Mumbai Mono Rail world’s second longest corridor

India’s first 19.54 km Chembur-Wadala-Jacob Circle Mono Rail corridor will be world’s second longest Mono Rail corridor, the longest being Japan’s Osaka Mono Rail corridor which is 23.8 km. While there are 19 stations on the Osaka Mono Rail corridor, the city Mono Rail corridor will boast of 18 stations, a release issued here today said.

The Mono Rail World Map, as of today, marks Osaka Mono Rail corridor (23.8. km) as the longest in world, followed by Tokyo
Mono Rail (16.9 km), Tama Mono Rail (16 km) and Star LRT in Kuala Lumpur (8.6 km). The Osaka Mono Rail is the world’s largest operational monorail line. It opened in 1990 as a 6.6 km track between Osaka Itami Airport and Senri and has now been extended to Kadoma for a total of 23.8 km of track, including a 2.6 km spur between the Expo Commemoration Park and Osaka University Hospital. The Mumbai Mono rail will be constructed and put into operation at a cost of approximately Rs 3,000 crore, while the infrastructure and operating costs of Osaka Mono Rail system runs approximately into a whopping USD 120 million (Rs 540 crore approximately) per kilometer to construct. Further, the Mumbai Mono Rail fare will range between Rs eight and 20 only, while Osaka Mono Rail system in order to partially cover costs, the system has to charge fares of between USD 2 and 4.50 (Rs 90 to 200 approximately). As far as the ridership of Mono Rails world over is concerned, the Mumbai Mono Rail is expected to score over many ridership results. The longest Osaka Mono Rail corridor ridership is clocked at just over one lakh daily boarding and the Mumbai Mono Rail is expected to carry, at least, a dozen thousand boarding more than the Osaka Mono Rail’s one lakh daily boarding, the release added.

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 7:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Metro rail tracks to have anti-noise technology

The ambitious Metro rail project of Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will not only be one of the most efficient Mass Rapid Transport Systems (MRTS) in the city but is also expected to scale high on environmental efficiency.

As MMRDA has kept high priority for environment-friendly technology’s adoption in development of Metro rail, the development authority is confident of achieving the same through installations of elastomeric pads which controls the noise levels of running train.

According to Joint Project Director (PR), Dilip Kawathkar, there were many challenges in Metro rail project in Mumbai. “Mumbai is the city with population density of about 30,000 people per square kilometer. The total length of Metro rail will be more than 145km. There are many schools, colleges and hospitals in vicinity of the project and in future more such institutions might come up alongside the project. We had to emphasize on the technology which would provide excellent services to the commuters along with least possible disturbances to the people of Mumbai.”

Kawathakar said that this issue was taken in due consideration while incepting the project and hence, had approved of the technology of elastomeric pads. Under this technology, the elastomeric pads are installed between concrete structures and tracks. This helps in reducing vibrations and noise. This technology is used globally in many industries including railway tracks, railway bridges, constructions etc.

Railway police to train commuters to deal with terror like situation

Railway police looks at training 20 lakh commuters by next year to deal with a terror-like situation on the Mumbai local

More power to you: The railways will impart training to commuters with the help of multimedia presentations where the common man has braved terror in the past.

The unclaimed bag on a local train continues to panic Mumbaikars even today, more than four years after seven bomb blasts brought the city’s lifeline to a grinding halt. But not for too long. The Railways feel it’s time for the everyday commuter to hold his nerve and face his worst fear.

Come September end and the railway police will kick start an initiative — Operation Savdhan — to train commuters to tackle a terror-like situation. The training will help the aam aadmi to keep their cool and extend a helping hand to the police in damage control.

Raj Khilnani, additional director general of police (railways), said, “It becomes difficult for police to monitor all railway establishments and protect them against terror attacks. Any mission against terrorism will be incomplete without the active participation of the public. Therefore, we have come up with this idea where adequate training will be imparted to the public.”

A railway police added, “We get hoax calls every now and then. It’s been four years since the 7/11 attacks, but we cannot say we are completely safe. Commuters need to be alert at all times and this training will help.”

The Government Railway Police (GRP) is looking at training 20 lakh commuters over a period of 12 months, say officials. Every day 37-lakh commuters use the CR and 34 lakh travel on Western Railway route approximately. “If ten per cent of all the railway passengers take training seriously our initiative will be a hit. This ten per cent can then act as watchdogs on trains and they can also train their fellow commuters,” said Khilnani.

The training

According to railway officials, commuters will be trained in basic fire fighting, how to handle abandoned luggage and to keep cool in case of a terror threat. They will also be imparted training with the help of multimedia presentations where the common man has braved terror in the past.

Passengers will be trained by senior GRP officials at railway stations, which are convenient to them. However, which stations will double as training grounds will be decided depending on the commuters’ response to this initiative.

Break from work

But when will the busy Mumbaikar make time get terror trained? Officials from the railway police will make a request to the employers of interested commuters to give them time off from work.

“We will ask employers to grant his employee a three-hours break on any working day where we can train commuters. This training will not only help Mumbai, but the nation as a whole,” said Khilnani.

Once the training is complete, the passengers will also be given a certificate from the GRP. “We will also ask commuters to take an oath that they will try to stop crime and terrorism in the city. However, this doesn’t mean that we will be relieved of our duty. This training will be provide an added advantage to the railway police where commuters can help out in times of emergency,” said Khilnani.

Trains’ information on city TV channel

‘City Info’ channel, a new facility to provide information on the trains through Siti cable Network, has been launched by Divisional Railway Manager Anurag.

Mr. Anurag said that all passengers could easily avail the information of train arrival and departure, to and from, Vijayawada Railway station through the city info channel. He also said that Railways was always in the forefront of adopting innovative technology for the benefit of travelling public.

‘Live transmission’

He said that with the live transmission of train information people would be able save valuable time and money, the rush at the railway enquiry counters would also come down.

User friendly

Senior Divisional Commercial Manager K.Sambasiva Rao said that the facility would benefit channel viewers as well as the Railways by instant dissemination of train arrival and departure information.

People would be able to avail reliable information without any delay and hindrance, he said. The channel would display train arrival and departure timings, platform location of incoming and outgoing trains at Vijayawada Railway station on channel no.40. Siti cable Managing Director, Saibaba was present on the occasion.

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 7:22 am  Leave a Comment  

NF Railway”s e-procurement initiative

Guwahati, Sept 9 (PTI) North East Frontier Railway’s material management department has taken an initiative to implement e-procurement to achieve higher level of transparency and healthy competition amongst bidders.E-procurement, initiated since April, is not only convenient for prospective bidders but also saves time and cost in procurement process for both the bidders as well as the railways, a NF Railway press release issued today said.It is expected to lead to better price competition and has also improved communication with vendors and improved response time.The intended bidders can access the website to get information about vendor registration and various tenders floated by the railways including the tender conditions and tender forms.The willing bidders are required to have digital signature from any of the Central Certifying Agencies and should be registered with the Indian railways portal to use this facility.The bidders can access the tender form from the website and submit their bids at their convenience, besides accessing comparative statements of all bids against the advertised tender after the bid’s closing time.

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 7:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Alstom bags Rs.1,470 crore contract from Chennai Metro

NEW DELHI: International rail infrastructure major Alstom’s Indian subsidiary Saturday said it has bagged a contract worth about Rs.1,470 crore (243 million euros), to supply 168 rail cars to the Chennai Metro Rail Limited.

“Alstom will supply Chennai Metro’s public operator with 42 train-sets composed of four cars each,” the company said in a statement.

According to the company, first deliveries of the trains are expected by the end of 2012. The company is also equipping the trains with systems like Automatic Train Protection (ATP) and Automatic Train Operation (ATO).

“They will be equipped with a regenerative braking system ensuring significant energy savings. The cars will operate on 25 KV AC through an overhead catenary system at speeds of up to 80 km per hour,” the statement said.

Earlier, Alstom had provided train control and signalling systems for the Delhi Metro and is installing these in Bangalore.

The Chennai Metro project was started in 2007. The first phase of the project consists linking north Chennai with the airport situated in the south and Chennai central to St. Thomas Mount.

The 32-station route is over 45 km in lengt,h of which 24 km is underground and 21 km is elevated. The capacity of these lines is said to be more than 500,000 people daily and a frequency between two trains as short as 3 minutes.

Alstom Projects India Ltd (APIL) has been present in the country since 1910 and offers a large range of equipment and services related to power generation and transmission solutions as well as transportation systems.

Railways to launch 16 Bharat Tirth trains across the country

Indian Railways is going to run special tourist trains across the country from next month in a bid to promote tourism in the country.

According to a Railway Ministry release issued here today, IR will be launching 16 circuits of Bharat Tirth trains touching all important destinations across the country from next month. The objective is to provide a comfortable, affordable and memorable experience to the customers of different segments, the release stated.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has stated in her Railway Budget for 2010-11 that the ministry would launch tourist trains to connect popular tourist sites in the country, from Himalayas to Kanyakumari, from Dwarka to Vindhya Parbat, from Ajmer Sharief to Gangasagar and from Madurai to Patna Sahib. As per the statement of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, the trains would take passengers to the nearest railway station to tourist destination. Besides, tour escorts would accompany them in trains as well as buses.

Published in: on September 12, 2010 at 7:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Royal Rajasthan train to run again

New Delhi, Sep 4 (PTI) Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, the new super luxury train, will start its journey tomorrow with several new destinations like Khajuraho and Varanasi in its itinerary.
The luxury train is a joint venture of Rajasthan Tourism and Development Corporation and Indian Railways.

Encouraged with the grand success of Palace on Wheels, the tourist train was introduced in January 2009.
While the Palace on Wheels starts its journey on every Wednesday between August to April, the Royal Rajasthan is scheduled to run on every Sunday between September and April.

For the first time the train will include popular destinations like Khajuraho and Varanasi in its itinerary.
The new train promises to offer more facilities to its passengers.

The refurbished train has 22 coaches comprising of one super deluxe coach, 13 deluxe coaches, two restaurants and bars and a spa coach, having a capacity of 82 passengers. PTI

Bharat Darshan train to start on Sept 10

The `Bharat Darshan’ train will now start its run from September 10. The train was to run from August 28 initially. The train has been proposed by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). It will take passengers around the country. Those willing to be on-board can book a ticket.

The train will run for 12 days starting on September 10. The package cost for the train is Rs 6,156 per person. It will depart from New Delhi on September 10 and will pass through Moradabad, Bareilly, Lucknow (arrival at 6:50 pm and departure at 7 pm), Puri, Ganga Sagar (Kolkata), Gaya, Varanasi, Allahabad, Indore and New Delhi. It will return back via Lucknow on September 21 (arrival at 10:00 am) on way to Delhi on the same day.

Those willing to know more about the train can contact IRCTC regional office, Lucknow at 0522 2305566/2305522 and 9794863619 or can log on to the website, said IRCTC official. There are also some facilities provided for this train viz confirmed train tickets in sleeper class, accommodation facilities at various places, all vegetarian meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner and sight seeing at all the above mentioned places by a non-AC vehicle.

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Upgraded Palace on Wheels to attract more tourists

Exquisitely carved interiors, intricate gold tapestry, crisp white curtains and shimmering bejewelled walls – not for nothing is India’s Palace on Wheels one of the top 10 luxury trains in the world. And now it offers more.

A royal spa car and spruced up interiors are among the improved amenities introduced in the train last month and these are being offered to guests at no extra cost.

‘The upgraded version is surely going to work better,’ said Manjit Singh, chairman and managing director of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) which manages the train.

‘The advance booking for the train takes place much before the beginning of the season. It’s an indication that this train is a success,’ Singh said.

And the season has just begun. The 24-coach train, with a capacity of 104 guests, departs from New Delhi every Wednesday between September and April. It runs mainly overnight with guests waking up to an exciting new destination in Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh.

A night in the exotic train costs $400-500 (Rs.18,000-20,000), depending on the service one opts for.

For American tourist Perry Marco, a friend’s advice was worth the experience last year. ‘I had heard about this train from a friend, and decided to take the journey myself. Really, it’s a beautiful experience. A spectacular showcasing of ancient heritage. I don’t mind giving a second shot to it,’ he said.

Marco’s wife Lydia said: ‘This is the best way to see the royal palaces of Rajasthan, the rich history and culture.’

There are 14 carriages, each with four en-suite rooms and attendants, two restaurant cars, one small gym, a beauty salon and a bar lounge car. Each carriage is decorated individually with luscious fabrics and named after a different Rajput state – making Palace on Wheels an apt name!

The newly added Royal Space is attached to the carriages and boasts of ayurvedic and non-ayurvedic massages.

The 52 rooms in the train with single, double and triple occupancies can accommodate 104 passengers on any fully-booked tour.

For Lalit Pawar, the chairman of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and former managing director of RTDC, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. ‘Only heaven can be equated with Palace on Wheels,’ Pawar told IANS.

‘The train travels almost 2,200 km. The stoppages offer four different rides: elephant, camel, boat and safari. I have got amazing feedback from guests telling me how much they loved the journey,’ he said.

Pawar said because of the cost, Indian travellers give it a miss.

‘We will certainly work on an economy version of the train. I feel we should explore every possibility of making this royal treat available to the Indian masses,’ said Pawar, who has an eight-year-long experience with RTDC.

The train makes its way through the royal forts and palaces of ‘Pink City’ Jaipur, ‘Golden City’ Jaisalmer, touches base at Ranthambore, famous for its tigers, and also Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.

There’s space for gastronomic delights too. It has two lavish restaurants – The Maharaja and The Maharani – with a Rajasthani ambience serving palate tickling Continental, Chinese and Rajasthani cuisines.

Belgium-based Watson Seron said: ‘Oh! I fell in love with the food…Maharaja (restaurant) has a lot to offer. The luxury quotient is high.’

Mellisa Craig from Belgium said she has travelled the world, but this was her best experience. ‘I travel a lot. And this has been my best experience so far. They take so much care of the guests. I would love to come again,’ she added.

‘It passes like a flash. Palace on Wheels ends like a dream,’ signs off Lydia on a nostalgic note.

(Madhulika Sonkar can be contacted at

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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