Renew rly season tickets at vending machines

By the end of this month, the suburban commuters would be able to renew their monthly/tri-monthly season tickets at the Automated Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) and escape long queues at the ticket counter. Rail officials said the process of issuing season tickets through ATVMs is almost over but refused to reveal the exact date of the commencement of the service.

“We are done with the testing and services should begin by the month-end,” said C P Sharma, divisional railway manager (Mumbai division), Western railway. The Central Railway is likely to start the service at the same time but officials refused to comment on the date.

ATVMs were introduced in the suburban section in October 2007 and are monitored by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS). After being ignored by the people for a long time, the service has now started gaining popularity, with some 8000 ATVM cards being issued on a daily basis. The service aims at helping people avoid serpentine queues. “Using the ATVMs, one can renew the season ticket but the machine can not issue fresh season tickets. For the commuters’ ease, the ATVMs would have a keyboard in the screen through which commuters can make changes in the ticket,” said a rail official. These changes could be made in class, destination and date. In an option given on the screen, the commuter has to enter the UTS number, a unique one through which the railways maintain a database of any commuter.–renew-rly-season-tickets-at-vending-machines/461550/

SR to set up Heritage Centre in Triuchirapalli

TIRUCHI: A heritage centre will be set up here to showcase the rich heritage and history of railways, the Divisional Railway Manager, Tiruchi, S. Subramhanyan said here on Monday.

The Southern Railway had sanctioned of Rs. One crore for establishing the centre which will help in focussing the superior character of railway as a travel mode compared to others, he said while presiding over the 54th Railway Week Celebrations organised by the Tiruchi Division.

Highlighting the performance of the division, he said passenger earnings had increased to Rs. 131.23 crore in 2008-09 from Rs. 116.54 crore in 2007-08 thereby registering an increase of 10 per cent.

The overall gross earnings of Rs. 304.50 crore in 2008-09 showed an increase of 22 per cent over the previous year.

Owing to combined efforts of railway employees, the division was able to register an all-time high originating loading of 5.374 metric tonnes against the originating loading of 4.822 metric tonnes during the previous year, registering a growth of 11 per cent.

The division also witnessed an increase in the number of trains operated in 2008-09 as well as in the number of passengers. Despite introduction of several trains the punctuality performance was not comprised, he said.

Highlighting some major developments in the division, Mr. Subramhanyan said gauge conversion works between Mayiladuthurai and Tiruvarur and from Tiruvarur to Karaikudi would commence shortly.

Electrification work between Ariyalur and Tiruchi had been completed with testing underway. It is expected to be operationalised soon, he said. Eco-friendly toilets which have been put on trials at Srirangam would be extended to level crossing gates and way-side stations.

Releasing a Special Cover brought out in connection with the 150 years of Railway in South India, the Post Master General, Central Region, Tiruchi S.P. Rajalingam said the Defence, Railways and Postal Departments were great blending factors for the unification of the country.

Awards and certificates were distributed to railway staff on the occasion in recognition of their excellent work.

The Additional Divisional Railway Manager S. Ramasubbu, Southern Railway Mazdoor Union divisional secretary P. Palanivel and Dakshin Railway Employees Union divisional president M.S. Unnikrishnan spoke.

Rail fair generates huge interest

VARANASI: The adverse weather conditions with heat waves blowing across the stalls at North Eastern Railway (NER) stadium, Lahartara could not stop
young and enthusiastic participants of Railway Fair 2009, who gathered to know about the history and development of Indian Railways marking the colourful inauguration of three-day fair on Saturday.

While the divisional railway manager (DRM), NER, Varanasi, DN Jha formally inaugurated the fair in the evening, the venue witnessed display of around 50 stalls giving it a mini-India look on the inaugural day.

A number of specialties of different parts of the country including bedsheets from Bhagalpur (Bihar) and quilts of Jaipur (Rajasthan) apart from famous bamboo furniture from Bareilly were displayed on the occasion. Similarly, the specialties of the region including handicrafts made from Banarasi silk, world famous carpets from Bhadohi and stone carvings of Chunar (Mirzapur district) also attracted the attention of viewers, majority of them being the family members of railway employees.

It may be mentioned that NER divisional women’s welfare association (NERDWWA) has organised the fair to raise fund for various welfare programmes carried out in a year.

According to Manju Jha, president, NERDWWA, the fair has included display of salient features of Indian Railways (exhibited through photographs and models) and multi cuisine touch has been also given to it displaying various eating specialties of different parts of the country.

Hoards of people gathering near the stalls selling idli, dosa and even Banarasi paan was also one of the highlights of the day.

A number of stalls giving information about bank loans, insurance plans and education institutions (coaching centres) also attracted the attention of the people.