Rlys to offer short-term contracts for advertisement on trains

With few takers for long-time advertisement deals on suburban trains, both Western and Central railways have decided to offer short-term advertisement contracts. The new Siemens rakes offer less space on its exterior compared to old rakes and the railways are facing a dip in advertisement revenue.

Both the railways have chosen to ignore the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) objection to defacing the new Siemens rakes. The Western Railway, which is not plying any old rake in its suburban section after the completion of the DC-AC conversion, has decided to give its 10 Siemens rakes of its 78-rake fleet on advertisement contracts for vinyl wrapping on their exterior. The Central Railway, which has 44 Siemens rakes, has given a rake on a trial basis for advertisement. It also plans to give the rest of the rakes for advertisement on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“Similar to TV and newspaper advertisements, those on trains also target potential consumers to recall the product. Compared to other mediums, the span of exposure to the target audience is less as trains are in motion. Railway will have to change the rates, which are high at present, particularly in the sluggish market conditions,’’ a senior Central Railway official said.

“As far as the MRVC objection is concerned, we are here to increase the earnings of railway and we are going in that direction. The duty of the MRVC to provide us Siemens rakes, which they did and are doing. Now, we have to think what to do.’’

The Western Railway has earned Rs 9,65,656 lakh in short-term contracts for eight Siemen’s rakes between December 2011 and February 2012.

The licence fee for 2,910-sq ft area — the space available for advertisement — is Rs 1,0,7694 for a month, Rs 1, 93,849 for two months, Rs 2,69,233 for three months and Rs 3,44,618 for four months.

The CR official said: “Now, 69 old rakes have been given for exterior window panels for short term from February 9, 2012 to March 8, 2012 at Rs 8 lakh. One Siemens rake has also been given on a trial basis at Rs 458 a panel per month.”


100-year-old train wheels give historic touch to Borivli station

The Borivli station has now got a piece of history to display. Three pairs of giant wheels of a steam engine have been placed right outside Borivli station by the Western Railway (WR). The more than 100-year-old wheels were rusting at railway yards and the Western Railway authorities have decided to put it to good use.

A five-feet-high silver metal wheel connected with a rod is on display outside Borivli (East) station, adjacent to the new station building. The wheels of this steam engine that used to run on metre gauge system, was bought from Mhow in Indore, which during British raj was a centrally located region.

“It was lying in a corner of a railway car shed after the body of the steam locomotive was sent to the scrap yard for dismantling and selling off at a price, which doesn’t really gauge the value of a heritage figure,” said a senior WR official, on condition of anonymity.

The WR authorities will also soon put up a information board about the wheels along with other details.

“We are planning to display machines of engines, trains and other equipment of heritage value at railway stations,” said S Chandrayan, chief PRO of Western Railway.

An artistic mural showing the important places of Borivli is also displayed behind the wheels. Smaller such artistic representations are displayed at ticket counters at stations like Bandra, Mahalaxmi and Borivli.

Both Western and Central Railways have a heritage gallery at Churchgate and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) station buildings. However, it is closed most of the days and doesn’t seem to be attracting visitors as it is situated right on the main administrative buildings of Western and Central Railways. “The heritage gallery is in the main building and so only groups from schools and offices visit the gallery after taking appointment,” S Mudgerikar, chief PRO, CR.


Ads rake in 10 cr for Central Railways in just six months

The economic slowdown clearly seems to be a thing of the past in the city. In the first six months of this financial year, the Central Railway (CR) reported a 34% increase in its revenue from advertisements compared to last year.

Between April and September, CR collected revenue of Rs 10.08 crore while the amount was Rs 7.51 crore last year.

S C Mudgerikar, chief PRO, Central Railway said, “This year, as the economy is growing and companies are doing well, they are willing to spend more on advertising.” According to some railway officials, innovative ideas for putting up advertisements could be behind the substantial increase in the revenue. Life-size TV screens have been installed at some terminals. Ad balloons and ads painted on the entire length of trains have also gained in popularity. “The revenue will be used to maintain amenities for commuters and existing infrastructure,” said Mudgerikar.

Recently, CR started leasing out space on staircases at stations for advertisements. The project has been introduced from October onwards at CST, Dadar, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Chembur stations. “We hope to raise more than Rs 1 crore in a year by leasing out the space on the staircases,” said Mudgerikar.

Read more: – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Ads-rake-in-10-cr-for-CR-in-just-six-months/articleshow/6765751.cms#ixzz13BHA3KVi

Train Describer System to automate public address mechanism in Railways

In what may come as a huge relief for lakhs of commuters, CR is planning to install sensors adjacent to tracks, to monitor train movements in real time.

This Train Describer System will automate the entire public address mechanism. The sensors will transmit data about where a train is, to the central control room. It will pass through an interface with the public address system, feeding updates into indicators and modifying announcements.

Srinivas Mudgerikar, Chief Public Relations Officer, CR, said, “Announcements will be centralised. All announcers will then have to monitor the system and make announcements only in emergency situations.”

Presently, information on the status of trains has to be taken from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus control room and then updated at every station through a hotline. “Today if a train is stuck between two stations, its scheduled time and expected time on the indicators cannot be updated immediately,” he added.

Overhauling the system will cost CR about Rs 36 crore. CR hopes to have the system up and running on the CST-Kalyan belt in a year.

Commuters feel one of their biggest grievances will be addressed if the new system comes through. “If we are informed immediately, it will help us make alternative arrangements, especially during the rainy season,” says commuter Devesh Rathod.

But will the data loggers fitted alongside the tracks work when they are flooded during the monsoons? “The sensors will be water-resistant,”says Mudgerikar.