Western Railways introduce token system for Tatkal tickets

Railway administration has decided to introduce a token system from tomorrow for the convenience of commuters, who form queues till evening hours for seeking reservation for the next day at Reservation Centers at Ankleshwar, Bharuch, Anand and Nadiad.

Western Railway sources said passengers seeking Tatkal reservation for the next day in the morning hours are advised to form a queue on the nominated counter for getting token number in advance, so that they will not have to wait in long queues over night.

Accordingly token numbers will be issued on the requisition forms of the passengers after 2130 hrs up to 2200 hrs on Monday to Saturday and after 1500 hrs upto 1530 hrs on Sunday. Only one form will be accepted from one passenger.

The passenger, who has obtained token number, need not stay at the reservation counter during night and should be present at 0700 hrs in the morning and can occupy their counter number up to 0730 hrs. If any passenger turns-up after 0730 hrs, the token number allotted to him will be treated as cancelled and priority will be given to next token number or general passenger, who is next in the queue.

— (UNI) — 24BY22.xml

Identity card to railway vendors

The Railway Police Force is going to issue identity cards to the vendors to stop the incidents of loots in trains with passengers.

Station House Officer BK Makraria said that some people work as unregistered vendors in the trains and it is these people who also commit thefts with the passengers. The RPF has decided to issue identity cards to authorised vendors to stop these kind of incidents.

He said that the number of persons engaged in selling edibles to the passengers is nearly 485, which include 340 vendors, 49 helpers and 39 food trolley operators.

In an action taken by RPF against the illegal vendors, nearly 760 persons have been arrested since the month of April. Now the RPF has made it mandatory for the vendors to get verification from the police station before start selling food items in the trains and station. They would be allowed to work only after their registration by the police.

The SHO said that with the increase of number of passengers during the summer, a large number of illegal vendors become active. Now the police would deal with them strictly, he said.

He said that boundary wall is being constructed by the railways authority, so that anti-social elements could not venture in the station. The trains, which have been stopping at outer so far, would halt at platform no. 6 and 7 after completion of construction. The incident of thefts and loots have reduced considerably after RPF’s crack down against the illegal vendors, he added.

Delhi Metro to set up new shopping outlets

NEW DELHI: In about a month from now, commuters at Delhi Metro railway’s Rajiv Chowk station in Connaught Place will have more options to indulge in some retail therapy. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has readied kiosks to be set up on the concourse of the station to sell hand-crafted products.

The Delhi Metro has tied up with the Union Ministry of Textiles to showcase Indian handicrafts at select stations of its network and make them commercially available. Aimed at promoting handicraft items from across the country, the tie-up entails setting up of 160 kiosks for display and sale of handicrafts at metro stations.

40 kiosks in first phase

In the first phase, the Delhi Metro has awarded the contract for setting up 40 kiosks to M/s Basics for a period of six years. Thirty per cent of these kiosks will be reserved for select categories of artisans such as Shilp Gurus, National and State award winners. etc.

“The Agency has already installed a prototype of the kiosk at Rajiv Chowk metro station. The design of the prototype kiosk has been approved by the Ministry and it is expected to start commercial operations in June,” said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.

The scheme is part of the “Marketing Support and Services Scheme” of the Ministry’s Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts). “The Office of the Development Commissioner is a nodal body for handicrafts sector. This office implements six Central sector schemes for development of the sector and one of such schemes is the Marketing Support and Services scheme, under which there is a component called ‘setting up of marketing hubs in Metros’,” said a Delhi Metro official.

A financial assistance of up to 25 per cent of the project cost subject to a ceiling of Rs.10 crore is made available for the hubs. “The Delhi Metro’s mandate was to create these kiosks. Accordingly a Rs.41crore scheme was formulated by the Corporation and the Union Ministry of Textiles, for which the latter has sanctioned Rs.10 crore,” said the official.

The kiosks which will be set up at stations attracting huge footfalls, are expected to fetch good returns for the investors. “Since they will be set up at stations with a high commuter turnout, the kiosks are expected to earn healthy returns. Showcasing the best of Indian handicrafts, they will also prove to be popular shopping destinations for foreign buyers, expected in large numbers during the Commonwealth Games,” said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.

Food items to be available too

“Two kiosks, each 9 X 12 square metres in size, will be installed at every selected Metro station. Besides handicrafts and textiles, local food items will also be sold at these kiosks which will provide an ideal marketing platform to wholesalers and retailers. The food items will however be packed and consumers will not be allowed to eat at these kiosks,” the spokesperson said.

Listing the advantages of the proposal, the spokesperson said the benefits are twofold: “Since the shops will be located at places where visibility in terms of foot falls is high, they will not be required to advertise. Secondly, all the kiosks will be linked by the Delhi Metro network and it will be possible to project the entire range of handicrafts through this network for the buyers.”


Ambulances to become accessible in railway emergencies

The Central Railway (CR) has started compiling a comprehensive database of all ambulance services in the city to use in case of emergencies.

The CR has also offered ambulances free parking space on the premise of its suburban stations in Mumbai.

“We have requested ambulance services in this city to approach us and get themselves listed with a station which they can approach in the fastest possible time. It will help us open avenues and give more options for ambulance services in a given locality and strengthen our database,” a senior divisional railway official said.

“We will also pay the ambulance service a fee for their services as per the railway policy,” he said.

More than 4,000 commuters die on the crowded suburban railway every year due to various reasons, including trespassing, falling from trains or other such accidental deaths.

Keeping an ambulance ready at railway stations will speed up the journey of transporting the injured from the accident site to the hospital, reducing the chances of fatalities. CR spokesperson S.C. Mudgerikar confirmed the development.

Commuter activist Samir Zaveri filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court in 2009, urging the railways to take measures for commuter deaths in the railway premises.

Passenger associations welcomed the move saying the railways should have done this a long time ago. “We welcome this move. The first one hour after an accident is the golden hour and if the injured passenger gets the required medical treatment, his life can be saved,” S. Gupta of Mumbai Yatri Sangh said.


Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Railway tickets at grocery stores?

If the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has its way, a unique ticketing system that would work across suburban railways and the BEST Undertaking should be in place by next year.

NO MORE QUEUES? The move follows the introduction of ATVMs in 2007.

The MRVC plans to install these new ticket vending machines at neighbourhood stores, banks and post offices. The ticketing system would deliver tickets in a fraction of a second. A proposal has been sent to the World Bank.

According to MRVC officials, such a system is crucial in a suburban system due to the crowd and peak hour movement of commuters.

“The commuter does not have the time to wait in serpentine queues. Also, the commuter should be able to procure tickets with cash or even a credit card,” said an MRVC official.

“We are looking at creating a ticket vending system similar to the Oyster ticket system in London. The system would be unique as both the suburban railways and the BEST Undertaking would be brought together and it would ensure that the revenue flows to each of the undertakings according to the commuter usage,” he added.

“Once the World Bank approves our proposal, we can call for global tenders to carry out a study on a ticketing system, which would take into account the peculiarities of the transport system in the city,” said MRVC Chief
Operations Manager Prakash Rao Vazalwar.


Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Another luxury train to link Buddhist circuit

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.


Group travel? Charter a train to Shimla

Planning a break this summer with your clients or staff for company? A picturesque journey in a chartered train on the century-old Kalka-Shimla rail line could be just the answer, especially for corporate honchos.

Northern Railway is running a chartered train service on the Kalka-Shimla section. Under the plan, any company or individual can hire a train comprising six coaches with a capacity to accommodate up to 180 people.

“A one-way trip between Kalka and Shimla for a chartered train would cost from Rs.20,000 to Rs.60,000, depending on the class you are travelling in. However, for a film or serial shooting, you have to shell out more – Rs.1.8 lakh,\” commercial inspector (railways) Amar Singh Thakur told IANS.

According to him, the added attraction while travelling on the chartered train is that the tourists can decide the number of stoppages on the 96-km-long rail track, which has been chosen by Unesco as a world heritage site.

“During the five-hour journey, tourists can select the stoppages. But the journey has to be completed within the stipulated time,\” Thakur said.

Shimla railway station superintendent G.S. Rajput while speaking to IANS said: \”The response of the tourists is good. In a year, three to four parties generally hire the chartered train.\”

He said foreign tourists, particularly from Britain, are keen to enjoy a joyride on this track because of a coal-fired steam engine. But right now a diesel- powered engine is in use.

The steam engine-operated train runs between Shimla and Kathlighat. The fare is Rs.59,000 for a round-trip and the one-way journey between the two stations is 22 km.

\”We have a 1903-made heritage steam engine but for over a year it has not been in operation. It has been sent to Amritsar (in Punjab) for repair. We are getting a good number of enquiries regarding its re-introduction,\” Rajput added.

David Brown, a British tourist who travelled on the Kalka-Shimla rail track, said: \”I was keen to listen to the chuff-chuff-choo-choo rhythm but sadly the engine is not in use these days.\”

The chartered trains are being handled by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a wing of Indian Railways.

The journey on the narrow-gauge rail line is an exhilarating experience.

The Kalka-Shimla rail track was built by the British in 1903 to ferry Europeans to and fro this hill town, the erstwhile summer capital of British India.

The ascent begins from 640 metres (2,100 ft) above sea level at Kalka in Haryana and crosses Dharampur, Barog, Solan and Kandaghat before it reaches Shimla at 7,000 ft.

There are 102 tunnels on the rail line. Initially, there were 103, but tunnel number 46 does not exist any more.

A train takes about three minutes to cross the longest tunnel at Barog (5,000 ft). The other big tunnels en route are at Koti (2,276 ft), Taradevi (1,615 ft) and tunnel number 103 (1,135 ft), which is near Shimla.


Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Improved AC system in new Delhi Metro trains

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Metro, which has a 111-km-long network in the city now, has introduced an improved air-conditioning system in the new trains that are being inducted into its fleet.

These new trains will be able to provide 25 degrees Celsius temperatures for the comfort of passengers even though the outside temperature is touching a scorching 44 degrees in the city these days. The new trains, which are being supplied by Bombardier and MRM Consortium, have two roof-mounted package air-conditioning units of a capacity of 52 kW (about 14.8 tonnes) each and their ducting has been done in such a manner that uniform temperature is maintained inside each coach including the vestibule and gangway interconnecting two coaches.

The air-conditioning units are computer controlled and in case of any defect or malfunctioning in any one unit, it will be possible for other unit to provide backup flow of cold air for the comfort of metro passengers. The metro train operators will be able to maintain the temperature levels in the coach and can adjust the temperature depending upon the requirement.

The air-conditioning units are equipped with self-diagnostic software to detect any fault in the system. As an abundant precaution all the air-conditioning units of each metro train are checked every day before the trains leave the maintenance depot of their respective lines.

In view of the high temperatures in Delhi, the Delhi Metro air-conditioning units have been designed to function even up to an outside ambient temperature levels ranging from 48 degrees to 58 degrees Celsius for long durations.

The DMRC is also able to provide comfortable air-conditioning to its passengers at all underground metro stations by maintaining 27 degrees ambient temperature.


Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

IRCTC bags catering rights for CWG

IRCTC will offer catering services to sportspersons as well as team officials as per their dietary requirement during the Commonwealth Games,” said a Railway official, adding a special team has been constituted to oversee the food served. The catering service will be provided by IRCTC in about eight sporting venues during the course of the event which begins on October 3, the official said.

The railway subsidiary had earlier got the contract of Rs 12 crore to become the official ticketing agency for the Games and will develop a dedicated website for issuing tickets of the event. The official said a nodal office has also been set up by IRCTC which will oversee the entire catering operation and hold consultations with nutrition experts and others.

Entertaining the spectators with mouth-smacking delicacies is another department that IRCTC is eyeing, the official said. Chipping in to make the Games popular across the country, Indian Railways has also decided to run a special Commonwealth Games train touching about 60 stations.

The train will trudge on the routes through which the Queens Baton Relay will pass and the timings of the halt will coincide with the relay, the official said. The train which will be dedicated to the themes of youth, sports and information technology, will comprise 14 coaches, bringing alive the spirit of Commonwealth Games in its varied hues.


Published in: on May 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,