Indian Railways conducts trial runs of ‘internet-ready’ trains

New Delhi (PTI): Rail journeys in the country is set for a sea-change with the Railways undertaking trial runs to introduce internet facilities in trains, the Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

Based on the outcome of the trials, the Railways will take further decisions, Minister of state for Railways, R Velu, said.

The trial runs are currently being conducted in a couple of trains like Mumbai-Ahmedabad and Chennai-Mysore Shatabdi express trains, he said in a written reply.

Railways had on an earlier occasion expressed desire for providing internet facility in Rajdhani class of trains to help commuters and business travellers while on the move.

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Advanced coach from Germany arrives for Delhi Metro

New Delhi (PTI): The first coach of Delhi Metro’s phase II programme, with advanced air conditioning system and noise reduction features, was on Thursday brought to the national capital by air from Germany, three months ahead of commissioning.

The coach was rolled out from Bombardiar Transportation’s plant in Goerlitz, where it was manufactured in a record 18 months instead of the usual 24 months for extensive trials here.

The company has a contract with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to supply 424 coaches for the phase II project. Ofthese, 36 coaches will be manufactured in Germany and the rest from Savli near Vadodara in Gujarat, where the company has recently inaugurated a state of art manufacturing unit.

“The coaches will have “strong” air conditioning system and technology that reduces the noise level when the trains are on the move,” said president and Managing director of Bombardiar Transportation India Rajeev Jyoti.

Talking to reporters to mark the arrival of the first coach, he said the coaches, made of bio-degradable material, will be environment-friendly and energy efficient.

“Heat generated from applying brakes will be converted into electrical energy and reused into the operation, thus saving the environment and energy by as much as 18 to 20 per cent,” he said.

Train traffic control system to be computerized soon

To lessen inconvenience to passengers caused by the lack of precise information on arrivals and departures of trains, monitoring of their movements will soon be computerized. Presently this is done by Indian Railways’ operating department through telephones, a time consuming process, making it very difficult for travellers to get the right details about train delays.

An ‘information control’ office is planned to be set up at Indian Railways’ divisional offices or headquarters where the server will track arrival and departure of trains.

Once the train moves from one station the system will calculate the entire distance immediately and prepare a chart that will display the train’s position on a screen. The move would also help in reducing staff required for preparing these charts.

Passengers have to face a tough time whenever they go to enquire the status of trains as the enquiry clerk somehow do not give them proper information. Sometimes enquiry counter clerks do not have the exact information as they have to confirm it at the telephones at short intervals and then they calculate the distance and delay accordingly.

So the process takes a lot of time and proves not so much helpful to the passengers. However, with the help of this new technology, computers will be able to display the position of trains.

Dharmendra Kumar, senior railway commercial manager, Ferozepur division, said, “Technology upgradation is our first priority. However, some of the current projects have been undertaken on a trial basis. These include installation of readers at selected stations which help in ascertaining the position of trains with the help of excel counting or tags attached with the wagons when the train passes through that particular station. This technology is already being employed by Southern and West Southern Railways, and now it’s the turn of Northern Railways”.

Railways offer prime land for commercial activities

Chandigarh: Type of `activity’ yet to be decided; a mall or hotel likely, say sources

Realising the worth of a huge chunk of land lying vacant with it, the Northern Railways has proposed commercial activities on it in collaboration with some private parties.

Two pieces of vacant land measuring a total of 65 acres, which have been offered to the Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA), would
be given on leasehold or licence basis for commercial development.

Recently RLDA, a body formed especially for the development of
railway land, had asked the Northern Railways to identify the vacant land with the Chandigarh railway station that can be commercially exploited.

Based on the suggestions and recommendations, railway authorities
selected two plots on main Madhya Marg. The area of these two plots
is 57.5 acre and 7.5 acre respectively.

“The Northern Railways has selected two plots for commercial development and offered them to RLDA. These plots are near the Territorial Army area on the Madhya Marg. The total land with the Chandigarh railway station is around 490 acres, out of this around 65 acres has been identified for commercial activity,” said Divisional Railway Manager H K Jaggi.

Though it is yet to be decided as to what type of commercial activity
will come up on the vacant land, sources said keeping in mind the
location, a mall or a hotel is likely. According to RLDA members looking after the project, the land would be given either on leasehold or licence basis to a private party for a limited period.

Under the RLDA Act, a vacant land can be used for commercial purposes
by all the other means but selling it to a private party.

According to railway officials, a survey would be conducted to conclude what kind of property is in demand. “Consultants would be
appointed to conduct a survey for the use of this land. The final decision would be based on the survey report but there are chances that a hotel or a commercial mall might be built on these plots,” said Jaggi.

A budget hotel is also coming up at one of the other vacant land plots with the railways.

This project is handled by IRCTC which will come up on a land on the
inner-connecting road to the railway station.

Railways take measures to deal with Global Warming

Mass Emission Measurement System for measurement of gaseous emissions and particulates has been installed on diesel engines test bed at Research Designs and Standards Organization, which is the nodal agency for evaluation and appraisal of such projects.

Work Consultancy for Reduction of Exhaust Emissions from Diesel Locomotives on Indian Railways’ has been sanctioned and the work is in progress. In addition, various technological improvements are being taken up on diesel locos, not only to improve performance capability of locos but also to reduce unburnt fuel, thereby arresting global warming.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Ministry of Railways, Dr. R. Velu in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

Zero discharge toilets soon in Railways

Tiruchirapalli: Eco-friendly zero discharge toilets are all set to be introduced in trains across the country.

Some of them have already been installed on an experimental basis in trains in the south.

The toilets jointly developed by IIT Kanpur, Research Designs and Standard Organisation, Lucknow and a private agency in Chennai, ensure that all liquid discharges are converted into ‘pure water’ which can be used as re-cycled water to flush and clean toilets and sanitary fittings.

The solid waste is converted into odour free paste by certain bio-chemicals or additives applied at the departing terminal. This can be stored for 15 days in a tank and can easily be emptied at the destination point through ‘pressurised evacuation,’ V Carmelus, Chief Mechanical Engineer of Southern Railways said.

The odourless solid waste could yield revenue since the paste would an excellent manure after being dried in the sun.

After some more trial runs and studies the scheme would be a permanent feature in Indian Railways, he said.

Presently the system has been installed in trains running between Chennai and Jammu Tawi and Chennai-Lucknow, he said.

Book on ‘Disaster Management in the Indian Railways’

New Delhi, Feb 24: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav today released a book, titled ‘Disaster Management in the Indian Railways’ authored by Minister of State for Railways Dr. R.Velu.

Congratulating Dr. Velu for his book, Yadav said that the Indian Railways is the lifeline of the nation and has frequently played an important role in the management of all kinds of disasters.

“Dr. Velu’s individual efforts to review disaster management on Indian Railways through his book are commendable,” he added.

Yadav opined that this book will not only benefit the students and researchers engaged in the study of disaster management but will also go a long way in helping the Railway administration to review and implement the suggested recommendations so as to bring further improvement in disaster management activities on Indian Railways.

Dr. Velu said that his book presents in details the existing system and changes creeping into the Railway system.

“Dealing of similar incidents by the other international railway systems is also discussed for the sake of comparison which proceeds to reaffirm the holistic approach as is now being followed in the Indian Railways too,” he added.

He expressed his gratitude to General N.C.Vij, Vice Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority and is members for sparing their precious time for discussions on the subject and also express his sincere thanks to the faculty of the Department of Politics and Public Administration and Vice Chancellor, University of Madras for facilitating the study which helped him get the Doctorate and for giving shaping this book.


Railways to utilise solar energy

New Delhi, Feb 26 : Government today confirmed the Railways are exploring harnessing solar energy use for electrification of the manned level crossing, stand by supply to administrative buildings, use of solar energy for water heating purpose in Railway running rooms, rest house, training institutes, canteens and hospitals, said the Minister ofState forRailways Dr R Velu in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

In reply to another question, Dr Velu confirmed that the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation has taken decision to introduce chartered Train services.

He said this facility is extended on the request of tourists as per their required class, data of travel and routes across Indian Railways network.

Onestop food shops at the rly stations

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) is planning to set up one-stop food stores in railway stations across India by June this year.

And here’s the best part. Bangalore will be the first city to have such a facility. “Passengers have to go stall-hopping for colas, snacks and books. We are trying to integrate stalls scattered across stations into six to seven large format stores where passengers can buy everything under one roof,” IRCTC chief regional manager (South Western Zone) S Gagarin said on the sidelines of the CII 9th annual tourism summit. IRCTC is also trying to rope in KFC and McDonald’s for standalone outlets at the stations.

With 85 percent of IRCTC’s revenue coming from the food segment, Gagarin expects the kitty to grow with the plan. IRCTC is also planning to roll out fast food joints across nine stations in Karnataka —Bangalore City, Shimoga, Hassan, Bellary, Dharwad.

Sobia Khan/ DNA-Daily News & Analysis Source: 3D Syndication

Railways to execute three big-ticket projects

Besides the Rae Bareli factory, approval was also given to the Madhopura Electric Locomotive Factory in Bihar and the Mohowra Diesel Locomotive Works in West Bengal.

Briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting, Home Minister P.Chidambaram said the railways would be spending Rs.1,685 crore (Rs.16.85 billion) on the Rae Bareli venture.

“In the case of the Madhopura venture, the response for a joint venture partner has been poor, perhaps because of the meltdown. This will now be executed departmentally,” Chidambaram said.

“Initially, 50 locomotives of 12,000 HP will be imported before manufacture commences after transfer of technology,” he added.

The railways will spend Rs.18,000 crore on the project, which will manufacture 1,000 locomotives, many of which will be used on the proposed western and eastern dedicated freight corridors.

In the case of the Rs.2,052 crore Mohowra unit, the railways will initially import 50 locomotives of between 4,500 and 6,000 HP before production commences.