Railways imposes Rs 500 fine for spitting on platforms
MUMBAI, December 18, 2012: The railways has decided to levy fines of up to Rs 500 from
those who spit on platforms or litter or deface walls on railway premises. The railway ministry has empowered station masters/managers
and ticket collectors to collect the amounts. The ministry has issued a notification of rules on the prohibition of
activities affecting cleanliness and hygiene on railway premises.
The notification—brought out on November 26—also specifies penalties for
violating the rules. According to it, no person shall in any occupied or
unoccupied railway premises or carriages (except in authorized places):
throw or deposit litter; cook, bathe, spit, urinate or def cate; feed
animals or birds; repair or wash vehicles; wash utensils or clothes or
any other objects; store personal objects; paste posters on walls;
deface walls or train compartments. By authorized places, the railways means lavatories, waste baskets and locker rooms.
The railway ministry has asked authorized vendors and hawkers to arrange
for containers for waste collection and to ensure their disposal." Till
now, Indian Railways did not have specific rules on civic sense, and offenders were booked under provisions of the Railways Act
," said a senior railway officer. But by notifying cleanliness and sanitation rules, the
railways have made station masters and ticket collectors responsible for
maintaining cleanliness at stations and on trains." - Times of India
Indian Railways needs Rs 1,47k crore to finish projects: Pawan Bansal
NEW DELHI, December 5, 2012: Railways has failed to manage funds for completing its long
list of pending projects, admitted rail minister Pawan Bansal on Friday.
Faced with acute financial stress, the minister announced that projects which are 50%
complete will be taken up on a priority basis and also urged state governments to share the cost.
Bansal was candid in admitting that railways had been making new announcements in response to demands of members, and was staring at a
"humongous" financial commitment.
The minister disclosed that the state-run transporter needs Rs 147,187
crore for completing 347 pending projects relating only to laying of new
tracks, gauge conversion and doubling of tracks. Expressing helplessness to fund these projects, Bansal informed the
Rajya Sabha that in the past railways could manage only Rs 5,000 crore
annually for implementing all its projects. "Railways is one department where we have been making various
announcements for new projects in response to vociferous demands raised
by MPs. That has landed us in a situation where there is a humongous
throw-forward of projects, both in physical terms and financial terms,"
he said. Bansal argued that the due to large number of projects the financial spread has been
thin which is resulting in difficulty to finish work in time.
The minister defended rail officials arguing that the allegations of
time and cost overruns in finishing projects were technically incorrect
as work was being carried out in accordance with the money sanctioned.
Failing to generate resources, he urged state governments to share land
cost and 50% of the sum spent on construction to help the transporter to
expedite its pending projects. Source: Times of India
ID proof must for reserved train travel from December 1
New Delhi, Secember 1, 2012: People travelling in any reserved compartment of
Indian railways are going to face a new problem as it will be mandatory for
them to establish their bonafides for their journey. In its attempt to prevent touts from getting the tickets, the Indian
Railways have made identity proof mandatory for even those travelling in
sleeper class and second class reserved coaches, economy class and first
class. The rule of carrying identity cards has already been enforced for
those travelling in air-conditioned coaches so that only genuine passengers undertake the journey.According to a railway ministry official, if any passenger fails to
produce original ID proof, as and when asked for, he/she will be treated
as travelling ‘without ticket’ and would be charged accordingly.
Notably, it will be applicable to all forms of tickets, issued by railways either through Passenger Reservation System
(PRS) or via internet. Earlier in February the railways had mandated all AC-class passengers to
carry photo-ID proofs during their journey.
Indian Railways setting up 100 MW Thermal Power Plants in Bihar
Patna, 24 November 25, 2012: Indian Railways is establishing its first coal based captive power plant
of 1000 MW capacity at Nabinagar in Bihar in JV with National Thermal Power Corporation which is under construction.
Indian Railways has further planned to set up 2 more captive power
plants in Railway land, 1 1320 MW capacity coal based power plant and
Adra in Purulia district of West Bengal is JV with National Thermal Power Corporation and another 700 MW gas power plant at ThakurIi near
Kalyan in Maharashtra. Fuel linkage and environmental clearance for both
these plants are is process. Annual saving of about INR 500 crore from
Nabinagar plant, INR 600 crore from Adra plant and INR 200 crore for Thakurli plant has been estimated
due to reduction in electricity tariff. Source - PIB
Railway Board plans to buy high-speed trains
Delhi, November 15, 2012: The Indian railways needs at least Rs.10 lakh crore to
enhance its safety measures and another Rs.1.25 lakh crore to complete 129 key projects.
These financial hiccups, however, have not stalled the flight of ambition of the railway board, which has prepared a proposal to buy
highspeed trains, which can travel up to 200 km per hour, at the cost of Rs.550 crore per train.The "speed-up high quality coach trains" are proposed to run on the
Delhi-Mumbai route. The ambitious plan, involving an expenditure of Rs.10,587 crore for 20 speed-up trains, has triggered a debate in the
railway department with several members finding the project unfeasible
given the current condition of the railways. The feasibility study, presented in the railway board meeting on
November 1, also took into account the additional cost of three to four
thousand crore rupees that would be incurred in setting up the infrastructure to run the high-speed trains.
The feasibility proposal has evoked sharp criticism from former board members and railway brass, with some
sniffing a "scam" and "favouritism" to a particular company.
"It is learnt that companies like Altstom, Bombardier and Siemens are in
the race to grab the contract. Japanese giants in the field - Hitachi,
Kawasaki and Mitsubishi - are also not far behind. Incidentally, the
feasibility study for these trains was sponsored by Japan's ministry of
economy, trade and industry (METI),'' a board member said. Many questioned the proposal's viability at a time when the railways is
struggling to complete several pending projects. A senior board member pleading anonymity said: "There are several pending issues which need
urgent attention and are affecting the daily operations of the railways.
If we can run a highquality train at the cost of Rs.60-70 crore, including the locomotive cost, why are we going for the high-speed
trains which are 10 times more expensive? The proposal is impractical given we don't have proper tracks to run even 100 km/hr speed trains."
The total cost earned from passenger fare per train will not even be enough to pay the interest of the loan required to buy these trains.
"Had it been an investment it would have been a feasible approach. But that is not the case," the board member said. "Besides the Rs.11,000
crore cost of the train, also consider the expenditure on the tracks. The cost of one km track for such high-speed train will be equivalent to
the cost of 20 km of normal coach tracks in use in the country.
Source: INDIA TODAY
Sonia Gandhi inaugurates rail coach factory, flags off coaches
Raebareli, November 8, 2012 (PTI): Congress President Sonia Gandhi flagged off
the first set of coaches from the modern Rs. 1,685 crore rail coach manufacturing factory inaugurated by her on Wednesday in her Raebareli
parliamentary constituency. The project was commissioned a few weeks after the Congress got the Railway Ministry back after
nearly 16 years, a portfolio last held by former ally Trinamool Congress before its pullout of UPA in September. The foundation
stone for the Railway Coach Factory (RCF) which is the biggest project in Rae Bareli and the third in the country was laid in
January 2009 just before Lok Sabha polls and the then BSP government
in Uttar Pradesh had termed it as a "political gimmick" on the eve of polls.
"I here want to mention those who spread rumours against the project. But it has been completed in such a short time",
Ms Gandhi said at the inaugural function at RCF in Lalganj. The land
for the project was initially denied to the Railways, which had then blamed the BSP government for delaying the start of project.
Stating that the factory would not only generate employment opportunities for locals but also ensure development of the area,
Sonia said full compensation was given to farmers by the railways for their land. "The regional industries are likely to grow and
locals will find new employment opportunities", she added. Before flagging off 20 coaches produced in the factory which would
be used in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, Sonia inspected them and said she was feeling elated.
"Railways on which 1.5 crore passengers travel every day is crucial for the economy of the country. It is the biggest
employer in which over 15 lakh employees work", Ms Gandhi said
in the presence of Railways Minister Pawan Bansal. "I have seen how people in far away places in Jammu and Kashmir were enthused
when the service started there", Ms Gandhi added, trying to highlight its importance.
I-card mandatory for sleeper-class train passengers from 1st December
New Delhi, November 2, 2012:It will be compulsory for sleeper-class train passengers to
carry identity proof from December 1. This was announced by the Indian
Railways on Thursday. The Railways said that this move will reduce the
scope for misuse of tickets by touts. In February, Railways had made it mandatory for AC-class passengers to
carry identity proof with them. Passengers travelling on a Tatkal or an
e-ticket are also required to carry I-cards while undertaking train journey.
"Earlier it was mandatory for AC-class train passengers to carry
I-cards. Now, we have decided to make sleeper-class passengers also to
carry I-card. This has been done to facilitate genuine passengers to
avail confirm tickets," a senior Railway Ministry official said. "Non-AC travellers were kept out of the photo I-card decision at that
time," the official said. He added, "The policy ambit is being widened
now so that every passenger in reserved class onboard a train has a valid identity card."
From December 1, passengers failing to produce original identity proof
in sleeper class, as and when asked for, will be treated as 'without
ticket' and charged accordingly. The rule will apply for all forms of ticket, including those for sleeper
class, issued by Railways through computerised passenger reservation
system (PRS) or Internet. The decision to introduce photo I-cards for sleeper class passengers is
likely to deter touts from booking tickets under fictitious names and
selling them to passengers at a premium, the official said.
Passengers can carry any of these ten ID proofs while undertaking train
journey -- voter ID card, passport, PAN card, driving licence, photo
identity card having serial number issued by central/state government,
student identity card with photograph issued by recognised school/college, Aadhar card, nationalised bank passbook with photograph
and credit cards issued by banks with photograph. Source: Agencies
Pawan Kumar Bansal is new Railways Minister
New Delhi, October 29,
2012: Pawan Kumar Bansal has been selected as the new Railways Minister. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expanded his cabinet on
Sunday. Pawan Kumar Bansal, 64, is a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of
India. He was the Union Cabinet Minister of Water Resources in the previous cabinet. He represents the Chandigarh constituency and is a
member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party. He studied in Government College Chandigarh.
Pawan Kumar Bansal on Sunday said his priority will be to improve the financial health of the national transporter and make it
a preferred mode of journey in the country. “My priority is to improve the health of the ministry both physical and financial,”
Mr. Bansal said in New Delhi after being given the responsibility of
crucial infrastructure ministry. Asked whether he will go in for a fare hike, Mr. Bansal said the task of improving the financial
health is a larger exercise. “It has to be a larger exercise. It does not have to confine to just increasing fares or freight...That
is not the only factor on what the physical or financial health will depend upon,” he said. Besides Mr. Bansal, two Congress MPs from
West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh -- Adhir Ranjan Choudhary and Kotla Jaya Suryaprakash Reddy -- were given portfolios of Ministers of
State for Railways in the reshuffle. It is after almost one-and-a-half decade that the Railway Ministry is back with
Congress with Mr. Bansal being given the Cabinet post and the two MoS portfolios also going to the party.
On safety aspects, Mr. Bansal said, “My endeavour will be to make train journey safe and comfortable so that it remains a
preferred mode of transport in the country.” Mr. Bansal said, We have to look into many aspects to see if we can cut on
expenditures, where we can utilise the resources properly and if necessary how to go about the issue of fare, with the larger
objective of providing better services to the people.”
50 made-in-India railway engines to chug into Pak
New Delhi, October 26, 2012: India has finally agreed to sell and
lease out its locomotives to Pakistan, thus helping the neighbouring
country restart its defunct train services. In the first-of-its-kind deal, the Indian Railways will deliver 50
refurbished American Locomotive Company (ALCO) technology locos at an estimated cost of
Rs. 350 crore. Another set of 50 new locos of a higher horsepower (3000-3500) will also
be leased out. Lease charges of Indian locomotives work out to Rs. 900
per hour or Rs. 21,600 per day. Pakistan is expected to get delivery of the first instalment of 10
refurbished engines of 2,000-2,600 horsepower capacity sometime next year.
The proposed arrangement will include a liberalised visa regime for
Indian engineers who will be required to visit Pakistan for training purposes.
While yearly maintenance of engines is proposed to be done at the Indian Railways shed at Ludhiana, the Pakistan government has agreed to ramp up
facilities at its railway shed at Mughalpura near Lahore. Running 19,000 trains over a 54,000-kilometre network each day, the
Indian Railways is hugely stressed for train engines. "But the production units will churn out train engines in bigger numbers
in the coming years. Issues with Pakistan have now been sorted out. We
will shortly start working on the modifications and fix up the used locos to be delivered to Pakistan," officials said.
With 137 of its fleet of 494 locos dysfunctional, train operations in Pakistan have virtually collapsed and annual losses worth a whopping R25
billion have been reported. In the last four years, the Pakistan government has provided
Rs. 93 billion subsidy to its railways department, Rs. 32 billion as assistance for development projects and
Rs. 14 billion as overdraft from the State Bank of Pakistan, railways minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said recently. Source: Hindustan Times
tickets: Indian Railways introduce separate reservation form
October 20, 2012 (PTI): Stepping up efforts to check misuse of tatkal bookings, Railways on Thursday said a separate reservation
form for passengers booking tickets under this scheme will be introduced soon.
The pink colour form has to be filled up by the passenger at the booking counters providing details of his/her address, contact
number and ID. At present a single requisition form is available for booking both normal and tatkal tickets. The form also carries a set
of warnings including deboarding at the next station, imposition of fine or imprisonment as per provisions of Railway Act if address and
other details furnished are found to be false.
Announcing the move, GM Northern Railway V K Gupta said more than
five lakh multiple personal IDs and 44,000 IDs created by agents have been deactivated since February 2011 by the IT anti-fraud team
of IRCTC as part of efforts to check misuse of ticketing service. Opening time of tatkal booking was changed from 8 am to 10 am
earlier this year. Gupta said 62 pairs of special trains would be run this festive season to clear the rush of passengers. Elaborate
security arrangements have been made in major city stations with augmentation of workforce and ensuring proper crowd management, he
said. The arrangements also include timely placements of the rake at the platform and keeping a check on elements cornering seats in
Rs 10,000 cr bonus for railway employees
October 17, 2012: After a series of decisions aimed at pushing its economic reforms, the UPA government is set to focus on a slew of
pro-people measures. The Union cabinet will discuss a proposal to shower Rs. 10,025 crore as bonus on railway employees in its meeting
on Thursday. The proposal for disbursing productivity-linked bonus will benefit almost 12.37 lakh employees of the
Indian Railways — the biggest government employer. If the plan gets approved, each
railway employee will get almost Rs. 9,000 as bonus for 2011-12. The proposal, seen as one of the biggest sops for government employees,
also comes after the exit of Trinamool Congress member Mukul Roy as railway minister.
The cabinet is also set to increase its expenses on the national social assistance programme (NSAP). The proposal is to
double the amount of monthly financial assistance to widows, disabled and other vulnerable sections of the society. According to
the proposal, the Indira Gandhi Widow Pension will be hiked from Rs.
200 to Rs. 300. Also, if the sole bread earner of a poor family became disabled, the government used to provide a one-time grant of
R10,000 apart from a monthly pension. The cabinet seeks to double the grant. Source: Hindustan Times
Indian Railways allows users to track train info real-time
Mumbai October 12, 2012: The Indian Railways is now allowing passengers to track trains
on real-time basis. RailRadar is an interactive map which allows users to watch movements of
trains, which are currently running in India. The application was today
announced at the Digital Conference held by Medianama. This is the first time any of the public transport system can be tracked
in real-time basis on the internet, and mobile. RailRadar is a live tracker of Indian Railways passenger trains traffic
in real time. This live tracker is shown on an interactive map and allows users to watch the movements of trains which are currently
running in entire India.
The application has been built by Indian Railways Center for Railway Information System (CRIS) and
RailYatri.in. The map has arrows in various directions and colours. A single yellow or
red icon represents train currently running in India. A yellow icon represents a train which is currently expected to reach its next stop on
time (typically with delays of 15 mins or less). A red icon represents a
running train which is delayed by more than 15 minutes. The pointer of
the icon represents the direction in which the train is traversing. To be able to give information on real-time basis, the application
extracts and harnesses volumes of data from the official Indian Railway?s train running operational information data.
According to the official website
(http://railradar.trainenquiry.com/), in terms of accuracy, the information is fairly accurate in the normal running scenarios.
Indian Railways has train passing monitoring points around the country
at more than 6000 locations. These monitoring points in real-time mode
communicate updates on train arrival, departure, or passing to a central
headquarter server. In substantial cases these updates are automated
however there are places/situations where this reporting is also done manually.
There are several factors that can affect a train while it is on its
route. Weather, breakdowns, congestion, local control-office directives,
and more. RailRadar tries to continuously update this information. However, since the data on the Radar is displayed few minutes later than
the actual, we encourage our viewers to double check train running information using the traditional train status search mechanism
also offered by TrainEnquiry.com,? explain the website. Source: Business Standard
Online tracking site of Indian Railways now to have info of all trains
NEW DELHI, October 6, 2012: Expanding its facility, Railways have included all
trains under its online train tracking service, trainenquiry.com, providing
updated information about their movements. According to a statement issued on Thursday, train running information
can also be sources by sending SMS to 139. All that one has to do is
type 'SPOT' and send it to 139. The development comes in the wake of real-time train tracking system
SIMRAN ( Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation developed by IIT-Kanpur shutting down operations recently.
The agreement between Railways and IIT-Kanpur has come to an end for
running the project on September 30, sources in the Railways said. While SIMRAN provided information of only 36 selected Rajdhani and
Shatabdi trains, the statement said, information on all these trains
would be available on 'www.trainenquiry.com'. - Times of India
Railway steps up security for women
New Delhi, October 03, 2012: The railways have stepped up security for passengers, especially women,
after an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer was arrested for allegedly misbehaving with a woman—an employee of an MNC in Noida —on
board an AC coach of a Delhi-Lucknow train on Monday. "All important trains have mobile squads of either our Railway Protection Force (RPF)
or the states' Government Railway Police (GRP). Instructions have been
issued to maintain extra vigilance and check such cases in future," said a senior northern railway official.
"We're making passengers aware that there are attendants in all AC
coaches. They can be spoken to in case any passenger perceives any threat or feels insecure," he said.
"Any complaints of crime can be lodged at the next major station. We have displayed helpline numbers of the railways as well as the GRP in
trains and at stations," the official added. Citing lack of adequate manpower as a major problem, another railway
ministry official said, "Our priority is railway board's trains such as
Rajdhani and Shatabdi, followed by express and mail trains run by various zonal railways. Because of staff shortage, small-distance and
daytime trains often suffer."
"Also, there is no adequate coordination between RPF and GRP. Efforts
are on to introduce a bill in Parliament to transfer handling of all
heinous crime cases to RPF," the official said. RPF is responsible for the detection of crime and protection of
passengers but unlike GRP, it does not have the powers to lodge FIRs,investigate, and arrest offenders. RPF has for long been ruing the fact
that the GRP even after detection of crime does not lodge cases citing jurisdiction issues.- Hindustan Times
AC fares to increase by more than 3% from 1 October
New Delhi, September 27, 2012
(PTI): Railway travel on air-conditioned coaches will be costlier by 3.7% as the finance ministry has decided to levy a service tax, which
will also be applicable on freight rates. The move by the finance ministry comes after Trinamool Congress, a
constituent of the United Progressive Alliance, quit the ruling coalition. A Trinamool parliamentarian was railways minister, who has
been replaced by C.P. Joshi, a Congress party leader. Fares of AC first class, executive class, AC 2-tier, AC 3-tier and AC
chair car will go up by 3.708% from 1 October and a notification to this
effect will be issued on Thursday, a railway ministry official said,
requesting anonymity. The decision for levying service tax on air-conditioned coaches and
freight and auxiliary services was taken on Wednesday at a meeting between Joshi and finance minister P.Chidambaram .The service tax will apply to tickets issued in advance for journeys to
start on or after the date of its implementation. In case of tickets already issued excluding service tax, it will be ensured that the same
is recovered either by travelling ticket examiners in the train or by
the booking offices before the start of a journey. In case of cancellation of tickets, the railways will not refund the
service tax, the official said.
Freight rates will also go up by 3.708% from October. However, auxiliary
services rendered at stations, such as catering and parking, will have
to bear the burden of 12.36%, as there will be no abetment on these services.
Service tax on freight was announced in 2009-10 national budget but the
then railway minister Mamata Banerjee Banerjee had protested the move.
CP Joshi gets additional charge of Railways
New Delhi, September 22, 2012 (PTI): Union minister CP Joshi was on Saturday given additional charge of
Railway ministry, a day after the resignation of Mukul Roy and other
Trinamool Congress ministers. According to Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Venu Rajamony, Joshi was assigned with the additional
charge by President Pranab Mukherjee on the advice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The announcement came on a day the Prime Minister met the President amid
speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle. Joshi already holds the portfolio of Road Transport and Highways ministry.
The President also accepted the resignation of Roy and five other members of Trinamool Congress after the party, which has 19 MPs in the
Lok Sabha, withdrew its support to the UPA government. The others whose resignation was accepted by the President on the advice
of the Prime Minister were Ministers of State Sudip Bandyopadhyay (Health and Family welfare), Saugata Roy (Urban Development), Choudhary
Mohan Jatua (Information and Broadcasting), Sultan Ahmed (Tourism) and Sisir Adhikari(Rural Development).
Indian Railways into service tax net
New Delhi, September 18, 2012: Indian Railways (IR) is supposed to charge service
tax on rail users from next month. However, railway minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Roy is said
to be resisting the plan. He should not. The IR is a very large service
provider and the case for bringing it under the tax net is compelling.
It will complete the Centre's value-added tax (Cenvat) chain, ensure a smooth
transition to the goods and service tax (GST) and also improve the Railways' own financial health.
The burden on rail users will be marginal due to an abatement of 70%.
This means service tax will be charged only on 30% of the passenger fare
and freight tariff. Only passengers travelling in air-conditioned coaches would have to pay the tax.
Most passengers, barring those who travel on business, have to
bear an extra burden, even if nominal. However, movers of goods will get
credit for the tax paid and this can be offset against other input taxes
borne by them. Similarly, the Railways will also be able to gain input tax credit of
around Rs 1,200 crore in the first year. So, Mukul Roy must shun populism as these gains will help boost the sagging finances of IR.
Another argument against the levy is that the IR would need more time to
put systems in place for generating invoices to process Cenvat claims.
That is absurd, given that the plan to bring Railways under the service
tax net has been in the works for some years now. Ideally, all services must be taxed, except those specified in the
negative list, which has decisively been kept small. And then, it should
be integrated into GST. Source: The Economic Times
Railways import more goods from Pakistan than export
Amritsar September 16, 2012
(PTI): Railways carried nearly three lakh tons of goods including millet,
chemicals, petroleum products and rubber to Pakistan while imported over
four lakh tons of cement, rock salt and dry fruit in the last fiscal. "A total of 317 trains with 600 wagons crossed the border carrying goods
and an equal number of goods trains came to India from Pakistan last year," NC Goel, Divisional Railway Manager of Ferozpur Division, told
PTI. In 2011-12, railways exported 2,84,386 tons of goods to Pakistan as against 1,27,006 tons in 2010-11.
The inward wagons from Pakistan carried 4,33,193 tons of goods in
2011-12, while 5,56,966 tons of goods were carried during 2010-11. The import from Pakistan is mostly cement, Goel said.
On upgrading of Amritsar railway station, he said plans are afoot to
develop it as a world class station in coordination with the Tourism Ministry.
Rs 15 crore will be spent for upgrading the station, he said.
Besides Amritsar, there are plans to convert Jalandhar and Ludhiana stations into world class stations, he
First railway station in Meghalaya soon
MENDIPATHAR (MEGHALAYA), September 9, 2012: Scripting a new chapter in the history of
Indian railways, Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma on Saturday laid
the foundation stone of Mendipathar railway station, which will be the
first in the state. Mendipathar railway station lies along the Dudhnoi-Mendipathar new broad
gauge railway line project that will cost Rs 175.43 crore and is expected to be completed by March 2013. The total length of the broad
gauge railway route from Dudhnoi (Assam) to Mendipathar (Meghalaya) is
19.75 km. 'It's a historic day for the people of the Garo hills and Meghalaya. I
feel extremely happy to join the people of the North Garo Hills to rejoice this day, that will change the landscape of the Garo hills
region in the future," said Sangma. He expressed happiness that despite
lots of constraints, including land acquisition for constructing rail
routes, finally the time has come when foundation station of the first
railway station of Meghalaya was laid down. However, he cautioned that
there should be no more delay in connecting the rail route.
The Meghalaya government, North Garo Hills district administration and
locals should join hands so that the March 2013 target of completion of
the project can be achieved, said the chief minister. Sangma admitted that lack of rail connectivity to Meghalaya in the last
few decades have been a factor of for Meghalaya's underdevelopment."The
change in the socio-economic life of the people of Goalpara, Dudhnoi and
Jogighopa in neighbouring Assam can be attributed to the linking of this part of Assam through railways," the chief minister
added. Sangma added that the state government is keen to extend railway track
between Dudhnoi and Mendipathar to Tura and Dobu in Meghalaya. General
manager of NF Railway RS Virdi said rail connectivity to Meghalaya will usher in prosperity in the state. Source: Times of India
Indian Railways to use CNG for diesel unit
ALLAHABAD, September 6, 2012: In its endeavour to use new technology and
conserve environment, Indian Railways has taken the initiative of using compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternate fuel on pilot
project involving Diesel Power Car (DPC) of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU). Presently, the power car of Diesel Electric Multiple
Unit is being hauled with the help of diesel. Contracts for conversion of 50 DPCs have been placed on three different firms by
Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels (IROAF) for Northern Railway Shakurbasti Diesel Shed homing DEMUs. Fitment of
these kits is under progress. Cost of fitment on 50 DPCs is about Rs 55 crore and savings in fuel consumption can be assessed only where
these kits are positioned. The information regarding the use of CNG in DPC was given by the minister of state for Railways KH Muniyappa
in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha
Smart card for train passengers on Delhi, Howrah and Mumbai routes
New Delhi, September 2, 2012 (PTI): Passengers will soon be able to use smart cards for
buying train tickets on the busy Delhi-Howrah and Delhi- Mumbai routes and also in the Kolkata Metro. "A pan-India
multi-purpose smart card is going to be launched by the Indian Railways in two most sought after routes on a pilot basis shortly
and the modalities are being worked for it," said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the project. The smart card,
called Go-India card, can be used for booking tickets for long distance and sub-urban trains on Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi- Horwah
routes. Asked whether the scheme will be extended to other routes, officials said, "The pilot project is for one year and
depending on the response we will decide for its extension on other routes".
The Go-India card proposal, as announced in the Rail Budget 2011-12, will be implemented in two phases. "While in the first
phase it will allow the passenger to buy train tickets in the Delhi-Kolkata
and Delhi-Mumbai routes, Kolkata Metro will be included in the second phase," he said. One can book reserved and unreserved
tickets using the Go-India card at booking counters, automatic ticketing vending machines (ATVM) and also through the Internet. All
major stations like Kanpur, Allahabad and Dhanbad in Delhi-Howrah route and Baroda and Surat in Delhi-Mumbai sector will have
facilities for using the card. The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), the IT arm of railways, is making the software for
the smart card.
construct low cost houses to remove encroachments near tracks
New Delhi, August 28, 2012
(PTI): *In order to remove encroachments along tracks, Railways will construct special low-cost houses for slum dwellers in Mumbai,
Sealdah, Siliguri, Tiruchirapalli and Delhi. Aptly named 'Sukhi Griha' scheme, the project entails construction of
low-cost houses for slum dwellers, who are residing near the tracks thus
affecting the smooth movement of trains. "We have undertaken steps for removal of encroachments by giving them
small shelters through Sukhi Griha Scheme and also through other central
schemes. The Sukhi Griha scheme aims for slum dwellers' rehabilitation
and resettlement in a planned manner," said a senior Railway Ministry
official. Poverty drives many people to live dangerously near railway tracks and
often risk their lives. "These dwellers also affect smooth movement of
trains. So we have adopted a human approach for removing encroachments
along the tracks," the official said. At present, there are about 1,34,841 encroachments reported on railway
Railways have approximately 4.31 hectares of land, out of which about
981 hectares of total land holding, are under encroachment. According to data prepared by the Railway Ministry, over 220 hectares of
railway land have been encroached in the Northern Zone, followed by 167
hectares in Northeast Frontier Zone and 162 hectares in South Eastern Zone.
Railways have shelled out Rs. 22 crore for Mumbai and Rs. 11 crore for
Delhi under the scheme till now. The scheme was announced in the Rail Budget 2011-12 by then Railway
Minister Mamata Banerjee. Besides this, railways has also taken up the issue with Housing and
Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry to arrive at a solution to relocate
slums under the Rajiv Awas Yojna in cooperation with the state governments.
Kolkata Metro to be under railways’ wings
NEW DELHI, August 24, 2012: Railways under West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's
nominee Mukul Roy will take charge of Kolkata Metro. The Union urban development (UD) ministry has agreed to the proposal that railways be
given charge of Kolkata Metro, a joint venture where the state-run transporter will have the majority stake.
The decision is in line with then railway minister Mamata Banerjee's
decision to declare Kolkata Metro as a separate zone of railways. The Union Cabinet's approval of the proposal came on a
day when the Bengal CM was here to attend UPA's coordination panel's
meeting. Metro projects are with respective city administration, but Kolkata
Metro will be an exception to the prevailing trend. Source: Times of India
Indian Railways’ Mumbai elevated rail corridor on track
Mumbai, August 17, 2012: Indian Railways is to introduce a new air-conditioned
suburban train service in Mumbai to boost capacity on the over-exhausted western
suburban railway service. The new $4 billion 63.27 km elevated rail corridor linking Oval
Maidan, South Mumbai, and Virar – the northern most railway station of Mumbai Suburban Railway – will have two-track corridor along the existing
Churchgate-Virar section, which is operated by the Western Railway (WR)Zone of Indian Railways.
Out of the 62.27 km corridor, 42.72 km route will be on elevated track,
8.04 km will be underground and the remaining 12.52 at grade (ground level). It will have with 26 stations, which have been designed for trains to
run at an optimum speed of 100 kmph. Out of 26 stations, five stations would be underground, 19 stations will
be elevated and two stations will be at grade. In the underground sections, the rail level will be around 15 metres below ground level.
The project has received personal attention of the prime minister office
(PMO), who said: “Mumbai elevated rail corridor project which is the most advanced stage. The technical feasibility study has already been
conducted and concessionaire shall be finalized by March 15, 2013.”
Railways minister announces Rs 75 lakh award for Sushil Kumar
KOLKATA, August 13, 2012 (PTI): Railways Minister Mukul Roy on Sunday
announced a cash award of Rs 75 lakh to Sushil Kumar who won the silver medal in the 66-kg class free style wrestling at the London Olympics.
The minister also announced a cash award of Rs one lakh to coach Satpal Singh. Roy said, "I congratulate him for his performance and we are proud of
Sushil Kumar as he is a part of the railway family." The minister said the Railways would continue to support and inspire
sporting personalities who are part of the family. Sushil Kumar, who is an employee of Indian railways, settled for silver after
he was defeated today by Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu in the finals.
Indian Railways: 35 lakh failed e-transactions in June
New Delhi, August 5, 2012: *Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation's
(IRCTC) e-ticketing facility's failure to cope up with the ever increasing
demand is evident from the number of failed transactions in the last two
months. According to media reports, almost 35 lakh transactions failed in June
2012 and almost 37 lakh attempts failed in May 2012. Worsening the matters, there have been several incidents where the
ticket was not generated but the transaction amount was debited from the
card. Reports state that around 4.5 lakh bookings are done per day through its
web site. The overall failure rate for May and June was 72% and 75%, respectively. Net banking and debit card transactions were the worst
performers with a success rate of 66% in May 2012 and a slightly improved 71% in June 2012.
The report adds that the success rate is better when a transaction
attempt is made through a cash card. In May 2012, it stood at 87%—21% higher than a debit card. The failure
comes with an additional headache as the money deducted is refunded into
the customer's card account three to four days after the failed transaction date.
Railways is world's biggest open toilet: Ramesh
New Delhi, July 30, 2012: Indian Railways is the world’s biggest open toilet! This is
how Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has described the lifeline
of the nation. Ramesh made the statement while making a case for greater funding for
bio-toilets. "We are the world's capital for open defecations. 60 per cent of all
open defecations in the world are in India. This is a matter of great
shame," Ramesh was reported as saying. "The second dimension of the sanitation problems in India is the
Railway, which is really the largest open toilet in the world. 11 million passengers every day and we all know the state of sanitation in
our railway," said Ramesh, who is also the Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister.
According to Ramesh, only 436 coaches
on nine trains are currently fitted with bio-toilets. He further said the current annual production of coaches stands at 4,000
and these could easily be fitted with new bio-toilets developed by the
Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). "...What I have offered to Railway
Board Chairman is that we will bear 50 per cent cost of retrofitting each on the 50000 coaches with the DRDO
biodigesters in 4 to 5 years time," the minister said after parleys with
Railway Board chairman Vinay Mittal and senior board officials at his Ministry.
IRCTC deactivates 44,000 multiple user IDs
NEW DELHI, July 23, 2012: As many as 44,000 multiple user IDs have been
deactivated by IRCTC in its efforts to weed out agents from unscrupulously cornering general and Tatkal train
tickets through the e-ticketing system. "We have launched a concerted drive against unscrupulous agents and
deactivated 44,000 multiple user IDs till now. A handful of agents were trying to corner the tickets through these IDs causing inconvenience and
harassment to general public," a senior IRCTC official said.
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation operates
the e-ticketing website of the national transporter. It has about 1.35 lakh registered agents on its rolls. Some of these agents had
opened multiple user IDs using the same mobile numbers and e-mail IDs. "Our vigilance teams have also deactivated more than five lakh such IDs
created by individuals," the official said, adding, "these individuals
are basically unauthorised agents." Plagued by increasing complaints from genuine passengers about
unavailability of tickets, Railways have undertaken a slew of measures including change of Tatkal booking time and more restrictions on agents.
The revised booking time for Tatkal tickets was enforced on July 10 and since then, the IRCTC has been closely monitoring the bookings and even
cancelling suspicious ones. Now agents are not allowed to book Tatkal tickets between 10 AM and 12 noon.
"The total ticket booking has gone up to 74,000 including 46,000 tatkal
tickets in the first two hours after July 10. Prior to this the total booking was 63,000 including 43,000 Tatkal tickets," the official said.
The IRCTC had recorded an average of 4.47 lakh e-tickets per day since the new timing for Tatkal tickets came into force on July 10 as against
the 3.60 lakh average earlier.
Indian railways Tatkal booking scheme starts today
Mumbai, July 10, 2012: Indian Railways Tatkal booking scheme
Starting 10 am today, rail travellers will have a separate two-hour
time window until 12 noon to book tatkal tickets. During this two-hour period, only travellers can book tickets both at the
counters or through the website www.irctc.co.in. Agents authorised by Indian Railways to book tickets can book under the tatkal scheme
only after 12 noon. This restriction on agents is applicable both across the counter and through the Internet.
Booking for tatkal starts at 10 am on the day prior to the date of journey (one day before the journey). Meanwhile, the Indian
Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), has introduced several changes for booking tatkal tickets on the Internet.
Individual users are permitted to book only two tickets from 10 am
to 12 noon. Only two tickets can be booked from one IP address between 10 am and 12 noon.
Users will now be able to open his account to book tatkal tickets between 10 am and 12 noon only once. This will enable
maximum users to access tatkal tickets.IRCTC has disabled the quick book option and cash card option between 10 am and 12 noon.To serve
the increasing web traffic, railways has installed high capacity database servers and increased the Internet bandwidth
from 344 MBPS to 450 MBPS.
It has also installed Captcha, a technology used to prevent
automated software from cornering tatkal tickets by fraudulent means. Web service agents will now be allowed to book only one
tatkal ticket per train per day and that too only after 12 noon. An anti-IT fraud squad has been created to detect cases of fraud and to
enhance cyberspace surveillance against possible threats to the system. The railways expects e-ticket bookings to increase from 3.5
lakh per day as on date to five lakh per day in the next four months. It eventually expects the number of e-ticket bookings to
increase to about eight lakh per day in the long term.
Service tax: Govt exempts rail fares, freight till September
New Delhi, July 4, 2012: Passenger fares and freight charges will not go up
immediately as the Finance Ministry Monday issued a notification exempting the railways from 12 percent service tax for three months till
"Government has exempted the core services provided by the Indian
Railways, namely transportation of goods and passengers, from the levy of service tax. The exemption will remain effective for a period of 3
months, up to September 30, 2012," said a finance ministry statement.
Last week, Railway Minister Mukul Roy had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is now looking after the Finance portfolio,
requesting him not to introduce service tax on passenger fare and freight traffic from July 1.
The Finance Ministry has moved to a new regime of Service Tax based on negative list from July 1, under which only 38 services are exempted
from payment of the levy. Service tax on railway passenger travel and freight was introduced in
the Budget for 2009-10 but was kept on hold due to the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's opposition. The exemption has been extended
since then on quarterly basis. Earlier, Roy had also requested former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
to exempt Railways from paying service tax. Had the government imposed 12 percent service tax on railways, passenger
fares in all AC classes and first class would have gone up by 3.6 percent.As per the estimates, railways would have to bear a burden of Rs 6,000
crore had it decided against passing on the service tax burden on the passengers.
Now, track your train on mobile phone
New Delhi, June 25, 2012 (PTI): In an effort to help on board railway passengers, a
joint team of Indian Railways and IIT-Kanpur has developed a "real-time train running information system" which
enables a mobile user to access information about the exact location of a train." One has to type the train number and SMS it to
09415139139 or 09664139139 for knowing the exact location of a train on real-time basis, a Railway Ministry official said.
The service is currently available for 36 pairs of premier trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto. "Not all
premier trains are covered yet. Some of the trains covered under the project included Mumbai Rajdhani, Howrah Rajdhani, Dibrugarh
Rajdhani, Sealdah Duronto and Shatabdi trains for Bhopal, Kanpur and Amritsar," the official said. The facility would be
extended to all major trains in the next 18 months and the Railways has allocated Rs 121 crore for the project, he said.
"It will cost about Rs 50,000 to install a receiver on the locomotive for making the system operational. There
will be a centre at New Delhi for receiving data from across the country. We are hopeful that by the end of 2013, all mail and
express trains will have the system as the trial run for the pilot project is complete now," the official said. Railways had
obtained permission from Isro to operate the system through satellite for the pilot project. "We have sought fresh
permission from the Isro to use the satellite for other trains," the official said, adding that besides satellite, GPS
is also being used for the system.
Soon stink free, clean toilets at railway stations
MUMBAI, June 15, 2012: The Indian Railways have come out
with a new policy to give a makeover to dilapidated and untidy toilets at stations by introducing Renovate, Operate, Maintain and Transfer
(ROMT) concept. As per the policy issued by the Railway Board, the selection of the agency under ROMT of Pay and Use toilet facility will have to be done by calling the
Express of Interest.
A senior railway official said, "The agency will have to use good
quality ceramic flooring, besides providing at least one European style
toilet, adequate exhaust fans to ensure proper air circulation for removing foul smell. It should also make arrangement for disabled
friendly toilet." The lay out plan for renovated unit should be approved from the
railways. The plan should also show disposal or sewage and sullage drains and electrical wiring and fittings.
The agency will have ensure mechanical scrubbing and polishing of floor
surface of the toilet, use anti-odour materials and prevent encroachment in and around the toilet premises.
The official said, "The service provider will be allowed to charge the
passenger/users Rs 2 for using latrine and Rs 5 for using bathroom. However, no charge will be levied for urinals. However at 'C' category
(suburban) stations, zonal railways may consider with the approval of General Manager to levy a charge of Rs 1 for urinals where maintenance
of toilet is found to unviable." If the service provider fails to provide desired level of
cleanliness, a fine ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 2000 will be levied, he added. Source: Times of India
Railways hikes parcel tariff rates by 25 per cent again
NEW DELHI, June 7, 2012: Faced with acute financial crunch, railways has hiked the
parcel and luggage tariff rates by about 20%-25% on all goods and baggage to generate resources. After hike in freight tariff rates just before the rail budget two
months ago, the move is seen as railway management's effort to generate funds to wriggle the state-run transporter out of fiscal mess without
annoying its political masters. These backroom measures to raise funds has come after railway minister
Mukul Roy, under pressure from her political master and West Bengal chief minister Mamata
Banerjee, had rolled back the proposal for passenger fare hike which has remained untouched since 2002-03.
Railways has increased the freight rates by 20%-25% in March just a week
ahead of the rail budget. The transporter aims to generate around Rs 350-400 crore as additional
revenue in the current fiscal through the rationalization of tariff that has come after six years. Railways has earned Rs 1,600 crore from parcel
and luggage traffic during 2011-12. Railway officials defended the move, arguing that the parcel and luggage
rates were last revised in 2006. It was argued that parcel and luggage rates were very low while there was need to bring some parity between
the freight and parcel rates. The revised rates are applicable to all goods, excluding newspapers
which continue to be booked at concessional rates. However, registered magazines will
not enjoy the concessions any more. "The new rates are effective from June 1," said a circular issued by railway board.
Gates Foundation in finding solutions for clean toilets in Railways
New Delhi, May 31, 2012 : Union Ministry of Rural Development
has invited Bill Gates Foundation to partner with it in finding solutions to sanitation problem in India as 60 percent of the
country’s 1.1 billion people still practice open defecation. Shri Jairam Ramesh met Bill Gates and his team members and called for
launching a global joint initiative for developing low-cost technological solutions for clean toilets in Railways also, as 11
million passengers commute daily without proper hygienic conditions. The Minister also sought help in devising Behavioural Change and Communication Pilots on the lines of Pulse Polio Campaign Model
for toilet use in India. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had launched the initiative titled Reinventing the toilet last year at
Rwanda, Shri Ramesh asked Mr Gates to have a more India focussed approach as 58% of all open defecations in the world is in
India and the problem is particularly daunting in rural areas. Gates Foundation was urged to partner with Indian Institutes in the
R&D field to help co-develop low-cost sanitation solutions.
The Minister also sought Rs.200 crore as initial pitch for the Bharat
Rural Livelihoods Foundation to improve the living conditions of people in the Central Indian Tribal Belt. Mr Gates expressed
interest in the objectives of the Rural Livelihoods Foundation and stressed for keeping the dialogue open for future cooperation. Shri
Ramesh informed that Central Government has already committed Rs.500 crore for the BRLF and is trying to garner another 500 crore rupees
from the Private Sector as initial corpus to kick start developmental programmes in the 900-tribal dominated Blocks. Source:
Ministry of Rural Development
RCF to fit 2,500 coaches with bio-digestive toilets
28, 2012: Indian Railways have set a huge target of fitting 2,500 coaches with bio-digestive toilets this financial year. Rail Coach
Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, has already received the order to fit around 1200 bio- digestive toilets in 500 coaches. The authorities
hope to bring about a dramatic change in the hygienic conditions of the trains as well as the trains stations. The RCF has already
rolled out a few dozens coaches with bio-digestive toilets. A total of about 8,000 bio-digestive toilets will be fitted in the 2,500
coaches, added railway sources. "The number of coaches with bio-digestive toilets was less then 100 in 2011," said Railway
board sources. Senior RCF officer and secretary to RCF General Manager (GM) Rajneesh Bansal said, "Out of the 8,000 toilets to
be fitted this year, RCF alone will be installing 1,200 such toilets."
The new system will not only avoid manual scavenging of human excrete from rail tracks but will be far more hygienic as all human
waste will be converted into harmless gas and water. "Unlike traditional toilets, which used to throw the human waste on tracks,
the new system will treat the waste inside a tank of bacteria which will convert it into harmless gas and water," informed
Bansal adding that different types of non-pathogenic bacteria strains are injected in the tanks which digest human waste. It may
be noted that Delhi High Court has said that manual scavenging and indifferent approach of people towards cleanliness on Indian trains
is a crime against humanity and the court had asked the Railway authorities to launch a massive campaign to educate the masses about
cleanliness on trains. Source: Express India
25 dead as Hampi Express rams into goods train in Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD, May 22, 2012: At least 25 people, including four children, were killed
in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district early Tuesday when the Banglore-bound Hampi Express collided with a stationary goods train,
police said. Over 70 injured people were shifted to various hospitals as the rescue work continued at the accident site near
Penukonda railway station, about 400 km from here.
As many as 16 bodies, most of them charred beyond
recognition, were found in first coach, which caught fire due to electrical short-circuiting after the collision. Seven bodies were
recovered from other damaged coaches, while two persons died from their injuries in a local hospital, police said. The train driver
and his co-driver were among those killed in the accident that took place around 3.15 a.m. The toll may go up as some of the injured are
stated to be in a very critical condition. Some passengers were still trapped inside the damaged bogies, and the rescue workers were
using gas cutters to extricate them. A signalling error may led to
the crash, a railway official said.
Railways Medical and Nursing Colleges
New Delhi, May 10, 2012: For setting up of Medical Colleges, five locations i.e.
Kharagpur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Chennai and Secunderabad have been identified by Indian Railways. Bids for appointment of consultant at Kharagpur were
invited. However, the tender was discharged on technical grounds. Retendering for the same is under process. For other four locations in
Phase-I, Zonal Railways are processing for appointment of consultants. Remaining locations i.e. Ahmedabad, Bilaspur, Barasat, Bhubaneswar,
Mysore, Dibrugarh, Jodhpur, B. R. Singh Hospital, Garden Reach, Nagpur, Bhopal, Jammu & Trivandrum shall be taken up subsequently.
For setting up of Nursing Colleges, the construction work at Majerhat in
Kolkata has started. Expressions of Interests (EOIs) have been received by Zonal Railways for Nursing Colleges at Delhi, Lucknow and
Jabalpur. The Ministry of Railways has decided to set up the Medical & Nursing
Colleges in Public Private Partnership mode.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri K.
H. Muniyappa in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today. Source: Ministry of Railways
The 57 Railway Week celebrations for Indian Railways
VISAKHAPATNAM, April 19, 2012: The 57 Railway Week celebrations were conducted at Waltair Division of East Coast
Railway on Monday. Railway Week is celebrated all over Indian Railways from April 10 to 16, every year. This is the week when the
Railways actually celebrate those uncrowned heroes, who have put in their heart and soul to make the wheels of great Indian Railways move.
The first train in India was hauled by three locomotives Sind,
Sultan, and Sahibhad with 400 guests from Bombay to Thane on April 16, 1853. Railway Week celebrations are organised to commemorate the
occasion. There was no looking back for the Indian Railways ever since. With its network spreading over the length and breadth of the
country, the Railways serve millions of people, both rich and poor, every day. Divisional Railway Manager N. Kashinath participated as
chief guest and Latha Kashinath, president, East Coast Railway Women's Welfare Organisation, Waltair Division, lit the customary
lamp. As many as 267 staff of 15 departments working in Waltair Division - spread over AP, Odisha, and Chattisgarh – were
conferred merit certificates and cash awards, amounting to Rs.1,77,000 by the DRM. Besides 50 staff of Waltair Division, who were
honoured by the General Manager, East Coast Railway, during his annual inspection in Waltair Division, were presented cash awards
worth Rs.1,25,500 for their sincerity and hard work. This apart, 57 employees of Waltair Division were also given efficiency badges,
merit certificates, and cash awards for meritorious performance, dedication, and devotion to duty during Railway Week celebrations
organised at the General Manager's level at Bhubaneswar on April 13, 2012.
Vijayawada-based firm designs safe device for Indian Railways
VIJAYAWADA, April 11, 2012: A Vijayawada-based sof-tware firm, Efftronics, has developed a
microcomputer- based electronic system, to ensure the safe passage of a train between two stations.
The accident-free equipment was designed to replace the existing electro mechanical block inst-ruments in the railways. The Efftronics research
and development wing started working on solid state block instruments si-nce 2003 to achieve a high level of safety. The safety worthiness of
the solid state block instrument was assessed by expert independent agencies before field trials, and was assessed by the Centre for
Knowledge based Systems (CKBS), Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
On its satisfactory field trials, the Research and Designs and Standards
Organisation (RDSO) of the Indian Railways, Luck-now permitted a stand alone trial of the instrument for 90 days between Vijayawada-Gunadala
and Bhimadole and Pulla railway stations. After the successful completion of the 90 day trial, the RDSO approved the product for use in
the Indian railways. Explaining the functioning of the new equipment, Efftronics managing director Mr D. Ramakrishna said that the solid state block instrument
works in three seconds, compared to three minutes of the existing system, to help run more trains on the
sa-me track. Efftronics director Mr B. Sambireddy, executive manager Mr S.R.T. Ramaswamy and general manager Mr
G.V. Krishna Rao were present.
Luxury train to link five Takhts
Chandigarh, April 4, 2012: Punjab chief minister Parkash
Singh Badal on Tuesday approved Panj Takhts Yatra Express as the name of the luxury train that will connect all five Takhts - Akal
Takht in Amritsar, Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo, Keshgarh Sahib in Anandpur Sahib, Patna Sahib in Bihar and Takht Sri Hazoor Sahib in
Nanded (Maharashtra). Principal secretary, tourism, Geetika Kalha said a special agreement had been signed between the Indian Railways
Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the Punjab Heritage and
Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB) to run the train, which would be flagged off by Badal on December 26.
The train would cover the Takhts from Amritsar to Nanded via Delhi, Agra and Gwalior in nine days. Kalha sought the chief
minister's intervention for the grant of subsidised tariff rates by the Railways for the Sikh pilgrimage circuit. He also agreed to the
proposal for the waiver of the motor vehicle tax and the permit fee for running a super luxury and ordinary AC buses to cover important
historical gurdwaras and tourist sites in Punjab as a package tour of five nights and six days. He also directed the secretary,
transport, to immediately issue orders in this regard.
On the occasion, a presentation was made by Kalha to inform
the chief minister about the ongoing tourism and heritage projects, including Panj Sarovar Walk in Amritsar, Eco Cab, Sultanpur Lodhi
and Patiala heritage trails, conservation of Gobindgarh fort, restoration of Town Hall for development of the city museum, Rambagh
Garden and Attari Tourist Reception Centre; besides a cultural heritage management and tourism development plan for the Mughal
imperial highway and the GT road in Punjab. Source: Hindustan Times
Indian Railways to launch real-time train tracking via Google maps
NEW DELHI: Indian Railways may soon launch real-time tracking of trains on Google maps that
can be accessed through mobile devices and PCs. The Centre for Railway Information Systems
(CRIS), the technology arm of the Indian Railways, has developed a GPS-based solution with help
of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which can provide exact location of a train with an accuracy of 10 metres, and latency of
2 minutes, on a real-time basis The GPS devices, which will cost around Rs 70,000-1,00,000 per train,
would be fitted in about 100 trains, which may help avert collisions and prevent loss of lives. In affect, trains in future may know each other's
location, and start breaking, in case of danger ahead. The breaking distance of passenger trains is about 1 km, while for
freight trains it is about 1.4 kms. Around 22 people have died this year due to train accidents, and last year around
120 people died. According to reports, in the last four years, around 15% of rail accidents took place in India. Passengers may also be available
to see real-time locations, as CRIS has integrated the GPS app with Google maps. ISRO's INSAT-3C satellite will
aid in location of moving trains. The GPS system can give an accuracy of about 10 metres, with a lag of
about 2 minutes.Success of the GPS-based system may help Railways in running trains at high speed. The GPS application will also aid in better planning of train schedules,
especially in bad weather. The facility to track train movements will soon be available on Indianrailways. gov.in.
Rise in Indian railway fares dropped by new Railway minister
New Delhi, March 22, 2012: India's new Railway Minister Mukul Roy has dropped plans to raise most
fares announced by his predecessor last week. Mr Roy said there would be no increase in rail prices except in first
and second class air-conditioned coaches. The hike in rail fares was the first in nine years, but was strongly
opposed by the former minister's own party and led to his
resignation. India's state-owned railway operates 7,000 passenger trains and carries
some 13 million passengers daily.
"I intend to give relief to the already burdened common man," Mukul Roy
told parliament. Mr Roy dropped plans to raise fares by a maximum of 30 paisa per km in all class of railway travel except in first and second class
air-conditioned carriages. The raise was aimed at increasing safety and improving conditions on the
overburdened rail network, which is the main form of travel for the majority of the country's population.
But the ex Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi's party, the Trinamool Congress, an ally in the Congress-led government rejected the fare
increases and forced Mr Trivedi to step down from his post. The leader of the Trinamool Congress, Mamata
Banerjee, said they were "anti-poor". Indian Railways is one of the world's largest employers, with more than
1.4 million people working for it. It's also one of the busiest networks, with many accidents.
Rail Budget: Passenger fares hiked after nine years
Delhi, March 14, 2012: Dinesh Trivedi, presenting his first rail budget, had his task cut out.His focus, he said, was
three-pronged: "Safety, safety, safety." Following very closely behind were consolidation, decongestion and
modernization. So aided by poetry, quotable quotes and many mentions of his party chief and predecessor Mamata Banerjee, the railway
minister today proposed the first hike in passenger fares in nine years and the highest ever annual plan outlay for the railways at Rs
60,100 crore, of which Rs 50,000 crore he said, would be from market borrowing. The passenger fare hike is a bold step.
The rail minister has proposed a 30 paisa per km hike for AC first class travel, a 15
paisa per km hike for AC second tier and a 10 paisa per km hike for AC third tier. The minister said that 725 km of new lines will be
completed in this year and proposed 700 km of new line to be built in 2012-13. 100 stations via the public- private partnership route
have been planned over the next 5- years, he said
Indian Railways announces introduction of 26 new trains
NEW DELHI, March 10, 2012: Just five days before the budget, Indian Railways has announced introduction of 26 new trains,
extension of five existing trains, increase in frequency of two existing trains and introduction of new five sub-urban trains, which
are all in addition to the slew of measures taken by the organization over the last two weeks. Most of these new services
announced were part of the Railway Budget 2011-12. Some of the important trains include Pune-Ahmedabad and Mumbai-New Delhi Duronto.
With this announcement, 115 out of 132 new trains proposed for introduction during Railway Budget 2011-12 will get introduced, 19
out of 22 increase in frequency of trains proposed in Railway Budget 2011-12 will be effected and all the extension of trains proposed
in Railway Budget 2011-12 will get implemented. The announcement include three Duronto, one Shatabdi, one
fully AC Express, three Rajyarani Express, nine Mail and Express services, three MEMU services, three DEMU services and five EMU
services. The trains will be flagged off in the next 7 to 10 days. Extension and increase in frequency of the existing trains will be
introduced with immediate effect, as operationally feasible.
15,000 killed on rail tracks every year: Report
NEW DELHI, February 22, 2012: Voicing safety concerns over encroachments along rail tracks
and trespassing which claim nearly 15,000 lives every year, a high-level railway panel has suggested amendments to existing acts and
setting up of a task force in Mumbai where such deaths are highest. "No civilised society can accept such massacre on their
own railway system," the Anil Kakodar-led safety committee said and suggested amendments in the Public Premises Eviction Act
and the Railway Act by which encroachers will be penalised.
"The committee was informed that a large number of accidents takes place
due to unlawful trespassing. The estimation is almost 15,000 persons get killed every year in such a manner in the entire railway system of which
about 6000 death are only in Mumbai suburban section" It made these suggestions while taking into account the problems faced
while removing enrichment due to political interference. Terming as "massacre", the huge number of deaths especially in the
Mumbai section, the committee said that reluctance of Indian Railways to own these casualties, which do not fall under the purview of train accidents but
are nevertheless accidents on account of trains can by no means be ignored. It said the "grim system on Mumbai suburban sysem has to be tackled on a
different war footing where trespassing takes places mostly on account of lack of barricading, fencing, absence of adequate number of pedestrian
over bridges and reluctance to replace pedestrian level.
Indian Railways logs on to Facebook
NEW DELHI, February 13, 2012: Expanding its online reach, Railways' Delhi
division has come up with a dedicated page on social networking site Facebook where passengers can check out availability of berths,
train timings and other related information. "We have opened a page on Facebook to inform passengers about the status of vacant
berths as well as the arrival and departure of trains. The page is linked with the National Train Inquiry Service and constantly
updated," said a senior Delhi division official. Besides the status of berths and train timings, the page will also provide
detailed information about arrivals and departures at the exact platform number at New Delhi, Nizamuddin and Old Delhi stations.
Aiming at preventing misuse of available seats by "unscrupulous elements", Railways has asked other zones to
resort to such innovative measures and give adequate publicity regarding the facility of booking vacant accommodation available on
trains at current ticket counters. "Our aim is to create further awareness among passengers about this facility as due to
lack of adequate awareness, it is being misused by unscrupulous elements for providing confirmed accommodation to passengers at a
premium by using the current counter facility, said the official. Railways has advised passengers
traveling on short notice to use the facility of current reservation counters situated at the train originating main stations.
"The vacant reserved seats available on train after preparation of reservation charts can be booked at the current
ticket counters of the train originating stations before departure of trains," the official said. According to Railway
rules, a reserved ticket can be booked across the passenger reservation system counters all over the country as well as through
the Internet only upto the time of preparation of reservation charts. After preparation of reservation charts, the berths
available, if any, can be booked at the current counter available at major stations. The reservation charts are normally prepared 3
to 4 hours before the schedule departure of the train. In case of trains leaving early morning, charts are prepared on the
previous night. Source:Times of India
World's first mobile emission testing vehicle in rail commissioned
CHENNAI, February 7, 2012: Indian Railways, on Monday, took the first stride
towards framing emission standards for long-haul diesel locomotives and diesel power
cars plying along suburban routes on its system with the commissioning of an Emission Test Car (ETC) at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here.
The ETC, said to be the world's first mobile emission testing vehicle in the rail sector, will put the Indian Railways on a par with global rail
systems in terms of green milestones and also pave the way for the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) to lay down standards
and monitor locomotives for compliance with emission norms.
The ETC which uses mass emission measurement equipment supplied by
Horiba from Japan will test locos for oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, total hydrocarbons, methane hydrocarbons, smoke opacity, carbon
monoxide and carbon dioxide. The ETC can be deployed at any diesel shed across the 17 zones of the Railways. Sanjiv Handa, Member, Railway Board, who commissioned the
ETC also launched the phase I of the Enterprise Resource Planning initiatives in Indian
Railways may soon book tickets on phone
PATNA, January 30, 2012: Train passengers may not have to very soon face the
travails of standing in long queues at reservation counters to procure tickets. Railways is seriously mulling over an idea to book tickets on phone for
any destination and class at the country level. According to a Railway Board official, while online ticket booking
facilities for e-ticketing and cell phone ticket booking have evoked impressive response from passengers across the country, the idea to book
tickets on phone calls is gaining importance among railway circles. "Efforts are going on to make this project a reality now," he said.
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is working on
the project seriously to make it come true. There is every possibility that a new inquiry number - 138 - would be used at the country level for
booking tickets on phone calls. Passengers booking their tickets by phone calls would have to use cash cards
purchased from IRCTC counters, an IRCTC official said, adding delivery of tickets could be from either
the PRS (passenger reservation system) or collection centres. Thus, railway tickets would be made available at the passengers'
doorsteps. Phone calls could be made from all telecom operators, sources said.