Tour CST’s heritage portals from Dec 28

Heritage enthusiasts will be able to take a close look at the architectural design of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly known as Victoria Terminus) from December 28 when Central Railway (CR) will provide access to the Cshaped main building.

Visitors will also be treated to a collection of rare artifacts and photographs during their trip to the Unesco world heritage site.
CR general manager Subodh Jain told TOI, “Students will be charged Rs 100 and other visitors Rs 200. The access to the heritage building will be allowed between 3pm and 5pm on weekdays.”

Jain further said that the CR plans to appoint guides to explain the finer points of the building’s architecture and the historic significance of the artifacts to the visitors.

Visitors will be allowed to take pictures inside the building for no additional charge.

Coming up at rly stations, 16 elevated, bulletproof platforms

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the Central Railway will install 16 elevated and bulletproof platforms, similar to bunkers, equipped with modern arms at four railway stations. Railways officials who preferred to call them morchas floated the tenders recently. “Within six months, RPF will be posted at these morchas keeping vigil and targeting any terrorists who attack,” said a CR official.

A senior CR officials said they will be placed at heights ranging from 8 feet to 24 feet, so that RPF could have bird’s eye view. Ten of them will be at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, one of them at a height of 24 ft. Three will be between platform 1 and 7 and five between platform 8 and 18. One each will be placed before the DRM office and the GM office.

There will be one machan at Kurla station, two at LTT (including one at a height of 24 ft), and two at Thane station. “After 28/11, the need of such morchas was felt by the administration. From a height, our personnel can easily target terrorists without harming commuters,’’ said Alak Bohra, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, CR.

Published in: on August 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Multi-zonal detectors at CST by July end

By the end of July, the security system at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus(CST) security is expected to be enhanced, with the installation of 35 multi-zonal doorframe metal detectors. Apart from the doorframe metal detectors, eight vehicle scanners, 11 heavy-duty baggage scanners, two portable baggage scanners, 426 handheld metal detectors and one explosive disposal unit will be also installed at six major stations within a period of nine months.

These stations include CST, Dadar, Kurla, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Thane and Kalyan.

Multi-zonal doorframe metal detectors will provide greater clarity of objects being scanned as compared to single-zonal doorframe detectors.

Hence they are suitable for a place like CST, said an official from the Central Railways (CR).

The CR will be installing 85 such multi-zonal doorframe metal detectors across these six stations under an integrated security system (ISS).

The ISS has been conceptualised and is in the process of being implemented across railway stations in India to upgrade the security.

The CR administration informed this at the Divisional Railway Users Consultative Committee (DRUCC) meeting held on Tuesday. The issue of the installation of ISS equipment and machinery was raised at the meeting by some members.

“We had raised the issue of the implementation of ISS and CR authorities assured us that doorframe metal detectors shall be installed by July-end,” said Anil Tiwari, DRUCC member.

“We are expecting 35 out of the 85 multi-zonal doorframe metal detectors to be installed at CST by the end of the month,” said a senior railway official from CR, requesting anonymity as he is not allowed to speak to the media.

“These doorframe detectors are better as compared to the existing doorframe detectors and will enhance the existing security system,” he added.

“This is huge project and will be completed in phase wise manner. Presently, we are receiving door frame metal detectors,” added the official.

CR bans sale of all food items wrapped in plastic at stations

You may soon find that your favourite biscuits, chips or chocolates are no longer available at many suburban railway stations.

The Central Railway has banned all stalls on suburban stations from selling food items wrapped in plastic, with immediate effect. This means most commonly-sold branded chips, chocolates and biscuits, will be taken off the shelves in these stalls. In case of locally made items, such as samosas or sandwiches, vendors will have to ensure that the food is not wrapped in plastic.

The ban has been imposed on all CR stations in Mumbai division’s suburban section. In major stations such as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, parts of the station catering to outstation trains will be excluded from the ban.

The CR administration recently served notices to catering stalls on suburban stations. “Two days ago, we received a notice from the CR, asking us to stop sale food items wrapped in plastic,” said a catering stall manager at CST.

Sources said this move has been taken to reduce plastic waste and avoid choking of drains near railway stations and tracks, during the monsoon. Every year, suburban services are disrupted after drains get choked and overflow in the monsoons, because of littering and irresponsible disposal of plastic waste. “Plastic wrappers are non-biodegradable and cause environment hazards,” said the CR notice to stall managers.

“This move is not only environment-friendly, but will also help reduce littering. As wrappers and plastic waste won’t be strewn on platforms and tracks, surroundings will be cleaner, and look better,” said V Malegaokar, Chief PRO, CR. However, CR does not plan to take action against those who buy plastic-wrapped items from outside and continue to litter on railway premises. “It will not be practical to take action,” said Subodh Jain, general manager, CR.

The move has not gone down well with stall owners. “If affects our business, we lose half our sales,” said Shivkumar Singh, manager of Sai Sagar Fast Food Stall at CST. Some passengers, too, have been caught off guard“I wanted to buy biscuits for my daughter before our journey, but no stall was selling it,” said Pradeep Rao, Vikhroli resident.

CR to bring 120-wagon goods train

Maruti’ would soon be running on railway tracks. No not Hanuman, but a 120-wagon goods train that the Central Railway (CR) is planning to introduce soon. These trains would operate beyond Mumbai (in Bhusawal section) but are being run to ensure smooth operations of ‘summer special’ trains.

Many of these summer special trains start from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Kurla-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus.

When two trains are clubbed, the total number of wagons becomes 115-120 that are towed. These long serpentine goods train would take around a minute or so to pass an average 700-odd metre long platforms, if it is running at its average speed.

These newly proposed trains, however, have issues such as communication between driver-guard, while applying brakes to the train maneuvering curves, gradients and track crossings.

These trains can carry a load of around 10,000 tonnes and are inter-connected by four engines. In January and February, for example, CR ran 67 and 75 of the trains (or services), respectively.

The CR is currently running around 1,516 special trains, including Nagpur-Hatia, Sainagar, Shirdi, Bhubaneshwar-Hazrat Nizamuddin.

These summer specials run from March to June. But these trains get stuck not only due to the regular outstation trains starting from the CST and Kurla LTT, but also from the long slow-moving goods trains.

“Beyond Mumbai, the goods trains don’t move beyond a speed of 50kmph while a regular freight train runs at around 75 kmph. So we have decided to club two goods trains with engines in order to save time and provide pathway for long-distance trains,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO of Central Railway.

Officials said that this method would also ensure availability of drivers for running long-distance trains. Generally, they face problem of drivers for running these long-distance trains, especially with more number of trains added to their schedule. Everyday more than 100 long-distance trains arrive and depart at CST and Kurla LTT stations.

Soon, ads on your Railway tickets

Cashing in on the computerised ticketing system, the Western Railway will start printing advertisements on suburban rail tickets to generate more revenue. “We earn Rs 2 crore every day through ticket sales, of which we earn Rs 1.6 crore through unreserved ticketing system (UTS). So, we plan to
earn more by printing advertisements behind tickets,” said a senior Western Railway (WR) official, on condition of anonymity.

Every day nearly 5.5 lakh tickets are sold through the 667 UTS windows on the western suburban line, which comprises 90% of the total ticket sales. Around 35,000 season tickets are sold every day on the same system.

“We will print advertisements behind daily and the season tickets sold through UTS. The plan will be later extended to automated ticket vending machines and coupon validating machines,” said S Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.

Senior WR officials are examining the proposal and after it is finalised, they will call for tenders.

The selected private contractor will have to provide the UTS thermal paper with advertisements printed on it. The thermal paper is used at ticket counters across all railway stations in the city.

Not to be left behind, the Central Railway (CR) has allowed advertisements on their foot overbridges and platforms.

“We have placed advertisements on an experimental basis at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Dadar and Ghatkopar among several other stations,” said S Mudgerikar, chief PRO of Central Railway.

The CR expects to earn at least Rs 1 crore a month if all stations are covered. At these stations, the CR has allotted advertisement space on two staircases each with rates as low as Rs 15 per sqft.

Last month, the CR had allowed yellow stripes to be pasted along the edges of the platforms as an advertising gimmick for a television reality show.

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.

French firm to redesign Mumbai CST railway station

New Delhi (PTI): Indian Railways has chosen a French firm to redesign the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, one of the targets of the 26/11 Mumbai terror strikes, as a world class station.

AREP, a subsidiary of the French Railway (SNCF), will conduct the architectural and feasibility study for redesign and redevelopment of the terminus as a world class station on Public-Private-Partnership mode, a senior Railway Ministry official said.

The French engineering and architectural agency will be paid about Rs 10 crore by the Railways for carrying out the study and to suggest a new design for the station, which is a World Heritage Site, by the end of 2009.

According to the proposed redevelopment plan, the station, popularly known as Victoria Terminus, will undergo a massive transformation with facilities like underground parking, better passenger amenities, food plazas and separate terminal for arrival and departure among others.

The Railways has identified 26 stations across the country, which will developed as per international standard.

Besides the Mumbai CST station, New Delhi, Howrah, Agra, Chennai Central, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mathura, Patna, Secunderabad and Thiruvananthapuram railway stations will also be developed as world class stations.

Railway stations are on the threshold of undergoing a massive transformation with world class facilities and passenger amenities.

“With most stations built decades ago and the number of passengers increasing rapidly it is important that these stations are upgraded,” said the official.

While the Hongkong-based Terry Farrel has submitted a design for the New Delhi station, railways is considering to seek Chinese help for the redevelopment of Bhubaneswar and Bangalore stations.

The Railways is conducting a traffic study of the area to finalise the redevelopment plan of the New Delhi station.