improve Fire Safety in Trains – stresses need for new technology to check fire mishaps

The Minister of Railways Shri Mallikarjun Kharge inaugurated an International Technical Conference on ‘Emerging Fire Protection Technologies for Rolling Stock’ here today. In his inaugural address, the Railway Minister said that Indian Railways inducted new technologies in every area of railway operations and there has been a steady decline in railway accidents. However, the incidents of fire in passenger carrying trains on run, which inevitably led to precious loss of lives, are very painful. Shri Kharge said that there is a need for creating diverse technology absorption strategies with respect to upgrading of design and manufacturing technologies in India relating to prevention of fire in coaches. He said that this Conference will provide a much needed avenue for the participants forging cooperative relations for future projects, advance partnerships in technology development and create an environment for innovating India-specific solutions, besides providing a glimpse of fire related technologies that will serve the railways in future.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Arunendra Kumar said that Indian Railways has been actively working over the years to reduce the potential of fire accidents on the trains. He said that considering the serious nature of fire accidents, lot of developments are taking place all over the world in all the fields related to controlling the fire covering fire detection systems, use of material with low inflammability and fire retardant characteristics as well as fire extinguishing systems. Material used also need to ensure that smoke produced should be less as it makes escape difficult as well affects breathing and can even be toxic. He said that this conference is bringing together experts from nine countries including European countries, US, Japan and Australia. It is expected that their inputs will be useful to Indian Railways and help in developing a strategy for further making improvements in the area.

In his address, Member Mechanical, Railway Board, Shri Alok Johri said that Indian Railways has always accorded highest priority to the safety of passengers and has been upgrading its infrastructure including rolling stock to ensure better safety of passengers. He said that Indian Railways have introduced the test of flammability in its specifications keeping pace with the developments in abroad and also the Indian industries Indian Railways has upgraded its specification based on international norms of fire retardancy adopted on Europe for inter-operability of the trains. He expressed his hope that participants of this conference will go back richer with ideas and information which can be implemented leading to improvement of fire safety in India.

Shri Arvind Khare, Additional Member (Production Units), Railway Board gave vote of thanks at the conference. Railway Board Members, senior railway officers were also present among others on the occasion.

This two days conference is being organized by the Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers (IRSE) and Indian Railways service of Mechanical Engineers Association (IRSMEA) with support from Indian Railways and RITES. IRSE is a registered body consisting of Railway officers and experts as members and is headquartered at Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO), Lucknow. IRSMEA is an association of the Mechanical Engineers of Indian Railways. RITES are an ISO-9001-2008 certified multi-disciplinary consultancy organization in the fields of transport, infrastructure and related technologies.

A first of its kind, the conference will bring together experts to provide fire protection technologies and to find solutions to reduce the fire cases thereby making rail travel further safer. Technical papers and participation would cover Railway operators, Rolling Stock manufacturers, Universities, Consultants etc. from a number of countries outside India such as Germany, Australia, UK, Japan, France, Belgium, Austria, Poland and Italy.

Indian Railways have played a significant role in the development of India since their inception since 1853. Indian Railways today have the largest passenger operation amongst all the railway networks in the world and carry about 25 million passengers daily. The safety record of the Indian Railway has been improving over the years. The number of accidents has come down from 325 in 2003-04 to 121 in 2012-13. The train accidents per million train kms is only 0.12 which is amongst the best in the world. The causalities in Railway accidents per year have also reduced from 156 in 2003-04 to 80 in 2012-13. Railways have identified fire in trains as one of the causes of accidents. Although many cases have been attributed to negligence by passengers and contractors, Indian Railways have always endeavoured to enhance fire worthiness of coaches. The first action was the phasing out of wooden body coaches more than 20 years ago. Indian Railways has also started using fire retardant furnishing materials, fire extinguishers, and has conducted trials with smoke and fire detection systems. Indian Railways has also made efforts to spread safety awareness by using fire posters and conducting training for on board staff. Provision of emergency exit windows, modification of fuse boxes and conducting of internal safety audits are other endeavors in this area. As safety is the highest priority for Indian Railways it has been decided to address this issue in a focused manner through this international conference to stay abreast with the world.

Sonia Gandhi loses Tax-free Railway Bonds worth Rs.10 Lakh

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: At the peak of election season you would not expect Sonia Gandhi’s name to appear in a small advertisement buried in the corner of a business newspaper.

But just like an aam aadmi, the Congress party boss’ name figures in an advertisement issued by Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), the railway PSU involved in its borrowing programme, regarding tax-free bonds of Rs 10 lakh that have been “reported lost”.

Gandhi owns 1000 bonds each with a face value of Rs 1,000 and offering a fixed return. The bonds, which have been misplaced, were part of the 86th A Series Tax Free Bonds, IRFC said.

The bonds, which were issued to raise loans for IRFC, are part of Gandhi’s affidavit that puts assets belonging to her at Rs 2.8 crore. The largest chunk of her assets is in mutual funds (Rs 82 lakh), followed by over Rs 66 lakh in bank deposits and FDs and Rs 42 lakh in her public provident fund (PPF) account. The affidavit mentions that the bonds were issued in February 2013.

The advertisement is part of routine procedure followed for anyone who misplaces a bonds. The rule requires the investor to approach the company which had issued the certificate and submit an indemnity bond. The company then issues an ad notifying others that if they have a claim they should raise it with the company. In this case, IRFC has given 15 days to people to raise any claims “with documentary evidence at the very outset”.

Such public announcements are required to be made by the issuer of bonds or securities in case of the investor reporting their loss.

As per her affidavit, the Congress President has movable assets worth Rs 2.81 crore and immovable assets to the tune of Rs 6.47 crore.

Among the movable assets, Gandhi has Rs 85,000 in cash, Rs 66 lakh in banks, Rs 10 lakh worth bonds and shares worth Rs 1.90 lakh.

World Bank clears $1.1 Billion Loan for Electrification of DFCC’s Mughalsarai-Bhaupur section

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: The World Bank has sanctioned a loan of $1.1 billion for the construction of a 393 km double line between the Mughalsarai-Bhaupur section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project.

The World Bank board, in a meeting held at Washington on 22 April, sanctioned the second phase loan of the $1.1 billion for construction of electrified double line between Mughalsarai-Bhaupur section of the Eastern DFC after completion of the process of project appraisal and loan negotiations, said a senior Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. (DFCC) official.

The loan agreement for the second phase is expected to be signed in June 2014. The World Bank has agreed in principle to partly finance the Eastern Corridor project from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana, which has been divided into three phases. The total loan commitment is $2.725 billion, out of which the loan for the first phase was to the tune of $975 million.

It was sanctioned in May 2011 and the loan agreement was signed in October 2011. DFCC, a special purpose vehicle (SPV), is engaged in planning, construction, operation and maintenance of the dedicated freight corridors and in the first phase, the two corridors, namely, the Eastern Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1,839 km) and the Western Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port, or JNPT (1,499 kms), are being constructed.

The entire Western Corridor is being funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), while the Eastern Corridor from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana is being funded by the World Bank.

MRVC submits report on Rapid Rail Transit System to Kerala Govt: Study finds it Viable

MRVC study finds it cost-effective – Moots Railway network upgrade for RRTS

4rwyp88तिरुवनंतपुरम Thiruvananthapuram (TVC): Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), the agency appointed by the Government of Kerala, has submitted the Feasibility Report on the proposed Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the report was submitted to the Cabinet.

The existing system on this 125.65 double line railway stretch has 25 kv AC Traction, Broad Gauge and Multi Aspect Color Light Signaling (MACLS).

The tentative project cost of the proposed RRTS has been put at Rs 3330.78 crores and the funding for the same is expected to come from State, Multilateral Funding, Ministry of Urban Development, Infrastructure / Tax-free Bonds, Borrowing from Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd. and Loan from Bank and Financial Institutions.

As per the report, the daily average expense for journeys in the proposed RRTS will be Rs.87.77 compared to Rs.60.54 by bus and Rs.237.91 by car; based on journeys on 25 days a month. The minimum fare recommended is Rs.10 with a price range of Rs.0.80 to Rs.2 per kilometer. RRTS has been mooted to realize unhindered and enhanced mobility requirement owing to the presence of State government offices on the Thiruvananthapuram-Chengannur stretch and due to traffic congestion on the national highways; limited scope of road widening; high incidence of road casualties and inability to introduce additional train services with the existing infrastructure.

Estimated cost

Of the estimated cost, Rs.1,200 is needed for rolling stock, Rs.1,025 crore for civil work, Rs.554.46 crore for signalling and telecom, Rs.172 crore for electrical work, and the remaining for other expenses.

The RRTS for the State was mooted by the former Divisional Railway Manager Rajesh Agrawal to make travel hassle free for short-distance commuters, overcome the inability to introduce additional trains with the existing infrastructure, and lessen the congestion on roads.

As the MRVC has ruled out the construction of a new rail corridor in view of the hurdles in acquiring land, the existing double line on the busy stretch that has 25-kV AC traction, broad gauge, and multi-aspect colour light signalling will have to be upgraded.

Favourable factors

The factors in favour of RRTS are the 27 stations on the stretch, including major ones such as Thiruvananthapuram Central, Kollam Junction, Kayamkulam Junction, and Chengannur; average inter-station distance of 4.65 km; bi-directional peak trips, and a line leading to Ernakulam via Alappuzha and another one via Chengannur.

The MRVC has identified challenges in the form of 78 level crossing gates; gradient of 1:100 that poses a challenge to automatic signalling system; crowding during peak hours; land acquisition/resettlement and rehabilitation; and non-uniform platform heights and trespassing, especially at major stations.

For the RRTS to take off, augmentation of the stations at Thiruvananthapuram Central and Kollam and yard modifications at Thiruvananthapuram Central, Kochuveli, Kollam, and Mavelikara have been recommended.

Raising the level of 20 platforms on the stretch to the standard height of 840 mm and Automatic Block Signalling (ABS) with Train Protection and Warning System for enhanced safety have been suggested.

The RRTS will see the railway line divided into a series of sections or blocks of one km, and the average speed will be 57 km per hour.

The study has found that as much as 92 per cent of road users, 76.25 per cent of bus commuters, and 76.04 per cent of rail commuters are willing to shift to the RRTS once it is operational. The first RRTS suburban train is expected in 36 months.

The daily average expense for journeys on the proposed RRTS will be Rs.87.77 compared to Rs.60.54 by bus and Rs.237.91 by car (based on journeys on 25 days a month).

The minimum fare recommended in the RRTS is Rs.10 with a price range of 80 paise to Rs.2 per km.

Funding options

The State has been asked to explore options such as State funding, multilateral funding through the Finance Ministry, Ministry of Urban Development’s funding for urban rail-based transport projects, tax-free bonds, borrowing from Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd., and loan from bank and financial institutions for the RRTS.

Relationship Status: Microsoft is committed to Indian Railways

नयी दिल्ली  New Delhi:  Indian Railways, the state-owned enterprise operated by the Government of India through the Ministry of Railways, is one of the world’s largest railway networks and transports over 25 million passengers daily.

Last year, Microsoft India pulled off a major exclusive with the launch of the official IRCTC app that still is only available for Windows Phone and Windows devices and gets a lot of envy from our friends on Android or iOS.

Apparently, the two enterprises continue with their romance. Earlier this month, the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) launched the official National Train Enquiry System for Windows 8 devices. The app has now made it to the Windows Phone Store as well. CRIS is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Railways and develops and manages the Information Technology applications of the Indian Railways.

The National Train Enquiry System (NTES) is railways’ back-end system which provides information to the public about train schedules on a near real time basis through various interfaces like nationwide unique rail enquiry number 139, website, enquiry counters and display boards at stations.
NTESThe official NTES app provides complete schedule of a train with all stoppages enroute, scheduled arrival/departure at the station, distance, and day count. Using the ‘Trains between stations’ query, you can find a list of trains available between any two stations.

The ‘Spot your Train’ feature offers information about a train’s current location and expected time of arrival and departure at a particular station. You can also look up the cancelled, diverted, or rescheduled trains.
NTES_ledeIt’s quite an impressive app – both in function and form. It has a very neat and beautiful user interface, and the user experience is seamless and intuitive.

Download the official NTES app for Windows Phone 8 devices from the Windows Phone Store or for Windows 8 devices from the Windows Store. It’s a great app if you are taking a trip by train, and a must-pin to your Start screen if you frequently travel by trains in India. Give it a whirl, and let us know how you like it.

CRIS develops new “Mobile App” to track Train Schedules

ntes_appनयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Now rail users can get information on expected arrival and departure timings of a particular train on their mobile phones besides tracking its its position on a real time basis.

Centre for Railway Information Systems, the information and technology arm of railways, has launched a new mobile application which can be used for various enquiries including train timings, a senior Railway official said.

CRIS has enhanced the train enquiry system by developing the mobile app and a desktop application on Windows 8 platform for train enquiries with support from Microsoft, he added.

National Train Enquiry System is railways’ back-end system which provides information to the public about train schedules on a near real time basis through various interfaces like nationwide unique rail enquiry number 139, website (www.trainenquiry.com), mobile interfaces, touch screens, enquiry counters and display boards at stations.

An interface of NTES website along with a mobile version of it was launched in September 2013 earlier which has proved to be quite useful for train passengers, said the official.

Among the many features of the new mobile app is the ‘spot your train’ feature which offers information such as its current position, expected time of arrival and departure at a particular station.  The ‘Train Schedule’ feature provides complete schedule of a train with all stoppages enroute and its scheduled arrival/departure at the station, distance and day count.

In ‘Trains between Stations’ query, one can find out the list of all types of trains available between any two stations on railway network. The mobile App also has ‘Cancelled Trains’ option which displays all trains marked as cancelled. It displays trains which are cancelled through the entire route as well as trains which are cancelled on partial route. Besides, it also provides features for query on rescheduled and diverted trains. The App has been launched for Windows 8.0 phones and will be further developed for other mobile platforms.

A strong need was felt for launching the mobile app with richer user interface keeping in view the current technology trends and which can be downloaded on the device and comfortably made use for train running related enquiries.

  • To download the app, go to windows store and search for NTES app. App will be listed. Select NTES app and click to install.
  • Link  also has been provided on NTES website (www.trainenquiry.com and enquiry.indianrail.gov.in) to download the App.

The current Mobile application has the following main features:-

“Spot your train” – This query offers information about a train. Current running status, expected time of arrival/expected time of departure (ETA/ETD) at the queried station can be easily known through this query.

“Live Station” – This query has been given to replicate the display boards at station. One can see the trains expected to arrive/depart at any station in next 2 or 4 hours.

“Train Schedule”-This provides complete schedule of a train with all public stoppages enroute and schedule arrival/departure at the station, distance and day count.

“Trains between Stations” – One can find out the list of all types of trains available between any two stations over Indian Railways.

“Cancelled Trains”  – This query displays all trains marked as cancelled on Indian Railways. The option displays trains which are cancelled through entire route as well as trains which are cancelled on partial route.

“Rescheduled Trains” -This query displays all trains marked as rescheduled on Indian Railways. The option displays trains’ rescheduled timings.

“Diverted Trains” – This query displays all trains marked as diverted on Indian Railways.

CRIS, has constantly been involved in taking new initiatives and developing various applications for Railway users and interfaces for general public to provide quality information about train running and other services with enhanced user experiences. Member Traffic, Railway Board, Shri D.P.Pandey while reviewing the IT projects with MD/CRIS and other officers of Railway Board and CRIS on 22nd April, 2014 appreciated the Mobile app developed by CRIS and expressed his hope that the app will be well received by mobile users and will certainly add great value to the services.

Passengers – Beware of ‘Death Traps’ on Station Platforms in Mumbai Suburban routes!

Actor dressed-up as “Yamraj” during Railway Commuter Safety – a Striking Coincidence!


मुंबई Mumbai:  Railway Commuter Safety Activity is being observed in Mumbai.  An actor is dressed-up as ‘Yamraj’ and  poses for the media at Churchgate station in South Mumbai on 29th January 2014.

In Hinduism, Yamraj is the God of Death.

While getting into a train at Dadar station, a passenger falls into the gap between train and platform and lands on the track. He is injured. A young man rushes to the injured man and asks the police on platform to help him. And they reply that it is not their duty and then they walk away. The young man – all by himself – lifts the injured man and takes him to the hospital.

On all platforms in the Central and Western Railways, policemen are posted. What they do appears to be precious little. They have decided what their ‘duty’ is. It is now known that if a man falls and is injured, the police do not consider it their duty to help him. We see the men and women of the Railway Police Force sitting around at stations and doing nothing. They claim they are there for ensuring security. Occasionally, they check a bundle a poor old man is carrying. They are evidently bored because they have precious little to do.

The railways have not taken any action with regard to the closing of those ‘death traps’ that exist on the platform. All that has to be done is to raise the platform and close that wide gap. They insist they are going to do that job. They have repeatedly ensured that the big gaps will be closed.

The decision to raise the platform was taken over six months ago. There have been some statements in this regard. There is, however, no sign of any progress made. It is evident that the plan is still on paper. And it is going to remain there for a long time.

The management is perhaps to blame for the pathetic situation existing at railway stations. It should have laid down rules and indicated what the duties of police force were.

They have not bothered to do this. As it is, keeping the police force at stations is only a waste of time and money. What is to be noted is the police have precious little to do about security also. They can be used better where security is really needed.

Forest Department’s plea to SWR to curb Train Speeds at Mollem National Park

caranzolकरंज़ोल Caranzol (CRZ): Due to deaths of several wild animals on the railway tracks passing through the Mollem national park, Anilkumar, the deputy conservator of forests, has written a letter to South-Western railway division at Hubli to curtail the speed of trains passing through the park and to sensitize the drivers about the presence of wildlife in the region.

Recently, 1 Km from the Caranzol railway station near the Dudhsagar waterfalls, two sloth bears died while they were crossing the tracks at night time. One male sloth bear died on the spot whereas the female died 15 days later while undergoing medical treatment at Bondla zoo.

Cases of wildlife deaths on the railway tracks are common inside the park areas. Earlier, a leopard and a gaur died on the railway line passing through the forests of the national park.

Pranay Api Naik, the range forest officer of Mollem national park said, “We had received information about the sloth bears on the morning of March 20. The male died during the night of March 19 whereas the female died after a fortnight in Bondla Zoo.”

Anilkumar said, “Our staff has made sincere attempts to save the female sloth bear but it died even after medical treatment as the spinal cord was badly damaged”

Chandrakant Shinde, a wildlife enthusiast, who visits frequently areas of Mahavir wildlife sanctuary as well as the park said, “As many nocturnal animals die while crossing the rail track, there is urgent need to stop trains running during the night. A large number of reptiles are seen smashed during the monsoon season on the rail track. Speeding trains cause harm to wildlife and hence restrictions should be imposed on the movement of trains during night time.”

Railways begins construction of Span Work of Kazhakoottam ROB

कज़हकूत्टम Kazhakuttam (KZK): The Railways have begun construction of span work of Kazhakoottam railway over bridge (ROB). The project, which is being jointly executed by Railways and National Highway wing of state PWD aims to be completed before National Games, scheduled in December.

The NH division, which began construction after inauguration of works in October, last year, has completed 50 % works.

“We have completed the foundation works. Now we will begin construction of slabs. We have set a 24 months period for construction. Our aim is to complete work before December, so that the ROB could ease traffic flow during National Games,” said K Rosamma, executive engineer of NH.

“One of the major works, construction of foundation, has been completed. We are relieved that the major works were completed before monsoon. Since the place is notorious for waterlogging, we are happy that we could achieve it before May,” said the NH official.

The cost of the 45-crore project is shared by both the state and railways. While state gives Rs 32 crore, the rest is funded by the Railways. As railway began construction of over bridge over its portion, traffic diversion has come into effect at level cross number 575 at Kazhakoottam. Traffic will not be allowed through Kazhakoottam level crossing for the next six months. The vehicles will have to take VettuRoad level crossing route during this period.

NH will construct 13 spans while Railways will construct the ROB over the railway line.

Each of the span constructed by NH will have a length of 25 metres and the one constructed by Railways will have 30 metre length. The NH also has to construct an approach road of 130 metres on either side.

Recently, state government has allotted Rs 28.6 crore for the project.

The Kazhakoottam ROB will improve transportation to Kariavattom stadium, one of the major avenues for National Games, which is expected to be held in December-January.

Bombay High Court ask Railways to reserve seats for elderly in Suburban Trains

मुंबई Mumbai:  The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Railway authorities to come out with a scheme to reserve seats for senior citizens in suburban trains as the existing facility was not sufficient to accommodate the elders.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Mohit Shah gave six weeks time to Railways to file an affidavit on the issue.

The Court was hearing a letter written by a senior citizen A B Thakkar urging for a direction to the authorities to reserve space for elders in local trains. This letter was converted into a PIL by the bench and heard today.

The petitioner contended that the suburban trains were very crowded and it was almost impossible for the senior citizens to get into the compartments.

Although some seats had been marked for the senior citizens in the local trains, it was difficult for the elders to reach the seats as they were inside the compartments, the PIL said.

The PIL argued that the Railway authorities had provided a separate bogie for handicapped persons and demanded that a similar facility could also be provided for senior citizens.

The petition said that the authorities should come out with some facility which would help senior citizens travel more comfortably.

The Judges asked the Railways to think over the issue and come out with a scheme to accommodate senior citizens in local trains with greater comfort.

Harbour Line trains delayed after excessive heat bends Railway track

Sources said that on extremely hot days, the temperature of steel tracks can rise sharply, causing them to expand into wave-like shapes, which could lead to derailments


मुंबई कॉटन ग्रीन Mumbai Cotton Green (CTGN): Mercury levels in the city have reached a boiling point, so much so, that a railway track near Cotton Green station was found to have bent due to excessive heat on Wednesday. The incident led to a disruption of services between 2.20 pm to 3.25 pm.

The irregularity was sensed by motorman VK Gautam, who was driving a CSTbound train along the Harbour line.

“Gautam said that he felt a jerk and a clanking sound after the local he was driving passed over the affected part. He immediately alerted the control room, after which repair work was taken up and measures were taken to protect other oncoming trains,” a senior official said.

“Tracks bend due to the expansion of rails, which happens because of excessive heat. The services were regulated at a speed of 10 kmph for safety,” Narendra Patil, Central Railway’s chief spokesperson.

For the past few days, Mumbai has been boiling at 39 to 40°C. Sources said that during extremely hot days, the temperature of steel tracks can rise sharply, causing them to expand into wave-like shapes and affecting the normal gauge that crosses ties and ballasts. If undetected, this could lead to derailments.

“On such days, the metal rails are exposed to heat and continuously hammered by the wheels of the trains, leading to their expansion at the weakest spot in the track structure. What then happens, track bends in either direction,” a track engineer said. (Courtesy: Mumbai Mirror)

Urgent meet on IGI Metro irks Antony

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  Defence minister A K Antony has questioned the urban development ministry’s urgency to hold Group of Ministers meeting to take a decision on whether Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) can be directed to make termination payment to the private firm which walked out of the airport Metro project.

Antony, who heads the GoM, has reportedly asked why the ministry can’t wait for a month so that the new government can take a decision on the termination payment to Delhi Airport Metro Express Pvt Ltd (DAMEPL). Sources said the Cabinet Secretariat has sought UD ministry’s response to Antony’s queries.

This development has come as a shocker to the UD ministry since it was hopeful of the GoM taking a decision after the Election Commission had given clearance to hold the meeting. Sources said in view of the strong objection of the Delhi government, it would be politically right to defer the meeting for the time being.

But the deferment may come as a bad news for Reliance Infrastructure arm. Sources said the minimum termination payment could be Rs.900 crore in case the GoM took a decision. As per the contract provision, in case the termination is due to concessionaire’s default, the payment would be 80% of the outstanding debt. It will be 130% in case DMRC loses the case.

There has been confusion on what should be considered as the debt. While in its original financing plan, DAMEPL had quoted approximately Rs.1250 crore as debt, in the escrow agreement signed between the company and DMRC, it was increased to about Rs.2000 crore.

While DMRC had been maintaining that it’s not bound to terminate the contract, the solicitor general had opined that DAMEPL walking out of the project should be seen as de facto deemed termination. As per the concession agreement, the termination payment can only be made when the contract is terminated.

INR 350 Crore projects proposed for Kochi Metro

कोची Kochi: The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has proposed a mega project as part of the preparatory work for Metro Rail, in order to decongest city roads and to resolve traffic congestion. The Rs.350 Crore worth proposal to be submitted to the state government for approval, focuses on road development, junction improvement and reconstruction of small bridges. Widening of Thammanam-Pullepady road is one of the major work to be undertaken in the second phase.

“KMRL’s objective is to develop a good road transport system in the city by the time Metro Rail is commissioned. We have identified more than 20 roads to be developed in the next phase for which minimum land acquisition is needed, if any. The second phase of preparatory work will be designed in such a manner that it can be completed without much delay. The KMRL is aware of the inconvenience caused to the public due to delay in widening city roads,” said Mr. Elias George, managing director of KMRL.

According to KMRL authorities, Thammanam-Pullepady road development, for which the state government has already handed over Rs.25 Crore to the city corporation, is a major challenge due to the huge land acquisition cost, which is almost five times higher than the actual project cost.

Apart from this, the KMRL also plans to develop the Foreshore Road in phase-II. “The development work will be carried out by the agencies concerned like PWD, corporation or GCDA, while the KMRL will be only be a nodal agency to channelize the funds and monitor progress of work,” added Mr. Elias George.

Though the reconstruction of North Rail overbridge and construction of Salim Rajan RoB could be completed in a record time, delay in widening of Banarjee Road, MG Road has resulted in traffic congestion.

The total cost of phase-I preparatory work is Rs.237 Crore, while the estimated expense of phase-I was Rs.156 Cr. Apart from construction of North RoB, Salim Rajan RoB and widening of road from North to Kacheripady the Metro authorities have resurfaced 21 roads in the city, in the phase-I. Construction of Pachalam RoB has been listed in phase-I for which Rs.63 Crore has already been allocated.

Akhilesh keen to Operationalise Lucknow Metro Rail project before 2017 Assembly Polls

लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO):  UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav seems to be in a hurry to ensure the first phase of metro-rail runs in Lucknow from Amausi Airport to Charbagh Railway station by December 31, 2016 so that his government has ample time to showcase the development model before assembly elections scheduled in 2017.

Metro Man E.Sreedharan supervising the project as Principal Advisor of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) had assured during his recent visit to city that he would complete the project by September 2017. But in a bid to run metro rail before elections, CM prevailed over Sreedharan and asked him to deliver the project at the earliest. LMRC is special purpose vehicle formed by state government to execute the project.

Akhilesh’s eagerness to expedite the project can be understood from the fact that he managed to lay foundation stone just a few days before code of conduct was implemented so that tender work and land acquisition formalities could be carried out without any problem during the elections. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav made it a point at the ceremony that officials complete the project in 18 months rather than to drag it on for three years.

While Akhilesh is leaving no stone unturned to start off metro work on time, his instructions to issue print advertisement for recruitment of managing director and three functional directors of LMRC remains unexecuted.

Reportedly, CM wishes to recruit experts from across the country with rich experience in delivering metro projects successfully. Even Sreedharan pointed out the delay and asked the chief secretary to issue advertisement soon. On Monday, Sreedharan inspected the entire North South corridor and proposed sites for metro stations. He examined the number of ridership, targeted land for acquisition, locations of stations and the design of metro depot in PAC campus off Kanpur Road.

He suggested the priority section of metro which was earlier proposed from Amausi to Alambagh should now be made from Transport Nagar (next station from Amausi) to Charbagh as the area fetches maximum ridership.

Surat best railway station in Mumbai division

सूरत Surat (ST):  The city’s railway station has been adjudged the best railway station among the 92 under Mumbai division.

The stations are judged based on five basic criteria. These criteria are cleanliness, passenger amenities, functional running of railways, number of complaints and accident free operations of trains from the station.

“In all these criteria, this year Surat railway station’s performance has been best in the division,” said SN Yadav, area manager, Surat station.

In 2011, Surat was selected among 100 model railway stations to be to be developed in the country.

Nearly, 300 people are employed on Surat railway station.

Passengers want complete roofing on 3rd and 4th Platforms at Erode Railway Station

ED24afr1527इरोड जं: Erode Jn (ED):  Passengers boarding trains at Platforms 3 and 4 at the Erode Railway Junction have, for long, felt the inadequacy of platform roofs, particularly while boarding long-distance trains with 24-compartments.

The inconvenience for passengers become pronounced during summer and rainy season.

The four platforms of the ever-busy railway station handles more than 100 trains a day .


It serves as a hub for water replenishment in the long-distance trains.

While the first and second platforms at the stattion have roofing to a considerable length, the other two platforms deserve due attention for the convenience of passengers at times of excessive heat and rain, frequent travellers say.

While the exterior of the railway station now wears a presentable and orderly look owing to the expansion of the circulating area, conveniences on the platforms need to be improved.

The need of the passengers has been conveyed to the Divisional Railway authorities, C.S. Gowthaman, Member, Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee, said.

Chandigarh Corporation serves Show-cause Notice on Railways

चंडीगढ़ Chandigarh (CDG): The Municipal Corporation (MC), Chandigarh, has served a show-cause notice to the Railways for failing to pay service charges of Rs 1.16 crore.The Railways has to pay the service charges for the complex at the railway station.

MC Joint Commissioner-cum-Secretary Rajiv Gupta said the Railways was earlier served a notice and told to clear its dues, but they did not reply to the notice following which the MC had sent a show-cause notice.

“We have sent the notice to the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Ambala Division”, the Joint Commissioner said.

MC officials said that if the Railways failed to reply to the show-cause notice then they would send a final notice as a reminder.

It would also be given an opportunity for personal hearing.

“If the Railways fails to submit the service charges then we will have to attach the property.

The service charges of the Railways are due from the year the MC started imposing the service charges and commercial property tax”, the Joint Commissioner added.

In the last few months, the MC has tightened the noose around defaulters who have failed to pay the commercial property tax and service charges.

The officials stated that the Railways was one of the major defaulters among the government departments that had not paid the service tax.

A majority of the government departments had paid their service tax.

In a short span of time, the MC has collected over Rs 10 crore from various defaulters, including a sum of Rs 2 crore from private schools and Rs 65 lakh from the Postal Department.

Over 60 killed, 80 injured in Train crash in Democratic Republic of Congo

Kinshasa, Congo: At least 60 people were killed and 80 injured when a passenger train sped off the rails in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the government said Wednesday, raising an earlier death toll as difficult rescue operations continued in the remote, swampy area.

The newly purchased locomotive flew off the rails on Tuesday as it went around a bend in a swampy area in the southeast of the country, causing 15 of the train’s 19 cars to overturn, said the government’s spokesman and a journalist at the scene.

The official death toll was first given as 37 people, but government spokesman Lambert Mende had warned it was likely to rise, and later gave an updated toll of 60.

Other sources put the figure even higher. The journalist said a local official had given a toll of about 60 dead and 86 wounded, while local human rights activist Timothee Mbuya said that “so far at least 100 bodies have been taken from the train and buried, because there’s no morgue.”

The train was travelling north from the town of Kamina in the southern province of Katanga to Mwene-Ditu in the diamond-mining province of Kasai-Oriental.

Witnesses said it was carrying hundreds of passengers both in and on its cars, many of whom had paid an illegal reduced fare to ride the train without a proper ticket.

They spoke of a grisly scene with many people still trapped inside the wreckage.

“The activist I sent to the scene spoke of hearing cries from people stuck in the cars because there was no adequate emergency response,” said Mbuya.

“People are trapped and they need a 100-tonne crane to lift the cars, but the area is inaccessible. The Mwyi River runs between the tracks and the road, and it’s a swampy zone that can only be accessed on foot,” said the journalist.

He said an army unit had been sent to help extract both the wounded and the dead from the wreckage.

There is concern that bodies could begin to rot because of the intense heat in the area, he added, saying there was already a “sickening” smell from rotting fish the train had been carrying.

Mende said it appeared that engine failure had caused the train to speed out of control, but added that an investigation was under way into the exact reason for the crash.

The transport and health ministers are on their way to Katanga, where they will take a helicopter to the crash site, he said.

Train accidents are fairly common in the restive country, whose antiquated rail network is currently undergoing a refurbishment paid for by the World Bank.

The rail system, originally built by Belgium to extract its then-colony’s ivory and rubber, has languished with only scant investment since independence in 1960.

In September 2012, four people were killed and another 37 injured in an accident north of the second largest city Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga province.

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HMR urged to make Project Report, public

हैदराबाद Hyderabad (HYB):  Questioning the ‘non-disclosure’ of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project by its authorities, Country Club India Ltd (CCIL) CMD, Y. Rajeev Reddy, demanded that the document be made fully available to the public.

Mr. Reddy, who is currently involved in a court case with HMR authorities concerning his property at Begumpet, stated that the government body had replied to a RTI that the DPR was an intellectual property, and hence could not be given.

“On what basis is it intellectual property? HMR is a public body, and thus all information should be made public. They have only given us an extract,” he said at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Mr. Reddy alleged that HMR authorities were targeting his property. “Last year in June, they asked me to give 3,500 sq. yards of my property but later, they suddenly decreased it to 150 sq. yards, stating that it was brought down keeping in mind our interests. There is no transparency in their words,” he claimed.

Timely Detection of Breach in Railway Track in Manjeshwar Averts Disaster

मंजेश्वर Manjeshwar (MJS):  Passersby and railway staff heard an unusually loud thud when the Mangalore-Kannur passenger train passed by the Bhagavati school at Kanvatirtha in Manjeshwar on Tuesday at 5-15 pm.

Although nothing untoward happened, on close inspection, a serious breach was found on the railway track. It was indeed fortunate that the train passed by without any mishap. Immediately the technical staff got on the job and set it right within a short while.

As a result, the next train that was to pass by was delayed by half an hour.

At 9.67 MT, Tiruchirappalli Division logs best-ever Freight Volume

Railway Division clocks punctuality rate of 91.1 percent in 2013-14

6D889तिरुच्चिरापल्ली Tiruchirappalli (TPJ):  Tiruchi division has maintained 91.1 per cent punctuality during the year 2013-14, which is the best ever by the division, despite the increase in the number of trains operated, said Manjula Rangarajan, Divisional Railway Manager, Tiruchi, here on Wednesday.

This is against 83.5 per cent punctuality achieved last year, she said, while speaking at the 59 Railway Week celebrations here.

“Tiruchi Division is basically a passenger-oriented division, also considered as ‘pilgrim’s paradise’ and prides itself in having innumerable pilgrim centres well connected by the railway system.

In the last three years, the division has also performed commendably in freight operations with the highest-ever volume of 9.675 million tonnes in 2013-14. Thus this division is becoming an all round passenger and freight division,” said Ms.Rangarajan.

She also stated that the overall earnings of the division has increased by 1.5 per cent from Rs.755.72 crore to Rs.767.59 crore during 2013-14.

Manjula Rangarajan recounted the major achievements of the division in the last year and recognised the distinguished services rendered by some of the employees by distributing awards. She also said that the work on establishing a Rail Museum in Tiruchi is nearing completion.

She exhorted railway employees and their families to maintain highest standards of safety and use subways and foot-over-bridges, follow rules at level crossings and set an example to fellow citizens.

The DRM distributed prizes to various employees and participants of a cultural programme.

R.S.Raj Purohit, Additional Divisional Railway Manager, Tiruchi division, spoke.

Modi assure launching of 4 National Rail Universities to generate Skilled Manpower for High-Speed Rail

Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said if the National Democratic Alliance government comes to power, it will bring a change to the railway network by opening four National Railway Universities which will impart training in Civil, Electrical, S&T, Electronics, IT, Finances, Administrative and Operational courses for supply of highly trained and skilled human resource for the future High Speed Railway network.

He said he will invoke international expertise in this field of education by collaborating with Japan, China, Australia.  IITs/IIMs help would also be taken to chalk out the plan, he said.  He desired that the National Railway Universities would come up in the North, South, East and West regions of India.

At a rally in Mumbai, Modi appealed to the youth to come out and vote in large number to elect a government that can change their future.

Six Lok Sabha constituencies of Mumbai and 13 others in Maharashtra will go to polls on Thursday. Expressing hope that the BJP will get 300 seats alone, Modi said this election would bring the biggest defeat for the Congress.

There would be states where the Congress and its allies will not even bag a single seat and there wouldn’t be even a single state where the Congress would touch a double digit figure in terms of seats.  Modi slammed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi and criticised the UPA government’s track record in job creation.

Railways plans to run desi Bullet Trains @ 130 Kmph on few routes by next year

Bullet trains might yet be a far-fetched dream for the country due to high costs involved


Bullet trains might yet be a far-fetched dream for the country due to high costs involved, but Indian Railways plans to roll out the desi versions of these trains in the next one year. The railways will launch semi-high-speed trains that will run at an average speed of 130 km per hour, nearly double that clocked by the Rajdhani and Shatabdi expresses, two of the fastest trains in the country at present.

Once this happens, the travel time on the 266-km Delhi-Chandigarh route should be less than two hours. Currently, Shatabdi trains cover the same route in three hours and 20 minutes.

To start with, these trains are expected to become operational on three routes — Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Bhopal — by the end of this year or early next year at an estimated economical cost of R2.5 crore per km. This is much lower than the cost of around Rs.200 crore per km for building high-speed rail networks, according to an estimate by RITES, the railways’ consulting arm.

The railways plans to run one or two trains per day on these routes with a premium fare structure. The existing rolling stock and infrastructure will be used for these trains and only the system will be modified, said a senior official in the Railway Board.

“We have to be realistic and understand that we can’t achieve 350 km per hour of speed overnight from the current average of 60 km per hour, irrespective of the promises in political manifestos. High speed is not the (first) priority (of railways). We, however, have to take the average speed to 130 km per hour and it would be financially feasible,” a top railway official told.

The second phase of these trains will be introduced in southern and eastern regions, including Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad-Chennai and Howrah-Haldia.

The network of high-speed trains has been present in many parts of the world, including the Europe and Japan, for long. In recent decades, similar networks have been built in China and Korea.

The newly formed High Speed Railway Corporation is conducting a study of traffic on the earmarked routes.

“We are in the process of upgrading the system and are trying to run semi-high-speed trains by the end of this year,” Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar said.

According to sources, in order to introduce the proposed semi-high speed railways in a time-bound manner, the Railway Board has set in motion plans including creation of a new train protection warning system (TPWS), upgradation of existing bridges and railway lines, elimination of level crossings and fencing in thickly populated locations along the routes selected.

According to the sources, the existing rolling stock has the capability, after certain modifications, to run high-speed trains of the kind being planned even for longer routes. “Usually Shatabdis and Rajdhanis tend to clock higher speeds for a short spurt, but can’t maintain a high average because of heavy traffic and the absence of advance signaling systems. A fully-automated signaling system, which would cost around Rs 1 crore per km, will ensure track clearances for 25-km stretches on the route of the running train, also ensuring smooth operations for other trains,” the official added.

The railways has already started the work of removing the level-crossing and fencing on select routes. The work on installing a fully-automated signaling system, providing real-time traffic movement, and upgrading the bridges is also expected to start soon.

However, analysts feel that with fund constraints (railways’ operating ratio is an unhealthy 90.4% and this constrains replenishment of rolling stock as well). the project won’t be easy for the national transporter. “We have the technical know-how to upgrade the system and it can be done with advanced signaling. But we also have to realise that we don’t even have sufficient funds to maintain the existing signaling system. The first priority has to be safety be it semi high speed or otherwise,” said VP Chandan, former additional member (telecommunications), Railway Board.

Railways, currently facing a severe shortage of funds, would have to spend more than Rs.600 crore to upgrade the Delhi-Chandigarh route. “There is fund crunch, but we are expecting that the new government would be more generous in giving the gross budgetary support and waiving the dividend, which will leave us with enough funds to undertake more such projects,” said an official.

Railway Management System market worth $35.99 Billion by 2019

The report “Railway Management System Market (Operations Management, Intelligent Signaling, Traffic Analytics, Asset Management, Control Systems, Maintenance Management, System Integration, Cloud Hosting) – Worldwide Market Forecasts and Analysis (2014-2019)” defines and segments the railway management system market into various sub-segments with an in-depth analysis and forecasting of revenues. It also identifies drivers and restraints of this market with insights on trends, opportunities, and challenges.

Browse more than 83 market data tables with 38 figures spread through 147 pages and in-depth TOC on “Railway Management System Market (Operations Management, Intelligent Signaling, Traffic Analytics, Asset Management, Control Systems, Maintenance Management, System Integration, Cloud Hosting) – Worldwide Market Forecasts and Analysis (2014-2019)”

Early buyers will receive 10% customization on reports.

The railway management system market is  estimated to grow from $19.58 billion in 2014 to $35.99 billion in 2019, at a  Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.9% during the forecast period of  2014-2019.

Severe challenges pose a major threat to the rail industry following conventional management practices. The tremendous economic and demographic growth has inflicted a sharp rise in freight and passenger traffic. The operating and maintenance costs need to be managed efficiently for future growth and future expansions. The industry needs to meet the safety standards and compliances to provide a safe and reliable service. In order to face these challenges, the rail companies should combine their rail operations and new-age information and communication technology (ICT) solutions.

Transforming the conventional architecture to the modern IT-backed infrastructure would ensure the evolution of new operation and traffic management solutions. Sustenance in the competitive rail service market can be achieved due to the changing environmental trends which demand an advanced eco-friendly transport solution. Railway management systems possess the driving potential to bring about the next desired growth phase in the railway industry.

This MarketsandMarkets report outlines the key trends that will shape the evolution of the railway service industry. The report is segmented into various railway management systems and solutions, services, and regions. The railway management system market  research report analyzes global adoption trends, future growth potential, competitive outlook, rail transportation ecosystem, and the best practices in this market.

This report speaks about the expected market size for the various railway management solutions involved in the rail operations and infrastructure. It also highlights the revenue potential of the various professional services, system integration services, and cloud hosting services offered by railway solution vendors.

The Railway Management System Market research report consists of the opportunity analysis of various types of railway management solutions such as rail operations management systems, rail traffic management systems, rail asset management systems, rail control management systems, and rail maintenance management systems. The report analyzes market sizes and revenue forecasts across different regions such as North America (NA), Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, Latin America (LA), and Middle East and Africa (MEA).

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Sreedharan meets Akhilesh, discusses key agenda with LMRC top brass

लखनऊ Lucknow:  Principal advisor to Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation E Sreedharan, on Tuesday, met chief minister Akhilesh Yadav a day after his meeting with top brass of the metro cell.

Sreedharan is reported to have briefed the Chief Minister about various formalities before going ahead with the ambitious project. On Monday, Sreedharan inspected some of the sites as well. Later, he said the project would start in September. He said the first phase of metro rail stretching between Transportnagar and Charbagh would be completed by 2017.

He also decided to extend the stretch of first phase which was earlier limited to Alambagh bus stand. Now the first phase would extend till Charbagh.

Railway shares picks-up steam on hopes of NDA government

मुंबई Mumbai: Shares of companies dependent on Railways’ spending jumped in listless trade on Tuesday as traders bet that the sector would be revived if the Bharatiya Janata Party comes to power. Titagarh Wagons (BSE 16.91%) jumped 16%, Stone India (BSE 4.84%) gained 4.8%, Kernex Microsystems (BSE 4.57%) rose 4.6% and Kalindee Rail Nirman (BSE 4.32%) advanced 4.3%. BSE’s small-cap index closed flat.

“Investment in railway infrastructure will be a priority for the new government. Railway stocks have rallied on anticipation of pro-reform government at the Centre,” said Ambareesh Baliga, managing partner – global wealth management at Edelweiss (BSE -2.92%).

The BJP election manifesto says if it is elected, the government will introduce high-speed bullet trains and launch diamond quadrilateral project of high-speed train network, build 100 new modern cities, and expedite freight and industrial corridors to improve the country’s infrastructure and create employment.

railThese stocks, which have not recovered since 2008, are still about 80% below their life-time highs in late 2007 – the peak of the previous bull run. Investors stayed away from these stocks as the government did not make any major expansion announcement in the last few years. “The railway companies have not received any major orders for the last couple of years, and I hope that will change post elections,” said Sunil Jain, head of equity research at Nirmal Bang.

The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) has been pushing for allowing FDI in railways since August last year, and this is seen as big trigger for railway companies. The DIPP had sent a cabinet note for approval to allow 100% FDI in railway transport like elevated rail corridor projects, freight terminals, suburban corridors and dedicated freight lines.

Govt needs to strengthen Indian Railways’ finances: Kernex

The new government needs to work upon the Indian railways very seriously as it is literally in a hand-to-mouth situation, says Colonel LV Raju, Managing Director, Kernex Microsystems . Kernex is engaged in the business of manufacturing, installing and maintaining of anti-collision systems as well as conceptualizing, designing, and developing certain railway safety and signal systems for Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd.

Raju says the railways needs a stable government to create better infra in the country and also to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector.

“Infra has to cope up with the economic growth. The new government has to concentrate on building a good road, rail network,” adds Raju. Raju further explains that capital needs to infused in railways by hiking rates, attracting FDI or by borrowing from the market.“Building a robust finance reserve is a must,” he adds. On the road ahead, Raju expects FY15 to be better for the company than the year gone by. Below is the verbatim transcript of the interview.

Q: Do you think a new decisive government can meaningfully change things on the ground and are you hopeful that something like that will happen over the next two-three years?

A: As far as Indian railways are concerned, it is a big network and one of the biggest in the world and we require a very stable government to create the infrastructure. We must be able to support the economic growth in the country in the form of rail network, broad network and ports and harbours. So, the infrastructure has to cope up with the expected economic growth. Therefore, with the new government coming in, they have to focus on railways. Railways is the biggest carrier of goods and passengers and therefore they have to concentrate on that. The economy basically depends on the movement of goods. Therefore, the government has to concentrate on good road networks and good railway network and ports and harbour. It is a big necessity for a new government, if they want good growth, they have to concentrate on Indian railways.

Q: While that point is taken, once there is a new government that comes on board, what is the first-to-do-list according to you that they should implement for railways?

A: Firstly, the railways have to stabilise their finances. Today the railways are literally hand-to-mouth. They have to build reserve finances through increasing the fares or borrowing from the market or from the foreign direct investment (FDI). In case they don’t have any funds, it will only be a hollow dream that we can create infrastructure. First thing is that they have to plan on the funds capital required to create that. Coming to the other micro infrastructure, we have dedicative freight corridors but they are behind schedule. We need to create bullet trains, intercity expresses. There are a lot of things to plan, especially replacement of tracks and the replacement of rolling stock, a lot of issues are there. For all this capital is required. They have to work on this.

Q: I was looking at your numbers last quarter, you had a good growth in your topline but there was very big pressure on the margins and the net profits slipped into a bit of a loss compared to profit, do you think that kind of trend is likely to continue?

A: We expect next year to do better because we have two projects in offing. We have the Egyptian railways abroad and in Indian railways, we have a couple of projects rolling out so we definitely expect to do very well in 2014-2015.

Q: You did speak about FDI being one important factor in railways. If in case a stable government does implement certain important key points which are required for the railways do you then think that FDI would still be necessary?

A: FDI is still necessary because one million lakh crore of money is required to modernize Indian railways. That much money will not be able to generate out of your revenues or the local borrowing or from the grants that the central government gives the FDI is a must. We must bring the FDI. But they also carry big baggage along with that. If the FDI comes abroad, the prices of freight fares, everything will go up automatically because after all when foreigners bring the money, they expect good margin to return, it has to be a win-win situation.

Q: What is your current order book that you are executing? Are you executing more orders in the export markets?

A: Yes, at present the Indian domestic market is not doing well. We have to go abroad and then export there. We are working with Egyptian railways and we are doing a pretty good job there. We had a bad time in the last one year due to political uncertainty in Egypt, now things have settled down and we are able to do a good job and we are doing pretty well and this year we expect to perform very well.

Domestically, we are developing product for Indian railways that is called Train Collision Avoidance System. It should be through by about October-November. We expect this project rolling out big way and we have a good market share expected.

Kernex Micro stock price

On April 22, 2014, Kernex Microsystems (India) closed at Rs 43.50, up Rs 1.90, or 4.57 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 53.45 and the 52-week low was Rs 28.15. The latest book value of the company is Rs 104.09 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company was 0.42. (Courtesy CNBC)

Delhi Metro gets Key Approvals – Govt clears extension of Network

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has received formal approval from the Delhi government for the extension of Metro network from YMCA Chowk to Ballabhgarh in Faridabad (Violet Line), Noida City Centre to Noida Sector 62 (Blue Line) and Dilshad Garden to Ghaziabad (Red Line), sources said.

While the approval for Dilshad Garden-Ghaziabad extension was received about a month ago, the approvals for the other two stretches were received about two weeks ago after a nod from the L-G, the sources said.

According to sources, work on the stretches couldn’t begin before because the previous government was “not very enthusiastic about the projects, citing strain on the resources of DMRC and subsequent deterioration of work quality in Delhi itself”.

“Previously, the government nominees on the DMRC board were not keen on approving the project. They said the government was not willing. So, the projects were stuck all along. But now that things have come around, the DMRC board will give its final approval,” a source said.

According to DMRC officials, approvals from the Haryana and the Uttar Pradesh governments for the respective stretches have already been obtained from the relevant authorities, and that the only thing pending was a nod from the Delhi government itself.

Meanwhile, the opening of the Mandi House-Central Secretariat stretch is still on hold as DMRC awaits confirmation of dates from the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety for inspection, DMRC officials say.

IRSE Probationers call on Mukherjee

mukherjeeनयी दिल्ली New Delhi: A group of 68 probationers of Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) of 2011 batch called on President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday.

Addressing the probationers, Mukherjee congratulated them on their success in a very difficult examination.

He said civil engineers have to play a major role not only in maintaining and upgrading the Indian Railways but also taking it to new heights of one of the largest railway networks in the world.

The president said few institutions and organizations could be described as truly pan Indian like the Indian Railways.

“Everyday millions of passengers speaking different languages, consuming different types of food, wearing different types of dresses and believing in diverse religions use one common vehicle for transportation. They lose their individual identities and assume one common identity as passengers of the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways thus plays a major role as an integrator and unifier of this great country,” he said.

The IRSE probationers are presently undergoing training at the Indian Railways Institute of Civil Engineering in Pune.

Book on Forecasts & Analysis on Railways released

Railways Ops Management, Intelligent Signaling, Traffic Analytics, Telemetry, Asset Management, Control Systems, Maintenance, SI & Cloud Solutions


By: marketsandmarkets
Publishing Date: April 2014
Report Code: TC 2357

The global rail industry struggles to meet increasing demand for freight and passenger transportation due to lack of optimized use of rail network and inefficient use of rail assets. The demand for safe, fast, and reliable rail services continues to be the reason of concern for all the countries across the globe. Lack of operational efficiency and reliability, safety and security issues, and aging railway systems and practices are haunting various countries to bring about a change in their existing rail infrastructure. The present advancements in the global railway management system market have accelerated the progression toward the adoption of automated technology for efficient management of railway network and infrastructure. Increased rail traffic on inadequate railroad infrastructures causes costly delays, and attempts to deal with these delays reveal widespread inefficiencies in the administration. Such transportation delays become the main factor for inflating the cost of production, inventory management irregularities, and greater financial losses to the overall country.

The railway management system report provides an in-depth analysis of the latest technological adoptions in the field of railway transportation. The report consists of the opportunity analysis of various types of solutions and systems such as rail operation management, rail traffic management, rail assets management, rail control systems, and rail maintenance management solutions. The report gives the market sizes for passenger and freight management, revenue management, and resource management systems. The research report analyzes global adoption trends, future growth potential, key drivers, competitive outlook, restraints, opportunities, rail transportation ecosystem, and best practices in the railway management system market.

This report speaks about the expected market revenue for the various solutions and systems involved in rail infrastructure. It also highlights the revenue potential of the various professional services, system integration services, and cloud hosting services offered by railway solution vendors. The report includes the key market drivers, the current global trends adopted for highly developed railway management, market size of the industry, and the forecasting of the upcoming technological innovations. The report further analyzes the future potential growth in the railway management system market, the competitive analysis of the major market players, the opportunities prevailing before the railway management, and the best market practices.

The railway management system market research report highlights the market potential across different regions such as North America (NA), Asia-Pacific (APAC), Europe, Latin America (LA), and Middle East and Africa (MEA). The report further presents the regional opportunity plot analysis along with the expected market size and forecast analysis for various sub-segments of market. The major technology solutions and services providers profiled in the report include ABB, Alstom, Ansaldo, Bombardier Transportation, GE Transportation, Hitachi, IBM, IndraSistemas, and Siemens AG.

Markets Covered
The railway management system market is segmented into the following sub-segments:

On the basis of systems and solutions:

  • Rail operations management systems
  • Rail traffic management systems
  • Rail assets management systems<
  • Rail control management systems
  • Rail maintenance management systems

On the basis of services:

  • Professional services
  • System integration services
  • Cloud hosting services

On the basis of regions:

  • North America (NA)
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific (APAC)
  • Middle-East and Africa (MEA)
  • Latin America (LA)

Table Of Contents 

1 Introduction (Page No. – 19)
1.1 Key Take-Aways
1.2 Report Description
1.3 Stakeholders
1.4 Research Methodology
1.4.1 Primary And Secondary Research
1.4.2 Key Data Points
1.4.3 Data Triangulation And Market Forecasting
1.5 Forecast Assumptions

2 Executive Summary (Page No. – 27)
2.1 Abstract
2.2 Overall Market Size

3 Market Overview (Page No. – 32)
3.1 Market Segmentation
3.2 Market Evolution
3.3 Industry Trends
3.4 Market Dynamics
3.4.1 Drivers Emergence Of Advanced Technologies Economic And Demographic Growth Infrastructure Saturation Growing Demand And Ecological Sustainability
3.4.2 Restraints Operational Compatibility Congestion And Capacity Tolerance Safety Compliances Limited Project Funding And Slow Growth Of Infrastructure
3.4.3 Opportunities Railway Infrastructure Development Cloud And Big Data Adoption
3.4.4 Time Impact Analysis Of Market D.R.O.S
3.5 Railway Industry Architecture

4 Railway Management System: Market Size And Forecast By Systems And Solutions (Page No. – 46)
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Rail Operations Management Systems
4.2.1 Overview
4.2.2 Market Size And Forecast Real-Time Passenger Management Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Freight Management Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Revenue Management Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Ticketing Management Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Workforce Management Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Rail Automation Management Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast
4.3 Rail Traffic Management Systems
4.3.1 Overview
4.3.2 Market Size And Forecast Intelligent Signaling Systems Overview Market Size And Forecast Real-Time Train Planning And Route Scheduling Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Centralized Traffic Control Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Traffic Analytics Overview Market Size And Forecast
4.4 Rail Asset Management Systems
4.4.1 Overview
4.4.2 Market Size And Forecast Train Information Systems Overview Market Size And Forecast Track Monitoring Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Asset Performance Analytics Overview Market Size And Forecast
4.5 Rail Control Systems
4.5.1 Overview
4.5.2 Market Size And Forecast Positive Train Control (PTC) Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Integrated Control System Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast
4.6 Rail Maintenance Management Systems
4.6.1 Overview
4.6.2 Market Size And Forecast Vehicle Maintenance Scheduling Solutions Overview Market Size And Forecast Predictive Analytics For Maintenance Management Overview Market Size And Forecast

5 Railway Management System: Market Size And Forecast By Services (Page No. – 85)
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Professional Services
5.2.1 Overview
5.2.2 Market Size And Forecast
5.3 System Integration Services
5.3.1 Overview
5.3.2 Market Size And Forecast
5.4 Cloud Hosting Services
5.4.1 Overview
5.4.2 Market Size And Forecast

6 Railway Management System: Recent And Ongoing Projects (Page No. – 95)
6.1 Shift²Rail
6.1.1 Overview
6.2 Next Generation Of Train Control Systems (NGTC)
6.2.1 Overview
6.3 Merlin
6.3.1 Overview
6.4 Augmented Usage Of Track By Optimization Of Maintenance, Allocation And Inspection Of Railway Networks (Automain)
6.4.1 Overview
6.5 Sustrail
6.5.1 Overview
6.6 Secur-Ed
6.6.1 Overview
6.7 Predictive Maintenance Employing  Non-Intrusive Inspection And Data Analysis  (Pm’n’id EA)
6.7.1 Overview
6.8 European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)
6.8.1 Overview
6.9 Gauteng Signaling Project
6.9.1 Overview

7 Railway Management System: Market Size And Forecast By Regions (Page No. – 105)
7.1 Introduction
7.1.1 Parfait Charts
7.1.2 Regional Market Lifecycle
7.2 North America (NA)
7.2.1 Overview
7.2.2 Government’s Push For Railway Industry
7.2.3 Market Size And Forecast By Solutions
7.2.4 Market Size And Forecast By Services
7.3 Europe
7.3.1 Overview
7.3.2 Government’s Push For Railway Industry
7.3.3 Market Size And Forecast By Solutions
7.3.4 Market Size And Forecast By Services
7.4 Asia-Pacific (APAC)
7.4.1 Overview
7.4.2 Government’s Push For Railway Industry
7.4.3 Market Size And Forecast By Solutions
7.4.4 Market Size And Forecast By Services
7.5 Latin America (LA)
7.5.1 Overview
7.5.2 Government’s Push For Railway Industry
7.5.3 Market Size And Forecast By Solutions
7.5.4 Market Size And Forecast By Services
7.6 Middle East And Africa (MEA)
7.6.1 Overview
7.6.2 Government’s Push For Railway Industry
7.6.3 Market Size And Forecast By Solutions
7.6.4 Market Size And Forecast By Services

8 Railway Management System: Market Landscape (Page No. – 143)
8.1 Competitive Landscape
8.1.1 Ecosystem And Roles
8.1.2 Portfolio Comparison
8.2 Macro Factor Analysis

9 Company Profiles (Page No. – 148)
9.1 ABB LTD.
9.1.1 Overview
9.1.2 Products & Services
9.1.3 Strategies & Insights
9.1.4 Developments
9.1.5 MNM View
9.2 Alstom SA
9.2.1 Overview
9.2.2 Products & Services
9.2.3 Strategies & Insights
9.2.4 Developments
9.2.5 MNM View
9.3 Ansaldo STS
9.3.1 Overview
9.3.2 Products & Services
9.3.3 Strategies & Insights
9.3.4 Developments
9.3.5 MNM View
9.4 Bombardier INC.
9.4.1 Overview
9.4.2 Products & Services
9.4.3 Strategies & Insights
9.4.4 Developments
9.4.5 MNM View
9.5 Computer Sciences Corporation
9.5.1 Overview
9.5.2 Products & Services
9.5.3 Strategies & Insights
9.5.4 Developments
9.5.5 MNM View
9.6 GE Transportation
9.6.1 Overview
9.6.2 Products & Services
9.6.3 Strategies & Insights
9.6.4 Developments
9.6.5 MNM View
9.7 Hitachi, LTD.
9.7.1 Overview
9.7.2 Products & Services
9.7.3 Strategies & Insights
9.7.4 Developments
9.7.5 MNM View
9.8 IBM Corporation
9.8.1 Overview
9.8.2 Products & Services
9.8.3 Strategies & Insights
9.8.4 Developments
9.8.5 MNM View
9.9 Indra Sistemas, S.A.
9.9.1 Overview
9.9.2 Products & Services
9.9.3 Strategies & Insights
9.9.4 Developments
9.9.5 MNM View
9.10 Siemens AG
9.10.1 Overview
9.10.2 Products & Services
9.10.3 Strategies & Insights
9.10.4 Developments
9.10.5 MNM View

Appendix (Page No. – 180)
Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Analysis


The growing economies in the world have made a greater impact upon the development and growth of the railway industry. The demand for railway service is climbing high due to the population growth. This growth in economy and population drives the demand for supply goods and travel. Thus, the main driver to the global rail industry is the economic and demographic growth. The technological advancements promise upgrades in the railway infrastructure. The railway industry holds a strategic impact upon the economy of a country. For the efficient management of the railways, a system with the help of the modern technology has become a necessity. The concept of railway management system is thus introduced as the solution and service for the present day management of the global railway industry. This tool with the help of the new age Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be the genuine solution for its precise management and operations.

Railway management system market combines software systems, products, and solutions to make more intelligent use of all rail assets, from tracks to trains, so that the railway management authority can meet the increasing passenger demand for more efficient and safer services. Trends like regulation, sustainability, demographics (growing traffic and ageing population), economics (limited public funding and price sensitivity), mobility, and Information Technology (IT) innovations are creating an impact on the rail industry. As a result, every aspect of the railway industry value chain; right from passenger service to the back-end organization; is changing. The future rail industry is expected to rely upon smarter transportation systems that leverage technologies over larger rail network infrastructure. New technologies include integrated operations management, asset management, traffic management, maintenance management, and control systems and solutions, which are expected to help the rail management companies to manage optimal routes, schedules, and capacity in near real-time basis. With the increasing presence of smart technologies in the rail transportation, the associated solutions and services market will grow globally, at higher growth rates.

The railway management system market research report outlines the key trends and market sizing and forecasting for emerging technologies for the rail transportation sector. The report also emphasizes on key global-adoption trends, future growth potential sub-markets, key drivers, competitive outlook, restraints, opportunities, and ecosystem. Some of the potential and emerging technologies and solutions for this market include traffic analytics, asset performance analytics, and predictive analytics for maintenance management. The report gives an insight into the various global markets. It provides an overview of the rail industry markets in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. The report provides and analyses the industry facts and statistics of every geographic market to study the latest trends and future management practices. It provides an overview of the latest developments and strategies within the peer companies. The competitive analysis involves an entire business outlook of the top companies that operate in railway management systems market.

Railway management systems enhance the operational, maintenance, and traffic control effectiveness to survive the growing demand and expectations from the future. Such management solutions will catalyze a faster future growth and technological development of the existing railway industry. The future of railway industry is expected to rely on innovative management practices which will leverage the ICT over the large rail networks and conventional practices.

The railway management systems are expected to lead to an expanded rail ecosystem, asset optimization, new revenue model opportunities, and new ways to serve passengers. The market is estimated to grow from $19.58 billion in 2014 to $35.99 billion in 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.9% during the forecast period 2014-2019

Railway Management System: Market Size by Type, 2014-2019 ($Million)
Railway Management System Market

Source: MarketsandMarkets Analysis

SWR Launches ‘Advanced Pension Payment System’ for railway employees

हुब्बीली Hubli (UBL):  The Advanced Railway Pension Access Network (APRAN) for the retired employees was formally launched here on Monday by Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer (FA&CAO), South Western Railway B. Pandey.

Announcing the launch at a formal training programme held at Controller of Stores Office Conference Hall at Zonal Headquarters Office, Mr. Pandey said that APRAN would help pensioners in getting the correct pension in time. He said that the new facility would also enable the retired employees in getting prompt revision of pension.


Mr. Pandey said that APRAN would be implemented in South Western Railway duly integrating it with other railway zones from the month of September. Deputy Financial Advisor and Chief Accounts Officer (General) of SWR Bala Ganesh also spoke on the occasion about the features of the new facility.

Around 50 trainees from South Western Railway and Rail Wheel Factory (RWF), Yelahanka participated in the Training Programme on APRAN held in Hubli.

  • APRAN will help people get pension in time
  • Facility to enable employees in getting prompt revision of pension

Indo-Bangla rail project after polls

अगरतला Agartala (AGTL): Aiming to push the Indo-Bangla rail network, the Northeast Frontier Railway would request the state government to start land acquisition for the 15-km proposed project, sources in the NFR said here.

To inspect the progress of rail projects in Tripura, General Manager (Construction) of NFR RK Singh, accompanied by other NFR officials visited Nishchantpur, a border village in Sepahijala district on Monday.

After the inspection, he instructed the local NFR officials to keep in touch with the state government authority so that land acquisition could be expedited.

In course of Singh’s visit, it appeared that the ground alignment between Agartala rail station and Nishchantpur is uneven. Levelling of the uneven portion is required to make laying of track a smooth affair. It was not decided from where the huge quantity of mud required for the purpose, would be brought. Sources said land acquisition in the Bangladesh side – around 10 km – was completed in December last year.

“The Sepahijala district administration will undertake the land acquisition process after the Lok Sabha election,” said state Transport Secretary Kishore Ambuly here today.

IRCON Signs MoU with Transparency International India

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  IRCON International Limited, a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Railways, signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Transparency International India (TII) for implementing Integrity Pact, here today. This MOU is aimed at maintaining complete transparency, integrity and accountability in all its major contracts and procurement. The MoU was signed by Shri Mohan Tiwari, CMD, IRCON, and Dr. S.K. Agarwal, Chairman, TII in the presence of senior officers of IRCON and TII.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Agarwal said that the Integrity Pact will not only ensure efficiency, but it also helps in building public trust and enhances the credibility of the organisation. So far, 47 PSUs have signed the Pact, he informed.

Integrity Pact is a tool conceived by the Berlin-based Transparency International to fight corruption in public procurement through a voluntary agreement between a buyer and the prospective vendors/bidders, refraining both sides to exercise any corrupt influence on any aspect of the contract.

In his address, Shri Tiwari said that the company has been voluntarily adopting all the Corporate Governance measures in its endeavour for transparency in public procurement, and implementing Integrity Pact is another step in this direction.

Railways seeks Experts’ help to prevent train fire

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Giving top priority to prevent fire incidents in trains, Indian Railways has sought latest fire protection technology from foreign experts, including rail operators in Europe, Japan and Australia.

In a first-of-its-kind effort, the railways will reach out to experts in nine countries in a two-day global conference beginning from April 24 to seek solutions to reduce fire cases in trains and make travel safer.

Experts from Italy, Germany, Australia, the UK, Japan, France, Belgium, Austria and Poland will participate in the conference on “Emerging Fire Protection Technologies for Rolling Stock”, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with fire prevention exercise.

Indian Railways has identified fire as one of the causes of accidents and it has started using fire-retardant furnishing materials, fire extinguishers and has also conducted trials with smoke and fire detection systems.

“We have made efforts to spread safety awareness by using fire posters and conducting training for onboard staff. Provision of emergency exit windows, modification of fuse boxes and conducting of internal safety audits are other endeavors in this area,” said the official.

The official further said as safety is the highest priority for railways it has been decided to address this issue in a focused manner through this international conference to stay abreast with the world.

Modi proposes Bullet Trains, but Railways disposes idea in favour of desi version

The Indian Railways is taking baby steps towards high-speed travel in India. According to a report, it is planning to launch a kind of bullet trains that have a modest speed of 130 km per hour, within one year. This compares with a scorching 310 km per hour speed that the Japanese trains have.

The plan is to roll out the service on Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Lucknow and Delhi-Bhopal routes initially. The travel time between Delhi and Chandigarh — a distance of 266 km, will be cut to less than two hours. Currently, Shatabdi Express, India’s fastest trains, takes three hours 20 minutes, the report says.

The railways’ proposal comes close in the heels of BJP’s election manifesto proposing to bullet trains as part of the party’s plans to spruce up India’s infrastructure.

“We will launch Diamond Quadrilateral project – of High Speed Train network (Bullet Train),” the party’s manifesto said.

However, as per reports, the railway is not ready to bite off larger than what it can chew. RITES, the railways’ arm that takes care of the infrastructure, has estimated the cost at Rs 2.5 crore per km. For the original high-speed train network, the cost is about Rs.200 crore per km, the report states.

“We have to be realistic and understand that we can’t achieve 350 km per hour of speed overnight from the current average of 60 km per hour, irrespective of the promises in political manifestos. High speed is not the (first) priority (of railways). We, however, have to take the average speed to 130 km per hour and it would be financially feasible,” a top railway official has been quoted as saying.

The BJP’s election proposal has already come under fire, with critics terming it utterly populist.

TN Ninan in an article titled “High-speed folly” in the Business Standard dubbed the proposal “one of the hopelessly premature ideas”.

“The trouble is that it will cost a bomb and, if not substantially subsidised by the government, could bankrupt the Railways,” he said.

Going by reports, there are officials in the railways who don’t want to commit the high-speed folly. And hopefully, it will be saved from a financial break-down even if Narendra Modi pushes his dream down its throat.

Probationers of Indian Railway Service of Engineers call on the President

The President, Pranab Mukherjee addressing the probationers of Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) of 2011 Batch, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 22, 2014
The President, Pranab Mukherjee addressing the probationers of Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) of 2011 Batch, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 22, 2014

New Delhi: A group of 68 probationers of Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE) of 2011 batch called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (April 22, 2014).

Addressing the probationers, the President congratulated them on their success in a very difficult examination. He said civil engineers have to play a major role not only in maintaining and upgrading the Indian Railways but also taking it to new heights of one of the largest railway networks in the world.

The President said few institutions and organizations could be described as truly pan Indian like the Indian Railways. Everyday millions of passengers speaking different languages, consuming different types of food, wearing different types of dresses and believing in diverse religions use one common vehicle for transportation. They lose their individual identities and assume one common identity as passengers of the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways thus plays a major role as an integrator and unifier of this great country.

The IRSE probationers are presently undergoing training at the Indian Railways Institute of Civil Engineering, Pune.

Tripura presses for rail access to Ashuganj Port in Bangladesh

अगरतला Agartala (AGTL): The Tripura government approached the Union Ministry of External Affairs again to press for access to Bangladesh’s Ashuganj port (a port city in the Meghna River delta in the Brahmanbaria District of Chittagong Division in Bangladesh) for transportation of essential commodities to the state.  Officials on Friday said the state government had initiated the move after the railways announced suspension of train services to Agartala because of gauge-conversion work.

“From October, railway connectivity between Agartala and the rest of the country through Lumding will be suspended as the metre gauge track will be converted to broad gauge. Hence, we need immediate access to Ashuganj port,” officials stated.

The temporary disruption in railway connectivity will put immense pressure on NH-44, which connects Assam and Agartala, making inward movement of the essential commodities highly difficult.  Chief Secretary S K Panda held a review meeting on Thursday with Transport Secretary Kishore Ambuly, revenue secretary Swapan Saha and senior officials of the North East Frontier Railway (NFR) to determine an alternative arrangement for the transportation of essential commodities.

Army opens Railway Passenger Reservation System at Gangtok

Gangtok: A Passenger Reservation System (PRS) was inaugurated at Gangtok today under the aegis of Black Cat Division. GOC Trishakti Corps Lt Gen KJ Singh inaugurated the system in the presence of GOC Black Cat Division, Maj Gen YVK Mohan. A press release informs that the Army authorities at Gangtok, in collaboration with Indian Railways, have hired a 2 MBPS lease line connectivity for faster speed between Gangtok and Indian Railways Reservation Server at Siliguri. The PRS will be open on all days and the facility will immensely benefit railway reservation for the around 3,000 soldiers and civil employees of Black Cat Division posted at Gangtok, Penangla and in border areas. The facility is open for civilians and will also benefit the local civil population of Gangtok, the release mentions.