Bombardier eying railway signaling system for DFC

BS reported that Bombardier Transportation India Limited, the domestic outfit of Canadian firm Bombardier Inc, is buoyant about its railway signaling system business.

While, currently Bombardier’s signaling office and the software development centre are also located at Vadodara, which develops software for signaling and traction applications and caters to the software requirements of Bombardier Transportation worldwide, the company is readying to provide traffic management systems for Indian Railways.

Mr Rajeev Jyoti MD of Bombardier Transportation India Limited said that “We have virtually all the technology including axel control technology, audio frequency tracks circuit and European Train Control System in railway signaling system. We are currently working with Railways in other verticals and are looking forward to projects in railway signaling as well.”

According to Mr Jyoti, the DFC project, spanning 2762 kilometer will generate need for state of the art technology in railway signaling given the traffic for which Bombardier is readying itself to get engaged in.

He said that “We will use our global product platforms to offer railway signaling system. With turn key projects being planned by Indian Railways, we are looking forward to being part of consortium and partnerships for railway signaling. Since railway signaling system will be project based, we have not set a target to achieving certain capacity in manufacturing. However, as and when the bids are announced we will participate in them.”

While, Audio Frequency Track Circuits have been developed to over come the effect of alternate current induction in AC electrified tracks on conventional direct current track circuits and also to avoid insulation block joints on tracks for bifurcation of track circuit sections, ETCS creates standardized train control system and thus harmonize rolling stock equipment. The system transmits data between track and vehicle via ETCS components to facilitate train and corresponding route information.

(Sourced from Business Standard)

Now, mini museums at railway stations

Chandigarh: ‘Several miniature models, showing how actual alignments pass through various routes, have been installed at the Chandigarh Railway Station. Existing as well as proposed rail lines will be put on display’

The Northern Railways have a ‘contemporary’ plan for its railway stations. Starting with the Chandigarh Railway Station, the Railways will display prototype replicas of various alignments originating from the station along with other rail artefacts like engines, coaches and bridges at the station.

“We want to share the work undertaken by the authorities in a different yet attractive way. And several such miniature models, showing how actual alignments pass through various routes, have been installed at the city railway station. Existing as well as proposed rail lines will be put on display,” said Divisional Railway Manager H K Jaggi.

This week, alignment models of the Chandigarh-Ludhiana rail link and Nangal Dam were installed in a special show window at the entrance of the railway station. The reproductions are complete with topographical maps depicting the heights of various locations, stations en-route and natural geography of the area like hills and forests. Locomotives, coaches, and other such replicas will be added later.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/now-mini-museums-at-railway-stations/427002/

Beat the queue at stns with SMS ticket

MUMBAI: Soon, you won’t have to stand in a serpentine queue to buy a ticket for a local train ride. SMS-based mobile ticketing, set to kick-start by early April, is in its final stages of completion and will be introduced for the first time in the country on the Western Railway (WR) network.

The scheme was to become a reality in early 2009 but its launch was pushed back after WR noticed areas where some finer details needed ironing.

The biggest hurdle, said officials, was that the initial settings for the pilot project allowed only mobile users with GPRS to avail of the scheme. Also, it had another loophole-the message from a commuter could be sent anytime after boarding a train and the commuter could choose the least expensive fare. As ticket checking is difficult during peak hours, the chances of such a commuter going unnoticed are high.

Sunil Jain, WR chief commercial manager (passenger marketing), said they were addressing these concerns to rule out the possibility of misuse. “There will be a six-digit number at the booking office, displayed on a digital screen, which will keep changing. This will help prevent misuse as the commuter will have to enter the number and his/her destination to book a ticket before entering the station,” he said.

The Railway Board approved of the pilot project in December but the final guidelines regarding free power supply, space for kiosk and other issues were still awaited. “We expect the Board’s go-ahead this week. The project will take another 4-6 weeks to start,” Jain said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Beat-the-queue-at-stns-with-SMS-ticket/articleshow/4171904.cms

Eco-friendly toilets in Indian Railways

Eco-friendly toilets would add a new favour in the history of Indian Railways. These toilets are developed by IIT Kanpur in the collaboration with Research Designs and Standard Organisations, Lucknow and a private agency in Chennai.

VERY SOON, trains across the country will taste a restoration period in its history with the introduction of eco-friendly zero discharge toilets.

These toilets are developed by IIT Kanpur in the collaboration with Research Designs and Standard Organisations, Lucknow and a private agency in Chennai.

This development in the Indian Railway System will be vigilant for the public. These toilets are eco-friendly. On one hand, these toilets can convert liquid discharges into pure water, which can be utilised as recycled water to flush. And on the other hand, it can convert the solid wastes into odour free paste by certain biochemicals or additives.

“These can be stored for 15 days in a tank and can easily be emptied at the destination point through pressurised evacuation,” said V Carmelus, Chief Mechanical Engineer of Southern Railways. He also added, “The odorless solid waste could yield revenue since the paste would an excellent manure after being dried in the sun. Presently the system has been installed in trains running between Chennai and Jammu Tawi and Chennai-Lucknow.”

In south some trains have already installed these kinds of toilets and people are wowing them.

Indin Railways are vying to include this feature in all the trains throughout the country.

It might become a lesson for many people who don’t mind in harming the environment and only believe in materialistic developments without understanding the true benefits of environment for us. These developments are stating that we Indians are now becoming very serious and cautious towards our environment. Well done Indian Railways!

http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=15711703

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Delhi Metro fights against global warming

The Delhi Metro, the first railway project in the world to be registered for carbon credits by the United Nations, have received a UN certificate for preventing over 90,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere by reducing its power requirement, thus contributing to the fight against global warming.

The certification report was given by Germany-based validation organisation TUV NORD which conducted an audit on behalf of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a DMRC release said. The DMRC was found to have restrictesd the emission of 90,004 tonnes of carbon dioxide from 2004 to 2007 by adoption of regenerative braking systems in the Delhi Metro trains.

Under this regenerative braking process for which DMRC earned carbon credits, whenever trains on the Metro network apply brakes, three phase-traction motors installed on these trains act as generators to produce electrical energy which goes back into the Over Head Electricity (OHE) lines. The regenerated electrical energy that is supplied back to the OHE is used by other accelerating trains in the same service line, thus saving overall energy in the system as about 30 per cent of electricity requirement is reduced.

The DMRC also claims to have saved 1,12,500 megawatt hours of power by restricting and reusing power on its trains through regenerative braking, thus saving the emission of 90,004 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from 2004 to 2007. It is estimated that in 2008, release of 39,000 tonnes of CO2 was prevented and this figure will increase to over 100,000 tonnes per year once Phase-II of the Metro project is fully operational.

http://news.webindia123.com/news/ar_showdetails.asp?id=902220210&cat=&n_date=20090222

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Old engines for new-look Neral-Matheran route

Mumbai Tie-up with Leighton Buzzard Railway of UK for popularising the mountain railway

The Neral to Matheran ride for hill-station tourists is getting a makeover, to make the narrow-gauge ride more attractive for tourists. Shopping, buffets, special events and parties are being planned en route, as enjoyed by those taking Britain’s Leighton Buzzard Railway.

The Leighton Buzzard Railway (LBR), one of Britain’s leading narrow gauge heritage railways, offers a ride on trains drawn by vintage steam locomotives, some of them procured from the Neral-Matheran track. Soon, the Neral-Matheran joyride will see steam engines chugging again.

An old engine is being refurbished at Parel.

To popularise the ride and tap profits, the Central Railway is drawing from the LBR experience and has tied up with it.

“The CR is putting in all efforts to make the 21-km ride as popular as LBR. A 16-member LBR team, including its chairman, two vice-presidents and engineers recently visited CR’s Parel workshop where an old narrow gauge steam engine is being refurbished.

The itinerary of the visiting team included a meeting with the CR General Manager B B Mudgil followed by the inspection of the Neral-Matheran narrow gauge railway.

The steam engine (engine No 738) being revived at Parel workshop, was one of the four narrow gauge steam engines purchased by Adamjee Peerbhoy, the pioneer of the Neral-Matheran Railway, from UK-based German firm Orenstein and Koppel.

When steam locomotives were phased out from this section to be replaced by diesel engines, LBR purchased its steam engine number 740. LBR has been operating it. Engine 741 is an exhibit at Matheran station while the fourth is at the National Rail Museum in New Delhi.

According to BL Patil, Chief Works Manager, “The CR has decided to renew all these three narrow gauge steam engines. We are renewing steam engine no 738. We are taking technical help from engineers of the LBR.”

According to Railway sources, in May, 2008, the then General Manager, CR Sowmya Raghwan, had gone to the UK along with Rajesh Agarwal, Executive Director (Heritage), Ministry of Railways signed a memorandum of understanding with LBR.

On the MOU signed by CR, Agarwal said: “(The MoU is about) mainly two things, technical and commercial suggestions from LBR and how this section may be popularised to exploit it commercially”

When contacted, S Mudgerikar, Chief Public Relations Officer said: “CR has tied up with LBR to popularise the Neral-Matheran narrow gauge railway.”

Leighton Buzzard Railway, UK
* Leighton Buzzard Railway was opened in 1919
* Steam engines are used on the four-mile narrow gauge route
* On Christmas-eve, the Santa special is quite popular
* There are stations, shops and buffets at Page’s park station Neral-Matheran Mini Railway
* Neral-Matheran railway opened to public in 1907
* The 21-km line was built by businessman Adamjee Peerbhoy
* Four steam engines ran until 1982, some ended up as showpieces
* One of the original Neral-Matheran engines is used by LBR in UK

http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/old-engines-for-newlook-neralmatheran-route/426689/

Delhi Metro gets UN certificate for preventing carbon emission

NEW DELHI: Adding yet another feather to its cap, Delhi Metro has become the first rail network in the world to get a UN certificate for preventing over 90,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, doing its bit to fight against global warming.

The certification report, given by Germany-based validation organisation TUV NORD which conducted an audit on behalf of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Change (UNFCCC), found that the DMRC stopped the emission of 90,004 tonnes of carbon dioxide from 2004 to 2007 by adopting regenerative braking systems in the metro trains.

“The UN certificate was given to the DMRC for preventing over 90,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere by deducing its power requirement, thus contributing to the fight against global warming,” Delhi Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal said today.

Under regenerative braking process for which DMRC earned carbon credits, whenever trains on the Metro network apply brakes, three phase-traction motors installed on them act as generators to produce electrical energy which goes back into the Over head Electricity (OHE) lines.

The regenerated energy that is supplied back to the OHE is used by other accelerating trains in the same service line, thus saving overall energy in the system as about 30 per cent of electricity requirement is reduced.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Delhi-Metro-gets-UN-certificate/articleshow/4169221.cms

Role of IT in Indian Railways

For the Railways, every IT initiative has to revolve around the strategic inclusion of customers according R B Das, Group General Manager – (FOIS), CRIS

Technology Sabha, the premier e-governance event organized by the Business Publications Division (BPD) of The Indian Express Limited, is fast becoming a can’t miss event for Indian bureaucrats serious about championing the cause of IT in their respective agencies. In what was the fifth iteration of the Sabha, they came from all over the country and the congregation witnessed a mix of nearly 100 high profile government officials, vendors and technocrats from diverse backgrounds.

Organized in the laidback town of Panjim, Goa, the discussions and the debates witnessed over the course of two days were anything but laidback. The event provided a much needed platform to government officials responsible for IT, to freely discuss ideas, share experiences and learnings amongst themselves and also to do some much needed introspection to better the state of affairs.

The event began with a lamp lighting ceremony and a brief welcome address by Sandeep Khosla, VP & Head-BPD. Post this, began a stimulating presentation by R B Das, Group General Manager (FOIS), CRIS, in which he talked at length about some of the IT initiatives in the Indian Railways and the role that they have played in transforming it from a loss-making outfit into a highly profitable, well-oiled entity.

Talking about the massive infrastructure and assets owned by the Indian Railways, Das began with a historical perspective and delved deeply into how they managed it all, albeit not so efficiently with minimal IT systems in place. He alluded to their humble beginnings of automation through the setting up of EDP centers and the decision to computerize the freight information and passenger reservation systems in the early years.

According to Das, the continuous increase in passenger and freight handling requirements and the associated assets, competition from other modes of transport especially in the freight business and the overall growth of the country’s needs were the drivers that forced the railways to reassess their strategies and widen the scope of IT.

Another key factor was the strategic inclusion of the customer as an integral part of the system. Hence, it chose to design a system which matched the capabilities of internal as well as external customers. This essentially meant that the applications needed to transcend the boundaries of the Railways as an organization and went into the user domain.

Despite the fact that the freight business is the real breadwinner, for the Railways, its passengers have always been the first priority. Therefore, when it came to implementing technologies, the passenger business processes were given preference over freight.

The implementation of the Country Wide Network for Computerized Enhanced Reservation (CONCERT) was a clear indication of this fact. CONCERT integrates five regional reservation centers and contains a judicious mix of local autonomy with uniformity of business rules. Das informed that CONCERT can perform reservations for over one million seats and berths per day and is currently available for over 3,600 trains nationwide for various classes across 1,700 locations.

The other significant system implemented by the railway has been the National Train Enquiry Services (NTES), a nationwide, integrated, online information system for monitoring the running of passenger trains and providing up-to-date information regarding the arrival and departure of trains. The PRS initiatives not only benefited passengers in terms of simplifying enquiry, booking and other processes but yielded multiple benefits for the Railways as well.

The Railways could now push for optimal utilization of berths, real-time availability of accounting reports, planning through MIS, analysis of traffic patterns for better overall planning, reduction in revenue losses and savings on manpower.

In his presentation, Das took special pride in talking about UTS Thin Client, a customized product developed by CRIS. He informed that since a normal thin client needs to be connected to a server all the time, CRIS developed a thin client that does not need always-on connectivity. In fact, the UTS Thin Client is capable of working independently and in disconnected mode for 72 hours (a configurable parameter) and issue tickets. It runs a lightweight OS, trimmed version of RDBMS and application on a 144 MB Flash ROM (Disk on Chip).

Although Das talked mostly about the railways’ IT initiatives on the passenger business side, he did not fail to mention some key initiatives on the freight side. Freight Operations Information System or FOIS comprises of a variety of applications implemented by the railways to streamline freight operations and optimize the use of existing resources and bring in greater transparency to the system. The various applications in FOIS are: Rake Management System (RMS), Terminal Management System (TMS), Control Office Application (COA), Crew Management System (CMS), Automated Equipment Identifier (AEI), Revenue Accounting System (RAS) and Management Information System (MIS).

Speaking about some of the other applications the railways has in the pipeline, Das informed that the organization was currently working on a Fixed Asset Management System, Human Resource Management System, Parcel Management System, Claims Management System, and Workshop Management System and was also in the process of setting up zonal data centers.

He concluded his presentation with a proclamation that a large complex infrastructure system such as the Indian Railways could never afford to simply bring in technology for the sake of itself, but intelligent use of IT is what is delivering the real benefits.

http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20090223/technologysabha200901.shtml

“Bankruptcy to Billions”, book by Sudhir Kumar

NEW DELHI: The turnaround story of the Indian Railways is being told once again, this time by the very man who helped Lalu Prasad to script the success story. The book, “Bankruptcy to Billions”, written by Sudhir Kumar jointly with a research scholar Shagun Mehrotra, is scheduled to be released on Saturday.

It chronicles the transformation and the distinct approaches adhered to that have laid the foundation for a new journey. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written the foreword. President Pratibha Patil will release the book at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“I’ve not written the book in the first person because it is not a personal story. I’ve not foisted myself and refrained from repeatedly referring to Mr. Prasad. I didn’t want to individualise it. My role was to act as a channel of communication between the Minister and the Ministry and the Railway Board.”

The reforms to balance the commercial and social obligations of the Railways were based on the analysis of 60 years data right from 1947 and Mr. Kumar has sought to document for posterity how recommendations of the World Bank and the Rakesh Mohan committee were not appropriate for a politically sensitive organisation like the Railways.

In the process, Mr. Kumar also answers Mr. Prasad’s critics who suggest that the so-called turnaround is nothing but a sleight of hand. Mr. Kumar feels that the same model could be introduced in other politically sensitive sectors for all-round inclusive growth.

http://www.hindu.com/2009/02/21/stories/2009022158110300.htm

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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IGNOU to set up study centres at railway stations

New Delhi: The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will soon setup its study centres at 3,000 railway stations in association with the
government-owned Railtel Corporation of India Ltd.

Railtel’s high-speed optical fibre cable (OFC) network will be used by IGNOU to provide educational content.

At these virtual colleges, students will interact with teachers through the
university’s distance learning modules and online tests.

“We expect all these centres likely to be operational by June this year,” said
Prof. V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice-Chancellor, IGNOU.

The university is also planning to setup study centres at railway stations in rural areas, apart from tier II and tier III cities in collaboration with Railtel which has laid about 30,000 km of OFC network,” said S. K. Vasistha, managing director Railtel.