Single ticketing for Metro, monorail

The state government has decided to implement the single ticket system on Metro and monorail. In 2007 the then Railway Minister mooted a GO Mumbai Card, with an integrated ticketing system, for travel on trains (Western Railway and Central Railway) and BEST buses. It took three years for the system to be implemented as the state government faced technical hurdles in implementation due to involvement of multiple agencies.

At present the Western Railway, Central Railway, Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) operate the transport system in the city. “There are multiple agencies involved in the integration of system and having a single ticketing system. Since the MMRDA is the nodal agency for the Metro and Monorail it has been decided to have the single ticketing system in this transport project. It is easier to add a clause in the agreement to have such a system which can be also extended to other routes,” said Mumbai Transformation Support Unit project manager UPS Madan.

Sources said the MMRDA is also planning to hire consultants who had done a similar integration in Singapore .

“After Metro and monorail the next system to be integrated would the BEST. As the agency is controlled by the state government, unlike railways, the work would be easier and faster. The integration of railways would be done after BEST,” Madan added.–monorail/639283/

Book on Delhi Metro released

NEW DELHI: A new book with detailed information about Metro stations, locations, classifications, parking facilities and daily footfalls, was released by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday.

Titled “Delhi Metro Stations and Surroundings”, the book is compiled by union Urban Development Secretary M. Ramachandaran, who is also the chairman of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Priced at Rs.100, the book has detailed information of 143 stations with their classification, commencement date, location, facilities available, frequency of train services. It is like a tourist guide for commuters, particularly the first time riders.

It also has information on important educational institutions, religious places, sports centres, health institutions and places of historical and tourist interests near each Metro station.

AIIMS may help train Railway doctors

New Delhi, June 27 (PTI) Railways are exploring the possibility of forging ties with premier medical institute AIIMS to help its vast pool of doctors get specialised training.

The PSU behemoth is “in favour of exploiting opportunities which are mutually beneficial to each other,” a senior Railway official said.

He said several such issues were discussed when a team of doctors from AIIMS called on Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee here yesterday.

“Offering specialised training to doctors of Railway Health Services came up for discussion during the interaction.

At this point, it was decided to explore whether Railways can forge ties with AIIMS for specialised training for its doctors,” the official said.

The doctors on the other hand raised several issues which the minister assured to look into, he said.

India’s first Rail-overbridge inaugurated

A four-lane 1.5 Km long dedicated Rail-over-Bridge (RoB), constructed at a cost of Rs 50 crore by Adani Group at Mundra, was inaugurated today by Ms Anandiben Patel, state Minister for Revenue, Disaster Management, Roads and Buildings.

This was the first private four-lane RoB within the port area in the country, capable of withstanding a load of 100 MT.

Ms Patel, while inaugurating the RoB, said, ”The efforts by Adani Group at Mundra has led to development of one of the largest and prestigious port and SEZ in the country. Adani’s have invested large sum in developing the port, power plant and other infrastructure, which has made Mundra port as well as SEZ, conducive for fast and sustainable development”. She emphasised the developments here will throw opportunities of all kinds, starting from smallest to the largest.

She said the local youth should get themselves equipped with the appropriate knowledge to encash the employment opportunities. One should not be choosy as far as jobs are concerned, and no job should be perceived as small or big, one needs to learn about the nitty gritty of business before occupying positions of responsibility.

Welcoming the guests, Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group, said the port at Mundra handled 40 million MT of cargo in 2009-10 and it was expecting to cross 100 million MT mark by 2012-13. Adani Group has been continuously upgrading and mechanising the entire infrastructure to keep pace with demand and expectations of port users. ”To facilitate this, we have initiated doubling of 57 Km private rail line between Mundra to Adipur for improving cargo movement by rail and are adding eight new berths including world’s largest and dedicated coal import terminal. we are building high quality road infrastructure for connectivity to national highway network. The SEZ has started attracting attention of investors who are focused on manufacturing for international market”, he said. The Adani Group was evaluating opportunities for investing around Rs 35,000 crore at Mundra. The investments by Adani coupled with investments by prospective investors in SEZ were likely to create employment opportunities for close to four lakh persons, he added.

Railways’ Policy on Automobile hub formulated

In a significant policy initiative to facilitate bulk movement of traffic by rail in automobile sector and to increase Railways’ share in automobile transportation, the Ministry of Railways has formulated policy on development of automobile and ancillary hub. This policy has become effective from 16th June 2010. Under this policy, any registered company in India i.e. manufacture of automobile or logistics company or Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturer (SIAM) or registered freight train operator having annual turnover of Rs. 20 crore during last financial year, can apply. Railway land will be provided for such hubs on license basis initially for a period of 7 years. The license fee shall be payable as per extant policy. Automobile and ancillary hubs shall be a common user facility for general use of the automobile industry, without any exclusive right.

The policy formulation comes in the wake of the announcement made by the Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee in the Railways Budget 2010-11, wherein she has stated that there was a need of the hour to develop new business models and invite domestic investment through PPP mode in areas like new lines to world class stations, auto hubs to ancillary industries, manufacturing units of rolling stock to multi–modal logistic parks, high speed train corridors to port connectivity and multi-level parking to mine connectivity etc. Earlier the Ministry of Railways has finalized a policy on Private Freight Terminal (PFT) with the participation of the private sector and also finalized a policy on Special Freight Train Operator Scheme (SFTO) to provide an opportunity to private investors to use advantages of rail transport to market train services to end users.

The objective of the policy on development of automobile and ancillary hub is to increase the modal share of Railways in transportation of automobiles, which is one of the fastest growing industries in India. With the induction of high capacity auto carriers, having higher throughput as planned by the Indian Railways and as proposed under Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO), more number of rakes will be inducted with competitive freight structure. This will increase Indian Railways’ modal share in automobiles traffic, warranting development of more automobile and ancillary hubs to facilitate end to end logistics.

Development of automobile and ancillary hubs will provide an opportunity to automobile manufacturers to carry their traffic by rail in bulk and do secondary distribution to consuming centers in the immediate catchments areas from such hubs. Similarly they can also do aggregation of automobile at such hubs so as to offer full rake load to railways. This will improve rail co-efficient of the commodity.

The policy document also include eligible criteria, license fee and other relevant details which can be seen at Ministry of Railways’ website

Travel on spic and span WR trains

The suburban local trains on Western Railway (WR) can be expected to be cleaner than usual. Each train will now be cleaned once every 10 days. Earlier, it was cleaned every 40 days.

The mechanised cleaning at the WR started on Thursday. The work is being handled by a private agency at a cost of Rs 4 crore for two years.

The trains will be cleaned using mechanised cleaning methods wherein the paan stains, stickers and graffiti will be removed using jet water sprays and fragrance filled liquid. “Cleanliness of trains was a major issue. There was frequent chain pulling by commuters because coaches were unclean, which affected the punctuality of train services. Hopefully, this won’ be the case anymore,” said R.N. Verma, General Manager, WR.

Everyday eight trains will be cleaned; four each at the Mumbai Central and Kandivli car sheds respectively. “The cleaning time for one coach will range from anywhere between 25-45 minutes depending on the filth on and inside a coach,” said an official from WR.

Every day 76 out of 84 trains go to car sheds and sidings (individual tracks separated from the line near stations for allowing trains to park at night) for cleaning. The quantum of water taken by the mechanised jet sprays will be around 500-700 litres per coach depending on the stains. “This is 40 per cent lesser than the water used by the conventional method,” added Verma.

The WR are also looking at creating 60 bore wells between Churchgate and Borivli for drawing water at cost of Rs 63 crore. They have dug one bore well each at the Mumbai Central and Kandivli car shed for cleaning trains.

Published in: on June 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

International Level Crossing Awareness Day” to be observed

Every year, U.I.C. (International Union Of Railways) observes one day as the International Level Crossing Awareness Day (ILCAD). This year, 22nd June 2010 is being observed as ILCAD. Indian Railways has decided to participate in this global campaign to sensitize road users to increase safety at un-manned level crossings. The international level crossing awareness day focuses on educational measures and the promotion of safe behaviour at and around level crossings. It is built on existing national events which will be held jointly at various locations in every participating country on 22nd June, 2010 and constructed around the common message “Act Safely At Level Crossings!”. Despite all the measures taken to indicate the presence of level crossings and make them safe, too many road users and pedestrians are killed or injured at such crossings each year right around the world.

The number of unmanned level crossing accidents occurring on Indian Railways is a cause of concern. At present, there are total 35,363 numbers of Level Crossings over Indian Railways out of which 17,954 are Unmanned where the accidents occur primarily due to inadequate precautions by the road users failing to observe mandatory sign boards, signals and basic traffic safety rules. Over the last five years, the train accidents at unmanned level crossings have marginally reduced from 65 in the year 2005-06 to 62 in 2009-10. In 2009-10, fatalities in level crossing accidents comprised nearly 74 percent of all fatalities in train accidents in India. While driving, the road user is supposed to take precautions as stipulated in section-3 and 131 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 of having a valid license and ensuring that before passing the unmanned level crossing, the road user stops, looks around and only if no train is approaching, proceeds ahead.

Indian Railways carry out intensive social awareness campaigns, on a regular basis, to educate road users. This includes publicity campaigns through various media like newspapers, TV, Radio etc., distribution of posters, leaflets, various short duration films/advertisements etc. even in local languages have been prepared by the Zonal Railways for educating the road users about the precautions to be taken while negotiating the unmanned level crossings. There is a need to educate people at Village Panchayats, Schools, weekly markets in rural areas and also carry out ambush checks at unmanned level crossings. Chief Secretaries of All States and Administrators in UTs are requested from time to time to advise District Commissioners and Transport Authorities in their State/UTs to also launch necessary campaign, make ambush checks etc. to ensure strict compliance of Section 3 and 131 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 by all road users while negotiating unmanned level crossings.

To enhance the safety and reduce inconvenience to road users, busy level crossings are being replaced by Road Over Bridges (ROB) / Road Under Bridges (RUB) and Limited Height Sub-Ways (LHS) gradually. In the year 2009-10, 249 ROB/ RUB/ LHS have been commissioned under various schemes, like 93 nos are built under cost sharing, 4 nos under BOT, 16 nos under Deposit works, 24 nos under Accommodation Works and 40 nos for NHAI. In the current financial year (2010-11) also, the targets of such Road Safety Works are substantially enhanced. Indian Railways has substantially increased the pace of manning of Unmanned Level Crossings with an ambition to eliminate all Unmanned Level Crossings in next five years.

As its contribution towards the above efforts, Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) has directed all Indian Railways to launch seven days long drive specially targeting safety at unmanned level crossings w.e.f. 22nd June, 2010. During the drive emphasis will be laid on the following:-

(i) Organizing public awareness campaigns to educate/counsel villagers and road users and make them aware of the provisions of motor vehicles act and railway act by distributing posters, pamphlets, handbills etc. in gram panchayats, markets, petrol pumps and other public places. SMS on mobile to road users staying near rural areas.

(ii) Publicity campaign through various media including newspapers, television, radio and slides in cinema halls, with an appeal to road users to observe all precautions embodied in motor vehicles Act and Railway Act.

(iii) Organizing safety seminars at various places in the divisions including road transport offices.

(iv) Checking the whistling habits of drivers (as per modification to whistle code circulated vide letter No. 2010/Safety (A&R)/19/8 dated 14.05.2010) while approaching the level crossings by deputing officers and supervisors in the first coach immediately after the Locos and EMUs.

(v) Joint ambush checks involving RPF, GRP and civil authorities at the Level Crossings and apprehending errant road users under sections of motor vehicles act.

(vi) Ensuring availability of speed breakers, whistle boards, road signs and stop boards as per provisions laid down in the IRPWM.

Indian Railways solicit cooperation from all citizens to help Railways in making the event successful in the interest of safety of road users.

For detailed information on good practices and educational material designed to highlight the issue of misbehavior at and around level crossings, you may kindly see dedicated website for level crossing issues at and educational material at

Delhi Metro scores a tricky architectural first

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation scored a tricky architectural achievement by constructing an additional underground metro station at Central Secretariat bordering the existing station without disrupting train services, despite having to slice through the main wall of the present station to amalgamate the two stations.

The new station will act as a point for passenger interchange between Line 2 (Jehangirpuri-Central Secretariat) and the upcoming Line 6 (Central Secretariat-Badarpur) which will be commissioned in September.

DMRC officials said they were forced to cut the main wall which will now interconnect both stations at the concourse and platform levels as Line 6 was not sanctioned when work on Line 2 was completed.

A false wall has been erected to conceal the cuts made on the main wall for the interconnections and the work going on in the adjacent structure so that commuters are not affected in any way.

“When the new station opens, I am sure regular users of the station would be surprised to see another metro station here and the interconnections made between both,” said Kumar Keshav, Director (Project and Planning) at DMRC.

Mr. Keshav said the architectural challenge was to carefully support the load on the main wall of the present Central Secretariat station while cutting it and the simultaneous excavation of tunnels at a depth of 17 metres for the new station without affecting traffic on Rafi Marg passing directly overhead.

DMRC engineers said that 35 metres of the main wall of the present station had to be cut to make the interconnections with designers projecting a load of 105,000 kg per metre that would have to be supported.

They explained that with each slab that was cut, temporary structures were erected to support the wall with a stringent online load measurement system in place for continuous monitoring.

“The stations will be linked by two interconnections at the platform level and four at the concourse level. Passengers travelling between the two lines can easily interchange, thanks to this construction,” Mr. Keshav said.

Speaking to presspersons after giving them a tour of the new station, he said that a four car train would be placed on the Line 6 track on June 26 and trials on the Line would start between Central Secretariat and Lajpat Nagar in the first week of July with more stations being added as the trials progress.

Published in: on June 26, 2010 at 4:21 pm  Comments (1)  

Palace on Wheels judged fourth among top 10 luxury trains

JAIPUR: Great news for tourism in Rajasthan. The state’s luxury train, Palace on Wheels has been declared the fourth best among the top 10 luxury trains of the world by the travel magazine Conde Nast. For 2009, the magazine had asked its readers to vote for their favourite train.

They were asked to rank each train out of 100 points. Palace on Wheels attained 83.94 points and was ranked fourth below the Venice Simplon-Orient Express (89.92 points), Eurostar (86.92 points) and Pride of Africa, Rovos Rail (84.25 points). There is no other luxury train of India in the top 10 trains. The newly launched Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (RROW) was not ranked since it is a new train.

The chairman and managing director of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), Manjit Singh, said the announcement will give a big boost not only to the luxury trains of Rajasthan but also tourism in the state. He said the train was currently undergoing major revamp at a cost of Rs. 1.5 crore. The interior of the train were being redone. A spa was being added to the facilities in the train.

The CMD also said that the tourists will be taken for a Dubai-like desert safari when the train halts at Jaisalmer. More varied food will be served. For instance, Mexican, Thai and seafood were being added to the menu. The bar was also being upgraded and some of the world’s best wines and liquor will be made available.

Published in: on June 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Railways, UIDAI in talks for possible use of database

The Indian Railways has had a discussion with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Tuesday to discuss the use of its database in various areas including ticketing. The discussion also included the manner in which the Indian Railways’ 13 lakh employees can be brought into the UIDAI database.

“The UIDAI has given us a presentation on what could be done. This has to evaluated,” Mr Vivek Sahai, Chairman, Railway Board, said here today, when asked.

The UIDAI would issue unique identification numbers to the residents of the country based on the demographic and biometric data of the individual. Mr Sahai said they are also exploring the possibility of using the unique database in its ticketing system.

The possible use for Railways could particularly for using the UID of a person as a proof of identity while extending low-cost tickets through various discount schemes. Railways extend discounts to different marginalised sections of population including senior citizens, in which the UID could be used as another proof of identification.

Published in: on June 26, 2010 at 4:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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