Now, Tier-II cities qualify for Metro

Commuters in cities with 20 lakh population can hope for a more comfortable journey if state governments are willing to choose modern metro for intra-city transportation. Union urban development ministry has decided to consider the proposal for metro in cities with 20 lakh plus population.
With this announcement, Tier II cities Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Indore, Nagpur, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kozhikode qualifies to get metro rail system with Centre’s support.
As the metro fever is catching up with smaller cities, cities like Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Bhopal are moving ahead with the proposal for the metro project while they did not fit in the population cut-off criteria. Among these, Jaipur is expected to be first to get the swanky mode of transportation as state government is funding the entire cost of Rs 1,250 crore of the 9.25km under Stage I. Rajasthan government has sought Centre’s approval for viability gap funding for stage II (25.91km— Ambabari to Sitapura via SMS hospital) that will cost Rs 7,700 crore.
Kochi has also moved forward for the modern transport as UD ministry is soon going to seek cabinet’s nod for 25.3km Alwaye to Petta stretch costing Rs 4,722 crore. Ludhiana, Pune, Lucknow and Ahmedabad have got detailed project report (DPR) for metro projects prepared from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), while DPRs for Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh is under preparation.
UD ministry seems keen to run metro in Nagpur, as the minister has written to Maharastra CM for getting DPR for metro rail in the city prepared. Kanpur, Patna, Surat, Coimbatore and Kozhikode are the Tier II cities that fall in UD ministry’s criteria but lagging behind in availing Centre’s offer for support to run metro rail. “If state governments come with the proposal for metro rail in cities with 20 lakh plus population, the ministry is ready to consider,” urban development minister Kamal Nath said. To begin with, the ministry has decided to bear 50% of the cost of the preparation of detailed project report for cities with 20 lakh plus population. Among the 19 cities which have more than 20 lakh population according to Census 2011, the metro rail projects are under different stage implementation in four metropolitan cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
Mumbai has taken up metro projects — Line 1 (11.07km), Line 2 (31.87km) on PPP model costing Rs 10,016 crore. For Line 3 (20.4km) that will cost Rs 12,015 crore, the city has chosen to go for DMRC model that mean government funding (by both centre and state) of entire project.
Jaipur first Tier II city to get the swanky mode of transport
Pune, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Ahmedabad have got detailed project reports prepared
Union urban development ministry keen on Nagpur; minister Kamal Nath has written to CM Ashok Chavan
Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Bhopal not in population bracket, but want Metro

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shatabdi trains to have live TV from new year

Come January and passengers of Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains will be able to watch their favourite serials and movies while travelling. In a smart move, Railways is mulling over to instal television screens on few trains. If all goes well, the New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express will have the live television facility from January next year.

After the ‘successful’ trial run on the Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, Duronto and ISO category trains like Bhopal express will be covered. What is more interesting is the fact that passengers can watch shows without any disruption as live TVs will not have any signal problem on the moving train.

According to DRM Delhi, Ashwini Kumar Lohani, “The procedure of tenders – invited for the installation of TVs in Shatabdi coaches- is at the final stage. By the end of December, tenders will be alloted. Thereafter, the contracts for the installation of TV sets along with dish antena will be given.”

As per the tender document, a 48-inch LCD TV screen will be installed at both sides of each passenger coach of the Shatabdi Express.

The trial run of live TV on moving train was carried out eight months back on Delhi-Guwahati Rajdhani Express. After successful testing of signals on the long route train, Railways gave the green signal to the project.

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Railways to Introduce Whistle Blower Policy

Railways is going to introduce a whistle blower policy soon to check corruption and irregularities in its functioning.

“Modalities are being worked out for introducing the whistle blower policy and a person giving information will be rewarded and his identity kept secret,” Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi today said on the sidelines of a function here.

“Whether the information is about the touts or concerning purchasing, it will be duly. There will be rewards for those who will give information,” he said.

However, he said a “majority of railway employees are honest but there are some virus in the system. It will be done in a transparent manner without disclosing the name of the person who will provide the information.”

On the disruption of train service due to fog, he said “safety cannot be compromised. We are making arrangements for informing passengers in advance about the delay in train timing. We are also ensuring proper arrangement for food and medicine for passengers in case of delay due to fog. We cannot take chances with fog.”

About a possible solution to the problem of fog, he said “we are hoping that in a few years fog will not be able to disrupt trains like it is doing today with the modernisation of the signalling system but till then we have to bear with it as safety cannot be compromised.”

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

IRCTC to operate tourist train from Delhi to Goa in January 2012

Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will start an exclusive train from Delhi to the coastal state of Goa, which offers sightseeing by dedicated tourist buses and stay at decent hotels for seven nights and eight days. The train will start from Delhi on January 21 and return on January 28, 2012.

IRCTC will also offer provision to embark or disembark at tourist spots like Agra and Jaipur during the onward or return journey. The organisers have also set aside an entire day for sightseeing of North and South Goa, according to a report in The Times of India. The budget of frequent train travellers have been factored in while finalising the package as there are four categories of travel, ranging from budget to deluxe class.

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Central Railway boss promises paan-free ‘stainless’ local trains

Violet trains will remain violet and not stained with paan spit.

This was the assurance given by Central Railway’s new general manager Subodh Kumar Jain to commuters.

Commuters on Central Railway have been complaining of dirty trains, especially the new-age violet ones. The older trains are reddish brown and the paan stains did not show.

“We have taken up complaints of cleanliness seriously and are looking into it. We will instal mechanised cleaning machines at 13 locations — three have already become functional. The rest will be commissioned soon,” Jain said.

“Give us time and see the changes. The mechanised cleaners will scrub all the trains clean with pressure jets,” he said.

Another official said that mechanised cleaning will also save water. Sources said the Central Railway cleans about 14 trains daily. They use about 500 litres of water for a rake. The stains have to be washed manually using disinfectants and it takes about an hour to wash one train.

Sources said the railways spends Rs 1.5 crore annually to clean all trains clean of paan stains.

To curb the problem of paan stains, the new trains that are yet to come will be made of steel. The Integral Coach Factory that manufactures the new-age trains is in the process of preparing anti-stain and anti-graffiti paint by using nano technology for the exteriors.

The paint has been developed by the Research Design and Standards Organisation, the research arm of Indian Railways.

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Unesco museum to showcase Kalka-Shimla rail line

Kalka-Shimla rail link will feature prominently in the Unesco museum in Switzerland with the Indian Railways joining hands with Swiss mountain railway for promoting and preserving the 19th century heritage line.

“A section at Bahnmuseum Albula museum in Switzerland is being devoted to Kalka-Shimla Railway (KSR) and many aspects of the 19th century engineering marvel, including photographs and video recording of the running train through tunnels on the hilly track, will be exhibited,” a Railway Ministry official said.

The Bahnmuseum exhibition is expected to attract many foreign visitors to the heritage site, which would be a boost to tourism as well as mountain railway, he said.

Indian Railways has signed an MoU with Rhaetische Bahn, Swiss mountain railway, in June last year for cooperation in the field of protection, conservation and management of heritage rail assets.

“A Swiss team had visited the KSR site and were quite impressed about it. We are also sending some artefacts related to KSR, like a lantern used earlier for signalling system,” the official said.

The Switzerland museum is expected to be operational next year.

Kalka-Shimla Railway was inscribed as World Heritage Site (WHS) in 2008 by the Unesco, which has also declared Rhaetische Bahn and Austria’s Semmering Railway as WHS.

India and Switzerland are signatories to the Unesco World Heritage Convention which outlines the protection of industrial heritage and invites international exchange of technical expertise and bilateral cooperation to increase institutional capacities for the protection, safeguarding and management of heritage.

The 97-km-long Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge with 102 tunnels and over 800 bridges was opened for traffic on November 9, 1903.

Known for breathtaking views of the hills and surrounding villages, the route offers a panoramic view of the picturesque Himalayas from the Sivalik foot hills at Kalka to several important points such as Dharampur, Solan, Kandaghat, Taradevi, Barog, Salogra, Summerhill and Shimla at an altitude of 6,811 feet.

Besides Kalka-Shimla Railway, Darjeeling Railway and Nilgiri Mountain Railway are also being inscribed as World Heritage Site by the Unesco.

Railways had also proposed Matheran Hill Railway to be declared as World Heritage Site by the Unesco in the mountain railway section.

“But it did not find favour with the Unesco team who had visited Matheran in 2009 and the proposal was rejected for various reasons,” the official said.

Railways is considering to propose Oak Groove school in Dehradun and Church Gate station in Mumbai to be considered as World Heritage Site by Unesco next year.

Private firm to wash rlys’ dirty linen

Faced with the risk of soiling its reputation over complaints of unwashed linen being provided in the AC coaches, the railways has finally pulled up its socks.

Western Railway (WR) has now signed a 10-year contract with Jyothy Laboratories to set up a mechanised laundry plant on railway premises. The land, water and electricity supply will be provided by the railways.

Touted to be the largest unit in the country, it will have a capacity to clean 16 tonnes of linen per day, said railway sources. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2012. The railways will foot a total bill of Rs 65 crore for 10 years, sources told Mirror.

A tender was out in June 2010 in this connection. “Every passenger in an AC coach is given a linen kit comprising two bed sheets, one pillow, one pillow cover, one hand towel and one blanket. In addition, a bath towel is also given to the passenger of 1st AC coaches. However, according to passengers, the linen provided to them are dirty and many a time unwashed,” said sources.


According to sources in the Ahmedabad Railway Division, the railways will provide 1,800 sq m of land to Jyothy Laboratories to set up the laundry plant.

It will also provide water supply and electricity for the operation. However, the company will not be allowed to use the unit for any purpose other than washing and cleaning railways’ linen.

The company will be in charge of collection, transportation of used linen to the unit, cleaning and loading the packed linen to AC coaches.

Laundry collected from around 30 trains at Ahmedabad Railway Division will be cleaned regularly by the company. Sources added that Jyothy Laboratories, the maker of Ujala fabric care liquid, is all set to become the biggest laundry services player in the country.

According to Right To Information (RTI) replies, in 2010-11 railways had received 261 complaints about dirty linen being supplied to passengers; 279 complaints were registered in 2009-10. It had also imposed a penalty of around Rs 30 lakh on the contractor who was supplying the linen.

The railway officials said that despite having hired 12 to15 officers and supervisors to check the quality and supply of linen in all AC coaches in long-distance trains, the problem prevails .

Published in: on November 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Green rakes to net WR 2cr per year in carbon credits

Western Railway’s (WR) move to switch its network from 1,500V Direct Current (DC) to 25,000V Alternating Current (AC) will net it carbon credits worth Rs 2 crore per annum. This is because WR is now going to utilize rakes with regenerative braking features compatible with both DC and AC systems on its network, which will help it save energy.

The decision to switch from DC to AC necessitated the use of rakes that were compatible with the new power system. As aresult, WR had to phase out all the DC-compatible rakes in favour of those that can ply on dual AC-DC system. As of now, 83 (77 Siemens and 6 Alstom) AC-DC Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes are in operation.
Of these, 66 rakes have been registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR said, “It is estimated that these rakes will reduce overall emission of CO2by 10,278 tonne. Carbon credits accrued to WR every year due to this will be approximately Rs 2 crore. Eleven more rakes are proposed to be registered under the UNFCCC, and their benefits on the carbon credits front will accrue proportionately in future.” The DC-AC rakes are energy-efficient as they have regenerative braking, where on application of brakes, the traction motor works like a generator and converts kinetic energy into electrical energy. The generated energy is fed back to the overhead equipment and used by other trains running on the section.

Lower electricity consumption will mean reduced fuel consumption in power plants and will automatically lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions. DC-AC EMU rakes consume 30% less energy than conventional DC rakes.
Chandrayan said, “In the last one year, WR has increased 12-car services by 25%. In spite of the 10% increase in traction tariff by power suppliers,we have saved Rs 12.75 crore in the last 10 months on the traction energy bill.”

Chugging through centuries of history

The National Rail Museum in New Delhi focuses on the fascinating rail history of India.

The National Rail Museum, in New Delhi, is a unique museum and the only one of its kind in Asia. Focusing on the Rail History of India, this museum offers its visitors a lot of fun and entertainment, coupled with an insight into rail history, heritage, nostalgia and the romance that goes with it. It was inaugurated on February 1, 1977.

“This tourist spot spread over 11 acres of landhas over 90 different types of exhibits which include locomotives, royal saloons, cranes, wagons, coaches, furniture, signal and telecommunication equipment, clocks, tickets and ticketing machines. These exhibits offer the visitors an insight into our rail history and heritage”, says Mr Jitender Tatawat, Museum Officer at the National Rail Museum. The indoor gallery at the museum has history ingrained in the various models and artefacts displayed there. There is a toy train and a park for children too.

Old gold

The Morris Fire Engine, which was built in 1914, has been given a place of honour in the museum. Used by the erstwhile Nizam’s State Railways, Hyderabad, this pre WW-1 vintage car, which is still in working condition, is one of its kind in the world. This fire engine was used in Secunderabad to put out fires in railway engines and coaches as well as around the city whenever the necessity arose. The National Rail Museum in New Delhi and the Regional Rail Museums in Chennai and Mysore are storehouses of rail heritage and history.

Arjun A Bharadwaj, a ten year old visitor from Bengaluru, said he found the Indian Railways history interesting and learnt a lot from the indoor and outdoor exhibits. He feels “all children must visit this museum, only then will we all develop pride in the most important transportation system of the country.”

Royal carriages

“One of the prized possessions of the museum is the Monorail of the erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala State, which is the only working steam monorail in the world. The royal saloons of the Maharaja of Mysore, the Gaekwar of Baroda and the Raja of Bhavnagar are still intact and can be viewed by visitors. The Vice Regal Dining car used by the Viceroys and the royal coach of the Prince of Wales are open to visitors too,” continues Mr Jitender.

On track

The history of the Railways in India dates back to the mid 19th century. Soon after the first ever rail journey took place in the world, the British began contemplating setting up railways in India to help with their transportation and commerce. The British set up two companies in London – the East Indian Railway and the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, where construction for the Indian Railways began immediately.

The first Indian train of the Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR), was set on its tracks on April 16, 1853 from Bori Bunder in Bombay to Thane. Four hundred guests took this voyage in 14 carriages, hauled by three steam locomotives – Sahib, Sindh and Sultan. On August 15, 1854 the first train of the East Indian Railways ran between Howrah and Hooghly. Two years later the Madras Guaranteed Railway Company was set up and the first train of this company ran between Veyasarpaudy and Walajah Road on July 1, 1856.

The British managed to set up rail connections from the three major port cities, namely Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. Over the years the railway network has expanded tremendously. Many stations, bridges, tunnels and workshops have been constructed. Today, under the unified Indian Railways, we have the second largest rail network in the world.

Published in: on November 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Northern Railway Gears Up Machinery To Tackle Emergencies

In the light of the incident at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, General Manager, Northern Railway, Shri S.K. Budhalakotihas instructed all divisions to launch an extensive public awareness campaign in the media and also at stations through advertisements, posters, announcements and person to person contact by railwaymen to make passengers aware of the danger of boarding/deboarding the train while it is in movement, travelling on roof-top/ footboard of trains and tress passing of railway tracks.

In addition, General Manager has instructed all divisions to tighten up their machinery for ‘quick response’ to emergency situation demanding immediate rescue operations.A review by General Manager of the present situation and further steps needed for a ‘fool proof disaster response system’ would be undertaken next week.

On the instructions of General Manager Northern Railway, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi Shri Ashwani Lohani has taken various measures to further tighten the emergency response system with emphasis on medical facilities at the major railway stations of Delhi area.These measures include:-

i)Setting up of an ‘Emergency Equipment Room’ (EER) at five major stations of Delhi area i.e. New Delhi, Delhi Junction, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Anand Vihar Terminal and Delhi Sarai Rohilla.These ‘Emergency Equipment Rooms’ will be equipped with a stretcher, trolly for patients, gas cutter, first aid equipment, wheel chairs, towel, linen and other basic medical equipments.These rooms will also have the list of all nearby hospitals including the private ones.

ii)Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi has taken initiative to provide ‘round the clock ambulance service’ at four major stations of Delhi area i.e. New Delhi, Delhi Junction, Hazrat Nizamuddin & Anand Vihar Terminal.

iii)The ‘Station Master’s’ room will display the list of the first aid providers at the station and would also display the list of telephone numbers of all Government and CGHS approved private hospitals to which passenger need to be referred in case of emergencies.A list of ambulance services, fire brigade and other district authorities would also be displayed prominently for any emergency help.

iv)Posters displaying numbers of nearby ambulance providers, fire brigades etc. would be put up at all platforms of all the five major stations so that public can also directly ring up these services in case of emergency.

v)Station Master’s room would display prominently ‘do list’ of action to be taken in case of any emergency by railway officials.

vi)The stations would also display prominently the list of Doctors from the nodal railway hospital linked to a particular station who are to be called in an emergency.The response time for such Doctors has been kept maximum at 30 minutesdepending upon the distance from the station.

vii)‘St. John’s Ambulance Brigade’, of which around 200 railwaymen are trained for medical emergencies on the Delhi Division, would be activated.These personnel who are posted at each station, are well trained to provide basic first aid medical aid to passengers during any crisis.Their names and presence would be ensured by Station Supdt. Concerned ‘ round the clock’ at stations.

The Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi Division would review the performance and up-keep of these facilities once every month with immediate effect.Frequent and periodical review would also be undertaken by General Manager, Northern Railway.

Northern Railway also appeals to all the passengers to be disciplined and follow rules of caution while boarding / deboarding the trains so as to avoid accidents which occur due to carelessness and haste on their part as this can be risky and fatal to them.

All these activities would be in place with effect from 29th November, 2011.,4,268

Published in: on November 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment