Mumbai’s new railway coaches set to be sleek, airy and more comfortable

The new train for Mumbai that is expected to be in the city by the end of this year has begun to take shape. At first glance, the train looks sleeker than the ones currently on the tracks, mostly because the train’s sides are straighter than the ‘bell’ shape that is distinctive of Indian trains.

The straight sidewall, which is common to foreign trains, is expected to add speed to the train because of better aerodynamics. The train will be powered by the Bombardier transportation electrical system and not the Siemens one that powers current locals.

This train too will have the white and purple look except that the purple will be a few shades deeper and will be painted around the door in such a way that it could camouflage the ugly red stains of gutkha and paan that are bound to come along the way.

The windows for the motorman are slightly smaller than those existing in trains now running. This, because there have been complaints that the bigger windows allow too much sunlight into the motorman’s cabin during the harsh Mumbai summers, resulting in some of them (motorman) bothered by reflection while sighting the all-important signals.

The insides of the trains would more or less look the same, said officials overseeing its construction in the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai except that the new train will have better crafted seats and grab handles.

The building of Mumbai’s trains has been nothing short of an art, according to train

engineers. It is a mass transport object that has to be built to take some of the heaviest pounding during its lifespan, what with some 16 people crammed into every square metre of its floor during the infamous Mumbai rush hour.

“The current trains give better ventilation thanks to the air blower running right through the middle of the roof. The steel rod partitions also give the trains an airy feel. The lights running through the middle of the roof also add to the atmosphere. However, as with all new trains introduced in the city, these trains also lent themselves to a lot of scope for improvement. We are trying that with the new local being created in ICF at the moment,” said an official.

Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation managing director Rakesh Saksena believes the new rake would be a healthy improvement on the current ones.

“The body will be of stainless steel, like coaches used by the metro systems worldwide. The sides would be a lot straighter. Most important, for the passenger, the air unit that blows air into the coaches would be far sturdier than the current ones,” said Saksena.

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/1866039/report-hear-s-a-look-at-mumbai-s-new-railway-coaches-that-you-will-soon-be-travelling-in-sleek-airy-and-more-comfortable

Advertisements

Romancing the railway

Traversing 65,000 kilometres in 80 trains around India was a life-altering experience for journalist Monisha Rajesh. After four months of hectic train journeys covering the length and breadth of the country, she penned her bittersweet memories in a book named Around India in 80 Trains. With Jules Verne (the author of Around the World in 80 Days) as her inspiration, the vast Indian terrain and the diverse group of people as her constant companion over four months, Rajesh’s journey from Delhi to Mumbai to Kanyakumari taught her that the best way to understand and explore the rich and diverse Indian culture is through the railway network. “On a very grey, miserable morning in November 2009, I read an article about India’s domestic airlines connecting 80 cities. I pulled out a map of the country and looked at some of these cities, many of which I had never heard of. However, beneath these routes was a fabulously intricate line that threaded its way across the entire stretch. It took some time for me to realise it was India’s rail network. In a matter of moments, ‘around India in 80 planes’ morphed into ‘around India in 80 trains’ in my head. That’s how my journey began.”

Excerpts from an interview:

Why are train journeys more romantic than plane journeys?

Aeroplanes are so generic and bland. At the very most you talk to one, maybe two people, and the subject is never more than asking if you can squeeze past to get to the toilet, or polite chatter about the destination. It’s restrictive and very selfcontained, which is fine if you are just trying to get from A to B; but to enjoy travel for the sake of travel, train journeys are unrivalled. On trains, particularly Indian trains, there is such a vast turnout of passengers on a single journey.You can fall asleep, wake up, and find that you have three new companions in your compartment with whom you can begin a new conversation.

How did you plan your itinerary?

I didn’t want to plan a rigid route. From the outset, I wanted to capture the serendipitous nature of travel. I booked a handful of trains for the first two weeks, and left the rest to chance. That was the only way to get a first-hand experience of the ticketing bureaucracy, deal with agents, argue with the touts, which all make for great storytelling. However, I did also choose the route depending on certain events that I wanted to witness: a solar eclipse in Kanyakumari; a classical dance festival in Khajuraho; orthopedic surgery on a hospital train in Madhya Pradesh… I worked out the trains between each of these events.

Tell us about your luxury Indian railway experience

I travelled on the Indian Maharaja Deccan-Odyssey. It takes in the traditional route through the short Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur), but also includes Ellora and Ajanta. We covered Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Udaipur, Ellora Caves, Ajanta Caves and reached Mumbai on the eighth day. I expected the luxury train experience to be something out of an Agatha Christie TV adaptation; but the reality was quite different. The travel was a lot more laidback and no one had to dress for dinner! I did come across a lot of retirees and stereotypical British tourists, who were appalled by poverty; but for the most part it was a very entertaining journey and a lovely way to see Rajasthan. It was quite bizarre riding an exercise bike in the train by the window and watching the Thar desert sweep by outside. The food was exceptional and the service was impeccable.

What was your favourite route?

The Konkan Railways was my favourite segment. It’s the 760 km stretch on the southwestern coast, that runs with the Arabian Sea on one side and the Sahyadri Hills on the other. I’m sure Indian Railways would hate me saying this, but the best bit about Indian trains is that you can sit in the doorways and watch the scenery inch past you. Sometimes you can actually reach through the windows and grab bits of the foliage. I also enjoyed utterly delicious food that the vendors brought in — chicken lollipops, spring rolls and biryani.

You travelled on luxury trains, toy trains, a hospital on wheels, the world’s steepest, slowest, and second-longest train journeys. What was the most memorable experience?
The Lifeline Express — the world’s first hospital train was an eye-opener. It was founded more than 20 years ago by an NGO to bring free medical care to the neglected rural poor. They realised that if they couldn’t bring people to cities for medical care, they could take the medical facilities out to them using the railway network.The train parks for up to five weeks at a location deemed worthy of medical attention, and patients are screened and then invited on board for orthopaedic surgery, cleft-lip repair, hearing and visual impairments; they even offer counselling for epilepsy. For so many middle-class Indians, the railway is just a way to get to a destination. But the Lifeline Express showed me that the railway network was the bloodstream that kept the country’s heart beating. People’s lives are dependent on the train and without it they probably wouldn’t survive.

What was your worst experience?

I took a day train from Jaisalmer to Bikaner on a very hot day in March. I almost fainted. I couldn’t understand why no one else was on board apart from the train ticket inspector and a couple of officers who boarded at Phalodi Air Base. It dawned on me when the dust came sweeping through the barred windows. I felt like I was standing in the barrel of a giant hairdryer. Never again!

What do you rate better — the London tubes or the Indian trains?

If anything, Londoners could learn from Indian train travellers; they should learn how to cheer up and not look so surly and miserable all the time. The lovely bit about train travel in India is the interaction and the complete lack of social boundaries. On London tubes, everyone is so selfcontained. Train is just a means of transport, not a place to interact or mingle.

That said, cleanliness is the one thing that could be worked upon by the Indian Railways. The indiscriminate chucking of rubbish bothered me on a daily basis and most passengers were indifferent to keeping communal areas tidy for each other.

What are the most interesting stations in India that you discovered?

Dwarka in the West, Udhampur in the North, Ledo in the East and Kanyakumari in the South — the four tips of the Indian Railways.

What were your most memorable moments on the train?

The people who I met made the most lasting impressions. They are the ones who made the train journeys memorable. I would often forget where I was, what time it was and where I was travelling to because of the nature of my companions. They shaped my journeys and made me either love them or loathe them. From a visual perspective, sitting in train doorways and watching sunsets became a nightly ritual and an unforgettable experience.
Any advice to a woman traveller?

Travel during the day. If you are travelling overnight, make sure that you are in a compartment with families or other women. Though I rarely travelled in ladies-only compartments, I did ask for upper berths as I felt safer there at night. Other than that everyone needs to apply common sense and be responsible for themselves. One needs to rely on one’s own judgment rather than others’ to stay safe. I made sure I didn’t wander somewhere unfamiliar at night and I always kept my credit card and passport on a thin string purse around my neck and under my clothing.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-31/travel/38162119_1_indian-trains-kanyakumari-mumbai/2

Railways to introduce trolleys at stations

Indian Railways will introduce airport-style trolleys at important stations for the benefit of senior citizens and women passengers.

This was announced by railway minister Mamata Banerjee in her budget speech Wednesday.

Banerjee said: “Railways propose to introduce modern trolleys at all important stations which will be handled by uniformed attendants to assist senior citizens and women passengers.”

At present passengers either use coolies (porters) to carry their luggage or use luggage that they can wheel themselves.

BEML, Siemens join hands to manufacture rail coaches

BEML Ltd and Siemens Ltd have signed an agreement to jointly manufacture and market stainless steel coaches for suburban rail systems, BEML said in a release on Thursday.

The Rs 3,000-crore defence enterprise will make stainless steel EMUs (electric multiple units). Siemens will manufacture the high-performance bogies and three-phase IGBT (insulated gate bipolar transistor) propulsion system, which it is already supplying to Railways. As per the MoA of February 1, the two will jointly bid for purchase orders from Indian Railways and suburban trains operators such as Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd. There was a growing demand for EMU coaches as major cities, especially Mumbai, were expanding their suburban rail networks.

“By this agreement, BEML and Siemens will work together for metro propulsion towards maximising indigenisation and to bring down costs in respect of metro cars,” the release said.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2010/02/05/stories/2010020552570300.htm

Published in: on February 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Device to alert railway gangmen soon

New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) Railways would soon unveil ten new safety and operational systems for its network which could include a satellite-based rail navigation project and a device to alert gangmen about approaching trains to avert mishaps. “Ten new initiatives for Indian railways using the Information and communication technology would be announced soon to improve its safety and operational aspects,” chairman of Railway committee on ICT Sam Pitroda said today. “Railways have 40,000 miles of fibre optics network and the new initiatives would exploit this network,” he said. A device which could alert on duty gangmen about approaching trains could also be included among the initiatives, he said. Pitroda expressed concern about growing fatalities in mishaps involving gangmen. In the last couple of months, at least 12 gangmen have been run over in Northern Railway alone while carrying out works on railway tracks. New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) Railways would soon unveil ten new safety and operational systems for its network which could include a satellite-based rail navigation project and a device to alert gangmen about approaching trains to avert mishaps. “Ten new initiatives for Indian railways using the Information and communication technology would be announced soon to improve its safety and operational aspects,” chairman of Railway committee on ICT Sam Pitroda said today. “Railways have 40,000 miles of fibre optics network and the new initiatives would exploit this network,” he said. A device which could alert on duty gangmen about approaching trains could also be included among the initiatives, he said. Pitroda expressed concern about growing fatalities in mishaps involving gangmen. In the last couple of months, at least 12 gangmen have been run over in Northern Railway alone while carrying out works on railway tracks.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/466960_Device-to-alert-railway-gangmen-soon–Pitroda

SECR provides 24 hr sanitary staff in moving trains

The South East Central Railways (SECR) have started a round-the-clock sanitary service in moving trains with a view to improve amenity facilities during travelling.

According to a spokesman of the SECR, contrary to the age old practice of clean up operation on arrival of trains at major stations, SECR would provide the round-the-clock sanitary service to passengers in the moving trains coming within its jurisdiction.

Besides one Supervisor for each train, there would be one sweeper for three reserved bodies, who would travel with the passengers and keep the train clean right from its originating station to its destination, the sources said. Initially, this service had been provided in five long-distance trains which include 8237/8238 Bilaspur-Amritsar-Bilaspur Express, 8233-8234 Bilaspur-Indore-Bilaspur Narmada Express, 8239/8240 Bilaspur-Nagpur-Bilaspur Shivnath Express, 2855-2856 Bilaspur-Nagpur Intercity Express, 2851-2852 Bilaspur-Chennai-Bilaspur Superfast Express and 2849-2850 Bilaspur-Pune-Bilaspur superfast Express trains, the spokesman said, adding that it would be extended to other trains in the Zone after a periodical review of its impact.

http://news.webindia123.com/news/ar_showdetails.asp?id=906200373&cat=&n_date=20090620

Rlys plan to install CCTVs in super fast trains

PATNA: The railways are planning to install close circuit cameras (CCTVs) in all the super fast trains running across the country to further tighten up security on running trains.

It follows repeated attacks on railway property and passenger trains, said a Railway Board official. According to him, the railways have decided to install first CCTV in the premier Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express trains. The railways will then introduce this system in all super fast trains for security reasons. The new system will also help railway security personnel to keep a tab on the activities of terrorists, particularly at vulnerable places, he said.

According to sources, the railways intend to manufacture new coaches fitted with secret cameras to maintain a close surveillance on the passengers’ activities. Besides, it will keep a tab on those smoking on running trains. Since the railways have completely banned smoking either on running trains or on railway platforms, the CCTV would help the railways to check any nuisance in coaches on running trains, sources said. Under the new plan, the railways intend to install master computers at different places in various zones to monitor a strict surveillance through CCTV on running trains. The railway vigilance staff are working hard to prepare a foolproof security system on running trains, the board official said.

Though there is no time limit, the railways are very keen to implement this project within six months in all super fast trains running across the country. Keeping in mind the fact that new railway minister Mamata Banerjee is very serious about providing security and safety to passengers on running trains, the railways have prepared a foolproof security plan which will be placed before her soon, the board official said.

That apart, the railways are likely to introduce a new system in the Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains under which doors would remain locked throughout the journey. In any emergency, passengers could press the button provided in coaches after which a security staff would be available for their assistance, sources said. According to an East Central Railway (ECR) official, the railways have so far installed CCTVs at platforms.

Talking to TOI, divisional railway manager (DRM), Delhi division, B D Garg said that it was a long awaited proposal of the railways. The Delhi division is yet to get any directive from the board in this connection, he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/Rlys-plan-to-install-CCTVs-in-super-fast-trains/articleshow/4598306.cms

Indian Railway’s Turn Around News

Dear Friends,

This blog will share latest news regarding the Turn Around of Indian Railways. Positive and innovative reforms facilitating the turn around of Indian Railways will be highlighted. The main intention of this blog is to highlight the innovative changes happening in Indian Railways.

 

 Only information regarding major policy changes will be posted. This blog does not contain any train specific info.

 

This blog is not an official website of Indian Railways. You can refer to the official website of Indian Railways at the following address, http://indianrailways.gov.in/

 

The news reports are compiled from various news papers by A.HARI, a Railway enthusiast based in Chennai.

 

A.HARI