20 new railway projects on PPP model mooted
BANGALORE, December 30, 2009: Union Minister of State for Railways KH Muniyappa on Tuesday said
that the state government was preparing a draft for getting 20 new railway
projects, on private public partnership (PPP) basis, sanctioned for the state.
The proposal will be placed before Parliament after it is approved by the Railway Board.
Muniyappa told reporters, “For the first time in the history of the Indian
Railways we are mooting laying of new lines on a PPP mode. At present, there are
63,000 kilometres of railway lines in the country and there is a demand for
laying 50,000 kilomet res of new lines. We are not able to meet this demand due
to financial constraints. If the PPP mode is approved, it will help us meet the demands at the earliest”.
flag off new trains from Kolkata on Dec 30
Dankuni (West Bengal, December 27, 2009 (IANS) : Railway
Minister Mamata Banerjee will flag off a bouquet of express trains
from major Kolkata stations to Amritsar, Bangalore, Bikaner and Delhi
Dec. 30, an official said. The new trains are the Howrah-Delhi Yuva
express, the Howrah-Bangalore Duranto Express, the Sealdah-Amritsar Express and the Howrah-Bikaner express.
Sixty percent of the Yuva express seats will be reserved for
people upto the age of 45 with the tickets ranging from Rs.299 for
1,000 km to Rs.399 for 2,500 km. The Duranto express, a non-stop train
that is a brainchild of Banerjee, will ferry passengers from
Howrah to Bangalore in less than one-and-half days. Speaking at a programme here, Banerjee said she would lay the
foundation for the proposed Metro Rail project from Dakhineshwar to
DumDum on January 2. 'We will also lay the foundation stone of
Dakhineshwar to Dum Dum metro rail project on Dec 2. It will provide a
more comfortable journey to the devotees of the goddess Kali temple at
Dakhineshwar,' Banerjee said after laying the foundation for two
railway factories in this Hooghly district town.
Abdullah urges Mamata to show Railways ‘green’
New Delhi. December 26, 2009: Union Minister for New and
Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has made his strongest pitch for
shifting from conventional energy to renewable sources by targeting
the country’s biggest conglomerate — the Indian Railways. On Monday, Farooq wrote to Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, urging her
to make a policy shift to solar and other forms of non-fossil- based energy. Pointing out that the Railways was among the major consumers
of conventional power, he said the changeover would not only save fossil energy but significantly cut carbon emission in the
country. “This major transformational initiative will contribute to India's long-term energy security as well as its ecological
security,” he said in the letter.
Rail e-tickets grow in popularity
Ludhiana, December 22, 2009: The increasing internet traffic seems to have sounded the death
knell for long queues, especially those for reserving railway tickets. Figures collected from Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation reveal that the revenue collected from e-tickets is on
the rise. For instance, the income generated from these stands at nearly Rs 76 crore from the beginning of the year. Last year, the amount was Rs 68 crore.
While close to one lakh e-tickets used to be sold in one day during the last year, the figure has almost doubled this time, leading to a handsome revenue for the department. This year, IRCTC claims to have generated Rs 670 crore from various other sources. - The Times of India
Railways cutting carbon footprint
New Delhi, December 21, 2009 (DNA): The Indian Railways is doing its bit for the environment. Betting big
on clean technology, the Railways has come out with a project design document
for registration under the clean development mechanism (CDM) monitored by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The document has been developed in association with the World Bank. The project
is expected to result in annual reduction of approximately 1 lakh tonnes of
carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions. Through a number of initiatives, the Railways is
looking at a good stream of revenue through carbon credits.
Going forward, the Railways plans to initiate the use of compact fluorescent
lamps (CFLs) in employee quarters and has distributed 26 million CFLs at the
rate of 4 per family. It believes this move will help reduce 0.14 million tonnes
(1.4 lakh tonnes) of CO2 emissions annually. The project is financed with the
carbon credits earned under CDM framework. The Railways plans to save up to 15%
of energy through improved energy efficiency in both, traction (which accounts
for 87% of energy consumption) as well as non-traction use. It also plans to
source at least 10% of energy from renewable sources such as solar power and
biomass. The Railways will also undertake a massive plantation drive along the railway
tracks and within the railway colonies, and use grass turfing as an anti-erosion
measure on the slopes of the banks along the tracks.
Mamata's white paper on Railways paints Lalu black
New Delhi, December 18, 2009: The actual position of the state of finances of the Indian Railways
does not endorse the claims of turnaround during the five-year tenure of Lalu
Prasad as minister, says an official report released on Friday.
The white paper, tabled in parliament by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, says
changes were made in the accounting procedures during her predecessor's tenure
to show some questionable cash surpluses, which were also not stacked away but
spent.Tabled amid furore by some members, along with a "Vision 2020" document on
short-to-long-term targets, the white paper also says excessive money was
charged for schemes such as "tatkal" even as punctuality took a beating during
the period. "The traffic growth performance has been below par for the entire period," says
the report, while dealing with the record of Indian Railways over the past five years ended March 31, 2009.
"There were two accounting changes and these have contributed significantly in
inflating the figures of 'cash before surplus dividend' - a new way of
portraying surpluses generated, introduced in 2007- 08," the report says.
Some other changes in the procedures inflated the figure for cash surplus before dividend by Rs 17,006 crore (some $3.5 billion), even as proper treatment of the
Pay Commission report would have reduced the surplus by another Rs 26,206 crore
($5.25 billion), it says. This apart, but for the introduction of another new concept called
"investible surplus", the cash surplus would have been further eroded by Rs.23,584 crore
($4.7 billion), it adds. Source: IBNLive
Railways to provide free quality drinking water round the clock
December 16, 2009 (ANI): Railways Ministry has approved a new scheme to make available free quality drinking water round the clock at railway stations through the Reverse Osmosis (RO) process.
The new scheme would run under the public -private partnership (PPP) model.
According to the Indian Railways, the scheme would allow private parties to install and operate water vending machines through commercial advertising route.
The machines shall be required to dispense only RO processed drinking water and the machine provider would be allowed to advertise on the machines or on the frame used for covering the
machines as per the approved guidelines with respect to aesthetics, public morale etc, the Railways said. The Ministry in a statement further said the water provided through these machines would not be allowed to be packaged and no charge shall be levied either from the passenger or from the Railway. The Railway Ministry would provide only electricity and water supply free for the processing of water. The arrangements under this scheme will be in addition to the existing arrangements for providing drinking water.
Indian Railways asks for land for coach factory at Singur
December 13, 2009: Indian Railways has written to the West Bengal Government
saying that it has agreed in principle to set up a coach factory at Singur when
the land is made available to it although it requires cabinet approval before
going ahead with the project. As per report Indian Railways has asked West Bengal Government to handover
details of the land that can be made available to the Railways. But the Railways has also said that it wants to set up a world class coach
factory at Singur, within the total area, after returning 400 acres to the
unwilling farmers and land owners.
On Monday, the West Bengal government had written to the railway ministry
stating that the state government is agreeable “in-principle” to handover the
entire land at Singur to the railways for setting up a manufacturing factory.
Earlier over 600 acres of land was leased out to TATA Motors Ltd and about 355
acres of land was allotted to different auto component manufacturing units.
Source: Business Line
SC Railway launches first in-train magazine
HYDERABAD, December 12, 2009: In the coming days, all Multi Modal Transport System (MMTS) stations
will have improved public announcement system and security facilities.South Central Railway (SCR) General Manager M S Jayanth announced this during
the launch of an in-train magazine, SHADES of Life, at the Secunderabad railway
station today. Designed on the lines of in-flight magazines, SCR’s SHADES has become the first
in-train magazine of Indian Railways. The magazine will be available for
travellers on all airconditioned coaches. The content of the magazine includes health, business, realty, sports,
entertainment, travel, special interviews, gadgets and other special features
besides rail information. In its first issue the monthly gives its readers a profile on Hyderabad’s
history, culture and tradition as its cover story. - Express News
World Bank looks to India to bring transport infrastructure to African countries
New Delhi, December 7 2009: The World Bank and New Delhi are in talks about financing the international
expansion of Indian Railways, to bring transport infrastructure to African countries and other
developing nations. Robert Zoellick, World Bank president, said the Washington-based
multilateral lender wanted to build on a $2bn commitment to strengthen India's rail system by
helping state-owned Indian Railways to grow beyond its borders. Indian Railways, which has revenues of about $18bn, carries 20m passengers a day
on about 18,000 trains and employs 1.4m people. It is one of the few mixed
traffic systems, carrying both passengers and freight, in the world that
generates a cash surplus.
Indian Railways has a growing business in Africa. It has supplied locomotives to
Mozambique, Tanzania, Mali and Senegal, and coaches to Angola. It has also rehabilitated stretches of track in Mozambique and Liberia, countries both
recovering from conflict.
Status of train tickets through mobile phones
Rajya Sabha, December 04, 2009 (PIB) : pilot project on “SMS alert service for e-ticket customers” has been launched by Indian Railways. In this service, “Ticket Booking Confirmation” irrespective of the status of booking is given to e-ticket customers. This service has since become available from the 2nd week of November 2009. This information was given by the Minister of State in
the Ministry of Railways, Shri E. Ahamed in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
Red Ribbon Express begins AIDS awareness journey
New Delhi, December 01, 2009: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday flagged off an AIDS awareness train that take information
about the disease to 10,000 villages in 141 districts across the country and will also provide on-board counselling.
The Red Ribbon Express will halt at 152 stations in high
prevalence areas and disseminate information about the disease among the masses and try to unite people by dispelling existing
misconceptions during its year-long journey. “Last train (Red Ribbon Express-Phase I) was a tremendous success. This train is taking
its message to far flung areas of our country. It will help containing the disease from spreading,” Gandhi said before flagging off the
train at the Safdarjung Railway station in the Capital. The eight-coach train with both doctors and volunteers on board will also
strengthen people’s knowledge about general health as well.
Railway Perishable Cargo Centre at Singur
November 30, 2009 (PIB) The Minister of Railways, Kumari Mamata Banerjee has laid the foundation for Perishable Cargo Centre at Singur in West Bengal today. In the Railway Budget
2009–10 speech, Kumari Mamata Banerjee, announced that Railways would encourage creation of facilities of cold storage and temperature controlled perishable cargo centers. Accordingly, it has been decided to build a perishable cargo, which will be first such rail-linked facility in India. The perishable cargo centre at Singur will be built at an estimated cost of Rs.3 crore. This centre will provide transit storage to perishable commodities with a capacity of storing 1500 metric
tonnes. When made functional, this will usher in a new dimension in the socio-economic upliftment of the
people, especially farmers of this area.
Indian Railways introduces OBHS scheme
Lok Sabha, November 28, 2009 (PIB): K H Muniyappa, Minister of State in the Ministry of
Railways, in a written reply to the Lok Sabha recently said that to improve upon the standards of cleanliness and hygiene in coaches on Indian Railways, On Board Housekeeping Services (OBHS)
scheme has been envisaged in all Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto and important long distance
Mail/ Express trains for frequent cleaning of toilets, doorways, aisles and passenger compartments during the run of the trains. The scheme has so far been introduced in 110 pairs of trains on Indian Railways. Another 280 pairs of trains have been identified for introduction of this scheme.
Thousands of visitors visting railway pavillion at ITF2009
New Delhi, November 25, 2009 (PIB) Thousands of visitors are showing keen interest in the Railway Pavillion at the India International Trade Fair 2009 in New Delhi. Indian Railways has been
participating in the India International Trade Fairs
every year for the past several years. This year also, Indian Railways has fabricated and put up a Railway Pavillion. The theme of the Pavillion is “Atit se Adhunikta Tak”, highlighting the progress made by the Railways from the past to the present day’s technological up-gradation and modernization attained by Railways. In tune with the theme, the visitors are getting a complete glimpse of the period when the first train was introduced in 1853
to our modern day’s “Duronto”.
Rail to set up wagon manufacturing plant near Karjan
Vadodara, November 23, 2009: Chief Minister Narendra Modi
laid the foundation stone of a new rail wagon manufacturing facility
near Karjan, on Sunday. The Jindal Rail Infrastructure Limited (JRIL)
facility will be available to Indian Railways and other private sectors, and have the capacity to manufacture 3,000 wagons a year.
Jindal has five other manufacturing units in Kutch, but this will be its first rail coach- manufacturing unit.
The factory will manufacture Open Type Freight Wagons for Coal and Iron Ore, Container Flat Wagons (BLC), and Covered (BCN)
Wagons for cement and food grain among others. The factory, in its second phase, will be expanded to manufacture Electric and Diesel
Multiple Units for the suburban railway. The Rs 2,700 crore-project is expected to generate employment for about 4,500 people. The factory
will come up near the Karjan railway station. - Express News Service
Report of Railway’s Expert Committee
Rajya Sabha, November 20, 2009 (PIB) :The first set of recommendations of the Expert Committee headed by Dr. Amit Mitra has been received. These recommendations inter alia relate to setting up of
multi-functional complexes across Indian Railways by bringing in appropriate Private Equity,
development of world class stations over Indian Railways through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode, and setting up of locomotive and rail coach factories through Joint Venture/Private Equity models. Recommendations of the Expert Committee have been accepted and action for the implementation of the same has been initiated.
This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways, Shri E. Ahamed in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.
Railways launch new timetable
PATNA, November 16, 2009: The railways has launched its new timetable with effect from November 1 to fulfil the needs of people across the country. The new timetable mentions each new train either introduced or likely to be introduced in each railway zone in the current fiscal. According to a Railway Board official, the new timetable has special colour coding system for each class of passengers for different class and trains.
The Board official maintained that while pink has been chosen for Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi, Garib Rath and Duronto Express, yellow is the colour for other superfast trains. The blue and white colours have been chosen for other mail and express trains.
Train derails near Jaipur; 6 dead, 21 injured
Jaipur, November 14, 2009: Six people were killed and 21 injured after the Mandore Express,
travelling between Jodhpur and Delhi, crashed at a village near Jaipur early on Saturday morning. All 15 bogeys, including five AC coaches, seven sleeper and three general compartments, of the train were derailed.
Four bogies were badly damaged including an AC sleeper coach where rail tracks pierced into the coach. Over 400 railway personnel are now working on a war footing to restore the track on the
section of North Western railway.The Railways have ordered an enquiry into the reasons for the accident, the third major rail mishap in the past one month.
Railways' Jan Ahar outlets at stations soon
New Jalpaiguri, November 11, 2009: To provide food to passengers at reasonable rates, Indian Railways is
launching special outlets in stations across the country. To begin with, four Jan Ahar outlets are going to be operational at Howrah,
Bangalore, Chennai and Secunderabad stations this month. Seven more will be
launched at different stations, including Patna, New Jalpaiguri, Lucknow and Mysore next month. An initiative of the Railway Passenger Services Committee, the food prices at
the Jan Ahar outlets will be in the range of Rs 10 to Rs 35.
"These outlets will not be outsourced to private contractors. It will be run by
IRCTC itself under the strict monitoring of the committee," said Derek
O'brien, chairman of the passenger services committee. The committee was constituted by railway minister Mamata Banerjee to
suggest ways for improving food service at stations and trains as there were A
large number of complaints against the quality of the food available. Source: Rediff.com
Railways posts 8 per cent growth in earnings
New Delhi, November 9, 2009 (PTI): Indian Railways have posted a eight per cent growth in
earnings between April and October this year as compared to the same period last
year, thanks to robust growth witnessed in freight and passenger sectors.
The total approximate earnings between April and October stood at Rs 48,322.23
crore compared to Rs 44,614.15 crore during the same period last year, thereby
showing an increase of 8.31 per cent, said a Railways spokesperson. Of this, he said total goods earnings went up to Rs 32,452.79 crore and
passenger revenue earnings went up to Rs 13,626.74 crore.
The revenue earnings from other departments was Rs 1317.72 crore during this
period, the spokesperson said. In this period, 4318.23 million passengers bought tickets compared to 4119.89
million during the same period last year. Similarly, in the suburban and non-suburban sectors, the numbers of passengers
booked during April-October 2009 was 2216.08 million and 2102
trains to have double decker AC coaches
New Delhi, November 8, 2009 (PTI): With a view to cater
to the needs of students in the country, Indian Railways is planning
to introduce AC double decker coaches in the new 'Yuva' trains, which
would run at the speed of 150 km per hour. Preparations are afoot to
start the Howrah-New Delhi Yuva Express and Bandra Terminus-Hazrat Nizamuddin Yuva Express shortly on a pilot basis, said a senior Rail
Ministry official. While the Howrah Yuva will leave from New Delhi station at 4.10 pm on Sunday and arrive in Howrah the next day at
10.40 am, the Mumbai Yuva will depart from Nizamuddin station on Saturday at 3.50 pm and reach Bandra Terminus the next day at 8.20 am.
The modalities of the Yuva train are being worked out, he said.
Express train kills six near Delhi
Delhi, November 4, 2009: Six people were run over by a passenger train while trying to cross a railway track near Delhi. The accident, involving the Delhi-Ajmer Shatabdi Express, took place in the town of Pataudi, rail officials said. The train's engine failed due to the impact and it came to a halt.
Angry locals then protested, surrounding the train and demanding compensation. According to
reports, the protesters dispersed after the government of the northern state of Haryana agreed to pay 500,000 rupees
each to the families of the dead.
Indian Railways mulls on adding exclusive luxury coaches
Mumbai, November 03, 2009: (IANS) Indian Railways is mulling over a plan to attract foreign
tourists by adding exclusive luxury coaches to all its major trains. As per an official from the Indian Railways, the Public Amenities Committee (PAC) recently recommended that exclusive ‘specially designed coaches’ be added to trains for the benefit of foreign tourists. On the Committee’s proposal, many domestic travellers feel that the ability to pay, and not the nationality, should determine who is taken on board. However, the Committee’s recommendations are not final.
In order to attract foreign travellers, the select coaches will be designed to have more leg room, better designed seats and toilets, wider sleeping berths and aesthetic interiors. Tourists can currently enjoy lavish facilities only on board Palace On Wheels, Deccan Odyssey, Royal Rajasthan on
Wheels, Fairy Queen and The Golden Chariot - all luxury tourist trains run by the Indian Railway Tourism and Catering Corporation (IRCTC).
Fire diverts trains at Jaipur
JAIPUR, November 1, 2009: Passengers at Jaipur railway station had to face a tough time after three trains were cancelled and eight others were diverted to different routes due to the fire at IOC's Sitapura depot. Major trouble was faced by the Sawai Madhopur-bound passengers as the railway authorities declared the services on Jaipur-Sawai
Madhopur section would remain suspended till further orders. Public relation officer, NWR, Jaipur said the trains cancelled include Bayana-Jaipur Passenger (Train No. 195/1769), Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur Holiday Special (0993) and Jaipur-Sawai Madhopur Holiday Special (0994).
Indian Railways to connect Bhutan, Bangladesh
Cooch Behar (WB), October 29, 2009 (PTI): Indian Railways would connect Bhutan with Sikkim
and Bangladesh through north Bengal, Railway minister Mamata Banerjee said today.
One survey for the Bhutan project was complete and three other surveys were now
on for it, the minister, who will lay the foundation stone of the Rs-1,335 crore
Sevoke-Rangpo railway project to connect Sikkim with rest of the country
tomorrow, told newsmen here. "Tomorrow, we will begin a historic project to connect Sikkim with the rest of
the country," she said.
Location survey tender for the 52.7 km Sevoke-Rangpo railway project has been
floated and Rs 10 crore allotted for it in this year's railway budget. The
project is scheduled for completion by 2015. Stating that the project on doubling of railway tracks between
Changrabandha-Malbazar was on, she said it would help Bhutan in freight movement.
Detention of the Rajdhani Express and taking its two drivers hostage
Kolkata, October 28, 2009 : The detention of the New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express and taking its two drivers
"hostage" leading to a five-hour crisis today was carefully
planned by the Naxals, a senior security official claimed. "This
is not a sudden reaction by agitators but was very carefully planned with 25 armed Naxals guiding the agitators to block the tracks forcing the
Rajdhani to halt at Banstala halt in West Midnapore district,"
the senior CRPF officer, who was involved in anti-Naxal operations in West Midnapore district, said. Around 2,000 supporters of the People's Committee Against
Police Atrocities gathered at Pirakati just beside Banstala on the
instruction of Naxals, he said. At around 1400 hrs IST, the agitators
stopped a goods train blocking the down line. Forty-five minutes later
when the Rajdhani Express came into sight, they waved red flags.
A technology to harness wind pressure by a moving train
NAGPUR, October 25, 2009: A city-based entrepreneur claims to have developed a technology to harness wind pressure generated by a moving train and convert it into electricity. Santosh Pradhan, who has even obtained 22 national and international patents for the concept, is sure that his
eco- friendly way of generating power was the answer to country's electricity crisis and to global warming.
"The technique has the potential to generate 14.81 lakh megawatt (MW) power in India alone, with its 63,000 route kilometres of railways and 14,300 trains operating every day," said Pradhan. A CEO
of an engineering company which is a vendor of Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M), Pradhan says his calculations show that every single kilometre of the network of the Indian Railways can generate 20.89 MW of power every day. "In fact, nearly 10,000 MW of electricity can be generated in Mumbai alone, on the suburban train network of the metropolis," he said.
"Wind pressure is created on the front surface of the engine of a moving train. This pressure can be harnessed using a system of turbo-chargers and impellers to generate a huge quantity of compressed air. A system of pipes and impellers can transmit this compressed air to the roof of the train. From there, it can be transferred to a matching system of impellers and pipes suspended from the fixtures of the overhead equipment above the track," Pradhan explained. The Times of India
Mamata to seek CBI enquiry into train collision
Mathura, October 22, 2009 (PTI): With conflicting
reports on the cause of the train accident near here, Railway Minister
Mamata Banerjee has decided to go for a CBI enquiry into the mishap. "Realising the gravity of the accident, I have decided that it is
better to go for a CBI probe," Bannerjee told reporters last night during a visit to the site of the accident involving Goa
Samparkranti Express and Mewar Express.
22 killed as one train rams into another in Mathura
Mathura, October 21, 2009 (PTI): At least 22 people were killed and as many injured when
Delhi- bound Goa Express rammed into stationary Mewar Express near here early today.
The Goa Express hit the Udaipur city-Hazrat Nizamuddin Mewar Express from behind
between Mathura and Vrindavan at around 4.30 AM, apparently after its driver ignored signal, railway officials said.
At least 22 people, including the guard of Mewar Express and two staff members
of the pantry car of Goa Express, were killed and 22 others injured, they said.
The unreserved compartment, which was a second class cum luggage rake at the end
of the Mewar Express, bore the maximum brunt of the accident. The pantry car of
the Goa Express was also damaged. Senior Superintendent of Police of Mathura, B D Paulson, said 18 people were
rescued from the coach which was packed with women passengers and children.
Luxury trains to add a new dimension to India's tourism
NEW DELHI, October 19, 2009: Luxury trains will add a new dimension to the country’s tourism landscape when two such trains with private participation are launched in the next three months, charging up to Rs 3.7 lakh per person in a presidential suite for a week’s travel. Travel firms Thomas Cook’s subsidiary Travel Corporation (India) and Cox & Kings will soon launch luxury trains on the tourist circuits of the country.
Travel Corporation (India) will launch The Indian
Maharaja-Deccan Odyssey, the country’s first privately-operated luxury tourist train, on November 18 from Mumbai on a seven night-eight day trip on
Mumbai-Aurangabad-Ahmedabad-Udaipur-Sawai Madhopur-Jaipur-Bharatpur-Agra-Delhi circuit. The itinerary includes visit to Ellora Temple Caves, Ajanta Caves, City Palace, Lake
Pichola, Jag Mandir Palace, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and National Park, Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
The Indian Maharaja’s in-house hospitality will be managed by Taj Hotels and Resorts. The 21-coach Deccan Odyssey — which is owned by Maharashtra Tourism and has been leased by the travel firm — can accommodate 96 passengers.
The luxury train offers Silver Class at $525 per person per night on twin-sharing basis, Platinum Class at $950 per person on twin-sharing basis that offers luxury of the presidential suite, and single occupancy with tariff up to $1,120 (Rs 53,000) per person per night. Thomas Cook claims to have booked 70% of its inventory through 16 departures for the winter season starting November 18. Rival Cox & Kings is rolling out its luxury train in a tie up with the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corp (IRCTC) in January next year. News-The Economic Times
Railways to build links with Nepal & Bhutan to counter China
PATNA, October 17, 2009: Indian Railways has chalked out
a comprehensive plan to build rail links with Nepal and Bhutan in an
apparent bid to counter the recent Chinese move to build rail links in
South Asia. The Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) has
been asked to submit a feasibility report on this soon. According to a
Railway Board official, the railways has taken a serious note of the
fact that China has been building a 1,956-kilometre-long rail route
connecting Qinghai province and Tibet with Kathmandu across the Tibetan plateau.
Besides, China intends to build an internal railway
network in Nepal linking it to Pakistan via the Karakoram Highway and
Bangladesh via Myanmar. Indian Railways proposes to build six rail
links with Nepal and three with Bhutan on a priority basis, he said. -
The Times of India
Railways could soon have its own dedicated TV channel
New Delhi, October 15, 2009 (PTI): Indian Railways could soon have its own dedicated
television channel, broadcasting passenger related information and highlighting
various other facets of the PSU behemoth, if the suggestion of a railway
committee is accepted.
"The channel could be run on the lines of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha channels and
content developed to bring out various facets of Indian Railways," the Passenger
Amenities Committee of Railways has recommended. It said the channel should also act as a medium in promoting tourism and culture
across the country and bring out programmes in association with tourism
departments and tour operators. Its recommendations are being currently studied by the Railway Board.
The six-member committee, which met in Kolkata recently, has also suggested
slashing the price of Railways own brand of bottled water 'Rail Neer' from Rs 12
per bottle to make it more affordable to the masses.
AIDS patients yet to get 75% concession on train tickets
BANGALORE, October 13, 2009: The Indian Railways will now call HIV/AIDS patients as "people with immune deficiency". Following a Supreme Court order recently, the railway ministry mulled over giving 75% concession in some classes of tickets for HIV positive and AIDS patients. Currently, patients suffering from cancer,
thalassemia, haemophilia, heart and kidney conditions and mental illnesses are eligible for up to 75% concession in all classes of tickets.
Booking rail tickets on mobile postponed further
MUMBAI, October 12, 2009: The Indian Railways ’ mobile ticket scheme, which has already been delayed for almost a year now, is likely to be postponed further. Once launched, this scheme—the first of its kind—will come as a boon for suburban commuters, who will no longer have to wait in queues to buy tickets. They can purchase their passes simply by sending a text message from their
cellphones. According to a source, the railway board approved of the scheme in December and it was supposed to be launched on the Western Railway
(WR) at the end of this month. However , it will now take more time as the mandatory clearance from the RBI has not come in yet.
Railway revenue earnings up by 6.65 per cent
Ministry of Railways, October 07, 2009: The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on
originating basis during 1st April – 30th September 2009 were
Rs. 40910.49 crore compared to Rs. 38358.16 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 6.65 per cent.
The total goods earnings have gone up from Rs. 26106.68 crore during 1st April – 30th September 2008 to
Rs. 27631.32 crore during 1st April – 30th September, an increase of 5.84 per cent.
The total passenger revenue earnings during first six months of the financial year 2009-10 were Rs. 11573.91 crore compared to Rs. 10755.10 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 7.61 per cent.
The revenue earnings from other coaching amounted to Rs. 1115.81 crore during April-September 2009 compared to
Rs. 956.97 crore during the same period last year, an increase of 16.60 per cent. The total approximate numbers of passengers booked during
April- September 2009 were 3685.03 million compared to 3526.31 million during the same period last year, showing an increase of 4.50 per cent. In the suburban and non-suburban sectors, the numbers of passengers booked during
April- September 2009 were 1888.51 million and 1796.52 million compared to 1879.87 million and 1646.44 million during the same period last year, an increase of 0.46 per cent and 9.12 per cent respectively.
West Bengal gets new hills-to-coast train
Siliguri (West Bengal), October 4, 2009 (IANS) Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday
announced a new train service between this northern West Bengal town and the
coastal tourist destination of Digha in East Midnapore from Monday. ‘We’ll flag off a new train from Siliguri to Digha tomorrow (Monday), which will
connect two tourist spots of the state. The train service will enhance
connectivity between the hills and the coastal tourism belt in the state,’
Banerjee said while laying the foundation stone of a multifunctional complex at
Siliguri railway station.
‘We also have plans to run small rail buses from Siliguri to Bagdogra station. A
railway museum will also be set up at Cooch Behar soon,’ she said, spelling out
other plans of her ministry. Banerjee flagged off a super-fast train from New Jalpaiguri to Sealdah that will run thrice a week.
train will travel to 55 locations
Ministry of Railways: October 03, 2009: The Phase-III of
the 'Science Express' which was inaugurated by Chairman, Railway Board
Shri S. S. Khurana on 2 October 2009 at Gandhinagar will travel to 55
locations, mostly not covered earlier, covering about 18,000 kms in
seven months of its journey. It is covering the entire length and
breadth of the country. At each of the locations, it would halt for
3-5 days, during which students and general public would visit
the exhibition. The 55 locations will include Ahmedabad, Aurangabad,
Madgaon, Hubli, Bangalore Cantt. Mysore, Calicut, Thirvanthapuram,
Salem Town, Balasur, Dimapur, Darbhanga, Chhapra, Amethi, Jammu Tawi,
Kapurthala, Delhi Cantt, Agra Cantt, Jhansi and Ujain.
The sparkling white fully air conditioned train with 16
coaches was custom made and specially fabricated at Rail Coach Factory
Kapurthala. In the first two completed phases of the run, the train
was successfully taken to 108 stations of the country.
No tatkal schemes or
concessions for Duronto trains
Mumbai, October 01, 2009 (PTI): The Indian Railways have
decided not to offer tickets for Duronto trains under the Tatkal
scheme and have also kept aside various concessions. Concessions on
tickets will not be available under the scheme for patients, students,
artistes, physically challenged and others in Duronto trains. A senior
Ministry of Railways official informed that except benefits for senior
citizens, no other provisions will be applicable in Duronto trains.
Non-availability of Tatkal scheme has created confusion among
passengers including those belonging to the business community as the
scheme was of much help to them. The non-stop AC Duronto Express has
all the facilities including food, bedrolls like Rajdhani trains. The
official added that since the railways are providing so many
facilities in Duronto trains, on par with Rajdhani trains and has also
kept the fares low, it is not considering any other concessions for
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in her Railway Budget 2009-10
had mentioned that 12 Duronto trains will be launched. Four Duronto
Express trains have already been launched for Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai,
Pune and Delhi. Banerjee said that all the Duronto trains would begin
operations during the next two months. According to the official, the
Indian Railways is also contemplating on introducing few more such
services between other cities.
Railways to open reservation booths at airports
New Delhi, September 29, 2009: In a bid to cash in on the ongoing disruption of Air India flights in wake of
the agitation launched by the carrier’s executive pilots, Indian Railways has
decided to open temporary “Passenger Reservation” booths and “May I Help You”
booths at all major airports across the country. The Railways ministry has also directed its officials to coordinate with Air
India officials asking them to guide passengers affected by the agitation about
using the railway travelling option.
Railways has also asked the Zonal Railways to publicize the vacant berths
available in various trains.
drive to curb malpractices
PUNE, September 24, 2009: The Pune division of Central railways
has launched a drive to curb unauthorised sale of tickets and
provision of seats in trains for a charge. The drive will be carried
out at places such as unreserved coaches of trains and places inside
stations like the unreserved ticketing system (UTS)
machines, reservation centres and the counters of railway travel
service agents. A railway official said complaints about such malpractices are
received often. "We have observed that these incidents usually
take place during the rush season," he said. "According to
the Indian Railways Act, it's illegal to sell or use tickets booked in
another person's name. We appeal to passengers to buy tickets in the
correct manner. The division is also creating awareness about
this," another official stated.
Railways speeding up safety drive
New Delhi, September 22, 2009 (PTI) Aiming at making rail travel accident-free, Indian
Railways plans to introduce a slew of safety measures including ways to bring
down human error that account for 86 per cent of rail mishaps. "Railways is speeding up safety drive including frequent inspections and safety
audits to improve safety performances," said Railway Board Chairman SS Khurana while inaugurating Safety Convention 2009 organized by Safety and Quality Forum
of Institute of Engineers here today. "We are recruiting more people and plan to cover up 5000 unmanned level crossings in the country in the first phase out of total 17,000 unmanned
crossings," he said.
Advocating investment in safety, he said, "it helps raise productivity
significantly." Giving details, he said, "In 2000-01, the incidence of train accidents stood at
0.65 per million train kms and railways was on the verge of going into red.
Banerjee brings colour to Indian rail
Kolkata, Sept. 18, 2009: For the first time in Indian
Railways’ 150-year history, a train with many- coloured splashes
rolled today. The Sealdah-New Delhi Duronto Express, flagged off by
railway minister Mamata Banerjee, has been painted in the
primary colours that erupted out of its body, garlanded for the first
run. A railway official said: “The design was primarily conceived by
the minister herself. Such colours have never been seen in the
railways and she wanted this new train to be bright and colourful which would go along with its speed.”
Japanese ODA assistance to Indian Railways
Ministry of Railways, September 17, 2009 (PIB): The Union
Cabinet today approved the proposal for availing Japanese ODA assistance for implementation of the Western Corridor of the DFC
project, the first phase of the assistance being estimated at Rs.17,700 crores for the Rewari-Vadodara Section and to start
with an engineering services loan of approximately Rs.130 crores. The
Japanese ODA loan is a soft loan with very low interest of 0.2% per annum (0.01% p.a. for consulting services), long repayment period of
30/40 years and a moratorium of 10 years. Approval has also been given for the terms and conditions of the tied loan.
In order to augment the rail transport capacity to meet the growing requirement of movement of freight traffic, Indian
Railways have decided to develop Freight Corridors along its busy trunk routes. The Dedicated Freight Project on the Western and
Eastern routes is one of the most ambitious project but Indian Railway has ever taken up and once completed would meet the transport
requirement of the two busy trunk routes for the next 15 to 20 years.
Railways introducing the Economy AC-3 Class, with 3-tiered side berths
New Delhi: September 16, 2009: Railways launch a new class of AC travel — the Economy AC-3
on its Duronto non-stop superfast trains. The first of the Durontos, to be flagged off between Sealdah and Delhi on
September 18, will have five Economy AC-3 coaches in addition to one AC-1, three AC-2 and four AC-3 coaches. This fully air-conditioned biweekly train is to
cover the 1,454 km distance between Sealdah and Delhi in 16-and-half hours,
one-and-half hours less than a Rajdhani on the same route. The Railways are positioning the Economy AC-3 as a new AC Class, offering travel at fares lesser than the normal AC-3. The extra berths are being squeezed in to
increase coach capacity from 64 to 72 berths — it will, however, reduce the
comfort level. A ticket in Economy AC-3 may cost up to Rs 50 less than an AC-3 ticket.
Railways to start special train to promote Games
New Delhi, September 14, 2009: Indian Railways will launch a special train to promote the
Commonwealth Games 2010, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee said in New Delhi on Monday.
The Ministry of Railways will join hands with the Ministries of Communication
and IT and Youth Affairs and Sports to launch the train, which will travel
across the country to "glorify" the Games and promote sportsmanship among the
youth, Banerjee told reporters.
"We will start a train which will be dedicated purely to glorifying the
Commonwealth Games and to promote sportsmanship in the country," she said,
adding: "The train will start in November this year and travel to each and every
state during the next 12 months." The Games will be held in India in October 2010.
"The purpose of the train will be not only to promote sports and Commonwealth
Games, but also to spread IT education and hold exhibitions across the country,"
the minister said.
Pak approves Indian proposal to launch SA train
Islamabad, September 13, 2009 (PTI): Pakistan's railways ministry has "technically approved"
an Indian proposal to launch a South Asian train service linking Bangladesh,
India and Pakistan and forwarded it to the ministries of Foreign Affairs and
Commerce for further evaluation. The proposal was floated by the Indian railways two weeks ago, the Dawn
newspaper quoted officials as saying.
Experts had acknowledged the potential of the South Asian route and they see it
as "more easy to operate", the officials said. The three countries have broad
gauge railway tracks and their operating systems are similar as they were
established by the erstwhile British rulers of the region. Officials of the railways ministry said experts had suggested that the
Dhaka-Delhi-Lahore train service is "viable in all respects". The service could
be extended to Karachi or Islamabad if the need arose, they said.
Railways to launch historic non-stop trains
Ministry of Railways, September 11, 2009 (PIB): Indian Railways will add one more feather to its cap when it launches its new class of passenger carrying ‘Duronto’ trains on the next Friday,
September 18, 2009. ‘Duronto’ will be the first ever non-stop superfast passenger carrying train in the history of the Railways and will herald a new era of rail travel in the country
ensuring better speed, comfort and security for passengers. ‘Duronto’ trains will be non-stop and take passenger from end to end. It means that passengers will not be allowed to embark or disembark at the intermediate
stations. ‘Duronto’ will be of two types, one is fully air-conditioned reserved train and other is
air- conditioned and non air –conditioned combo reserved train.
The fare of both the ‘Duronto’ trains
will include the cost of meals.
The introduction of this class of trains was announced for the first time in the Railway Budget
2009-10 speech delivered in the Parliament by the Minister of Railways Kumari Mamata Banerjee in July this year. Kumari Mamata Banerjee will flag-off the first train in this series at Sealdah station in West Bengal on September 18, 2009 which will reach its destination, New Delhi Railway Station, the next day i.e. on September 19, 2009. The second ‘Duronto’ train will be flagged-off by the Minister of Home Affairs, Shri P.Chidambram from Chennai on 18th September, 2009 which will reach
Nizamuddin Railway Station, the next day i.e. on September 19, 2009. The
Sealdah-Delhi ‘Duronto’ will be fully air-conditioned and a fully reserved train and will cover the distance of 1,454 kms. between Sealdah and New Delhi in around 1630 hours which will be around 1.30 hours less than the
corresponding Rajdhani train running on the same route.
Railways to install biometric identification system
New Delhi, September 9, 2009: Close on the heels of the
Home Ministry installing biometric identification system in North Block, Railways have decided to install the same at its vital
installations across the country. "We have sanctioned a pilot project at an estimated cost of Rs 4.4 crores for installing biometric
identification at vital installation and offices of Indian Railways," said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in
the project. The project is aimed at enhancing the protection of major IT installations and PRS (Passenger Reservation Service) data
centres in view of the threat of attacks which could disrupt train operations and damage data base. Zonal railways are to identify
vital installation and offices where biometric identification system is to be provided, he said, adding all server centres and control
offices have to be covered under the system and later the system would be extended to all production centres.- (Agencies) Sep 09, 2009
Railways to start two Duronto trains before Durga Puja
NEW DELHI, September 7th, 2009 (IANS): Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee will flag off two
non- stop Duronto Sewa trains before the Durga Puja festival begins Sep 25.“Indian Railways will be starting at least two Duronto Sewa trains, from New Delhi to Sealdah and New Delhi to Chennai,” a senior ministry official said. “The New Delhi-Chennai Duronto service is likely to start in the second week of September,” the official added.
The service to Sealdah is expected to start a week later. Both trains will be bi-weekly with only two or three technical stoppages, and will have both air-conditioned and
non-air-conditioned coaches. The New Delhi-Sealdah will take 16 hours to cover the journey, as against 17 hours taken by Rajdhani Express.
Eco-friendly LED based lights in Railways to save energy
ALLAHABAD, September 5, 2009: In another step towards
energy conservation, Indian Railways has decided to install special
types of eco-friendly LED (Light Emitting Diode) based lights in the
coaches of trains. Presently, small bulbs, CFLs (Compact Fluorescent
Lights) are used for lighting purpose in the coaches of trains. Though
these lights provide efficient lighting but they consume comparatively
more energy than the LED lights. Further, they are also burden on the
alternator and the batteries of the coaches. Pointedly, a Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a semiconductor device which converts
electricity into light. Each diode is about 1/4 inch in diameter and
uses about ten milliamperes to operate at about one-tenth of a watt.
LEDs are small in size, but can be grouped together for higher intensity applications. LED lights are more rugged and
damage-resistant than compact fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. LED lights donot flicker.
LED based Luminaire are more efficient, compact, quick
light up in micro-seconds, ideal for use in applications that are
subject to frequent on and off cycle, dimming feature, cool long life,
more than 50 thousand hours, shock resistant, maintenance free and
having no toxicity. There will be reduction of power consumption by
30-35 per cent on account of implementation of LED based coach lighting scheme. It would also reduce the burden on alternator and
batteries of the coach which are being fitted in the lower part of the coach.
Source: The Times of India
Enjoy a McMeal on trains & in stations
New Delhi, September 4, 2009 : Tuck into McDonald's burgers at railway stations. Or order dirt cheap thalis on phone from your train and your order will be delivered to your seat at no extra cost. It might sound too good to be true, but passengers of the Indian Railways can relish traditional dishes at hygienic conditions and cheap prices. Northern Railway general manager Vivek Sahai inaugurated the first McDonald's outlet, christened as Cell kitchen, at Old Delhi railway station on Thursday. The kiosk will also house an outlet serving janata
meals ( Indian thali s) at affordable rates. The same model may be replicated at 42 other stations across the country. "McDonald's has been allowed to operate on railway premises on the condition that they will ensure common people are served quality food at affordable prices and drinking water free of cost. The customers will enjoy a comfortable meal in a clean environment." - India Today
Govt not to impose service tax on goods sent by rail
NEW DELHI, September 2, 2009 (Reuters) - The government has withdrawn a proposal to impose a 10
percent service tax on goods transported by rail, to check price increases of
products such as steel, cement and coal, a government official said on Tuesday.
In his budget for 2009/10, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced levy of
service tax on a host of new services including transport of goods through
railways. The tax was to come into effect from September 1. "The "government has decided to exempt transport of goods in containers by rail
from service tax, scheduled from Sept 1," Hemambika R. Priya, spokeswoman for
Central Board of Excise and Customs, told Reuters.
Shatabdi runs on bio-fuel
LUDHIANA. September 1, 2009: To cut down on the emission of pollutants in the environment and to reduce the huge amount being spent to buy diesel, the railway authorities are conducting experiments by using bio-fuel and compressed natural gas (CNG) to run trains. The bio-fuel has already been tested successfully on super-fast trains like the Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express. If the authorities expand it throughout the country, it will reduce the use of diesel up to 15%, which means the expenditure will come down to Rs 5,100 crore.
According to information, as around Rs 6,000 crore is spent on diesel every year, the authorities are making use of bio-fuel which is collected from Jatropa seeds. For this, they plan to sow Jatropa plants on acres of land lying vacant. Officials say Jatropa oil is mixed with diesel when a train starts moving or climbing a steep path, while oil is only used when the train has to roll. They also said the Lucknow-based Research Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO) of the Indian railways was working on a project to run CNG trains. Source: The Times of India