Kangra Railway on agenda for UNESCO World Heritage list

After getting world heritage status for 96 km long Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge rail line, the authorities are pressing to enlist Pathankot-Jogindernagar narrow gauge rail line in Himachal Pradesh, in the UNESCO heritage lists.

According to UNESCO website, the Union Government has presented a list of 22 such sites and properties to award status of UNESCO heritage to them.

The list of cultural sites submitted by India, includes Golconda Fort in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, Majuli Island in Assam, tomb of Sher Shah Suri in Sasaram in Bihar, excavated remains at Nalanda in Bihar, Rani Ki Vav in Patan in Gujarat, the Kangra Valley Railway in Himachal Pradesh, Buddhist Monastery Complex in Alchi in Leh (Ladakh) in Jammu and Kashmir, Hemis Gompa in Leh (Ladakh), Mattanchery Palace, Ernakulam in Kerala, group of mountains in Mandu in Madhya Pradesh.

The list also includes the Maharaja Railways of India in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Church Gate Extension in Mumbai in Maharashtra, Matheran and its extension in Raigad in Maharashtra, Western Ghats along India’s western coast, Sri Harimandir Shahib in Amritsar in Punjab, Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh, Jantar Mantars of Jaipur, Delhi, Ujjain and Varansi, ancient Buddhist site at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh, Oak Grove School in Mussurie in Uttarakhand and a group of temples in Bisnupur in West Bengal.

UNESCO has already granted world heritage status to Indian Mountain Railways, including Kalka Shimla Railway, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Niligiri mountain railway.

— (UNI) — 14DR8.xml

Health institutions to come up on vacant railway land

NEW DELHI: The Union Railway Ministry and the Health Ministry are looking at the possibility of setting up health-related institutions and infrastructure at over 600 locations across the country on vacant land available with the Railways.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad discussed the issue on Monday and outlined a blueprint for effective and innovative use of railway land by setting up various tiers of health care facilities and colleges. The moving spirit behind the idea — chairman of the Railway Standing Committee on ICT Sam Pitroda — was also present on the occasion.

Agreeing in principle to jointly work on the project, the two Ministers will set up a committee that will submit a report within a week and sign a Memorandum of Understanding within a fortnight about the kind of institution and infrastructure to be put up on the land available around 600 railway junctions.

While the Railways will provide the land, the responsibility of setting up the feasible health institution will be that of the Health Ministry. The thrust is on providing tertiary care to the rural population by setting up diagnostic centres which will also prove handy to passengers needing urgent attention. Apart from lab testing services, these centres will be endowed with indoor amenities.

Super speciality hospitals will be set up at locations where the stretch of unutilised land is large enough for the purpose.

The Health Ministry has also agreed to establish medical colleges at major hospitals run by the Railways.


Device to alert railway gangmen soon

New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) Railways would soon unveil ten new safety and operational systems for its network which could include a satellite-based rail navigation project and a device to alert gangmen about approaching trains to avert mishaps. “Ten new initiatives for Indian railways using the Information and communication technology would be announced soon to improve its safety and operational aspects,” chairman of Railway committee on ICT Sam Pitroda said today. “Railways have 40,000 miles of fibre optics network and the new initiatives would exploit this network,” he said. A device which could alert on duty gangmen about approaching trains could also be included among the initiatives, he said. Pitroda expressed concern about growing fatalities in mishaps involving gangmen. In the last couple of months, at least 12 gangmen have been run over in Northern Railway alone while carrying out works on railway tracks. New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) Railways would soon unveil ten new safety and operational systems for its network which could include a satellite-based rail navigation project and a device to alert gangmen about approaching trains to avert mishaps. “Ten new initiatives for Indian railways using the Information and communication technology would be announced soon to improve its safety and operational aspects,” chairman of Railway committee on ICT Sam Pitroda said today. “Railways have 40,000 miles of fibre optics network and the new initiatives would exploit this network,” he said. A device which could alert on duty gangmen about approaching trains could also be included among the initiatives, he said. Pitroda expressed concern about growing fatalities in mishaps involving gangmen. In the last couple of months, at least 12 gangmen have been run over in Northern Railway alone while carrying out works on railway tracks.


Double-decker coaches on tracks soon


 The LHB German-designed AC coaches are re-engineered into AC-II coaches with a capacity of 130 seats. These would be an improved version of the double-decker coaches already operational between Mumbai-Pune and Mumbai-Surat sections.

 According to the railway spokesperson, the RCF has been asked to manufacture a prototype of the double-decker AC coach. Work on its production is expected to be completed by next year.

 After a coach is developed, it will be put on a test run for a few weeks. Once the coach successfully clears the test, it will be sanctioned by the railway safety department for putting into operation. Special emphasis has been laid on the design of these coaches as the existing ones had several problems due to the height of lower deck windows almost at a same level of the platform.

 Also, poor ventilation in lower decks caused inconvenience to passengers.

 After engineering and mechanical departments of Railways found that height of coaches could not be increased due to overhead electric cables, these coaches have been designed to be AC-II tier.

 “As the LHB coaches are already being used on the Kalka-Delhi Shatabdi, it is expected that the double-decker coaches which are a re-engineered form of these LHB coaches can be approved for some of the busy sections under the Ambala Division,” said Ambala Divisional Railway Manager H K Jaggi.


Published in: on January 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Railways’ mobile ticketing vans project from Jan 8

 Indian Railways will Jan 8 launch a pilot project of selling tickets from mobile vans at Tollygunge in south Kolkata, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said here Saturday.

Christened ‘Mushkil Aasaan’, the scheme proposed by Banerjee in her budget provides for positioning mobile ticketing vans near shopping malls and busy markets for the convenience of passengers wishing to undertake railway journeys.

“This project will greatly benefit people residing in places where computer printed tickets are not available,” she said after laying the foundation stone for the Kolkata Metro railway extension project form Dum Dum to Dakshineswar in North 24 Parganas district.

“If the pilot project is popular, we will increase the number of mobile vans,” Banerjee said.


Crew Management System in Indian Railways

HYDERABAD: With a crew of nearly one lakh drivers and guards labouring round the clock, 365 days a year ensuring the nation is not caught on the hop, Indian Railways is among the largest public transport employers in the world. A chink in its operations would mean only one thing: life comes to a standstill in the country.

Among the many mission critical applications in the Indian Railways is the Crew Management System (CMS), a vital component in the smooth functioning of the human resource management arm of the mammoth organisation. Developed by Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the software and communications arm of the Indian Railways, CMS automates day-to-day business functioning by monitoring crew movement real-time, duty allocation, payment calculation and crew training in an efficient and transparent manner. “This has not only improved the safety of train operations, but also reduced the operational costs by replacing the age-old manual system,” says Deepak Ganju, General Manager, CRIS.

It was in 2006 that CRIS was entrusted with developing the role-based system. Developed entirely in-house as a web-based system on J2EE and ‘struts framework’, the architecture was adopted using object oriented analysis and design offered by IBM’s Rational software.

The heterogeneous environment of the Indian Railways makes this project unique. CMS demanded that over 400 geographically dispersed locations across the country be covered in a short span of 18 months, according to Mr. Ganju. “The team took a systematic approach in consulting the Railway officials from all over India to address the differences in practices and lack of common standards within the geographical disparity.” In CMS, the crew can interact with the system through biometric authentication via a user-friendly touch screen kiosk that is capable of supporting local languages. Among its highlights is the ‘real-time updating of operations’ that allows crew to input any abnormality encountered en route into the system. Automated SMS alerts are promptly sent to update and inform everyone. CMS was recently chosen for the ‘Most Innovative Solution using Rational Software’ for ‘The Great Mind Challenge for Business-2009’ by IBM

(The Hindu)

L&T Infotech wins two projects from Railways

MUMBAI: L&T Infotech has won two major turnkey projects for computerising the maintenance of rolling assets of Indian railways.

L&T Infotech will deploy its Enterprise Resource Planning software and the underlying hardware for automating the maintenance of the two major rolling assets — wagon fleet and diesel locomotives, a press release said here.

“These breakthrough System Integration projects reaffirm L&T Infotech’s position of pre-eminence when it comes to execution of large complex projects,” L&T Infotech’s Chief Executive Officer, Sudip Banerjee, said.

The projects include installation and commissioning and multi-year on-going support of hardware and systems in the implementation.

The end-to-end System Integration (SI) projects were conceptualised and tendered by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS), the IT arm of Indian Railways. The execution of these projects will involve creation of two centralised ERP-based applicatio ns. These are Freight Maintenance Management for management of Freight and Wagon Depots and Loco-Shed Management System for management of Diesel Locomotive sheds. – PTI

Railways look at biometric system to reduce mishaps

New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) As part its effort to prevent train mishaps in adverse weather conditions, Railways is planning an advanced ‘biometric vigilance’ system onboard engines to alert the locomotive drivers.

The system will read the attention span of the motormen, record the same in the onboard system and warn the driver before applying automatic brakes, said a top railway official today.

The warning system would be on the lines of other technologies like the ‘vigilance control device’ and ‘train protection warning system’, which has been implemented on a small scale in the Delhi-Agra section.

These technologies have already been put in places in the Mumbai and Chennai suburban section, Member (Electrical) Railway Board Sudesh Kumar said.

He said this when asked on the steps Railways were taking to prevent train mishaps during foggy conditions.


Railways to adopt Modern Technology in train operations

With the aim of enhancing safety, capacity and efficiency in train operations, Ministry of Railways has decided to upmark signaling and communication technology. Progressive implementation of route relay/panel/electronic interlocking, installation of block proving axle counters and data loggers, track circuiting along with multi aspect colour light signallng system are works currently spread over the network. This was stated by Shri Sudesh Kumar, Member Electrical, Railway Board at the inauguration of a seminar on “Role of Modern Signalling, Telecom & ICT system in making Indian Railways a world class Rail Network” here today. The Seminar was organized by the India Section of the London-based Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) in collaboration with Institution of Railway Signalling and Telecom Engineers (India) here today.

Mentioning the Vision 2020 document of Indian Railways released recently by the Railway Minister in Parliament, Shri Sudesh Kumar said that Indian Railways have carefully thought investment plan for the next decade for upgrading the technology aimed at bringing about substantial improvements in services with user centric focus.

Shri Sudesh Kumar said that the multi cabin mechanical systems which have outlived their purpose will all get replaced with electrical/electronic interlocking system at more than 200 stations during the year 2009-10. Further, for reducing dependence on human and for verification of clearance of track, thrust has been given for track circuiting of the complete station section. Track circuiting at more than 700 locations has been provided during the year 2009-10 and about 1500 additional locations are targeted for completion within next two years. Simultaneously, plans are afoot to monitor the alertness of the onboard engine pilots electrically or biometrically. Filament lamp signals are being replaced with high visibility, low power consumption durable LED based signals. Over 600 stations have been equipped with these LED signals during the year 2009-10 and this will be extended to over 1000 stations within next two years. Data loggers would be installed for progressing from time elapsed maintenance regime towards predictive maintenance of signals, he added.

Referring to the importance of imported technologies, Shri Sudesh Kumar said that appropriate thought has to be given to ensure that adopted technology is customized to environmental and technical needs of Indian Railways and desired safety and quality standards. This needs building up of desired competence levels in existing manpower. He emphasized on implementing best maintenance standards and on making technology more user-oriented instead of being only equipment-oriented.

Shri Sudesh Kumar further added that in order to enhance safety, onboard train warning and protection/collision prevention systems would be installed after evaluation of trial results of different projects currently under way. In order to prevent cases of “signal passing at Danger” (SPAD) and check over speeding by drivers, the pilot project of Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) has been commissioned on sub-urban section (50 route kms) of Southern Railway. The trial of TPWS system on non-suburban section is underway on Delhi-Agra section (200 route Kms). Mobile train radio communication, extension of Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) over the entire route are among the measures to be used to improve reliability of the communication system and enhance the capability of the transport system, Shri Kumar said.

Wishing the Seminar a success, Shri Sudesh Kumar expressed the hope that by 2012 when the IRSE/London would commemorate 100 years, the Indian chapter would participate with significant contribution from ideas and concepts that would evolve during the day-long deliberations of the Seminar.

In his address, Shri Ajay Bhattacharya, Administrator, Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) set up by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India and the Guest of Honour at the inaugural session of the international seminar, made a categorical reference to the core strength of the Railways’ PSU viz. Railtel for extending optical fiber based communication to remote, non urban and far flung areas. The Railtel by themselves or in collaboration with other agencies could also work to extend the reach of the modern communication technology to the remote areas with assistance of the USOF.

Institution of Railway Signals Engineers, known more usually as IRSE, London is an international voluntary organization and active through out the world as a professional body of those engaged or interested in Railway Signalling and Telecommunication and allied disciplines. This has played a pivotal role in making Railway networks in European countries as world class most modern Railway networks. This seminar will help Railway professionals to identify suitable technologies to make Indian Railways a world class rail network.

The topics discussed at the Seminar included “Development of new competence to match existing technologies”, “IP based communication for a safer and secured train operation” and “Broadband on Trains – A means for operational excellence and passenger delight”.

The seminar was attended by Shri Ajay Bhattacharji, Administrator, Universal Service Obligation Fund, Shri K.D. Sharma, Additional Member (Telecom), Railway Board, Shri S.K. Vasishta, MD, RailTel, Shri K.K. Bajpeyee, Chairman, IRSE (Indian Section), Mr. Charles Page, Business Development Director, Invensys Rail, Mr. Antonio Casazza, Global Head of Portfolio Management and Sr. officials from Railway Board.


SMS alert on level crossing to be extended

NEW DELHI: Get ready to receive an SMS from the Railways in the mornings to give you a wake-up call cautioning you to be careful while taking a level crossing.

Vivek Sahai, Member, Traffic, Railway Board has decided to extend the scheme he launched recently in the Northern Railway, of which he is the General Manager as additional charge.

The Northern Railway launched the scheme on December 12 sending SMS to about 10 lakh people each day covering areas with high density of unmanned level crossings. The railways transmit four types of SMS currently either in Hindi or Gurumukhi in Punjab.

The messages are designed to bring about attitudinal changes. They either cajole the people to change for the better or warn them of the consequences.

The officials conduct a survey of the impact of the SMS through a direct interaction with about a dozen people each day. “How long will you annoy me with such SMS?” shot back one of them. Mr. Sahai directed his officials to tell people that the railways would continue to until they changed for the better.

Currently, the railways are bearing a cost of 3.4 paisa per SMS and efforts are on to get the service provider to reduce the charge to one paisa with the offer that the target group will be expanded to include one crore people each day.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sahai has directed the General Manager of the South Eastern Railway to reward the two patrolmen who had detected a group of people trying to damage the track near Jhargram in West Bengal in the dead of night on Wednesday.

They reported the matter immediately to higher authorities stopping the Purushottam Express from taking the route. The railways sent an inspection train carrying RPF personnel and their report turned out to be true as the engine derailed.

Movement of trains on the route was affected for over six hours and the track was cleared for traffic at about 7.15 a.m.


Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 7:54 am  Leave a Comment