Railway helpline for women

North Central Railway has set up a helpline for its women passengers in a bid to enhance passenger security and prevent crimes against women on trains and railway stations under its charge.

The helpline number is 1800—180—5315 with those accessing it via mobile phones required to add a ‘0’ before the number, according to a release.

“We will train our staff on how to respond to calls on the helpline and attend to complaints by women passengers,” the release quoted North Central Railway General Manager Alok Johri as saying.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/logistics/railway-helpline-for-women/article4763233.ece

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Published in: on May 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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Railways to take action against track trespassing

he railway administration has appealed to passengers to make use of foot over bridges to cross rail tracks to avoid any mishaps. Officials have said that the administration was initiating strict action against trespassing on tracks.

Railway officials said, “As many as 140 people died in Pune division while crossing the tracks in an illegal manner, between January 1 and April 30. About 8 were seriously injured. The number of mishaps increased this year, as compared to previous years. About 117 people had died in 2012 during the same period.”

Officials said that many steps have been initiated to create awareness among the passengers and visitors at the stations. The staff deployed at stations, has been making continuous announcements to make use of foot over bridges, instead of crossing tracks, which is a dangerous and illegal act.

The officials said that footbridges have been constructed at all prominent stations, in fact, some stations have two or more bridges depending on passenger load.

An official at the Pune railway station said that one additional bridge was being installed between platform number one, two and three at the Daund end to assist passengers entering from the main gate to reach platforms two and three. Work on this bridge was expected to begin by next month, said the official.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/Railways-to-take-action-against-track-trespassing/articleshow/20367085.cms

Bullet Trains Set to Arrive in India

India is set to benefit from the famed Japanese bullet train technology, with Tokyo today pledging to invest heavily in building high speed railway systems in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement today in which they laid down the course of co-operation between the two countries on setting up high speed railway systems in India.

The two sides signed the Exchange of Notes for yen loan totaling $424 billion. This includes a $71 billion for the Mumbai Metro Line-lll project as well as the yen loan of the fiscal year 2012 for $ 353.106 billion for eight projects.

Prime Minister Singh noted Japan’s interest in supporting the introduction of high speed railway systems in India.

Singh appreciated Japan’s high level of expertise in designing and implementing Shinkansen (Bullet Train) systems.

Singh conveyed that India will plan such projects based on its infrastructure priorities, commercial viability and financial resources in India.

“The two Prime Ministers decided that the two sides will co-finance a joint feasibility study of high speed railway system on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route,” the joint statement issued after the bilateral summit said.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail line would stretch 500 kilometers at an estimated cost of up-to one trillion yen.

he two Prime Ministers, recognizing the importance of upgrading the speed of passenger trains on the existing Delhi-Mumbai route to 160-200 kmph (semi-high speed railway system), welcomed the final report of the feasibility study undertaken with Japan’s cooperation, and confirmed that further consultation between the two countries would be continued to draw up a road-map.

http://www.mouthshut.com/blog/ijijsqspom/Bullet-Trains-Set-to-Arrive-in-India

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Indian Railways’ gains from iron ore export halves

The Indian Railways’ revenues generated from transporting iron ore meant for exports has declined sharply in recent times, and in 2012-13, it raked in about Rs 1,311 crore which is half of what it had earned last year, with the railways ministry expecting further dip in revenue this financial year.

Since 2009-10, the volume of iron ore carried for exports has gone down by 87.5% caused by a dip in export of iron ore from the country. In fact, exports have dropped to one-sixth the level since 2009-10 to just 18.37 million tonnes.

Railway officials and analysts attribute this to a combination of a drop in global demand, especially China’s appetite, as well as a clampdown in iron ore mining in belts like Goa, Karnataka and Odisha.

“Apart from our domestic issues, it’s mainly on account of a fall in demand in countries like China. Their demand had surged when they were building infrastructure before the China Olympics. That has now fallen,” said a railway ministry official.

Zonal railways like the South Eastern Railways (SER) – half its commodity basket is made up of iron ore transport – carried only 3.48 million tonnes of iron ore meant for exports in 2012-13.

In 2009-10, it was over five times this amount.

“We have no control over exports but because of the impact of lower iron ore exports, we are now trying to transport more of other commodities. Last year, we loaded more coal and cement as well as iron ore meant for domestic industries,” said an SER spokesperson.

The East Coast Railways, though it transports less iron ore than SER, has also been impacted with the proportion of earnings generated from iron ore booked for exports falling to only 20% of the total revenue from the total iron ore booked. In 2009-10, this figure was 39.1%.

“There is an export ban in Goa and the mines are closed. In Karnataka, export has not started whereas in Odisha, exporting is not viable. There is a 30% export duty and the railways freight for iron ore export is four times that of the domestic rate,” said RK Sharma, secretary general at the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries ( FIMI).

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/transportation/railways/indian-railways-gains-from-iron-ore-export-halves/articleshow/20341369.cms

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 4:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Japan to invest heavily in bullet trains in India

India is set to benefit from the famed Japanese bullet train technology, with Tokyo today pledging to invest heavily in building high speed railway systems in the country.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement today in which they laid down the course of co-operation between the two countries on setting up high speed railway systems in India.

The two sides signed the Exchange of Notes for yen loan totalling USD 424 billion. This includes a USD 71 billion for the Mumbai Metro Line-lll project as well as the yen loan of the fiscal year 2012 for USD 353.106 billion for eight projects.

Prime Minister Singh noted Japan’s interest in supporting the introduction of high speed railway systems in India.

Singh appreciated Japan’s high level of expertise in designing and implementing Shinkansen (Bullet Train) systems.

Singh conveyed that India will plan such projects based on its infrastructure priorities, commercial viability and financial resources in India.

“The two Prime Ministers decided that the two sides will co-finance a joint feasibility study of high speed railway system on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route,” the joint statement issued after the bilateral summit said.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad rail line would stretch 500 kilometres at an estimated cost of upto one trillion yen.

The two Prime Ministers, recognising the importance of upgrading the speed of passenger trains on the existing Delhi-Mumbai route to 160-200 kmph (semi-high speed railway system), welcomed the final report of the feasibility study undertaken with Japan’s cooperation, and confirmed that further consultation between the two countries would be continued to draw up a road-map.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/335343/japan-invest-heavily-bullet-trains.html

Reliving the glory of Indian Railways

Indian Railways is reminiscent of holidays – the summer sojourns to grandparents’ place, engines chugging through hills and tunnels, the incessant call of the chaiwallah and happy conversations with co-passengers. However, this institution has played a much grander role in the life of India and its people, binding its vast length together, right from the period of the East India Company to the present times.

The Railway authorities are now rekindling those fond memories with a beautiful collection ‘160 years of Indian Railways: An exhibition of selected photographs.’ On view are rare black and white and sepia-toned shots of railway stations of yore, engineering marvels of bridges and tunnels, fascinating locomotive workshops and our national leaders enjoying train rides.

The photographs have been thoughtfully arranged in themes. ‘Indian Railways in the making’ shows large factories where coaches are constructed, wheels and axels manufactured and sheds where beautiful steam locomotives are resting. Also shown are railwaymen at work – a points man setting a track in order, a light man lighting the rear lamp of a locomotive and even an elephant helping move a large bogey!
The ‘Railway bridges and tunnels’ photographs are breathtaking. The three-arch open Renund Khad bridge stands dauntingly over the deep Kangra valley, Himachal Pradesh. The Yamuna Bridge in Allahabad is opened to traffic in 1869 and the Pamban Bridge – India’s first sea bridge connecting Rameswaram to Pamban island – is inaugurated in 1914.

Equally impressive are the pictures of railway stations. The New Delhi Railway Station, photographed around 1960, is cleaner and much less chaotic with a row of tangas neatly parked outside. The Madras Central Railway Station has large hoardings of Murphy Radio installed over it. The architecture of the Srinagar Railway Station is unmistakable with cottage like sloping roofs and the Guruvayur Station looks like an ornate gateway to the temple town.

The section on ‘Passenger amenities’ makes you wonder: ‘where did these disappear?’ The waiting room of the Lucknow Railway Station looks like a palace hall. The dining car attached to a train could be taken for an upmarket restaurant with chivalrous stewards serving aristocratic guests, and an efficient postal delivery system runs alongside the passenger trains.

The most enchanting photographs, however, remain those of our national leaders taking the Railways. Mahatma Gandhi on his way to Bombay in September 1944, Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurating the Children’s train at Bal Bhawan, Delhi and a tired looking Bhagat Singh squats at the Lahore Railway Station and Rabindranath Tagore – who wrote six poems of Gitanjali on a train – looks out of his train window, in a pensive mood.

Don’t miss this exhibition. It is on till June 2 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, CV Mess, Janpath.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/335341/reliving-glory-indian-railways.html

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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IRCTC foreign tour packages may save you 10% costs

The Indian Railway’s outbound tourism packages, planned for far off countries like Australia and south Africa, may save tourists more than 10% of tour costs as compared to private operators, sources in IRCTC said.

Said an official from Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC), “We plan to improve our network of travel operators across the world and are forging ties with leading airlines who will allow us to block seats for particular dates at reasonable prices.” He stated that IRCTC packages were preferred due to the “reliable service”, “value of money” and the fact that the packages saved the passenger nearly 10% of tour costs as compared to certain private operators.

At present, the IRCTC has announced a 5 Days, 4 nights Thailand package which will cover two cities and leave on July 13. It is serious about introducing economical package tours for as far as Australia, Greece, Turkey and South Africa.

“One can travel by reputed airlines and stay at best hotels for an economical price. Our profit margins are not as high as private operators and we are fully accountable for our services. This is the reason why citizens prefer our outbound packages,” the official added.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-04-27/mumbai/38861445_1_irctc-travel-operators-catering-tourism-corporation-ltd

France, Japan vie to put bullet train to Mumbai in fast lane

Amdavadi dreams of cruising all the way to Mumbai in less than two hours have hit the fast track with both the French and the Japanese governments fiercely competing for the bullet train project.

The French national railway SNCF is already working with the Indian Railways on the techno-feasibility report for the 630-km project between Ahmedabad and Pune via Mumbai. The report is likely to be submitted to the Railway Board in mid-June.

At the same time in Tokyo, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement about conducting another bullet train feasibility study on the same stretch. “The two Prime Ministers decided that the two sides will co-finance a joint feasibility study of high speed railway system on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route,” the statement said. Singh even appreciated Japan’s high level of expertise in designing and implementing Shinkansen (bullet train) systems.

The Rs 60,000-crore project will be executed along the existing railway track and will be funded jointly by Gujarat and Maharashtra governments on a public-private partnership model. Currently, trains cover the 490 km between Ahmedabad and Mumbai in about seven hours but the bullet trains are expected to travel at 350 km per hour, and cover the distance one hour and 50 minutes. The railway is targeting high-end users.

The French proposal will have stoppages at Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Mumbai, Lonavala and Pune. It will have 16 cars with a target of 32 round trips. “The fares will be about 70% of air travel cost,” he said. “A lot of air traffic may divert here. Though air travel time between Ahmedabad and Mumbai is less than an hour, security checks take a lot of time,” says a railways official. Railway officials said the work is to start by November on Delhi-Chandigarh and Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Pune.

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Search&Source=Find&Key=TOIA/2013/05/30/1/Ar00102%2Exml&CollName=TOI_AHMEDABAD_DAILY_2009&DOCID=591707&Keyword=%28%3Cmany%3E%3Cstem%3Erailways%29&skin=TOINEW&AppName=1&PageLabel=1%20&ViewMode=HTML

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Skip the queue, buy railway ticket while on the move

Haven’t we all cursed and coaxed ourselves to be patient while standing in serpentine queues at railway stations? The most frustrating part is when you have ticket in hand, the train’s left the platform and you really wish you had a better alternative.

What seems like a pretty impractical idea pushed the grey cells of some young innovators at Sayone Technologies in Kochi and the result is a mobile-based unreserved ticketing android application that helps passengers book unreserved tickets without waiting in queue.

“To avoid fraudulent practices, we have included a rider. The app will be activated only in the vicinity of a server, which railways can install in any crowded area. The app will be linked to the device using wi-fi. So, the user will not be able to buy tickets on a moving train or the platform,” said A Real Prad, CEO of SayOne Technologies, adding that the server will manage data in sync with the current set of railway services.

Users can download the application on their smart phone. The application supports only e-payment.
SayOne is trying to get Railways’ nod for implementing the application. NASSCOM has already extended its support.

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Search&Source=Find&Key=TOIKRKO/2013/05/30/6/Ar00603%2Exml&CollName=TOI_KOCHI_DAILY_2012&DOCID=124358&Keyword=%28%3Cmany%3E%3Cstem%3Erailways%29&skin=TOINEW&AppName=1&PageLabel=6%20&ViewMode=HTML

Published in: on May 30, 2013 at 4:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Joint study on high-speed railway line

India and Japan have decided to co-finance a joint feasibility study on a high-speed railway line on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route.

A joint statement at the end of the summit level meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe here on Wednesday said that Dr. Singh noted Japan’s interest in supporting the introduction of high-speed trains in India and appreciated its high level of expertise in designing and implementing high-speed railway (Shinkansen) systems.

He also conveyed that India would plan such projects based on its infrastructure priorities, commercial viability and financial resources.

Shinkansen or ‘Bullet Train’ is a network of high-speed railway lines operated by four Japan Railways Group companies. Starting with the Tôkaidô Shinkansen (515.4 km) in 1964, the network has expanded to 2,387.7 km of lines with maximum speeds of 240–320 km per hour.

The statement said the Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Exchange of Notes for yen loan totalling 71-billion yen ($0.7 billion) for the Mumbai Metro Line-III project.

Dr. Singh appreciated Mr. Abe’s pledge for the Campus Development Project of Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (Phase-2) for 17.7 billion yen.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/joint-study-on-highspeed-railway-line/article4763551.ece