comes up on Indian railway map
AGARTALA, June 29, 2008: Agartala, the capital city of Tripura,
on Sunday came up as the newest point on the map of the Indian
Railways. A locomotive of the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR)
chugged into the Agartala railway station, 5 km from the heart of the
capital city, on Sunday afternoon with thousands of people cheering
and blowing conch shells. Routine rail services to Agartala would
start by mid-August after clearance, said P Shivkumar, general manager
(construction) of NFR.
Agartala is the second capital city in the northeast to be
connected to the country's extensive railway network. Assam's Guwahati
was the only norteastern capital on the railway map. After Dispur was
constructed as Assam's new capital complex, Guwahati lost its former
status but it remains a major city of the state.
"The NFR has so far spent Rs 800 crore ($190 million) to
connect Agartala by rail by making three big tunnels through the
Longtharai Valley, Baramura and Atharamura Hills in Dhalai and West
Tripura districts," said NFR deputy chief engineer F S Meena. The
1,962-metre Longtharai tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in eastern
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said: "After the
Indian Railways extends its line up to Sabroom, it would be very easy
to connect with the Chittagong international port in southeast
Bangladesh, which is just 75 km from there." A small bridge
over river Feni can connect Sabroom and Khagrachari, across the border
in Bangladesh, to open a second railway link between the two
neighbours after the Kolkata- Dhaka rail service, which started
April 14 this year after a gap of 43 years. Meanwhile, the NFR has
already conducted a survey to connect Agartala with Akhaurah railway
station in Bangladesh. The distance between the newly constructed
Agartala railway station and Akhaurah railway station, an important
rail junction in Bangladesh, is just 5 km.
Source:The Economic Times
Railways and Kerala govt signs MoU
New Delhi June 28, 2008: The Ministry of Railways and Department of Industries and Commerce,
Government of Kerala has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a joint venture (JV) company for fabrication of bogie frames for passenger coaches and side/end walls for the wagons of the Indian Railways. The new JV will utilise the existing land and other assets of Steel Fabrication Unit (SFU) and Autocast located at Kerala.
Indian Railway shall hold 51 per cent equity in the JV and the remaining 49 per cent will be held by the Kerala Government. A joint working group
(JWG) will be constituted in the next six months to prepare business plans and work out the modalities for the formation of the JV.
Source: Business Standard
hikes freight charges by 5-7%
New Delhi, June 26, 2008: In what could add further fuel
to the inflationary fire, the Indian Railways is hiking freight
charges for ores and minerals, petro-products, coke and coal,
fertilisers, foodgrains and a host of other commodities by 5-7 per
The rate hike, to be effective from July 1, will be on
account of a ‘special supplementary charge’ that Railways has
decided to levy for the first time under its dynamic pricing policy
— apart from the ‘busy season’, ‘busy route’,
‘congestion’ and similar surcharges it has been imposing in recent
years through circulars issued outside of the rail budget
Some of the key commodities that have been spared the new
charge include iron ore, steel and cement. Coal and coke, which
account for almost 40 per cent share of Railways goods traffic, will
attract a 5 per cent charge. Ores and minerals such as bauxite,
calcite, limestone; and petroleum and lubricant products will attract
a 7 per cent supplementary charge.
Moreover, Railways has decided to levy a 7 per cent
charge on all commodities that are charged in class 120 and below like
fertilisers, foodgrains, flour and pulses, oilcakes and oilseeds,
leather, rubber, plastic, machinery and machine tools and salt.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
India's river island, hill trains vie for World Heritage List
NEW DELHI, June 23, 2008: River island Majuli, in the Brahmaputra in Assam, and the Mountain Railways of India are part of 34 cultural properties, which will be considered for inclusion into the Unesco's World
Heritage List. The World Heritage Committee will discuss United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organisation's (Unesco) new list at its 32nd session in Canada July 2-22.
The Mountain Railways of India includes Darjeeling Himalayan Railways, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway and Matheran Hill Railway. The Mountain Railways of India is a collective term for the several railways built in the mountainous regions of the country. Because of their unique cultural and natural heritage, Majuli and the Mountain Railways of India have been considered to be included in Unesco's World Heritage List.
Source: The Economic Times
64 trains cancelled, 41 diverted
BHUBANESWAR, June 22, 2008: As many as 64 trains have been cancelled, 41 trains diverted and many trains short -terminated in east coast railway jurisdiction after the recent flood inundated large portion of railway tracks and yard on the Howrah-Chennei route, said railway sources.
“The railway workers are working overtime to restore normalcy of train movement,” said east coast railway general manager Mr AK Goyal
and requested the public not to resort to rail roko or any other agitation for the smooth running of the diverted and special trains on the diverted routes at this critical hour.
Railway sources said, keeping in mind the congestion caused due to breaches and other damages in Kharagpur-Bhadrak section, many trains will remain cancelled in east coast railway up to 30 June. Not only will trains be cancelled, some will ply on different routes. Even special trains running between Guwahati and
Yeshvantpur, Puri and Howrah, Howrah and Yeshvantpur and Howrah and Hyderabad will remain cancelled. Passengers trains likely to be cancelled are Puri-Howrah-Puri, Kharagpur-Khurda Road-Kharagpur,
Kharagpur- Balasore-Bhadrak-Kharagpur MEMU and Howrah-Bhadrak-Howrah.
SE Railways cancels train services due to Midnapore floods
KOLKATA, June 21, 2008: South Eastern Railway today announced their decision to cancel trains between 21 June to 30 June after the flood between Narayangar and Bakhrabad in West Midnapore washed out Railway Bridge No. 168. The railway authorities have assured that passengers will get a full refund of their tickets for trains that have either been cancelled or not touching their destinations. The list of cancelled trains between 21 June to 30 June include: Dhauli Express, Janashatabdi Express, East Coast Express,
Coromondal Express , Sri Jagannath Express, Howrah-Bhadrak and Howrah-Puri Passenger.
Amaravathi Express will not run on 21, 23, 24, 26, 28 and 30 June while Howrah-Trichi Express has been cancelled on 22, 26, 29 June. On 23, 27 and 30 June, Howrah-Puri Express stand cancelled. The summer special trains to and from Puri stand cancelled on 24 and 25 June.
Howrah-Kanniyakumar Express has been cancelled on 23 and 30 June.
Howrah Mysore Summer special will not run on on 27 June and Mysore
Howrah Summer Special will not run on 22 and 29 June.
Source: Statesman News Service
Indian Railways automating crew management
New Delhi, June 20,2008 (IANS): The Indian Railways, one of India’s largest employers,
is managing its crew better - by the Crew Management System (CMS) which
has automated the day-to-day functions, including duty rosters. The Indian
Railways has nearly 100,000 guards and drivers for performing operations round
“The CMS automates their day-to-day business functions by providing information
of their status, rostering their duty allocations, providing information on the
availability of crew at their home stations and assigning crew to trains. All
this has led to better crew management,” a railway official said.The Centre for Railways Information System (CRIS) rolled out the software system
in December 2007.
“The CMS at present has a database covering 35,000 crew members and over 8,000
crew members are being booked daily through the system,” the railway official
added. So far, about 1,000 data entry nodes at over 144 crew-booking points have been
commissioned spread over nine zones and 30 divisions of the railways mainly in
central, western, northern region of India. “By October 2008, another 140 locations will come up on eastern, southern and
north frontier regions thereby computerizing crew booking in Indian Railways,”
the railway official added. The system has bio metric, thumb impression readers to tackle the problem of
proxy reporting. It also uses SMS for providing instant access of information of
crew available over mobile phones, the official added.
Hughes to set up VSAT hub for Indian Railways
Mumbai, June 19, 2008: Hughes, provider of satellite broadband services, and managed network services, bagged the contract to set up the first dedicated VSAT hub for the Indian Railways. The commissioning of the dedicated VSAT hub, will allow Railways to connect 1,000 locations across 19 states as against 200 earlier.
This new system will help Railways to have voice and data connectivity for their services at remotely located stations where fixed and mobile network of telecom operators had not reached even after a massive revolution in telecom industry in recent times.
This would also allow Indian railways to offer a host of mission critical applications like disaster
communication system, accident relief train (ART), unreserved ticketing system (UTS) and freight operating information system (FOIS) in remote locations. In addition, the railways is also planning to introduce internet access on running trains and is currently undertaking a proof of concept in one of the trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
For disaster management, Railways have already planned trackable Hughes VSAT terminals that will
allow quick tracking and establishment of communication at accident sites in less than 15-20 minutes. These terminals will be installed in one Accident Relief Train (ART) for each of the 67 divisions in the Indian
Railways. The wireless and auto line concentrators at such sites will further ensure that a number of
Railways' Administrative phones and DOT phones can immediately be set up at accident sites, resulting in faster communication for stranded passengers and better accident site management.
Source: Business Standard
to set up global training centre
New Delhi, Jun 18
(PTI) Gearing up to train railway managers for future challenges,
Indian Railways will set up an international management institute
here. The institute would provide a kind of rail sector MBA in the
country. The International Railway Strategic Management Institute (IRSMI)
will come up in collaboration with the International Union of Railways
(UIC) on 30,000 sq metre land in Chanakyapuri here. "We have
sanctioned Rs 22 crore for the construction of the state-of-the-art
building and an architect would be selected soon to design it,"
said a senior Railways Ministry official.
The training modules would be prepared in consultation
with the leading global business schools including HEC Paris and also
with the UIC. "The training facility would be extended to all UIC
member countries. The fee structure for different training
modules, workshops and seminar on specific areas would be finalised
after the completion of the building," said the official. The
setting up of the IRSMI was approved by the UIC which felt there was a
need for an international railway management institute exclusively for
rail sector management. PTI
Heritage trains to be equipped with high-tech coaches
New Delhi, Jun 15 (PTI) A ride on a narrow gauge train will never be the same again, with Indian Railways planning an overhaul of its existing structure. While ultra modern coaches equipped with improved facilities
would replace the old and worn-out ones, the Railway Ministry is also planning take steps to increase the speed of these trains.
As part of the upgradation plan of the narrow gauge rolling stock, the Ministry would induct high-tech
coaches to provide better comfort to passengers of the "heritage trains". The global tendering for the state-of-the-art coaches would be issued soon, a senior Railway Ministry official said. "It is for the first time the ministry has decided to induct high-tech coaches for these trains as till date we were using indigenous coaches based on century old technology," he said.
Technology has changed drastically in the last 100 years and existing coaches are in dire need of
replacement. However, while going for modern coaches their basic character will not be changed. "There will be better panoramic view and sitting arrangement, more luggage and leg space provided in the new coaches, while not changing the heritage ambience," he said.
Narrow gauge trains are running at many places across the country including in Nagpur, Kalka, Shimla, Baroda, Gwalior,
Matheran, Kangra and Matheran. PTI
Train to Kashmir valley by month-end
New Delhi, June 10, 2008: The long wait for a train to ply in militancy-hit Kashmir may end soon as
Railways is all set to start its service linking the northern and southern part in the valley. Though connecting the valley with rest of the country was still a distant dream, Northern Railways today said "We will soon approach Prime Minister to get a date, hopefully in this month itself, for inaugurating the train services on
The official said a trial run would be conducted on the route to check whether all safety measures are in place. The Commissioner Railway Safety will carry out a four-day statutory inspection of the 30-km-long Anantnag-Kakpora section from tomorrow. The train to be introduced on the route will have air-conditioned coaches with heating system and push-back seats. This is for the first time in the history of Indian Railways that a train with all these facilities will cover short distances, the official added.
The tedious task of connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, however, still remains a distant dream as tunnels on the 300-km Kashmir-Jammu route are yet to be dug.
BHEL wins Rs 3,500-cr NTPC deal
KOLKATA, June 9, 2008: NTPC and its JV subsidiary, Nabinagar power plant, have awarded
boiler -turbine- generator (BTG) contracts for a total of 1,750 mw (7x250 mw) units to Bhel at an estimated value of Rs 3,500 crore. The total cost of setting up these units will be around Rs 8,700
crore. These are for two different projects. The first one includes three units of 250 mw at an investment of Rs 3,300 crore at Bongaigaon in
the North-East. It is being set up by NTPC. The other BTG contract, estimated at Rs 2,000 crore for BHEL will be for four units of 250 mw at Navinagar in Bihar’s Aurangabad district. Total cost of the project for NTPC is estimated to be around Rs 5,352 crore.
Source: The Economic Times
Railways suffer Rs 20 cr loss due to Gujjar agitation
JAIPUR, June 8, 2008: The railways in the region is badly hit by the two-week long agitation of the Gujjar community. The North Western Railway (NWR) has already born a loss of around Rs 20 crore since the agitation began on May 23. The loss includes money paid back to thousands of passengers against the
cancellation their tickets.
"Due to Gujjar agitation, 70 mail express and 62 passenger trains connecting New Delhi and other places via Rajasthan have either been cancelled or diverted to different routes," an NWR spokesman said. The freight corridor between Mumbai and Delhi via Rajasthan was worst affected due to the blockade of rail routes by
agitators. "The movement of container trains have dropped down to less then a half due to complete obstruction of rail route between Jaipur and Delhi," added the railway official. Largely, goods traffic comes from the industrial units and the port towns of Maharashtra and Gujarat, which too goes via Rajasthan especially through Jaipur and Kota route, he added.
The railways have diverted the container train route to via Bhopal while dozens of container trains have been stranded at Jaipur causing the NWR in huge loss of Rs 1.5 crore a day. "Even in such circumstances, we have to give priority to the passenger trains," he said. However, it has been estimated that movement of 50,000 passengers and goods worth 12 crore have been stranded due to the agitation.
The NWR generates revenue of Rs 6 crore a day in normal days from both freight and the passenger
services. But the revenue has now been chopped down to Rs 4 crore a day from both freight and passengers services. The estimate of damage caused to the railway property is yet to be calculated, he added.
Source: Times of India
to hold freight rate, truckers to charge more
New Delhi, June 05, 2008: Road transporter are considering a
freight rate increase of up to 15% to offset the diesel price hike, but
the Indian Railways - the single largest consumer of diesel in the
country - is likely to hold freight rate. The Rs. 3 a litre increase
will put an additional burden of Rs. 500 crore on the public
Maharashtra govt decides to wait before metro rail
Mumbai June 04, 2008: With Indian railways evincing interest to build an elevated rail corridor from south Mumbai to Virar, a suburb in city's Thane district, the Maharashtra government has decided to "wait" before deciding to come up with its proposed metro corridor along part of the same route. The planned metro rail
corridor from Colaba in south Mumbai to the north western suburb of Bandra will be considered after the Indian Railways states its plan for the elevated rail corridor from Churchgate to Virar, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority
(MMRDA) metropolitan commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said.
The Railways is contemplating the introduction of an elevated rail corridor to supplement its existing services on the suburban line of the Western Railways, a project which was first announced by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in this year's rail budget. The Bandra-Colaba metro line is one of the three corridors being planned in the first phase of the Mumbai Metro Rail Project. The government plans to introduce nine metro rail corridors in three phases across the country's financial capital as part of the project.
58 trains were cancelled from Jaipur railway station
Jaipur, June 2, 2008: North-Westren Railways on Sunday cancelled
58 trains and diverted others in the wake of violent agitation by the Gujjar community starting from Jaipur raiway station. The rail traffic passing through Rajasthan was badly affected on
Monday with 58 trains, including both Express and passengers, being cancelled in the interest of passengers safety, a Railway official said.
The train services have been stopped due to the agitation by Gujjar
Samaj. Train movement in other zones were also badly affected by the agitation with several trains being diverted and rescheduled.
On Monday Railway paid the refund money 1crore 84 lacs due to cancellation
of railways tickets.
Larsen & Toubro joint ventures with Indian railways
KOLKATA, May 31, 2008: Larsen & Toubro is studying the possibility of floating joint venture companies
with Indian Railways to manufacture equipment for the railways. Indicating its future roadmap, board member and president (operations) at L&T, JP Nayak said: “Indian Railways has two locomotive manufacturing units — the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works and the Diesel Locomotive Works. There is a possibility of putting up another loco manufacturing unit in India, and we will be interested in setting up a JV with the government.” He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a CII seminar in Kolkata on Friday.
Railways sees growth on steel platform
NEW DELHI, May 30, 2008: Large steel makers such as Tata Steel, Jindal, RINL and SAIL would soon get 'favoured customer' treatment from Indian Railways. In an attempt to promote bulk freight movement on its
network, the Railways is introducing a new "freight load preference policy" for steel players fighting
inflationary pressures due to spurt in iron ore prices. According to the policy, companies providing
round- the- year-business (to and fro) to the Railways would be given preference in grant of increased quantity of rakes and offered discounts on freight.
The Railways has taken many steps to help steel makers in recent days. It brought down iron ore from
class 180 to class 170, thus effecting a freight cut by 5%. It also removed the port congestion surcharge of 30% levied on domestic movement of iron ore. The Railways transported 53.59 million tonnes of iron ore for exports in 2007-08, according to provisional data collated by the railway board, 37.9% more than the 38.84 million tonnes transported in the previous year.
Source: The Economic Times
Ten trains cancelled due to Gujjar stir in Rajasthan state
NEW DELHI, May 28, 2008 (APP): The Indian Railways on Wednesday cancelled ten trains due to continuing agitation by Gujjar community in Rajasthan state. Over thirty people have been killed in clashes between the police and Gujjars during the last five days. The trains passing through Rajasthan were cancelled for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Indian government alerted some other states including Uttar Pradesh against the possible stir by the continuity. The Gujjars also held demonstrations in Delhi and occupied Kashmir.
Railways sets target of Rs 31,000 cr earnings this fiscal
NEW DELHI, May 27, 2008: Buoyed by a record Rs 25,000 crore earnings in the last fiscal, Railways has set a target of Rs 1,00,000 crore in the five years of UPA rule. "Indian Railways will create 'new history' by earning Rs 1,00,000 crore during the five years of the UPA government," Railways Minister Lalu Prasad said here on Monday.
Addressing a meeting of general managers and production units, he congatulated the 14 lakh Railways
employees for earning cash surplus of Rs 25,000 crore and carrying the highest ever loading of 795 milion tonnes during 2007-08. He said Railways had set targets of Rs 31,000 crore as a cash surplus and 87.5 crore tonnes of freight loading for the current fiscal.
Referring to incremental loading, Prasad said Railways had already created a record by achieving the highest ever incremental loading of 67 million tonnes in 2007-08 and would strive for another record of 8.6 crore tonnes of incremental loading in the current financial year.
IRCTC proposes tie-up with Rail Europe for global access
New Delhi May 25, 2008: IRCTC, the rail tourism body of the Indian Railways, is mulling a tie-up with Rail Europe, one of the largest global providers of international railway services, to increase global access to Indian luxury rail services. The tie-up will provide customers across 50 countries in Australia, Asia, Africa and South America access to the luxury rail services like Palace on Wheels, which can be then booked on the Rail
Europe website. Rail Europe is a joint venture between French and Swiss national railways.
Foreign tourists constitute more than 90 per cent of the total customer base of luxury rail services in India which cost around Rs 16,000-Rs 17,000 per passenger per day. India runs four such services, including Palace on Wheels and Heritage on Wheels in
Rajasthan, Deccan Odyssey in Maharashtra and Golden Chariot in Karnataka.
Rajasthan Tourism department is now planning to introduce one more Palace on Wheels by the end of this year.
Currently, there is no one-stop shop for booking these rail tours. Customers who want to travel in them have to either book them on the state government websites or from travel agents. IRCTC will also be making arrangements with the state governments to make luxury rail bookings available on its own website. Through the tie-up, Rail Europe is also looking at selling its own international packages on the IRCTC website.
Source: Business Standard
Rly to relax movement of food grain
New Delhi May 23, 2008: Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has instructed Ministry of Railways for the relaxation of the restriction on movement of food grain on private trade
account. The move for relaxing the restriction comes after taking in to account the record wheat procurement that is estimated to have exceeded 20 million tonne during the current Kharif season by the Food Corporation of India
(FCI) and other government agencies, which the Indian railways had facilitated by regulating movement of wheat by rail on private trade account.
Earlier Indian Railways had regulated the movement of
food grains by rail on private trade account to prevent hoardings, thereby ensuring the availability of
food grains throughout the country and to
stabilize the food grain prices.
Source: Business Standard
Lalu Prasad Yadav has instructed Ministry of Railways for the relaxation of the restriction on movement of food grain on private trade
Railways freight earnings growth at 21.91%
Mumbai May 21, 2008: Continuing with its growth trend, the Indian Railway have generated Rs 4393.19 crore as revenues from freight traffic during the month of April 2008 as compared to Rs 3603.72 crore during April 2007, registering a growth of 21.91 per cent. Railways freight traffic showed a growth of 10.88 per cent from 61.05 million tonnes in April 2007 to 67.69 million tonnes in April 2008.
Out of the total freight earnings, coal continued to remain the major source of revenue generation for the Indian railways with 28.82 million tonnes of coal getting transported generating Rs 1560.46 crore as freight earnings. This is followed by a freight earnings of Rs 965.54
crore, which came from the transportation of iron ore for exports, steel plants and for other domestic user, Rs 377.33 crore from 7.04 million tonnes of cement and Rs 295.08 crore from 3.12 million tonnes of food grains among others.
Source: Business Standard
IRFC to raise 10 billion rupees via bonds-bankers
MUMBAI, May 20 (Reuters) - Indian Railway Finance Corp., the dedicated financing
arm of Indian Railways, is selling bonds to raise up to 10 billion rupees,
merchant bankers associated with the deal said. Bidding for the bonds closes at noon on Thursday and cash settlements will be on
The company is selling bonds in four tranches. These are 10-year bonds with
bullet repayment, 15-year with amortised equal repayment every year, 20-year
with amortised equal repayment every year and 20-year with a bullet repayment.There is no indicative yield specified by the company and the bonds will be sold
via book-building, bankers said. The minimum subscription amount under each of the above tranches is 500 million
rupees and coupon on the bonds is payable semi-annually, merchant bankers said.
Railway to launch
New Delhi, May 18 (PTI) : Soon, you would be able to get
railway tickets at your doorsteps by just dialling a number.Aptly
named as "Dial-a-ticket", the soon-to-be launched service of
Railways is currently on trial.
"A trial is going on experimental basis as we want to make it a
fool-proof arrangement by addressing the loopholes, if any, before
launching the service finally," said a senior Indian Railway
Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) official.
"The aim is to shorten the queue at the ticket windows.
Once operational, this will be a big step towards providing tickets at
door steps as value-added facilities to railway passengers across the
country," the official said. About the mode of payment, the
official said initially a caller has to make payment through cash card
and later, credit card payment facilities are likely to be added.
On the date of launching the service, he said "we are
trying to get a separate number closer to 139 to make it as a
dedicated 'Dial-a-ticket' service number. "We have already
written to the Department of
Telecommunication seeking a dedicated three or four digit
number," he said. PTI
charms audience with 'bovineconomics'
Kuala Lumpur, May 16, 2008 (PTI): Riding high on the successful turnaround of Railways, Lalu Prasad won more fans here with his brand of economics as he likened the mammoth Indian Railways to a Jersey cow, saying unless the bovine is well looked after it cannot be profitable to its owners.
"When I took over the Indian Railways as the minister it was just like a Jersey cow. If you don't look after it how can it serve you," the Railways Minister told more than 400 Indian expatriates who had come to hear him in the Malaysian capital late Thursday evening.
Lalu, who is here on a three-day visit to witness the signing of the USD one billion contract between IRCON and the Malaysian government, also noted that even the "earning horse"- referring to the freight trains - "too had many faults." The minister's observations came as he talked at length about the transformation he has brought to the Indian Railways making it a profit making entity.
"Earlier, we used to go out and learn from others, now people come and learn from us. I have become a professor of the world," the minister, who has lectured students from IIMs, Oxford and Wharton on managerial skills, told the cheering audience.
Acknowledging that there was a huge congestion in the railways, the
minister quipped "roti does not come from 'inkalab' (revolution), roti comes as a result of infrastructure and power in a country", prompting thunderous applause from the audience. Speaking in Hindi, he promised that "Indian Railways was going to be the top railways network in the world."
Indian Railways to invest 2 lakh crore for modernization
NEW DELHI, May 15, 2008: Indian railways will invest Rs 2,00,000 crore for the modernization, capacity increase and completion of new projects during the 11th Five Year Plan, informed Railway Minister, Lalu
Prasad Yadav in Singapore this week. Indian Railways have decided to invite Public Private Partnership
(PPP) in the non - core sector for setting up of logistic parks, wagon investment schemes, wagon leasing schemes and also to participate in the setting up of more than 7000 agricultural outlets throughout the country, Lalu said.
The Minister asserted that Indian Railways is going to upgrade 26 major railways stations as world class stations throughout the country including four metropolitan cities. He also informed that there will be separate departure and arrival facilities for passenger to decongest existing crowds at station complex besides other modernized passenger amenities like world class waiting/rest-rooms, multi-level parking, malls etc.
He stated that for 'turnaround of Indian Railway', the credit goes to its 14 lakh employees who worked with full dedication and made Indian Railways to earn billions despite reduction in passenger fares.
India is engaging China in the railways sector
SINGAPORE, May 14, 2008: India is engaging China in the railways sector, and Japan has reaffirmed its commitment to “contribute” to the construction of the
Delhi-Mumbai western corridor of the planned national network of dedicated freight lines.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said on Monday in an address on the Singapore campus of the INSEAD business school
that the ongoing track electrification project might also benefit from the U.S.-India nuclear energy deal, work in respect of which “is on.”
While “no major project” had so far been agreed upon between India and China, Mr. Prasad said the bilateral engagement was under way. “We need to learn from China” in the railways sector, he noted.
Lalu Prasad will once again a management guru
NEW DELHI, May 12, 2008: Railway minister Lalu Prasad will once again a management guru and explain to students of INSEAD Business School at Singapore the story of how the Indian Railways turned a new leaf.
Lalu Prasad, who is leading a team of railway experts to a week-long tour to Singapore and Malaysia, is also likely to finalize some deals in favour of railways. In Malaysia, he will oversee the signing of a contract wherein Indian Railways Container Corporation (IRCON) is to construct a double track high-speed corridor worth Rs 400 crore.
Lalu Prasad’s visit to Institute d’Administration des Affairs
(INSEAD), Asia campus, in Singapore, is in response to an invitation from its global dean Frank Brown and Asia campus head Narayan Pant. They had come to India last year for an interaction with
Railways have an agreement with INSEAD for providing training to its senior officials on customer strategies. Besides addressing MBA students, Lalu is also slated to attend a presentation on the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit System. In Malaysia, he will oversee signing of an pact on a high-speed rail corridor project to be executed by IRCON, a PSU under railways.
Railway minister Lalu Prasad will once again a management guru and explain to students of INSEAD Business School at Singapore the story of how the Indian Railways turned a new leaf.
India's Railway Minister To Sign Deal In Malaysia
NEW DELHI, May 7,2008: India's Railway Minister Lalu Prasad will arrive in Malaysia next week to seal the long-standing RM4 billion double-tracking project with Malaysian authorities. The Malaysian government has awarded the construction of the Seremban-Gemas electrified double-tracking project to the Indian Railway Construction Corporation (IRCON) last year.
Sri Lalu Prasad is the first-ever Indian Railway Minister to visit Malaysia, will witness the signing of the
deal on May 15, slated during his two-day visit to Kuala Lumpur. Prior to his arrival to Malaysia, Prasad will arrive in Singapore on May 11, where he is expected to lecture about 350 Master of Business Administration (MBA) students at the Institut Europeen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) Asia campus.
BEML plans foray into Indonesian, Australian markets
SHANGHAI, May 7, 2008: Earth moving equipment major BEML is planning to foray into Indonesian and Australian markets while it expects rail and metro business to be its next engine of growth, propelled by massive spending by Indian Railways.
"In addition to Brazil, Malaysia and Shanghai, we have plans to look
at Indonesia," Bangalore-based BEML Chairman and Managing Director V R S Natarajan, who was here for the opening of the company's full fledged office in China's economic hub last week, said in an interview.
During the 11th five year plan and beyond, the Railways is going in for diversification and modernisation of its existing fleet. In
modernisation, the railways is planning additional seat capacity and that is an
opportunity we are trying to seize. BEML already has orders worth Rs 100 crore in this regard for the current year. Upgradation of Electric Multiple Units used intra-city and large size EMUs to inter-connect cities with higher speed of 120 to 130 km an hour also offered opportunities, he said.
Train collision kills 66 in China
BEIJING (AP), April 28, 2008: A high-speed passenger train jumped the tracks and slammed into
another train in eastern China on Monday, killing at least 66 people and
injuring 247, a state news agency reported.
Seventy people were in critical condition after the pre-dawn crash in a rural
area in the middle of Shandong province, Xinhua News Agency said on its Web
site. The injured included four French nationals who were hospitalized with bone
fractures, it said.
The train traveling from Beijing to the coastal city of Qingdao derailed and hit
the second passenger train at about 4:40 a.m., Xinhua reported. About 10 of the
first train's carriages toppled into a dirt ditch. The second train, traveling from Yantai to Xuzhou, was also derailed, although
it did not fall into the ditch. - AP
British firms oppose PPP in Indian Railways
NEW DELHI, April 25, 2008: The dramatic turn-around of the Indian Railways may have earned laurels for Rail Minister Lalu Prasad but his hankering for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the department has few takers. The latest not to find in favour of PPP is a British rail team currently here to attend an India-UK Seminar on Railways. The 12-member team, led by British railway minister Tom Harris and comprising representatives of British rail companies, on Friday said PPP in Indian Railways is not advisable. These senior members of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) of Britain said they would like to work with the Indian Railways "but definitely not based on PPP".
"PPP is based on a set of performance contracts that include measures of the time and cost of work done, but more importantly of the results or outcomes of that work," Jonathan Beckitt of the CMS Camerson McKenna, a leading British Railway infrastructure provider told delegates at the seminar on Friday. The British rail companies have shown interest in providing solutions in areas like passenger information and passenger interface besides sharing advanced methods of measuring track and train performance.
According to Beckitt, British companies are keen to partner Indian Railways in areas like passenger information, passenger interface, track and train performance and signalling and track equipment. They
are also looking at forging tie-ups with Indian companies to participate in the dedicated freight corridor project. "But not in the form of PPP," said
Beckitt. PPP found focus in the Railways Minister's budget speech with him declaring that neither favours blind privatisation of the Railways
nor is PPP a compulsion.
The minister suggested that the Indian Railways are seeking partnership with the private sector on terms that are in the interest of the Railways and their customers.
Source: Economic Times
Railways hope to become major freight carrier after DFC
NEW DELHI, April 21, 2008: The Railways hope to grab large share of goods at present transported by roads once the dedicated freight corridor
(DFC) becomes operational. Work on the Delhi-Mumbai and Ludhiana-Howrah section of the DFC will begin soon as the project is very important for us. This will help Railways in carrying 60 per cent of goods that are currently transported by roads," said Railways Minister Lalu Prasad here on Monday.
Admitting a slight delay in execution of the DFC project, he said since all the preparatory work has been completed now they will try to expedite the project. The minister informed that various leading financial institutions such as World Bank and IDBI have been coming forward to financially support it.
"We are also planning to extend the DFC from Mumbai to Kolkata via Chennai in the
second phase," he said. Prasad was speaking on a seminar on the public-private
participation (PPP) in Indian Railways. "We will never allow PPP in our core functioning. But there are many other areas where we are allowing PPP
model," he said. Highlighting the Railways huge potentiality, he said that the total cash surplus till now was Rs 69,000 crore and expected to touch Rs 100,000 crore by next fiscal.
Source: The Economic Times
Maitree Express from Kolkata to Dhaka
Kolkata, April 15, 2008: After 43 years the seven cars of the Maitree Express from Kolkata to Daca (Bangladesh) are carrying only 65
passengers today on Poila Boisakh. They are meant to carry about 400. The express train from Dhaka to Kolkata called friendship train is the first Indian passenger train to Bangladesh and to Dhaka a distance of 372km. Bangladesh was not born at the time of the last passenger service to this side of Bengal. In 1965, it was still East Pakistan and war was just breaking out.
Speed machines: 13 states want Bullet Train
Bullet trains of Japan
NEW DELHI, April 06, 2008: Indian states want to be on fast track, literally. As many as 13 states have sent proposals to the Indian Railways
(IR) for rolling out bullet trains in their states, sources in Rail Bhawan told SundayET. The states which have sent proposals include
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
Though railway minister Lalu Prasad mentioned bullet trains in the Rail Budget presented in February 2007, no major action has been taken so far. it stands today, three corridors may get priorities. These are
Ahmedabad - Mumbai, Chennai - Bangalore and Delhi-Amritsar via Ambala, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. Of these, a study was done by Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) on the
Ahmedabad- Mumbai stretch, the sources said. There has been another proposal to connect Patna and Jamshedpur by bullet trains.
Earlier, Mitsui Group from Japan made a formal presentation in a task force meeting on Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) in New Delhi on how bullet trains between Mumbai and Ahmedabad could change the lives of people and the economy of the Western region.
Bullet trains take six times less per seat energy consumption than
aeroplanes, and emit 10 times less CO2 to air. Former railway board chairman V K Agarwal said that the idea of having bullet trains in India was mooted way back in 1969-70. It had earlier shelved the project in 1987 before it was revived in 2001. Now, if we want to bring in bullet trains, we should have the latest technology.
Trains with a speed of 200 km per hour may run in the existing tracks too, provided it's equipped with latest
signaling system, and level crossings are done away with. However, as we are late in introducing high speed railway systems in India, we must leap-frog to the
magnetic levitation or maglev technology which allow trains to move beyond 300 km per
hour, he said.
Source: Economic Times
Transport by rail now dearer
New Delhi, April 01, 2008: Rail transportation of almost all commodities has become dearer with Indian Railways imposing a busy season surcharge of 5-7 per cent from April 1 to June 30. While coke and coal will attract a five per cent surcharge, all other commodities will attract 7 per cent
surcharge. Only container movement has been spared of the surcharge. However, iron ore
movement has been hit particularly hard with Railways increasing the freight charges by an additional 5.8 per cent through a change in classification. The iron ore customers would have to pay the surcharges over and above the higher freight rate classified.
Additionally, Railways has increased congestion charge for iron ore exports to 100 per cent (from 60 per cent) for the entire financial year. Traditionally, Railways has imposed congestion surcharges on all iron ore booked for good sheds and sidings that serve the ports. This has generally been with a presumption that all such iron ore is for export purposes.
However, on account of a procedural change, those iron ore firms who use rail good sheds and sidings near the ports for serving domestic consumption purpose would have to pay a 30 per cent surcharge, instead of the 100 per cent levels from April 14. For this, Railways has suggested a procedure for them, including a self-declaration that the iron ore is meant for domestic consumption.
Source: Hindu Business Line
RAILWAYS TO INVEST MORE THAN 160 MILLION US DOLLARS
March 28, 2008: Ministry of Railways: The Indian Railways is expected to invest approximately 23.5 million US dollars for procurement of machines and approximately 140 million US dollars for
modernisation of workshops over the next one year. This was stated by Shri R.K.
Rao, Member Mechanical while inaugurating a two-day International Seminar on “Railway Workshop Modernisation & New technology in Machine Tools” organized by the Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers,
COFMOW Chapter, here today.
Shri Rao said that now the concept of ‘workshop modernisation’ itself has undergone a sea
change The rapidly growing Indian economy is making huge demands on the infrastructure and logistics and the sprawling rail network of the Indian Railways has a definite edge in providing the most critical input to the economy namely transportation. To retain this edge improve further, the Indian Railways have a massive investment plant of
Rs. 2,50,000 crore for the 11th Five Year Plan i.e Rs. 50,000 crore a year, Shri Rao said.
Indian Railways is one of the single biggest units under one umbrella in the world. It has more than 50 independent Mechanical Engineering Workshops and Production Units which undertake
manufacturing, overhaul and repair activities for locomotives, coaches, wagons and other railway assets. Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers has been actively engaged in dissemination of Railway Engineering knowledge among its members, industry and users through a large pool of
distinguished technical experts. It provides an opportunity to its member industries to gain from larger context and knowledge pool.
During the two-day seminar, 30 papers will be presented by foreign as well as Indian Speakers who are leaders in their respective fields. The prominent foreign companies participating in the seminar are M/s Safop (Italy), M/s Fooke (Germany), M/s LVD Belgium (Italy), M/s Pama (Italy), M/s Niles (Germany), M/s Legris (France), M/s Jordi (Spain) and M/s Danobat (Spain). (PIB)
Titagarh Wagons are more attractive.
March 24, 2008: Titagarh Wagons appears well placed to ride this growing demand for wagons, given its established relationship with the Indian Railways
(IR). At the price band of Rs 540-610, the stock is valued at about 15-17 times its likely FY-09 per share earnings on a diluted equity base. This is at a marginal discount to Texmaco, which trades at about 17 times its likely FY-09 per share earnings.
The demand for wagons is set to increase given the Railways’ renewed focus on increasing its share of freight traffic. This is reflected in the latest Rail Budget, which aims to procure an all-time high of about 20,000 wagons for the coming year. While railway orders are generally procured only through an open tendering process, TWL’s already established relationship with the Railways and the expansion and de-bottlenecking of present capacities may lend it greater credence. Besides, TWL’s proposed entry into EMU (electric multiple unit) may also expand its potential market. It plans to invest about Rs 19 crore to set up the EMU unit, which will have the capacity to
manufacture two rakes (nine EMU coaches) per month.
Railways to set up cinema halls at stations
NEW DELHI, March 21m 2008: Indian Railways’ public-private-partnership (PPP) now extends to entertainment business. The public sector behemoth has chalked out an ambitious plan to set up about a dozen cinema halls at various railway stations in metros. The development would be part of Railways’ larger plan to utilise its surplus land and existing prime space at stations. It also plans to privatise 44 yatri niwas and the National Rail Museum cafeteria.
It has also identified 100 sites for setting up food plazas, integrated parks, budget hotels, laundries and base kitchens at various railways stations along with private players. Industry experts say the project could be a profitable for the Railways if managed properly. According to KSA Technopak’s MD Harminder Sahni: “Stations attract traffic which is several times more than airports.
It is also learnt that major food retail players such as McDonald’s, Yum! Foods (which owns Pizza Hut and KFC) and Haldiram’s are keen on the food plaza project. Railways plan to set up about 40 food plazas at select railway stations. The project would be implemented by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.
In Delhi, the Railways expects to unlock around 50 acres of land for modernisation of railway
stations. In Mumbai, around 10 acres of land would be unlocked for commercial exploitation. The Railways has similarly firmed up its plans for commercial utilisation of around 500 acres of land in
Jaipur, Kolkata, Patna, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Indore.
Source: Economic Times
Goods Loco Pilots
protest against Indian Railways
Mangalore, March 20, 2008: A protest demanding better working conditions for goods locomotive pilots on the New Mangalore Port (NMPT) sector was launched here by the members of the All India Loco Running Staff Association
(AILRSA) in front of the central railway station here, on
March 19. They were demanding that the severe pollution caused by dust from mineral ore, should be controlled forthwith by the railway authorities. According to them, they were working under difficult and hazardous conditions and they also criticized the railways for not doing enough to protect the rights of the employees.
Due to pollution many of the loco pilots have begun to show signs of bronchitis and other breathing disorders such as asthma because of their frequent visits to the port, alleged AILRSA secretary T P M
Prasad. Moreover he informed that as per the rules and instructions of the port and railway
authorities, it was the duty of the contractors in charge of the loading operations of the ore and other minerals, to ensure that the ore was constantly watered to prevent dust.
However, these contractors are shirking their duty and not doing their job properly.
The Railways are running 400 special trains to deal with the Holi
New Delhi, March 18, 2008: The Railways are running 400 special trains to deal with the Holi
rush this season and said this year there was an unexpected rush of Vaishno
Devi-bound passengers at the New Delhi railway station. Most of these special trains will run to destinations in Bihar and Eastern Uttar
Pradesh, but an unusual number of them will run to Jammu. Three special trains were started initially for Jammu Tawi.
On Friday, a day before the railways’ Holi week commenced, Northern Railway introduced one more special train to Jammu.
GoAir mulls tie-up with Rlys for connectivity
New Delhi March 17, 2008: Passengers of low-cost carrier GoAir might soon be able to book a railway ticket for Delhi-Agra on the company’s website, when they get themselves booked for a
Mumbai-Delhi flight. The carrier is mulling a tie-up with the Indian Railways to provide connectivity for various important places close to
destinations in their network, where they do not play.
“We are definitely planning a multi-modal connectivity to certain places apart from destinations we operate.
When a passenger books his ticket on the GoAir website, he will also have an option to book a railway ticket for a place of his/her interest close to the destination at the same time. The offer might also be given through a tie-up with a travel portal. The offer of air and rail travel would mean a benefit of 30-40 per cent for a customer compared with an all air travel. While a return ticket for Delhi-Madurai would cost Rs 12,250, a flight from Delhi-Chennai and travelling by train to Madurai would cost Rs 8,800. Similarly, flying from Mumbai-Delhi and then going to Agra by train would cost Rs 6,525, whereas a flight ticket could cost Rs 8,500.
Source: Business Standard
going to use palmtops to give berths
NEW DELHI, March 15, 2007: Now in Indian Railway the traveling
ticket examiner (TTE) on board, carrying a palmtop, would be able to identify a vacant berth and issue you a ticket instantly. The Railways would soon make it
mandatory for every TTE to carry a handheld that would be connected to the central server. The passengers would be allotted tickets on
first-come- first- served basis. The central server would be closely monitored by the senior railway officials 24×7, an official in the Railways said.
IBM has supplied five such palmtops in select sectors. The Railways are in talks with IBM to install them in all the trains. The investment to arm every TTE with a handheld would be Rs 200
crore. “In 2008, we hope to provide handhelds in 100 trains including
Rajdhanis, Jan Shatabdis, Garib Raths and Shatabdis. Later, the project would be implemented in all the entire Indian Railways network,” a Rail Bhavan official
RAILWAYS TAKE ALL POSSIBLE STEPS TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS
Raya Sabha, March 14,2008: Safety is the prime concern of Indian Railways and all possible steps are undertaken on a continuing basis to prevent accidents which include timely replacement of over-aged assets, adoption of suitable technologies for up-gradation and maintenance of track, rolling stock, signaling and interlocking systems, safety drives and inspections at regular intervals to monitor and educate staff for observance of safe practices. As a result, there has been a
declining trend in the number of accidents from 473 in 2000-01 to 234 in 2005-06 and further to 195 in 2006-07.
Though the definition of accident varies in different railway systems of different countries, on Indian Railways, the number of accidents per million train kilometer which is an important universally
accepted safety indicator, have shown continuous reduction from 0.55 in 2001-02 to 0.44 in
2002-03, 0.41 in 2003-04, 0.29 in 2004-05, 0.28 in 2005-06 and 0.23 in 2006-07.
During the last ten years from 1997-98 to 2006-07, 3450 persons including 1539 passengers lost their lives in 3483 consequential train accidents on Indian Railways and 58.25 per cent of these accidents were attributed to railway staff failure. Of the 3483 consequential train accidents, 1959 were involving passenger trains.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri R. Velu in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.
Railways to have a surplus of Rs 1,00,000 cr
NEW DELHI, March 11, 2008: Set to gather further steam in the next one year with a huge surplus of Rs 1,00,000 crore, Indian Railways will begin the much-awaited Kolkata-Dhaka service from April 14. "In a historic decision, we have decided that the
Kolkata-Dhaka train service would begin from the Bengali New Year (April 14)," Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said replying to a debate on the Railway Budget 2008-09, which was passed by the Lok
Hitting out at the previous NDA government for poor performance of the railways and inability to pay even Rs 2473 crores dividend, Prasad said when the UPA government completes its term next year, the Railways would have a total surplus of about Rs 1,00,000 crore. It has already generated a surplus of Rs 69,000 crore in the past four years.
"We are not dependent any more on the Finance Ministry or the government for money as we
have our own resources" Prasad said winding up a marathon debate. He said Indian Railways, which has reached number three position in the world, would aspire to occupy the number one
slot in the near future. The minister said tendering process for the ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) is over and the work on the projects would begin soon.
Prasad said resources for the projects ware no more an issue. "Irrespective of funding from foreign institutions, Railways has decided to go ahead with the East and West DFCs," he said.
Source: The Times of India
LS members pitch for better rail facilities
New Dlhi, March 10, 2008: Cutting across party lines, members of the Lok Sabha, on Monday, demanded more facilties and adequate safety for rail passengers. Describing the 2008-09 Railway Budget as ''eyewash'', senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Sumitra Mahajan said it has neither paid any attention to maintenance of bridges nor talked about improving cleanliness in trains and platforms.
Rewati Raman Singh of Samajwadi Party (SP) said that railways should improve facilities for passengers, even if it meant charging a little more. Congress leader Rameshwar Oraon demanded that efforts should be made to expedite implementation of rail projects by fixing time period for the
completion of important schemes. He also suggested that Indian Railways needed to take steps to introduce
newer technologies to ensure smooth running of trains during fog.
Source: Press Trust of India
Railways committed to NE development
GUWAHATI, March 8, 2008: The Chairman of the Railway Board KC Jena today reiterated the commitment of the Indian Railways towards the development of the North East region. He said that although insurgency was a deterrent to some railway projects, the Union and State Governments had responded positively to the needs of the Railways. In the case of Assam, the Government had given the assurance of providing extra security by recruiting 1,000 ex-servicemen to protect sensitive areas. He said that the Railways and the Union and State Governments are aware of the security scenario and meetings are taking place at the highest levels.
Jena mentioned that all the major projects in Assam were on track, and the preliminary work of gauge conversion from Rangia to Murkongselek was underway. It would be functional near the same time that the Bogibeel bridge is opened thus creating a new Railway route between upper Assam and
Guwahati. He appeared satisfied with the funds being made available for the NFR projects, which in 2008-09 year was Rs 1,269 crore. In 2007-08 the total outlay was Rs 902 crore.
He said that the creation of the new non-lapsable pool meant for the North East would also prove to be a boon for the Railways.
Source: The Assam Tribune
Railways to utilise technology to increase efficiency
New Delhi, March 2, 2008 (ANI): Indian Railways has started a drive to utilise
technology to increase its efficiency. They are planning to give instructions to
its drivers and guards through SMS. A senior railway official said, “As part of the Crew Management System all
drivers and guards will be communicated through SMS about their duties.”
He further added that the main motto is to involve technology in place of
existing manual system is to increase the efficiency.
“Crew booking is being computerised now as part of the new system. Drivers,
assistant drivers and guards of all passengers and goods trains will be covered
under the system,” he said. “We have finalised the SMS modules and it will be applicable to all categories
of drivers,” the official added. (ANI)
Railway’s ambitious energy conservation plan
NEW DELHI, March 1, 2008: In line with the Clean Development Mechanism
(CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol, the Indian Railways, under the United Nation Framework on Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), has embarked on an ambitious project of energy conservation to be funded through earnings from carbon credits under public/private partnership.
Indian Railways has invited bids for improving energy efficiency in lighting loads in railways’
residential quarters over railway zones, production units and workshops by replacing approximately 26 lakh (+/-30 per cent) incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps
(CFLs) of 15 watt or higher rating under CDM. The tenders’ papers for the same were opened on Friday, 29 February. The railway minister, Mr Lalu Prasad, in his budget speech last Tuesday mentioned the elaborate plan almost in passing.
“Indian Railways is committed to adopt energy efficient technologies for energy conservation. This project is expected to save 20 crore units of electricity every year and will be funded through
earnings from carbon credits under public/private partnership,” Mr Prasad said. The tender invites investors engaged in projects under
CDM. Those who have successfully registered two or more projects under CDM with UNFCCC and managed one million or more carbon credits will be
considered for the railway project. In the scheme of things, the investor earns carbon credits (CER) but is expected to transfer a proportion of CERs to the railways as well. As the project is under CDM, against which CERs would accrue to the investors, the Railways make no payment towards cost of compact fluorescent lamps or towards transportation, the tender says specifically.
Monitoring the energy consumption and reduction in carbon dioxide emission will be the sole responsibility of the investor and CERs accruing from the project will be audited each year as per extant rules of
UNFCCC. The figures are staggering. The project would be for a period of seven years covering nearly 6.5 lakh households of all 140 Zones, divisions and workshops. The CFLs are required to be supplied within 6 to 9 months.
Source: The Statesman
Railways to absorb 37,000 porters
Delhi, February 28, 2008: Railway ministers in
India, Lalu Prasad had announced in the Railway Budget that licensed porters would be absorbed by the railways to fill up vacancies among the
gangmen. An estimated 37,000 porters are likely to get these jobs. The gangmen themselves will be pleased too, having been promised promotions as gatemen to man level crossings that are currently unmanned. While the move is for the laudable objective of minimizing accidents at such crossings, the political fallout would be an added bonus.
The railway minister also did not miss the opportunity to point out that thousands of SC/ST and OBC candidates had been given jobs during his tenure to fill up the backlog of unutilized quotas. In fact, candidates from these categories had exceeded their quotas in Group D recruitments, he
pointed out. Another proposed job creating move by the railways is to fill up about 5,700 vacant posts of constables in the Railway Protection Force (RPF) with a 5% quota for women and 993
sub-inspectors with a 10% reservation for women.
Given the huge size of the railway workforce - about 14 lakh - the minister also made sure that there were provisions in the budget that would keep this votebank happy. He raised the contribution to the staff benefit fund from Rs 35 to Rs 350 per employee.
Source: Times of India
Industry hails Railway budget as “pragmatic, progressive and futuristic”
NEW DELHI, February 27, 2008: Indian industry hails the Railway Budget 2008-09 presented by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav on
26th February, as “pragmatic, progressive and futuristic” budget that would help strengthen and expand traffic handling capacity of the institution.
FICCI President, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “The Railway Budget has attempted to address the transport requirement of an expanding Indian economy. The Minister has introduced several new procedures which will facilitate private sector participation in the Railways, particularly in design and development of new models of
wagons.” Hailing the cut in passenger fares and freight rates, particularly on diesel and petrol by 5 per cent, he said, “This is a good and strong
anti- inflationary measure”.
Assocham President, Venugopal Dhoot, termed the budget as “pragmatic, progressive and futuristic” and said that the proposals such as reduction in freight rates and rail fare
would help the railways attract more traffic. Welcoming the partnership with the private sector, Confederation of Indian Industry
(CII) President, Sunil Mittal, said it would open yet another avenue for the industry to participate in the
spectacular growth of the Indian Railways. The reduction in freight rate for petrol and diesel by 5 per cent and on fly ash by 14 per cent will help offset the impact of the hike in fuel prices, he added.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations President, Ganesh Gupta, termed the use of information technology for passenger convenience as the hallmark of the budget and the decision to import wagons to bridge the supply-demand gap was also a pragmatic step. Wagon industry happy
The Rs. 75,000 crore that has been reserved for infrastructure upgradation over the next seven years will give a big thrust to businesses and organisations associated with the Indian Railways. The reduction in freight rates for petrol and diesel will help neutralise the effect of the recent hike in prices, said Bharat Chamber of Commerce.
lauds Railways' turnaround
Delhi, February 25, 2008: The impressive turnaround in the Indian Railways came in for special mention from President Pratibha Patil as she addressed the Parliament on Monday. "My
government has achieved a major turnaround in the financial and technical performance of the Indian Railways," Patil said, addressing the Joint Sitting of Parliament on the opening day of the Budget Session.
To further improve rail connectivity and infrastructure development, 22 stations located at
metropolitan centres and major tourist centres will be developed through public-private partnership, the President said. Noting that the proposed Mumbai-Delhi-Kolkata Dedicated Freight Corridor will be a landmark in railway infrastructure, she said it will support massive industrialisation
Indian railways may
increase the seats in the AC-II, AC-III and the sleeper
New Delhi, February 22, 2008: Looking at improving passenger earnings, Indian railways may
increase the seats in the AC-II, AC-III and the sleeper categories. "Though
there is competition from the low cost airlines in the AC-II segment, the demand
in the sleeper class will always be there. These two are the most popular
categories now. The AC-I segment, of course, remains a choice with the
privileged class," said a senior official in the railway ministry.
According to sources, the railways is planning to generate additional capacity
of around 1 lakh seats. Also, new design coaches, which might have twin
corridors in order to have more seating facility, are being contemplated besides
plans of crash-worthy coaches. Officials said Indian railways is also thinking
of increasing the capacity of its train by around 12 per cent by introducing an
additional berth in the corridor. The likely move, they said, should appeal to
the people and will be in line with the expansion of the railway services and
Officials said in 2007-08, the capacity of sleeper coaches has been increased
from 72 to 84, AC chair car from 67 to 102, AC-III tier from 64 to 81, AC-II
tier from 46 to 48 and AC-I from 18 to 22. These coaches have been designed at
the rail coach factory, Kapurthala. These coaches will be convenient and
comfortable for the passengers. The railways have started the production of
these new design coaches from 2007-08.
Source: The Asian Age
RAILWAY REVENUE EARNINGS UP BY 24.19 PER CENT
Ministry of Railways : February 21, 2008 : The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during the period 1st February – 10th February 2008 were Rs. 2156.16 crore compared to Rs. 1736.15 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 24.19 per cent.
The total goods earnings have gone up from Rs. 1194.47 crore during 1st February – 10th
February 2007 to Rs. 1465.47 crore during 1st February – 10th February 2008, showing an increase of 22.69 per cent. The total passenger revenue earnings during the period 1st to 10th February 2008 were Rs. 624.16 crore compared to Rs. 474.98 crore during the same period last year, reflecting an increase of 31.41 per cent. The revenue earnings from other coaching amounted to Rs. 47.92 crore during this period compared to Rs. 47.18 crore during the same period last year, showing an increase of 1.57 per cent.
The total approximate number of passengers booked during the period 1st to 10th February 2008 were 180.40 million compared to 182.66 million during the same period last year, showing a decrease of 1.24 per cent. In the suburban and non-suburban sectors, the number of passengers booked during 1–10 February 2008 were 102.06 million and 78.34 million compared to 105.49 million and 77.17 million during the same period last year, registering a decrease of 3.25 per cent and an increase of 1.52 per cent respectively. (PIB)
Four companies won the right for 80% of rail kiosks
New Delhi, February 19, 2008: Four companies Balan Natural Foods, Surya
Agro, Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading and Nestle India have won the rights to operate nearly 80 per cent of the refreshment kiosks at railway stations. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has awarded bids for 1,020 kiosks as on January 1. An estimated 660 crore passengers (2007-08) travel by the rail network annually.
Balan Natural Foods (275 kiosks) and Surya Agro (255 kiosks) have bagged rights for more than half of the kiosks, leaving behind majors such as Nestle India, Hindustan Lever, Pepsi Foods and Hindustan Coca-Cola. Of the 1,020 kiosks awarded across States such as Uttar Pradesh,
Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, 485 vending kiosks have been commissioned as on date, sources said.
Companies would be allowed to sell pre-cooked, packaged food items and beverages at railway stations at prices not higher than the maximum retail price. Moreover, they are required to offer 150 ml of tea for Rs 4 and an equal amount of coffee for Rs 5. For Railways, the average
annualised revenue earned per kiosk would be about Rs 2 lakh.
Toy train caught in political crossfire
SILIGURI, February 19, 2008: The world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
(DHR) is incurring a loss of about Rs 30,000 per day, as the service remains off the track due to the ongoing political agitation in the Darjeeling
hills .The toy train service remains suspended since 12 February, following the forcible closure of government establishments in the Darjeeling hills by the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM) in opposition to the proposed Sixth Schedule status for the DGHC and removal of the DGHC caretaker administrator Mr Subash
Due to the ongoing agitation, the fund-stripped DHR has so far registered a loss of Rs 2.10 lakh and the financial losses are mounting by the day. The DHR runs four pairs of toy trains between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling every day. “We are losing Rs 30,000 a day, which is quite an amount considering the DHR is a highly subsidised wing of the Indian Railways. If the toy trains do not get back on the tracks soon, it would damage the world heritage service in the long run,” said Mr Subrata
Nath, director, DHR.
Apart from the financial loss, the DHR authorities are worried at the damage that the agitation was causing to the Darjeeling toy train's
reputation.“ It is really depressing to find foreign and domestic tourists returning disheartened without taking a joy ride in the toy train.
Source: The Statesman
The world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
(DHR) is incurring a loss of about Rs 30,000 per day, due to the ongoing political agitation in the Darjeeling
Railways derails misuse of free passes
New Delhi. February 18, 2008 (PTI): Indian Railways, has cut down the number of free passes after it found they were being misused for commercial purposes. The railways, which issues over 4,200 privilege passes a year to lawmakers, freedom fighters and social activists, besides about
2,000 issued by the government to gallantry awardees, has managed to
curtail spending on such allowances to Rs 22 crore this fiscal as compared to Rs 60 crore in 2004-05.
In the last three years, authorities had stepped up vigil, particularly after reports regarding misuse of such passes for commercial and other
purposes. The Railways, which was teetering toward financial ruin in 2001, had made a remarkable turnaround that too without any significant
increase in passengers fares. Instead, the authorities had deployed additional coaches in popular trains, ran more special trains and introduced freight friendly rules to increase revenue. It has a fund balance of over Rs 20,000 crore now.
Railway Minister Lalu Prasad promised another aam aadmi rail budget
BANGALORE, February 12, 2008 : Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Monday promised yet another aam aadmi budget on February 26.
The railway budget would keep in mind the interests of students, farmers, workers and the poor, he said inaugurating the re-modified Yeshwanthpur station and launching the extended service of the Ajmer-Bangalore Express up to Mysore at a function here.
The Railways’ thrust would be on improving “comfort levels” in the general compartment.
Wooden planks would be replaced with two-inch cushion seats. Also, the number of general compartments would be increased. The common man’s air-conditioned train ‘Garib Rath’ was a runaway success, the Railway Minister said. During the last four years, the Railways had remitted Rs. 48,000 crore to the government account, wiping out all deficit forecast by experts, he said.
Railways plan to Wi-Fi enabled Shatabdi, Rajdhani trains
NEW DELHI, February 12, 2008: Railways plan to make popular trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani Wi-Fi enabled. Railways have already started making its stations Wi-Fi enabled. “The trains linking metros would be made Wi-Fi enabled in the first phase. This would help executives to utilise their travel time in a productive way. The work would start with all Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains and then extend to other express and superfast trains,” an official in the Rail Bhawan said. It is expected that in the forthcoming Budget rail minister may
make an announcement in this regard.
Railway Minister Lalu Yadav opens AC dormitory
HAJIPUR, February 11, 2008: After Garib Rath, this is yet another pre-budget gift to train passengers, particularly belonging to middle and low income
groups, from railway minister Lalu Prasad. Shri Lalu Yadav on Sunday inaugurated first fully air-conditioned dormitory, Sudama Kutir, at Hajipur railway station in Vaishali district, first of its kind in the Indian Railways in the country. Anyone travelling by trains can avail the services of this dormitory by paying Rs 75 per bed, said the railway minister, who also inaugurated the upgraded Hajipur railway station and modernised concourse and second class waiting room on the occasion.
The railway minister gave the credit of opening of fully AC dormitory to his colleague and Union minister for rural development Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who was also present on the occasion.
Source: The Times of India
Railways to seek help from Italy to modernize railway stations
NEW DELHI, February 07, 2008: Indian Railways is seeking the help of Italian
experts to modernize railway stations across the
country. A three-member high-level team from Italian Railways
-Giovanni Rocca, Massimo Paglialunga and Aleberto D'Amico - will come to India
on a two-day visit from February 13 to share their experience with the Indian Railways officials on the redevelopment of railway stations through public-private partnership (PPP) model.
Apart from world class stations like Bologna Central and Milan Central, Italian railway system, considered to be one of the best in Europe, is known for its effective
signaling system and advanced accident prevention system.
Railways aim to provide world class
MUMBAI, February 5,2008: Indian Railways is working on providing world class services to its commuters including food plazas at all major stations, Minister of State for Railways Naranbhai Rathwa said today.
Attending a function prior to the inauguration of a train service, Rathwa said multiple stations were being upgraded to world class standards and in Maharashtra, the railway termini of Maharashtra and Pune have been chosen. "We will also aim to provide food plazas at all major stations to provide clean and healthy food for passengers," the minister said.
Rathwa flagged off the innaugural Mumbai-Aurangabad 'Janshatabdi Express' today at the heritage Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in south
Mumbai. The minister later flagged off Mumbai- Jaipur `Garib Rath Express' at the Bandra Terminus in suburban Bandra, where he also innaugurated the the installation of 530 Closed Circuit Cameras and Televisions (CCTVs) on the suburban line of the Western Railways. He also said there was some work pending on the additional railway lines set up between suburban Borivali and Virar after which additional services could be introduced on the line.
Wage hike won't come easy for railways
NEW DELHI, February 04, 2008: The Pay Commission’s
recommendations may slow down the Indian Railways’ ambition of becoming richest railway network in the world. The Centre has asked the Railways to generate Rs 9,000 crore from its own resources to pay for increased wages. Railways is expected to implement the commission’s recommendations in 2008-09.
The government may also halve Railways’ gross budgetary support
(GBS) at Rs 7,100 crore from Rs 13,252 crore, demanded by it as the budgetary support to meet its expenditure in
2008- 09, official sources said. The total plan outlay to be presented by railways minister Lalu Yadav this year is likely to be Rs 36,000 crore. Most of the expenses are likely to be met through
This year’s proposed outlay represents a 20% growth over the previous year’s outlay of Rs 31,000 crore. According to budget estimates, the railways would generate Rs 20,000 crore through internal generation during 2007-08 against last year’s Rs 10,794
crore. This represents a 58% increase in mobilisation of internal resources. Total budgetary support amounted only to Rs 7,611 crore in 2007-08.
The Railways expect internal generation to be a record Rs 25,000 crore this fiscal.
Budget support is also likely to facilitate freight movement in coal,
fertilisers, food grains and iron ore. The Railways hopes to generate major part of the revenues to meet the growing expenditure through increased PPP.
Source: Economic Times
Indian Railways has become an exporter of (DMUs) coaches
NEW DELHI, February 01, 2008: Now the Indian Railways has become an exporter of diesel multiple units
(DMUs) coaches. The Railways dispatched 15 DMU coaches to Angola in its first-ever export order,
including three coaches for self-propelled accident relief train,
manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai. The DMUs, exported by
state- owned consultancy major RITES, were flagged off by Minister of State for Railways R. Velu from Chennai Port.
Mr. Velu said the Railways had achieved another milestone as it was for the first time that such DMUs designed and manufactured by ICF were being exported. “The export of DMUs to Angola would open new vistas for similar exports in future.
ICF has so far manufactured 230 varieties of different designs of coaches and is still venturing into new designs and assimilating the latest technology available to provide the best comfort to the passengers,” he added. The manufacture and dispatch of these DMUs and the self-propelled accident relief train mark the successful completion of various on-going projects undertaken by RITES in Angola which include technical assistance, up-gradation of maintenance workshops and earlier export of passenger coaches, the Minister added.
Indian Bank launches ATM and e-ticketing machine at Bangalore City
BANGALORE, January 30, 2008: Electronic-ticketing (e-ticketing), an innovative venture by Southern Western Railway in collaboration with Indian Bank, was launched at the Bangalore City Railway Station on Tuesday.
The off-site ATM and e-ticketing machine was inaugurated by M.S. Sundara
Rajan, Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank. Mahesh Mangal, Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Western Railway, Bangalore, was the guest of honour.
Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Mangal said, “E-ticketing is a different and new concept in India, where customers can book their ticket through an e-ticketing machine by using their Indian Bank ATM card and also receive the printed ticket simultaneously. The main objective behind this is to save the time of the customers and the railway authorities. This is the first venture of this sort with Indian Bank; we have further plans to set up 12 more e-ticketing machines at the City Railway Station and 45 around the city in collaboration with banks such as State Bank of India, Canara Bank and other private banks.”
Mr. Rajan said, “This will make transaction for customers very easy. They can use their ATM PIN number to operate the e-ticketing machine and the amount of the ticket will deducted from their account. We will charge a minimum amount of Rs. 12 as service charge. This e-ticketing machine is very easy to operate and contains all the information regarding Indian Railways like name of the train, train number, availability of seats, etc.
We have plans to set up six more e-ticketing machines in Bangalore.”
KOLKATA, January. 25, 2008: The Indian Railways has now turned to school students for help to reduce accidents at unmanned railway crossings. The railway authorities have sent proposals to all educational boards
- WBSE, ICSE and CBSE to include railway-safety measures as a
compulsory subject in their curriculum, Mr AK Jain, general manager of South Eastern Railway (SER) said.
There are 670 unmanned railway crossings, which fall under the SER in West
Bengal. The school students would be made aware of the safety measures that should be adopted while at a railway crossing. The students would thus be cautious themselves as well as instruct others on the rightful safety-measures that should be adopted. Twenty two persons were killed in separate accidents at unmanned railway crossings in the state last year. Railway officials feel that lack of awareness was the cause for so many deaths.
Source: The Statesman
discount on high speed diesel
New Delhi, January 22, 2008: Indian Railways, the country’s largest high speed diesel
(HSD) consumer, has managed to negotiate a discount of Rs 150 per kilolitre of HSD from oil marketing firms for 2008. This is despite the oil companies’ earlier move to stop extending discounts to the railways in 2008. In 2007, the Railways got a discount of Rs 1,125.27 per kilolitre of HSD from most of the oil marketing firms in the public sector. Oil
marketing companies such as IOC, BPCL, HPCL and MRPL offered this discount to the Railways over and above the rate at which they dispatch HSD to their retail outlets.
At two billion litres of annual consumption, Railways is the largest HSD buyer in the country and about 82-83 per cent of the supply to Railways comes from IOCL. Railways recently had a meeting with oil marketing companies when it firmed up the new contract.
Indian Railway may be allowed to go ahead with budget hotel plan
NEW DELHI, January 22, 2008: Railways is likely to allow Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to go ahead with its plan for setting up 20 budget hotels on railway land across the country. Though letter of allotments of land were issued to a few hotel chains like Royal Orchid and Signet Hotels for 20 sites last year, land could not be transferred due to the objections raised by the Rail Land Development Authority
The hotel plan was unfolded by the IRCTC in 2006 and accordingly 100 railway sites were selected for setting up budget hotels on public private partnership (PPP) model. The IRCTC went ahead with the plan by inviting tenders for 20 sites in the first lot. However,
RLDA, set up to develop surplus railway land commercially, staked its claim for the hotel project and alleged that proper procedures were not followed in finalising the land deals in the first lot for 20 sites. RLDA maintained that tenders were floated before the land was handed over to IRCTC by railways. The issue could not be resolved and the project was stalled for about a year.
"The issues concerning the 20 sites for budget hotels is being resolved now and the modalities for transferring the land are being worked out," said a senior Railways Ministry official.
Source: Economic Times
INDIA, CHINA SIGN MOU FOR COOPERATION IN RAIL SECTOR
18, 2008: In a major move aimed at cooperation between
Indian Railways and Chinese Railways, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between them in the Chinese capital, Beijing, this week during the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China. The
MOU, valid for three years, envisages development of rail related programmes of mutual interest, consultations, training and visits to each others’ facilities. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Chinese Premier Mr. Wen Jiabao were present when the MOU was
signed between Shri K.C. Jena, Chairman, Indian Railway Board and Mr. Liu Zhijun, the Chinese Minister for Railways Indian Railways has, of late, made tremendous progress in different sectors of its railway operation leading to great turnaround in its functioning and is fully gearing up towards modernization, technological upgradation, capacity enhancement and development of world class services. The MOU signed with China will further facilitate progress in that direction. The areas in which cooperation with Chinese Railways will be sought are in raising of speed on existing routes, development of world-class stations, heavy haul operations,
development of multimodal logistics parks and in Research and Development. The Chinese Railways’
experience in the areas of Signalling & telecommunication, Traction supply, High Axle Load Operations, Design & Maintenance practices, Track Machines, Development & Operations, Multimodal Transport in Railway sector would be of benefit to Indian Railways.
Chinese Railways carry the highest level of freight traffic in the world and also a very high level of passenger traffic. It has undertaken considerable network expansion, speed raising, modernization and technology
upgradation during the last 10 years and have a very ambitious programme for the next decade too.
Source: PIB Press Release
Govt okays 28 pc disinvestment in RITES
New Delhi, January 10,2008 (PTI): Government on Thursday approved disinvestments
in RITES Ltd, a company under the Indian Railways, along with its initial public offer for listing in the capital market. The decision to disinvest 28 per cent government equity was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs here. "After all this, the government will still be holding 72 per cent of equity in the company," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting.
Technology to power trains through fog
NEW DELHI, January 7, 2008: The Indian Railways’ Research Design and Standards Organisation is engaged in developing laser technology-based equipment to help drivers run trains at "normal speed" under foggy
conditions. Every year during winter, when fog drastically reduces visibility, drivers and the railway authorities are faced with the daunting task of running trains on schedule. The railway ministry recently sanctioned Rs 3 crore for a “Fog Vision Instrumentation” project.
IIT, Kanpur, the RDSO and industry partners are executing the
project being undertaken under the “Technology Mission of Railway Safety” jointly.
The project’s aim is to develop instruments based on laser technology. Once developed, these instruments are likely to help the drivers run trains at normal speed under foggy conditions, a ministry official said here.
The RDSO, a research development institution under the railway ministry, has been instrumental in developing critical instruments such as wheel impact load detection systems, crashworthy designs of coaches, besides upgrading EMD engines from 4,000 to 4,500 HP and development of the satellite imaging for rail navigation system in the last three years, it was learnt.
Source: Statesman News Service
Gateway to raise Rs 300 crore
for rail freight subsidiary
Mumbai January 04, 2008: Logistics provider Gateway Distriparks (GDL) is planning to raise Rs 250-300 crore by way of private equity for its subsidiary, Gateway Rail Freight. The company has appointed Kotak Bank as the merchant banker for the private placement. Confirming the development, GDL Managing Director Prem Kishan Gupta said that the company was looking at private placement of around Rs 250-300
crore. GDL intends to use the proceeds for the expansion plans of its rail freight subsidiary. “We are yet to shortlist any private equity company, even though talks have been on for sometime,” he added.
The company will dilute around 15-20 per cent stake to the investor and the deal would be closed in two-three months. Gateway Rail Freight, an unlisted company, was planning to invest around Rs 1,000 crore in its rail and hinterland terminal business and acquire 30 rigs in next two years. It may list on the bourses, as well. The company runs six freight trains and intends to double this to 12 by the end of this financial year. Starting next year, the company would add two freight trains every month. The parent company, GDL was also planning to
invest Rs 500 crore in rail logistics subsidiary in the next three years. It will make an initial investment of Rs 150 crore in acquiring rolling stock, including axles, wheels and wagons.
Gateway Rail Freight was formed after Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav privatised certain operations of the state-run Indian Railways in 2004. The company began running container trains, building dedicated railway lines for freight and goods movement, and setting up warehouses and logistics
centres. Malaysian government’s investment arm, Temasek Holdings, has 5.5 per cent stake in GDL. This is held through its investment arm
Aranada investments. GDL operates container freight stations (CFS) in Navi Mumbai, Chennai, Vishakapatnam and an inland container depot (ICD) at
Source: Business Standard