GPS-based tech to prevent fire on train parcel vans

For the first time on Indian Railways, a global positing system-based automatic lighting system has been installed in the parcel compartment of a train to prevent instances of accidental fire due to short-circuit.

Western Railway has installed the system in the August Kranti Rajdhani Express. There are plans to equip other trains with the system in which lights in the parcel van switch off automatically on the basis of the train’s speed. This eliminates the possibility of short-circuit, which is one among the many causes of fire in parcel van. In the newly installed system, the lights will get switched off as soon as the train gains a speed of 20 kmph.

There have been instances in the past when the cause of the fire has originated from the parcel van. In some cases, short-circuit occurs if the staff forget to switch off lights in the parcel van. WR’s chief public relations office Sharat Chandrayan said, “The lights are required only when the train has stopped at a station to facilitate loading and unloading. A GPS based system has been developed which switches off lights in the parcel van once the train starts running.”

The GPS device (installed in generator coach) will continuously monitor the location. Once the train starts running, the change in GPS coordinates shall be calibrated to ascertain train speed. Costing Rs 11,500, the system has been indigenously developed.

Where locals go: Data spur rlys to hammer out city-specific plans

Thanks to the trend of offices relocating from south Mumbai to its northern parts, Mumbaikars’ local train commute has shrunk considerably over the past three years.

A study of suburban card ticket sales on both Western Railway (WR) and Central Railway (WR) between 2010 and 2012 reveals that 44% or almost half the suburban commuters travel less than 20km a day—a distance equivalent to the Churchgate-Vile Parle stretch on WR. Another 35% limit their journey under 40km or, say, CST to Mumbra on the CR. Just a fraction or 12% of the commuters travel 41km to 60km a day—the distance between Churchgate and Virar on WR, or CST and Ambernath on CR.

These startling figures, collated by the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), have been aired publicly now, but the railways had already begun introducing more short-distance shuttle services. In 2012, 55 suburban shuttle services were launched.

It is the decentralization of business hubs to Parel, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Andheri, Malad, Ghatkopar and parts of Navi Mumbai which has seen commuters limit their daily travel, said experts.

CR Plans Parel Terminus For Short Services

Mumbai: Experts say decentralization of business districts has helped train commuters cut down on their travel. As P C Sehgal, former managing director of MRVC, said, “The growth centres have shifted and there is a consequent change in Mumbaikars’ travel pattern. Railway authorities need to run more 15-car services between Andheri and Borivli, which, according to me, is the busiest stretch on WR. Likewise, more people now alight at Ghatkopar, Thane, Kurla, Parel and Currey Road. More services should run between Dadar and Kalyan or Thane to take care of the additional load.”

CR, for one, has realized that fewer commuters travel up to CST today. It has, therefore, planned a Parel terminus for shuttle services up to Kalyan and beyond, to avoid loading the already saturated Dadar Terminus.

Shailesh Goyal, former member, National Rail Users’ Consultative Committee, said, “The extended suburbs have also witnessed a phenomenal growth in residential projects. The new townships have also led to a boom in the services sector.”

Currently, the distance of 22km —CST to Vikhroli or Churchgate to Andheri—takes around 40 minutes by a slow local and 30 minutes by a fast; a local runs at an average speed of 40km per hour.

A journey of 34km, which is equivalent to the distance of CSTThane or Churchgate-Borivli, takes almost one hour in a slow train. A fast train covers this stretch on the CR in less than 40 minutes. A trip on a CST-Borivli fast local will be around 55 minutes.

Rail Yatri Sangh’s Subhash Gupta said, “Apart from train travel, a person has to take road transport from the station to his residence or office. This takes another 15 to 20 minutes. It is but natural that a person would like to keep his travel short to spend more time with family.” An MRVC official added, “The travel pattern shows that the majority of commuters prefer their location of residence or their workplace within the 20km range.”

The preference for short-distance travel is higher on CR than on WR. Nearly 29% of CR commuters prefer to travel a distance of 0-10km compared to 9% on WR.


WR and CR has begun introducing shuttle services in the suburbs and extended suburbs due to population growth in these parts. Here’s a look at the number of shuttle services launched in 2012

Thane-Karjat-5 | CST-Kalyan-5 | Thane-Asangaon-3 | Kalyan-Asangaon-3 | Thane-Badlapur-3 | Thane-Kasara-3 | Dadar-Kalyan-3 | Kalyan-Karjat-1

Bandra-Bhayander -1 | Borivli-Virar-9 | Borivli-Nallasopora-1 | Borivli-Vasai Road-1 | Andheri-Bhayander-4 | Andheri-Virar-2 | Borivli-Bhayander-2 | Borivli-Andheri (The figures do not includes services for Dahanu)

CR, WR make a killing through ads

Central and Western Railway have been raking in the moolah through advertisements. Last year, CR and WR earned Rs 1,212 lakh and Rs 2,971 lakh and Rs 804 lakh and Rs 3,838 lakh the year before.

WR attributed the fall in revenue to delay in payment by a party. A WR official said a party went to court, as a result of which a payment of Rs 8 crore was pending.

CR earned through glow signs (53 per cent), films (76 per cent), window panels of Siemens rakes (440 per cent) and jingles (1,106 per cent).

For WR, the revenue came from selling bulk rights to advertise at stations (46 per cent), glow signs (100 per cent), wall paintings (100 per cent), panel display (16 per cent) and rake paintings (17 per cent).

A senior railway official said, “Many avenues have been explored in the last one year to increase revenue from publicity.

“Media such as window panels of rakes and and jingles in the public address system significantly improved revenue last year.”

Another railway official said, “BMC has stopped the railways from advertising outside heritage buildings such as Churchgate station. However, BEST buses that stop right next to the station display advertisements. It remains unclear why BMC has such rules for the railways.”

Top scores for CR (In Rs lakh)

Media 2012-13 2011-12 Variation (%)

Glow signs 45.2 29.6 53

Films 86.4 49.2 76

Window displays 31.9 5.9 440

LCDs 7.8 2.4 217

Jingles 22.4 1.8 1,106

Top scores for WR (In Rs lakh)

Media 2012-13 2011-12 Variation (%)

Panel displays 20.2 17.4 16

stations 1,227.0 843.0 46

Rake paintings 194.2 166.9 16

Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Yearly pass a hit with WR commuters

The introduction of half-yearly and yearly season tickets was a hit with Western Railway commuters on Day 1, said a WR officer. But the response on Central Railway was less than flattering. “We sold 400 half-yearly and 125 yearly tickets by evening (Monday),” said WR’s chief PRO Sharat Chandrayan. Comparatively, CR could not sell a single yearly ticket, a senior officer said.

The half-yearly ticket is 5.4 times and the annual ticket 10.8 times the cost of a monthly season ticket. The ratios are the same for both first and second classes. The tickets are non-refundable.

The CR officer said the disparity in sales owed to differences in WR and CR commuters’ profiles. “WR commuters have higher purchasing power.” The cost of a first-class yearly ticket for a 60-km journey is Rs11,145 (a half yearly ticket costs Rs5,575).
The same journey by second class costs Rs3,080 for a yearly and Rs1,540 for a halfyearly ticket.

Published in: on April 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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High Court asks CR, WR to consider setting up medical centres near accident-prone spots

High Court asks CR, WR to consider setting up medical centres near accident-prone spots.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked railways to consider setting up medical centres near railway stations that are near accident-prone spots on the Central and Western railway routes.

Information accessed through the Right to Information (RTI) presented in court by the petitioner revealed that more than 3,500 persons lost their lives in suburban train accidents in the city last year.

According to statistics submitted by petitioner Samir Zaveri 2,297 deaths occurred on Central Railway and 1,244 on the Western Railway. The number of injured was 2,310 on CR and 1,498 on WR.

Kurla, with 459 fatalities, topped the accident chart followed by Kalyan where 429 people were killed in train accidents and Borivali, where 339 deaths were reported in 2012.

The court asked the railways to consider setting up emergency medical centres in the vicinity of local railway stations where a large number of accidents have been found to take place. It also asked CR and WR to file affidavits stating the estimated cost of setting up these medical centres.

Taking note of the emergency medical centre set up in Dadar, Chief Justice Mohit Shah questioned as to why other major stations cannot have similar facilities.

In a 2010 hearing activist Zaveri’s petition seeking more emergency medical centres close to suburban railway stations, the court had suggested that the railways create a separate department for accident victims.

Rooftop traveller injured, critical

A rooftop traveller was injured on Tuesday after he came in contact with overhead electricity wires. Dahisar-resident Prem Singh Thakur (25) was travelling atop a local train at Dadar on the Western Railway. Thakur was rushed to Sion hospital, where he is reported to be in a critical condition. The government railway police officers said the incident took place at 11.20 am Tuesday.

Misuse of return tickets by suburban commuters costs railways dear

The rampant misuse of return tickets by suburban commuters has rattled the railway authorities. On the Mumbai suburban section of both Central and Western railway the return journey tickets are valid for the next day or two days if the next day is a holiday or a Sunday. Although as per the rules, the return journey is to be made only once, commuters often use it twice. For instance if a commuter takes a return journey ticket, he/she uses the same on day one and the next day as well. For the second day, commuters only buy a single journey ticket and uses the previous day’s return journey ticket on the way back. This practice is causing major losses to the railways.

Ticket checkers on duty say they always see many people returning the same day. Again the next day, when they checked , they found the same return journey ticket, checked one day before.

A ticket checker on duty in at a station said, “Many times, I checked commuters and see return ticket and the next day, I saw the person at the same station from where he started travelling, purchasing a single journey ticket.”

In suburban section of Mumbai, daily 4,86,087 commuters buy 2, 39,860 return tickets on Western Railway and while on Central Railway 4,61, 235 commuters purchase 2,33,318 return tickets daily.

In Mumbai suburban section of Western railway, 36.21 lakh commuters travel daily. Out of these 24.76 lakh are season tickets holders. While 10.47 card tickets are sold daily. Per day, total earning is 1.67 crore.

While in suburban section of central railway, 38,02,106 commuters purchase 8, 36,118 tickets. Out of this, 11,49,170 commuters buy 7,91,703 card tickets. As many as 26,52,936 season pass holders purchase 44,415 tickets. Total earning is Rs 1,76,15,742/ per day.

In suburban section of Mumbai, daily 4,86,087 commuters buy 2, 39,860 return tickets on Western Railway and while on Central Railway 4,61, 235 commuters purchase 2,33,318 return tickets daily.

In Mumbai suburban section of Western railway, 36.21 lakh commuters travel daily. Out of these 24.76 lakh are season tickets holders. While 10.47 card tickets are sold daily. Per day, total earning is 1.67 crore.

While in suburban section of central railway, 38,02,106 commuters purchase 8, 36,118 tickets. Out of this, 11,49,170 commuters buy 7,91,703 card tickets. As many as 26,52,936 season pass holders purchase 44,415 tickets. Total earning is Rs 1,76,15,742 per day.

Western Railway plans food plaza at 11 more outlets

Western Railway is planning to commission eleven more food plazas, which will offer variety of hygienic cuisine at its station in various divisions in the near future.

Sharat Chandrayan, chief public relations officer, WR said, Food Plazas are planned to be opened on Western Railway in near future at Mumbai Central, Vadodara, Indore, Ujjain, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, Palanpur, Ankleshwar, Nagda, Nadiad and Maninagar stations.

Last month, WR commissioned another state of the art, multi-cuisine Food Plaza at Andheri railway station on the east side near concourse area. It was was inaugurated by Shri Sandip Silas, Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai Division of WR.

Chandrayan said Andheri is the fifth food plaza outlet on WR. The other four being at Churchgate, Surat, Ahmedabad and Rajkot.

The new food plaza at Andheri has a capacity to accommodate 60 persons. It offers offer multi cuisine food like Indian, Chinese, Continental and fast food to the general public and passengers.

The food plaza shall be operational on 24 hours basis which ensure availability of items at any point of time.

He further said, Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is also in process of finalizing the tender for a food plaza at Mumbai Central (Main Line) station by the end of the financial year 2012-13.

Published in: on October 23, 2012 at 4:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Western railway corridor gets PM nod

The railway projects in the city have got a boost as well as a setback.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh has given the nod for the Rs18,000-crore elevated railway corridor on the Western Railway from Churchgate to Virar. But, the railway board has rejected the Rs32,000-crore elevated corridor on the Central Railway from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to Kalyan.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had reservations about the elevated corridor, considering the complex project as it would require a lot of changes in the central and western line.

“It appears that the PMO has taken a hasty decision without a proper debate. The project should have been debated at length before taking a decision,” said former Union minister Ram Naik.
Former Union minister and Mumbai member of Parliament (MP) Gurudas Kamat took special initiative to push the Western Railway’s elevated railway corridor with the PMO.

However, state executing agencies such as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and urban development department have not even discussed the project in detail.

“We have not even held a preliminary meeting with the railway department on elevated corridor along the Western Railway,” said a senior secretary in the Urban Development Ministry.

The MMRDA, which is executing the two metro rail projects, is struggling to keep pace with the deadlines which had to be extended from 2010 to 2014 following delays in land acquisitions and removal of illegal encroachments along the project.

The Western Railway’s elevated corridor, which will take seven to eight years to be completed, is a joint public-private partnership project of the railways, the state government and private organisation. The coaches will be air-conditioned. “At the moment it is impossible to set a deadline of eight years when the basic home work is not completed,” said officials of the urban department.

Naik added that the inordinate delay in the project’s execution has lead to its cost escalation from Rs 3,125 crore to Rs 4,174 crore.
Meanwhile, almost 17 months after the widening of tracks from Virar to Dahanu, the railways are yet to commission the Churchgate-Dahanu direct local trains.

WR Organises Workshop For Station Managers

An Interactive Workshop was organized by Western Railway for the Station Managers o­n Customer’s Interface & Railways image at its Headquarters Office o­n 30th August, 2012. 51 Station Managers/Masters of suburban section as well as major Western Railway stations participated in this Workshop in which two short movies including o­ne o­n Right to Information were shown to them.

Addressing the Workshop, Shri R.K. Tandon, Chief Commercial Manager of WR said that Station Managers come directly into contact with the rail users as well as the general public at times. They play a very important role in interaction with the public as well as in the image building of the organization.

He stressed upon the need to look after the passenger amenities as well as to ensure cleanliness at the stations. Shri Tandon also gave them important suggestions about their interaction and dealing with external customers i.e. passengers and internal customers i.e. coordination with various railway departments. Shri Girish Pillai, Chief Operations Manager, also addressed the Workshop.

The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize the Station Managers o­n issues of public dealing, passenger amenities, cleanliness and other arrangements as they can play an important role in fostering the better image of railways.

The Station Managers/Masters of suburban stations as well as important stations of WR like Surat, Valsad, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Vadodara, Ratlam, Gandhidham etc. participated in the Workshop.

Western Railway plans to organise such workshops for other categories of front line staff who directly deal with the passengers.,4,268&dcd=976&did=13464097564346196491AA259F10A67B755D6548C9083.web103

Published in: on September 1, 2012 at 8:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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WR to deploy private guards to secure tracks

More than 36,000 people have died on the city’s railway tracks in the last decade, 24,000 of them dying because of trespassing. Western Railway, where 15,000 of the deaths have occurred (over 10,700 due to trespassing) in the same period, has now decided to deploy private security guards at the most accident-prone spots along its suburban tracks. The rationale is not only to save lives, but also to save the crores that WR pays in compensation to accident victims annually.

WR is working on a proposal to hire a private security firm for the purpose. A senior WR official said, “We have been paying Rs 15-16 crore in compensation to accident victims annually (the amount includes sums given to the next of kin of deceased individuals and victims who receive injuries). Comparatively, the cost of hiring say 100 private security guards for patrolling our tracks on a 60-km stretch (Churchgate-Virar) will cost no more than Rs 60 lakh a year.”

Apart from preventing people from crossing tracks, the guards would also be responsible for taking accident victims to ambulances, making timely medical aid available to them. “The arrangement will save money as well as lives,” the official said.

WR’s chief public relations officer Sharat Chandrayan said, “Trespassing has come down since we started deploying Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel along the tracks. We are thinking of deploying private guards so that RPF personnel can concentrate more on tasks like protecting railway assets.” In February, WR deployed 150-200 RPF personnel and home guards at accident-prone spots in Dadar, Khar, Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Kandivli, Borivli, Nalasopara, Virar and Bhayander.

Deaths on tracks also affect the punctuality of services. “If trespassing is checked, it will help resolve this problem as well,” the official said.

“There are 89 foot over bridges (FOBs) and seven subways at WR’s suburban stations. Commuters should use these instead of crossing tracks,which is illegal anyway. Sixteen more FOBs are planned in Kandivli, Goregaon, Malad, Naigaon, Virar, Jogeshwari, Lower Parel, Dadar, Vile Parle and Matunga. The added infrastructure will be in vain if commuters stick to old habits.”

Published in: on August 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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