Indian Railways News

Indian Railway Experts begin Assessment of Fijian Railway Network

A team of Indian Railway experts has arrived in Fiji to undertake an assessment of the Fijian railway network and recommend a plan of action for upgrading the network to accommodate greater freight and passenger travel.

The team was dispatched to Fiji by the Ministry of Railways, Government of India following a meeting between Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the Indian Minister for Railways, Piyush Goyal, during the World Sustainable Development Summit held in New Delhi, India last month.

The technical team arrived in Fiji on February 27, 2018 consisting of General Manager for Special Projects, Prem Ranjan Kumar, General Manager Rolling Stock, Akilesh Misra, and General Manager for Transport and Economics, Sirkant Kanbandhu.

Visit to Rarawai Sugar Mill

The technical team has already made a site visit on Tuesday to the Rarawai Sugar Mill in Ba and will continue site visitations throughout the Western Division during the week.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum welcomed the expert team to Fiji at a meeting yesterday in Suva where he stressed the enormous benefits of upgrading railway infrastructure in Fiji.

“Upgrading our railways systems to accommodate greater freight will have an immediate impact for our farmers, including our cane farmers, who will be able to cart more cane, reduce their cartage costs and increase their profit margins.

“And the introduction of passenger travel will open up Fiji in new ways that will benefit tourism, agriculture, transportation and many other sectors of our growing economy.   “We are very keen to partner with the Indian Government on this project and look forward to receiving the full recommendation from the technical team following the completion of their assessment,” said the officials.

Advanced Railway Network with Modern Systems in place will make Fiji, economically vibrant

The fact that Indian experts are coming to Fiji to do a study on how to can connect the nation’s towns and cities with railways is a huge step in the right direction. It is a huge step towards modernising Fiji, a huge step in bringing Fiji up to par with country’s more developed neighbours –  Australia and New Zealand.

Fiji has always led the charge among countries in the Pacific and if we are to lead the charge in setting up our railways for passengers and for cargo it will change the face of our country.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during his meeting with the India Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, said using an upgraded rail system for passengers and cargo would greatly relieve pressure on Fijian roads. It is indeed fundamental to the long-term sustainable development of the country.

Achieving something of this magnitude has no doubt required a lot of negotiation and Mr Sayed-Khaiyum is just the man for it.

His foresight that Fiji needs a railway system in place will benefit Fijians not only today but also for generations to come.

Some of the areas in which we will no doubt make the most of the railway system is tourism, daily travels and transporting cargo.

Tourists getting off at Nadi International Airport will be able to travel easily throughout the country. That will mean the tourism dollar will be spent in more places rather than being confined to one or two towns.

Imagine being able to transport vegetables from Sigatoka to Suva in a matter of less than an hour. Not only will the cost of transportation decrease for farmers but that decrease in price will be passed onto Fijians every day.

Imagine not being stuck in traffic every single morning. Travel from Suva to Nausori could be a journey of less than 15 minutes. The same can be expected for travel time between Nadi and Lautoka.

This is a win-win situation for Fiji and we have the right man leading the charge on this front.

Alstom’s Prima Locomotives equipped with Saft Batteries

Back-up power for the control and safety systems on the 800 twin-section WAG12 Prima T8 electric locomotive which Alstom is building for Indian Railways will be provided by batteries which Saft is supplying under its largest-ever order in the rail sector.

Saft has increased the scope of its Indian production capabilities from assembly to full design, manufacturing and support to enable it to play a part in the government’s Make in India programme.

The nickel-technology SRM+ cells for the Prima T8 locomotives will be manufactured and supported from a factory in Bibadi near Bangalore, which was established in 2013 and has previously supplied Alstom with batteries for Chennai and Lucknow metro projects.

‘Quality, safety, reliability and the manufacturing capabilities of Saft India were central to Alstom’s selection of Saft SRM+ batteries’, according to Milan Sima, Rail & Mobility General Manager at Saft. ‘We are proud to demonstrate that we have become a full local supplier and a strong force for all the major manufacturers in the Indian market.’

“It’s no surprise that our batteries are used in three-quarters of all metro systems, more than 100 rail networks and in Formula One race cars,” said  Milan Sima.

“Saft works with leading transport operators around the world including Rolls-Royce, Bombardier and CRRC, to ensure they can provide a safe, reliable service and meet increasingly stringent emissions targets. We have been able to develop cutting-edge solutions by drawing on our work in the defense sector with very high-power capacity cells to deliver customized solutions wherever they are needed,” he added.

“Our high-performance batteries are increasingly being incorporated into the design of hybrid and fully-electric marine vessels, while our Ion’Drive® Motive 24 V battery range brings high performance to hybrid vehicles such as mining and farm trucks. Our technology is also used in electrified ground-support equipment in airports and seaports as part of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, fuel consumption and noise, said Milan Sima, adding that “High-performance and low-maintenance – our rail batteries need no maintenance for 5-10 years – our long-life batteries can operate at temperatures as low as -50°C, and boast a low total cost of ownership”.

Reverse e-Auctions for all Supply Tenders above Rs.10-cr, Services/Work Orders above Rs.50-cr from 2018-19 in Rlys

Starting next fiscal year, Indian Railways will conduct reverse e-auctions for all supply tenders above Rs.10 crore, and services and work orders above Rs.50 crore.

Mint has seen a copy of the draft policy that will be unveiled this month.

The policy states this will eliminate human intervention and help bring more transparency.

Even a 10% savings in cost due to improved competition will result in overall annual savings of up to Rs.10,000 crore for the national carrier. It will be applicable to all zonal railways, production units and railway companies like IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp.), RITES Ltd, RailTel and others.

A railway ministry official on condition of anonymity said, “The paperless transaction will help to offer more competitive bids and reduce corruption complaints. Besides, it will improve transparency and provide a level-playing field to the industry.”

He added the policy has been almost finalized. New software is being developed and will be launched by Railway minister Piyush Goyal, the official said, adding a review will be done after the first quarter of the next fiscal.

Indian Railways procures goods worth Rs.50,000 crore annually for production and maintenance of rolling stocks and for operation of passengers and goods and services, along with safety-related works.

In addition, track material worth Rs.10,000 crore is procured every year along with works worth Rs.60,000 crore. The reverse auction policy is expected to cover around 70% of railway’s procurements.

Railways director general (stores) A.K. Goel confirmed the move but declined to comment stating the policy was waiting for approval from the Railway board chairman. The Railways has around 76,000 registered vendors who can access the auction by paying a fee of Rs.10,000 as per the draft policy.

Jaijit Bhattacharya of advisory firm KPMG India said reverse auction will help the railways break cartels and reduce procurement costs significantly in a transparent manner.

ARSS Infrastructure Projects’ JV secures Work Order worth Rs.15 Crore

ARSS Infrastructure Projects announced that a work order amounting to Rs.15.44 crore namely ‘Supply of Ballast in connection with 3rd & 4th line work between Dhenkanal (Including) to Hindol Road (Excluding) in KUR-Division’ has been awarded in favour one of the company’s Joint Venture (JV) named ‘ARSS-KIPPL (JV)’ by East Coast Railway on 07 March 2018.

KEC International wins Rs.1378-crore Orders; Composite & Overhead Electrification works aggregate to Rs.473 Crore

KEC has continued its order winning spree by bagging multiple orders in all its business domains for a total value of Rs1,378cr.

Its Transmission & Distribution (T&D) business has secured orders worth Rs786cr across India, Middle East and SAARC.

Railway business has secured four orders for composite and overhead electrification works aggregating to Rs473cr across India. The cable business has received orders of Rs78cr for various types of cables. The civil business has secured an order of Rs41cr for the construction of factory and related civil works in Andhra Pradesh.

At the end of 9MFY18, KEC’s order inflows stood at Rs11,300cr (up 31% yoy), coupled with L1 status of Rs4,000cr.

KEC International, a leading global EPC company, is set to benefit from increasing traction in power transmission & distribution (T&D) business. In addition, traction in railway business, turnaround in its cables business and net debt reduction to Rs2,000cr by FY18 are key growth triggers. We expect sales and PAT to grow at ~15% and 26.6% CAGR over FY17-20E given healthy order book of ~Rs17,150cr (1.9xTTM sales) and increasing operational efficiencies.

KEC is currently trading at Rs414, up by Rs8.95 or 2.21% from its previous closing of Rs405.05 on the BSE.

Indian Railways now lets you transfer your train ticket to someone else; Here’s how you can do it

Travelling is always fun and awaited, but what if you are holding a confirmed railway ticket and some reason will be unable to travel? Fear not, you can now transfer the ticket to your family members or any other person.
Chief Reservation Supervisor of important stations are authorised by Railway Administration to permit the change of name of a passenger having a seat or berth reserved in his name,” read an official statement released by the Indian railways.
Here is a guideline form the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on how to avail this facility:
1. If the passenger is a Government Servant, proceeding on duty and appropriate authority, then he/she must make a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of trains.
2. A passenger can make a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train that the reservation made in his/her name may be transferred to another member of his family, meaning, Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Husband and Wife.
3. If the passengers are students of a recognized educational institution and then the head of the institution can make a request in writing 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, that the reservation made in the name of any student be transferred to any other student of the same institute.
4. Passengers who are members of a marriage party and any person deemed to be head of such party can make a request in writing 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the train that the reservation made in the name of any member of the marriage party be transferred to any other person.
5. Passengers belonging to a group of cadets of National Cadet Corps and any officer who is the head of the group can make a request in writing at least 24 hours before the departure of the train that the reservation made in the name of any cadet be transferred to any other cadet.
Indian Railways also said that such request for change will be granted only once. However, in case of students, marriage party and NCC cadets, the request for change in excess of 10% of the total strength of group shall not be granted.

Sanjive Roy new GM of Northeast Frontier Railway

Senior railway official Sanjive Roy has been appointed as the new General Manager of Northeast Frontier Railway.

Roy, a 1981 batch officer of the Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE), took charge of the office on March 6, a statement issued here by NF Railway said on Thursday.

Roy  completed M Tech in Structural Engineering from IIT, Kanpur after completing BE (Civil) from University of Roorkee now IIT, Roorkee.

He has undergone Management training in HEC School of Management, Paris; HAG level training at University of Pittsburgh, USA apart from participating in various other courses in IIPA, New Delhi, IRICEN, Pune & RSC Vadodra.

Roy has worked in various capacities in many zonal railways like Northern Railway, New Delhi, Railway Design & Standard Organization, Lucknow and Northeast Frontier Railway, Guwahati.

During his tenure as Chief Engineer/Construction of Northeast Frontier Railway; the entire New Jalpaiguri – New Bongaigaon (280 Km) Gauge Conversion work was completed with opening of 182 km section in one go.

He has also worked as DRM of Secunderabad and Chief Administrative Officer of North Eastern Railway.

As Chief Track Engineer of North Central Railway he had the satisfaction of completing required works for running of the Gatiman Express at 160 kmph in short time.

Prior to joining as General Manager, he was working as the Principal Chief Engineer of North Central Railway, Allahabad.

Indian Railways to provide bio-degradable pads in 8,000 Railway Stations

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said he wants to run a campaign, ensuring that all women are provided with the benefit of bio-degradable sanitary pads in rural areas.

“We should run a campaign across the country to ensure all women get the benefit of such pads. We have to get economies of scale. We should produce these on a large scale and instead of the expensive pads produced by big companies; women can get it for Rs 1-Rs 1.5,” said Goyal.

Goyal was attending the event and was speaking on the ‘Relevance of Economic Philosophy of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in Today’s World’ as part of the RSS ideologue’s birth centenary celebrations.

Speaking on the campaign, Goyal asserted that he wanted to run a campaign to ensure that every woman in India had access to sanitary pads.

“I have started speaking with Manekaji (Maneka Gandhi) on the issue,” he said.

The Railway Minister also said that he was exploring the possibility of facilitating manufacturing units for cheap and bio-degradable sanitary pads at 8,000 railway stations of the country.

“The railways will help as much as possible, be it providing manufacturing facility on railway stations…such pads can be manufactured on 8,000 locations,” he said.

Goyal further emphasised that self-help groups can manufacture such pads.

“Women themselves can make them in hygienic conditions. Railway stations have terraces where they can work. Machines used for the purpose are also not that expensive,” he added.

Goyal also said the aim should be to provide women a benefit for Rs 100 annually.

“Even if there are three women in the house, the expense is 80 paisa per day for this. Most households will be able to afford it,” he said.

On February 20, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi launched a menstrual hygiene campaign.

The objective of the campaign called “#Yes I Bleed” is to create a holistic approach to the issue of menstruation, which is an experience that transcends culture, class, and caste.

RPF curbing Human Trafficking from Northeast

To check the widespread increase in human trafficking from northeast India, the railway authorities have taken steps to curb the menace with around 500 children being rescued by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and 14 traffickers arrested in 2017, an official said on Wednesday.

“In all, 498 children have been rescued by RPF and 14 traffickers were arrested last year. During 2016 and 2015, the RPF has been able to rescue 437 and 206 children respectively,” Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma said.

“In the face of the widespread increase in human trafficking from northeast India, the NFR and RPF have continued an all-out offensive for combating the menace in railway stations and railway premises. Trains are frequently used for ferrying trafficked children,” Sharma said.

“The NFR and RPF personnel have been able to apprehend a large number of offenders by putting in place foolproof security arrangements in stations,” he said.

Sharma also said that all the five NFR divisions have pressed mobile security squads into service to watch for any suspicious movement in trains and station premises.

The rescued children were handed over to their guardians or to NGOs for proper care and rehabilitation.

The NFR serves seven districts in West Bengal and five districts in north Bihar, besides seven northeastern states, excluding Sikkim.

The CPRO said that the RPF of NFR has also been doing commendable work in detection and recovery of contraband goods.

“The RPF has recovered smuggled goods worth of Rs 5.1 crore in 160 cases last year and arrested 68 offenders. This is much higher than the figures in 2016 where goods worth Rs.3.6 crore were recovered and 134 cases registered.

“This recovery of contraband goods has been possible due to frequent raids, ambush and checks conducted by RPF in sensitive areas within the scope of implementation of integrated security system programmes on the major stations of NFR. CCTV cameras have been installed and control rooms have been set up for real-time monitoring of stations and railway premises,” Sharma added.

Railways in Parliament: Implementation of Security Systems as a Priority Area on Indian Railways discussed

Safety is accorded the highest priority by Indian Railways and all possible steps are undertaken on a continual basis to prevent accidents and to enhance safety because of which during the last three years, the number of consequential train accidents (including accidents at Unmanned Level Crossings mainly caused due to negligence of road vehicle users) have decreased from 135 in 2014-15, to 107 in 2015-16 and further to 104 in 2016-17. In the current year (upto 28th February, 2018) the number of consequential train accidents have further reduced to 70 as compared to 99 in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Security has been identified as one of the priority areas by Railways for strengthening and upgradation. Measures initiated in recent past to strengthen security over Indian Railways include installation of CCTV cameras at railway stations/trains, operationalisation of security helpline 182, and development of security App etc.

Operational measures to strengthen security of passengers include escorting of about 4500 important mail/Express trains daily by Railway Protection Force / Government Railway Police, access control at important railway stations, prosecution of offenders for unauthorized vending/hawking, entry into ladies and reserved compartments, touting of tickets, trespassing, roof travelling, alarm chain pulling etc. under relevant provisions of the Railways Act., detection of passenger related crime, arrest of criminals and handing over to GRP for further legal action.

Close coordination and liaison is maintained by the RPF with GRPs to strengthen security over railways. State Level Security Committee for Railways (SLSCR) have also been constituted for all State/UTs under the Chairmanship of respective Director General of Police/Commissioner of States/UTs for regular monitoring and review of security arrangement for the Railways.

Prevention and detection of crime related to passengers, registration of such cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in railway premises as well as on running trains are the statutory responsibility of the State Governments. For this purpose, a separate wing of State Police in the name of ‘Government Railway Police’ (GRP) functions in respective States. Ministry of Railways are supplementing efforts of States in providing security over railways through the Railway Protection Force (RPF).

This information was made available in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.