SAIL develops corrosion-resistant rails
KOLKATA, August 31, 2009: A unique collaborative alliance formed between
IIT-Kanpur, Indian Railways’ arm, Research Design and Standards Organisation
(RDSO), and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has developed cost-effective corrosion-resistant rails for the first time in the country. The Railways has already sourced the first batch of some 500 tonnes of these nickel-copper-chromium (NCC) rails for its Jharsuguda division. This is part of a 10,000-tonne order for corrosion-resistant rails in 2009-10 bagged by SAIL’s Bhilai steel plant, which also developed the rails recently. For starters, such rails are being used in coastal areas which are typically exposed to adverse weather elements. The new NCC rails were put to rigorous field trials recently, following which the Railway Board has instructed all railway zones to directly source these rails from Bhilai.
Patna Junction to be developed as disabled-friendly station
PATNA, August 30, 2009: Patna Junction has been selected to be developed as a disabled-friendly station of the Indian Railways. The railways has plans to provide more special facilities for the physically challenged persons at all major stations across the country.
According to senior divisional commercial manager (senior DCM) of Danapur division of East Central Railway (ECR) Om Prakash, the
railways has so far provided facilities like separate booking counter, parking, waiting hall and toilets for the disabled persons at Patna Junction. Even access ramps have been provided at Patna Junction for them while boarding trains from here to far off places, he said.
Under the new plan approved by the Railway Board, the railways has selected about 1,500 stations which would be developed as disabled-friendly stations at the country level for the convenience of disabled persons travelling by trains, the senior DCM said.
Indian Railways switches to green track
NEW DELHI, August 25, 2009: The railways is going green. In a bid to cut down on carbon emissions and rising fuel costs, Indian Railways is trying to channelise its vast resources into turning eco-friendly. From designing bio-toilets, using bio-diesel and gravity valve technique to cutting down on water wastage, the projects are on show at the ongoing 8th International Railway Equipment Exhibition at Pragati
Maidan. According to V Nagrajan, senior engineer of Southern Railway, the division is now using bio-diesel to run four trains on the Tiruchy-Thanjavur sector. "We began our project in 2005 and saw considerable success. We use the B-5 to B-20 variant on trains, meaning 20% of the diesel is bio-fuel. We are aiming for a 100% variety. This bio-fuel has been tested on super-fast trains like the
Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express too,'' he said.
starts in Delhi
New Delhi, August 23, 2009: Over 150 railway equipment
companies, including those from the US, the UK and China, will
showcase products and latest technologies tomorrow at an exhibition
here. The three-day exhibition, to be jointly organised by Railways
Ministry and industry body CII, will support the modernisation plans
of the Indian Railways.
The 8th International Railway Equipment Exhibition ( IREE 2009)
is expected to be participated by over 150 companies from 12
countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, China, France and
Germany, CII said in a statement. "The Indian Railways, this
time, will specially focusing on Railway equipment manufacturers,
electrification, energy conservation, locomotives, maintenance and
service equipment, mass rapid transport systems, safety and security
systems,"it said. Indian Railways is continuously focusing on
modernisation of its entire railway system particularly stations and
trains, in view of the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi in
There will be no privatisation or commercialisation of the railways
KOLKATA, August 20, 2009: Rubbishing talk that efforts are on to privatise the Indian Railways, Railway
Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said she would be the last person to do so. There will be no privatisation or commercialisation of the railways, Banerjee said at the 54th Annual Railways National Award Function here.
"We'll make the railways so strong that no one can undermine this
organisation. We'll ensure nobody can touch our employees as well. We are passing through an important stage. "It's the railway employees who take care of the safety and security of this huge organisation," she said.
Reiterating her oft-repeated stand, Banerjee said: "Indian Railways is just not a transport organisation, it has social obligations too. Whenever there's a natural calamity, we always reach there to help out people in distress. She said the railways had already identified 112,000 acres of land which would be used for
development work in the coming days.
Railways to directly monitor food quality
KOLKATA, August 17, 2009: The next time a rail passenger complains about poor quality of food supplied by private catering services in long distance trains, a team of inspectors team led by the concerned chief commercial manager (CCM) will inspect it and take stern action if food quality is found to be poor. The licence of the catering service agencies could be rejected permanently after CCM's
recommendation. In a bid to improve the quality of food served on trains, the Indian railways has decided to give priority to the food quality checking drive and as such the new additional responsibility was given to the chief commercial managers of various zones.
Senior railway officials said the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) that used to look after the catering services do not have sufficient officers to check the quality of the food regularly. Earlier, when a passenger complained about poor quality of food, the IRCTC used to look into the matter. But passengers allege that despite their repeated complaints, the quality of food on trains did not improve. A railway
spokesperson said that CCMs would monitor the catering service to improve the quality of food services.
Source: The Statesman
fault with Rajdhani, Shatabdi
New Delhi, August 13, 2009 : The Railways might take pride in
operating the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains, but the
Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said that in more
than 50 per cent of
occasions, these prestigious trains have not reached their
destinations on time. “If measured from a passenger’s
perspective—arrival at destination at the time given in the time
table— trains were late on 54
per cent of occasions, while prestigious trains like Rajdhani and
Shatabdi were late on 53 per cent of occasions,” the CAG report
said. The report maintained that, now, the Indian Railways address
punctuality purely from an operational point of view, where trains
handed over late by one zone to another were recorded as being
punctual so long as they do not get delayed further.
In addition, the zones reported wrong data in order to
show that trains were punctual on 95 per cent of the occasions, the
CAG report said. An independent assessment of 568 trains disclosed
that as many as 79,122 runs out of 1,45,886 runs, which constituted
54.24 per cent of the total runs, the trains had reached the
destinations beyond their scheduled time of arrival. Out of these, on
30,487 occasions, the delays were for more than one hour. Moreover,
the delays were due to factors like engineering delay, signal failure,
loco failure and miscellaneous reasons than due to external factors or
untoward incidents. The delayed runs of super fast trains accounted
for 23,247 out of 79,122 runs, which included prestigious trains like
Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Sampark Kranti.
During 2007-08, the 37 Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains that
were reviewed reached the destinations late on 53 per cent (4,956 out
of 9,378 runs) of the occasions. Even while considering the engine
hour cost of a
diesel loco, the delayed runs reviewed involved an extra expenditure
of Rs 47.41 crore on fuel consumption alone. Source: DH News
Railways take measures to prevent accidents
Lok Sabha, August 06, 2009 : As a result of safety measures taken by the Railways to prevent accidents, there has been a declining trend in the number of train accidents from 415 in year 2001-02 to 194 in 2007-08 and further to 177 in the year 2008-09. Measures taken include timely replacement of over-aged assets, adoption of suitable technologies for upgradation and maintenance of track, measurement of
overstressing of track and bridges, rolling stock, signaling and interlocking systems, safety drives and inspections at regular intervals to monitor and educate staff for observance of safe practices.
Each and every train accident is inquired either by a committee of railway officers or by the Commission of
Railway Safety depending upon the seriousness of the accident. During the years 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and in the current year from April to July 2009, a total of 613 consequential train accidents took place on Indian Railways. Out of which, 80 were inquired into by the Commission of Railway Safety and balance 533 were inquired into by the Departmental committees. This information was given by the Minister of State for
Ministry of Railways, Shri K. H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
Indian Railways to set up 1000 MW power plant in Bihar
Monday, August 03, 2009:Indian Railways would set up a 1000 MW capacity power plant at Nabinagar in Bihar to meet its power requirements. Mr E Ahamed minister of state for railways told the Rajya Sabha that
the plant will be set up under a joint venture with NTPC. Railways have already formed Bharatiya Bijlee Company Limited for initiating power projects for it.
In a written reply in the House, Mr Ahamed said that the upcoming plant will feed 164 traction sub-stations located in Eastern and Western region of the country.Railways consumed more than 14,096 million KWH in 2007-08 for operational (traction) and non operational (non traction) purposes.
Bangladesh wants to broaden rail links with India
Dhaka, July 23, 2009 (PTI): Bangladesh has asked India to
broaden (rpt) broaden rail links between the two countries, which got
snapped due to the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war. Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina has said that her country wants broader rail links with India
restored and this she has conveyed to Indian Railways Minister
Rail links were snapped following the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war,
six years before the sovereign state of Bangladesh was born. "The
railway connection was disconnected after war ...now we want to open
it we want to develop our railways," Ms. Hasina told a
50-member business delegation, led by FICCI. "Our government
has already sent a request to Indian Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee
in this regard," she said. Bangladesh Commerce Minister Mohammad
Faruk Khan said good connectivity was needed in order to improve
relations between the two countries.
Earlier, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(FICCI) Vice-Chairman Harsh Mariwala, leading the Indian delegation,
had said, "... We need a definitive improvement in the
infrastructure for movement of goods and people between the two
countries . "If the Bangladesh government can open up the
Chittagong port for Indian cargo, then this would have a huge
multiplier effect on our bilateral relations."
Wi-Fi on Indian Railway
Mumbai, July 22, 2009: The Indian Railways is contemplating to
introduce Wi-Fi in select Indian trains according to the minister of state for ministry of railways, E.Ahamed.
The facility of Internet services by using Wi-Fi system was demonstrated on
trial basis in Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express train from Jan. 11-24 and this
was found successful, says a press release published on a government website.
Following this, the proposal is under consideration to provide this facility in
select trains. However, when exactly will this commence is not specified.
Indian Railways to reduce running train sound
Kottayam, Kerala, July 16, 2009: To reduce the rhythm (sound) Indian Railways are welding the rails with alumino thermit process without use of fish plates. However the welding is done for a set of five or six rails and at that point the noise is inevitable but yet rhythmic. Passengers travelling on trunk routes would experience smooth running of the train.
Indian Railways are also experimenting with the rails that have their ends cut at 45 degrees angles. In this when the coach is on the move from one rail to the other (the next one) there is no sound since the wheel is already on the next rail, before leaving the earlier one. In this the fish plates have to be used instead of
welding the joints. - The Hindu
Setting up of Budget Hotels
by Indian Railways
Ministry of Railways, July 11, 2009: The Indian Railways has entrusted Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) with setting up of Budget Hotels in the vicinity of major railway
stations either directly or through Public Private Participation. IRCTC follows two packet open competitive bidding system to grant licenses. Tender for each site is separately issued by
IRCTC. Indian Railways gives the land on license to IRCTC for a period of 30 years with a revenue sharing ration of
40:60 between Indian Railways & IRCTC besides a nominal land license fee such that the total earnings to the
Railways is not less than 2.5 per cent of the market value of the land. The detailed contract conditions with the licensee are framed by IRCTC.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Ministry of Railways, Shri E. Ahamed in a written reply
in Rajya Sabha today.
Railways has over 1.7 lakh vacancies: Mamata Banerjee
Delhi, July 10, 2009 (ANI): Indian Railways has over 1.7 lakh vacancies for various
grades, which will be filled in after reviving the existing recruitment process,
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee informed the Rajya Sabha today. Replying to a question, Banerjee said the review of the Railway Recruitment
Board (RRB) would also examine regional aspirations and problems raised during
the railway recruitment process in Maharashtra, Assam, and Karnataka.The fresh recruitment process will resume only after reviewing the entire
process, Mamata said.
She informed the house that, of the 1,72,444 vacancies, 1,12,566 posts are
vacant in Group C, 58,329 are in Group D and 1,549 vacancies in Group A and B.
Replying to a separate question, Mamata said there was a backlog of 1,814
vacancies of SCs in Group C and 1,688 for STs. There is no backlog of vacancies
of SC and ST in Group A and B. A special recruitment drive will be launched to fill SC and ST vacancies at the
earliest, Mamata informed the house. Mamata also informed the members that Railway Ministry is launching its own
catering service, the pilot project will assume in Rajadhani and Shatabdi trains.
Railways take steps to curb menace of touts
Ministry of Railways, July 08, 2009 (PIB): In a drive to curb menace of touts on Indian Railways, a total number of 2521 touts buying tickets in fictitious names were apprehended and prosecuted, whereas a total
number of 20240 cases of passengers travelling on transferred tickets were detected during the year
2008-09. During the first two months of the current financial year i.e. April and May 2009, a total number
of 298 touts were apprehended and 4226 passengers travelling on transferred tickets were detected. This
has happened during the internal checks undertaken by Indian Railways on regular basis.
Indian Railways have been taking several steps to prevent such activities. These include: i) Intensive checks conducted by Railways’ Commercial and Vigilance Departments at reservation offices, stations and in trains, ii) Campaigns to educate the public to desist from purchasing tickets from unauthorized persons, iii) Bridging the demand-supply gap through running special trains, introducing new trains, augmenting existing trains, etc., and iv) Providing the facility of e-ticketing for easier access to booking reserved tickets.
Indian Railways plans acquisition of 18,000 wagons
New Delhi July 4, 2009 (PTI): The government today said Indian
Railways proposes to acquire 18,000 wagons in 2009-10,under rolling
stock programme during the current fiscal against 11,000 in the
previous financial year. The announcement made by Railway Minister
Mamata Banerjee is likely to benefit domestic wagon making firms
– BEML, Texmaco and Titagarh Wagons. "There is a growing demand
for wagons in railways. We propose to initiate the process for taking
over wagon units of Burn Standard and Braithwaite," Banerjee said
in Parliament while presenting the Railway Budget 2009-10.
Banerjee said talks have already been started with concerned
Ministries for waiver of accumulated liabilities. "Efforts will
be made to complete all action at the earliest as the units are PSUs
under the Ministry of Heavy Industries," she said.
Railways proposes to invest Rs 40,745 crores in this fiscal
New Delhi, July 3, 2009 (PTI): The Indian Railways, one of the largest profit-making
industries in the county, proposes to invest Rs 40,745 crores in the current fiscal, up from Rs 36,773 crores in the previous financial year. Out of this investment, it would pump in Rs 12,393 crores on railway research, while road safety works (road over and under bridges)
would get Rs 5,135 crores, Railway Budget for 2009-10 revealed.
The Railways also proposes to invest Rs 1,906 crores on gauge conversion and would inject Rs 1,797 crores on machinery and plants. For restoration of dismantled lines, the budget, presented by Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee, proposes to invest Rs 2,054
crores. Another Rs 2,921.70 crores would be invested for building new lines. The Railways also earmarks Rs 1,526 crores for amenities of its staff and passengers. It would also pump in Rs 4,247.28 crores on locomotives and Rs 3,616.61 crores on the carriages.
For the current fiscal, the Railways expects revenue to the tune of Rs 8,121 crores, against Rs 11,066 crores in the previous fiscal, with total expenditure amounting to Rs 82,504 crores and total receipts at Rs 90,626 crores.
Now, know your railway ticket status through texting
LUDHIANA, July 1, 2009: The railway authorities have
started the SMS alert facility for the convenience of passengers to
get Passenger Name Record (PNR) status before travelling in the
trains. According to information, passengers can send an SMS to
railway enquiry number 139 and know the status of their tickets.
Earlier, they used to call at the enquiry number for the same, which
usually remained busy. It is worth mentioning that the authorities had
forwarded a proposal to the railway board around a month back for its
approval, so that they could launch the service to facilitate the
general passengers. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism
Corporation (IRCTC) will take care of the service.
Sources said passengers have to type PNR and the PNR
number and send it to 139. And, they will get the status of their
tickets within a few minutes. Speaking on the condition of anonymity,
a railway employee, said, "Passengers had always been
demanding to provide them an alternative for the enquiry of their
seats because it becomes difficult to get any information through a
phone call." He further said passengers were a harried lot
after the railway authorities wrapped up their local enquiry number
131, which somehow was proving helpful to the local passengers.
"The authorities hope that the new service will definitely
bring reform in the system and bring respite to the commuters,"
he added. Discussing the issue, Naveen Malhotra, a commuter,
said, "We can get our PNR status from the website as well, but
the service will prove beneficial when one cannot access the
internet." He informed that it has been around 15 days that
the service has become functional and now passengers need not to wait
for their calls to be received because the SMS service would prove
more beneficial to them.
Source: The Times of India
Railways to adopt ‘IGBT’ technology to regenerate electrical energy
MUMBAI, June 30, 2009 (PIB) : Indian Railways is reaching a new milestone of approving green energy project in Mumbai. The Ministry of railways has decided to replace the existing Electrical Multiple Units
(EMUs) with the new ones fitted with regenerative brakes by adopting three phase technology with Insulated
Gate Bi-polar Transistor (IGBT) based system which are capable of regenerating 25 to 30 per cent of the energy used. Forty seven (12 car) rakes have been commissioned with regenerative braking system so far and 48 rakes are expected to be commissioned during 2009-10. The Designated National Authority (DNA) which is under Ministry of Environment & Forests has accorded host country approval for this project under Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM) on 12th Jan, 2009. World Bank is working for registration of this project with
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The purpose of the project is to adopt 3 phase IGBT technology in Indian Railways for three phase EMUs in
Mumbai suburban area of Western & Central Railways. The regenerated electrical energy reduces the
consumption of equivalent grid electrical energy required by the powering train, thereby conserving electrical energy and subsequently leading to reductions in Green House Gases (GHG).
Railways plans for wind power and thermal power generation
New Delhi June 27, 2009, The railways also have mega plans for
wind power generation, for which they are looking for suitable
locations in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The railways plan to have another
thermal power plant even as their Nabinagar project, to come up in a
joint venture with country’s largest power producer NTPC Ltd, has
remained a non-starter.
The railways are in the process of hiring consultants for
chalking out a captive power generation plan, which is likely to
include thermal power generation for running trains and power from
non-conventional sources for railway stations, sources said. The
Indian Railways consumes about 14 million units of electricity every
year, at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore. The plan will also aim at reducing
A railway official said the department was putting in equity of
only Rs 417 crore in the Nabinagar project, while it would save
Rs 400 crore annually when the plant became operational. The total
project cost is Rs 1,605 crore.
On the non-conventional energy front, the railways’
foray has been more successful with its 10-Mw wind farm in Chennai
becoming operational last March. Suzlon had helped the railways put up
Mamata's budget to push PPP projects
New Delhi June 25, 2009 : With the present economic conditions not providing much scope
for either large-scale fare concessions or an across-the-board increase in freight rates, the highlight of the Railway Budget for 2009-10 is likely to be a big push to public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives to enhance the Indian Railways’
capacity to earn higher revenues on a sustainable basis.
Even though Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee will like to present a populist budget on July 3 with more amenities for passengers, another fare cut is unlikely because Lalu Prasad’s Interim Railway Budget in February has already strained the Indian Railways’ finances. Prasad had announced a 2 per cent reduction in passenger fares. Similarly, any increase in freight rates looks unfeasible because of the current economic
downturn. With the fare cut already in place, achieving the projected 12 per cent growth in passenger
revenue in the current year will be a challenging task, admit railway ministry officials. Moreover, if the freight rates remain unchanged, growing freight revenues by 8 per cent will again prove to be a
Source: Business Standard
New Railways' time table to be out in October
New Delhi June 23, 2009 (PTI): Indian Railways' new time table for 2009-10, containing revised timings of passenger trains, will be released in October instead of July as scheduled. "The new time table will come into effect from October one," a source in the Railway Ministry said. "This decision was taken to include trains which are expected to be announced in the upcoming Railway Budget on July 3 in
the time table, apart from those announced in the interim Rail Budget," the source added.
As per convention, Railways releases the new time table — Trains at a glance — every year on July 1 across the country.Sources said this year the Railway Time Table committee, comprising senior officials from various zones, will sit after the Railway Budget is tabled in Parliament.
The committee prepares the timings of the new trains announced and carries out revision in timings of the existing trains.
According to Railway officials, several trains are likely to be speeded up after the new timings comes into effect. Revised passenger reservation schemes, fare rate slab and new
premium services announced by Railways during the course of the year would also find a place in the time table, the
sources added. The zonal time tables would also be released simultaneously.
Indian Railway operates over 7,000 trains daily across the country. Recently, Central Railway came out with a summer special time table. This followed after Railways announced to run over 4,500 special services across the country till July to meet the summer rush. Taking a cue, Northern Railways also published its own summer special time table.
Rlys to manufacture stainless steel coaches
PATNA, June 19, 2009: The railways have decided to manufacture low-cost stainless steel coaches to improve the riding comforts of passengers. The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Kapurthala in Punjab has recently rolled out 28 such coaches, which would be first introduced on the Amritsar-Jaynagar route for the Shaheed Express train.
According to sources, these newly designed coaches are similar in looks to the LHB German coaches which are being currently used in the Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains across the country.
The salient features of these coaches are that they have superior aesthetics, better riding comforts and low maintenance cost as well, the sources said.
A Railway Board official said that the newly designed coaches are all set to herald an era of stainless steel coaches in the Indian Railways which would be used in all mail and express trains. The railways have, so far, introduced stainless steel coaches in the Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains only, he said. He informed that the coach factory has decided to replace the flat bogies currently being used in LHB coaches to indigenously manufactured bogies to bring down the manufacturing cost of
stainless steel coaches. Use of German-based LHB technology in manufacturing each air-conditioned coach has been too expensive now. However, the use of new indigenous technology in manufacturing stainless steel coaches with a modified ICF-type bogie is likely to reduce about 40 per cent manufacturing cost being incurred on
production of each LHB coach, he said, adding that the railways would, thus, save a huge sum of money in manufacturing such coaches for mail and express trains.
Source: The Times of India
Railways plan 4 luxury trains
New Delhi,June 17, 2009 : The Indian railways are introducing four luxury train tours in January
with an eye on the high-end foreign tourist. The new train tours -- two each for Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata -- are along
the lines of the palace-on-wheels, and was planned after a joint venture by
railways and the travel company Cox and Kings. The tours will wind their
leisurely way across the country for eight days and seven nights for a princely
tariff of $1,000 a night. Stopovers will include such places as Gaya and
Varanasi on the Kolkata route, and Bandhavgarh and Khajuraho on the Mumbai
route. However, with railway minister Mamata Banerjee keen on appeasing the aam aadmi
more than anything else, there's a doubt whether the project will be given
enough rope. - DNA
State vs the rest: Mamata puts Bengal on track
Kolkata, June 14, 2009: The new Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has been accused of neglecting
the Ministry at the cost of Bengal politics. Reportedly, the Minister is
preparing the Rail Budget without taking any advice from her Ministers of State
– KH Muniyappa and E Ahmed – and hasn’t allotted any work to them.
Muniyappa who was a MoS under the former railway minister Lalu Prasad refused to
specify the work that has been allotted to him. Mamata has decided that
Railways will send a medical team, comprising of doctors from railway hospitals, to cyclone-ravaged areas of West Bengal. A number of
medical camps would be set up by the Railways in the affected areas. -
Rlys to set up modern wagon trolley factory in Bengal
NEW DELHI, June 10, 2009: Indian Railways is planning to set up a Rs 100 crore high-axle load wagon trolley factory in collaboration with the US in West Bengal. “Steps are being undertaken to set up a modern wagon bogey factory with US technology in West Bengal. An MoU will be signed with the US for setting
up the 25-tonne axle load wagon soon,'' said a senior Railway Ministry
official. There has been a growing demand for high axle load wagon trolley and the proposed factory is expected to cater to the demand. Asked why West Bengal was selected for setting up the factory, the official said “majority of wagon manufacturing units are in the State. It is in the interest of the system that wagon trolley factory is also set up near these units so that the transport ation cost for assembling a wagon is minimum.'' Once the factory with the state-of-the-art technology is set up, it will be first of its kind in the country. The factory is expected to produce 5,000 wagon bogies in a year. Besides, the modern factory, Railways is also planning to acquire the wagon manufacturing factory in Burnpur in West Bengal. - PTI
Indian Railways enquiry service New No- Call 138
Jun 08, 2009: Call 138 for Indian Railway enquiry by the Indian
Railways (IR) anytime soon? Not only will you be greeted by 'Rail-hostesses' on
some trains, but you will also be able to make railway related enquiry using
IR's upcoming new call center number - 138.
Currently, the 139 railway enquiry service is active 24 hours which serves the
purpose of over seven lakh people everyday for information about PNR status,
arrival/departure of trains, seat availability, fares as well as accommodation.
To cope up with the increasing number of calls received on 139 everyday, IR has
decided to introduce the 138 service.
develop over 500 model stations
NEW DELHI, June 4, 2009 (PTI): With an aim to attract
more passengers and improve basic amenities, the Indian Railways has
decided to give a facelift to over 500 stations across the country
incorporating state-of-the-art facilities. Altogether 528 railway
stations spread over 16 Zonal Railways will be developed into two
categories -- Model and Modern.
"Among the selected stations, 271 will be developed
as model and 257 as modern which will provide additional passengers
amenities, safety and security system," a senior home ministry
While the stress on developing model stations will be to ensure basic
amenities like rest rooms, retiring rooms, refreshment rooms and cloak
rooms, the modern stations will have state-of-the-art waiting rooms,
signages, personal address system and improved cleanliness.
An additional feature in both the model and modern
railway stations will be to have adequate security and safety measures
to deal with any eventuality like terror and Naxal attacks, the
official said. "There are about 7,000 railway stations across the
country and it is necessary to develop them all in a phased manner.
That is why we have decided to start with the project of model and
modern railway stations and taken at least five stations in each
division of the zonal railways," he said.
Two trains torched in Bihar as trains skip stops
PATNA, June 1, 2009: Coaches of two passenger trains were set
ablaze and the Khusrupur railway station in Bihar's Patna district was
ransacked by a mob Monday to protest the East Central Railway's
decision to not halt any express train at the station.
Police said hundreds of people set fire to three coaches of the
Danapur-Jainagar Intercity Express and one bogie of Rajgir Danapur
Express in Khusrupur, about 35 km from here. However, no casualty was
reported. The protesters also uprooted rail tracks, disrupting traffic
on the Patna-Mokama route.
Mamata gives wagon industry feel-good factor
KOLKATA, May 25, 2009: With 80 per cent of the wagon industry
based in the eastern region, chief executives of companies in this
industry were first to react to the news of Mamata Banerjee being
allocated the railway portfolio. Ramesh Maheshwari, President and
Chief Executive Officer of K. K. Birla group company Texmaco said,
“The appointment of a minister in the Cabinet rank from West Bengal
for the railways portfolio augurs well for this industry — 80
per cent of which gravitates around West Bengal and the eastern
region. Pawan Ruia, Chairman of another major wagon manufacturing
company, Jessop, an erstwhile public sector unit, said this was good
news indeed for the wagon manufacturing industry.
Mamata Banerjee new Railways Minister
Delhi, May 23 (PTI) Mamata Banerjee given Railways in partial allocation of portfolios by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, who has retained veterans Pranab Mukherjee and P
Chidambaram in Finance and Home Ministries respectively. A K Antony stays in
Defence and Sharad Pawar Agriculture Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs and
Public Distribution, portfolios they had handled in the previous UPA government.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had taken 19 ministers in his new
Cabinet, had told reporters at the Rashtrapati Bhawan yesterday that portfolio distribution would take two-three
days. However, surprisingly the limited allocation of portfolios was announced
by the Rashtrapati Bhawan today on the advice of the Prime Minister, who
preferred to get down to business and distributed ministries on which there are
apparently no no differences.
Now, get PNR status of rail ticket via SMS
LUCKNOW, May 15, 2009: Hung up on the line to enquire about your PNR status? Do not crib. 139 has an SMS-way out. The call centre service of railways that came into existence about two years back has become a little more friendlier.
Sources in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) confirmed that sms service on 139 has become functional. Currently, it can be used only for enquiry of PNR status of passenger's ticket. Write -- PNR (give space)(type PNR number) -- and SMS to 139. The message will be delivered within no time. Since it is not a toll free service you might have to pay Rs 3 per SMS. "The service has just been started," said sources.
The plan to transfer array of services provided by IRCTC on mobile phones through wide network of service providers had been in the offing since long. This time around, sms can be sent from any of the service providers except two. And most probably, it is BSNL and Reliance that are not providing the facility to its users.
The all Indian enquiry 139 already provides information about PNR status, arrival/departure of trains, seat availability and
fare/ accommodation when passengers call on it. For further queries, passenger can press a star and talk to the customer care executive as well.
Though BSNL, MTNL, Vodafone and Airtel users can connect to this number for information,
sources added that sms service might not be available on all of them. Just as calling up on 139 is not free of cost service similarly sms service is also not a toll-free one. Passengers can use it to confirm the PNR status after the
information has been fed into the reservation chart which is usually an hour before the train departure. Since the service is a new one it might make passengers face some initial hiccups like time taken in providing PNR information.
Source: The Times of India
Railways to carry out survey work for running bullet trains
PATNA, May 12, 2009: A high level team of the Railway Board officials held a
meeting with Bihar chief secretary R J M Pillai recently in connection with the
survey work of the proposed running of bullet train between Patna and Delhi. The railways intend to carry out survey work soon so that its feasibility could be
According to sources, the total cost of the survey work on
Patna-Delhi route is likely to cost about Rs 11 crore. This route falls under Bihar, UP and Delhi. Accordingly, the cost of survey is to be shared with the railways by these states. Of about 1,000 km stretching from Patna to Delhi, about 200 km falls in Bihar. The Bihar government is to share half of the cost to be incurred on the survey work of about 200 km, sources
According to sources, the railways are conducting survey on the
Pune- Mumbai- Ahmedabad, Delhi-Chandigarh, Patna-Delhi, Bangalore-Chennai and
Chennai- Hyderabad routes. The survey work and feasibility report are being prepared by a reputed company of France. If everything goes well, the railways would complete the survey work in a couple of months, the board official said.
The railways will require at least Rs 10,000 crore to build up the infrastructure to run bullet trains. Though maintenance of bullet trains, particularly locomotives, is very costly, the Indian Railways are capable of maintaining bullet train coaches with the help of advanced technology, sources said.
Source: The Times of India
Bullet trains are specially designed to run at the maximum speed of 250 km to 300 kmph per hour in foreign countries. In fact, separate tracks are required to run bullet trains which are substitute to air traffic in foreign countries. Besides, no goods trains would run on the special tracks of bullet trains for safety reasons, a technical expert said, adding the railways have been running the fastest Shatabdi Express on
Delhi-Gwalior route at 140 kmph.
Railway panel to review training system
NEW DELHI, May 9, 2009: The Railways recent turnaround in
earnings and proposed expansion plans like dedicated freight corridor
(DFC), speed trains, world class stations require more skilled
manpower. This realisation has forced the Railway Board to
constitute a committee which will "revisit the specialised
training needs of the Railways in the changed scenario". In this
context, the board has decided to constitute four special posts,
including that of a chairman for the Railway Training Committee.
The chairman of this committee will be the adviser of the
Railway Board A K Nigam, a senior Rail Bhavan official said here on
Friday. Apart from the chairman, the three members will be: Executive
Director, Enterprise Resource Planning ED/ERP, Railway Board;
Executive Director, Transport and Training (Marketing), Railway Board;
and Executive Director (Finance), Railway Board. The committee
"will revisit the training needs of probationers of Indian
Railways in view of the changing environment in the transportation
sector and initiation of vibrant new culture in governance", the
Holiday special on Kalka-Shimla track
New Delhi/ Shimla May 5, 2009: The Indian railways has started a holiday special train on Kalka-Shimla track. There are already five toy trains operating on this 96-km narrow gauge heritage track. The holiday special is now the sixth on this mountain route. It arrives in Shimla at noon.
The first holiday special left Kalka on Saturday. Railway officials say the new train is running full. Besides tourists from across the country, foreign tourists also head to the hills of Himachal Pradesh to escape the intense heat of the plains. Even though trains on the Kalka-Shimla heritage track take much longer than a car or bus journey, the toy train is still preferred by many, particularly by foreigners, as it offers scenic views.
The narrow winding track was built during the colonial British
rule. Lord Curzon, British viceroy, started the first train in 1903. The track rises from 650 m in Kalka to almost 2,100 m above sea level in Shimla. It passes through 103 tunnels, 969 bridges, 919 curves and 18 railway stations.Unesco accorded the world heritage status to this century-old-route a year ago.
Toy train on Kalka-
Railway ticket booking through cellphone
PATNA, May 3, 2009: : Railway ticket booking through cellphones is picking up fast with 1,000-odd tickets being booked through cellphones every day all over the country.
Cellphone-savvy people, particularly in metropolitan cities, have been using this new system quite frequently. The new system has spared the cellphone users the travails of waiting in queues to procure railways' computerised journey tickets.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd has taken the lead in introducing this ultra-modern system after an old system, introduced by it in 2003, could not click due to some technical reasons. The earlier system operated through voice mail and SMS only. However, the new system operates through Java-enabled handsets as well as those sets having internet facilities, sources said.
The new system is very similar to e-ticketing, a Railway Board official said and added people wishing to book rail tickets through cellphones need to have Java- enabled handsets so as to access internet services. This facility will enable the traveller to book his ticket in advance, and get the ticket delivered by couriers. Those having own mail IDs can book the tickets online also. Since the use of cellphone has become quite common, people would find it convenient to book railway tickets well in advance even from remote places. Besides, they could also seek information related to berth availability and journey plan through
cellphones. "Railways is keen to ensure availability of railway tickets at doorsteps of travellers without charging any additional cost," the
Railway Board official said. - The Times of India
Singapore model for Metro in Chandigarh
CHANDIGARH, May 01, 2009:: To make the Metro project a commercially viable venture, RITES is studying the Singapore model so that it could be replicated in Chandigarh by finalizing the financial plan accordingly.
During a recent presentation given by consultancy firm RITES, certain UT officials had said the project must be a profitable venture. Working on this, the company suggested the Singapore model. Under this, income from parking fee and taxes charged on tickets would be utilized to break even the annual investment of Rs 3,000
crore. Both Punjab and Haryana governments have already agreed to share the project cost on basis of Comprehensive Mobility Plan and Detailed Project Report. Both documents would be prepared by RITES.
Source: The Times of India
France's top railway operator in India for comparative study
KOLKATA, April 25, 2009: : A team of top officials from Société Nationale des Chemins de fer français (SNCF), France’s top railway operator which also runs the TGV, are now in the country to undertake a comparative study of engineering and maintenance of rolling stock.
The French delegation will hold meetings with the Railway Board and in various zonal railway headquarters to discuss and exchange notes on maintenance methods and practices in the two countries. The French team is also likely to visit facilities of Indian Railways’ Research Design and Standards Organisation
Maoists rule India's 'Red Corridor'
BANGALORE , April 23, 2009: Indian Maoists hijacked a train with 800 passengers in the eastern state of Jharkhand on Wednesday morning. Although the crisis was defused within five hours, when the Maoists
released the train and its passengers, the incident has sparked grave concern throughout the security establishment. The ease with which the Maoists were able to stage an operation of this magnitude - and at a time when security has been tightened for general elections - has laid bare yet again that it is the Maoists' writ, not that of the government that runs through this part of the country.
The train was on its way from Barkakana in Jharkhand to Mugalsarai in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh when it was hijacked near Hehegarha railway station in Latehar
district. Around 200 Maoists are said to have
carried out the operation. A railway station in Palamu was bombed as well.
Source: Asia Times
IIM Calcutta launches programme for Indian Railway service officers
KOLKATA, April 21, 2009 : IIM Calcutta has been commissioned by the
Railway Board of India to conduct a 12-week executive general
management programme for 60 officers, as a part of the regular 18-month
training program for Indian Railway service probationer officers. In this
connection, Indian Railways and IIM Calcutta have signed an MoU for training
of Indian railway service officers for the next five years starting
Reshuffle effected in 19 divisions of Railways
New Delhi, March 23, 2009: Indian Railways have effected a reshuffle in the top posts
of 19 divisions across the country by appointing new Divisional Railway Managers
(DRMs). DRMs of Delhi, Danapur, Muradabd, Ijjatnagar, Bilaspur, Jhansi, Nanded Division
are among those included in the reshuffle, officials said. Danapur Division DRM B D Garg has been transferred as new DRM of Delhi replacing
Rakesh Saxena, who has been transferred to Secundarabad as Chief Operational
Garg took over the charge from Saxena on Monday. Arvind Kumar, Executive
Director Vigilance (Traffic) has been transferred as DRM Nanded in South Central
Railway. Most of those transferred officials have completed their tenure of two years and
reshuffle was a routine process, the officials said. -Bureau Report
Wi-Fi technology to Indian Railways
London, march 19, 2009: British Wi-Fi technology major Nomad Digital
has entered into a joint venture with Indian company Zylog Systems to
provide wireless internet access to India’s massive railway network.
Newcastle-based Nomad Digital is a market leader in the provision of mobile
wireless services for transportation, while Zylog supplies a range of IT
products and solutions to its customers across multiple sectors such as
banking, insurance and telecom.
“We have identified India as a market that has huge potential for
us. India’s rail network is one of the fastest growing in the world
and will help us to continue to add more jobs over the course of the
year,” Nomad chief executive Graeme Lowdon said.
EC nod to Railways plan to start summer specials
New Delhi, March 17, 2009 (PTI): The Election Commission has given its nod to the Indian Railways, which plan to announce the start of a series of summer special trains originating from Delhi. After the model code of conduct came into effect, the Northern Railways had sought permission from the EC to start 32 special trains and publish them for general public information. "The permission was granted recently," a senior Railway Ministry official said.
These special trains — mostly Uttar Pradesh- and Bihar-bound — will cover hundreds of trips during the season to ease the passenger rush. Destinations of the trains, which would start operations from April onwards, will include Lucknow, Chandigarh, Udhampur, Jammu Tawi,
Patna, Darbhanga, Varanasi and Gaya.
Summer special trains will also run to places including Howrah, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus
(Mumbai), Ahmedabad and Guwahati.
IISc to study safety of railway bridges
Bangalore, March 15, 2009: It is now the Railways which is turning to the 100-year-old Indian Institute of Science for its civil engineering capacities, in understanding structural engineering and safety. The premier institute is undertaking an intensive study on the condition of railway bridges in the South Western division to help the Railways decide whether bridges can take additional load. South Western Railways are receiving heavy and additional freight loads from other parts of the country, and plan to carry additional loads to different regions. Given that bridges in the division are used to taking a certain load, Railways was keen to have IISc study the bridges and tell them whether they could take additional load. IISc researchers will look at five bridges in the first study, and an additional five in the second study, covering Hubli-Arasikere, Tumkur and Mangalore region.
Source: The Times of India
Railways pledges to put new suburban rakes on right track
MUMBAI, March 14, 2009: Even as Siemens has accepted that the
traction motors in its swanky trains
are faulty and agreed to replace them by the first week of April, the
railway authorities have started damage control. The main reasons for
failure have been identified as malfunctioning of traction motors, faulty
software, pneumatic trouble and auxiliary warning system inconsistency.
Traction motor and software failure contribute to 90% of the breakdowns.
Siemens and Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Ltd (MRVC)-the
coordinating body-have come under criticism that the rakes failed less than
a few months after they were introduced. Motors are usually built to last at
least 25 years-which, incidentally, is the lifespan of a train. Officials
said the rakes were tested before they were commissioned. Obviously, the lab
tests didn't take into account the super-dense loads Mumbai's suburban
locals are subjected to.
"There has been chaos at the divisional and the zonal levels.
Carshed resources are pooled in and this has overburdened the staff. One
technician escorts every train. The staff work under immense pressure.
Indian Railways has put pressure on Siemens to sort out the issue,'' said S
S Gupta, chief public relations officer, Western Railway (WR).
Source: The Times of India
More facilities on offer as Rajdhani completes 40 yrs
KOLKATA, March 4, 2009: Very soon, those travelling to New Delhi by the Rajdhani Express will no longer need to take the trouble of booking a hotel room separately. They will have the option of booking a hotel room while procuring their train tickets.
"Hotel bookings will be linked to the computerised passenger reservation system. Initially, bookings will be offered in Ginger, retiring rooms and other economy hotels. Ginger runs the Yatri Niwas at New Delhi station. Depending on passenger demand, we may offer bookings for deluxe or luxury hotels as well. The service will be extended for other trains as well at a later stage," said Eastern Railway general manager Deepak Krishan on Tuesday. He was attending a programme to mark the 40th year of the Kolkata Rajdhani Express the country's first fully air-conditioned high-speed train.
Revealing that the Indian Railways has plans for more luxury trains like the Rajdhanis to connect state capitals to New Delhi, he said experiments are on to serve more hygienic and filling food to passengers.
"By the end of 2009, we hope to have Wi-Fi connectivity between Mughalsarai and New Delhi," Krishan added. According to him, high-speed corridors for bullet' trains can be possible in five years with help from the state governments.
Source:The Times of India
Lure of tourists: World's oldest steam engine ride
New Delhi, March 1, 2009 (PTI): Travel by the world's oldest working steam locomotive on the Delhi-Ajmer route has gained momentum with the heritage train running to full capacity. Plying only eight times a year during the first and the last quarters, the 'Guinness Book of World Records' recognised train christened "Fairy Queen" ran with its full capacity of 60 passengers yesterday when it left the Delhi Cantt station. Among the passengers of the 154-year-old train, 30 were foreigners.
The official said passengers can now book a ticket of the train through Internet on the Railways website.
"Fairy Queen" train was rolled out for the first time by the East Indian Railway in 1855. The locomotive of the heritage train is the oldest working engine in the world. On January 13, 1998 it was recognised by the 'Guinness Book of World Records' as the world's oldest working engine. A journey on "Fairy Queen" costs Rs 8,600 for one person for both ways while the one way fare is Rs 6,000.
harnessing solar energy for electrification
NEW DELHI, February 27, 2009: Indian Railways is harnessing solar
energy for electrification of railway assets and introducing better
technologies to reduce emissions from locomotives in its bid to check
environmental pollution and conserve energy, the Lok Sabha was informed.
A consultancy for reduction of exhaust emissions from diesel
locomotives has already been sanctioned and the work is in progress, said
Minister of State for Railway R Velu. Besides, various technology
improvements are being taken up on diesel locos to improve performance
capabilities and reduce unburnt fuels to check global warming, he said
a written reply. The Minister also said solar energy is being harnessed for
electrification of manned level crossings, administrative buildings,
training institutes, canteens and hospitals and for water heating purposes.
Central Railways summer gift: 1,512 spl services
MUMBAI, February 25, 2009: This summer, escaping the Mumbai heat will be a little easier. Central Railway (CR) will run as many as 1,512 summer special services-an unprecedented 85% rise over last year's number. The summer specials will be run between April and June. The first train will leave on April 2.
These specials will be in addition to the regular long-distance services and are expected to benefit close to 4 million passengers.This is not all. CR will also run a number of intra-state trains to
Nagpur, Solapur, Usmanabad and Pandharpur. Having introduced 11 new destinations, CR has taken the total number of special train routes to 27 this summer.
"The demand during the summer vacation is always high with waiting lists running up to 800. It is impossible to accommodate all the passengers. In keeping with the demand, Indian Railways (IR) has decided to pool in resources from other zones to run additional services,'' said S C Mudgerikar, chief public relations officer of
CR. "This year, there will be trains running in all directions,'' he
added. Each train will have 18 coaches. In order to tackle the rush, special arrangements have been made at booking offices. Extra booking windows will be opened as part of the arrangements. CR will start taking bookings from February 27.
Source: The Times of India
Railway has huge potential for job creation despite recession
New Delhi, February 21, 2009 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Lalu
Prasad Yadav on Saturday underlined the need for infrastructure development
and modernization of Railways, and said, Indian Railways has a huge
potential for growth and job creation, despite the global meltdown.
Despite lay offs in some sectors and a freeze on employment, the
Railways is moving ahead with new recruitments, and has a huge potential of
growth, Lalu told reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark the
foundation day of the All India Management Association (AIMA) here.Yadav
also underlined the need for infrastructure development, expansion and
modernization in the Railways.
is around 1.7 lakh in Railways
Lok Sabha, February 19, 2009 (PIB): The number of vacant posts on Indian Railways as on date is around 1.7 lakh including 32646 posts reserved for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. Filling up the vacancies of reserved as well as unreserved posts is continuous process. Some vacancies always remain due to non-availability of eligible empanelled candidates in the recruitment and promotional grades.
Indents have been placed to Railway Recruitment Boards to fill up Group ‘C’
vacancies and Railway Recruitment Cells to fill up Group ‘D’ vacancies. Wherever eligible candidates to filll up promotional vacancies are not there, the posts are diverted to the recruitment grades and filled up by direct recruitment from open market.
Germany keen on PPP projects with railways
NEW DELHI, February 18, 2009: Germnay and India could co-operate in automobile and transport sectors, German minister for transport, building and urban affairs Wolfgang Tiefensee said. “We have met the Railways and discussed public-private-partnership projects for upgrading the infrastructure of Indian Railways,” Mr Tiefensee told ET during his recent visit to New Delhi. Representative of the German government had visited India last year to meet officials of the Indian Railway Board regarding technology transfer for various railway infrastructure projects, including wagons and bogies.
Railways Budget 2009-10
New Delhi, February 13,
2009: The estimated 14 million passengers who travel by trains in India daily had reasons to cheer on Friday, as Railway Minister Lalu Prasad cut fares by 2 percent, introduced 43 new routes and hiked the planned expenditure for expansion, in spite of the economic downturn that saw lower freight revenues last quarter.
Presenting the interim rail budget for 2009-10 in parliament in his inimitable style, punctuated by light-hearted digs at members of the opposition, Lalu Prasad also announced the extension of 14 routes, an increase in the frequency of 14 trains and additional spending on safety.
He also earmarked a higher plan expenditure of Rs.37,905 crore (Rs.379.05 billion/$7.58 billion) towards expansion next fiscal, against revised estimates of Rs.36,773 crore (Rs.367.73 billion/$7.35 billion) for 2008-09, hoping for higher passenger and freight earnings since January.
Railways to equip AC coaches with eco-friendly technology
New Delhi, February 11, 2009 (PTI): As part of its green initiative, Indian Railway plans to equip its entire fleet of over 1000 AC coaches with eco-friendly refrigerant technology by March. So far, Railways have been using CFC-based refrigerant technology which leads to depletion of ozone layer. India, which is a joint signatory to the Montreal Protocol, had set a deadline of December 2010 for phasing out this technology.
The new refrigerant technology which is being retrofitted in place of the existing one is R-134 A, considered environment-friendly. Railways zeroed in on this refrigerant in December 2006. "So far, 650 AC coaches have been converted to R-134 A refrigerant with the efforts put in by various railway zones. Indian Railways has a fleet of over 1000 AC coaches at present. East Coast Railways has already converted all AC coaches handled by it.
The conversion was carried out in a manner that the regular service was not affected.
keen to get Chinese help on high-speed trains
CHENNAI, February 10, 2009: Indian Railways is planning to get
technical support from China to operate high-speed trains along the four
high-speed corridors identified across the country, said Union minister of
state for Railways R Velu. "Chinese Railways has evinced interest in
assisting Indian Railways to operate high- speed trains and also to set up
world class railway stations," said the minister who recently led a
high-level technical delegation to China.
He was speaking to reporters after flagging off a nine-car electric
multiple unit (EMU) rake fitted with a regenerative braking system that
saves power by 30% and a forced ventilation system that will pump in 16,000
cubic metre into the coaches, at Integral Coach Factory. The delegation
studied the way China operated their high-speed trains and also constructed
and designed their world class railway stations. Even their EMU trains run
at 350 km per hour and are faster than trains in Japan, which run only at
270 km per hour.
Inauguration of Construction work on eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor
Ministry of Railways, February 09, 2009: Construction work of eastern
Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) will be inaugurated by Chairperson, United
Progressive Alliance, Smt. Sonia Gandhi at Rohtas in Bihar tomorrow.
The construction of the Eastern corridor will commence on the
Sonnagar-Mughalsarai (127 kms.) portion and will be taken up initially on a
105 kms. portion from New Ganjkhwaja near Mughalsarai to New Karwandia near
Sonnagar. This portion will be funded by equity from the Indian Railways.
The Dedicated Freight Corridor project on the Western and Eastern
routes is one of the most ambitious projects that Indian Railways has ever
taken up and once completed would meet the transport requirements of the two
busy truck routes. The Eastern corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1801 kms.)
will pass via Saharanpur, Khurja, Kanpur, Mughalsarai and Sonnagar and will
be single line on the Ludhiana-Khurja portion (426 kms.) and double line on
the remaining portion. The Western corridor from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust
(JNPT) to Tughlakabad/Dadri (1483 kms.) will pass via Surat. Vadodara,
Ahmedabad, Palanpur, Ajmer and Rewari and will be a double-line corridor,
except a 32 kms. single line link from the main corridor to Tughlakabad.
Government okays setting up of railway locomotive factories
February 5, 2009 : The government Thursday approved a proposal to set up two greenfield electric
and diesel locomotive factories in Bihar at an estimated investment of Rs.20
billion (Rs.2,000 crore). The factories will be set up in Madhepura and Saran districts as a joint venture
between Indian Railways and an international manufacturer. The companies short-listed for the joint venture include Alstom of France,
Germany’s Bombardier and Siemens, General Electric’s Indian subsidiary and EMD
of the US.
The railways ministry will procure 800 electric locomotives of 12,000-horse
power (HP) each and 1,000 diesel locomotives of 4,500/6,000 HP each from these
factories over a period of 10 years. These locomotives will also be maintained by the joint venture company over the
next 26 years. - Indo-Asian News Service
Indian Railway’s Technical delegation to visit China
Ministry of Railways, February 03, 2009: A high level technical delegation headed by Minister of State for Railways Dr. R. Velu will be visiting China from 4th to 8th February, 2009 to have an exchange of ideas on the issues of high speed railway network, world class railway stations, logistics parks, etc. The delegation
includes three technical officers from Ministry of Railways (Works Planning, Signalling and Finance Divisions). It is in the context of Indian Railway’s planning large investments in these areas and exchange of ideas with Chinese Railway officials, who had executed these projects successfully and at a very fast pace. This visit would help in delivering such schemes in India in a more cost-effective and timely manner.
This visit is in pursuance of the Memorandum of Understanding on technical cooperation signed between
the Chinese and Indian Railways in the presence of the Prime Ministers of the two countries in China in January 2008.
Railways may shelve high-capacity coach project
NEW DELHI, February 2, 2009: It seems long-distance railway
passengers can breathe easy. Bowing to public demand and pressure from
within the railways, especially the TTEs who face passengers' ire every day,
Indian Railways is ''actively reconsidering its decision'' to add
high-capacity coaches with extra side berths to long-distance trains and
restrict their use to overnight-journey trains.
The worst sufferers have been the elderly who want to relax even
during day time, and families with small kids, who face extreme
inconvenience during day time when almost five passengers squeeze into
Source: The Times of India
Sonia Gandhi launches rail coach factory in Rae Bareli
Rae Bareli, January 28, 2009: UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia
Gandhi Tuesday launched a Rs.20 billion ($408 million) rail coach factory in her
parliamentary constituency, Rae Bareli. 'The rail coach factory will serve the nation's biggest need - creating jobs. As
many as 8,000 to 10,000 youths across the country will get jobs once the factory
comes up,' said Gandhi, who earlier arrived in Rae Bareli to launch the rail
coach factory that will come up in Lalganj area.
The upcoming factory will have state-of-art infrastructure that will be at par
with any other rail coach factory in the world, she added. According to officials, the rail coach factory that was jointly launched by
Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Railways Minister Lalu Prasad will produce nearly 840 rail coaches annually.
machines at major rly stations soon
LUDHIANA, January 25, 2009 Automatic ticket vending machines are
likely to be installed shortly at the busiest principal train stations like
Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Jammu in the Indian Railways' Ferozepur
division. A proposal in this regard sent to the New Delhi headquarters is at
the final stages before being approved.
The move comes follows the ever-increasing number of passengers
visiting stations every day. Initially the railway department suggested it
could at least provide station platform tickets through these machines,
which would greatly reduce the pressure on ticketing clerks. The machines
would be similar to weighing machines that are ubiquitous on platforms.
Passengers very much want automatic ticket machines to be installed
to avoid waiting interminably at ticket counters. Railway divisional
traffic manager Parminder Singh said: "The railway authorities wanted
to install such machines at major stations so they had sent the proposal. He
asserted that the authorities also tried the machines at Delhi railway
station and the success of the trial would decide its implementation.
Source: The Times of India
computerised passenger reservation facilities
January 14, 2009 (PIB): In its endeavor to improve passenger
amenities, Indian Railways have commissioned computerized passenger
reservation facilities at 186 locations during the year 2008. Passenger
Reservation System (PRS) are now available at 1665 locations on entire
Indian Railways. These include Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)-cum-PRS
locations also. In the beginning of 2008, i.e. on 1st January 2008, PRS
facilities were available at 1479 locations. On an average, 3.5 crore
passengers per month are being booked in PRS with average Passenger Earnings
of Rs. 1350 crore per month. On 14th February, 2008 all time high 1.9
million transactions were done in PRS.
Presently Computerized Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) is available
at 1630 locations with approximately 4735 counters as against 950 UTS
locations with approximately 3,000 counters as on 1st January 2008. In
Railway Budget 2007-08, UTS have been sanctioned to cover all ‘A’,
‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ and certain ‘E’ category stations on entire
Indian Railways. This will cover more than 94 per cent of the passenger
earnings. In addition, Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATMV) have been
installed at 338 locations. Further machines will be installed on Public
Private Partnership model.
Indian Railways freight traffic 606.73 million tonnes
January 14, 2009: Indian Railways have carried 606.73 million tonne of revenue earning freight traffic during April to December 2008. The freight carried
increases to 34.48 million tonne over the freight traffic of 572.25 million tonne actually carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of
The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
NEW DELHI, January 12, 2008: The Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, India's latest and most luxurious train aimed at foreign tourists, left Delhi's Safdarjung station on Sunday. On board were 23 awestruck passengers from US, UK, Belgium and India, along with 29 lucky
media persons. The train was on its maiden eight-day tour of Rajasthan and Agra. The new train follows the stupendous success of the `Palace on Wheels'. It is yet again a joint collaboration between the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) and the Indian Railway.
With a total capacity of 82 persons, the train will have 13 deluxe coaches, one super deluxe salon, four service cars and two restro bars. As per the train's itinerary, it will leave leave Delhi every Sunday at 6.30pm and will touch Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Sawai Madhopur,
Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Bharatpur and Agra before returning to Delhi, but will not touch
Bikaner. According to railway sources, an investment of Rs 40 crore has been made for the train. The tariff, put sources has been fixed at 2000 USD per suite per person per night. The deluxe room tariff is 800
Luxury Tourist Train ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’ to be flagged off
New Delhi, January 09, 2009 (PIB): Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation
(RTDC) will be jointly launching a new luxury tourist train named ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’. This new luxury train will be flagged off from Safdarjung Railway Station, New Delhi on 11th January 2009 in the presence of Union Minister for Tourism Smt. Ambika Soni, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Shri Ashok Gehlot, the Minister of State for Railways, Shri Naranbhai J. Rathwa and other dignitaries. The Indian Railways in association with RTDC has already been jointly operating the Palace on Wheels Luxury Tourist Train since 1982. The manufacturing of bare shell of the train as well fitment of various accessories including AC system was carried out by Integral Coach Factory (Chennai), a production unit of Indian Railways.
The new luxury tourist train will follow the same itinerary as that of Palace on Wheels i.e.
Delhi- japiur- Jaisalmer- Jodhpur-Sawai-Madhopur-Chiitogarh-Udaipur-Bharatpur-Agra-Delhi. However, the new luxury tourist train will be an advanced version of Palace on Wheels as huge efforts has been made to take care of many of the suggestions made by the tourists over the years as well as by making use of the experience gained over the years.
IRCTC launches Toll Free 24x7 Helpline
January 07, 2009 (PIB): Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited
(IRCTC), a public sector undertaking of the Ministry of Railways, has launched a centralised Toll Free telephone No. 1800-111-139 for the convenience of railway users to
suggest/ grievances relating to catering services on Indian Railways. The facility is available 24x7 on this number and railway passengers can register their complaints/suggestions regarding food and catering services. Wherever possible, action is taken on real time basis for redressal of their grievances.
Railway users may also lodge their complaints on IRCTC’s official website
www.irctc.com OR may contact IRCTC 24X7 Control Offices phone numbers i.e. 011-23345300 (Central Control), 011-23221147 (North Zone), 033-266601743 (East Zone), 040-27716145 (South Central Zone), 022-22618067 (West Zone) and 044-25353341 (South Zone).
Train services remain affected by dense fog
New Delhi, January 05, 2009: Train services remained affected for the eighth day running
on Monday despite partial improvement in visibility as more than 20 Delhi-bound
trains arrived several hours behind schedule and Northern Railway cancelled a
Hatia-bound train till January 31 to handle the situation, taking the total number of cancellations for the period up
As the delays kept piling and several were rescheduled for the day, Chandigarh-Allahabad Unchahar Express was also cancelled today, said a Northern
Railway spokesperson. The Varanasi-Ranchi Express has been cancelled for tomorrow only.
Northern Railway has already announced cancellation of about 13 trains till January 31 to cope with the situation.
Lalu Prasad to lecture on Indian Railways' success in Japan
Patna, January 4, 2009 (PTI): After enlightening students of Indian Institute of Management,
Ahmedabad, and Harvard University, Railway minister Lalu Prasad will give his mantra on the turnaround of Indian Railways to students in Japan.
Prasad will leave on January 11 on a 10-day trip on an invitation from the Japan government, RJD national spokesman and a close associate of the minister, Shyam Rajak said. "Apart from studying the functioning of the railways there, Lalu Prasad will also deliver a few lectures at universities in Japan, including one in Tokyo, on the turnaround of Indian Railways," he said.
Railway minister Lalu Prasad
Railways Introduce ‘Mobile Helpline’
MUMBAI, January 02, 2009: Indian Railways have taken an initiative to introduce ‘Mobile
Helpline’ for the convenience of railway users. Vigilance officials of Indian Railways are always available 24x7 on the Mobile Helpline No. 155210 on which railway passengers can lodge their complaints of bribery/corruption against
railway men. Wherever possible, action is taken on real time basis for redressal of their grievances. From the feed-back received so far, the facility of Mobile Helpline can be considered to be a success.