WI-FI Internet Service in Trains

The facility of internet services by using wi-fi system was demonstrated on trial basis in Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express train from 11th to 24th January, 2009 and this was found successful.

The proposal is under consideration to provide this facility in selected trains. Since Internet access to the passengers will be password protected and payment will be made through credit card of the user, therefore no security risk is apprehended in implementing this system.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Ministry of Railways, Shri E. Ahamed in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


WR to fine, jail litterbugs

Clean up act: WR to fine, jail litterbugs
Roana Maria Costa, TNN 18 July 2009, 03:21am IST
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MUMBAI: The next time you decide to conveniently push a wrapper out of the narrow grille of a suburban train, splatter chewed paan aimlessly on a

platform, or drop leftovers on the train floor, stop. Western Railway (WR) has decided to start a cleanliness drive where you can be fined, jailed or both, for any of the above offences.

Besides allowing the RPF to take action against offenders (after they are produced before a court), WR is is working towards empowering its staff-ticket checkers (TCs) and stations masters (SMs)- to get rid of filthy, smelly stations and locals.

The move comes close on the heels of a similar campaign launched by the Central Railway (CR). Long overdue, this comes after countless commuters SMSed their anguish over filthy stations and demanded that paan and gutka be banned on trains and station areas get cleaner.

After sending people to jail for trespassing on the tracks under Article 156 of the Indian Railways Act, officials said that they won’t hesitate to do the same to litterbugs under Article 145(b). Under the Act, a commuter can be imprisoned for one month, fined Rs 250 or both if caught creating nuisance at railway stations.

“More than 500 text messages have come in from commuters complaining against dirty trains and stations. We will start with awareness drives and do not rule out arresting offenders as a last resort,” said chief public relations officer, WR, S S Gupta.

At present, each train is washed internally and externally once in 10 days and swept every day. But the effect is lost in a few trips. Officials hope that since commuters themselves have expressed a desire for cleaner stations, the drive won’t face resistance.

WR has also written to the BMC to authorise its staff under the cleanliness and sanitation by-laws to fine offenders. Gupta said the civic body has shown a positive approach. “If a commuter is caught littering, he can be fined anything between Rs 100-200 on the spot,” said Gupta.


India’s own Orient Express in Jan

The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to flag off the first pan-India super luxury tourist train from Mumbai to Kolkata with a stopover in New Delhi.

The date, January 2010, has been finalised.

The train, which will be comparable to international luxury trains, like the Orient Express, will be targeted at the super rich and will offer five different classes for passengers deluxe suites, super deluxe suites, luxury suites, junior suites and presidential suites that will encompass a whole bogey.

The luxury train will have a total of 23 coaches with a passenger capacity of around 100. The IRCTC has entered into a joint venture with Cox & Kings to operate and manage the tourist train.

IRCTC director (Tourism and Marketing) Dr Nalin Shinghal said, “It’s a state-of-the-art train with pneumatic suspensions, eco-friendly toilets and the largest cabins.

“There will also be a microprocessor-based climate control and an environment-friendly toilet,” the IRCTC official added.

The cost of a ticket is yet to be decided.

Long Journey

It’s a eight-night journey from Mumbai to Delhi. From Mumbai the train goes to Delhi, touching base in Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur. From Delhi, it’s another seven-night journey to Kolkata via Agra, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Varanasi and Patna.


RCF manufactures nano coated coaches

Rail Coach Factory (RCF), a production unit under the Ministry of Railways, with its strong design, development and coach manufacturing capabilities has added yet another artifact to its glorious range of products. It has now started the production of Stainless Steel Coaches encrusted with nano-coating paint technology. A Shatabdi rake with nano-coating was rolled out from Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala in the presence of Shri Pradeep Kumar, General Manager/RCF. The 21 coach rake, comprising of 16 AC chair cars, 2 Executive chair cars and 3 power cars, is slated to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad on Western Railway. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pradeep Kumar said that RCF is committed to bring world class technology, at a cost which is affordable to the Indians. With series production of nano coated coaches, the railway passengers will get a feel of Euro style trains in India.

These new look coaches with metallic nano-coating, have improved exterior finish and better gloss. The ultra-thin top coat also has anti-graffiti and dust-repellent properties, which will help the railways in keeping its coaches clean from any kind of slogan writing or spoiling by anti-social elements. The leading luxury car manufacturers viz. Mercedez and BMW are using this technology to achieve a long-lasting pearl effect with self-cleaning effect on the cars. RCF is also planning to use nano-coating on the walls inside the lavatories of coaches for maintaining better hygiene and make them free from graffiti.

Using this technology, cycle time for painting has also considerably reduced which will help RCF in producing more stainless steel coaches in future. Apart from being cost effective, the painting process is also eco-friendly. With introduction of pigmented Nano-Coating technology for Stainless Steel coaches, RCF has now become the first manufacturer in the World to adopt it on railways. This new variant will be tried out in field before starting series production with nano-coating.


Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 3:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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BEML to make Multi-speed Rail Coaches

Bangalore, July 9 (IANS): State-run Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) plans to manufacture hi-tech rail coaches for low, medium and high speed trains in technology collaboration with Alstom of France, a top company official said Thursday.

“We have signed an agreement with Alstom for technology transfer to build coaches for light-speed, medium and high-speed trains for metro and intra-city commuting. We will jointly bid for the orders when projects are initiated under public-private partnership by Indian Railways and state governments,” BEML chairman V.R.S. Natarajan told reporters here.

As part of the agreement, Alstom will also outsource components from BEML for its global operations.

Alstom will have access to BEML’s plants in Bangalore and the greenfield project it is building at Palakkad in Kerala at an estimated cost of Rs.260 crore (Rs.2.6 billion) for sourcing components and other railway products.

“We forsee a business potential of Rs.5,000 crore in high-tech Metro trains for intra-city commuting,” Natarajan said.

Metro projects are coming up in Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi, while Metro services are already in operation in Kolkata and New Delhi.

“We have developed six-car Metro train set for Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and plan to launch low-cost Metro trains for catering to tier-two cities such as Pune and Kochi,” Natarajan added.

Alstom already operates in India with a research and development (R&D) and software technology centre in Bangalore and four manufacturing units across the country for hydro equipment, boilers and transport equipment.


Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Car transport by rail viable, to be extended

The pilot project initiated by Indian Railways in December 2008 to transport cars on rail has been commercialised and will be extended to other parts of the country.

“There are plans to establish services for the transportation of cars from the auto hubs in Delhi to Chennai and from Delhi to Pune in the coming months. The process of issuing tenders for the construction of modified wagons has begun,” an official from the Society of Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) said.

The first experiment to transport cars on railway lines was conducted by the railways in collaboration with Maruti Suzuki for the transport of the latter’s A-Star brand. Cars were transported from Gurgaon railway station to Mundhra port in Gujarat. The A-Stars were then exported to European markets.

The rail line between Gurgaon to Mundhra and Gurgaon to Chennai has been activated for use by other car manufacturers also, said a statement by the railways. There are two dedicated trains each, with 45 wagons. Siam officials said there were plans to increase the number of trains to 10. Each train can transport 270 small cars. The new trains will have facilities to transport even larger vehicles, like Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).

A Maruti executive said it cost about Rs 6,500 to transport a small car via road from their factory in Gurgaon to Mundhra. “Factoring a current discount of 25 per cent the railways offer, it costs almost the same to transport a single car on rail. But this discount is seasonal. Costs may go up,” he said.


Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 3:09 am  Comments (1)  

IRCTC to deliver food in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains

According to a PTI report, food offered in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains will not be outsourced anymore. Union Railway Minister, Mamata Banerjee made the announcement during a debate in the Rajya Sabha recently.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) will now deliver foods in those trains. Janata food for passengers will be introduced soon. The minister admitted that quality of drinking water, passenger amenities, on-board food service have deteriorated.


Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 3:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Railways to adopt ‘IGBT’ technology to regenerate electrical energy

Indian Railways is reaching a new milestone of approving green energy project in Mumbai. The Ministry of railways has decided to replace the existing Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs) with the new ones fitted with regenerative brakes by adopting three phase technology with Insulated Gate Bi-polar Transistor (IGBT) based system which are capable of regenerating 25 to 30 per cent of the energy used. Forty seven (12 car) rakes have been commissioned with regenerative braking system so far and 48 rakes are expected to be commissioned during 2009-10. The Designated National Authority (DNA) which is under Ministry of Environment & Forests has accorded host country approval for this project under Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) on 12th Jan, 2009. World Bank is working for registration of this project with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The purpose of the project is to adopt 3 phase IGBT technology in Indian Railways for three phase EMUs in Mumbai suburban area of Western & Central Railways. These are the passenger trains which have the ability to draw electricity from the Over Head Equipment (OHE) and regenerate energy during braking. The regenerative braking feature essentially makes use of the kinetic energy that is normally lost upon braking, which can be up to 30% of one train energy requirement and converts it to reusable electrical energy, thus saving on the energy input required to operate other EMU trains running in the section.

The regenerated electrical energy reduces the consumption of equivalent grid electrical energy required by the powering train, thereby conserving electrical energy and subsequently leading to reductions in Green House Gases (GHG).

The project activity would result in reduced total energy consumption because of the adoption of three phase DC/AC IGBT technology with regenerative braking and result in availability of the additional power at the western grid level (Western and Central Railways in Mumbai) and will lead to power being available for other economic activity in the region. Reduced carbon dioxide emission will result in reduced global warming, a world wide concern.


Rlys develop new freight wagons to transport cars

Rlys develop new freight wagons to transport cars
NEW DELHI: Railways have developed new freight wagons which can transport cars efficiently and is planning to run them in routes with a good business potential.

Currently, bulk of cars rolling out of factories for city outlets are transported by road. The trial run for these special purpose wagons is over and they have been already inducted into regular service in Gurgaon-Mundra Port and Gurgaon-Chennai circuit s, sources in the Railway Ministry said.

Transporting by rails would be far more efficient than trucks, they said. Each rake comprising the modified wagons can transport up to 270 cars of various types with 100 kmph speed potential.

The technological breakthrough of modifying such wagons was achieved by Lucknow-based Research Designs and Standards Organisation recently. The wagons are bi-lever and modified in such a fashion that they can transport cars of varied shapes and more effi ciently than trucks on roads, the sources said.

Recently, the Railways had announced a slash in tariff rates for transportation of iron ore for export purpose to consolidate its market share. – PTI


Rlys adopt new system to speed up refund of tickets

PATNA: The railways have adopted a new system which would now speed up refund of cancelled e-tickets across the country. The new system has been
introduced to redress grievances of passengers who book their journey tickets online through e-ticketing system, but the refund of the cancelled ticket was taking about two to three months.

A senior Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) official said that efforts were on to give refund of cancelled e-tickets within three days of the claim. In case of cancellation of the e-tickets well in time, the IRCTC would ensure that the refund was duly given to the passenger before departure of the train by which he was supposed to travel. During test conduct it was found that the railways managed to give refund to passengers hardly in three days from the day of filing cancellation requisitions at the railway ticket booking counters, he said, adding the IRCTC has been working hard to plug the lacuna, if any, in processing the refund of e-tickets.

An IRCTC official admitted that there was a lengthy process to give refund of cancelled e-tickets. The process earlier involved physical verification of details and thus it was taking about three months time to credit refund in the account of the passengers concerned, he said.

According to sources, the railways had introduced e-ticketing service for wait listed passengers from May last year. In the wake of non confirmation of e-tickets, claims of refunds are on the rise. The records revealed that about 80 per cent of the total 20 lakh online tickets booked were from e-ticketing last year. Of late, there has been an increase in the demand for e-tickets.

The e-ticketing facility has been available for all classes, including AC-1, AC-2, AC-3 and sleeper in all mail and express trains, charging Rs 20 and Rs 10 for AC and sleeper classes respectively, sources said.

The IRCTC has been currently looking after both e-ticketing and i-ticketing system across the country. The railways intends to expand these services at the country level to cater to the needs of computer savvy passengers. The i-ticketing facility, introduced by railways in 2002, allows passengers to book their tickets online on the basis of credit and debit cards. “Its printout is taken out by IRCTC and delivered to users by post only at their residential addresses while in the case of e-ticketing, passengers could take out printout of the booked tickets themselves,” an IRCTC official said.