Metro is now the 17th zone of Indian Railways
KOLKATA, December 30, 2010 (PTI): The Metro Railway of
Kolkata, the country's oldest, today became the 17th independent
zone of the Indian Railways with Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee
announcing that a Rs 10,000 crore project has been taken up for its
expansion and infrastructure development. "The making of
Kolkata Metro as an independent zone was notified by the Railway
Board yesterday. This will make the railway an open line like the
other zones. This will raise the status of the Metro workers on part
with those of the zonal railways. It has also put workers unions in
a position to negotiate on matters pertaining to the Metro,"
Banerjee said while laying a foundation stone conferring the
independent status of the Metro.
Stating that making Kolkata Metro an independent zone
had nothing to do with politics, she said it had been done aiming at
capacity building and developing infrastructure. "A Rs 10,000
crore project has been taken up for the expansion of the Metro Railway," she said. Banerjee, who also inaugurated the
beginning of work for Phase-I of the Joka-BBD Bag Metro project in
Kolkata, said that as part of the extension plan, Metro lines
would be laid between Garia and Rajarhat, Noapara and Barrackpore and later, further north upto Kalyani.
It was on this day in 1972 when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for the Kolkata Metro
which initially connected Dum Dum in the north to Tollygunje in the
migrate to 5-digit number scheme to monitor trains
NEW DELHI, December 20, 2010 (PTI): Indian Railways today "smoothly" migrated to a five digit number scheme to
monitor movement of passenger trains more effectively and facilitate
management of train information scientifically for public convenience. "The migration went of smoothly as the date
upgradation was carried out in the systems overnight to cause least
inconvenience to passengers," said a Railway Ministry official.
The pan-India 139 rail enquiry system has also added a new
number '7' in the system to enable passengers find the new train numbers. The migration to five digit number had also become
necessary as the four digit numbering scheme had got exhausted with
the Indian Railways running more than 10,000 trains every day, the official said. To make the transition smooth and simple, only a
prefix of the digit 1 (one) has been added to the four-digit numbers
of the existing trains. They include all scheduled and regular express or mail and superfast trains including the Durontos, Yuva
Trains, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi, Garibrath and Sampark Kranti Express trains.
For example, under the new scheme, the number of Kolkata Rajdhani from now on would be 12302 and 12952 for Mumbai Rajdhani.
"The new system will also make the numbering of trains of railways more scientific, logical, uniform and computer-friendly
besides integrating passenger and suburban train services in various
information systems," the official said. The Railways said the
initiative will create a unique train number which will be a national level identity for each train and will cover all the
passenger-carrying trains running in the Indian Railways network.
IRCTC, the official agency of Indian Railways for issuing
e-tickets and i-tickets through its website www.irctc.co.in,
said it "has already begun printing the five digit train
numbers on its E Tickets and I Tickets for any date of journey, after 20 December 2010."
The special trains run by the Railways during holiday and
festival season will also be numbered on the pattern of the mail and
express trains except that they shall have the prefix of digit '0'
(zero). This shall apply to all special trains, whether superfast,
express or passenger train in character, running between any pair of
destinations, the Railway statement added.
Railways to take over catering from IRCTC
Delhi, December 14, 2010: The Railway Board has decided to
transfer all catering services (except high-end food plazas) from
the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to the
Indian Railways. The decision came following complaints from passengers about the quality and quantity of food. Under the
modified catering policy, the transfer process will be started in a
phased manner from December 31. Recently, according to Railway Board’s order, all pantry
car services — whose contract was to expire between 2010 and 2011
— will be transferred to the Indian Railways on December 31. Other
pantry cars, the contract for which was to expire between 2011 and
2012, will be transferred on January 31, 2011.
Northern Railway revival in Sri Lanka funded
December 07, 2010: Ceremonies were held to mark the start of
work on the first phase of a program to refurbish the war damaged
railways serving the island’s Northern Province, following the
signing of a credit agreement under which India will provide USD 416 million towards the cost of the work.
The project covers the restoration of the 106 kilometers broad gauge line between Madawachchi and the ferry terminal at
Talaimannar from where Sri Lanka is connected to the Indian port of Rameswaram, and the 90 kilometers Omantai to Pallai section of the
line to Jaffna and Kankesanturai. The financing package was announced on November 26, during a visit by India's Minister of
External Affairs, Mr SM Krishna, in the presence of Sri Lanka’s president
Mahinda Rajapaksa. The credit agreement was signed by the Managing
Director of India’s Exim Bank Nadeem Panjetan and Sri Lanka’s
Treasury Secretary Mr PB Jayasundara. The railway restoration work is to be undertaken in three
phases starting with the Madhu - Talaimannar section, followed by
Madawachchi - Madhu and finally the Omantai - Pallai route. A US$150m contract for work on the 63 km Madhu - Talaimannar section
was recently awarded to Indian Railways' construction company Ircon. (Sourced from www.railwaygazette.com)
Usage of Solar Energy on Indian Railways
29 2010: Mr KH Muniyappa minister of state for railways informed the
Lok Sabha that about one hundred and fifty of the Unreserved Ticketing System machines employed in Railways are run on solar
energy. Solar energy has also been employed for heating water in running rooms and few offices also employ solar panels for
electricity usage. The policy guidelines on renewable energy source use on the Railways includes solar energy for signalling, UTS
centers, PRS centers, emergency lighting load at railway stations and for solar water heaters to be provided. Proliferation is based
on techno-economic considerations.
complete two projects under SPVs in Gujarat
AHMEDABAD, November 22, 2010: Indian Railways has completed two projects under special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and one is under
construction in Gujarat. Two gauge conversion projects at Surendranagar- Pipavav and Gandhidham-Palanpur were already
completed, while the Bharuch-Dahej gauge conversion project is under
construction. E Ahamed, Union minister of state for railways, gave
this information the Rajya Sabha recently in reply to a question by
Parimal Nathwani, an MP from Jharkhand.The minister stated that areas identified for possible
execution through PPP included development of world-class railway
stations, setting up of SPVs for manufacturing locomotives, coaches and rolling stock components, operation of container trains and
special freight trains, investment at ports and other connectivity works, private freight terminals and automobiles and ancillary hubs
and bottling plants for drinking water.
Indian Railways to run 674 special trains for Sabarimala
Chennai, November 19, 2010: Indian Railways have geared up its resources and would run 674 special trains for the current year
Sabrimala pilgrimage season that began this week.Out of the total 674, Southern Railway would run 448 trains, while South Central 140,
South Western 56 and Central Railway 28. For the first time, two special trains to help ayyappa devotees coming from Eastern states
would be run by North Eastern Frontier Railway, Division Railway Manger Rajiv Dutt Sharma told reporters. The trains would
start from destinations including Chennai, Egmore, Bangalore, Hubli, Hyderabad, Vijayawada,Dadar, Kurla Machilipattnam and Guruvayour. In
addition to the special trains, railway would also augment 660 sleepter coaches and 30 air conditioned coaches in the existing
trains, he said. The special trains would terminate at Ernakulam, Kollam, Kochuveli, Nagercovil.
of Security System on Railways
Mumbai, November 15, 2010 (PIB): Security issue on Indian Railways is within the ambit of the Railway Protection Force (RPF)
and the Government Railway Police (GRP. Many steps have been taken in the recent past to strengthen the Railway Protection Force. Some
of these are ? provision for procurement of modern security related
equipment and arms/ammunition, creation of 5134 additional posts, raising of three new Railway Protection Special Force battalions,
setting up of RPF commando training center, sanction of Integrated Security System for 202 stations, networking of RPF posts and
control rooms and setting up of All India Security Help Line. In addition to these, State Governments have made their own efforts to
strengthen the Government Railway Police (GRP) which functions under their control.
Proposal for creation of three battalions of RPSF, 12 Companies of RPF and 771 posts for Metro Railway, Kolkata have been
processed. RPF is equipped with modern Arms which are being procured
through the Ministry of Home Affairs. This information was given by
the Minister of State for Railways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written
reply in Lok Sabha on 10.11.10.
Parsvnath buys railways land for Rs 1,651 cr
New Delhi, November 12, 2010: In the second biggest land deal
in the Capital, Delhi-based Parsvnath Developers on Thursday bought
38-acre of land parcel at Sarai Rohilla near Karol Bagh for Rs 1,651
crore from the Indian Railways. The biggest land deal in the Capital
was struck in 2007 when DLF had bought mill land in west Delhi owned
by DCM for over Rs 1,700 crore.
According to sources, Parsvnath and India Bulls were the two
qualified bidders for the land among others with bids of Rs 1,651
crore and Rs 1,251 crore, respectively. The other developers who had
shown interest in buying the land were Godrej Properties, Akruti
City, Emaar MGF, Peninsula Land, Ansal API and Omaxe. ?We received
two bids and the highest bid was for Rs 1,651 crore,? Railway Land
Development Authority, vice chairman Pankaj told FE after the auction.
Parsvnath chairman Pradeep Jain confirmed that his company
had emerged as the highest bidder. The site is also just three km
away from New Delhi railway station, and was hitherto administered
by the RLDA, which has more 1lakh acre of surplus land across the country. Source: Financial Express
Cellular for Railway passengers language helpline
New Delhi, November 6, 2010: Idea Cellular has announced an
association with the Indian Railways to promote the campaign and introduce the Idea language helpline to passengers traveling to
other parts of the country. 'Break the Language Barrier' campaign the Idea language helpline will be promoted across Indian Railways
network for a week. The helpline, which offers conversational support in the local language to users in 16 languages, will be
available in all 22 telecom circles of Idea.
The language helpline jingle will play on the IVR of
Railway's inquiry no 139, for a period of seven days starting 29 October, as part of the promotional activity.
Railways to use land bank for freight corridor project
NEW DELHI, November 01, 2010: Indian Railways will use 24,000 acres from its land bank to support the dedicated freight corridor
project, thereby ruling out the option of forcible acquisition of farm land, said railways minister Mamta Banerjee while addressing
the economic editors’ conference in the capital. “We are using our land bank for various railway projects including the dedicated
freight corridor (DFC), and there is no need for forcible land acquisition ,” said Ms Banerjee, indicating her stand against the
land acquisition bill. “It’s draconian, and against farmers’ interest,” she added. In case the Railways acquire any land, it
will be with the consent of the land owner and will come with adequate compensation including a job offer, the minister added.
Railways has a land bank of 1.13 lakh acres.
Implementation of smart-debit card for train travel
NEW DELHI, October 29, 2010: Indian Railways is working on the Implementation of smart-debit
card for train travel facility to be availed across the country.This was announced by Union Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee while
addressing journalists during the annual Economic Editors’ in New
Delhi Conference. “The Railways has held talks with O P Bhatt, Chairman State Bank
of India. The concept is still in a preliminary stage. We want the smart
card linked to bank account or refill type, which could be used for purchase of ticket to be used across different modes of rail transport,”
Vivek Sahai, chairman, Railway Board told reporters.
Sahai said the Railways was also engaged in talks with other banks for
the implementation of smart-debit card for train travel.The railway card, called the Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM)
card, has been a hit with Mumbai’s seven million commuters, and has been
extensively used by new and existing commuters.
A Railways TV ad for Indians - but no women in Ad
New Delhi, October 26, 2010: Indian Railways's first television commercial - showing a 'human train' running through the
streets and buildings of Kolkata - is a hit on YouTube. What hits
you though, is that the Desh ka Mel train appears to have no seats
for one half of India. There is not a single girl or woman in the
long train that snakes in and out of homes, up and down staircases -
it is made entirely of men jogging along in single file, holding on
to the shirt of the guy in front, as an adaptation of the popular
track from the 1968 Ashok Kumar film Aashirwaad plays in the background.
RCF rolls out air-conditioned double decker rakes
CHANDIGARH, October 18, 2010: Rail Coach Factory(RCF), Kapurthala rolled out Indian
Railways’ first air-conditioned double decker rake , comprising 10 coaches (8 double deckers and 2 power cars). This rake has been offered
to Eastern Railway/ Kolkata for running between Howrah and Dhanbad. These stainless steel coaches have been introduced to cater to the heavy
rush of commuters in high density corridors offering AC travel at a lower cost.
“These new design coaches are capable to run at a speed of 160 kmph. The passenger carrying capacity has increased to 128 passenger in comparison
to 78 passengers in Shatabdi chair car, thus increasing the capacity by almost 70%. Since this design has substantially lower tare weight per
passenger, these coaches will be more energy efficient,” said RCF, general manager Pradeep Kumar.
Free train ride to Taj for CWG athletes
New Delhi, October 13, 2010: Now visiting the Taj Mahal on the free train ride to Agra arranged
by the Organising Committee with the Indian Railways. After a lukewarm response to the daylong trip to the Agra in a special
train prepared by the railways, the athletes are warming up to the “Taj experience”. These countries have been in a majority in the groups of athletes and
officials from 71 countries Of the 1,645 athletes that have so far made the trip, almost 1,000 went
only in the last two days. And at 113, the Australians have formed the major chunk of visitors from one country.
The Kiwis, the Canadians and the Scots, too, have sent around 70 each of their athletes through the week. The booking list for the next two days
also consists of athletes mostly from these countries. “The monument is awesome, nothing like we have seen anywhere. We also
enjoy the scenes on the way to Agra,” said an Aussie athlete at the Commonwealth Games Village.
Officials from smaller countries such as Papua New Guinea, Falkland Islands, Bangladesh, Trinidad and Cyprus have also been taking part in
the journey. The trip begins at Safdarjung station at 7 am and culminates and returns at 8 pm after a day-long tour of the historical monuments at Agra.
India plans foray into Saudi railway business
DUBAI, October 12, 2010 (PTI): India is planning to enter Saudi Arabia, starting with the operation of a major mineral railway
that will link the country's northern Jalamid region with Ras Azzour,
near the industrial port city of Jubail, E Ahamed , India's minister of state for railways has said.
Ahamed, who was speaking on the sidelines of a community reception in Riyadh , said that some projects were "being
identified, while some are in the pipeline". The minister said that while it was too early to talk about the projects in which
Indian Railways would be involved in, India's state-owned Rites Company would be involved in the operation of the new
1,486-kilometre North-South railway. "The Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) and Rites signed a 278 million Saudi Riyal
agreement earlier," he was quoted by Arab News as saying.
No rail accidents after new technology is installed: Mamata
Kolkata, October 8, 2010 (IANS): "State-of-the-art technologies would be installed
in the Indian Railways within the next one or two years to prevent accidents and 'there will be no railway accidents in the
future," Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee assured Thursday.
"We will install an automatic signalling system, anti-collision devices
and train protection and warning system in all railways within next one-two years to avoid accidents. All such technologies will help us to
prevent any kind of accident and there will be no railway accidents in
future,'" she said after inaugurating the extended metro railway service on the southern fringes of the city. "Whenever railway accidents occur, people blamed me and my department
for not commissioning anti-collision devices in trains. My predecessors
did not think of developing such devices. I have started developing such
devices within one year after becoming the railway minister and I will
do everything for the safety and security of the passengers."
Urging the people not to agitate during delay or disruption of railway
services, she said: 'Railway is run by technology and because of technical snag railway services is delayed sometimes. During technical
fault we can not run trains as that will result in accident. Our main
objective is carrying passengers safely."'So I request you. Railway is your property. You have to look after it
so that no one can damage it," Banerjee appealed. The minister also introduced two new AC rakes into the service of
Kolkata Metro Railway, the country's first rapid transit system introduced in 1984.
The 2.7 kilometre long extended route will connect Kavi Nazrul station (Garia Bazar) with Kavi Subash station (New Garia).
Railway employees to get 77 days wages as bonus
New Delhi, October 5, 2010 (PTI): In the highest-ever bonus
payment to be made by Indian Railways, government today decided to give wages of 77 days as productivity linked bonus (PLB) to all
eligible railway employees for the fiscal 2009-10. The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of the
Railway Ministry for payment of PLB equivalent to 77 days' wages for 2009-10 for all eligible non-gazetted railway employees.
The decision would benefit about 12.92 lakh non-gazetted railway
employees and this will be the highest PLB payment ever to be made by railways. The financial implication of payment of 77 days' bonus
to railway employees has been estimated at Rs 1065.42 crore. The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB to the
eligible employees is Rs 3,500 per month. PLB is based on the productivity indices reflecting the performance of the Railways.
train Sanskriti Express at Hyderabad
Hyderabad ,September 28, 2010 : The Indian Railways, to
mark the 150 birth anniversary celebrations of Rabindranath Tagore, launched Sanskriti Express showcasing photographs, copies of letters
etc on board. The train reached the Hyderabad city for a four-day halt till October 1 and South Central Railway Additional General
Manager Arun Bhagra formally opened the exhibition for public viewing from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The five air-conditioned coaches are scheduled to travel
across the country offering an opportunity for people to learn more
about Rabindranath Tagore and his life. The entry is free and after
Hyderabad, the express would leave for Chennai, he said.
Indian Railways to introduce five-digit train numbering system
September 22, 2010 (PTI): Indian Railways has decided to
introduce five-digit numbering system for all passenger carrying trains. The new five-digit numbering system will be effective from
December this year. The five-digit scheme proposes to cover all passenger carrying trains including Duronto, Rajdhani, Shatabdi,
Garibrath and suburban holiday specials. However, it will not cover freight trains.
Passengers booking tickets in Mail and Express trains will need to add prefix 1 before the existing four-digit numbers while
checking the reservation position through the enquiry system. Currently, trains have varying numbers including three- digit,
four-digit and alphabetical-numerical ones. Five-digit train numbering has become necessary as the four-digit system is
exhausted, informed a senior Railway Ministry official.
Train accident in Madhya Pradesh: 21 dead, 50 injured
Shivpuri, September 20, 2010: At least 21 people are feared dead and 50 others are
injured after the Gwalior Intercity Express was hit by a goods train at
Badarwaas in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh. The number of dead could rise.
The drivers, missing after the accident, have now been found. The Station Master of the Badarwaas station who was allegedly drunk during
the accident has now been arrested. Blood samples of all three have been sent to test for alcohol content.
Two front bogies of the Express Train were badly damaged after the
accident. The Army from neighbouring Jhansi district of Shivpuri have reached the spot with a helicopter to airlift the severely injured people.
The passenger train, from Indore to Gwalior, was reportedly stationary at the station when the goods train hit it from behind. Three coaches of
the Intercity Express piled up on top of each other with the impact. Source: NDYV
Indian Railways felicitates wrestler Sushil Kumar
New Delhi, September 14, 2010 (IANS): The Indian Railways on Tuesday felicitated Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Sushil Kumar
for becoming the first Indian wrestler to win a gold medal in the World Championship in Moscow. Sushil Kumar, who is an officer in
Northern Railway, was awarded a cheque of Rs 10 lakh as a Railway Sports Promotion Board's (RSPB) award along with a memento by the
Minister of State for Railways, KH Muniyappa. This RSPB award is in addition to the Rs 10 lakh cash award which was announced by
Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday and will be given to Sushil Kumar later on. "My personal congratulations on becoming the World Champion. It is the spirit, drive and dedication like yours that
leads to personal achievement and National glory," a message from Mamata Banerjee said.
Northern Railways to cancel 25 trains due to rising Yamuna
New Delhi, September 11, 2010 (PTI): The rising Yamuna has forced the Northern Railways to cancel 25 trains
and diverted 36 others. The trains diverted include Kalka Mail, Shaheed Express, Garib Nawaz
Express, Awadh Assam Express, Shalimar Express and Brahmaputra Mail. As many as 39 trains including Satygraha Express, Lal Quila Express,
Farakka and Howrah Janata Express have been short terminated, according to a NR spokesperson.
Railways to Run 'Bharat Tirth" Trains Across the Country from Next Month
MUMBAI, 10 September 2010 (PIB) : A bid to promote tourism in
the country and also to emphasize our "Unity in Diversity", the Indian Railways will be launching 16 different
circuits of "Bharat Tirth" touching all the important destinations across the country from next month. The
objective of Indian Railways in running "Bharat Tirth"
Trains is to provide a comfortable, affordable and memorable experience to the customers of different segments. In her speech,
while presenting the Railway Budget 2010-11, the Minister of Railways, Mamata Banerjee has stated that Railways would launch
special tourist trains called "Bharat Tirth" connecting popular tourist sites in different parts of the country
from the Himalayas to Kanyakumari, from Dwarka to Vindhya Parbat,
Ajmer Sharief to Gangasagar and Madurai to Patna. Sahib.
The itineraries are so designed that the Bharat Tirth trains
would be taken to the rail heads nearest to the tourist destination from where tourists would visit the places of
tourist importance. The road journey for sightseeing is organized in comfortable buses and tour escorts accompany them in trains as well
as buses. Source: Ministry of Railways
Jobs for info on rail sabotage: Mamata
KOLKATA, September 6, 2010: The railways will give jobs to those who provide information on possible attempts to sabotage
movement of trains, railway minister Mamata Banerjee said on Septeber 5, 2010. Earlier, she had promised jobs to people who would inform
railway staff about track-related problems.
Announcing a reward of Rs 50,000 for a driver of the Rajdhani Express
who successfully stopped his train at Baruipara recently, thereby preventing an accident, the railway minister said: "We will award
railway staff who perform well and stay away from instigation." Mamata warned that strict action would be taken in case somebody was
found involved in an act of sabotage. "If you can catch people involved
in sabotage, inform us. We will immediately provide jobs to you," she appealed to the people.
Rajdhani derails near Kolkata, sabotage not ruled out
KOLKATA, August 30, 2010: Passengers of the Howrah-bound Rajdhani Express escaped unhurt on Monday when the engine derailed
at a station in Hooghly district with the Railways not ruling out
sabotage as 300 pandoral clips on the tracks were found removed.
The New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express was at a slow speed while it was passing through a platform of the Baruipara station,
around 27 km from Kolkata, when two front wheels of the engine jumped the tracks, Eastern railway. CPRO Samir Goswami said. None of
the coaches were affected by the derailment, which occurred at
around 9:15 am, he said.
Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
to start journey from September 5
Jaipur, August 24, 2010 (PTI): New super luxury train of Rajasthan Tourism and Indian Railways 'Royal Rajasthan on Wheels'
will start its first commercial tour this season from September 5.
"The train, with around 50 passengers onboard, will start its
journey from Safdarjang station in New Delhi. The train this time
will take tourists to Khajuraho and Varanasi also apart from
destinations of Rajasthan and Agra," an official of Rajasthan
Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) said here today. Facilities of spa and gym have also been added to the train
similar to Palace on Wheels. In its eight-day tour, the train will
halt at Jodhpur, Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Ranthambhore, Jaipur,
Khajuraho, Varanasi and Agra, he added.
Railways run 'Mosquito Terminator' in Delhi
Delhi, August 20,2010: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)
in coordination with the Indian Railways flagged off an engine on
August 19 that sprays 'Mosquito Terminator' larvicides in water
bodies around railway tracks to prevent mosquito breeding in water.
The corporation has provided a truck-mounted power sprayer to the
railways to spray larvicides in water bodies along railway tracks. The railways would regularly run the 'Mosquito Terminator'
around Delhi area mounted on a wagon. The powerful sprayer will
sanitize a distance of 50 to 60 metres from the track. Each container carries about 150 kilolitres of larvicides. A kilolitre
would cost about Rs.800 and each container Rs.2 lakh.
Indian railways first AC double-decker train
New Delhi, August 18, 2010: Indian Railways likely to rolled out the first double-decker AC Train in the year end. The
Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala rolled out the country's first air conditioned double-decker coach for oscillation trials on the
Delhi-Muradabad section in march this year. Mamata Banerjee, Indian Railway minister, had inspected the coach, designed for a maximum
speed of up to 160 km per hour.
The futuristic AC train will be an inter-city service on a
high density route having a separate fare structure, said a senior railway official.The double decker AC train will have complete
sitting accommodation with each coach having a capacity of 128 passengers as compared to 78 passengers in Shatabdi chair cars, thus
increasing the sitting space by almost 70 per cent. The coaches are also fitted with control discharge toilet system and many
other safety-related systems.
Armed robbers loot train passengers in Bihar
Patna, August 6, 2010: Armed robbers opened fire and beat up passengers of four coaches of the 3111
Sealdah-New Delhi Lal Quila Express in Bihar in the early hours on Friday. At least 13 people, including a Railway Police
constable, were injured. East Central Railway Patna officials said at least 12 passengers also suffered minor injuries and were
provided first aid by the railway authorities. The incident occurred between 3 and 4 am this morning when the robbers,
said to be about 30 in number, boarded the train at Jhajha and started
robbing the passengers travelling in one AC coach and three sleeper coaches.
Indian Railways setting up of 2 wind based power plants
August 02, 2010: Mr E Ahamed minister of state for railways informed the Rajya Sabha that
wind mill power plants are generally selected on the basis of power density map issued by the ministry of new and renewable energy,
technical feasibility of connecting it to the grid and availability of fund.
During the current financial year, two wind mill plants of 10.5 MW capacity each, estimated at INR 66.5 crore each have been sanctioned,
one in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan) for North Western Railway and the other in
Tamilnadu for Southern railway. During the current financial year, INR
125,000 has been allocated for the initial preparation stage. Each wind plant is expected to generate power about 22 million units per
annum. These plants are likely to be operational within next two years.
New Railway Catering Policy 2010
New Delhi, July 23, 2010: The Ministry of Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be only responsible for running
of food plazas, food courts and fast food units. An official press release said the management of all major and minor units, including
mobile units, except food plazas, food courts and fast food units, would be departmentalised. The new policy also provides for
departmentalisation of mobile catering services, including base kitchens, in phases.
The policy is in pursuance of an announcement made by Railway
Minister Mamata Banerjee, while presenting the Railway Budget 2010-11, that it was under revision and would be finalised soon. The
release said the policy would have an inclusive approach where, from
the least advantaged passenger to the relatively affluent, would be
provided catering services in a socially responsible manner.
accident at Sainthia, West Bengal 70 dead
Sainthia, Birbhum, July 19, 2010: Uttar Banga Exp rams Ranchi-bound
train at Sainthia, Birbhum (West Bengal) at 2 AM on Monday morning.
Railway authorities blamed human error for the collision between
Uttarbanga Express and Vananchal Express at the Sainthia station in Birbhum district early on Monday in which at least 70
passengers were killed and over 200 others injured. The Uttarbanga Express was headed to Sealdah when it crashed
into the Vananchal Express. The maximum casualties were in the two unreserved bogies of the Vananchal Express which was deeply impacted
by the collision. Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and employment to one member of each
family of the dead.
automatic doors to prevent mishaps on trains
LUCKNOW. July 14, 2010: The Lucknow bench of the high court desires that the Indian Railways must also provide Metro train like
facility of automatic opening and closing of doors of the train compartments. The court took to task the railways that due to its
insincerity in taking appropriate steps for safety and security of
passengers, it has to give out crores of rupees as compensation to the victims of the train accident.
The court expressed these views while hearing an appeal filed by Indian Railways against the compensation awarded by the tribunal
to a victim, who fell from the train as the doors were open.
Mumbai locals may get double-decker coaches
LUCKNOW, July 12, 2010 : As Mumbai grows vertically to accommodate its ever-increasing population,
so could its lifeline, the railways. The Research Designs and Standards Organisation, the
R&D wing of Indian Railways, has
proposed double-decker local trains to carry more commuters. RDSO
director-general K B L Mittal said his organisation would prepare a design of a double-decker local and present it to the Mumbai Railway
Vikas Corporation (MRVC) as well as both Central and Western Railways and check their feasibility.
A two-storeyed local was a better idea than simply adding to the number of coaches on local trains. The MRVC has
already sent a proposal to the RDSO to study the feasibility of
Indian Railways to set up two wind power plants
NEW DELHI, July 7, 2010: In a bid to cut down on rising power
costs and carbon emissions, Indian Railways is turning to wind
power. The behemoth is setting up two wind mill power plants with a
target of generating 21 MW wind power by next year. "We have
finalised plans for setting up two wind mill power plants in
Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu at an estimated cost of Rs 140 crores. Both
the plants will generate a total of 21 MW power," said a senior
Railway Ministry official. The plants will be set up along the
coastal belt of Tamil Nadu and in the desert area of Jaisalmer. Each
plant would generate 10.5 MW wind power and cost about Rs 70 crore. India's long coastline and vast desert expanses which are
endowed with high wind power potentials are best suited for the wind
energy generation projects. Besides reducing the electric consumption, the wind power will also earn us carbon credits, said
the official. Railways consume 5 billion units of power a year."We would supply the power to the grid and it would be adjusted
against our power billing," said the official.
Railways are expecting the plants to be operational by next
year. Railways have already made operational a 10.5 MW plant at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. "We had saved about Rs 8 crore on
power bills due to this plant," said the official. Since wind
power is eco-friendly, railways are expecting to earn about Rs 1 crore as carbon credits from the wind power ventures. The largest
PSU with 14 lakh employees is going green by channelising its vast resources.
Source: The Times of India
Railways to use alternative fuels to power locomotives
New Delhi, July 5. 2010 (PTI) : Concerned over increased burden on its coffers due to recent fuel price hike, Indian
Railways, largest bulk consumer of diesel in the country, have decided to cut costs by using alternative sources like bio-diesel in
a big way for powering their vast fleet of locomotives. It has decided to set up an integrated bio-diesel plant at Chennai with an
aim to gradually reduce dependence on high speed diesel which powers its fleet of over 7500 diesel locomotives.
Tenders have been floated. The entire work is expected to be
over in two years from the date of starting the project, a senior
Railway official said. Diesel locomotives cater to 60 per cent of
the rail traffic in the country, hauling both passenger and freight trains.
railway time table to feature schedule of new trains
New Delhi, Jun 30, 2010 (PTI): Timings of new unreserved
Karmabhoomi expresses and 'ladies only' Matribhoomi services along
with 10 new non-stop Duronto trains will feature in 2010-11 time
table of Indian Railways, coming into effect from midnight.
The time table called 'Trains At A glance' will have timings
of 58 new express trains, it will also reflect extension in services
of about 22 trains and increase in frequency of 13 trains among
others. Colour-coding scheme has been introduced this year to make
the time table more user-friendly. Shatabdi, Rajdhani, Duronto,
Garib Rath and Jan Shatabdi will be mentioned in pink colour while
other superfast trains in yellow, said a statement issued by the
Railways. The Railways have introduced six 'ladies only' Matribhoomi
special trains and three unreserved karmabhoomi trains apart from one Janmabhoomi service.
Banerjee to launch Technology Express train
New Delhi, June 28, 2010: Technology Express a
special express train, is going to be launched from IIT- Kharagpur
just after the Commonwealth Games. The Indian Railways has devised a
new way to popularise information technology across the country. Railway minister Mamata Banerjee had flagged off on Thursday a special
exhibition train from New Delhi to spread awareness about IT among the people, targetting the youngsters. Besides promoting the
Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010, the train will showcase the progress
India has so far made in technology while travelling to 48 stations across the country.
The Commonwealth Express train has 11 coaches out of which
six have been dedicated to information technology. In this train,
the Department of Information Technology will showcase the capacity
and the work done in the country in the area of information and
communication technology and the initiatives carried out by the Department and its affiliated entities in the fields of
e-governance, infrastructure, technology relevant to rural India,
language interfacing technology etc. After covering major cities in the country, the train will conclude its journey in Delhi on 1
October 2010, ahead of Common Wealth Games.
No privatization of railways, says Mamata Banerjee
New Delhi, June 23, 2010 (IANS): Railway Minister Mamata
Banerjee Wednesday said there was no likelihood of privatizing
Indian Railways, even as she admitted that several projects are not
being implemented for want of funds. The minister was speaking at
the meeting of the consultative committee of members of parliament
for the railway ministry on "Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Railways".
A press release said the minister "reiterated that there
will be no privatization of Indian Railways". She told
the committee members that there were "many socially desirable
railway projects which are not being implemented because of the
shortage of funds". She suggested that railway land, not
required for immediate operations, could be used for setting up
manufacturing facilities as well as for hospitals, medical colleges and training institutions.
Level Crossing Awareness Day
MUMBAI, June 21, 2010 : Every year, U.I.C. (International
Union Of Railways) observes one day as the International Level
Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). This year, 22^nd June 2010 is being
observed as ILCAD. Indian Railways has decided to participate
in this global campaign to sensitize road users to increase safety
at un-manned level crossings. The international level crossing
awareness day focuses on educational measures and the promotion of
safe behaviour at and around level crossings. It is built on
existing national events which will be held jointly at various
locations in every participating country on 22^nd June, 2010 and
constructed around the common message ? *Act Safely At Level
Crossings!*?. Despite all the measures taken to indicate the
presence of level crossings and make them safe, too many road users
and pedestrians are killed or injured at such crossings each year right around the world.
The number of unmanned level crossing accidents occurring on
Indian Railways is a cause of concern. At present, there are total
35,363 numbers of Level Crossings over Indian Railways out of which
17,954 are Unmanned where the accidents occur primarily due to
inadequate precautions by the road users failing to observe
mandatory sign boards, signals and basic traffic safety rules. Over
the last five years, the train accidents at unmanned level crossings
have marginally reduced from 65 in the year 2005-06 to 62 in
2009-10. In 2009-10, fatalities in level crossing accidents
comprised nearly 74 percent of all fatalities in train accidents in
India. While driving, the road user is supposed to take precautions
as stipulated in section-3 and 131 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 of
having a valid license and ensuring that before passing the unmanned
level crossing, the road user stops, looks around and only if no
train is approaching, proceeds ahead. Source: Ministry of Railways
Massive railway job scam unearthed, 8 nabbed
Mumbai, June 18, (IASN): The Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI), on Friday, claimed to have unearthed a multi-crore rupee
railway recruitment scam with the arrest of eight people, including
the son of the chairman of the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) in
Mumbai. A CBI official said the investigation agency has seized
Rs.60 lakh from bank accounts of family members of RRB Chairman, B.
Sharma, and Rs.12 lakh from a former additional divisional railway
manager, Raipur, A.K. Jagannathan. Also, simultaneous raids
were conducted in Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Raipur
to unearth the scam involving recruitments for the posts of
assistant station masters and loco-pilots for the Indian Railways.
Among those arrested were Vivek B. Sharma, son of the RRB chairman,
and Jagannathan, who along with two others were presented before a
Hyderabad court and remanded to judicial custody. Jagannathan was
nabbed from a hotel in Bangalore where he was staying. A total of
Rs.12 lakh in cash, question papers and original certificates of job aspirants were recovered from his room.
During raids in Hyderabad, the CBI unearthed cash of Rs.21.50
lakh and original certificates of 444 job aspirants from Jagannathan's residence. The RRBs across the country are entrusted
with conducting examinations for induction of staff in Group C
category of the Indian Railways. Examinations were held all over
India on June 6 this year for the recruitment of assistant loco-pilots and on June 13 for the posts of assistant station
masters. Jagannathan, with the connivance of RRB officials here, managed to secure a copy of the question paper before the
examination date and provided them to many applicants in return for huge sums of money, a CBI official said.
According to a railway official, the candidates were forced
to shell out as high as Rs.300,000 for the copy of the question
paper and deposit their original certificates with the touts. The
touts in turn deposited the original certificates and the amount
with Jagannathan. The question papers were then leaked to the
aspirants a day before the examination. The job aspirants were
required to collect their original certificates after the declaration of the results. The CBI contended that the entire modus
operandi was the brainchild of Jagannathan. He carried out the scam
with the help of the RRB officials and the external touts. The CBI has also warned that similar scams were are being
carried out by several gangs in different parts of the country in
connivance with the railway officials.
Railways promotes Commonwealth Games
Mumbai, June 16, 2010 (IANS) : This month, a special
train will begin a cross-country journey to inform and take visitors
down memory lane through rare photographs and memorabilia of the
Commonwealth Games. The train will be flagged off by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on June 24 and will return on October 2, a
day before the Commonwealth Games start. It will stop for two-three
days at select stations. Five coaches of the train will feature
exhibitions on the Commonwealth Games, while five will focus on information and technology in railway operations. An eleventh bogey
will be converted into a 100-ft-long travelling sports photo exhibition, curated by sports filmmaker Sunil Yash Kalra, who has
also donated rare pictures from his collection of over 5,000 photos.
Indian Railways will have medical facilities for long distance trains
June 15 2010 : Indian Railways recently announced that
specially made emergency medical facilities will be available on -
Duronto Express, Howrah- Yeshwanthpur weekly by providing a doctor
and a paramedical staff who will travel in the train along with
vital and life saving medicines and emergency medical equipments
like Glucometer, ECG machine, AED, Nebulizer, Oxygen Cylinder etc.
Indian Railways will set up similar services on Mumbai- Ahmedabad
within a week. Indian Railways has now deputed doctors on long distance trains.
Medical facilities will be made available on the train
itself. Berths one and three of the second AC coach in the train will be converted into a medical bay. A team of one doctor and
paramedic will travel with passengers.
Railways opt for new toilet-technology
LUCKNOW, June 9, 2010: The new toilet-technology promises to
keep up with not-so-disciplined Indian toilet habits, separating
before disposal the non-degradable waste that passengers mostly
flush in toilets. Then disposing it all at terminal stations in an
environment-friendly manner.“Green toilets aim at zero-defecation
on the ground,” says Mahesh Kumar, director, carriage, Research
Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO).Thus not only making it a
likable sight at stations but also preventing damage to tracks by way of corrosion.
As many as 200 coaches on Indian Railways will have
environment-friendly toilets this fiscal. The four technologies,
which RDSO has developed with IIT-Kanpur and DRDE, Gwalior, have all
gone through initial phase of trials on trains like Gwalior-Barauni,
Reva Express and Prayagraj. “The results are satisfactory with 90%
success rate,” says Mittal. Vacuum toilets, zero-discharge
toilets, Aerobic and Anaerobic bio toilets are the types.
The toilets have been designed keeping in mind Indian requirements like long distance travel and toilet habits. The
retention tanks will store the waste and be emptied at terminal
stations into sewage lines thus not dropping the waste all along the
track. The solid and liquid waste will be separated in the tank, while liquid will be re-cycled and used, a bacteria will
disintegrate the solid waste thus making it non-polluting to environment.
Currently, train toilets are of direct discharge type. As the railway network grows and number of passengers increases, open
discharge of waste will be a bigger problem. “This is one major reason why green toilets are required,” says DK Agarwal, ED, RDSO.
Besides, railways’ own maintenance staff will not have to face unhygienic conditions while working on tracks. Railway board has
formed a core group for ‘environment-friendly toilets’ to look after implementation of different technologies and has fixed a
target to provide 1024 green toilets in current financial year. Source: The Times of India
refutes Lalu claim on performance of rlys
PATNA, June 7, 2010: Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in
its report submitted to the Union government recently came down
heavily on the tall claims of the Indian Railways on its overall
performance during former railway minister Lalu Prasad’s tenure.
The CAG maintained that the Indian Railways had not performed well
as claimed by Lalu during his tenure, particularly during 2008-2009.
According to a Railway Board official, the CAG maintained in
its report that the performance of the railways deteriorated
marginally during the last leg of Lalu’s tenure. The annual rate
of growth of freight loading had declined from a peak of 10.7 per
cent in 2005-2006 to 4.97 per cent in 2008-2009. Besides, the operating ratio (the traffic earnings spent on operations), went up
to 90.46 per cent, particularly during the period 2007-2008, he
said, adding it was hardly about 75.94 per cent in 2006-2007. The CAG found startling facts about the growth rate in
passenger earnings which abysmally declined from a peak of 15.21 per
cent in 2007-2008 to 10.52 per cent in 2008-2009. Thus, the net
revenue surplus of the railways also came down to 67 per cent only,
the report said. This fact was substantiated by bringing out a white
paper on Lalu’s tall claims by Mamata Banerjee.
Express train tragedy rose to 149
New Delhi, June 01, 2010: The death toll in yesterday's derailment and collision involving the Mumbai-bound Gyaneshwari
Express in West Bengal's West Midnapore district has risen to 149.
As many as 13 coaches of the superfast Howrah-Kurla train derailed around 1.30 am yesterday near Kharagpur and three of them
were hit within minutes by a speeding goods train coming from the opposite direction.
The incident occurred between the Khemasoli and Sardiya stations on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar section, about 135 km from
Kolkata. At least 149 people suffered injuries in the incident and
are being treated in hospitals in Kharagpur, Midnapore and Kolkata.
About 38 of them have suffered grievous injuries.
Home Minister P Chidambaram remark on Monday said the
Communist Party of India-Maoist was being suspected for the sabotage
that caused the train accident in Jhargram in West Bengal on Friday
in which at least 150 passengers were killed. "The needle of
suspicion points to the CPI-Maoist or its front organisation. The identity of the culprits can be established only after the
investigation is over," Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi.
A day after the home minister's remark, the Railway Minister Mamata Banerjjee today said she was not sure about
the involvement of the left-wing extremists. I don't know whether it is CPI-Maoist who was behind the attack. But whoever is
behind the attack should be punished, Mamta Benerjee said. - PTI
logo to be used during Commonwealth Games
New Delhi, May 26, 2010 (PTI): A distinct new logo of Indian Railways which will be prominently featured on Commonwealth Games
tickets and other related events of the biggest sporting extravaganza in the country has been finalised. The logo will
feature in the Games' tickets and on the special train which railways will flag off soon to promote the event that begins in
October, a Railway Ministry official said. While Railways is the lead partner of the Commonwealth Games, the IRCTC has bagged the
contract for selling the event's tickets online including the inaugural and closing ceremony.To select the logo, Indian Railways recently held a
competition offering a prize of Rs five lakhs for the selected design. The new logo represents the uniqueness and vision of Indian
Railways, said the official, adding, it is innovative in nature and
has a special recall value.
The Indian Railways are offering its passengers air tickets
Mumbai, May 20, 2010: Keen competitors until now, the railways and the aviation industry appear to
have joined hands. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation
(IRCTC) is selling air tickets on its website, tempting passengers with a 10 per cent cash-back offer and discounted airfare.
This comes in the wake of substantial inroads made by low-cost airlines, which
have brought airfares on many major routes across the country down to a few
thousand rupees, and made flying — once a luxury affordable only to the rich —affordable to a much larger base of travelers.
This has seen increasingly competitive fare wars between the railways and
airlines. “A typical case study is the Mumbai-Delhi sector. After low-cost
airlines made flying on this route affordable, the railways slashed prices on
the Rajdhani Express, which connects the two cities. The airlines then further
reduced rates — it had become quite an aggressive battle a few years ago,” a
senior railway manager said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to
speak to the media. Source: Hindustan Times
people die in Delhi railway station stampede
New Delhi, May 16, 2010: Two people were killed and 15
injured in a stampede at a railway station in New Delhi on May 16,
2010. A last-minute change of platform for a train triggered the
stampede at the New Delhi station A woman and a boy were
killed in the stampede. at the spot. Fire service officials
said a total of 15 people were taken to hospital with injuries. A
lot of passengers were on the platform to catch the train but when
the announcement was made, passengers pushed and jostled each
other to move on the platform leading to the stampede. Indian
Railways ordered an investigation into the accident and announced
compensation of 200,000 rupees to relatives of the victims.
Another luxury train to link tourist destinations
Varanasi, May 12, 2010: Rajasthan Tourism Development
Corporation in collaboration with Indian Railways is starting
another luxurious train in September called "Royal Rajasthan on
Wheels" connecting Varanasi- Rajasthan- Khajuraho with
other tourist destinations of the country. "Royal Rajasthan on
Wheels is an upgraded version of Palace on Wheels luxury
train," said VK Sharma general manager of Royal Rajasthan on
Wheels luxurious train while talking to Hindustan Times during
his visit to Varanasi Monday evening. Sharma further said that it
will be a seven-day tour starting on September 5.
The train will be flagged off from New Delhi and will travel
to Jodhpur, Udaipur, Chittaur, Sarai Madhopur, Jaipur, Khajuraho,
Varanasi, Agra and return to New Delhi. He said the luxurious train
comprises of 14 sleeping saloons, 41 cabins, two restaurant cum bar,
one kitchen and one spa beside other luxurious facilities."The
cost of boarding on this luxurious train would be 590 dollars per
day for each person and accommodation facility of 82 tourists has
been made in the train," he said. He said in Varanasi, the
tourists will be taken on visit to Ganga ghats, Banaras Hindu
University, Bharat Mata Temple and Sarnath.
Railways pay tribute to Tagore by launching exhibition train
Howrah (WB), May 9 (ANI): Indian Railways launched a special
exhibition train, called the ‘Sanskriti Express’ to commemorate
the 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
The ‘Sanskriti Express’ was launched at Howrah station and will
take visitors on a mystical journey through the life and works of
Tagore.For visitors who swear by the genius of Tagore, the
exhibition on wheels provides a rare preview of his virtuosity in various art forms.The five-coach train exhibition depicts his extraordinary
works of art. The first coach, called the ‘Jibon Smriti’
(Memoirs of life) provides a glimpse of Tagore’s life through
photographs. The second coach- aptly christened ‘Gitanjali’-
puts on display songs, poems and letters of the master.
Gitanjali had fetched Tagore the coveted Nobel Prize for Literature
in 1913. The third coach is named ‘Muktadhara’, and takes
visitors on a mystical journey through Tagore’s novels, essays and
plays. ‘Chitralekeha’ is the fourth coach of the train and
depicts his paintings, while the fifth coach depicts the last
journey of Tagore. The Sanskriti Express will go to various parts of
the country before returning to Kolkata in West Bengal on May 8,
Mumbai train strike called off
Mumbai, April 04,2010: The motormen of central and western
railways on Tuesday reportedly called off their strike, after
authorities assured them that their concerns will be addressed by
June 15. The Maharashtra government had earlier threatened to invoke
the Essential Services Maintenance Act on the striking motormen of
the western and central railway, to bring an end to the train strike
that had crippled the city since Monday evening.Over 65 lakh people
in the metropolis had been hit by the strike by nearly 1,100
motormen. The suburban railway system is the lifeline of Mumbai and
carries about 6.9 million passengers a day.
Maoist blow up railway track in West Bengal
West Midnapore (West Bengal), April 27, 2010 (ANI): Suspected
Maoists blew up a railway track near Midnapore town in West Bengal's
West Midnapore District on Tuesday, disrupting rail services in the
region.The incident took place on the second-day of the two-day
shutdown call given by the rebels in the three states of West
Bengal, Orissa and Jharkhand demanding release of six Maoists, who were arrested earlier.
Train services in the Kharagpur division have been affected
by the incident. ue to the impact of the blast, rail slippers were
blown off and a huge crater was created below the tracks at Puturia
between Midnapore and Bhadutala stations. Railway officials, the
bomb squad and security personnel have rushed to the spot and repair
work of tracks has already begun. A land mine was also found near
the tracks. Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had on April 23
said attacks on railway property have doubled during 2009.
Replying to a query in the Rajya Sabha, Banerjee informed
that the railways has lost over Rs 500 crore due to disruptions by
Maoists. Railways has become a target of Naxals," Banerjee
said. "We have lost Rs 500 crore because of Naxal bandhs and
obstructions," she added. Banerjee informed the House that the
Naxals targeted railway property 58 times in 2009, while there were
30 incidents reported on attack on railway property by red rebels.
She said that 56 incidents were reported in 2007.
Train controllers to go on mass leave on Labour Day
JAIPUR, April 26, 2010: The train controllers of Indian
Railways have decided to go on a mass casual leave on May 1 on the
occasion of Labour Day to press for their demand for ‘stress
allowance’, hike in grade pay, filling up of vacancies, increase
in leave reserve, etc. Under the banner of All India Train
Controllers Association (AITCA), around 2,600 controllers of 38
divisions from all over the country have applied for casual leave to build pressure on the government. According to AITCA organising secretary M G Sharma, movement
of trains across the country is likely to be disrupted on May 1.
“As controllers, we plan, execute, control and monitor movement of
16,000 trains daily which give us immense stress. We are responsible
for optimum utilisation of railways’ assets. The authorities have,
however, been indifferent to our demands,” he said. Source:
The Times of India
Railways lost Rs 500cr due to disruptions by Maoists
NEW DELH, April 23, 2010 (PTI) : Incidents of Naxal attacks on railway property nearly doubled in 2009
and the Indian Railways lost over Rs 500 crore due to disruptions by Maoists,
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee informed the Rajya Sabha today. "Railways has become a target of Naxals," she said replying to supplementaries
during Question Hour. "We have lost Rs 500 crore because of Naxal bandhs and
obstructions," she said adding incidents of attacks by Naxals nearly doubled to 58 in 2009 from 30 in
the previous year. 56 incidents were reported in 2007, she said. Banerjee said it was impossible to man every inch of the 65,000 km rail route.
"Whatever we can do in our jurisdiction, we do," she said. "We appeal to all the state governments to take some precaution so that we can
run trains," she said emphasising that law and order was a state subject and
railways could do very little with the limited Railway Protection Force it has.
East Central Railway to observe Railway Week
PATNA, April 18, 2010: The East Central Railway (ECR) will observe its 55th Railway Week
function at the S K Memorial hall here on Thursday. ECR acting GM A K Mishra
will inaugurate the function. The highlight of the function will be a variety of cultural programmes to mark
the occasion. The GM will give away individual and group prizes to railway
officials and employees of all its five divisions for their outstanding
achievements in their respective divisions of the ECR. The Indian Railways had made its first journey way back on April 16, 1853 from Mumbai to Thane covering a distance of about 20 km only.
Since then railways has been marching forward across the country to fulfil the
needs of the people. Railway Week is observed in each zone and division of the Indian Railways every
year across the country from April 10 to 16 to recognize major contributions and
distinguished services of both railway officials and employees in development of
railways network, sources said.
Rlys to lease real estate assets, eyes Rs 600 cr
Mumbai, April 7, 2010 (PTI) The Indian Railways is planning to lease out some of its
real estate assets to rake in Rs 600 crore in rentals, a senior Railways
official said. "We plan to lease 15 plots in different metros and Tier 11 cities on long lease
this fiscal and hope to net Rs 600 crore through this," Rail Land Development
Authority, Member-Finance F Mehmood said. "We have identified a land-bank of 1,900 hectares for development. This will be
leased out in phases. We have appointed 15 consultants for this purpose," he
said. Most of the land available for lease is in the eastern region, he said.
Leasing its land for residential purposes is not under consideration at present,
the official said but added that "if good proposals come, then we may think about it.
Railways experiment with cost-effective fly ash sleepers
Lucknow, April 06, 2010: The Research, Design and Standards
Organisation (RDSO) of Indian Railways is experimenting with
cost-effective sleepers for railway tracks. At present, railway
sleepers are made with cement concrete. Now, the RDSO, in collaboration with IIT-Kanpur and NTPC, is planning to use fly ash
in the sleepers, which will not only make them more durable, but
also cost effective. An initiative of NTPC, the project was undertaken by RDSO in January 2010, and the sleepers will undergo
lab tests in the next three months before going for field trials.
Fly ash is a residue of coal-based thermal power plants and is generally considered a waste. However, it is known to acquire
cement-like properties when mixed with lime and water because of its
pozzolanic characteristics, said V K Mathur, Head of Ash Utilisation
Division, NTPC. India produces 150 million ton fly ash every year
and by 2012, the production is expected to reach 200 million tons.
Mixing 25 to 30 per cent of fly ash gives 20 per cent more durability to the cement structure as the fly ash particles, being
smaller in size than the cement particles, settle in the smallest of
voids in a cement structure and make the structure more condense,
Mathur told The Indian Express. Source: The Indian Express.
Railways slash service charges on e-tickets
NEW DELHI, April 4, 2010 (PTI): Railways have slashed service
charges levied on purchase of e-tickets by half from Thursday
keeping passenger interest in mind. As per the revised plan, service
charge levied on purchase of e-tickets in AC classes has been
slashed from Rs 40 to Rs 20. Likewise, service charges levied on
purchase of e-tickers for sleeper class has been reduced from Rs 15 to 10, official sources said.
Railway Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee had announced in her
Budget speech the PSU’s intention of slashing the service charges
on purchase of e-tickets. IRCTC offers the e-ticketing facility to
passengers through its portal. Figures reveal that 30 per cent o f
all tickets booked in Indian Railways today are e-tickets, reflecting the popularity of this service. IRCTC, however, expects a
drop of about 30 per cent in its earnings from sale of e-tickets
following the slashing of service charges. Earlier, Railways had also revised the tariff plan under its tatkal scheme to make it more
popular among the passengers . The booking days under the scheme was also reduced from five to two days.
to manufacture 2.9 lakh wagons in 2010-20
NEW DELHI, March 23,2010 (PTI): Outlining the roadmap for the
growth of Indian Railways, government on Monday said plans are afoot
to double the existing fleet of wagons, coaches, electric and diesel
locomotives by 2020. "It is planned to add 2.9 lakh wagons,
over 5000 diesel locomotives, over 4000 electric locomotives and
50,000 coaches in the next decade," said Chairman Railway Board
(CRB) S S Khurana. Khurana was speaking at the "Transport
Infrastructure Summit-Belgian solution for India" here. Referring to the bullet train project, he said 2,000 km of
route for the high speed passenger rail corridor is being planned in
the next ten years. Feasibility studies for Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad
high speed passenger corridor are nearing completion, he said. Total
investment requirement for realising the capacity augmentation and
modernisation works is estimated to be $280 billion.
NFIR has warned the railway board to fill up two lakh vacancies
VADODARA, March 17, 2010: The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) has warned the
railway board to fill up two lakh vacancies in Indian Railways
immediately. General secretary of NFIR M Raghavaiah, who was in the
city on Tuesday, said this while addressing mediapersons here.
Raghavaiah was in city to take part in programmes organised by
Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh (WRMS) to celebrate their veteran
leader J G Mahurkar's 76th birthday, who is fondly called Mahurkar
dada, joint general secretary of NFIR. He also addressed mass
meeting of railwaymen at Pratapnagar.
Optic fibre project on railways
RAJYA SABHA, March 12, 2010 (PIB) : The optic fibres have
been laid for modernization of ndian Railways’ communication
network necessary for its operational requirements. As of January
31, 2010, Indian Railways have laid 37382 kms of optical fibre
cable. A total investment of around Rs. 1500 crore has been made on
the optic fibre project. Revenues have been realized from the
available spare capacity in the optical fibre network. The revenue
earned from Optic Fibre project during the last five years is
Rs. 32 crore in the year 2004-05, Rs. 56 crore in 2005-06, Rs. 112
crore in 2006-07, Rs. 188 crore in 2007-08 and Rs. 261 crore in the year 2008-09.
Railways concentrate on its core business of running trains.
However, there are non-core areas allied to core activities, through
which the Railways may generate additional revenue. Due emphasis is
given to both core and non-core activities keeping in view revenue
maximization and social obligations. This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri E. Ahamed in a written
reply in Rajya Sabha today.
Construction of the new rail line from North Bengal to Sikkim
New Delhi, March 8, 2010 : The Indian Railways have begun the construction of the new rail line from North Bengal to Sikkim that
will pass through the foothills of the Kanchanjungha mountain range and the Tiesta river valley. An official press release said the
groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 20 in the presence of North-East Frontier Railway General Manager Shiv Kumar and senior
officials of the Railways as well as Ircon International, a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways. The alignment
connecting Rangpo from Sivok is 44.4 km long, more than 70 per cent of which will be through tunnels. The work also involves spanning of
deep gorges/valleys. According to the release, the project cost is estimated to be approximately Rs. 3300 crore. The work is expected
to be completed in five years. When completed, this project will greatly improve the connectivity to Sikkim and will boost the
State's economy and tourism, it added.
UK pitches in for joining Indian Railways projects
New Delhi, March 4, 2010 (PTI) Britain today expressed interest in India's efforts to mordernise railways and upgrade its
infrastructure, joining several other countries like Japan, France
and China to do so. Britain High Commissioner to India Sir Richard
Stagg who called on Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee today is believed to have expressed his country's willingness in joining the
Railways' modernisation drive in the field of track and signal upgrade.
In her Budget speech last week, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked the private sector to work in partnership with
the Railways and had mooted the setting-up of a special task force
to put investment proposals on a fast track. A railway delegation comprising 10 companies from the UK is currently visiting the
country exploring possibilities of various railway projects.
Knowledge on wheels
March 2, 2010 : The Indian Scouting Centenary Express, an exhibition on wheels run by the Southern Railway in commemoration of
the centenary celebrations of the Scouts movement in India was held
recently. The exhibition attracted children in large numbers, particularly Scouts and Guides who came in to find out more about
the movement's growth in India and looked every inch pleased. The exhibition train comprises three coaches, two displaying materials
on Scouting and one exclusively giving out information on Railways.
No hike in fares, freight charges in the Railway Budget for 2010-11
New Delhi, February 24, 2010 (PTI) : The Railway Budget for
2010-11 on Wednesday proposed no increase in passenger fares and freight rates while reducing the tariff by Rs 100 per wagon in
transportation of foodgrains, kerosene and fertilisers to tackle the
price rise. The budget, presented by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha, also proposed to reduce the maximum limit
of service charge on e-booking of tickets to Rs 10 for sleeper class
and Rs 20 for AC class. The present maximum charge is Rs 15 and Rs 40 respectively.
This is the seventh year in a row that passenger fares have
not been raised.Announcing a slew of concessions for passengers, Banerjee proposed free travel for cancer patients going for
treatment in three-tier AC and sleeper class and continuance of concessions for students of madrassas and journalists. The budget
estimates for 2010-11 pegs the freight loading target at 944 million tonnes, an increase of 54 million tonnes over current year's revised
estimates. The passenger traffic is likely to grow by 5.3 per cent. Referring to hardships faced by people because of the high food
prices, Banerjee said, "I understand their distress.Despite Railways' own tight resource position I announce reduction of Rs 100
per wagon in freight charges for foodgrains for domestic use and kerosene. This is a small gesture to express our concern."
See for details: Railway
Govt for expanding capacity of railways: Prez
New Delhi, February 22, 2010 (PTI): Government today said it is committed to substantially
expanding capacity of Indian Railways along with increasing speed of passenger and freight trains."My Government is committed to fulfilling a substantial expansion in capacity
and modernisation of railway technology and to increasing the speed of both
passenger and freight trains while improving safety," President Pratibha Patil.
Addressing a joint sitting of Parliament, she said commencement of train
services in the Kashmir Valley from Qazigund to Baramulla demonstrates the
Government's commitment to development of all corners of our country.She said a special North East Rail Development Fund has been created to provide
assured financing for nine major national projects in the North Eastern region.
Besides, Railways have also commenced work on the ambitious Dedicated Freight
Corridors on the Eastern and Western trunk routes. "This project would help
drive India's growth".
Railways’ CFL project reaches Allahabad
Allahabad. February 19, 2010 :The Indian Railways project to use energy-efficient tubelights and
compact flurorescent lamps (CFL) in offices and staff colonies across the country is rolling along in the state.
The implementation of the project had started in Ghaziabad last May. “Now, the
distribution of CFLs and energy-efficient T-5 tubelights in all railway zones
has begun,” said NCR’s Chief Public Relations Officer RD Bajpai.
In the stations of Allahabad division, work is in progress to replace the
ordinary tubelights with energy T-5 tubelights. This will cover all the big
stations — Allahabad, Kanpur, Mirzapur, Mughalsarai, Tundla, Aligarh, and
Etawah. Plus, in the first phase, “65,300 CFLs will be distributed in railway residences
of Allahabad division,” said Bajpai. The other two divisions at Agra and Jhansi will be covered in the second phase.
“The lighting in all major stations will be as per the guidelines of Bureau of
Energy Efficiency, which is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power,” said
Bajpai. “This alone will help the North-Central Railway save 20 per cent energy.”
A CFL or T-5 tubelight of 30 watt gives as much light as a traditional 60 watt
bulb, said a senior railway official. So the energy saving is expected to be not
less than 50 per cent. Source: The Indian Express
Mamata Banerjee may not increase passenger fares
February 18, 2010: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to present a populist Railway Budget
on February 24, leaving passenger fares untouched but rationalising the freight
rates keeping the essential commodities aside. However, sources say that a marginal increase in air-conditioned class is possible.
Though the Railway Board is insisting on raising fares keeping the railways'
financial condition in mind, insiders said the minister is 'dead against' carrying out any such revision.The recession-hit industry may not be as lucky though, the Rail Budget to be
tabled on February 24 is likely to rationalise freight rates of certain commodities like iron ore, coal and cement.
But according to sources, Mamata is unlikely to tinker with the freight rates of
essential commodities including foodgrains.There is a possibility of a minimum 5 to 10 per cent hike in the transportation
charge of certain commodities including iron, coal and minerals. The hike in
fuel prices is weighing heavily on railways. Source: Rediff.com
Indian Railways planning a new paid Inquiry Number 138
February 15, 2010: Indian Railways is planning a new railway enquiry number 138, with a host of value added passenger related
services. The 138 service, likely to be announced in the Rail Budget on February 26, will lessen the ressure from the existing 139
passenger enquiry number which clocks close to eight lakhs calls per day. But enquiry number 138 would be paid unlike free 139 number.
The new service will allow travelers to book their hotels, tourist taxis and tours.
Indian Railways to set up IIT-Kgp's largest research centre
Kolkata, February 12, 2010 (BS): The Indian Railways will set up IIT-Kharagpur's
(IIT-KGP) largest research and development (R&D) centre. The investment may exceed Rs 120
crore. Currently, the largest R&D centre at the institute is with the
Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), towards setting-up an energy park over a five-year period beginning 2007. The estimated cost of this project is close to Rs 100
crore. Union Railway minister Mamata Banerjee recently said the
Railways will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IIT-Kharagpur on February 13 to rope in students of the institute for research work involving her ministry. Officials at
IIT-Kharagpur, however, point out that the establishment of a R&D centre would be central to the arrangement.
"The Indian Railways will set up an R&D centre at the IIT Kharagpur campus. The MoU to this effect is also for a long-term framework for advanced training for railway staffs,"
an official said on condition of anonymity. IIT-K is expected to carry out research on behalf of the
Indian Railways on areas like equipment, manufacturing and technology
up gradation for building a modern rail eco-system. The Railways is also looking at sponsored research and staff
training in collaboration with IIT-Kharagpur.
Food may be spared freight hike in the railway Budget 2010-11
New Delhi, February 10, 2010: With one eye on inflation and another on the reviving economy, railway minister Mamata Banerjee is
likely to announce an increase in freight rates for commodities other than foodgrains and fruits & vegetables when she presents
the railway Budget 2010-11 later this month. Key items on which freight charges could be increased are automobiles, iron ore and cement.
Banerjee has already ruled out an increase in passenger fares in Budget 2010-11 while presenting a white paper on Indian Railways
and ‘Vision 2020’ documents in Parliament in December. The railways’ inability to achieve the freight earnings target up to
January may have also contributed to the minister’s decision to hike freight charges for non-food goods. Freight earnings fell 2.26%
short of the Budget proposal. The railways earned Rs 47,763.29 crore from April 2009 to January 2010, against the Budget target of
48,868.76 crore, according to figures released on Monday. In terms of loading, for which data is available only up to December 2009, it
surpassed the target by 1.93%. Source: Financial Express
Ms. Sonia Gandhi and Ms. Banerjee flagged off 12 new trains in UP
Kanpur, February 7, 2010 (IA NS): IANS UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday jointly
flagged off 12 new trains in Uttar Pradesh. The routes of seven existing trains have also been extended. Claiming that addition of a
dozen new trains would prove to be a boon for Uttar Pradesh, Ms.Sonia Gandhi said later at a huge public rally adjacent to the
railway station that “it was after a long gap that the railway ministry had done so much in one go for this state”. She said the
central government would be only too keen to do much more for the State. “Our government at the centre in general and the Indian
Railways in particular are committed to fulfilling the aspirations of the people of Uttar Pradesh,” she said.
The new trains are Kanpur-New Delhi Shatabdi Express, Lucknow-New
Delhi Duronto, Allahabad- New Delhi Duronto, Gorakhpur-Lokmanya Tilak Terminal Express, Varanasi-Jammu Tawi Superfast, Lucknow-
Yashwantpur Express, Agra-Lucknow Intercity, Mathura-Kasganj Passenger, Bhopal- Pratapgarh Express, Gorakhpur-Nainital Express,
Gorakhpur-Noutha Passenger and Chapra-Mathura Express.
Railways join hands with Health Min for health care
New Delhi, February 6 (PTI) In a first of its kind
initiative, the Railways today teamed up with the Health Ministry to build medical facilities at major stations across the country.
According to an MoU signed between the two ministries, they will collaborate to develop health care facilities both for allopathic
and Indian systems of Medicine like diagnostic centres, out-patient centres, inpatient medical treatment centres, super-speciality
hospitals, medical colleges and nursing colleges. These health care facilities could also be used as trauma
centres for emergencies, accidents and natural disasters.While the land for building the health infrastructure would be provided by the
Railways, the health ministry would be in-charge of the setting up process.
HC asks Rlys to give details of extra facilities for Maha Kumbh
LUCKNOW, February 4, 2010: The High Court on Wednesday asked the Indian Railways to tell it as to what kind of extra facilities and infrastructure have been provided to Haridwar Maha Kumbh
travelers against the surcharge imposed on them to the tune of Rs 3 to 15. The division bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi posted the matter on February 9 for next hearing.
A PIL filed by Hindu Personal Law Board seeks subsidy to the Kumbh visitors on the lines of that given to Haj pilgrims. On Wednesday, in compliance of earlier order, the Railway counsel produced July
30, 2009 circular before the court and submitted that as the Railway had to make additional infrastructure and facilities for the Kumbh visitors whose number rises up to lakhs, it has levied the surcharge to gain funds for the said purpose
invites business chambers to discuss rail PPPs
New Delhi, January 29, 2010: Union railway minister Mamata
Banerjee has called a meeting with chambers of commerce on February
6 to discuss how to get more private participation in rail projects.
The meeting is a prelude to the framing of a public private partnership (PPP) policy for the railways.
The ministry plans to announce the policy in the coming
Budget. "The new policy is aimed at attracting private developers, who have not shown much interest in railway projects
hitherto," said a source in the know.In the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07), PPP projects by Indian Railways constituted less
than one per cent of the total plan outlay for the sector. The projections for the Eleventh Plan (2007-12) are, formally, 20 per
cent of the totaloutlay, which is around Rs 1,00,000 crore. In
last year's Budget presentation, the railway minister had said the Railways would be upgrading 50 stations under the PPP scheme. Of
these, Delhi station was seen as a test case. But, the Rs 6,000-crore project has been stuck for two years for want of
approval from local bodies such as the Delhi Development Authority,
New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Traffic Police and so on. Source:
Railways plan to introduce more non-stop Duronto trains
Mumbai, January 25, 2010 (PTI) : Indian Railways is planning to launch at least ten more non-stop Duronto Express trains in the next financial year, encouraged by good response received since the introduction of Duronto Express trains last year. An official from the Indian Railways mentioned that for the same
a feasibility study which was conducted recently has identified 40 new sectors where Duronto service can be introduced, but only about ten Durontos can be announced for the new sectors. This is because the Indian Railways have managed to launch only half of the 14 trains announced in the last Railway Budget. Some of the new sectors found feasible
for running Duronto trains are Mumbai-Chennai, Pune- Mumbai, Bhubaneswar-Varanasi,
Guwahati-New Delhi, Patna-Amritsar, Howrah-Puri, New Delhi-Trivandrum, Bhopal-New Delhi and Ahmedabad-Howrah among others. The feasibility study also took into account the occupancy rate of mail and express trains in the routes identified for running the Duronto trains.
Railway Board holds a meeting on railway safety
New Delhi, January 21, 2010 (ANI): The Railway Board held a
meeting here on rail safety on Wednesday. It discussed the issue of
security of rail passengers and devise solutions to the threat faced
from naxals and terrorists. Interacting with the media, Ajay Kumar
Goel, Member, Railway Board, said that interstate police teams would
be nominated for a group of trains running through the concerned
states so that the crimes get investigated in a better way.
“Special arrangements will be made for the security of the rail
construction projects through the mutual agreement between the
railways and the state government,” he added. State-run Indian
Railways has one of the largest and busiest rail networks in the
world, transporting over 18 million passengers and over two million
tonnes of freight everyday. (ANI)
Railways to build first flyover track
PATNA, January 18, 2010: With the completion of Rajgir-Tilaiya new line, the railways now intends to build a flyover
track between Bakhtiarpur and Barh in Patna district at an estimated
cost of over Rs 60 crore for the smooth run of goods trains carrying
coal directly from Tilaiya (Jharkhand) for NTPC power station being built at Barh.
The flyover tracks will be the first of its kind in the
Indian Railways and it will be completed on priority basis. It is a
joint venture of the railways and NTPC. he civil work on the
proposed flyover track is likely to begin soon between Bakhtiarpur
and Barh on the mainline section of Danapur division under East
Central Railway (ECR). -
Rail mishap near Tundla junction, 3 killed, 14 injured
NEW DELHI, January 16, 2010: Three persons were killed and 14
injured in a rail mishap in Uttar Pradesh, Saturday, a senior Indian
Railways official said. The rail mishap took place when the Kalindi
Express collided with the Shram Shakti Express near the Tundla
junction in the state due to dense fog which had reduced visibility
levels, North-Central Railway spokesperson R.D. Vajpai told the
media in the national capital. The official said that a medical team
has been rushed to the spot to help in the rescue operations, he
said, adding that a probe has been ordered into the mishap.
Indian Railways to expedite Bangladesh rail upgrade
New Delhi, January 13, 2010 (PTI): India today assured Bangladesh of speedy implementation
of projects on rail infrastructure upgrade in the neigbouring country.All rail projects would be speeded up as per the agreement with Bangladesh,
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said after meeting Bangla Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina here.
A railway link between Rohanpur and Singhabad to facilitate transit traffic from
Bangladesh to Nepal through India and making Akhoura-Agartala line operational
among others were finalised yesterday between the two countries.Indian Railways would help Bangladesh to build rail infrastructure that is
expected to allow train services from Kolkata to Tripura, she said. "India always had good relations with Bangladesh and its people," Banerjee said.On cultural ties, she said, "We have a great cultural affinity with the country.
calls upon Zonal Railways to carry more safety drives
January 11, 2010, Ministry of Railways (PIB) : The Minister
of Railways, Kumari Mamata Banerjee, has called upon the Railway
officials to continue their dedication and devotion to ensure smooth
operation of Indian Railways and also continue to be careful and
alert in their attitude towards implementing and observing all
important instructions & guidelines issued by the Railway Board
from time to time. Addressing the two-day General Managers’
Conference here today, Kumari Mamata Banerjee emphasized on proper
training of Railway personnel especially the core staff deployed for
safety related jobs. She also said that while it is necessary to
encourage and protect good employees but staff found wanting on
performance needs to be held accountable and answerable.
She also said that various decisions announced in the Railway
Budget should be implemented with full sincerity and expeditiously.
On safety, Kumari Mamata said that Railways need to carry more
safety drives by conducting surprise checks and by properly
implementing safety guidelines. Referring to security of passengers,
the Minister said that there is an urgent need to strengthen Railway
Protection Force (RPF) in vulnerable areas and be more vigilant
about those elements trying to create obstacles in the smooth
operation of Railways.
19 Trains cancelled till January 31
New Delhi, January 8, 2010: Almost 19 trains cancelled due to
fog The Indian Railways on Wednesday cancelled as many as 19 trains
till January 31 in view of the prevailing foggy weather conditions
in North India. The decision came as poor visibility again hampered train movement, with over three dozen trains arriving in Delhi
several hours behind schedule and 16 trains being rescheduled on Wednesday. Trains cancelled include
New Delhi-Sitamarhi Lichchvi Express
Gaya-New Delhi Mahabodhi Express
Rlys' land acquisition rules will be altered
Kolkata January 5, 2010 :Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she had already altered the land acquisition template of the Indian
Railways in a bid to ensure no land was forcefully acquired
for projects undertaken by her ministry. “I have personally made an amendment to the land acquisition
rules of the Railways a month ago so that forceful acquisitions do not take place,” Banerjee said, without
divulging the details of the amendment or the Act to which it was made.
However, sources indicated that the Banerjee, along with the rail board, were likely to have approved changes in the
Railways Act (1989). “But, after the amendment is approved, it might have to go through Parliament before it is enforced,” the source said. Slighting the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee-led West Bengal
government for its dispute-ridden land acquisition attempts in the state, Banerjee said her ministry would walk the extra
mile to avoid discord among land-losers in railway projects.“Unlike Singur and Nandigram, we will not acquire large tracts of land forcefully. We will only take what we require from those who are willing to part with their land. If people are unwilling, we will change the tracks and look at alternative
routes,” Banerjee said at a ceremony in Amta, near Kolkata. Source: Business Standard
Railways mishap raises questions about railway safety
New Delhi, Jan 4, 2010 (PTI) Nothwithstanding the Railways claim, the collision involving Gorakhdham Express, which was
apparently overspeeding in dense fog, near Kanpur, has raised fresh doubts about the safety measures in Indian Railways. Gorakhdham
Express, which rammed into the stationary Prayagraj Express at Panki, 25 km from Kanpur, killing 10 passengers and injuring 43, was
running at a speed much higher than a train usually runs in foggy conditions, according to railway sources. In dense fog, trains are
required to virtually crawl at a speed of eight km per hour but the extent of damage to Prayagraj Express by the impact of
Gorakhdham Express indicated the train was running at a much higher speed, said the sources. A senior railway Ministry official said it
seems the driver of Gorakhdham Express was overspeeding in the foggy condition.
Four express trains collide in UP; 39 dead
LUCKNOW, January 2, 2010 (IANS): Uttar Pradesh saw two
train collisions early Saturday as dense fog enveloped most parts of north India. Eye witnesses from the scene of the accidents said over
39 people have died. While five people were injured when two trains collided in Kanpur district, no casualties were reported in the
accident in Etawah district, officials said. The Gorakhdham Express and Prayagraj Express collided near
the Panki railway station in Kanpur, some 90 km from here. "We
have learnt that at least five people have been injured in the accident," said an official of the government railway police.
In the second accident of the morning, two passenger trains - the Lichchavi Express and Magadh Express - collided near Sarai Bhupat
railway station in Etawah, some 300 km from here. "It is yet to be ascertained whether the accident caused any casualty," a
railway police official told IANS. "It appears that the collision took place due to heavy fog," he said. "The
driver of the Lichchavi Express is trapped in the cabin and efforts are on to rescue him," said A K Singh, government railway
police inspector at Etawah. Senior railway officials have rushed to the spot along with district authorities for rescue operations.