Railways plans confirmed tickets for all

WITH the demand for train tickets, especially for long-distance journeys, considerably high, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi has mooted the idea of guaranteed confirmed ticket system — something that does away with the practice of turning away passengers with wait-listed tickets.

The proposed system aims to roll out an identical train for spillover bookings on a route and, if need be, charge a premium for the service. Trivedi proposed the idea in a Railway Board meeting earlier this week and asked officials for feedback.

“I am serious about a policy wherein every ticket-holder is guaranteed a confirmed berth. If the waiting list reaches something like 700 over and above the train capacity, we can roll out an identical train on the route and accommodate the waitlisted ones,” Trivedi said.

The minister said rolling out another train to accommodate spillover bookings on every route would be easier said than done because of the limited availability of rolling stock (coaches and engines) but he has asked officials to finetune the idea. “We must start somewhere,” he said.

The idea has reportedly found positive response among top Railway Board officials, who are part of policy decisions, but there are several constraints pertaining to resources that come in the way of this policy seeing light of day instantly.

The minister has been told that since a single railway line has to carry both freight as well as passenger trains, choking the already congested railway network with identical trains on the same routes on an everyday basis might be a tough challenge.


Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 7:50 am  Comments (3)  

First double-decker train in 2 months

The first double-decker train, to be introduced between Delhi and Jaipur, will be finally running on the tracks within the next two months before presentation of the railway budget. The train that was to make its maiden journey in July last year was delayed by several months after the Howrah-Dhanbad prototype being run by the eastern railway faced technical snags. This train, though, is now running without a hitch prompting northern railway to take the plunge.


Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 7:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Super AC class to come into effect by end of 2012

Mamata Banerjee had floated the concept in her last railway budget and Dinesh Trivedi is expected to take it forward, when he tables it in Parliament a month later. According to sources in the Railway Board, air-conditioned travel is expected to get more expensive but sleeper and general class fares will remain largely untouched.

As a balm for those who travel in AC coaches and crib about the poor quality of service, Trivedi is expected to unveil the concept of the Super AC Class that will be an intermediary between the ACI and ACII classes. Though this class will be cheaper than ACI, it will have amenities like drop-down video screens and sub-pantries in all coaches. The new coaches will be of world class standard, an official said.

In May 2011, the Railway Board had written to Railway Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, directing it to develop a prototype for a Super AC Coach. In the first phase, 25 of these coaches will be built and distributed. In addition to this, 25 existing ACII coaches of Western Railway will be converted to Super AC ones. The cost for refurbishment of each coach is expected to be nearly Rs 18 lakh.


IRCTC planning ‘Bharat Darshan 2012’ tours

Planning a religious pilgrimage to places like Madurai, Rameswaram, Ujjain, Mathura, Dwarka and Somnath among others from Chandigarh and Ambala Cantt railway stations is set to become easier this year with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) putting finishing touches to its ambitious ‘Bharat Darshan 2012’ special tours.

Officials stated that this year Tricity residents would get a chance to travel to more religious and historical places than ever before.

Rlys looking to build on station roof tops

As land acquisition becomes a contentious issue, the Railways are contemplating monetising station rooftops, as part of its overall strategy to commercially exploit railway land to garner additional revenue. A pilot project for this could be undertaken in the Mumbai suburban system, which has about 51 stations with 6.27 lakh square metre space. “The average roof area per station is 12,300 square metre. By just providing a ten per cent built up area (1250 square metre) to developers, railways can cover the average cost of construction and renovation of all stations,” says a proposal submitted to the Ministry.


Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 7:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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New energy-efficient loco introduced for high speed trains

The Nagpur division of Central Railway has introduced a new electric locomotive ‘WAP 7’, a high speed engine indigenously developed by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, which is capable of hauling trains at speeds ranging between 140-160 km per hour. The Nagpur division authorities were making efforts since last four months to get the new locomotive and their efforts bore fruit with Railway Board alloting one WAP7 loco being used in Hyderabad-Nizamuddin Dakshin Express from February 2, a release from Nagpur division of Central Railway said today. The Sampark Kranti Express is also expected to get WAP 7 in next one month. The Nagpur division also planning to switch over to WAP 7 locos in Indore Trishatabdi Express and Nagpur-Indore weekly Express. The requirement of banker engine in ghat section between Nagpur and Itarsi is eliminated, resulting in saving of 10 minutes time as well as saving electrical energy about 700 units per train while descending the ghat. It will also save the banker engine use and energy. Due to high acceleration the punctuality is maintained in division. With a maximum speed rating of 180 km/h, the WAP-7 boasts of the most phenomenal acceleration figures while hauling mail/express trains. The WAP-7 can also haul loads of 24-26 passenger coaches at a speed of 110 plus km per hour. It is also known to haul 16 heavyweight Air Conditioned coaches. At a trial conducted by Indian Railways, it clocked a speed of 177 km/h. It is the most successful passenger locomotive in the Indian Railways portfolio after the WAP-4. It is used to haul premium trains like the Rajdhani Express and the Shatabdi Express apart from other regular mail/express trains. As of now, 300 WAG 9, WAP 7 and WAP 5 locos running on the network annually save about 100 million units of energy, saving 105 tonnes of CO2 per annum, the release added.


Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 7:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Railways to design standard gauge coaches

The Integral Coach Factory in Perambur has been asked to design a standard gauge metro rail coach to be able to compete in the market to supply coaches for metro projects in thecountry.

The “ICF will be making metro rail coaches for the Kolkata metro run by railways. These coaches will be on broad gauge but we want the factory to make the most of the opportunity and set aside a few designs for metro rail coaches on standard gauge that can perform better and cost lesser than imported coaches. The designs can be sent to the Research Design and Standards Organisation,” said Railway Board member (mechanical) Sanjiv Handa after inaugurating Emission Test Car at ICF on Monday.


Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Railways to procure high-speed accident relief trains

The railways has decided to procure most sophisticated and modern high-speed Self-Propelled Accident Relief Trains (SPARTs) with a view to further strengthening its disaster management system. It will be fitted with hydraulic crane with telescopic boom which can run at the maximum speed limit of 200 km per hour.

According to a Railway Board official, the railways has at present 27 such trains which can run at the maximum speed of 110 km per hour. Besides, the railways has 69 hydraulic cranes which have the capacity to lift 140 tonnes only, he said.


Panel proposed cab signalling system in Railways

A cab signalling system similar to the European Train Control System and conversion of mechanical system to electronic interlocking in about 5,000 stations are among the measures proposed by the Sam Pitroda committee on modernisation of railways.

Constituted by the Railway Minister, Mr Dinesh Trivedi, in September last year, the committee headed by Mr Pitroda, is likely to submit its report next week recommending massive upgradation of signalling, tracks, rolling stock, stations and terminals at an estimated cost of over Rs 50,000 crore over the next five years.

Cab signalling system, the most advanced system prevalent in Europe, enables the loco pilot to see the incoming signal in his cabin.

Golden Chariot runs to full occupancy

Karnataka’s luxury train, The Golden Chariot, will run with full occupancy for the first time since its launch four years ago, when it chugs out of Bangalore on Monday for its ‘Pride of the South’ run across Karnataka and Goa.

For the only luxury train of south India, which faced challenges of occupancy, technical glitches and payment of haulage charges to the Indian Railways at the start of the tourist season in September 2011, the full occupancy seems to be a good comeback. In fact, the train saw six of its trips cancelled owing to these challenges this season.

In the 82 trips so far since its inception, 90 per cent occupancy rate had been the highest.

The train, operated by the State-owned Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), can accommodate 88 travellers in its 44 cabins. “We have had travellers willing to pay premium rates to get accommodation on this trip, but they had to be turned down or accommodated in future trips,” train’s project director M. Srinivas, told The Hindu .


Published in: on February 20, 2012 at 7:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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