Indian Railways news in Year 2007
Railways plans concessions for HIV patients
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 31: The year 2008 may
bring some good news for around 2.5 million people living with HIV and AIDS in the country. Indian Railways is
considering offering fare concessions, as high as 75 per cent, to HIV/AIDS
patients traveling on its network. The move, quietly in the works at Rail
Bhavan, is being regarded as one of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's
big-ticket ideas for the forthcoming Rail Budget in February.
Bangalore to get metro rails by 2011
Bangalore, December 27, 2007: The tech city of Bangalore is all set to get five snazzy metro rail
stations. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has roped in five
of the city's top architects to give each of the five metro stations a flavour
of the city. "[It is being done] to reflect an image of Bangalore. It is after all known as
the tech city of the world,” says Venkataramanan Associates principal architect
V Narasimhan. He adds that for the same reason they are planning a ‘forward-looking image' for
the stations while subtly integrating certain aspects of Karnataka’s heritage
and Bangalore's history.
However, it is not only the local architects contributing to the planning of the
metro stations. The metro's website is calling for responses from stakeholders
on the designs. "We want young people and youngsters to write in and share their opinions and
ideas. We want their feedback as the metro is for the people," says BMRCL
Managing Director V Madhu. The stations, which will have close to a lakh passengers walk through its doors
everyday, will open its doors on schedule in December 2011.
Source: Yahoo! News India
The tech city of Bangalore is all set to get five snazzy metro rail
may seek Israeli cooperation
NEW DELHI, December
25, 2007: Indian Railways may consider seeking Israeli cooperation
for installation of advanced simulators and radar systems for the
rail network. The simulators can be used for determining the line
capacity taking all possible factors into account while radar
systems can be utilised for prevention of accidents at level
crossings. A high-level delegation led by Union Minister of
State for Railways R Velu had visited Israel recently at the
invitation of the Israeli government. According to a senior
Railway Ministry official, who was part of the delegation, the
advanced simulation method used in Israeli railways can be useful in
the Indian scenario. "There are radars at certain important
level crossings in Israel which are found to be useful in preventing
accidents and the same can be considered here also," he said.
The radars identify the stationery vehicles at the level crossings
and alert the loco drivers in advance. "This would help in
preventing accident at level crossings as we have large number of
unmanned level crossings," said the official.
Source: The Economic Times
GENERAL MANAGERS’S CONFERENCE OF THE INDIAN RAILWAYS
New Delhi, December 20, 2007: A conference of the General Managers of the Indian Railways was held at Rail Bhawan today to discuss the progress of various railway activities. In his message to the General Managers, the Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Shri Lalu
Prasad, expressed confidence that the targets for the year would not only be achieved but would also be bettered handsomely. He expressed hope that Indian Railways would soon achieve the 800 Million Tonne mark in freight loading and would then embark on the mission of loading 900 Million Tonne in 2008-09. The Minister also exhorted the General Managers to focus their attention more closely on ways and means of increasing railways revenues, timely
completion of projects, improvements in passenger amenities and safety in railway working. The Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways, Shri Naran Bhai J. Rathwa addressed the General Manager’s and
complimented the Railway Organistion for keeping social obligations too in mind while striving for an ever high revenue generation.
Railways advertising plan on track for 300 trains
New Delhi, December 19, 2007: The Indian Railways has decided to allow advertising on nearly 300 major trains,
including Rajdhanis and Shatabdis, to get more revenue, according to senior
officials. Advertising and brand promotion has, so far, been limited to certain special
trains like the ones that are introduced during festivals. For the first time the railways is considering the scheme for regular trains.
The ministry has decided to centralise the sale of advertising rights.
This new advertisement scheme is expected to bring in a yearly revenue of well
over Rs 1,000 crore if the policy is extended to most of the 8,800 trains.
An official of the Railway Board said the move follows the success of the
Kurkure Express and PepsiCo’s Blue Billion Express special trains in south
According to sources, all regular inter-city mail and express trains will have
colour advertisements painted on the exterior of coaches. While vinyl sheets can be put up across the length of the coaches, panels could
be fitted on the interiors. The railways are also considering exclusive advertisement rights to a company
for an entire train. Besides, brand names and logos can also be displayed on the destination
signboards on each coach as well as on the front and rear ones. Even the uniforms of the onboard railway staff and linen used by passengers can
have logos and advertisements printed on them.
A second proposal of providing onboard infotainment channels on trains like the
Shatabdi Express is doing the rounds. Plasma TV screens would be put up in the
compartments where advertisements would be allowed, said a railway spokesperson.
Bulk advertising rights for 25 to 50 trains in different rail zones would be
granted to individual firms or consortiums at a reserve price varying between Rs
50 lakh and Rs 1 crore per train for a year. However, bidding on advertising rights could lead to more revenues from
“high-profile” trains like the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express. “We also have over 8,000 big and small railway stations whose ad potential has
not been optimally utilised. There are enormous possibilities here, not only for
the railways, but also for the advertising industry and corporate sector,” the
Source: Hindustan Times
Railways using energy efficient lamps to conserve energy
Mumbai, December 17, 2007: The Indian Railways is now
replacing lakhs of tube-lights and incandescent bulbs with T-5 energy
efficient tubes and compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) in an effort to reduce power
consumption. The Western Railway is replacing four lakh tubes and 50,000 bulbs with T-5 tubes
and CFLs across six divisions — Mumbai, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Baroda and
Ratlam. The Central Railway officials plan to replace 12,000 bulbs and tubes
by next year in the Mumbai division. The Chief Public Relation Officer of WR, Pranay Prabhakar, said, “This movement
to save energy has now reached the administrative offices of the railways.
Earlier, the replacement of bulbs and tubes was limited to the platforms. Now,
every bulb and tube is being replaced with the new energy-saving bulbs and
Switching over to T-5 tubes and CFLs is expected to reduce the railways’ power
consumption in a big way. According to a senior railway official from the
electrical department, on average each bulb and tube consumes 50 Watts, whereas
the CFLs and T-5s will consume only 30 Watts each. “We will be saving 8,000
units per hour as each tube and bulb will be consuming 20 Watts less.”
An official from the electrical department of the WR said, “Apart from providing better illumination, the new lighting will
have a positive effect on the ambience of the platforms. It also will have a
cooling effect as CFLs and T-5 tubes generate less heat than ordinary bulbs and
MOU SIGNED FOR NEW RAILWAY LINE IN THE BASTAR,
December 11, 2007 : In a significant move which will bring about socio-economic development of the backward areas of Bastar region predominantly inhabited by tribal population in Chhattisgarh state and further the industrial progress and mining activities in the region, Indian Railways have taken a momentous step to expand the reach of its network in this backward area meeting the long pending demand of the local populace. In a shining example of Public-Public Partnership, Ministry of Railways, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), National Minerals Development Corporation (NMDC) and State Government of Chhattisgarh have come together to construct a 235 kilometer new broad gauge railway line from DalliRajhara to Jagdalpur via Rowghat in
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed today among these four agencies in the presence of the Union Minister of Railways Shri Lalu Prasad, Union Minister of Chemical & Fertilizers and Steel Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Dr. Raman Singh and Minister of State for Railways Shri R.Velu. The signatories to the agreement included Shri K.C. Jena, Chairman Railway Board; Shri Shivraj Singh, Chief Secretary, Government of
Chhattisgarh; Shri S.K. Roongta, Chairman, SAIL; and Shri Rana Som, Chairman and MD, NMDC. Senior officials of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Chemical & Fertilizers, SAIL and NMDC were among those present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Railway Minister Shri Lalu Prasad said that this new railway line is an important project which will help to accelerate economic development in the country. Shri Lalu Prasad said that the railway line will pass through iron ore rich regions of Beladila and Rowghat, which will lead to the increase in the steel production in the country. The Minister pointed out that the new line will also
facilitate the bulk transportation of forest products, in addition to transportation of ores and minerals. The new line will provide lot of employment opportunities to tribal and backward classes people and will lead to development of backward areas of Bastar, Narayanpur in Chhattisgarh, the Railway Minister added.
Source: PIB Press Release
New Delhi-bound Brahmaputra Mail derailed near New Jalpaiguri
New Delhi, December 10, 2007: At least one person was killed and 55 injured after
coaches of a train derailed in India's eastern state of West Bengal, officials said Monday. A spokesman of the Indian Railways said 14 coaches of the New Delhi-bound
Brahmaputra Mail derailed near New Jalpaiguri city, 480 kilometres north of state capital Kolkata late on Sunday night.
"The body of a railway catering employee was recovered from a pantry car that suffered the maximum damage,"
said AK Saxena, chief spokesman of the Indian Railways. Saxena said torches were used to cut through the mangled steel of the coaches to reach the affected coach.
The wounded were admitted to a railway hospital and a state-run medical facility in New
Jalpaiguri. "Of the wounded, one is seriously injured while 37 suffered from simple injuries. 17 others have minor injuries like bruises," Saxena said. Traffic on India's north-eastern railway section was
suspended for 10 hours after the accident. Railway officials said by tracks were cleared and traffic on the rail link was restored. The cause of the accident was not
Lalu Yadav is now getting ready to act Professor.
New Delhi, November 30, 2007:
Lalu Yadav is now getting ready to act Professor. A group of four deans from the INSEAD Business School, Singapore are interested
in the now famous turnaround handshake of the minister and the King of
Turnaround himself is more than delighted to obliged. They expressed a desire to meet me and my officials. I welcome them,
said the affable Indian Railway Minister Lalu Yadav. This time he was offered a chance to lecture at the business
Dean of INSEAD Business School Frank Brown said, We would love to have the
minister come to our campus and talk to our MBAs. The minister could not be more pleased for the offer will see him lecturing in
Singapore within the next six months. Indian Railways and its turnaround will
also be a case study in the business school's curriculum. One of the things that we want to do at INSEAD is turn it [Indian
Railways success] into an INSEAD case study because it is such a terrific story. It's a
case study for us because it is a unique turnaround seen anywhere in the
world,'' said Brown.
This is not the first time that business schools have come seeking advice from
the Indian Railway Minister, specially focussing on the turnaround of the Indian
Lalu Yadav is now getting ready to act Professor. This is not the first time that business schools have come seeking advice from
the Indian Railway Minister. This offer is more than just the usual praise from the visiting
Railways sets freight target of 1,100mn tonne
New Delhi November 28, 2007:
The railway ministry has set an internal target of 1,100 million tonne of freight traffic and 840 crore originating passengers by the end of 11th Plan period.
Most of the passenger and freight traffic is carried on the Golden Quadrilateral and the diagonals connecting the four metros.
Approximately 75% of the total freight traffic is carried on 25% of the route
kilometres, railway ministry officials said. These routes, along with their feeder routes, form the Indian Railways' high density network
The HDN routes are saturated with line capacity utilization
exceeding 100% on a number of routes. In order to augment capacity, the ministry has sanctioned 104 works at an approximate cost of Rs 10,000 crore on these HDN routes. In addition to this, Indian Railways have also prepared a blueprint for
augmenting capacity on the HDN routes under which 124 works costing more than Rs 14,000 crore have been identified, which would enable the railway ministry to meet the 11th Plan targets. These works
include doubling, laying of new lines, bypasses, automatic
signaling, crossing stations, intermediate blocks, and yard
Railway unions on political platform
AHMEDABAD, November 25, 2007: This is about the first ever battle of ballots in 150-year history of Indian
Railways. The elections will be on November 26, 27 and 28 for electing one union of employees for the Western Zone.
Of the four unions in Western Zone that are fray for the polls, Congress-affiliated Western Railway
Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) appears to be the strongest contender.
Paschmi Railway Karmachari Parishad (PRKP) has saffron leanings and Railway Mazdoor Union (RMU) is affiliated to George Fernandes Samata Party. Western Railway Employees Union (WREU) has no
Close to 14.5 lakh employees of Indian Railways will vote to elect a union that will be formally
ecognised by the Railways Board as the union they have to negotiate with for the next five years.
The run-up to these railway elections has already generated enough heat while the assembly polls are yet to really take
off. Banners put up at railway stations by various unions have triggered of complaints of violation of model code of conduct.
Counting will be held on December 3 and the union which gets 35% votes will win. All four unions are trying to attract voters by highlighting how they have fought with the Pay Commission.
According to railway sources, these elections will eliminate several small unions across 16 zones in the country. Instead, every zone will have one union.
Dealing with only one union per zone will make framing of policy easy,
says RK Purohit, spokesman, National Federation of Indian
These elections are being held following directions of Supreme Court early this year. Earlier, the BJP-led NDA government had recognised the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Railway Mazdoor Sangh
(BRMS), which was challenged legally by other unions.
Source: The Times of India
RAILWAYS TAKE STEPS TO ATTRACT FOREIGN TOURISTS
Ministry of Railways,
November 23, 2007: In order to attract the foreign tourists, Indian Railways introduced Indrail Pass Scheme in the year 1977 as a tourism promotion meal sure. These passes are issued to the foreign nationals and Non Resident Indians (NRIs) against payments in the US dollars. The pass holder is entitled to travel throughout the Indian Railways’ Net work within the period of
its validity in a class it is issued for.
Further, Indian Railways also run five luxury tourist trains for tourists including foreign tourists i.e.
Palace on Wheels, Heritage on Wheels in Rajasthan sector, Steam Safari Train- the Fairy Queen on Delhi-Alwar sector, Deccan Odyassey in Maharashtra Sector and Mahaparinirvan Express covering
places related to Buddhism. Two new luxury tourist trains in Karnataka and Rajasthan may also be launched shortly. One luxury tourist strain in the Punjab sector has also been approved. These luxury tourist train facilities are availed by foreign tourists.
is the future of Indian Railways
11, 2007: At the third International Hydrail Conference in mid-August in Salisbury, N.C., Indian Railways official Tarun Huria said he
expects to see the first Indian hydrail locomotive in testing before the end of
the decade. Using the most ambitious hydrail undertaking, and the first under government
auspices, the Indian Railways - by far the world's biggest rail system with over
1.5 million employees.
Hydrail technology - electric railway propulsion using onboard hydrogen fuel cells - is poised to replace both diesel
electric locomotives and trains powered by track electrification. It will happen
much faster than it took diesels to supplant steam locomotives. Before 2011, Japan, Denmark, India and Canada expect to operate hydrail
passenger trains. Future hydrail trains may run free of fuel costs,
as hydrogen to used as a fuel.
is willing to work with Indian Railways in railway projects
NEW DELHI, November 8, 2007: China is willing to cooperate with the Indian Railways on any area of the latter's interest. India and China held a high-level official meeting to enhance cooperation between the two Railway systems for mutual benefits. The meeting took place during the recent visit to China by a high-level delegation of Indian Railways led by K C Jena, Chairman of Railway Board, from October 29 to November 1, a press release said here on Thursday.
The team, which included Financial Commissioner Sudha Chobey and other senior Railway officials, held discussions with Chinese Railway Minister Liu Zhijun and other officials. The delegation was also apprised of various developments that have taken place in Chinese Railway system, such as world-class stations, double stack container operation, heavy haul operations which will be of immense help in formulating plans for the Indian Railways, the release said.
The Indian team visited Nanjing and Shanghai South and had travelled on the high-speed EMU train. The delegation also visited container operation areas and multi-modal logistic park near Shanghai. The Indian officials also visited a freight station on the Datong-Qinhuangdao heavy haul line for coal traffic.
Indian railways explore
to open railway links with Nepal and Bhutan
Siliguri (W.B.), November 6, 2007 : Indian Railways is exploring ways to open railway links with Nepal and Bhutan. Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) has conducted engineering and traffic surveys on these routes and is to submit its final report shortly. At present the
mode of transport of the goods from and to these countries takes place by road
only. "Survey is going on and we have discussions with the vested parties. We are asking for opening of railway links with our neighbouring countries," said Basudeb Acharia, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
Experts urge toilet training to clean up Indian railways
NEW DELHI, November 3, 2007 (AFP): Experts at the World Toilet Summit Friday urged Indian
railways to stop trains scattering hundreds of thousands of litres of human
waste across the country every day. The world's largest network transports 16 million passengers on 8,000 trains
every day, spreading 300,000 litres (60,000 gallons) of human waste from
"open-discharge" toilets, transportation expert Ganesan Raghuram told the
"We are probably the only railway system in the world that has open-discharge of
faecal matter," said Raghuram of the Indian Institute of Ahmedabad. "Apart from the bad smell, the problem is becoming a lot more significant
because of the public costs." Raghuram advocated an aircraft-style vacuum system to replace the old-fashioned
toilets that contaminate soil and water -- particularly when monsoon rains wash
the accumulated waste into rivers and lakes. "There is so much to learn from how ships have done it, how aeroplanes have done
it, how houseboats have done it. But Indian Railways are still not doing it," he
Rail tracks and fittings also wear out faster than they should due to corrosion
from the faecal matter and urine, he added. He called on public-interest lawyers to sue the railways for failing to improve
its toilets. Indian Railways, which nearly went bankrupt six years ago, posted a 4.4
billion-dollar surplus this year. Raghuram estimated that it would cost approximately one billion dollars to fit
coaches with vacuum toilets and storage tanks.
Other delegates also suggested low-water use tank storage systems, with the
possibility of suction extraction at terminals. Some 170 delegates from more than 40 countries met in New Delhi from
Wednesday for the World Toilet Summit to discuss how to bring low-cost,
environmentally-safe toilets to millions of people, mostly in developing
countries. About 2.6 billion people -- more than 40 percent of the globe's population -- do
not have access to proper toilets. The United Nations wants to halve that number by 2015 as part of its Millennium
Indian Railways are gearing up to earn carbon credits
November 3, 2007: Indian Railways are gearing up to earn carbon credits by running new
generation trains on clean fuel and seeking to benefit from monetary spin offs
to check climate change. According to the Kyoto Protocol, one carbon credit can be earned by preventing generation of a tonne of carbon dioxide. One carbon credit is worth USD 10 as per the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change guidelines.
Railways have signed two letters of intent with the World Bank to get carbon credits for its projects dealing with regenerative braking system and locomotives. "This is the first such project in transport sector where railway will earn carbon credit worth
millions," said a senior railway official.
The new train will be fuel-efficient and will run on low-emission fuel. This would enable the railways to reduce the pollution level to a great extent besides earning carbon
credits. "We are trying to negotiate with a few global train manufacturers for acquiring a few next generation environment-friendly trains", said the official adding "we are in the process of introducing energy-efficient technology by using light-weight coaches and wagons.
Introduction of solar-based lighting at level crossings and use of renewable sources of energy for railway applications are some of the measures undertaken by the railways to generate certified emission reduction.
Trial run of train successful
Srinagar, November 1, 2007: After decades of wait, a train has finally started chugging on rail tracks in Kashmir. The Northern Railways today conducted trial run of an eight-coach
Diesel- Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) train between Ompora in Badgam district of central Kashmir and Kakapora in
SHRI LALU PRASAD LAUNCHES E-LEARNING PORTAL FOR COMPANY SECRETARIES FOUNDATION PROGRAMME
New Delhi,October 30, 2007:
The Union Minister of Railways Shri Lalu Prasad has launched E-learning portal for Company Secretaries (CS) Foundation Programme at the Institute of Company Secretaries of India
(ICSI) Foundation Day function here today. Delivering the Foundation Day Lecture on “Excellence Through Strategic Turnaround”, Shri Lalu Prasad said that the basic principles of turnaround of Railways were the honesty, strong will and vision for Railways’ reforms with human face. He said the Indian Railways have achieved an excellent performance during the last two years but in order to sustain the momentum several initiatives like construction of Dedicated Freight Corridor, modernization of Railway Stations, opening of outlets for farmers etc. have been formulated.
The Minister further said that the Indian economy has been consistently doing well and Indian companies are making footprints on the global economy and doing multinational. He said that the time is opportune for the professionals to show their mite and to realize their strengths in the corporate world. While doing so, the Minister said that Company Secretaries should also keep in mind the interests and the needs of the poor people and should work for the over all development of the
downtrodden people of the country.
As a first step to this direction, the E-learning portal of ICSI would be imparted to the students of the CS Foundation
Programme. In the second phase, the training would be imparted to the students of Executives and Professional
Programmes. E-learning is a cost effective training format, where the students can undergo coaching from the comfort of their homes. All they need is an internet connection as per the specifications given in the aforesaid portal. Under the system, the students would be imparted coaching through web based training. A nominal annual of Rs. 250/- only would be charged from the Foundation Programme students for availing the services at the E-learning portal.
Railways denies allegations of misuse for Lalu's rally
PATNA. October 25, 2007: The East Central Railway terming as "fallacious" the allegations that the
Railways was being "misused" by its minister Lalu Prasad for his proposed October 28 chetawani rally against Bihar's NDA
government. The East Central Railway asserted that payments for booking trains for ferrying the rallyists have been made "in advance". "There is no substance in the allegations which are fallacious in nature," East Central Railway said in a press release.
"Indian Railways is the largest transport mode for carrying people in the country. And anybody, may be a group or party, is free to approach it for reserving trains for ferrying passengers from anywhere by
making payments," it said. The ECR said special trains were being arranged for ferrying the passengers on payment of Rs 10,000 for each of the bogies the parties wanted to reserve and the payments for these special trains, the schedule of which would be displayed in the time table, had already been made by the
RJD. It confirmed booking of 35 special trains with 15 bogies to Patna from various places from Bihar and Jharkhand for which the ECR had received Rs 15 lakh for each of the trains being arranged for ferrying the rallyists.
Source: Times of India
Railways hikes freight, congestion charge for iron ore exporters
New Delhi, October 21, 2007: Indian Railways has hiked freight charges for iron ore for the second time this fiscal by about 15 per cent through various surcharges with effect from October 1.
For all iron ore traffic being transported to goods sheds and sidings that serve the ports, Railways has increased congestion surcharge to 35 per cent from 21 per cent.
The 21-per-cent congestion surcharge was imposed on iron ore exporters from April 1 this year after the Railway Budget. Railways has also imposed a busy season surcharge of seven per cent on iron ore for exports with effect from October 1. From April 1 to September 30, iron ore exporters had to pay a six per cent busy season surcharge. As a result, Railways imposed congestion and busy season
surcharges on the iron ore exporters through the entire 2007-08 fiscal — just that the surcharge levels were relatively lower for the first half year period (April 1-September 30).
Moreover, a terminal charge of Rs 40 per tonne of has been imposed on iron ore till March 31, 2008, apart from a development charge of two per cent. Because of these various surcharges, all of which were imposed through notices issued after the Railway Budget, iron ore exporters would have to pay almost 52 per cent higher charges than the base tariff rates announced in the Railway budget for a distance of 500 km. For moving one tonne of iron ore over 500 km, iron ore exporters would be required to pay about Rs 844.25 now compared to the base tariff of Rs 554.7 as announced in the budget. The average railway lead (distance) for iron ore exports from mines to ports is usually about 450-500 km.
Apart from iron ore for exports, Railways has imposed the busy season surcharge of six per cent on movement of coal and coke; and seven per cent on all other commodities for the entire second half of the financial year. Additionally, a terminal charge of Rs 10 per tonne per each loading or unloading at Railway owned terminal has been imposed on all goods traffic. The container operators, who have
already been seeking lower haulage charges, have been spared of both the terminal and busy season surcharge.
No privatisation of Railways: Minister
Srinagar, October, 17, 2007 (PTI): Ruling out privatisation of Indian Railways, the Centre
today said high speed trains would be introduced as part of the modernisation
programme under the Public-Private Partnership within seven years. "The Railways are planning to introduce high speed trains. Feasibility reports
have been sought from Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Railways,"
Minister of State for Railways R Velu said.
Once the feasibility reports are received, Special Projects Vehicles
(SPVs) would be created, he told reporters on the sidelines of the All India Editors
Conference here. "West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab and some other states have shown interest in
entering the joint venture," Velu said. He said it would take five to seven years for the first high speed train to run
in the country. The Minister ruled out privatisation of the Railways saying this was not
The Railways would only enter into joint ventures, Velu said.
Under the Private-Public Partnership, entrepreneurs were roped in to take part
in the joint venture under which 3000-km track would be laid from Ludhiana to
Kolkata and Delhi to Mumbai at a cost of Rs 30,000 crore, he said. "An SPV has been created for it," the Minister said.
Indian railways today inaugurated its south zone "Rail
Chennai, October 15, 2007: Indian railways today inaugurated its south zone "Rail Sampark," or the Integrated Train Enquiry System (ITES), a one stop shop for information on various aspects. Union Minister of State for Railways R Velu inaugurated the service, wherein one can call 139 and get
information on PNR enquiry, current train running position of any train in any part of India,
accommodation availability and fare enquiry.
"This is an effort by the Centre for Railway Information Systems
(CRIS) and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) and is a fulfillment of a promise made by Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in the Railway budget," Velu said after making the first call from South India. Rail
Sampark is already operational in north and west zones.
by Indian Railway
New Delhi October 15, 2007:
A senior railway ministry official has reportedly said that modalities are being worked out for dispensing perfumed tickets. Discussions are purportedly also on with consumer goods manufacturers to advertise soap, shampoo and perfume on train tickets. It could even be IR’s way of providing psychological relief to long-distance train
passengers. The perfumed tickets could even be a case of IR using reverse
psychology for the long-distance passengers who skip the bath.
Perfumed tickets could also be good for the morale of railway staff. Checking tickets while moving
from one compartment to the other on a hot, humid day can get quite monotonous, especially if the fans in the train are not working.
The Union Cabinet approved Rs 660cr bonus for Railways staff
New Delhi October 11, 2007: The Union Cabinet today approved the payment of a productivity-linked bonus, equivalent to 70 days wages, to eligible non gazetted Indian Railways employees for 2006-07. The Indian Railways is the country's largest employer.
The bonus would cost the Railways Rs 660 crore and would be distributed among 1.33 million group C&D employees. The bonus has been calculated on the basis of the formula approved by the Cabinet at a meeting held on
September 23, 2000. However, Railway Protection Force and Railway
Protection Special Force personnel have been excluded from payment. In addition, the Cabinet also approved Rs 63.20 crore as budgetary support to a dozen central public sector undertakings. The funds would go towards liquidating outstanding statutory dues, paying salaries and wages for the period up to June 30, 2007. The beneficiaries include
Source: Business Standard
Railways planning to install ATMs in selected trains
NEW DELHI, October 05, 2007: Indian Railways planning to install ATMs in selected trains,
so you may be able to withdraw money while traveling. In the first phase, ATMs would be installed in popular trains and later on depending upon the success of the facility it would be extended to other trains.
However, trains passing through Naxal-affected areas are not being considered for ATM facility for security reasons, the railway official said. "We have strengthened security measures at railway stations
and trains by deploying explosive detection devices, doorframe metal detectors, CCTV and smart video cameras at sensitive stations. Beside acquiring modern security gadgets our dog squads have also been strengthened.
Steps have been initiated to operate Global Positioning System (GPS) in trains to improve our trains tracking system. A GPS-based system for rail navigation has been planned in coordination with IIT
Kanpur. Beside ATMs and ATVMs, Railway Ministry is planning a major upgradation of entertainment in some inter-city super-fast trains. As per the plan, the seats of the coaches will be equipped with
flat- panel television touch screens with head phones offering passengers options of live and pre-recorded
entertainment and movie channels.
will run 688 special trains in festival season.
NEW DELHI, October 2, 2007: Northern Railways will run 688 special trains to clear extra rush of passengers during
forthcoming festival season. Compared to 484 trains last year, about 200 more trains will run between different stations this year, on the occasion of Durga Puja, Dussehra, Diwali, Chhat and ID, an official release said.
International Railway Safety Conference in Goa
Panaji, September, 30, 2007 : Mr.
R.Velu the Union Minister of State for Railway will inaugurate the five-day International Railway Safety Conference
(IRSC) organised by the Indian Railway and the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd, in Goa
on October 1. More than 150 representatives from about 20 countries, including the USS, Canada,
Australia, Japan, France, Germany, and the UK are expected to participate in the conference.
Experts for railway safety from all over the world will share their
experiences and best practices on 'Emerging Dimensions for Railway Safety'.
The first such conference was hosted by East Japan Railway in 1990 in Tokyo. The Goa conference is expected to offer immense opportunities for the world railways help formulate future strategies.
Arjun Singh flags off Azadi Express
September 28, 2007 ( PTI ): The train exhibition is part of the celebrations of the 150 years of 1857, 60 years of independence and the birth centenary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. Painted in the colours of the tricolour, Azadi Express, a mobile train exhibition on the freedom struggle began its journey to different parts of the country from the capital on Friday. The train, which was flagged off by Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh from the Safdarjang Railway station in New Delhi, would be stationed at each of the 70 destinations for two to five days.
The concept of the train was formulated by a national committee, set up to organise events to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1857 war of independence.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had formed the committee to reach out the message of independence
struggle across the country. The Azadi Express is a result of that," Singh said on the
MP plans its own 'Palace on Wheels'
Bhopal, September 27, 2007: The Madhya Pradesh government is considering a proposal to launch "Malwa Odyssey", a luxury train on the lines of "Palace on Wheels" in
Rajasthan, linking its tourist destinations with Bhopal. A suggestion in this regard was first made by the Indian Heritage Hotels Association which submitted a detailed report to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan last week on ways to boost tourism in the state.
The association has stressed on the need for running such a train, to attract domestic and foreign tourists, connecting Ujjain, Indore,
Shivpuri, Gwalior, Satna, and Jabalpur with Bhopal. The association in its Annual General Meeting
(AGM) held here also submitted a list of heritage sites to be developed as hotels and
ICICI Lombard to insure 16
millions rail passengers
September 25, 2007: Private sector general insurance major, ICICI Lombard will now cover lives of 16 million passengers of Indian Railways who travel with the railways daily on some 7000-odd
trains. This cover is against loss of life or disability due to train accidents and the Railways has paid Rs 34.72 crore for the cover. This is about Rs 4 crore less than what the public sector insurers had offered in 2005-06.
Railways’ plan to increase berths in coaches on track
24, 2007: The Indian Railways is all set to implement its proposal to
increase the number of berths in long-distance trains—a move aimed at cutting
down on waiting lists and refunds. A coach is currently being modified at the
railways’ Lower Parel workshop to increase the number of berths from 74 to 82.
According to railway sources, the coach is being modified in such a way that an
additional berth could be accommodated in each partition. Every partition has
eight berths—six on one side of the passage and two on the other. The additional
berth is being added in between the two rows of berths in the passage, sources
According to Rajkamal Rao, Member (Mechanical) of the Railway Board, “By adding
an extra berth in every partition, 12 per cent more seats will be available to
passengers. There was no other alternative for expanding the capacity of trains.
It was the only way in which immediate relief could be given to passengers
within the present infrastructure.” “Under the plan, new berths will be added in the sleeper class and AC 3tier
categories,” said Rao. For every long-distance train, 300 booked tickets are on the waiting list, he
said. By adding extra berths, eight passengers could be adjusted in every coach,
Rao said, adding that if a train had a minimum of 18 coaches, 144 passengers
would benefit. While the railways sounded very optimistic about the plan, the move elicited
mixed reactions from passengers.
Railway earnings up by 10.24 per cent
September 11, 2007: Indian Railways have registered an increase of 10.24 per cent in earnings between April and August this year as compared to last year. The total approximate earnings during Apri1 to August 31 this year were Rs 27,116.79 crore compared to Rs 24,598.42 crore during the same period last year - an increase of 10.24 per cent, release from the ministry said.
While the passenger earnings during first five months of the financial year were Rs 7861.56 crore
compared to Rs 7093.45 crore during the same period last year, the goods earnings have gone up from Rs 16,537.95 crore to Rs 18193.02
crore. The sundry earnings have also gone up from Rs 303.22 crore to Rs 313.91 crore during the said period. The total number of passengers booked during April to August were 2760.23 million compared to 2617.14 million during the same period last year showing an increase of 5.47 per cent.
Source: Economic Times
Railways for slow pace of expansion
September 10, 2007:
Even as Indian Railways recorded a cash surplus before dividend of Rs 20,153.49 crore for fiscal 2006-07, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways has pulled up the Ministry for not expanding the physical railway network at an equally impressive growth rate. However, recognising that the Railways has a huge number of pending projects owing to the lack of budgetary allocation, the Committee has recommended higher financial support. The pace of expansion of railway network in the country has been very slow compared to other rail networks worldwide, particularly in China, the Committee has stated.
As on April 1, 1951, the Indian Railways had a rail network of 53,596 route km, including 25,258 km of broad gauge, 24,185 km metre gauge and 4,153 km narrow gauge. Since then, over the last 54 years (up to April 31, 2004), the Railways had expanded its network to 63,221 route km, comprising 46,807 km broad gauge, 13,290 km metre gauge and 3,124 km narrow gauge
, a growth rate of just about 0.33 per cent per annum.
Pulling up the Railways for not expanding its network in the rural areas, the Committee stated: Though the Railways has made continuous efforts to expand its network, shifting priorities and ad-hoc policies have seen to it that it could not make much headway in their pursuit. The Railways’ emphasis has mainly been on the development and strengthening of the Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonal routes, whereas the projects taken up on socio-economic consideration have been given low priority.
The Railways, which can make a remarkable difference by developing the backward regions, now has about 60 projects sanctioned on socio-economic considerations. Incidentally, to take up these projects, the Railways had announced a scheme called Remote Area Rail Sampark Yojana, envisaging a Rs 20,000 crore investment over a five-year period in the interim Rail Budget of 2004-05. However, till date, no funding arrangement has been tied up, observed the Committee headed by Mr Basudeb Acharia.
Apart form these projects, with socio-economic consideration, the Committee notes that the 240
pending projects include new lines, gauge conversion, track-doubling, electrification and metropolitan transport projects.
The projected cost of these projects was assessed at Rs 47,354 crore on April 1, 2005. In this backdrop, the Committee has recommended that the budgetary support to the Railways be adequately enhanced so that projects taken up in hilly, tribal and backward areas could be completed as soon as possible. It has also suggested setting up an expert Committee comprising eminent economists, representatives of the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry to explore new sources of funding and suggest ways in which these projects can be completed within five years.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
Trade unions plan ‘rail roko’ in December
September 05, 2007: : All major trade unions in the country have given a call for a nationwide ‘rail roko’ on December 4 and 5 to protest against the government’s economic policies that has made life “totally miserable” for the ordinary people, more so for the working class. All major unions
except the Indian National Trade Union Congress and the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh
of railways, coal, banking and insurance employees extended support to the ‘rail roko’ here last week.
The unions will organise rallies and conventions in all cities and industrial towns in September, October and November. This will be followed by the ‘rail roko’ when over 10-lakh people are expected to court arrest. This will be followed by a nationwide general strike in the last week of December or early
January. The main issues are the United Progressive Alliance government’s failure to take the trade unions on board, social security for the unorganised sector, price rise, outsourcing, contractual appointments and violation of labour laws. “While the production has increased, dividends have gone up
and the salaries of the captains of industries have spiralled, workers’ incomes have come down and the workload has increased substantially,” Mr. Dasgupta said.
Source: The Hindu
Trains to endorse brands
Lucknow, August 31, 2007
: Very soon companies can have trains named after them under the branded trains scheme. Names of trains have always been important and now under a North Eastern Railways initiative, they are set to be branded for the first time in the country.
This is how it will work. For example if NDTV advertises under the 'Brand Train Scheme' then the entire train will be called NDTV Express. Every bogie will have the NDTV logo. The NDTV brand name will feature in all arrival and departure announcements and every ticket and reservation chart will have the NDTV logo.
An expression of interest has already been issued and the railways hope advertisers will begin queuing up.''We are hopeful that the advertisers would want to use this initiative to
their advantage,'' said A K Singh, CPRO. The scheme is at an early stage and has been restricted to summer specials. But it has already found many takers. The brand and the train would quite literally go together as this is the new face of the Indian Railways.
Approval for Railways Appropriation Bill
NEW DELHI, August 30, 2007: Parliament on Wednesday adopted the Appropriation (Railways) No. 3 Bill, 2007 that authorised payment and appropriation of over Rs.270 crore to the government out of the Consolidated Fund of India to meet the supplementary expenditure for the Railways for 2007-08. The Rajya Sabha approved the Bill by a voice vote. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.
Responding to members’ demands for better services, catering, more trains, higher frequency, gauge conversion and electrification of railway lines, Railways Minister Lalu Prasad said the existing rail lines were saturated and there was much congestion on the tracks. To attend to this problem, the Ministry proposed to lay a “third track” for local trains so that the long-distance and goods trains could run undisturbed. Among several proposals for new connectivity, Mr. Prasad announced a train from Hardwar to Rameswaram and another from Azamgarh to Kolkata. There would be another train named after one of the heroes of the 1857 war of independence.
Earlier, cutting across party lines, members demanded facilities for elderly citizens and physically challenged people at railway stations and platforms. They also expressed concern at the rising incidents of molestation of women by fellow passengers and sought a dedicated coach in each train for security forces and policemen who could register an FIR on the train to protect passengers from harassment and prevent delay in action.
Railways opt for JV in locomotives, coaches
NEW DELH, August
29, 2007I: Public Private Participation is the latest mantra for Indian Railways. After encouraging private players in passenger related non-core areas such as catering, cleaning, parcel service, budget hotels, food plazas, railways have decided to opt for the PPP model in manufacturing state-of-the-art locomotives and coaches.
"There is a growing need for new and advanced locomotives and coaches. With the sustained economic growth and the resultant demand for rail transport, the requirement of locomotives and coaches has
increased manifold. There is a considerable gap between the requirement and supply of the rolling stock. So, it has been decided to set up three manufacturing units - one each for diesel locomotive, electric locomotive and coach," said a senior Railway Ministry official. As per the decision, the units will be developed on a PPP model at an estimated cost of Rs 3000 crore. Railways would offer 74 per cent equity to private players in all the three proposed joint ventures.
While diesel locomotive unit would be set up at Marora, an electric locomotive unit and a coach
factory would come up at Madhepura (Bihar) and Rae Bareli (Uttar
Pradesh). The locomotives to be manufactured in the units would be equipped with the latest technology capable of hauling longer and heavier trains. The new coach factory is also expected to produce high capacity coaches. Shortlisting process has already begun to be followed with the bidding and selection procedure, said the official.
Source: Economic Times
Bullet trains to ply in four corridors in India
DELHI, August 23, 2007: Railways are contemplating to run high-speed bullet trains in the
country, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday. The Railway Ministry will conduct pre-feasibility studies for construction of high-speed passenger corridors, equipped with the state-of-the-art signalling and train-control systems for running high-speed trains at speeds of 300 to 350 km per hour, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said in a written reply.
The proposed trains are to run in the Northern, Western, Southern and Eastern regions of the country. Various state governments were approached by railways to find out their willingness for participating in pre-feasibility studies. Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat,
Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have agreed in principle to participate in the pre-feasibility studies.
Public-private partnership Special purpose vehicles have been formed in partnership with private sector partners to execute
Haridaspur-Paradip, Obullavaripalli-Krishnapatnam and Bharuch-Dahej port
connectivity projects, Prasad said.
New Palace on Wheels in 2008
JAIPUR, July 23, 2007 : With the Palace on Wheels train fully booked for the next two years, the railways and the Rajasthan government have drawn up plans to start a new train with suite facility from
the first quarter of 2008. Twenty-two coaches of the proposed train were being designed and fabricated at the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai, Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation Managing
Director Rakesh Saini today said.
The new train would most probably connect Jaipur, Jodhpur,
Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Sawaimadhopur and Bharatpur in Rajasthan, he said, adding a new circuit was also being explored by the railways. There are plans to make special suite for small groups and individuals. In the existing Palace on Wheels, there is a lounge for four cabin passengers.
Besides, a board room, conference room, Ayurvedic therapeutic centre with special emphasis on spa and massage would be the additional attraction for tourists, he added. The Palace on Wheels, which has been making profits for the last 25 years, is being run by the
Source: Economic Times Indiatimes
Rs 20,000 crore for rail gauge conversion:
Shri Laloo Prasad
New Delhi July 02, 2007:
Indian Railways is likely to invest about Rs 20,000 crore for conversion of 5,500 km of rail track into broad gauge in the coming years. "We have decided to convert 5,500 km of rail track into broad gauge," Union Railway Minister Laloo Prasad said in Katwa in West Bengal at the foundation stone-laying ceremony for conversion of the Katwa-Burdwan line into broad gauge. He reiterated that the dedicated freight corridor project was well on track to ensure faster cargo handling. The standard cost of conversion of one kilometre of railway track into broad gauge is estimated to be rupees three crore, a railway official said.
Prasad, however, did not give any timeframe for completion of the gauge conversion plan. There are about 13,000 km of rail track nationwide, which were yet to be converted into broad gauge. Out of this, 9,000 km was meter gauge and 4,000 km narrow gauge, Laloo said. The Railway Minister said the conversion of the 51-km Katwa-Burdwan line into broad gauge would be completed by 2012.
The Rs 202-crore project would be shared equally by Railways and the West Bengal Power
Development Corporation Limited. The WBPDCL is sharing the cost to make the investment viable for the railways and also to ensure easy supply of coal to its proposed 1200-MW proposed thermal power project near here through the broad gauge line.
The Railway Minister said the Howrah railway terminal would be upgraded to a world class railway station. "I shall also strive to make the Indian Railways the largest and the best in the world. At present, it is third in the world," he said.
Laloo Prasad said the Patna-Howrah and Guwahati-Howrah Garib Rath would be introduced soon. The entirely air-conditioned trains, meant for the masses, have a fair structure lower than other trains.
Laloo urged Maoists not to target railways. Three days after Maoists burnt down a railway station in West Bengal, Union Railway Minister Laloo Prasad urged them not to target the railways to register their protests. "Loss for the railways is loss for the nation. They should not resort to violence and economic blockades to protest issues of other regions. Things happen at one place and they protest at another," Laloo Prasad said at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a gauge-conversion project here. The Minister said the railways suffered huge losses due to such acts of violence.
Source: Business Standard
GE, Indian Railways eyeing locomotives unit
MUMBAI , June 25, 2007
(Reuters): General Electric is keen to build a plant in India to make diesel locomotives jointly with the Indian Railways, the Business Standard reported on Monday. The proposed plant would be able to produce 100-120 locomotives a year and involves an investment of $100 million
to $200 million, it quoted the CEO of GE Infrastructure, India, Pratyush Kumar as saying.
It quoted a source close to the development as saying that the state-owned railways wanted to build plants using modern technology. The Indian Railways operates more than 14,000 passenger and
freight trains daily.
Indian Railways to set up a wagon factory on PPP model
NEW DELHI, June 12, 2007 : The Indian Railway plans to use the
public-private partnership (PPP) model to set up a new wagon factory. The factory will manufacture high axle load bogies and wagons. It is most likely to come up at a site at Dalmia Nagar in Bihar, which has already identified.
This is the first time that private players will be involved in manufacturing trains with their own designs. The wagon manufactures will be allowed to use their own designs for the manufacture of the wagons, however they will be expected to use
railways- recommended bogies, coupler, draft and brake gear. The designs will be compliant with special commodity wagons ment for carrying iron ore, steel and coal etc. BEML, Bhel and Wagon India ( WIL) currently manufacture wagons for the Indian railways.
The dedicated rail corridor will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 30,000 crore based on the PPP model. The new Dalmia Nagar wagon factory will manufacture 32.5-tonne axle load goods trains and double stack container trains, which will be intensely used by the dedicated rail freight corridor. Currently, only wagons of
22.9 tonne axle load are manufactured in India. The double stack container movement and high axle load trains will increase the throughput by 70%.
enter retail revolution
NEW DELHI, June 23, 2007: The Indian Railways has nearly 7,000 stations, 300 railyards and 2,300 goods sheds along 63,000 km of tracks criss-crossing India. And 7 cinema halls. This last and
least- known railway asset is the vanguard of the latest Indian Railways venture: to offer retail biggies a chance to convert spaces in and around their properties into profitable ventures.
With an estimated 40,000 hectares of railway land lying unused currently, the Indian Railways is chugging along with plans to offer less-used spaces (like their cinema halls in 7 cities, for instance) to retailers like Reliance,
Bharti-Wal-Mart and Pantaloon for warehousing and cash & carry ventures. The advantages are obvious: spaces like cinema halls and sheds are ideal for back-end retail work due to their closeness to railway stations for loading and unloading of goods.
“Big retail companies are in talks with us for taking various real estate spaces across the country, and these cinema halls are one of them,” says a senior Rail Bhawan official. “The real estate, including halls and clubs would be leased out to them on competitive basis, provided they cease to be of use to us any more.”
“We have decided to empanel real estate consultants to conduct a survey across the country to
ascertain value of the Railways’ unutilised real estate. Then we will hold a formal meeting with interested retail sector players, to weigh the pros and cons of such tie-ups,” the official added.
Source: TIMES NEWS NETWORK