Indo-Bangla Railway talks moot better Freight/Passenger Rail services for cross-border trade

डाका Dhaka:  The railway authorities of Bangladesh and India have evinced interest to increase rail connectivity between the two countries to facilitate cross-border travel and carriage of goods. Various proposals in this regard were discussed in a meeting between the two sides at the railway ministry yesterday, a source in the closed-door talks told.

India proposed to increase connectivity on the Chilarhati-Haldibari, Akhaura-Agartala, Shahbazpur-Mohishashan and Feni-Belunia routes while Bangladesh wanted to improve Khulna-Benapole-Kolkata connectivity, the source said.

Bangladesh was represented by an eight-member team, led by Shri. Shah Zahirul Islam, Additional Director General (Operations). The seven-member Indian team was headed by Shri. Ashim Kumar Maitra, Additional Member (Railway Board), New Delhi.

India has also proposed to Bangladesh to upgrade its railway tracks from 90 pounds (the weight of one metre rail track) to 120 pounds (the standard weight in India) so that seemless integration of railway operations can help betterment of connectivity and increased movement of freight and passenger services too.

However, the Bangladeshi team turned down the proposal because it would entail a huge expenditure to upgrade the tracks.

The proposed connectivity between Chilarhati and Haldibari also hit a roadblock. The Bangladeshi railway officials said Haldibari was a transit point for Bhutan and therefore the commerce ministry has to sign a protocol to clear the project.

On its part, the Indian delegation turned down Bangladesh’s proposal to complete immigration in Dhaka and Kolkata instead of Darshana and Gede.

The Bangladeshi team also proposed to introduce a second Maitree Express on the Khulna-Benapole-Kolkata route, however India desired to launch it through Darshana instead of Benapole, sources said.

The Bangladeshi side also wanted increase in the number of coaches and frequency of trips of the Maitree Express to reduce the sufferings of passengers.

The Maitree Express was launched on April 14, 2008, as a symbol of friendship between Bangladesh and India. According to the present schedule, the train leaves Dhaka on every Wednesday and Friday, and departs Kolkata on every Tuesday and Saturday.

The decision of upgrading rail connectivity will be taken by higher authorities. “Various proposals were discussed at the meeting. The final decision will be taken by our superiors in the government,” a senior railway official told.

Trains to chug through Rishikesh forest?

देहरादून Dehradun (DDN): Forest department officials here are worried, especially since preliminary survey work has begun for the 125.09 km Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail line. Worth Rs.4295.3 crore, the project includes a three-km stretch through Rishikesh forest range, and could affect 550 animals, including elephants and leopards.

S.P.Subudhi, Director of the Rajaji National Park (RNP), said, “The 18 km Dehradun-Haridwar railway line cutting across the RNP has already been causing casualties of elephants and leopards, not to mention smaller animals.”

Division Forest Officer of Rishikesh Bharat Singh told, “The rumour about moves to shift animals in order to make the Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project viable is not true, and not possible at all. The Supreme Court is quite sensitive about such issues. Railway authorities will have to get their project cleared from the high powered committee of the SC which has experts on environment and forests. We hope that the issues related to wild animals will be dealt with firmly.”

SM Joshi, Conservator of Forests of the Shivalik Circle said, “The railway authorities are flouting the Forest Conservation Act by not first carrying out modalities related to forest land transfer, and instead going ahead with survey work.”

Dehradun’s Division Forest Officer Sushant Patnaik said, “The central railway department has to provide the state forest department with the blueprint of the proposal regarding the particular alignments of the railway line across Rishikesh forest division. All the efforts will be made to mitigate the detrimental effects.”

Range Officer Ganga Sagar Nautiyal of Rishikesh said officials were saying that a high wire mesh could be erected alongside the tracks to prevent wildlife from coming near trains. “But even the mesh could affect the habitat and movement of animals,” he said.

The proposed rail line will pass through Dehradun, Tehri, Paudi and Chamoli districts, and would have 128 bridges and 81 tunnels. SM Joshi said the tunnels and bridges would mitigate the negative impact of the project on animals.

VS Masali, DGM/Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd allayed the foresters’ fears: “We are doing our best not to propose the railway line in the thick of the Rishikesh forest range, but on the border, toward the city. We have got ready multiple proposals with regard to alignment, and will leave it to the forest department to choose one among them.”

Lumding-Silchar Broad Gauge project: NFR achieves 80% progress so far

सिल्चार Silchar (SCL): The North-east Frontier Railway (NFR) authorities said work on the much-delayed Lumding-Silchar broad gauge project in Assam has so far made 80% progress and the much-waited mega block in the 201-km section will be taken up from October 1.

Talking to media persons during the visit of a team of senior railway officials to the section, NFR chief administrative officer Ajit Pandit said that after work on the mega block is over within six months, work on broad gauge conversion of the Lumding-Silchar section will be completed by March 2015.

He said that during the period of work on the mega block, trains would not run between Lumding and Silchar. Trains will only run on the Badarpur (Assam)-Agartala (Tripura) section, he added.

Pandit said all hindrances, including problem of militancy and shortage of funds, which came in the way of the national project have been overcome. He said the forest and environment department had given necessary clearance at the Barail Hill range for the broad gauge project.

Moreover, work on 200 metres for tunnel No. 7 is yet to be completed, and 425 metre work for tunnel No. 10 in Dima Hasao district in central Assam is also incomplete. However, they will be completed on time, the NFR official said. Both tunnels are considered critical given the geo-physical nature of the Barail range.

Pandit said the mega block from Badarpur to Agartala, a distance of 224km, will be taken up from October 1, 2015 and the same in the 10-km Karimganj-Mahishashan section will be taken from October 1, 2017. The mega blocks will continue for six months in each of the routes and after the block is over broad gauge will be completed, he said.

The NFR chief administrative officer said that under the broad gauge project Silchar station will get three large platforms. While there will be three running lines, there will be two stabling lines.

Low on Funds, Platforms on Mumbai Suburban Network to take 1 more year for Safer Heights

Central and Western Railways may take another year to raise platforms on Mumbai suburban Railway network

मुंबई Mumbai:  Commuters will have to wait for a year more for most of the platforms on the suburban railway network to achieve safer heights.

Both the CR and the WR said that the raising of platforms was a tedious job and funds were a major constraint as the railways also had to spend on other important works such as passenger amenities, track maintenance and rolling stock, which were also necessary from the safety point of view.

The CR said it had already raised 11 platforms. “In this financial year, work on nine more platforms will be carried out,” a CR official said.

The official said the work had to be done on a running track, where train frequency was one every four minutes.

“We have to ensure that the passengers are not inconvenienced because of platform work,” he said. “Moreover, the height cannot be increased without checking whether the location is prone to sinking of tracks of or not.”

Sinking of the track can lead to drastic reduction in the gap between the platform and footboard of the train. “If the footboard hits the surface of the platform, it can cause severe injuries to those standing at the coach door,” he said.

The WR said a total 32 platforms would be at the requisite increased height by July 25. It said 11 platforms had already been raised. “The work on the remaining will be taken up in the next phase depending on the funds allocated in the budget,” an official said.

Timely action of Loco Pilot saves Andaman Express from major fire

झाँसी Jhansi (JHS): A serious tragedy was averted due to timely rescue measures taken in Chennai-bound Andaman Express, which caught fire near Jhansi Railway Station in the early hours of Monday. The 20-bogie train coming from Jammu, had four parcel carriages just behind the engine. It arrived at 2.00 am at Jhansi Station. Some passengers smelt something burning from the parcel section but overlooked it because nothing was visible.

As the train started and moved further, the driver observed smoke coming out from a carriage. He halted the train near Bijauli station, 10 kilometres from Jhansi and raised an alarm. In the meantime, the fire got intensified. Railway officials and the safety squad reached the spot and managed to separate the two bogies from rest of the train.

By morning, heavy flames started coming out from the two parcel carriages. The train had halted in a secluded place with a lot of vegetation and it became difficult for the fire brigade to reach the spot. Somehow six fire tenders, including those from Army and BHEL, reached there. The flames could be controlled after six hours.

Railway spokesman Ravi Prakash said that the reason of the fire and the estimated loss are being investigated.

In the meantime, over one dozen trains got affected and two passenger trains had to be cancelled. Andaman Express moved after seven hours of delay. Around 1,500 passengers got their tickets and reservations cancelled.

Kochi Metro Rail project could save time with Special Team for Land Acquisition

कोची Kochi:  Land Acquisition, a key reason behind delays in the Kochi Metro project could have been dealt with in an effective manner if an idea mooted by E Sreedharan was implemented.

The principal adviser of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), E Sreedharan, had mooted forming a special dedicated team for the land acquisition for Kochi Metro Rail project. His idea was to appoint a special team for the land acquisition for the stations, widening of roads and casting yard.

He was of the opinion that if a normal procedure is followed, the completion of land acquisition within the scheduled deadline will be hard to achieve.

DMRC authorities said that except on the fourth reach of the Kochi Metro Rail, ie between Ernakulam South to Petta, the work is progressing in a satisfactory manner.

The agency, according to officials, is at present focusing on some key works that need to be completed before the monsoon.

The DMRC needs to do land filling in a total of 1.5 lakh cubic meter land out of the 5.3 lakh cubic metre land as part of the construction of the Muttom Coach maintenance yard. This work is to be competed by May. The piling work for the maintenance depot building at Muttom had also begun while the work for linking the coaching yard to NH, the piling work for the via duct construction in these area and the construction of underpass is also progressing.

“The area is easily vulnerable to water logging and we will have to complete these works at Muttom before the onset of Monsoon.  But the unexpected delays like the one that happened on Wednesday will definitely affect the deadline and plans,” said a KMRL official.

As per the available data, the land acquisition between Aluva and Palarivattam has almost completed. In between the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium and Ernakulam North, the land need to be acquired at Deshabhimani junction and near the RBI regional office near Lissie jn. The work at Banerjee Road is progressing and the shifting of utilities are already over. The other related works that need to be completed are the widening of Edappally-Palarivattam Road, the acquisition of land at some areas between Jose Jn and Ernakulam South and the land near Manorama Jn.

On the progress of the civil works, nearly 50 per cent of the work has already been completed at the stretch between Aluva and Kalamassery. Four Pier Caps have already been launched at Pulinchode. In the stretch between Kalamasseery and Palarivattam, seven pier caps were launched near CUSAT. Between Stadium and Ernakulam North, the work is in progress for launching pre-fabricated pier caps will be launched soon.

However, the fourth reach still remains a major hurdle as the land acquisition for the widening of the Vyttila-Petta Road is yet to be initiated.

“The District Collector has earlier promised that the land acquisition need to be completed within three months. We hope that the procedures will be completed within the stipulated time,” sources said.

KMRC seeks Nod to buy Land directly from Owners

कोची Kochi:  With the delay in land acquisition throwing a spanner in the plan to complete the prestigious Kochi Metro Rail project by 2016, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has requested the state government to allow it to purchase land from the owners directly.

Though nearly 80 per cent of the land for the project was acquired last year, the district administration has been facing hurdles in the acquisition of the remaining 20 per cent land after the amendment of the Land Acquisition Act.

The KMRL too is finding it difficult to meet the time frame as under the new Act, as the land acquisition has become more time-consuming.

The 120-year-old Land Acquisition Act was amended last year and the new Act regulates land acquisition and lays down rules for granting compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement to the affected persons.

“It is really not the Act but the time-consuming procedures that are delaying the acquisition.

“If we can purchase land directly, the procedures will be minimum.

“We have already submitted a proposal before the state government. As for the rehabilitation and resettlement emphasized in the new Act, we have already entrusted a consultancy with the task of framing a proper plan.

“The rehabilitation study report is expected to be submitted by May-end. And once the Board approves it, we will provide rehabilitation packages to the affected owners,” KMRL MD Elias George said.

He said that if the government gave the nod for the proposal, the land will be acquired as per the rates fixed by the District-level Purchasing Committee (DLPC), based on the existing land value in the area.

The same will be submitted before the State-level Empowered Committee and once its nod is received, Kochi Metro Rail Limited will provide the funds to DLPC.

The ownership of the land will then be transferred to KMRL.

Raising concerns over the land acquisition hurdles at the Muttom coach maintenance yard, George said that KMRL had already requested Minister-in-charge of Metro Rail Aryadan Mohammed and Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash to convene a meeting to speed up the acquisition process.

SAIL to ink pact with Iran for supplying Railway Tracks

SAIL is all set to sign a definitive agreement to supply steel worth nearly Rs 15,000 crore to help Tehran set up a railway network project.  State-owned State Trading Corporation (STC) to work out agreement for Rs.15,000 Cr deal

With the Western nations easing sanctions on Iran, the country’s biggest steel maker SAIL is all set to sign a definitive agreement to supply steel worth nearly Rs 15,000 crore to help Tehran set up a railway network project spanning over 15,000 km to connect its major ports and key production centres.

Khaleel Rahim, chairman of state-owned trading firm State Trading Corporation (STC) is slated to visit Tehran this week to finalise some of the formalities that could pave the way for steel exports from India.

Iran had sought Indian investment in massively expanding its railway network and needs about 3 million tonnes of steel rails to connect all major cities, industrial centres and also ports for faster evacuation of goods.

Last year, Washington had eased sanctions on Iran, which has enabled Indian companies to explore investment options. The commerce ministry officials had in December last year, met the top brass of SAIL, BHEL and railway infrastructure builder IRCON to consider investing in the west Asian nation.

A top commerce ministry official told that the STC has been entrusted with inking definitive agreements with its Iranian counterpart to pave the way for Indian steel exports there.

“Iran is seeking around 3 MT of steel and STC chairman Khaleel Rahim would visit Tehran this week to finalise the formalities,” the official said. Other companies like Jindal, Vizag Steel and Essar are also in the race, a source said.

When contacted, SAIL chairman C S Verma said after several rounds of discussions with the commerce ministry and STC, SAIL has expressed its readiness in supplying 3 MT rail steel. “We are supplying rails to Indian Railways since many years. Our director commercial Vinod Kumar would accompany Khaleel Rahim to help him finalise the modalities,” Verma said.

SAIL’s Bhilai steel plant is the sole supplier of the country’s longest rail tracks of 260 metres. With an annual production capacity of 3.15 MT of saleable steel, the plant also specialises in other products such as wire rods and merchant products.

The commerce ministry official said Indian exporters are banking on the UCO Bank to help implement the rupee payment mechanism. The easing of the payment mechanism has helped propel Indian exports to Iran to over $ 550 million, which, is around eight times the exports few years ago.

UCO Bank, in 2012, began handling payments for India-Iran trade, under which domestic oil refiners buy oil

Indo-Bangla Inter-Governmental Railway Meeting begins in Dhaka

ढका Dhaka:  India and Bangladesh inter-Governmental Railway talks started today at 10.00 a.m. at Dhaka in Bangladesh.  India and Bangladesh are to undertake a complete review of railway cooperation between the two countries and ways and means to improve connectivity and services.

Earlier, Embassies of India and Bangladesh in New Delhi and Dhaka released a statement on the India-Bangladesh Inter-Governmental Railway Meeting (IGRM) to take place on April 21-23 in Dhaka.  The two delegations would also discuss cargo train operations and the feasibility of introducing container train services between India and Bangladesh.

The Indian High Commission here said the three-day additional secretary level meeting would review railway cooperation between the two countries and “ways and means to improve connectivity and services”.

The railway cooperation assumed significance as India’s USD 800 million line of credit rolled out mostly for railway development projects in Bangladesh.

The meeting would discuss measures to make the travel “more convenient and comfortable”.

Ways of re-opening some old connectivity points such as Birol (Bangladesh) — Radhikapur (India), Chilahati (Bangladesh) — Haldibari (India), and construction of new connectivity points such as Akhaura-Agartala would also be discussed.

Delhi Metro completes 21-metre high cross-over viaduct at Karkarduma Metro Station

A track for the Metro train has been laid at a record height of 21 meters above the ground by the DMRC above another existing Metro track at the Karkarduma Metro Railway Station – a first of its kind on Delhi Metro!


नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: The Delhi Metro Sunday announced the completion of its construction of a cross-over viaduct above the existing operational line at east Delhi’s Karkarduma Metro station, 21 metres above the ground.

Calling it a rare feat, the Delhi Metro said this is among the first of such achievements as it is poised to repeat similar feats in the construction of its Phase III, slated to be completed by 2016.

“Construction for crossing over of Metro viaduct at the existing Karkarduma Metro station was never an easy task for engineers. It posed numerous challenges to the civil engineers throughout the project as this is one of the highest crossings of Metro line,” the Delhi Metro said in a statement.

It added that the elevated viaducts of the Phase III of the Delhi Metro would pass over the existing viaducts of the previous two phases at four more locations.  The four locations are: Netaji Subhash Place, Dhaula Kuan, Mayur Vihar-I and Anand Vihar.

Delhi Metro has crossed the existing Metro line at such a height in a very safe and systematic manner with all safety precautions in place. The launching of girder and erection of span was carried with extra precaution. An extensive round the clock CCTV monitoring was done adjacent to the rail track to avoid any signs of electrocution or fall of material,” the spokesperson added.

The monitoring consists of earthing provided to the launching girder, pre-stressing beam, erected segments or any other loose items kept on span. The work was carried out during non-operating hours after getting all the clearances from competent authorities.

To connect these two stations, DMRC is planning to construct a foot over bridge that will serve as a walk way for commuters and connect the concourse and the platform. The foot over bridge will stand at a height of 15.6m from the ground level.

“The new Metro line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) is crossing the existing (Vaishali-Dwarka) elevated line at 21 metres above the ground and 10 metres above the existing line. The work was done without disrupting the normal, daily Metro train/passenger services for even a single day,” the statement added.

DFCC to deploy Mechanised Track Linking System for construction of Freight Corridors

दुर्गौती Durgauti (DGO): To speed up track laying work, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) is deploying a mechanised track linking system for the construction of freight corridors.

A Senior DFCC official said that the fully-mechanised track linking methods have been deployed for track linking on Durgauti-Karwandia section of Eastern DFC by using a new track construction (NTC) machine, which has been imported from the US.

The machine has the capability of linking 1.5 kilometer (km) of track length in a day with very minimal manpower.

The track laying for new railway line has always been labour intensive exercise and generally takes about 500-600 man-days for linking one Km track.

The DFC project is a mega infrastructure project involving track linking of approximately 7000 km.

He said that “This mammoth task is not possible using conventional method of track laying and that is why we have to opt for NTC machine.”

It is for the first time in India that fully mechanized track linking system for new lines is being employed for construction of the DFC.

Fully mechanized methods not only improve the pace of the track linking but the quality of track lying also gets improved.

Repair Works on Kharagpur-Tatanagar section affects Trains movement

टाटानगर Tatanagar (TATA): Movement of passenger and goods trains on Kharagpur-Tatanagar section of South-Eastern Railway was affected on Sunday owing to repair work on tracks between Chakulia and Kokpara.

Sources said the repair work, which is called a mega block in railway parlance, started around 7am and continued till 5pm. Besides tracks, the overhead high-tension cable was also repaired.

The work affected movement of Titlagarh-bound Ispat Express, which was delayed by around half an hour after reaching Tatanagar station. Movement of Kharagpur-Tatanagar passenger train was also affected and it left Kharagpur after 8.45am, 35 minutes behind schedule.

The Howrah-Ghatshila MEMU train was short-terminated at Chakulia. It resumed its return journey from Chakulia station instead of Ghatshila. The schedule of Howrah-Barbil Janshatabdi Express was, however, not affected. The train left on time and on its usual route.

Station manager of Tatanagar Awtar Singh confirmed that the mega block affected train movement. “Normal train services on Kharagpur-Tatanagar section are expected to be restored late in the evening,” he said, adding that the railways had taken necessary precautions to ensure that passengers were not inconvenienced.

Nevertheless, the rail block did cause woes. Ashish Kundu, a resident of Moon City in Mango, had planned to board the Ispat Express to Calcutta with his family. However, after receiving news of the mega block, he cancelled his trip. “As I knew about the block in advance, I preferred not to travel to Calcutta. I did not want to take any risk,” said Kundu.

Railway officials said a similar railway block was undertaken at the washing line at Tatanagar for six hours on Saturday.

During the rail block, which commenced at 8am, originating trains were made to halt near the loco shed instead of the washing line, where they went for cleaning and refilling water tanks.

A similar block had taken place at Tatanagar for about 16 hours in November last year during which tracks were repaired.

During that rail block, several local passenger trains had to be short-terminated either in Adityapur at the Chakradharpur end or in Salghajhuri at the Howrah end.

200 new Frisking Booths for women commuters in Delhi Metro

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Delhi Metro premises will soon see women commuters being frisked in total privacy as more than 200 new security cabins are being installed for them at the stations of the rapid transport system.

The CISF has also deputed a select group of its personnel and officers who roam around in these select Metro stations talking to commuters about following few norms mandated for the security of passengers.

The fresh blue-coloured frisking booths are being procured by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and women constables of the CISF will use them to frisk women passengers using the Delhi Metro.

In the first phase, these booths will be installed in the Metro stations on the Blue Line (Dwarka Sector-21 to Vaishali/Noida City Centre) and subsequently they will placed at all other stations on the Metro network in the national capital region.

Close to 200 such boxes will be installed. “The new infrastructure is part of our enhanced measures to make Metro commuters comfortable and secure. Apart from these new women frisking booths, we have also introduced new mechanisms to fine tune Delhi Metro security services,” CISF chief Arvind Ranjan told.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is the mandated security agency to secure the 134 stations of the Delhi Metro against any terror or sabotage attempts and it has deployed close to 5,000 men and women for this task.

Close to a dozen such booths have already started functioning and as compared to the previous cloth draped or hard-board made security boxes, these cabins ensure total privacy of the female passengers during frisking.

As part of the new protocols devised in the Delhi Metro by the CISF, security personnel have now begun a ‘profiling’ of commuters on the basis of which they are subjected to varied level of security checks.

The force, as part of a month-old ‘pilot’ project to initiate these measures, has initially brought eight Metro stations under its purview.

As part of the new drill, the X-ray baggage screening machines at some select stations are now kept right next to the door-frame metal detectors where the commuters are frisked by CISF jawans.

A security official explained that by this method, the CISF personnel right behind his colleague, who is frisking commuters, is able to clearly analyse the indicators of the metal detector and simultaneously also gives time to the personnel to intelligently profile a suspect.

Once the ‘pilot’ project reaches an optimum level and is seen to be successful, Ranjan said, more Metro stations would be brought under the new security protocols mechanism.

Under this plan, the CISF has also deputed a select group of its personnel and officers who roam around in these select Metro stations talking to commuters about following few norms mandated for the security of passengers like making a queue while going for personal frisking and observance of rules on platforms.

Passengers at eight stations- Dwarka Sector 8, 12, 13 and 14, Yamuna Bank, Civil Lines, Vidhan Sabha and Race Course- are being urged to cooperate with the CISF personnel and urged to follow some routine courtesy and safety drills like standing behind the precautionary ‘yellow line’ when the train rolls in the station and allowing passengers to de-board first before hopping in.

The force is gearing up to the new measures as footfalls on the Delhi Metro are increasing everyday with close to 25 lakh people using the mass rapid rail network each day across stations spread in the national capital region including Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

Thiruvananthapuram-Chengannur Suburban Rail Corridor: DPR awaits Government nod

A draft detailed project report (DPR) prepared by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation was submitted to the government and the State Cabinet’s approval is awaited.  Service also on Ernakulam-Shoranur route mooted

तिरुवनंतपुरम Thiruvananthapuram (TVC):  Fully air-conditioned rakes will ply up to 80 kmph in the Thiruvananthapuram-Chengannur suburban rail corridor in three years time if State government gives its go-ahead for the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS).

A draft detailed project report (DPR) prepared by Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation was submitted to the government and the State Cabinet’s approval is awaited. A bilateral agreement can be signed once the Railway formally accords its approval to the proposal under which six-coach AC rakes will operate services in the sector. The total project cost is likely to be around Rs. 3,000 crore, sources said. The 125-km-long stretch was selected since it has a double track. The corridor can be extended up to Ernakulam once the track through Kottayam is doubled. Suburban services can also be introduced in Ernakulam-Shoranur route, based on the success of the Thiruvananthapuram-Chengannur corridor, the sources said. A key component of the suburban system is introduction of automatic signals. Once this is ready, trains will not have to wait or be detained till those going in front reach the next station. Trains can go one after the other, as in Mumbai suburban rail. This will also speed up express and other trains in the sector, considerably improving track utilisation. The desired speed can be achieved if overbridges are built at level crossings, they said.

Raising platforms at stations will help since this will help fast boarding and alighting from trains. Planners have envisaged MEMU-type rakes with vestibule, since MEMU trains accelerate and decelerate faster than trains with conventional rakes. Doors will close automatically as in metro trains.

“Expecting the State government’s nod, we hope to do speed up paper works for Central clearances from June,” the sources said.

Railway Exhibition in Vizag a big draw

railwayexhibvizagविसाखपटनम Visakhapatnam (VSKP): It was a trip down memory lane for some of the visitors as they went through old photographs and stamps on locomotives, rail bridges, and our national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Sastry, and Jawaharlal Nehru travelling in trains.

The exhibition was organised by the Waltair Division of East Coast Railway as part of the 59 Railway Week celebrations here on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There were stamps issued on Howrah, Chennai, Mumbai CST, and Old Delhi stations with the imposing vintage buildings, the BNR locomotive, built by the North British Locomotive Company, introduced by BNR in 1913. It was continued till 1921 for heavy shunting and coal traffic.

Later in the evening, cultural programmes were organised by the Personnel Branch of Waltair Division as part of the celebrations.

In his inaugural address, Divisional Railway Manager Anil Kumar listed the achievements of the Division during the financial year 2013-2014.

The Division achieved an originating loading of 52.56 MT, thereby becoming one of the few divisions in the country which had an originating loading in excess of 50 MT. On the passenger front, the originating traffic increased to 33.80 million, which was 3 per cent more than the previous year, and passenger earnings increased to Rs.366.51 crore, which was 17 per cent higher than the previous year. The Division has earned the highest ever total earning of Rs.6,265.58 crore.

Mr. Anil Kumar spoke on the development works initiated at Visakhapatnam railway station like commissioning of escalators on platforms 2 and 3 and 4 and 5, and works on improvement of Gnanapuram-side to ease traffic congestion.

Additional DRM M.L. Meena, ECoRWWO president Anju Anil Kumar, and Divisional Personnel Officer B. Mondal were among those who attended.

Railways undecided over undertaking from Season Pass-holders

मुंबई Mumbai: The Indian Railways seems to be caught in two minds over implementing the recommendation of the Allahabad High Court to have all season pass-holders to sign an undertaking that their passes would be cancelled if they commit any offence under the Indian Penal Code or the Railway Act.

While railway zones like Western Railway in Mumbai as well as the Andhra Pradesh-centred South Central Railway have finalised the format of the undertaking – the bureaucracy is still to decide to go about it.

The Central Railway, of course, remains a laggard in more ways than one with its booking counters yet to begin taking down addresses – another recommendation of the Allahabad HC – of people coming to buy or renew their season passes.

There was no clear answer on a timeline for the implementation of the ‘good behaviour’ undertaking when spoke to top railway officials at the Railway Board and also at WR, SCR and CR. DP Pande, Member (Traffic) said that he would have to study the recommendations before offering any comment on the implementation of the good behaviour undertaking.

A city-based railway official said, “There are several factors involved. Whether we store the undertaking electronically or physically for the seven years a season pass identity card is valid is one decision that needs to be taken. The other thing is basics like how does one ensure that a person who violates the undertaking has his pass cancelled. Remember we have more than 45 lakh passes in the city’s suburban system.”

The Allahabad HC had recommended to the railway board to have a format for applying for a season ticket which included a declaration that in the event of of the pass-holder’s involvement in any offence under the Indian Penal Code or the Railways Act, his pass be cancelled. The recommendation stated that ‘people enjoying concession under the Railway Rules are not supposed to violate the Railways Act’.

The ‘good behaviour’ undertaking is over and above the recommendation that the railways take down the addresses of all pass-holders and make a giant database to be shared with security agencies like the railway police and the Railway Protection Force to nab train hooligans and thereby increase passenger safety on the railways.

The Undertaking

The undertaking finalised by the railways:

I, Shri/Smt/Master/Ms ——— residing at ———- hereby declare that I will follow the season ticket rules and will not indulge in any anti-social/unlawful activities or commit any offence under the Indian Penal Code or Railway Act while availing the season ticket and if found involved in such an offence, my season ticket is liable to be cancelled and will not be issued again.

(Signature of Applicant)

One card for Metro, DTC and cluster buses gets Lt-Governor’s green light

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  Almost two years after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) launched the ‘common mobility card’ — called More Delhi — for seamless travel in Metro trains and certain DMRC-run feeder buses, the Delhi government has approved a proposal under which passengers will be able to use the card to travel in Metro trains, DTC buses and cluster buses run by DIMTS.

The Transport department of the Delhi government is working out the modalities after the proposal received Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung’s nod.

To be launched in a phased manner, changes will be made to the software used in the ticketing equipment of DTC and DIMTS, allowing them to accept the Metro smart cards.

Eventually, the plan is to ensure that people are able to use any mode of transport in Delhi, including auto-rickshaws and taxis, using the smart card.

A senior official in the Transport department said the common mobility card would initially be recharged at DMRC’s automated fare recharge booths inside Metro stations. “But eventually, a system will be put in place that will allow people to recharge the cards in other utility stores based on their bar codes,” the official said.

Once the common mobility card is successfully launched for DTC and cluster buses, the Delhi government will extend the facility to auto-rickshaws and taxis.

In December 2011, the Ministry of Urban Development had announced the launch of a nationwide interoperable transport card. As a first step, the ‘More Delhi’ card was introduced by the Delhi Metro in August 2012, with provisions for use in Metro trains and DMRC-run feeder buses.

Officials said the main objective of the card is to provide a hassle-free and seamless travel experience to commuters through a National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), which would eventually be made valid across cities and modes of transport.

“As a future plan, the card is envisaged to be a fare payment medium across different operators and different modes, including parking, toll, in all cities,” the official said.

Ask Badals where is Ludhiana Metro: Bhattal to locals

bittu1लुधियाना Ludhiana (LDH):  Former Chief Minister and Chairman of the Punjab Congress Campaigning Committee Rajinder Kaur Bhattal on Sunday lashed out at the Badals for “making a fool of Ludhiana residents”.

Addressing a rally while campaigning for Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu in Naali Mohalla on Deepak Cinema Road, Bhattal said, “Please ask Badals where is your Ludhiana metro? Did sky or earth gulp it?” where is the Metro?  She added, “It was a dream that was impractical. It was a dream that Badals weaved for people of Ludhiana just to fool them and take their benefit out of it. Now you all should go and ask Badals, where is the metro?”

Bhattal blamed the Badals for unemployment in Ludhiana. “Industries are shutting down because the state government is not helping them in any way. Then how can employment be generated? Youth is getting driven to drugs,” she said.

Talking about the Aam Aadmi Party, she said, “Congress is thankful to AAP for bringing forth the blunders of SAD-BJP government. AAP is simply putting their stamp on our stand of NDA and Akalis being totally corrupt. We are really thankful to them for this but otherwise people are not going to waste their vote for AAP as Arvind Kejriwal was not able to prove his worth even after we gave them unconditional support in Delhi.”

Bhattal added that Rahul Gandhi might visit Ludhiana to campaign for Bittu.

Talking about major points in the Congress manifesto, she said, “It will be for the first time that a party is proposing income tax exemption for youth between 18-35 years which will be our major achievement if we come to power.”

Blaming the SAD-BJP for imposition of property tax in Punjab, Bhattal claimed that the “Congress is going to be victorious from all 13 seats of Punjab in the LS polls”.

Japan disinterest puts Dedicated Freight Corridor project bids on slow track

New Delhi:  India’s ambitious dedicated freight corridor (DFC) project is lurching from one hurdle to another, as Japanese infrastructure firms enjoying exclusivity in bidding for several projects develop cold feet, reports Rajat Arora in New Delhi.

Approximately a year after Indian Railways (IR) invited bids for the INR 2,000-crore Vadodara-Sachin segments of the Western Corridor and after the deadline for placing the bids was extended five times, the national transporter could not ensure multiple bids for the stretch.

And the railways, sources said, is now putting pressure on the finance ministry to renegotiate the terms of the tied loan for the western corridor from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) so that non-Japanese bidders could also be allowed to participate.

As per the JICA loan agreement, the lead partner for any project has to be from Japan and 30% of materials should be sourced from Japanese companies.

Analysts said Japanese’ companies disinterest is because of their inability to take up many large projects at a time, and the fact that there are only three-four Japanese players in this area.

Although four consortia – Fujita-IVRCL, Sojitz-L&T, Mitsui-IRCON and Marubeni- Tata- KEC-Gammon-GMR have been qualified for the 163 kilometer (km) Vadodara-Sachin project, none of them has since shown interest in bidding for the same. The railways have now set a deadline of June 2 for placing bids, sources said.

Previous year too, the award of 322 km-long Iqbalgarh-Vadodara route of the western corridor had got delayed due to lack of bidder interest. A senior railway delegation visited Japan to take up the matter with Japanese authorities. Subsequently, Sojitz and Mitsui came in, and the project is now to be awarded in June.

“There are only three-four serious Japanese players bidding for several slices of the 1,483 km western corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). Their capacity is also getting exhausted as the projects seem to too big for them to tackle. We want more companies to participate,” a senior railway ministry official said.

The national transporter has already awarded a 640 km stretch between Rewari and Palanpur in the western corridor to a consortium of L&T and Sojitz for civil construction. The size of the contract is INR 6,700 crore. Remaining portions of the corridor are being bid out apiece.

Japan has given a soft loan of INR 38,000 crore for the western corridor to India to be repaid over a period of 40 years. The railways have acquired 95% of the 11,000-hectare land required for the 3,300 km DFC, which entails a total investment of over INR 80,000 crore.

IL&FS Engg bags Rs.299.76 Cr RVNL Kolkata Metro Station Contract

IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Limited (IL&FS Engineering Services) has been awarded a contract by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, Kolkata for a value of Rs.299.76 Crores towards construction of Seven Elevated Metro stations from Sub CBD-1 to Titumir in New Garia – Airport Metro Corridor of Kolkata Metro Line in the state of West Bengal. The Project is to be completed in 36 months from the date of issue of Letter of Acceptance (LOA)

IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Limited (IL&FS Engineering Services) has been awarded a contract by Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, Kolkata for a value of Rs.299.76 Crores towards construction of Seven Elevated Metro stations from Sub CBD-1 to Titumir in New Garia – Airport Metro Corridor of Kolkata Metro Line in the state of West Bengal. The Project is to be completed in 36 months from the date of issue of Letter of Acceptance (LOA).

IL&FS Engineering Services is already executing two railway contracts for RVNL worth more than Rs.500 Crores – One involving construction of a new Broad Gauge Railway Line in Kadapa and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh, and the other involving Doubling of Bhigwan – Mohol Section (127.14 Kms) part of Daund – Gulbarga Doubling in Solapur Division of Central Railway in the state of Maharashtra.

IL&FS Engineering Services is also executing Rapid Metro Project Phase II in Gurgaon involving construction of 6.7 Kms of Elevated Viaduct, and 5 Elevated Stations of around Rs. 350 Crores value. Earlier, IL&FS Engineering Services successfully executed RMRG (Phase I) contract worth Rs. 259.30 Crores that involved construction of single and double track Elevated Viaduct including six station buildings.

About IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Limited

IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company Limited (IL&FS Engineering Services) is one of the leading multi-national Infrastructure Development, Construction and Project Management companies with more than three decades(since it was incorporated in 1988, should we write over two decades ?) of rich and varied experience in executing landmark projects. The Company executes projects under various domains such as Buildings & Structures, Roads, Railways, Irrigation, Power, Ports, and Oil & Gas. IL&FS Engineering Services has been awarded IMS Certificates (ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 & OHSAS 18001:2007) by TUV Nord, and is committed to the highest standards of quality, safety, health, and environment. To know more, please visit

Bygone Turntables of Steam-era to re-surface back on Chennai Metro Rail network

चेन्‍नई Chennai (MAS): In the 21st century, engineers are turning back to the 60s for a little help. Chennai Metro rail is bringing back the railway relics.  Turntables – an equipment that helps to turn trains and locomotives in a different direction is going to re-surface on Chennai Metro.

Turntables are huge circular tables with tracks fixed on them. This technology was widely used at railway yards till the 1960s. Railway yards at Royapuram and Egmore had the facility.

As steam locomotives could be driven in only one direction, turntables at railway yards helped turn the locomotive in the opposite direction. With the arrival of diesel and electric locomotives that are bi-directional, turntables went out of use.

Turntables were used to turn steam locomotives in railways so that they can be switched from one direction to another. Steam locomotives could be driven on only one direction while modern diesel and electric locomotives need not be turned at a depot to connect to the next train.

This technology was widespread in railways till the 60s. It vanished from the scene after railways switched from steam to diesel locomotives that are bi-directional and can be driven forward and on the reverse with same speed and efficiency.

After several decades, now metro rail is reviving the technology. Three turntables have been set up at metro rail’s Koyambedu depot. With the help of digital technology, the turntables will help turn bogies, wheel sets and axles of metro rail trains for maintenance. The wheel sets need to be maintained periodically and are done after detaching them from coaches.

“The bogies will be pulled on to the turntable using a mini engine and then turned in the direction to which it has to be taken. Once the turntable completes the turn, the bogie will be pulled out. This mechanism will help move bogies from one section of the depot to another,” said a senior official of Chennai metro rail.

The equipment saves space, says an official, as otherwise lengthy tracks have to be laid for trains or bogies to be turned around.

A turntable for standard gauge metro rail is 3500mm in diameter. The decks sit on center pivots at the centers and castors on the peripheries for turning.

Two pairs of rails are mounted and positioned perpendicular to each other across diameter on the deck of each turntable to accommodate bogies.

These equipment are widely used in metro rail maintenance depots world over.

Apart from Chennai metro rail, turntables are also used in metro rail depots in Delhi and Mumbai.

NFR GM (Cn) to review Railway projects in Tripura

अगरतला Agartala (AGTL): General Manager (Construction), Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Rajesh Kumar Singh arrived here, official sources said.

During the visit, the GM would inspect the railway construction work from Agartala to Udaipur which has run into rough weather due to land acquisition problems even after compensation was paid to the land owners.

The Agartala-Udaipur rail extension project is scheduled to be completed by end of this year while the NFR plans to extend the rail connectivity upto Sabroom by end of next year.

Interestingly, some land owners are reluctant to give up their plots even after receiving compensation from the district administration. The problem was discussed at a high level meeting held recently.

The NFR GM would also pay a visit to Akhaura to review the progress in the proposed rail connectivity between Agartala and Gangasagar (Bangladesh).

The Indian Railway Construction Company Ltd (IRCON) and the NFR have jointly initiated the fixing of alignment for the proposed Agartala-Gangasagar rail link.

Once the alignment is fixed, it will be put on the Revenue Map to undertake land acquisition process for the 15 km Indo-Bangla rail link.

Both IRCON and NFR have been working to materialise the dream rail project. A three-member team of IRCON-NFR headed by the General Manager Bijoy Behara met the Transport Secretary to discuss the project here in January last.

The IRCON, specialised in transport infrastructure, wants to set up an office at Badharghat to expedite the Indo-Bangla rail link. However, land for setting up the IRCON office has not been decided yet.

According to the joint survey, of the total 15 km proposed rail link, five km will be laid on the Indian side while the remaining 10 km will be established on Bangladesh soil. The rail link will be in BG format and the estimated cost of the Indo-Bangla rail link will be around Rs 252 crore.

Before leaving the State, he may have a meeting with Chief Secretary SK Panda to brief him about the progress of the ongoing railway projects in Tripura. On April 21, the GM is scheduled to leave the State on a special train.

Alstom India gains on Euro contract from BHEL

20140421_1102336_1Alstom India, leader in power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure, gained on Monday after it secured a contract from Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) worth close to Euro 30 million to supply components and services for the 2×660 MW Banharpalli Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) located in Jharsaguda, Orissa.

Under the scope of the contract, Alstom will co-operate with BHEL in designing the boilers and supply identified pressure parts of the 660 MW supercritical boilers, along with windboxes. It will also assist BHEL with technical advisors during the erection and commissioning of the units. Shares ofthe companyare trading at Rs 399, up Rs 6.8, or 1.73% at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday at 11:19 a.m.The scrip has touched an intra-day high of Rs 403 and low of Rs 396. The total volume of shares traded at the BSE is 3,764.In the earlier session, the shares gained 3.87%, or Rs 14.6, at Rs 392.20. Currently, the stock is trading down 9.32% from its 52-week high of Rs 440 and above 40% over the 52-week low of Rs 285.

Thiruvananthapuram Monorail: No perusal on protecting centuries old ‘Valiyasala Agraharam’

तिरूवनंतपुरम Thiruvananthapuram (TVC):  The promise of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) to protect the centuries-old Valiyasala ‘Agraharam’ from demolition for the proposed monorail route for the capital,  which came after the constant pleas by the residents, is yet to be followed up.  It is widely believed that Chinese Traveler Huen Tsang – one of the outstanding Chinese scholars who visited India in search of knowledge, visited this Agraharam between 603-664 A.D. and the place had a mention in his writing.

The official assurance in this regard came on February 6 from the DMRC general manager, who in a letter to the president of the residents’ association in the area, said that the  ‘agraharam’ would be exempted from the monorail alignment and instead   ‘’the old NH-47 from Thycaud ROB to Killipalam Junction’’  will be selected. The Kerala Monorail Corporation Limited (KMCL), which is  the agency entrusted with implementing the project, said it had not yet received any proposal till date from the DMRC  regarding the change of route.

‘’DMRC was told to inspect the Valiyasala street, but a proposal had not reached us.  And if the route is to be changed, a decision needs to be arrived at the KMCL board and then it has to be submitted to the government for clearance,’’ said P C Harikesh, managing director of KMCL. DMRC principal advisor E Sreedharan had inspected the proposed monorail alignment through the Valiyasala ‘agraharam’.

In the letter,  it was mentioned that the possible alternate route too was examined.  It also spoke about widening the Thycaud ROB-Killipalam section to 21 metres to facilitate erecting pillars on the median of the road.

If the route touches the ‘agraharam’, its impact would fall on 22 houses and two shops there. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted in December 2012 had undergone a revision later, but it does not touch upon changing the alignment.

When contacted, G Radhakrishnan Nair, general manager (civil), DMRC, Thiruvananthapuram, who assured exclusion of the street,  said: ‘’As of now we have not taken any decision. Modifications included in the revised DPR does not mention about the routes and it includes aspects such as financing. The subject may be considered later,’’ he said.

When DMRC had requested in the letter to KMCL and the government to complete the widening works before the commencement of monorail work,  examining the proposal to avoid the Valiyasala ‘agraharam’  has moved at a snail’s pace.  Monorail is proposed to be set up on a 22-km route with 19 stations from Technocity to Killipalam.

It was when the local residents readied for an agitation that the officials of DMRC visited the site and gave assurance on protecting the ‘agraharam’.  “DMRC officials have visited the place and heard our complaints before giving an assurance about taking an alternative route.  However, the follow-up decisions had not been communicated to us,’’ said Krishna Iyer, president of VYASA Residents’ association, Valiyasala.

Related Articles:

Alert Loco Pilot Averts Fire on Miraj-Belgaum Train

पच्छापुर Pachhapur (PCH):  A loco pilot’s presence of mind averted a major fire on the Miraj-Belgaum train at Pachhapur Railway Station, about 73 km from here, on Sunday.

According to sources in the Railways, the pilot of train no. 51461 applied brakes while approaching Pachhapur Railway Station.

He suddenly noticed smoke coming out of the braking system and realised that the axle had gotten stuck because of improper maintenance. The friction and heat caused thick smoke to emanate and this could have even caused a major fire, the sources said.

After the train was brought to a halt at the station, the train staff tried to contact the station master, but he was not available. They then went ahead and rectified the problem under the guidance of the train pilot.

After the problem was solved, the train resumed its journey. There were about 500 people on board.

However, Railway authorities denied any such incident, but admitted that the Pachhapur station master was on leave and so, wasn’t available at the station.

Mumbai Metro cost-escalation: MMRDA snubs MMOPL, refuses to pay Rs.2000 Crore

One of the main reasons cited for the Metro project delay was the construction of a bridge that passes over the railway tracks at Andheri

मुंबई Mumbai: MMOPL asked MMRDA to shell out money to meet massive cost escalation, but they refused to pay up, saying, ‘increase in cost is a risk factor that contractors are aware of’.  A disagreement over who should bear the cost overrun of the city’s first Metro line is causing discontent between the MMRDA and the Reliance Infrastructure-led MMOPL, which is implementing the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) Metro project. MMRDA has refused to pay the Rs.2000 crore cost escalation demanded by MMOPL, making it clear that there is no way it would pay them.

“As per the concessions agreement, it is the job of the contractor (MMOPL) to complete the project and the increase in cost and escalation is a risk factor that any company takes into consideration while bidding for the project and so the question of paying them for the escalated cost does not arise,” said a senior MMRDA official, on condition of anonymity.

The cost of the delayed project has risen to over Rs 4,500 crore, up from its original cost of Rs 2,356 crore. “A few months ago after MMOPL informed us that they want the government to bear the cost, we had told them to provide us with the break up of the cost escalation, but till date they have not submitted any documents in this regard,” said Metropolitan Commissioner UPS Madan.

“MMOPL had even requested us that in order to recover the escalated cost, MMOPL was of the opinion that the Metro fares should be revised and increased, which MMRDA refused.”

Final inspection commences

The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) P S Baghel yesterday began inspecting the 11.04 km-long Versova-Andheri Ghatkopar (VAG) metro rail at 10.30 am, which continued till 6 pm.

Baghel said, “I started the inspection from the Metro car depot at D N Nagar at 10.30 am and it went on till 6 pm. I inspected the rolling stock and the inspection will continue till April 28.”

The VAG line has already received approval from RDSO, the research wing of Indian Railways, and is only awaiting clearance from CMRS, after which the line can be thrown open to the public. The CMRS will inspect the entire Metro system, which includes rolling stocks, workshop, depot, OCC, corridor, stations, track and OHE.

2010 letter pins blame on MMOPL

Trouble started brewing after MMOPL officials began saying that the reason for delay was the inability of MMRDA in providing the required Right of Way (ROW) and other permissions in time, as promised to them.

One of the main reasons cited by MMRDA was the delay in the completion of the metro bridge that passes over the railway tracks at Andheri. But a letter written by MMRDA Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad to MMOPL Director K P Maheshwari in the month of October 2010 tells a different story.

The letter states: “For a long time you (MMOPL) led me to believe that the railway is not clearing the bridge design when the compliance of design issue was still pending with you (MMOPL).”

It further states: “You (MMOPL) had made us (MMRDA) believe that the project will be completed in July 2010. We were naturally very jubilant and informed the public through media about the completion of the project ahead of schedule.

Afterwards we were informed that the project would be completed by December 2010.The target now given to us is 2011. From this it appears that you have developed a habit of foxing a target and subsequently not adhering to it. I suggest you get serious this time and adhere to the current target of the project.”

MMOPL says

According to a MMOPL spokesperson, “All infra projects in Mumbai have escalated because of various reasons. The increase in cost is because of inflation, change in design, etc. For example, we had to execute 220 types of design as against the original 20.”

He further added, “The Andheri steel bridge over the Western Railways was built under the most adverse conditions in less than two years, which includes the monsoon months. The bridge was built without affecting any railway movement thereby causing no inconvenience to commuters.

The entire construction work was undertaken only for four hours every night. The bridge was assembled on site through a rare combination of over 1 lakh pieces of nuts and bolts, specially manufactured to withstand the Mumbai weather and to ensure train movement at more than 90 kmph.

The safety record of the construction is outstanding and for the first time in Mumbai, permission from the Commissioner of Railway Safety was obtained to carry out underground work between live railway tracks.”

Bilateral Railway Talks between Delhi and Dhaka to begin Monday

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  A three-day India-Bangladesh Inter-Governmental Railway Meeting (IGRM) will begin in Dhaka on Monday to review the railway cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting, held annually to discuss railway cooperation, will also discuss ways and means to improve connectivity and services.  Freight train operations and the feasibility of introducing container train services between India and Bangladesh will also come up for discussions at the meeting, said an Indian High Commission release on Saturday.

Shah Zahirul Islam, Additional Director General (Operations) of the Bangladesh Railway, will lead the Bangladesh side while A.K.Maitra, Additional Member (Traffic), Railway Board, Ministry of Railways, Govt.of India will lead the Indian delegation to the meeting.

Measures to make the travel by Maitree Express more convenient and comfortable, re-opening of old rail connectivity points between the two countries such as Birol (Bangladesh) – Radhikapur (India), Chilahati (Bangladesh) – Haldibari (India) and construction of new connectivity points such as Akhaura-Agartala are also likely to be discussed at the meeting.

Security tightened at NWR Railway Stations following threats of Terror Attack

अजमीर Ajmer (AII): Security has been beefed up at seven railway stations, including Jaipur and Ajmer, after a letter purportedly by a terror outfit threatened to carry out an explosion on April 21, three days before second phase of Lok Sabha polls are scheduled to be held in Rajasthan.

North West Railways (NWR) have alerted its security agencies including GRP, RPF and state police and extra precautions are being taken by them at Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Bikaner, Alwar, Hanumangarh, and Sriganganagar railway stations, official sources said on Saturday.

Entry and exit points of the stations are being strictly monitored by the security agencies, a senior NWR official said.

A letter from an unknown terror outfit was received by the Station Master of Ferozpur about a week ago. In the letter they had warned of blowing up any of the seven railway stations on April 21.

After the letter, NWR alerted the security agencies, the official said.  However, Railways have not disclosed the sender’s identity to the media due to election code.

New Railway Timetable to list several trains originating from Gomati Nagar Railway Station

Stalled by apathy and neglect, Gomati Nagar Railway Station may be on track post polls

गोमतीनगर Gomati Nagar (GTNR): The railway timetable that comes out in July could list several trains as originating from Gomtinagar railway station. According to railway officials, the station has the required infrastructure to operate trains regularly.

“We plied five rally special trains in January from Gomtinagar station and we did that easily,” said the divisional railway manager of North Eastern Railway (NER), Anoop Kumar.

Gomtinagar railway station is an example of political apathy. After putting it on hold for more than a decade, the UPA government released funds for the station only in 2012 with eyes firmly set on the general elections. In July that year, the railway ministry decided to develop Gomtinagar as a three-line crossing station. The Railway Board released Rs 8.7 crore for its development.

“Whatever we could add to the infrastructure at the station using that amount, we have done,” said railway sources.

To function as a terminal, Gomtinagar station would need an additional platform, four additional rail lines, a new station building, a coaching complex and terminal facilities with a washing pit.

Despite its limitations, the station – the vision of former Prime Minister and Lucknow MP Atal Bihari Vajpayee -came as a great relief handling passengers during a political rally in January, officials said.

The station helped check congestion at Charbagh caused by the thousands that turned up for the rally, said sources.

“To decongest Charbagh, the Railway Board is already thinking of moves like shifting some trains from there to here,” said sources.

In October 2013, NER demanded Rs 70 crore to further develop the station. Though the funds have not been released in this year’s Rail Budget, it has not dampened hopes. More so, because things look set to change for Vajpayee’s “abandoned” project.

Functioning as a stoppage till 2003, things changed overnight for Gomtinagar railway station after Vajpayee proposed that it would be developed as a terminal. According to the plan, the station’s vast catchment area was to be developed into seven platforms. A Rs 100-crore plus budget was released but before it could be developed as a terminal, the government at the Centre changed. The project failed to derive the same priority and preference from the successive regime at the Centre.

Railway Board froze funds to the project and Gomtinagar railway station was again relegated to the status of a halt. Despite being developed at the cost of Rs 45 crore it never qualified as a railway halt.. A halt, as per the rule book, should have a few benches, shady trees, one or two water points and a single agent to sell tickets. The cost did not add up to even a crore. The station had two fully constructed platforms, computerised reservation system, an under-construction additional track, railway quarters and a well-constructed approach road. However, not more than 200 passengers visited it in a day. In 2007, a token budget of Rs 1,000 was released for it.  Officials now hope for funds for the second phase of the station’s development.

  • In 2003, then PM Vajpayee said the station would be developed as a terminal.
  • A Rs 100-crore plus budget was released but the government at the Centre changed.
  • Railway Board froze funds to the station and the all work stopped
  • In 2007, a token budget of Rs 1,000 was released for it.
  • In July 2012, Railway Board approved its development
  • Board releases Rs 8.67 crore for it to be a three-line crossing station
  • In October 2013, railways demand Rs 70 crore to develop Gomtinagar station as a terminal
  • Funds not released in this year’s Rail Budget, but NER expects after elections

CRS to start probe into Jagi Road train mishap

जागी रोड Jagi Road (JID): The Commissioner of Railway Safety has started inquiry to find the cause of the accident of Dimapur-Kamakhya BG Express which derailed near Jagiroad on April 16 and caused injuries to more than 50 passengers.

Official sources said that the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Northeast Frontier Circle, Kolkata, held two rounds of hearings at Jagiroad and Guwahati yesterday and today, respectively.

“All evidence is being gathered. The CRS interviewed staff of the Dimapur-Kamakhya BG Express and other concerned railway personnel and others,” said an official at the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) headquarters here.

Asked about the likely date by which the report of the CRS is expected to be ready, the official said, “We expect everything to be done within 10 days or so.”

Meanwhile, normal service has resumed since yesterday at the stretch between Ajuri and Jagiroad where the mishap took place.

The derailment of the Dimapur-Kamakhya BG Express had resulted in damage to around 200 metre of railway track and severely disrupted services to upper Assam and Barak Valley.
jagiroad6 jagiroad7 jagiroad1 Train derailment in India leaves 45 passengers injured Train derailment in India leaves 45 passengers injured jagiroad4 jagiroad3

Mumbai RPF (WR) to seek commuter rating for its personnel

मुंबई Mumbai: To find out how their personnel actually fare on long-distance trains, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on the Western line plans to ask passengers to rate the escorting staff on a scale of 1 to 10. The ratings are to be given on the basis of performance and alertness and will be checked by the top brass. The idea came up while conducting a survey on long-distance trains where passengers’ suggestions were sought on the security arrangements.

Senior RPF officials said the rating would take into account factors like whether the personnel slept on duty, if they paid heed to what commuters spoke, if they were pro-active, etc. This will ensure that the escorting team remains on its feet and performs better. On Western Railway, the RPF escorts 29 trains of which 18 are express trains, five are passenger trains and the rest are mail. The escort team comprises an officer and two to three constables.

The RPF began a survey earlier this month where feedback forms were given to 596 passengers. They were asked if they were aware that the train was being escorted. Ninety-four per cent of the commuters said they were. They were then quizzed about the behaviour of the escorting team, whether or not they patrolled frequently and if complaints could be lodged with the team in case of any problem. Passengers were also asked whether or not it would be beneficial to equip the team with a common mobile number and if personnel posted on stations conducted random luggage checks. “Seventy-four per cent of the commuters surveyed said they found the escorting team’s behaviour excellent while less than 1% found it unsatisfactory. Three per cent of commuters said they did not interact with the escorting team at all.

As far as patrolling is concerned, 99% of commuters said the teams were alert,” said Rajendra Rupnawar, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF (WR). Passengers suggested, as part of the survey, that a permanent guard should be posted in the ladies compartment, and should preferably be female. They also said that the number of personnel in the escorting team has to be increased, the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express should have night guards and infrastructure for disaster management should be made permanently available in long-distance trains.

Conman dupes rail passengers – sell Soap Bars packaged to look like Phones

चेन्‍नई Chennai (MAS): Would you purchase a washing soap for Rs.8,000?  Some passengers on a train leaving Chennai Central railway station were conned into purchasing the commodity, packaged to look like a high-end phone.

The conman mainly targets migrant labourers leaving for Bihar and other north-eastern States. This is the first time such a con is being pulled off in Chennai, say police sources.

Police sources said the culprit kept a track of passengers and approached them 15 minutes before the train’s scheduled departure.

“The culprit first purchases a high-end phone at a cheap price from contacts in the black market. He packs it in a purse and tries to sell it to a group of migrant workers. He bargains till there are only few minutes for the train to depart and then sells the phone for a huge profit,” said a source.

When the train is just about to depart, he shows another passenger a soap bar in a purse, packaged to look like a phone, and quotes a much lower price.

“Some passengers, who had been witness to the initial sales, made the purchase, believing it to be real. But by the time they opened the purse, the train would have started moving and the conman would have fled with the money,” said the source.

The conman either shapes a soap bar to resemble a phone or keeps it inside a dummy phone so that it feels heavy.

“We are searching for the culprit. But we want to warn passengers not to fall prey to such cons,” said the source.

3 held for stealing Pak pilgrims’ bags at Haridwar

हरीधवार Haridwar Jn (HW): The Government Railway Police (GRP) today arrested three persons from the Haridwar railway station for allegedly stealing a bag belonging to Pakistan pilgrims in the city a few days ago.

A contingent of 189 Pakistan pilgrims was on a religious visit to India for the past fortnight and had left Haridwar on the night of April 16. The trio stole a bag containing money belonging to the Pakistan pilgrims, as the latter were trying to board the Dehradun-Amritsar (Lahori) Express from the Haridwar railway station. Chandra Bhan Rabda, coordinator of the pilgrims’ delegation, filed a complaint at GRP station.

The GRP took the help of CCTV footages and informers in the case and arrested Ram Swarup, Ganga Ram and Jagannath, all residents of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

The three accused have admitted to the crime and Pakistan currency amounting to Rs 11,770, besides a mobile phone set, artificial jewellery and various other commodities have been recovered from their possession. SP, City, Surjeet Singh Pawar, said the three thieves had been active in Haridwar since the last Mahakumbh Mela and used to steal purses, bags, mobile phone sets and other commodities from pilgrims.

Pawar added the GRP were interrogating the accused to ascertain whether any other person was involved in the crime. In other major success, the GRP arrested a person from the railway station and recovered banned ‘doda’ drug from his possession.

On a tip-off, a GRP team questioned Anil Kumar, a resident of Hansavali village in Saharanpur, and recovered 5 kg of the banned drug from him.

SHO, GRP, DS Bajwa, said the banned substance in 10 packets of 500 gram each was being taken to Nepal through Uttarakhand.

Bazwa said Anil had been booked under Section 8/20 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. Meanwhile, an intense search operation is being conducted at the railway station in the wake of the LS polls on May 7.

Railway Ticket Booking to be briefly Frozen during Easter Day rush hour on Southern Railway

चेन्‍नई Chennai (MAS):  If you are planning to travel by train in the coming days, avoid railway counters or IRCTC website to book tickets from 11.30 am  to this Sunday.

The Southern Railways will be suspending reservation facility for a brief period on that day for routine maintenance work.

However, the reservation system will function between 8:00 am and 11:30 am in the morning and again from to in the afternoon,  as it is done normally on Sundays, an official statement said.

Rail passengers, meanwhile, expressed apprehension that shutting down the reservation system during the peak of the summer holiday season may affect their travel plans.

People trying to book Tatkal tickets in the morning hours will be the most affected, they feel.

“I was planning to book a Tatkal ticket on Sunday to travel from Chennai to Kochi after Easter. But now, I have to change my plans if I don’t get a ticket before 11.30 am,” said Mathew, a regular commuter to Kerala.

However, denying any chance of disturbance to travelling public, a railway official assured that it will not affect commuters as the maintenance will be done for a very short duration.

“This maintenance is planned in such a way that it doesn’t affect the public. Also, it is very much needed for the smooth functioning of the system,” said a railway reservation in-charge.

The maintenance will take place throughout Southern Railway’s six divisions — Chennai, Palakkad, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruchy and Puducherry.

20th April: SCR Reservation System to completely shut down for 3 Hours

The passenger reservation system will be shut down for modernisation on April 20, 2014, between 11.30 am to 12.30 pm and 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm

सिकंदराबाद Secunderabad (SC): Rail passengers in the South Central Railways region will have to put up with some inconvenience when the passenger reservation system is completely shut down for modernisation on April 20, 2014 between 11.30 am and 12.30 pm and 3.00 pm and 4.30 pm.

This means the reservation ticketing system, checking of PNR status and refunds of tickets will be crippled during those hours. The SCR regretted the inconvenience and said in a press statement, “The Computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS) is being technologically upgraded for the purpose of archiving ticketing data.

Towards the same, backup systems have been commissioned and are undergoing field trials. As a part of these trials, the online testing of the systems will be undertaken. The testing necessitates total shut down of the PRS between 11.30 am to 12.30 pm and 3.00 pm and 4.30 pm on 20th April, 2014.”

Tickets will not be issued at reservation counters for the entire South Central Railway (SCR) Zone or on the internet for trains originating on the South Central Railway, Southern Railway and South Western Railway Zones. However, online ticketing for trains originating in all other zones will not be affected.

No PNR and other related inquiries will be possible and there will be no refund of tickets through the PRS system. The refund will be arranged manually across the counters. Also no Current Day Booking (CDB) facility will be available during these hours.

Faizabad Exp derails, Rajdhani engine fails

असंगाव Asangaon (ASO):  The Faizabad-LTT Express derailed near Asangaon on Friday evening, holding up services on the Central Railway. On the Western line, suburban services were hit after a failure in the engine of the August Kranti Rajdhani Express. The engine and one coach of the Faizabad-LTT Express derailed around 8pm. Till the time of going to press, the train was not put back on tracks. The CR spokesperson said, “There were no injuries and cause of derailment was not known.” On WR, three trains were locked up in the path of the Rajdhani Express due to the locomotive failure in Dadar. The WR spokesperson said, “A snag developed in the engine of Rajdhani Express as soon as it reached Dadar. The train was held up for 20 minutes after which it was taken to Andheri from where it continued its journey with a new engine one-and-a-half-hour behind schedule.”

Technical Snag in the Engine disrupts train services

मूर्तीपलयम Murthipalayam (MPLM): Technical snag in a diesel locomotive of the Ernakulam-Karaikal Tea Garden Express near Murthipalayam Railway station of Palghat Division delayed the service for close to two-and-a-half hours near here on Friday.

Railway sources said that the engine developed a snag when the service was between Murthipalayam station and Karur Junction. Upon information, technicians from Karur rushed to the spot and rectified the glitch.

Then the train proceeded towards Karaikal. Due to the delay in Tea Garden Express’ arrival at Karur Junction, the Chennai-Mangalore Express also suffered a delay of about two hours unable to proceed on the track.

Later the Chennai-Mangalore Express left when the normal operations resumed.

Waltair Railway Division chugs in Highest Growth in 2013-14 fiscal

विसाखपटनम Visakhapatnam (VSKP): Waltair Division of the East Coast Railway achieved its highest growth ever with a total earning of INR 6265.28 crore in 2013 to 2014 fiscal, up 11% from the 2012 to 2013 fiscal.

Participating in the 59th Railway Week celebrations to commemorate the chugging out of the 1st train on April 16th 1853, between Bori Bunder and Thane, Mr Anil Kumar, divisional manager of Waltair, said that the division achieved the feat due to the hard work and dedication of thousands of railway staff across the division. Explaining the performance highlights for 2013 to 2014, he said that on the freight loading front, the division had achieved an originating loading of 52.56 million tonne, making it one of the few in the Indian Railways to have an originating loading in excess of 50 million. The earnings on account of loading were INR 5844.35 crore, 11% more than 2012 to 2013 earnings mainly due to increase in loading of iron ore, gypsum, alumina and steel, among others.

Meanwhile, the originating passenger traffic in 2013 to 2014 was 33.80 million, which was 3% higher than the pervious year’s traffic of 32.94 million. Correspondingly, the originating passenger earnings in 2013 to 2014 stood at INR 366.51 crore, 17% higher than the 2012 to 2013 earnings of INR 312.96 crore.

In order to clear the passenger rush, especially during holidays and weekends, a total of 87 special trains were run for 445 trips and 168 extra coaches attached to various express trains running through the division.

In order to meet the increased passenger traffic, direct train services to different destinations from Visakhapatnam, including five new trains, were also started in 2013 to 2014 apart from increasing the frequency of 4 pairs of trains.

Station Branding: Mumbai Metro e-auctions Naming Rights for 12 Stations on Versova-Ghatkopar stretch

मुंबई Mumbai: Looking beyond traditional sources to raise money and bringing association of advertising-branding with metro projects much closer, Mumbai metro phase one project will be the second urban infrastructure project in the country to use station branding for non-fare box revenue collection. Expected to be soon operational, the phase one line of Mumbai Metro between Versova to Ghatkopar is currently e-auctioning naming rights for 12 of its stations.

Gurgaon Rapid Metro built by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) that started in November 2013 was the first metro project to auction naming rights for four of its station.

At a time when major cities in the country are building metro projects, station branding could fuel the non-tariff revenue generation. Most metro projects in the country are currently built by partnership of state and central government with only few like Hyderabad Metro that have private players (Larsen and Toubro). In a country where populist compulsions demand lower fares, the non-fare box revenue generation becomes crucial for the success of any metro project.

The globally successful station branding strategy, however, has just taken off in the country and metro operators have kept the expectations low. For example, Mumbai Metro phase one project built at a cost of Rs 2,356 with a concession period of 35 years expects only about 5-10% of its revenue to come from non-fare box collection, out of which about 40% is expected to come from advertisements and station naming rights, said a spokesperson for Mumbai metro.

Following the global trend, the contracts are awarded for a minimum of five years which can be further extended by five years. Sources close to the bidding process said the rights were sold at about Rs 2-6 crore for each station for one year and the bidding has got a very good response so far. Under the station branding, the name of the private company will prefix the name of the station and the company would be awarded rights for 13 elements like key areas at the station, pamphlets and brochures, on the website and during announcements.

Similarly, Gurgaon Rapid Metro expects about 10-15% of its overall revenue to come from non-tariff avenues, about 50% of which comes from station branding. The contract period is about 3-5 years and players like Vodafone, Micromax, Airtel and Induslnd Bank have branded the four stations. In the coming years, non-fare box revenue is expected to jump to 30-40% as the ridership and network expands.

There are also players who refuse to toy with the idea. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation touted as most successful example of metro project in the country has abstained from using the concept. With an operational network of 189 km, its skepticism that has held DMRC back. The ‘excess presence’ of private players can undermine the brand of DMRC, said a senior official of DMRC on condition of anonymity. He further argued that the idea was discussed some time ago but was not thought to be viable, along with the proposal of advertising outside the metro coaches.

Despite abstention from station branding, DMRC earns about 65% of its revenue from non-operational activities like consultancy, retail, real estate , advertisements, bank deposits etc.

But the increased reliance on non-fare box revenue generation including station branding is not without its risks and there are precedents of failure too. Delhi Airport Expressline expected about 70% of its revenue to come from real estate and retail development, the expectation failed to materialise and Airport Expressline is currently a loss making entity with a monthly loss of about Rs 4 crore. R-Infra (private partner) exited the first urban infrastructure PPP project in the country citing breach of concessionaire by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

But as the engagement of private players in urban infrastructure increases, the pressure to break even at the earliest and churn profits will only increase the reliance on non-fare box revenues. For example, the upcoming 72 kilometer long Larsen &Toubro Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited project is based on a revenue model of 50% from passenger fares, 45% from property development and 5% from advertisement and other miscellaneous sources. No indication has been given that the project will use station branding.

Globally, governments and metro operators have made much more money through the concept of station branding. Dubai Metro was the first urban public infrastructure project in the world to raise money by selling station naming rights to private players. In the first round held in 2008, it raised about Rs 300 crore after selling station naming rights for 23 of its 47 stations. The model was soon followed by metros in cities like Chicago, Boston, Houston, London, Philadelphia, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro and Rapid Metro Project in Gurgaon.

Competition Commission of India orders Probe into alleged Cable Cartel in NWR bids

मुंबई Mumbai:  Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India is investigating alleged cartelisation by 37 signaling cable manufacturers in the recent tenders floated by North Western Railway, according to documents reviewed.

In a complaint filed with the CCI recently, the Chief Material Manager of North Western Railway had alleged that companies participating in tenders for procurement of signaling cables had acted in concert and quoted higher prices.

Giving orders for a probe, the CCI said, “It is prima facie clear that OPs (opposite parties or bidders) have not quoted exactly similar price in response to any bid but the data provided with the information indicates that there was meeting of minds of the opposite parties while quoting rates in response to different bids.” The CCI’s investigation arm, the Director-General of Investigation, has initiated a probe following this order.

The competition watchdog has also issued notices to all the 37 firms and asked the investigation officer to submit a report within two months.

According to railway officials, RS Lodha Group-owned Vindhya Telelinks, Birla Ericsson Optical, Rajasthan Transformers & Switchgears, Paramount Communication, SPM Power and Telecom, CMI, Continental Telepower, Delhi Telecom and Tirupati Plastomatics are among the 37 companies named in the complaint.

MP Telelinks (now MPI Machines), Vindhya Telelinks and Birla Ericsson Optical did not respond to email queries from ET. Phone calls to the other listed firms on the list remained unanswered.

Railway signaling cables are safety items and essential for gauge conversion, addition of rail lines and other tasks, according to the railways.

“Opposite parties quoted higher rates for railway signaling cable compared to the prevailing market rate, recent accepted rates of other railways and updated rates for each tender based on price variation clause (PVC) in response to various procurement tenders of NWR,” the railway department had said in its complaint.

“This was an indication of absence of competitive bidding and formation of cartel by the OP.”

As per the Competition Act, the maximum penalty for cartelisation is three times a company’s profit or 10% of its turnover, whichever is higher.

The CCI order, referring to a particular tender for procurement of signalling cables for 662 km, said 14 companies participated in the bidding. “All of them quoted higher prices ranging from 8.2% to 8.63% compared to East Coast Railway’s accepted rate in May 2013 and South Central Railway’s accepted rate in April 2013.”

“The basic rate updated in July 2013 was 1.32 lakh per km, whereas the participating firms quoted prices ranging from 1.43 lakh to 1.65 lakh,” the railways alleged.

In its order, the regulator observed, “This behaviour of suppliers was alleged as cartel formation among suppliers who, after arriving at an understanding were trying to obtain higher rates from NWR.”

Trial run of Double-Decker Train conducted between Kacheguda-Tirupati

The trial run was rendered a low-key affair in view of the election code

17KUDSVHI-W131__HY_1850228eकाचीगुड़ा Kacheguda (KCG): A trial run of a double-decker train was conducted between Kacheguda and Tirupati on Thursday.

The train halted at Kurnool City station for a brief while before resuming its journey towards Tirupati.

On the return journey, the train would travel to Kacheguda via Guntur.

MLC M. Sudhakar Babu inspected the train and passenger comforts on board. He got into the train and was seated within for a while.


Meanwhile, the trial run was rendered a low-key affair in view of the election code and Union Minister of State for Railways Kotla Jayasurya Prakasha Reddy hailing from Kurnool.

Railway officials said the train would soon undertake the scheduled journey between Tirupati and Kacheguda. They, however, said they had no information about the timings of the train, the number of bogies or passenger capacity.

Several onlookers also inquired about the number of seats allotted to Kurnool City station. Many inspected the completely air-conditioned train and expressed satisfaction over passenger comforts.

Biweekly service

The interim Railway Budget 2014-15 had provided for a biweekly double-decker express service from Kacheguda. Also, another biweekly double-decker express was also announced between Guntur and Kacheguda.

In Sambhal, what matters more than Polls is a Railway Link

sambhal stnसंभल Sambhal:  If one were to arrive in Sambhal by train, it would seem a frontier town at the edge of the railway network and not in the middle of western Uttar Pradesh.

A train carries people to Moradabad and back once a day. There are no tracks beyond Sambhal. The counter looks unused, children use tracks to play and the station is a temporary shelter for the homeless and cattle.

While there is trepidation about a Narendra Modi-led government among most Muslims in western UP, in Sambhal, the railway station and other infrastructure matter more. They want more trains, better schools, a well-equipped hospital and tarred roads and a propere district headquarters.

“Sambhal once had many trains but now there is only one. This is a business town that depends on movement of goods. Without rail connectivity, we are forced to use road transport,” said Imran Khan, a supplier of the bone and horn handicraft Sambhal is famous for.

Thane Railway Station celebrates 161 years of Service

Thane celebrationsथाने Thane (TNA): Thane Station completed 161 years on Wednesday. Railway officers and station staff celebrated the day with pomp.

Nandkumar Deshmukh, President of the Thane Railway Passenger Association, said, “The first railway line in the countryran between Mumbai and Thane on April 16, 1853, making Thane the oldest railway station in the country. It is of historical value, which is why, celebrating this day is so important.”

Thane celebrations2Kanchan Pingle, 32, a regular commuter on local trains, said, “Thane station having completed 161 years is definitely a big deal, but we still have a lot of complaints about the railway service.

There are issues of security in the ladies’ coach and on platforms, and trains usually running late, among many others. Commuters claim of problems involving of bad hygiene, security and rail accidents.

Deshmukh, when asked about these commuter complaints, said, “We have spoken to the railway department about this.

It is unfair to Thanekars, as Thane is one of the most populated stations in the city. They deserve better infrastructure. We will definitely look into this.”

The Thane Railway Passenger Association has demanded the oldest railway engine to be placed at Thane Station, to highlight the historical value of the station.

Passenger earnings of SR’s Salem Division improves

A7RIWYGA1492सेलम Salem (SA): The annual passenger earnings has increased from Rs. 340 crore in 2012-13 to Rs. 391 crore in 2013-14 and the overall earnings of the Salem Railway Division has improved from Rs.505 crore to Rs.548 crore, Shubhranshu, Divisional Railway Manager, said here on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of 59th Railway Week celebrations, he said that punctuality of running trains have also improved from 92.32 per cent to 93.16 per cent over the last year.

“In operational parameters, the division has showed remarkable improvements”, he added.

Recalling the various passenger amenities improvement in railway stations in the division, including provision of lift facility in Salem, Mr. Shubhranshu said that the four oil-fired steam locomotives for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway were operational and also the doubling of Salem-Mettur sector would be carried out.

A total of 13 shields and 371 medals were presented to officers and employees of various departments for their meritorious service.

Japan Steelmaker Nippon Steel ready to ship World’s Longest Rail Tracks

Japan’s top steelmaker said today it has built a system to make and ship the longest pieces of railway track in the world, extending to 150 metres (492 feet).

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal said its extra-long rails are more durable than shorter ones that need to be welded together and can offer passengers a quieter, more comfortable ride.

The company, the world’s second-largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal, has been making the 150-metre rails since 2002, but had to cut them to 25-metre or 50-metre units in order to send them to customers.

Train operators usually weld them together to recreate longer rails, often stretching to around 200 metres, to improve riding comfort and to reduce noise and oscillation, said Kayo Kikuchi, spokeswoman at the steelmaker.

Welding meant additional cost and maintenance for railway operators, she said.

“There has been the demand for longer rails, which would mean fewer welding points and less maintenance” for train operators, she said.

To transport the extra-long rails within Japan, the company will use special railway units comprising nine cargo cars joined together, she said.

To send them overseas, the firm has built cranes and other facilities to handle the extra long units and to send them on large cargo ships, Kikuchi said.

The company maintains a 60 per cent share of the rail market in Japan.

Its products have also been used by train operators in North America and Russia, as well as to transport minerals such as iron ore in Australia.

Vadodara Division of Western Railway bags Efficiency Shield

वड़ोदरा Vadodara (BRC): The Vadodara division of Western Railway (WR) has bagged four efficiency shields for the year 2013-14.

The shields of general manager are given every year in various categories for outstanding performance by divisions under the Western Railway.

The Vadodara division bagged the shields in commercial, medical, security and energy efficiency categories. The division generated Rs.2,444.32 crore revenue in 2013-14 which was higher by 15.46 per cent compared to the last financial year earning it the commercial shield.

On the energy front the division made a saving of Rs 42.3 lakh. It had earlier bagged the National Energy Conservation Award 2013, for office building and also got a merit certificate in National Energy Conservation Award 2013, for hospital sector category (Pratapnagar Hospital) by the Ministry of Power of the Union government. Improvement in power factor has been achieved upto 0.981 as against 0.979 during the year.

On the security front, the Railway Protection Force post at Vadodara got an ISO certification for quality management system.

The scope of registration is to provide security to railway property and safeguard passengers.

North Central Railway closes 49 LC Gates to check on accidents

अल्लाहाबाद Allahabad (ALD): The north central railway (NCR) closed 49 gates to check the rising number of accidents. Moreover, the construction of 65 railway over/under bridge has been completed in the financial year 2013-14, observed General Manager of NCR Pradeep Kumar while addressing permanent negotiations meetings (PNM) at Subedarganj headquarters.

He also informed that work of installation of automatic signaling on Delhi-Mughalsarai route is also being rapidly executed by the Indian Railways Project Management Unit (IRPMU). The work of automatic signaling between Unchidh and Manda stations has been completed. He also said that for the facilities of the employees, railway residential houses have been constructed at Mirzapur and Firozabad.

For ensuring clean water to the passengers, about 20 chlorination plant have been set up at Allahabad railway station and a tubewell at Kanpur station.

Pradeep Kumar also informed that that for filling vacancies, an indent of about 3,833 posts have been sent to railway recruitment board (RRB) of Allahabad in which 2,645 posts are of safety category. He also informed that the railway recruitment cell (RRC) of north central railway has declared a panel of about 4,356 vacancies for Group D category in the year 2013-14. Out of these, 3,054 candidates have joined the service. Around 628 cases relating to compassionate appointments have also been received in the financial year 2013-14 out of which 545 cases have been resolved. Further action is being taken on the remaining 83 cases.

On the occasion, zonal president and zonal general secretary of NCR mens’ union Shiv Gopal Mishra, RD Yadav and all the heads of departments including chief personnel officer Om Prakash Mishra were present in the meeting.

Trains to be rescheduled due to Signal Work

एर्नाकुलम Ernakulam Town (ERN): In connection with the complete renovation procedures going on at  Ernakulam Town Railway Station, some trains have been partially or fully cancelled from April 17.

As the work will continue till April 29, the regulations will be effective  till then. As per the release issued by the Southern Railways, they were  forced to impose traffic regulations as the track and signal system have to be subjected to complete renovation at Ernakulam Town station and on tracks leading to Kottayam direction.

The full cancellation is imposed on following trains:

■ Train No 56387  Ernakulam – Kayankulam Passenger via Kottayam leaving Ernakulam at 11.45 am     and its return trip from Kayankulam at 4.40 pm will remain cancelled from April 24 to 29

■ Train No 66307, Ernakulam – Kollam MEMU service via Kottayam leaving  Ernakulam at 5.15 am and its return trip from Kollam at 11.15 am will remain cancelled from April 24 to 29

■ Train No 56379, Ernakulam Junction – Alappuzha Passenger leaving Ernakulam  Junction at 7.30 am will remain cancelled on April 20

■ Train No 56381 Ernakulam – Kayankulam Passenger via Alappuzha leaving Ernakulam at 10 am  and its return trip from Kayankulam at 1 pm will also remain cancelled on April 20

■ Train No 56384, Ernakulam -Kottayam Passenger from Ernakulam at 7.25 pm will remain cancelled on April 20.

■ Train No 56385, Ernakulam -Alappuzha passenger leaving Ernakulam  at 7.30 am will remain cancelled on April 24.

■  Train No 56390 Kottayam Ernakulam Passenger leaving Kottayam at 5.15 pm   will be cancelled on April 24

■  Train No 56386, Kottayam – Ernakulam Passenger leaving Kottayam at 5.15 am  will remain cancelled on  April 24

■ The partial cancellation is applicable to following trains. This include Train No 56365/56366, fast passenger service between Guruvayur and Punalur, which will be partially cancelled between Edappally and Punalur on April 20 and 24.(Sunday and Thursday). Some trains will also operate from Edappally station.

Trains Operating from Edappally

■  Train No 66611 /66612 MEMU service between Ernakulam – Palakkad section will be starting and terminating at Edappally station on April 24 (Thursday)

■ Train No 56607 Shoranur – Ernakulam Passenger leaving for Shoranur at 4.50am on April 20 (Sunday)

■  Train No 56371 Guruvayur – Ernakulam Jn passenger leaving for Guruvayur at 6.45 v hrs from April 24

■  Train No 12618 Nizamuddin – Ernakulam Mangla Express reaching Ernakulam on April 20 will be terminated at Edappally station

Trains Operating from Tripunithura

■  Train No 66300 MEMU service from Kollam to Ernakulam Jn via Kottayam leaving Kollam at 10.05 am hours and its return from Ernakulam at 2.50 pm will be operated from Tripunithura from April 24 to 29.

■  Train No 56392 Kollam – Ernakulam Passenger Via Kottayam leaving Kollam at 4.20 am will be terminated at Tripunithura from April 24 to 29.

■  Train No 16303/16304 Vanchinad Express between Thiruvananthapuram – Ernakulam will also be operated from Tripunithura from April 24 to 29 (Thursday to Tuesday).

Trains Operating from Ernakulam Town

■ Train No 56363 Nilambur -Ernakulam Passenger will be terminated at Ernakulam Town

■ Train No 56386 Kottayam – Ernakulam Passenger leaving Kottayam at 5.15 am will be operated from Ernakulam Town from April 24 to 29 (Thursday to Tuesday)

■ Train No 56362, Ernakulam Junction- Nilambur road passenger will be operated from Town Station on April 20  will also be operated from Ernakulam North Station

■  Train No 56391, Ernakulam – Kollam Passenger via Kottayam leaving Ernakulam at 6 pm will also be operated from Ernakulam North Station from April 24 to 29

■  Train No 56385 Ernakulam Junction – Kottayam Passenger leaving Ernakulam Jn at 7.30 am will also be operated from Ernakulam North Station from April 24 to 29

■  Train No 56389, Ernakulam -Kottayam Passenger leaving Ernakulam at 8.05 pm will also be operated from Ernakulam North Station from April 24 to 29

 ■  Train No 16305/16306 Intercity Express between Ernakulam – Kannur will also be operated from Ernakulam North Station from April 24 to 29

■  Train No 16187/16188 Express train between Ernakulam – Karikkal will also be operated from Ernakulam North Station from April 24 to 29 .

Kolkata Metro celebrates 59th Railway Week Celebrations

3METRO IMG_9069 कोलकत्ता Kolkata (KOAA): The 59th Railway Week 2014 was celebrated by Metro Railway, Kolkata this afternoon at Rotary Sadan.  Addressing a large gathering of staff, officers and their family members, Rajeev Bhargava, General Manager said that with the sincere and dedicated effort of Metro staff and officers, Metro Railway achieved the unprecedented success in the year 2013-14.

Metro Railway has carried 19.53 crore passengers which is 3.69% higher in comparison to last year’s 18.83 crore and the punctuality & reliability have also made a mark with 99.66% during the year.
1Metro IMG_9109On the safety front a very bold step has been taken as each coach of Metro Railway has been provided with fire extinguishers.  The TPWS (Train Protection Warning System) has already been commissioned in all 13 AC rakes. Recently, Cab radios have been commissioned in all the 13 AC rakes.  The motormen and Shunters have been provided with GSMR SIM and Airtel SIM to enable them to keep close liaison among themselves for better operation of the Metro system.


Bhargava also informed that Metro Railway has plans to provide lift at 4 Metro stations i.e. Dum Dum, Shyam Bazar, Esplanade & Mahanayak Uttam Kumar to extend benefit to physically challenged people in particular and others in general.  5 stations have been taken for provision of escalator and these stations are Belgachia, Maidan, Jatin Das Park, Kalighat and Rabindra Sarobar. On this occasion, the General Manager honoured the selected band of sincere and dedicated Staff & officers who have rendered their meritorious services to the Railways.

He also distributed cash award, medals and certificates of merits to the employees of Metro Railway for their devotion to duty and services.

115 individual awards and 124 Group Awards were distributed by the General Manager on this occasion.  Kalighat Metro station was given the Best Maintained Station in the Metro system.

Red Hat ‘Innovation Award’ for Centre for Railway Information Systems

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Red Hat Inc the provider of open source solutions, has announced at the eighth annual Red Hat Innovation Awards that the Centre for Railway Information Systems is the winner in the Infrastructure category.

The awards program recognizes customers, partners and communities for their outstanding use, innovation, and extension of Red Hat technology.

The panel of experts included Lee Congdon, CIO, Red Hat; Ashesh Badani, Vice President and General Manager, OpenShift, Red Hat; Carl Lehmann, Research Manager, Enterprise Architecture, Integration & Business Process Management, 451 Research; Laurent Lachal, Cloud Computing Research Lead, Ovum; Sean Michael Kerner, Senior Editor, eWEEK; and Fredric Paul, Blogger for Network World and contributor to CIO, IT World, InfoWorld, and other publications.

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) runs a journey planning application that is integrated with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporate (IRCTC)’s online internet ticketing system of Indian Railways. The current system serves travelers across the entire nation and with increasing site traffic, data processing challenges, such as a slow and often unresponsive booking system during peak times, were expected.

CRIS turned to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform for reliability and scalability. Now, the internet ticketing system, along with enhancements to CRIS’ application, has reduced transaction response times and has processed a record high of more than 65,000 tickets during peak hours, noted a Red Hat release.

CRIS works with the Indian Railways to conceive prudent technology strategies and build new services in today’s dynamic digital environment.

The organization’s approach focuses on new ways of conducting business by combining IT innovation and adoption, while leveraging an organization’s current IT assets.

It is an autonomous organization that also provides IT applications for non-Railway Government and Public Sector organizations, the release added.

2 killed, 3 injured as lorry overturns at Hyderabad Metro Rail site

मलकपेट Malakpet (MXT): Two labourers working at a site of the ongoing Hyderabad Metro Rail project here were killed and three others injured when a cement container lorry overturned in the early hours today, police said.

The accident occurred at around 3.15 AM when the lorry from Guntur district rammed into barricades on the road near the site in Malakpet area and fell into the pit dug up for construction of metro rail piers, they said.  At least ten labourers who were working at the site and six who came above the pit for drinking water had a lucky escape when the mishap occurred.

However, the two workers who were crushed under the vehicle died instantaneously when it fell on them while two other labourers and the lorry driver suffered injuries in the mishap, a senior police official said.  The deceased were identified as M Ansari and Babulal Yadav, both belonging to Jharkhand state, police said adding it is suspected that driver’s negligence led to the accident. Construction major L&T is implementing the elevated Metro Rail Project spanning 72-kms in the city.
17br60g  17br60e 17br60d 17br60c 17br60b 17br60a17br60i17br60f


Madurai Division celebrates 59th Railway Week

MADURAI 59 RLY WEEK CELमदुरै Madurai (MDU): Madurai Division of Southern Railway organised 59th Railway Week celebrations recently.

Divisional Railway Manager A.K. Rastogi highlighted the activities carried out by the Madurai division last year. He presented cash awards and merit certificates to 315 employees for their meritorious service. Special cash awards were given to Tuticorin, Rajapalayam, Nazareth and Ambasamudram stations for best maintenance. The ‘Best Kept Office’ award was given to Transportation Branch, Madurai.

The division had completed passenger amenity works at an estimated cost of Rs. 6.37 crore last year, he added.

Madurai division won the awards for medical efficiency and commercial publicity, both along with Chennai division.

The division also won the General Manager’s inter-divisional overall efficiency award at the railway week celebrations of April 11 in Chennai, he further said.

Students of Southern Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation School and Railway Mixed Higher Secondary School staged cultural programmes.

CONCOR Chairman Anil Gupta bags the 5th Dalal Street award

Anil-K-Gupta-CONCORमुंबई Mumbai: Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) Chairman and Managing Director Anil K Gupta received the Dalal Street Investment Journal 5th PSU award for ‘Most Efficient Non-Manufacturing Miniratna’ of the year from T K A Nair, Adviser of PM.

Inspite of dampening economic scenario, it gives me pleasure to share with you that CONCOR continues to be the best performer in the industry in approximately all the key parameters and we are consistently moving forward towards greater heights.
concor dalal street award

LMRC Loan: Sreedharan observe AFD’s FIDIC conditions lead to International Arbitrations, escalate Costs

Agence Francaise de Developpement not a right choice for funding a giant project like Lucknow Metro: Sreedharan


लखनऊ Lucknow (LKO): Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation’s (LMRC) much-publicised ‘positive talks’ with Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) for funding the city’s metro rail project may not hold much meaning as LMRC’s principal advisor E Sreedharan isn’t in favour of raising a loan through the French bank.

In a communication to LMRC on April 7, the ‘Metro Man’ categorically stated he would not suggest an AFD loan. “I am not very enthusiastic about AFD loan as it insists on FIDIC contract conditions which don’t suit the Indian situations and would lead to international arbitrations hiking the cost of the project,” the letter states.

FIDIC is the French acronym for International Federation of Consulting Engineers, an international standards organization for the construction industry.

The letter further states, “AFD also insists on clearances at every stage of the process which is very time-consuming and would delay the project tremendously.”

The currency exchange fluctuations are to be borne by the LMRC. If impact of these has to be taken into consideration, raising loan from other sources like Japan International Cooperation Agency would be very beneficial, Sreedharan emphasizes. AFD is known for funding small metro projects like those of Kochi and Jaipur.

Madhukar Jetley, Advisor, externally aided projects department said, “Lucknow’s metro is a large-scale project which would run up to 150km throughout the length and breadth of the city. The two corridors from Amausi Airport to Munshipulia Chouraha and from Vasantkunj to Charbagh Railway Station would together comprise 35 kms. The project can’t be compared to 15-20 km projects in other cities.” He added AFD had never been the sole funder of an extensive metro project in India and can’t be considered.

On the other hand, JICA carries expertise in extending full loan amount to mega metro projects of the country like Delhi, Chennai, Bombay and Bangalore etc. “Raising complete loan from a single agency is always convenient rather than borrowing money from multiple agencies. This makes the process complicated as the government has to follow conditions of different banks. Since Sreedharan is also recommending JICA, there are major chances of procuring loan from it”, he said.

Final Safety Inspection of 11.4 Km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor to strat from Friday

MMOPL had applied to the Commissioner, Metro Rail Safety for ‘Safety Certification’ on April 4

The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) will visit Mumbai Friday to start inspection of the city’s first Metro, the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar line, to determine if the corridor has complied with all technical rules and regulations and is safe for public use.

This will be the last step of the safety certification process for the Metro corridor. Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), the Reliance Infra-led consortium in charge of the Metro on a public private partnership basis, had applied to the CMRS for safety certification on April 4, after receiving a requisite approval from the Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO).

“On being satisfied with the detailed tests and trials, the CMRS will authorise MMOPL to commence passenger operations on the line.

Thereafter, the MMOPL has to approach the Ministry of Railways for declaring the line open for public carriage,” said a spokesperson of the MMOPL, which is a consortium of Reliance Infrastructure, Veolia Transport and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). “We are fully geared up for the inspection and expect that it will be smooth and the line will be opened soon,” he added.

The CMRS check is the last statutory certification requirement before the Metro line is opened for commuters. The Metro has already got approval of the Research, Design and Standards Organisation which works under the Railway Ministry, to approve standards and designs for both Indian Railways and Metro projects.  RDSO after various trials of inspections had issued its speed certificate for the 11.4-km Metro corridor on April 2 after completing its scrutiny in February.

Maoists blast railway track in Jharkhand

Jogeshwar Bihar (JGBR):  Maoist guerrillas blasted a railway track in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district early Thursday, police said. The Maoists destroyed a 1.5 meter long stretch of the track between Dhanichha and Jogeshwar Bihar station, affecting services of six trains, officials said. Officials said the services will be restored by the afternoon. Polling is taking place in six Lok Sabha seats of Jharkhand.

No Rain Water Harvesting System implemented in Station areas: NR in reply to RTI Query

RTI Activist Tongad says there was a rule in Delhi that ‘if any agency was discharging huge quantities of used water daily, it has to recycle the same but the Railways was not doing so’

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  The extensive Delhi zone of the Indian Railways, it seems, is still dependent on tubewells for its whooping water demands running into lakhs of litres and has declared that there is no Rain Water Harvesting Systems (RWHS) set up at its stations and colonies as on date.

In an RTI reply, the Railways has stated that 14,45,500 litres of water was consumed daily in its eight colonies in Delhi for domestic purposes and also for cleaning trains. All this water was drawn from tubewells .

The reply was filed to an RTI query by environment activist Vikrant Tongad, who has been pursuing the issue of depleting ground water and the failure of various government bodies in setting up RWHS.

Mr.Tongad had last year sought information on whether there were any RWHS at any of the Delhi railway stations and the source of water used there.

The Railways in its delayed reply has said the 14.45 lakh litres of water comes from 15 tubewells – one in Hazrat Nizammudin Railway Colony, four in Lajpat Nagar Railway Colony, one in Gulabi Bagh, three in Sewa Nagar, one in Lodhi Colony and five in Sarojini Nagar Colony.  Only Gulabi Bagh Railway Colony has a RWHS.

In another reply, the Railways said four RWHS were present in four railway colonies, including Moti Bagh, Panchkuian Road and Tughlakabad, but there was no data on the quantity of rain water collected.

In these colonies, 37 tubewells were also used to meet a daily water requirement of 31.79 lakh litres.

The reply also shows that the Railways does not have any policy on rain water harvesting.

Mr. Tongad said that “despite such huge stations, especially the New Delhi Railway station which is also the headquarters of the northernmost range of the Indian Railways, no space was being used for rain water harvesting.”

He said there was a rule in Delhi that if any agency was discharging huge quantities of used water daily, it has to recycle the same but the Railways was not doing so.

He also said, “rain water can be collected in storage tanks at stations but it should not be sent directly through the recharge pipes into the ground as our stations were dirty and any rain water sent directly into the ground would pollute the groundwater”.

Mr. Tongad said he has also filed a complaint before the Central Information Commission against the Railways for furnishing a delayed and unsatisfactory reply to his RTI application.

  • Delhi zone is still dependent on tubewells for its water demands running into lakhs of litres
  • An RTI query reply reveals that the Railways do not have any policy on rain water harvesting

NR to set up CCTV Surveillance System at 20 Major Railway Stations

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: The Northern Railway has provided CCTV surveillance system at 20 important stations, including New Delhi, Nizamuddin and Old Delhi railway stations in the national capital, in a bid to boost security arrangements.

The CCTV cameras have been installed at platforms and circulating area and their footage is manned by security personnel round the clock.

The surveillance cameras help provide security to passengers, said a senior Northern Railway official.

He said the recordings were stored digitally for future analysis.

The access to the footage of the surveillance cameras has also been extended to passenger reservation system (PRS) centres to keep a vigil on activities of unauthorised personnel in the ticketing areas.

The Northern Railway is reportedly planning to introduce the surveillance system to other major stations in a phased manner.

Delhi Metro: Hyundai Rotem place sub-contract for delivery of Gear Units, Parts on M/s Voith

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: German machinery company Voith will deliver gear units and components for 81 vehicles of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) by 2018 as per a contract with Korean Vehicle manufacturer Hyundai Rotem.

The Korean vehicle manufacturer Hyundai Rotem has placed another major order with Voith for the extension of the metro in Delhi, the company said in a statement today.

Until 2018, Voith will deliver 162 automatic and 162 intermediate automatic Scharfenberg couplers for the 81 vehicles of Line 10 of DMRC, it said.

The delivery scope also includes 648 semi-permanent couplers and 1,296 SE-347 gear units, all of which will be manufactured in India at the Voith location in Hyderabad, the statement said.

“Production will start in autumn 2014, delivery will take place from 2015 to 2018,” the company said.

Voith said it has been “a part of Delhi Metro’s development right from the start” and the first metro train has already been fitted with its gear units and Scharfenberg couplers.

The route network of the Delhi metro covers about 190 kilometres and the trains run at every two-and-a-half minute intervals, it said.

The major reasons behind the new order were the Voith know-how in equipping metro vehicles all over the globe and the previous experiences of DMRC with Voith, the statement said.

Besides it said the company has the ability to manufacture products in India and thus increase the share of locally produced components in the trains.

Due to the high value creation, Voith will gain a deeper footprint in India as a local company, strengthen its market position and expand it further, it said.

So far, Voith has delivered more than 320 semi-permanent couplers and over 668 automatic couplers type 330, as well as about 1,200 gear units and 350 complete wheel-sets for DMRC, it added.

Voith has been producing semi-permanent couplers for the Indian market at its site in Hyderabad from as early as 2012.

From May this year, Line 9 of DMRC in Delhi will also receive 184 complete wheel-sets with SE-344 gear units.

The number of passengers using the metro on a daily basis is anticipated to double to four million by 2016. The new ultramodern trains are part of one of Asia’s most recent public transport systems and cover about 69,000 kilometers every day.

About Voith Turbo

Voith Turbo, a group division of Voith GmbH, is a specialist for intelligent drive solutions. Customers from highly diverse industries such as oil and gas, energy, mining and metal processing, ship technology, rail and commercial vehicles rely on advanced technologies from Voith Turbo.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil and gas, paper, raw materials and transportation and automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 43 000 people, generates €5.7 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.

HCC informs BSE of Rs.300 Cr contract for Dwarka-Najafgarh twin tunnel project from DMRC

Hindustan Construction Company has been awarded a Rs 300 crore contract by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC). This contract is for design and construction of 1.54 km long twin tunnel on Dwarka-Najafgarh metro corridor of phase Ill of Delhi Metro


Mumbai:  Hindustan Construction Company Ltd has informed BSE that the Company has been awarded a Rs.300 crore contract by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC). This contract is for design and construction of 1.54 km long twin tunnel on Dwarka-Najafgarh metro corridor of phase Ill of Delhi Metro. This is the third contract for underground metro received by HCC since October 2012 under the phase Ill development of Delhi Metro aggregating Rs.1539 crore.

The construction work would be completed in 36 months.In this regard, the Company has issued a Press Release dated April 16, 2014 titled “HCC awarded Rs.300 crore DMRC Contract”.

This contract is for design and construction of 1.54 km long twin tunnel on Dwarka-Najafgarh metro corridor of phase Ill of Delhi Metro. The twin tunnels will be constructed using shield tunnel boring machine.

The contract also includes construction of one of the biggest underground station namely Municipal Corporation which is 290 meters long and 30 meters in width. The station will be built at depth of 18 meters. The construction work would be completed in 36 months.

On winning contract, Arun Karambeklar, president and whole time director, HCC said,’ HCC has been undertaking challenging assignments in underground metro development and repeat order from DMRC reflects our ability to execute complex assignments. Last month HCC completed (Q,N,C,F)* the ‘up-line tunnel’ of CC30 package well ahead of all peers working on phase III development.’

Shares of the company declined Rs 0.75, or 3.99%, to settle at Rs 18.05. The total volume of shares traded was 1,012,400 at the BSE (Wednesday).(Source: BSE).

Kochi Metro: Board of Directors’ meeting on 2nd May

Kochi: The Board of Directors of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will meet on May 2 at the KMRL office. It is after a short break owing to the Lok Sabha elections that the Board members are meeting.

The meeting is expected to discuss key issues related to Kochi Metro rail construction including the delay in land acquisition for the Metro Rail, the re-tendering of coaches and the construction at the fourth reach of the project between Vyttila and Tripunithura Petta.

Earlier, E.Sreedharan, the Principal Adviser of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), had expressed his dissatisfaction over the slow progress of land acquisition. He had also said that the re-tendering of coaches will further affect the project deadline. The construction at the third reach, from Ernakulam South to Vyttila, is progressing on a slow pace while the land acquisition between Vyttila and Tripunithura Petta stretch is yet to be initiated.

As the Government officials were busy with the election arrangements, no major steps in connection with the land acquisition were initiated in the last one-and-a-half month.

Texmaco Rail board plans business expansion

मुंबई Mumbai:  The board of directors of Texmaco Rail & Engineering on Tuesday approved the formation of a Committee of Directors to explore and evaluate various organic and inorganic options available for expanding the product portfolio and businesses of the company.

The committee, which consists of three independent directors and one executive director, would also ensure the most efficient and cost-effective operations of the company.

The stock gained 2.5 per cent at ₹58.5 on the BSE.

Rail projects implemented by Mamata stalled due to shoddy planning: Adhir

Senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee maintained it was Adhir who was responsible for the railway projects that were halted after announcement

adhir-mकोलकत्ता Kolkata (KOAA):  Minister of State for Railways Mr. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday said he has chalked out a list of 21 Bengal-oriented projects that were announced by the then rail minister Mamata Banerjee, but were subsequently stalled due to shoddy planning. “These were announcements for the sake of announcements. The paraphernalia which was supposed to be taken into consideration, had not been complied with.

“As a result, scores of rail projects were announced to earn kudos for Mamata and her ministers had been alleging that her initiatives were stalled by the Centre. We have been gathering evidence against those claims that are available through RTI,” he said and added Mamata used the rail ministry to increase her vote bank. “I can’t say I am washing my hands off her reckless projects worth Rs 4.5 lakh crore, but they are not viable,” he said.

“There was a time when Mamata clamoured for free and fair elections. Now she is afraid of it,” he added. As the fifth phase of polls begin Thursday, Chowdhury said they anticipated violence from TMC. “There would be central forces at the booths but at the village- level, TMC has terrorised people and the CM herself has gone on record saying the SPs and DM who the people were afraid of and had been removed by the Election Commission, would be sent back to their respective places after elections,” he said.

Senior TMC leader Partha Chatterjee, however, maintained it was Adhir who was responsible for the railway projects that was halted after announcement. “Mamata Banerjee, during her tenure had initiated a number of projects for the state and after Adhir became the rail minister, he had stalled them,” he said.

Move to capture Address Database of Passengers on CR/WR hits a Roadblock

मुंबई Mumbai: The plan to create a massive database of Mumbaikars by collecting addresses of suburban railway pass-holders has hit a hurdle. The initiative was aimed at helping security agencies prevent crime.

While the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) — the railways’ top information technology agency — has finished creating the mechanism that will allow suburban booking terminals to include the pass-holder’s address as one component, railway officials said nothing can be done for the Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs).

While the role of ATVMs in dispensing passes is not very significant either on Central or on Western railway, officials said the fact that the railway board wants ATVMs to take over ticket dispensing in a big way in Mumbai could create a problem in the near future. Currently, around 5 per cent of all tickets on Western Railway’s suburban system and 19 per cent on Central Railway is dispensed through ATVMs. The number of passes is still lesser, said officials.

However, in the coming few months, while CR will be adding 400 ATVMs to its existing set-up of 300 ATVMs, WR will purchase 490 ATVMs to add to its 80 ATVMs on line.

“It’s a good system that the Allahabad high court has suggested and we should be following it completely. So, CRIS should tackle this issue as quickly as possible because in the next few months the usage of ATVMs will go up. And a small hitch should not allow a good recommendation to go waste,” said an official.

A CRIS official said that so far the organisation has not got any intimation from railways to configure ATVMs to take in addresses while issuing passes, but he added that if need be, they would work out a solution.

As reported earlier, these developments have happened after the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court had asked the railway board to get all its zones to add address, name, gender, age of pass-holders to its computer database and to share them with security agencies like the railway police and the Railway Protection Force.

CR, WR to provide plastic pouches for Commuter IDs

More than 50 per cent of the 70 lakh commuters on Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) are season pass holders

To prevent railway identity cards of season pass holders from being damaged, the Railways will soon provide a plastic pouch to commuters, as per the latest directive issued to the suburban railway administration. The plastic covers will be provided to commuters purchasing new season tickets along with the identity card for free, said a senior railway official.

More than 50 per cent of the 70 lakh commuters on Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (CR) are season pass holders. “The division has been directed to procure and provide plastic pouches to commuters,” said a senior railway officer.

Also, to avoid initial confusion among commuters following a recent High Court directive on maintaining the address of passengers, the Central Railway, as an interim measure, plans to provide forms at booking counters for season pass holders to self declare their address.

Madurai Division records growth in overall earnings

मदुरै Madurai (MDU):  The Madurai railway division has bagged the inter-divisional overall efficiency – Best Division – award for its performance and earnings in the last financial year. Subsequently, the revenue of the division has also shot up during that period.

Delivering his address at 59th Railway Week Celebrations on Wednesday, DRM A K Rastogi announced that the division recorded a growth of 10% in overall earnings and 15% in passenger earnings as compared to the previous fiscal. The total originating earnings for the year 2013-14 is Rs 576.29 crore as against the 2012-13 actual of Rs 523.68 crore. The passenger earning was Rs 389.98 crore as against Rs 338.70 crore for the previous year. Following the strict action taken against passengers travelling without proper tickets, the division has realised Rs 2.84 crore in ticket checking earnings. The commercial publicity earnings accounted to Rs 3.94 crore showing a 13% increase over the last year, Rastogi said.

With the intention to provide more passenger facilities for the rising passenger numbers, the division has completed amenity work estimated at Rs 6.37 crore during last year. On the punctuality front, the division achieved 96.2% for express and mail trains and 96.8% for passenger trains against the target of 96 per cent. “This was possible because of the hard work and outstanding contribution by the running staff and better maintenance of track and other infrastructure by our staff,” he said. The division also managed to introduce new trains including the Palani – Chennai Central Express, Manamadurai – Chennai Egmore Silambu Express, Tuticorin – Chennai Egmore Link Express,

Rameswaram – Coimbatore Weekly Express, Puducherry – Kanyakumari Weekly Express,

Palani- Tiruchendur passenger, Tirunelveli – Shencottah passenger, Punalur – Guruvayur passenger and Tirunelveli – Kanyakumari passenger. Several trains were also extended to various parts of the division, while some of the trains’ frequency was increased during the last financial year .
Several special trains were also operated for clearing the extra rush besides augmentation of coaches in regular trains, the DRM announced. Cash awards and merit certificates were distributed to officers and stations for their performance and maintenance. Railway school students performed cultural events during the celebrations.

SER Central Hospital observes its 51st Foundation Day

गार्डेन रीच Garden Reach (GRC): South Eastern Railway (SER) Central Hospital, Garden Reach observed its 51st Foundation Day on April 16 at the hospital auditorium.

The Hospital was founded in 1963 by Shahnawaz Khan, the then deputy minister for railways. Now it is a 303-bedded  tertiary care hospital serving the entire SER zone and its neighbouring zonal railways. Dr A Ray, chief medical director, S ER was the chief guest on the occasion. In his address, Dr Ray recollected the memories of various famous doctors of this city who started their career in this hospital.

Dr A P Patnaik, medical director welcomed the distinguished guests present on the occasion and appealed to the doctors and para-medical staff to take all necessary steps to achieve total satisfaction of the patients. Dr Rupa Mitra, chief gynaecologist delivered the vote of thanks.

Wagon manufacturer ‘Cimmco’ plans to trim its debt and diversify operations

कोलकत्ता Kolkata (KOAA): Railway wagon maker Cimmco Ltd plans to trim its debt and diversify to improve its balance sheet in 2014-15.

“For Cimmco, we have a three-pronged strategy. The first was to increase our ownership,” Umesh Chowdhary, vice-chairman and managing director of the Titagarh group, which owns a majority stake in Cimmco, today told.

Titagarh Wagons Ltd (TWL) has recently increased its shareholding to 99 per cent from 50 per cent in a special purpose vehicle — Cimmco Equity Holding Private Ltd (CEHPL) — which was floated jointly with the original promoters SK Birla Group in 2010. CEHPL holds 74.66 per cent in Cimmco.

This indirect acquisition by TWL has triggered a mandatory open offer to public shareholders for the remaining 25.08 per cent at Rs 15.50 per share.

Company sources said if CEHPL’s stake after the offer was more than the maximum permissible limit of 75 per cent, it would get 12 months to reduce the shareholding. The management, however, is not in favour of taking recourse to the other option of delisting Cimmco.

“Secondly, we plan to cut down Cimmco’s debt. We are expecting the company to be a debt-free by the end of this fiscal (2014-15),” Chowdhary said.

Cimmco had a long-term debt of around Rs 30 crore at the end of December 2013. TWL has planned to infuse Rs 50 crore by subscribing to non-cumulative preference shares, which has been approved by the board of both the companies. “This infusion would partly help to retire existing debts.”

The final strategy was to increase Cimmco’s business scope through diversification. Titagarh Wagons plans to utilise Cimmco’s plant at Bharatpur, Rajasthan, to start manufacturing tractors by the end of this year.

“We want to fully sweat our assets. There is a synergy in the two businesses and there is growth potential in tractor manufacturing. The location of the plant also offers an advantage in terms of the demand for such products,” Chowdhary said.

Cimmco had reported a net loss of 12.44 crore for the April-December period of 2013-14 on account of delayed wagon orders.

Cimmco had primarily been since 1957 in the business of Railway Wagons and Heavy Engineering Projects / Products at Bharatpur (Rajasthan)

The Company is a Public Limited company in Private Sector having installed capacity for manufacturing of wagons, coaches, underframe 2240 Vehicular Units (VUs) and Industrial Machinery 14200 MT per annum and comes under a large Industrial Unit.

The use of finished products like wagon is made for transportation of freight traffic by Indian Railways across India and close circuit transportation by some Industrial users like Thermal Power Projects. So far as Industrial Machinery is concerned it caters to Greenfield projects as well as replacement requirements in various Industrial segments viz. Cement plant, Fertiliser plant, Chemical plant, Steel plant etc

Manufacturing Facility

Manufacturing activities broadly categorised under –

  • Wagon Manufacturing
  • Engineering & Projects Divisions (EPD)
  • Hydro Mechanical Division
  • Specialized Products

Titagarh Wagons makes open offer for Cimmco

कोलकत्ता Kolkata (KOAA): Kolkata-based railway wagons manufacturer Titagarh Wagons Ltd has launched a mandatory open offer to buy up to 25.08 per cent equity stake in Cimmco Limited (previously Cimmco Birla) from the public shareholders of the company, according to a stock market disclosure. The open offer has been triggered by an indirect acquisition of majority stake in Cimmco.

Titagarh Wagons has made an offer to buy 5,053,181 equity shares representing 25.08 per cent stake or all public shareholders of Cimmco at a price of Rs 15.5 per share, which will value the transaction at around Rs 7.83 crore ($1.3 million), if fully subscribed.

Shares of Cimmco last traded at Rs 17.64 a unit, up 5 per cent and hitting the upper circuit for the day on the BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Wednesday. The share price has swung sharply over the last one year, more than halving from Rs 25 a share in May 2013 to Rs 10.95 a share in October 2013. It shot up again to Rs 20.95 a share in January only to decline to Rs 13.5 a share last month. It has climbed since then.

If fully subscribed, Titagarh will delist Cimmco. However, the open offer price is less than the current market price and could make the offer void.

Titagarh held 500,000 equity shares or 50 per cent in Cimmco Equity Holdings Private Limited (CEHPL), which in turn owns 74.76 per cent equity holding in Cimmco Limited. The wagons maker also held 64,000,000 Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures in CEHPL, which got converted in to 64,000,000 equity shares, the disclosure showed.

Post conversion, Titagarh Wagons’ shareholding in CEHPL increased to 99.23 per cent stake which makes it an indirect owner of over 74 per cent of public listed Cimmco.

VC Corporate Advisors Pvt Ltd is acting as a manager to the open offer.

Cimmco is into wagon manufacturing and heavy engineering projects /products with its plant located at Bharatpur (Rajasthan). It ended FY13 with revenues of Rs 100.3 crore with net loss of Rs 10 crore.

PE-backed Titagarh Wagons had become a co-promoter in debt-laden Cimmco in early 2010 through capital infusion and providing management support to the company, after the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction approved the rehabilitation scheme for the sick company on March 13, 2010.

Founded in 1997, Titagarh Wagons is engaged in the business of manufacturing of railway wagons, bailey bridges, heavy earth moving and mining equipment etc. It had previously raised PE funding from 2i Capital, ChrysCapital, GE Capital and JP Morgan Partners. The firm went public in 2007.

Thane Railway Station to complete 161 Years

थाने Thane (TNA):  Thane station will complete 161 years of its glorious existence on Wednesday, April 16, and will enter into its 162nd year. On this day in 1853, the first train ran from Boribundar to Thane. Ever since, Thane has evolved to become one of the most crowded stations on the Mumbai suburban network. The station is also termed as one of the busiest along the suburban network.

Over the years, the station has witnessed a lot of change both commuter wise as well as look wise. When it began, the station barely witnessed many people, but today, at any given time, the station is flocked with lakhs of commuters. On a daily basis, the station witnesses nearly 7 lakh commuters and generates an income of Rs 40 lakh.

On Wednesday, the station will enter its 162nd year but no grand celebration is on the cards as the election model code of conduct is in place. ”With the election model code of conduct in place, we cannot have any celebration. But there will be a cake cutting ceremony,” said station manager S B Mahidhar. Representatives of the Rail Pravashi Sangh will join in the ceremony.

thaneIt is a very special day in the history of the Indian railway network. Thane was the end point for the first rail road along the Mumbai-Thane route, which has expanded over the years.

“I am proud to be a commuter of this historic station. The station has developed by leaps and bounds over the years,” said Anil Gharat, a daily commuter and a resident of Thane.

The station has witnessed some major developments like the construction of the Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme (SATIS), escalators, spacious foot overbridges, more number of ticket windows, ATVMs, etc.

The station also secured prominence for initiating the trans-Harbour train corridor to cater to the demands of lakhs of commuters travelling between the lake city and Navi Mumbai.

Assam: Kamakhya-Dimapur BG Express derails, over 50 hurt

Assam_train_derails_360Morigaon: Ten coaches of the 15666 BG Express derailed at Ajuri station near Morigaon in central Assam early Wednesday, injuring over 50 passengers, police said.

The three coaches of the Dimapur-Kamakhya train jumped tracks, but toppled down near Jagiroad in Morigaon district at 2:05 am, they said.

Seventeen passengers were seriously injured and shifted to the Gawahati Medical College Hospital, police said.

16lead1Rest of the passengers were reported to have received minor injuries and were released after receiving first aid in Morigaon Civil Hospital, Northeast Frontier Railway sources said.

Senior railway officials have rushed to the site and rescue operations are on.

Helpline phone numbers have been activated: Dimapur 03862-228404, Lumding 03674-264848/49/50 and Guwahati 0361-2731621/22/23

DMRC to get Delhi Police Booth at every Metro station

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Following the rapidly rising crime graph of the Delhi Metro stations, the city police has decided to open police booths at every Metro station in the capital. The Delhi Metro has witnessed 806 criminal cases like theft and pick-pocketing inside the trains and stations until April 10. The figure for last year during the same period was just 140.

According to police officials, the Delhi Police recently approached the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) recommending police booths be set up at 49 stations. The recommendation has been accepted and the DMRC is ready to set up designated booths for the police.

“The presence of a police booth at Metro stations will work as a deterrent. It will help check crime inside the Metro and its premises,” said M.K. Meena, joint commissioner of police.

“Though we have recommended 49 locations, the idea is to cover every Metro station,” Meena said.

The 129 stations host around 25 lakh commuters in the capital each day.

At the moment, there are eight Metro police stations with a total strength of 209 police personnel.

According to the official, the stations which see a ridership of more than 25,000 per day, or are on the borders of Delhi, have been given priority. A few stations which come under this category are Kashmere Gate, Mandi House, Anand Vihar, New Ashok Nagar and Jahangirpuri.

“Strategically located Metro stations like Patel Chowk, Race Course, Udyog Bhawan and AIIMS are also on the list for having police booths,” added Meena.

Waltair Division: Railway exhibition gets under way

विसखपटनम Visakhapatnam (VSKP):  An exhibition was organised by the Waltair Division of East Coast Railway in connection with the 59th Railway Week celebrations.

Railway Week is celebrated every year in April to commemorate the chugging off of the 1st train between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) and Thane with 16 coaches on April 16.

During the celebrations the division organised an exhibition at Visakhapatnam Railway station on Tuesday with display of heritage photographs comprising various models of steam locos, working of railways in the good old days, and the display of ‘green toilets’ model to educate the travelling public about their functioning, usage and their benefits.

The exhibition will be open to the public on Wednesday also. A function will be held at the Divisional Railway Manager’s office complex at 5.30 p.m. on April 16.

Awards will be presented to railway employees who have done commendable work to achieve exceptional results during the financial year, according to Senior Divisional Commercial Manager M. Yelvender Yadav.

Missing Rly staff traced inside deep canyon in Dudhsagar Waterfalls with the help of VDU

Light-activated underwater display unit traces him inside 20m deep canyon – fishing out the body likely to take more time!

Dudhsagar-Waterfallsलोंडा Londa (LD): Colem police along with fire and emergency services personnel finally succeeded in tracing the body of 24-year-old railway employee from Karnataka, by using the sophisticated visual display unit (VDU).

A police source revealed that the body of Hanumant Anantpur was stuck inside a 20m deep canyon, located at the Dudhsagar falls water basin, adding that it is impossible to do anything but wait for it to surface.

VDU is usually used by fire and emergency services to obtain underwater visuals. Police sources said that a diver even attempted to swim through the canyon and fish out the body, but the high current inside the canyon at a depth of 10m led to blood oozing out of his ears, forcing him to return to the surface.

Anantpur who was working to railway’s PWD wing at Hubli-Karnataka, along with his brother Venkatesh and four other friends had gone to Dudhsagar falls for a picnic on Sunday morning. Anantpur’s friends who were enjoying the swim suddenly realized he had gone missing. Colem police search operation did not bear any results until they made use of the VDU.

Commissioner of Railway Safety to ask Railways to inspect fire-prone BHEL rakes

मुंबई Mumbai:  After the reports about the frequent fire issues with Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd (BHEL) rakes, the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), Central Circle, decided to take up the matter with the Central Railway (CR).

BHEL rakes were introduced in 2000, but there were fire and reliability issues from the first. Of the original 14 rakes, only nine remain in service.

“I have decided to write to the CR to undertake inspection of rakes in view of repeated fires,” CRS, central circle, Chetan Bakshi said.

Source said the CRS might suggest that CR withdraw one rake at a time for intensive maintenance so as not to impact the timetable.

CR runs more than 112 services every day with these rakes, which can run on both AC and DC.

Directive for Address Proof for all Season Tickets lead to delays, fights

मुंबई Mumbai:  A directive from Railway Board, asking both the Western and Central Railway to start noting down the addresses of commuters who buy season passes, is likely to lengthen queues and lead to other complications at ticket counters.

While the directive was come into effect from April, it is being implemented gradually across railway stations on both the Western and Central Railway. Sources said WR has been trying to convey to the Railway Board that the new requirement will lead to many complications.

A senior railway official said the directive was the outcome of an order of the Allahabad High Court to ensure that officials in all railway zones note down the addresses of commuters when issuing new season tickets or renewing old ones. He said, “The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), which handles the systems, first said that there was not enough space on season passes to display commuters’ addresses. It then made arrangements to do so, but said the system will not be able to handle long addresses and that booking clerk will have to note down such addresses on paper when issuing season tickets.” The official added that of the 70 lakh WR and CR commuters, around 48 lakh are season ticet holders.

AWR official said that apart from the delays, the system will be impossible to implement in Mumbai owing to its large migrant population. “We are still not completely clear on what kind of address proof will be accepted. Booking clerks have already started telling us they do not want to fight with commuters over this and hence we have asked our senior officials to implement the new system only after there is clarity on this. Otherwise there could be huge fights at booking counters,” warned the official.

Meanwhile, booking clerks are already wary of the new system, saying that noting down the address of every season ticket holder will cause huge delays. Under the current system, an ID card is issued to season ticket holders, on which they are expected to write their addresses.

“We try to issue at least three tickets per minute and still there are long queues. If we have to note down addresses as well, it will take even more time and people in queue will get agitated,” said a booking clerk, who did not wish to be named.

ACR official, however, said the delays caused by the new system will be temporary. “For every address added to the database, a will be code generated, and from the next time onwards, there will be no need for commuters to furnishing their address proof. We should also see the positive aspects,” said the official.

TCs demand action against cop for role in assault

मुंबई Mumbai:  The Central Railways TCs organised a demonstration outside the Divisional Railway Manager’s (DRM) office on Tuesday, demanding action against a RPF constable for his alleged role in the assault of a TC. The incident, which took place last week, has triggered an almost full-blown war between the two parties.

On their part, senior railway officials said an inquiry has been ordered into the matter. An FIR has also been registered in Kurla.

On April 9, TC RK Nair, a member of the CR anti-hawker squad, detained some hawkers at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT). The situation, however, got out of hand as one of the hawkers attacked Nair, following which a mob of hawkers almost lynched him. Nair who was slightly injured had to be admitted to Byculla railway hospital.

The TCs claimed that the incident not only took place in the presence of an RPF constable, but he instigated others and also landed a blow or two on Nair himself is what the compliant of Nair.

Reportedly, the constable known only as Sanap, was in civilian clothes. “Nair had hid himself in the toilet of Godan Express to save himself. Sanap said the door of the toilet should be broken down. He then said he was from GRP and asked Nair to come out. But as soon as he came out, Sanap hit him and the mob of hawkers followed suit, till other TCs came in and rescued him,” said a TC.

Meanwhile, the seven members of the anti-hawking squad said the CR administration was not taking the matter seriously even as their lives were at stake. They claimed that they have also stopped the work unofficially. They said if an inquiry is not conducted, they will meet with the union leaders soon and decide on the further course of action.

A Railway official, on the condition of anonymity, said the role of TCs cannot be ruled out and is being investigated.

Railways launch ‘RailSaver’ to improve Energy Efficiency on Indian Railways

Railsaver2नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  In a move to further improve energy efficiency on Indian Railways, a web based Electrical Energy Management System, RAILSAVER, developed by Centre of Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Railways, was inaugurated by Shri Kul Bhushan, Member Electrical, Railway Board here today. He said that this portal will be very useful for Indian Railways in reducing carbon foot print which is very important for addressing the challenges of global warming and sustainability of our environment. He also stated that Indian Railways is determined to reduce the cost of electricity by adopting various means like procuring power through trading, bilateral arrangements etc.

Shri Bhushan further stated that the portal RAILSAVER will provide a perfect IT based platform for energy consumption data which will pave the way for systematic collection, assimilation, interpretation and analysis of data in evolving future strategies for conceiving, implementing and further intensifying energy conservation efforts on Indian Railways. He also sought support of UNDP in linking of RAILSAVER web-site with other Railroad systems so that the best practices on energy efficiency, benchmarks for specific energy consumption etc. can be shared and adopted by amongst each other.

The portal is a part of the project for “Improving Energy Efficiency in Indian Railway System” being executed by Indian Railways under programmatic framework of UNDP through Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funding of US $ 5.2 million. The project envisages defining framework for energy conservation initiatives on Indian Railway system by introduction of energy efficient technologies and adoption of various measures in traction and non-traction sub-sectors.

Slew of measures like adoption of energy efficient luminaries and equipment, deployment of new generation 3 phase energy efficient electric locomotives and electrical multiple units etc. have resulted into substantial savings in electricity consumption in the past. This portal will further facilitate in saving energy upto 15% by the year 2020 through improved energy efficiency measures as laid down in Railway’s vision document. The project after implementation will be immensely helpful in creating awareness of energy efficiency measures, understanding importance of such measures, availability of knowledge bank on these measures, availability of training modules amongst many others.

Ms. Suhas Kumar, MD/CRIS, Ms. Alexandra Solovieva, Dy. Country Head UNDP and Officers from Railway Board, UNDP, Northern Railway and CRIS also present on the occasion among others.

RailTel notifies recruitment for posts

New Delhi:  RailTel Corporation of India Ltd has invited applications for recruitment of candidates fir the post of Office Assistant for its National Optic Fiber Network (NOFN) project. Eligible candidates can apply latest by April 21.

Post details:

Total posts: 8

Post name: Office Assistant

OA/ CO/ 2014: 2 posts
OA/ SR/ 2014: 2 posts
OA/ WR/ 2014: 2 posts
OA/ ER/ 2014: 2 posts

Eligibility criteria:

In order to apply, candidates should have attained graduation in any stream and should be proficient in MS Office. Candidates are required to have a five year experience as Office Assistant or Office Supervisor in any Central/ State Govt. Department or Central/ State PSU. Candidates who have a working experience in any of the offices of RailTel will be preferred.

Pay Scale:

Candidates will be paid Rs19, 000 per month + EPF Deduction on account EPF.

Selection process:

Candidates will be selected on the basis of their performance in a computer proficiency test and an interview to take place, thereafter.

How to apply:

Candidates are required to send the duly filled application forms to Post Box No. 9, GPO (Gole Dak Khana), Ashok Road, New Delhi PIN: 110001. Also, the required documents, certificates and testimonials are to be sent along in support of age, qualification, caste, experience etc.

‘Nirbhaya squads’ for women’s safety

सिकन्दराबाद Secunderabad (SC):  The South Central Railways has set up ‘nirbhaya squads’ in the zone as part of its efforts to step up security of women passengers. These squads, comprising lady RPF constables and ticket examiners, will be conducting checks to ensure that male passengers do not get into ladies coaches. “The four nirbhaya squads have apprehended over 3,400 offenders and realised about ₹10 lakh as fines in the last three months,” P.K.Srivastava, General Manager, said, while addressing the 59th Railway Week Celebrations here on Tuesday.

Danapur Division: 303 employees felicitated in 59th Railway Week Celebrations

दानापुर Danapur (DNR):  The Danapur division of East Central Railway (ECR) on Tuesday organised a function at N C Ghosh Institute as part of 59th Railway Week celebrations. Altogether 303 employees belonging to Group C and D category were felicitated on the occasion.

Danapur DRM N K Gupta gave away awards and commendation certificates to them for their meritorious work during the 2013-14 financial year. As many as 65 employees were given group awards for their outstanding services to the railways.

Speaking on the occasion, Gupta said Danapur division made a record earning from passenger, freight and sundry segments during the 2013-14 fiscal which is the highest of the division so far. This figure is about 20.3% higher as compared to the earning made during 2012-13 fiscal in the division, he said, adding the division made spectacular earnings in crores from ticket-checking drive.

According to the DRM, passenger amenities improved in the division while new safety measures like route relay interlocking were implemented at Patna Junction and Rajendra Nagar Terminal. Though it was a zero- mishap year for the division, the railways has been carrying out safety awareness programme on a priority basis. The division ran altogether 165 special trains to clear the rush of passengers during festivals while 160 extra coaches were attached to different long-distance passenger trains for the purpose, the DRM said.

The DRM earlier inaugurated a photo exhibition on the Patna Junction reservation counter premises to highlight the achievements of Indian Railways since 1853. Senior divisional commercial manager Amitabh Prabhakar was also present on the occasion which was marked by a variety of cultural programmes.

Mock Fire-drill held at Khammam Railway station

खम्मम Khammam (KMT):  As part of an awareness programme on fire safety, Fire Services Department personnel conducted a mock drill in front of the railway station here on Tuesday.

Fire services personnel demonstrated various fire-fighting and rescue techniques during the drill. The busy entrance of the railway station turned out to be a platform for the display of the fire fighting methods including the latest techniques to extinguish fire. A vehicle equipped with water-mist fire-fighting devices attracted the attention of onlookers comprising passengers, railway staff members and others during the mock drill.

A fire tender was also pressed into service as part of the mock drill to display the scientific methods of dousing fire and preventing the loss of life and property. Khammam fire station in-charge Kranthi Kumar participated.
KMT mock drill KMT mock drill3

RVNL to transform its Biz with Robust IT Solution – to appoint System Integrator with stong SI Capabilities

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi: Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL)’s passion to find ways to use ICT to make its businesses work better is going to take a new shape. Striving to position itself to respond to future challenges with targeted, pertinent services, RVNL intends to implement an Integrated IT solution to meet its ever increasing business needs and is likely to on-board a Company with strong “System Integration” capabilities and practice and will ensure business is supported by a robust IT and Networking platform to help optimise its performance, efficiency and availability with larger collaboration tools to run on it in the near future.

The overall scope of the System Integrator is to develop the Project implementation plan while also to foresee, analyze, plan, build, suggest, design, deploy, implement, maintain, manage and revamp the total IT infrastructure.

The SI solution for RVNL for an Integrated IT Solution would aim to automate its business functions and would include all the Project Implementing Units (PIUs as well as Corporate Office). The solution, among other components, would include Customized Business Applications for Project Management and Monitoring, Finance, HR, Payroll, Self Service Module and will also include Portal management, Document Management System, Geographical Information System and Office Management & Automation System.

The Integrated IT Solution of RVNL includes the development and implementation of a reliable packaged based solution along with additional modules as needed. This will be delivered in a timely and cost effective manner to meet RVNL’s business and system performance objectives in a consistent manner.

The scope of work is to customize the Application and implementation, Business Requirement and process study in which Supply, Installation, Configuration & Customization of ERP Solution alongwith Application Testing, Quality Review and Security Audit, Data Digitization and Migration, Project and Product Documentation are involved. The empanelled System Integrator should also give the Training and Capacity Building wherein the SI has to prepare of Online training modules and impart regular refresher courses to the user groups as well.

User Support and Maintenance of the Integrated IT application for 5 years is also part of the SI scope of work in which the Application monitoring and Compliance to Service Level Agreements, Application support including modifications and integration with future systems, fixing bugs, Software changes with Version Controls and associated maintenance of Configuration Information & System documentation are envisaged.

RVNL would like to have a comprehensive and robust Video conferencing & video repository solution as well.

While the Collaboration and Hosting at Data Centre and Disaster Recovery sites is also the scope of deliverables of the empanelled SI, it would be the responsibility of the SI to build redundancy in Networking from DC to DR and RVNL offices with strong IT Security infrastructure is also on the cards. Apart from this, provisioning of email solution, Enterprise Management Solution (including help desk software and services), Operations and Maintenance of IT infrastructure, Monitoring, Administration & Management Services of IT assets at Head Office, DC & DR Site and the remote offices, Backup & restore and archival services, Storage Administration & Management Services, Database administration and Management Services, User Administration and Security, Security Administration Services at DC & DR Site, DC & DR Infrastructure Management and Operations, Production Control and Job Scheduling, Network Management Services etc are planned from this initiative.

Who is System Integrator?

A Systems Integrator (SI) company specializes in bringing together component subsystems into a whole and ensuring that those subsystems function together, a practice known as system integration. Systems Integrators may work in many fields but the term is generally used in the information technology (IT) field, the defense industry, or in media.

According to the Institute for Partner Education & Development, systems integrators traditionally realize approximately 50 percent of revenue from consulting services and 40 percent of revenue from IT services in design, implementation and post-transaction consulting. They are different from an IT Consultant in that they also take title to product.

Systems Integrators generally have to be good at matching customers’ needs with existing products. An inductive reasoning aptitude is useful for quickly understanding how to operate a system or a GUI. A Systems Integrator will tend to benefit from being a generalist, knowing about a large number of products. Systems Integration includes a substantial amount of diagnostic and troubleshooting work. The ability to research existing products and software components is also helpful. Creation of these information systems may include designing or building a customized architecture or application, integrating it with new or existing hardware, packaged and custom software, and communications infrastructure. Examples of some of the larger Enterprise System Integrators are:  HP, Dimension Data, Wipro, IBM, Oracle, Tata Consultancy Services, Computer Sciences Corporation, Unisys and CMC.

Konkan Railway traffic returns to normal

उक्शी Ukshi (UKC):  The Konkan Railway track cleared of derailed bogies at Ukashi, around 19 km away from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and the route opened for normal traffic, a spokesperson of the Konkan Railway Corporation said here on Tuesday afternoon.

A goods train had derailed at Ukashi on Monday morning, disrupting traffic on the Konkan Railway route. Four bogies were derailed, forcing the KRCL to cancel some trains and divert some others since Monday morning.

DMRC awaits inspection of stretch between Mandi House-Central Secretariat

नयी दिल्ली New Delhi:  With work on the new Mandi House station nearing completion, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is awaiting confirmation of inspection schedule from Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) for the Mandi House-Central Secretariat stretch. The inspection and approval from CMRS is the final step, following which the stretch will be open to commuters.

“We’ve sent the invitation and formalities are complete. CMRS hasn’t confirmed the dates yet,” a DMRC official said.

“It is difficult to say when the line will be ready for commuters, even though the stretch is small and one expects the inspection not to take much time. If some issue arises during inspection, the opening will be delayed even further since the CMRS will demand a report for the same,” the official said.

The official said the station would be opened two to three days after the inspection, if the CMRS gives an approval.

DMRC officials had originally said the stretch would be operational by March 31, six months ahead of schedule.

But elections and delays in finishing of structures above and below the station resulted in the opening being postponed.

This stretch is expected to reduce congestion on Rajiv Chowk since commuters switching from the Violet Line to Blue Line will be able to do so at Mandi House.

Andhra Students design Machine to prevent Fire in Trains

Innovations have no limit – Five students of KITS, Divili, designed the project using a microcontroller and sensors

Engineering-Students-Kakinadaकाकीनाडा टाउन  Kakinada Town (CCT): On the one hand, Indian Railways continue to struggle with repeated fire accidents and resultant tragic end of lives with no quality effort to technically fix such mishaps; while on the other hand, five Engineering Final Year students from the Kakinada Institute of Technology and Sciences (KITS), Divili, in East Godavari district of residual Andhra have come up with an innovative project which, they claim can prevent major fire accidents in locomotives, particularly in express trains.

Munaga Prasanth of mechanical branch, along with four other students, visited the locomotive division of the South Central Railway (SCR), Vijayawada, for a five-month-long internship and studied various aspects like functioning of railway engines, their vulnerabilities, possibility of fire accidents in trains and their prevention.

Immediately after completion of the internship, the team started designing a machine using a microcontroller and sensors. “The gas sensor detects smoke emanating from flames and sends out analog signals to the ADC converter which in turn gives out a digital signal to the microcontroller. This will result in opening of the doors of the ‘affected’ bogie and the microcontroller will trigger the water pump,” explains Prasanth.

“When water is pumped through hoists to the sprinkler, a buzzer fixed to the machine will alert the passengers besides sending message alerts to loco pilots and the nearest railway stations,” says Prasanth. Prasanth and his team members P. Ramana, K. Apparao, G. Venkatesh and K. Venkatesh expressed gratitude to their head of the department Subrahmanyam for his guidance that enabled them to complete the project.

They said the project assumed greater significance in the face of frequent fire accidents in trains in addition to being cost-effective and easy to maintain. The boys also thanked the head of the projects in SCR, Vijayawada, for his theoretical support.

Hope we will see RDSO Engineers come down to Kakinada to examine their innovation and appreciate the system developed in Railways!

Chennai Metro sets up units to power trains, stations to start services

चेन्‍नई Chennai (MAS):  With metro rail gearing up to start services on the elevated line between Koyambedu and Alandur or St Thomas Mount, the corporation has started setting up of a series of sub stations to supply power for stations and trains.

Around 25kv power is now used to run the trains between Koyambedu and Ashok Nagar where trials are being done repeatedly.

Metro rail will need nearly 70MW power to operate trains and for lighting and air conditioning of stations when trains start running on two corridors by end of 2015. An elaborate network of substations and auxiliary substations will feed power to metro rail’s overhead power cables and stations. The trains will generate power from braking action and will use it for air conditioning and lighting of interiors. This will ensure that power requirement is reduced.

The city, which has several industries on its outskirts, consumes around 14,000million units in a year which will work out to around 3.83crore units in a day. The city consumes around 2000 to 3000MW per hour.

The trains will use 25kv power for traction while the stations will need 33kv to operate lights and communication systems. Unlike suburban railway stations metro rail stations will be interlinked with the trains which run on pre-programmed speed, time and stops. This will require uninterrupted supply of power.

Metro rail will have three receiving sub stations that will receive power from the state grid and convert it for use, three auxiliary substations to supply power to stations and three traction substations to supply power for over head power cables from where trains will draw power.

Receiving substations are coming up at Koyambedu, Alandur and Central.

“The Koyambedu receiving substation has been connected to the grid. All the switch gears are also energised, which will enable to feed 25 KV supply to Metro Trains and 33 KV supply will be fed to stations, lighting and other purposes. Building is getting ready for the substation at Alandur. These two will cater to the line when Koyambedu-St Thomas Mount line is opened for trials and traffic early next year,” said a senior official of metro rail.

The substation at Central will be built at a later stage as the station work is still going on. The auxiliary substations will convert 33Kv into 415volts and will be supplied to stations. Every station will also have a back up substation and a standby diesel power generator for elevated station and two generators for underground stations.

As traction of trains accounts for more than 60% to 80% of the power consumption in a metro rail network because power needed for frequent stops and starts at stations is high, trains have been designed to regenerate power to reduce depending on electricity from the grid. The modern design of trains with three phase induction motors and converter inverter enables recovery of a major portion of consumed electricity by way of using regenerative braking.

“Metro railways worldwide have reported an average of about 20% saving on account of regeneration. By using intelligent blending of regenerative and pneumatic braking, optimization of energy recovery as well as accurate control of train movement can be achieved,” says a paper prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

Chennai metro rail has opted for Alstom’s metropolis trains which are expected to save more than 30% of power through regeneration. Energy consumption of the metro rail will be one-fifth when compared to road traffic.

Maoists blast rail track in Lakhisarai minutes before New Delhi bound train to arrive

लखीसराई Lakhisarai Jn (LKR): A major tragedy was averted on Howrah-Patna main rail route in Bihar’s Lakhisarai on Sunday night when landmines allegedly planted by the Maoists blew off a part of the railway track minutes before New Delhi-bound Garib Rath was to arrive.

An engine of a goods train that was parked on the same track was damaged in the explosion, sources in the railway police said.

The blast took place at around 8.25 pm near the outer signal of the Lakhisarai railway station. Senior railway police officers told that the landmine was planted under a culvert. Local residents claimed they had informed the railway police about the landmine after one of them spotted it. However, by the time the railway police team along with the bomb disposal squad (BDS) reached the spot, the bomb had gone off. The culvert was also damaged in the explosion.

The Bhagalpur-New Delhi Garib Rath that was headed towards Bhagalpur was stopped at Hathidah railway station. Traffic on the main Howrah-Patna route was disturbed and trains on both the routes were stopped at different stations. Normal traffic was restored at 8 am on Monday after the damaged track was repaired.

This attack comes four days after the Maoists exploded a government school in Lakhisarai hours before the polling was to start. Three live cylinder bombs were found and defused by the security personnel on that occasion.

Meghalaya’s first ever Railway Line in North Garo Hills all set to enter the Records

मेनडीपतार Mendipathar:  Mendipathar and several other villages in North Garo Hills are all set to enter the record books as the area to welcome the first ever railway line in Meghalaya with ’90 percent of the work’ for the project having already been completed.

Work is going on in full swing in different stretches of the 19-kilometre-long railway line that would connect Mendipathar to Dudhnoi in Assam. A visit to the area shows that the project is finally reaching completion as most of the major works have been taken care of and all that remains is final touches here and there.

An engineer of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Manjit Bora said that 90 per cent work had been completed and it would take at most another two months to complete the project.

At the moment, the NFR is working on the goods yard which is to be constructed in the Mendipathar railway station.

Bora added that the profiling of the project would take around 20 days and commission of railway safety test was likely to be done on April 25.

Meanwhile, even before the Railway starts its operation, the residents of Mendipathar have found a way of earning their livelihood from the project. The residents are earning a decent income by selling the huge quantity of rocks that have been excavated from the stretch of the railway project to the people of neighbouring Assam.

The railway link is expected to help the people of Mendipathar, especially rubber farmers, to ship their goods to and fro to Assam and other states with much ease and less expenditure.

Around 65.09 hectares have already been handed over to the authorities of the Northeast Frontier Railways for the 19.47 km broad gauge single line.

It is learnt that the initial cost for the project was estimated at Rs. 86.22 crore. It was later revised to Rs. 144 crore.

A total of 39 bridges would dot the track.

Two incidents on single day hits Suburban and Long-distance Passengers on CR

Fire, derailment hit Central Railway services

मुंबई Mumbai:  Smoke was detected in the motor coach of a Dombivli-CST slow local at Kopar station around 5.55am on Monday.

No one was injured but CR services were disrupted between Thane and Dombivli on both slow corridors. The rake was evacuated and taken to the Kalwa car shed.

As it was a public holiday, the train was not crowded. “Investigations revealed that the fire occurred because of the presence of a cloth,” a CR official said.

Suburban commuters and long-distance passengers of Central Railway (CR) were affected owing to two incidents Monday.

A fire was reported inside a motorcoach of a BHEL rake at Kopar station. The Up train from Dombivali to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus arrived at Kopar station at 5.55 am, when smoke was reported in a motorcoach of the train. No injuries were reported. The rake was withdrawn from service and later sent to the Kalwa carshed.

As a result of the disruption, four services were cancelled in the morning peak hours, inconveniencing railway commuters. This is the second such incident in a month on CR. Earlier, a fire was reported inside a BHEL rake at Dadar railway station on April 3.

In another incident, passengers of long-distance trains were affected after five of the 41 wagons of an empty goods train derailed between Ukshi and Sangameshwar stations on Konkan Railway around 8.10 am Monday.

Trains such as Mandovi Express and Konkan Kanya to Madgaon, Matysagandha Express to Mangalore were cancelled. While four trains were short terminated, 10 long distance trains including Down trains like LTT Trivandrum Netravati Express, Nizamuddin Trivandrum Rajdhani Express, LTT Kochuveli Garib Rath Express and Up trains such as Ernakulum LTT AC Duranto and Mangalore CSTM Express were diverted.

Many passengers were transhipped via buses while others got a refund on the ticket fare.

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) ran 25 services between Ratnagiri and Sangameshwar stations to ferry stranded passengers.

Railways not keen on getting back Matheran’s first ever Locomotive

08-01मुंबई Mumbai: The Indian Railways on Monday said they are not interested in buying one of the first four original steam locomotives of the heritage Matheran Light Railway (MLR) which have been put up on sale by the Railworld Museum at Peterborough, UK. The MLR 740 has been in the museum for the past thirty years.

On April 10, it was reported that the present-day generation of Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy, who built the Neral-Matheran railway route over a century ago, wanted the railways and the government to bring back an original locomotive that operated on the MLR.

“We will not be interested in buying the engine as we already several of a similar type here,” Subodh Jain, Railway Board Member (Engineering), told.

The present-day generation of the Peerbhoy family was not happy with the railways’ decision. “First of all, the locomotive should not have gone out of India. But now that it is up for sale, it needs to be brought back by the railways,” said Ali Akbar Adamjee Peerbhoy, the second great grandson of Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy.

“The locos had been bought by the Peerbhoy family, how could the Indian Railways give it out to another country? If I remember correctly, the engine had been put up on display outside CST, then one day it was removed,” Ali Akbar added.

The MLR 740 was donated to Britain by the Indian government in 1985 in recognition of services towards the establishment of India’s National Railway Museum. The engine was acquired by the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum and arrived in UK on November 28, 1986. It was donated to Railworld Museum in 1991.

Sources said the four novel steam locomotives had been bought specially for the mountainous stretch from Messrs. Orienstein & Koppel, Germany, in 1907. They were made especially for the narrow curves and steep climbs of the Matheran hills.

Of the original four engines – MLR 738, MLR 739, MLR 740, MLR 741 — that survive today, MLR 740 has been in the UK for the last three decades.

The Railworld Museum said that the locomotive will be sold to someone with the resources and commitment to restore and operate the Berlin-built locomotive with access to the public.

The sale is being managed on behalf of the trustees by The International Railway Preservation Society (IRPS).

109 year old Steam Engine restored for Private Charter on Kalka-Shimla track

शिमला Shimla (SML): A Century old steam engine was repaired and reinstated to tug three chartered coaches end-March along a 22km UNESCO World Heritage-listed train track in north India.

Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a division of Indian Railways, is offering the 109-year-old KC520 for private charter that includes three coaches for 40 passengers at a total cost of Rs96,000 (US$1,594) inclusive of service tax and food.

The Kalka-Shimla train track was built by the British colonial government in 1903. The one-hour journey begins at 2100 feet above sea level and ends, crossing 102 tunnels, at 7000 feet in Shimla.

Shimla hills have two five-star Oberoi hotels as well as several three- and four-star hotels.

Rajat Sawhney, managing director, New Delhi-based Rave Tours and Travels, said: “The charm of an old-world destination like Shimla gets a befitting crown in the form of an ancient steam engine that still works well.

“It is not only attractive to leisure tourists but a hot sell for MICE clients and small incentive groups. The romance of train journeys can be explored with this product as it is so rare.”

Other scenic train journeys on narrow gauge tracks are in Darjeeling in east India and Ooty in south India.

Elections push Safety for a toss at Jalandhar railway station

जलंधर Jalandhar (JUC): As security becomes a prime concern in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials have turned a blind eye towards the safety of passengers at the city railway station.

While on the one hand, the administration is claiming to provide security to residents and commuters alike, the railway station officials are not bothered enough to pay attention in this regard.

Even as about 1 lakh passengers board different trains from the city railway station daily, there is no advanced security equipment with the RPF and GRP officials to avoid any kind of eventuality.

There are no proper security gadgets at their disposal and to add insult to the injury the on-duty personnel are found missing from their designated spots. Moreover, no check is carried at the entrance and exit points and the security staff barely bothers to check luggage of passengers. When visited the railway station no one was found manning the main entry points. There is only one doorframe metal detector (DFMD) machines and four handheld metal detectors which remain out of order.

Anil Kumar, a passenger, said as the station lacked proper security mechanism, anyone could enter without being frisked or noticed by the police.

A railway official said it was due to staff shortage with the RPF and GRP that had resulted in lax security arrangements.

In the wake of the Mumbai blasts, the Centre had announced special expenditure on security measures in its railway budget.

There is only one CCTV camera, which was recently installed on platform number-1, for five platforms.

RPF inspector AK Sharma said new CCTV cameras were being installed and the metal detectors were functioning.

GRP SHO Davinder Singh echoed similar views. “We are doing our best to provide safety to passengers on the railway station premises,” he added.

BHEL Rakes behind disruptions on Mumbai Suburban Railway Network

मुंबई Mumbai: Commuters may have to bear with disruptions in suburban services in the medium term as long as Bharat Heavy Electrical (BHEL) rakes are deployed on Central Railway.

On April 3, 18 services were cancelled after fire broke out in the motor coach of a BHEL rake at Dadar on the CR. On January 3, fire broke out in the motor coach of an empty BHEL rake stabled in Thane.

BHEL rakes can run on dual traction — 25 kV alternating current (AC) and 1,500 V direct current (DC) — and were introduced 15 years ago. “We had encountered problems with BHEL rakes soon after these were introduced,” a CR official said.  These rakes were not plied on the CR for years because of reliability issues.

“We had a total of 14 BHEL rakes, of which nine are in use,” the official said. “These were introduced as there was a need and clamour to increase the services after a rise in passenger traffic.”

Since the BHEL rakes were not in regular use, the performance was not remain up to the mark.

“If the machinery does not remain well-oiled, it does pose a problem,” the official said. “Moreover, a lot of cannibalization has taken place in these rakes, further affecting performance. Sometimes there is a short circuit, leading to a fire. Sometimes there is failure of the motors. These issues crop up because of improper layout of cables and faulty fuses.”

The official said these rakes run 100 trips a day and can be phased out only after the delivery of the 72 MRVC-ordered rakes begins.

Vijayawada Division to have 150 Automatic Railway ticket vending machines soon

DRM Pradeep Kumar says sanction has been obtained for installation of five lifts (two each at Rajahmundry and Ongole stations and one at Eluru) and six escalators (two at Rajahmundry and one each at Anakapalli, Gudur, Ongole and Samalkot)

Vijayawada DRMविजयवाड़ा Vijayawada (BZA): Vijayawada Railway division will soon have 150 automatic ticket vending machines (ATVM) reducing the congestion at booking counters during the peak hours. However, these machines will issue only unreserved tickets.

Sanction has been obtained for installation of five lifts (two each at Rajahmundry and Ongole stations and one at Eluru) and six escalators (two at Rajahmundry and one each at Anakapalli, Gudur, Ongole and Samalkot) in 2014-15. These facilities will be in place by the end of March 2015, said Divisional Railway Manager Pradeep Kumar.

Addressing a press conference as part of the Railway Week celebrations here on Monday, Mr. Pradeep Kumar said a sum of nearly Rs. 20 crore has been spent on improvement of passenger amenities in 2013-14. Bapatla, Dwarapudi, Gudur, Kakinada Town, Machilipatnam and Nellore stations were modernised as ‘Adarsh’ stations and 26 A-1, A and B category stations were identified as model stations.

Vijayawada and Nellore stations are being developed as multifunctional centres (MFC) comprising shopping malls, restaurants, budget hotels etc. by the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA). Rajahmundry station has already been developed as a MFC.

On the performance front, Mr. Pradeep Kumar said the division has won 18 shields for the year 2013-14 including the General Manager’s Efficiency Shield. It will be presented to the DRM in a function to be held in Hyderabad on April 15.

Performance Efficiency Index, a key indicator of the Division’s financial position, is maintained at 47.52 per cent with an operating surplus of Rs 1,772 crore till the end of March this year. Goods earnings registered an increase of 9.40 per cent from approximately Rs 2,276 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 2,490 crore in 2013-14. There was a jump of 8.40 per cent in freight loading from nearly 28.33 million tons to 30.26 million tons during those years.

Personnel of the Railway Protection Force were providing security in 18 trains and those of the Government Railway Police were keeping a watch in 80 trains.