Indian Railways News

WOW! Indian farmer wins express train in legal fight with railway – Read

An Indian farmer’s battle for proper compensation for land seized to build a railway reached an unexpected conclusion this week when a court awarded him a train.

Sampuran Singh has been fighting for the money since 2015, when he went to court to argue that Indian Railways had underpaid him for a piece of land in the northern state of Punjab acquired to build new tracks.

On Friday Singh’s lawyer said a court in the state had awarded him an express train in lieu of the 10 million rupees ($150,000) he was owed.

“We were tired of pleading with the railways to clear the pending dues. The court asked us to identify properties for recovering our money,” Rakesh Gandhi told AFP.

Judge Jaspal Verma also granted Singh ownership of the station master`s office in Ludhiana, a city in Punjab that the train passes through.

After the hearing on Wednesday Singh and his lawyer took the court order to Ludhiana station where they waited for the train to arrive before handing the document to the driver.

Singh said he allowed the driver to carry on to its destination as stopping it “would have caused inconvenience to thousands of passengers”.

Railway officials later secured an interim court order giving them control of the train until the case is heard again on Saturday.

“If they fail to pay the money by Saturday then the court can sanction an auction,” Gandhi said of the 20-coach express train, which runs daily between New Delhi and the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in Punjab.

Several Indian courts in the past have unsuccessfully awarded trains to aggrieved farmers over unpaid dues.

Last year, an express train was confiscated on court orders after a 62-year-farmer in southern Karnataka state won a compensation case over land taken in 2006.

The intercity express was halted at Harihar station for two hours before officials convinced him to release it.

And in 2015, railway officials handed over 3 million rupees to two farmers at a station in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh to secure the release of an express train.

Now unreserved rail tickets on smartphones in 15 more stations

Northern Railway on Monday extended the facility to book unreserved tickets through smartphones to 15 more railway stations between New Delhi and Ghaziabad, an official statement said.

The facility so far existed on 11 stations between New Delhi and Palwal where it was launched on a pilot basis in September 2015, a railway statement said.

It added that the facility has now been extended on New Delhi-Delhi-Ghaziabad section covering seven stations: New Delhi, Delhi Sadar Bazar, Delhi, Delhi Shahdra, Vivek Vihar, Sahibabad and Ghaziabad.

The facility would also be available on New Delhi-Anand Vihar-Ghaziabad section covering eight stations: New Delhi, Shivaji Bridge, Tilak Bridge, Mandawali Chander Vihar, Aanand Vihar, Chander Nagar, Sahibabad and Ghaziabad.

The application `UTSMobile` takes away the inconvenience of having to wait in queue in order to buy unreserved tickets which not only saves time, but also avoids the usage of paper for tickets, it said.

Service charge exemption on railway e-ticket extended till June 30

The service charge exemption on railway tickets booked online has been extended till June 30.

 In order to help passengers and incentivise payments made through digital modes for booking of reserved tickets, service charge on online booking of tickets was withdrawn for the tickets booked from November 23, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

“We have received instructions from the Ministry of Information and Technology advising the railways to extend the incentives at least till June 30, 2017,” said a Railway Ministry official.

Service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket.

The government waived the service charges after demonetisation in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking.

Approximately, an amount of Rs 184 crore has not been realised from passengers on account of service charge and service tax thereon on reserved tickets booked online from November 23, 2016 to February 28, 2017, according to railways data.

 

Now you can order McDonald’s burger, Domino’s pizza on Rajdhani, Shatabdi – Know how!

In case you are bored of meals offered on board in Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains, here is something that will make your day. The Indian Railways has come up with a service which allows travelers to prebook meals from their favorite pizza or burgers chains.

 From today onwards the service will be available on Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains.

The Indian Railways has tied up with food chains such as Domino’s, KFC, McDonald’s and Sagar Ratna, among others.

As per reports, the meals can be booked online, on call or SMS. The food can be ordered online through website www.ecatering.irctc.co.in.

The order will be delivered to the customers inside the time of train’s halt at any specified station and the food aggregator will be responsible for the delivery.

Ordering Meal

Online

  • Click on www.ecatering.irctc.co.in.
  • Enter PNR number or station where the food should be delivered
  • Select food operator, choose from menu and place order
  • OTP received to be verified during delivery

Phone Call

  • Place order on number ‘1323’ and verify through OTP received vis SMS
  • On delivery pay through cash

SMS

  • Text ‘MEAL’, and then type PNR number to 139
  • Place your order
  • Verify through OTP
  • Pay through cash on delivery

More Humsafar Trains Soon With Fridge, Display Screens, More Facilities

Indian Railways’ new Humsafar trains will come with USB charging points, baby nappy changing pads and information display screens. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday inspected a new rake of Humsafar Express with additional features at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station. First announced in Rail Budget 2016-17, Humsafar Express trains will be a fully air-conditioned third AC train service with an optional service for meals. Besides the nappy changing pads in two toilets per coach, Humsafar Express will also come fitted with CCTV surveillance systems. Humsafar Express was one of the four new train projects announced in 2016, along with Uday Express, Tejas Express and Antyodaya Express.

Here are 10 things to know on the Humsafar Express:

The cost of a Humsafar AC 3 Tier coach is estimated at Rs. 2.58 crore, as against Rs.2.39 crore for a normal LHB AC 3 Tier coach.

The new rake inspected by Mr Prabhu on Wednesday included many features in additional to those planned for the Humsafar Express. The new rake came with a single piece side lower berth, instead of a two-piece model previously. “Humsafar trains were already good, but we wanted to further improve the design for better passenger experience,” Mr Prabhu said on Wednesday.

The new coaches had a mobile charging point for each berth including USB charging points. Earlier, there were three chargers for eight passengers.

Each berth was provided with reading light, in contrast to only the lower berths previously.

Among some of the other features given in the new coaches were a convenient upper berth climbing arrangement, display monitor screens for the CCTV installed in the coach, and dustbins in each bay inside the coach.

In addition to these, according to a press release by the Ministry of Railways, all the existing features of Humsafar Express coaches will continue to be available.

Some of the features planned for the Humsafar Express include an anti-graffiti coating and distinctive 3D numbering on the exterior, colourfully coordinated seats, berths, partitions, curtains, improved/hygienic toilets and film type mirrors, deodorizers, dustbins and sleek bottle holders in the cabins.

Besides, the Humsafar Express coaches will also come with CCTV surveillance cameras in the common areas of coaches, integrated braille displays, hygienic lavatories with odour flushing systems, GPS-based passenger information systems, passenger announcement systems, fire and smoke detection systems, auto vending machine and mini pantries with ovens/fridges.

A total of 11 Humsafar trains have been announced by the railways ministry in the new time table, of which six are running with a composition of 16 AC 3 Tier coaches and 2 power cars, the press release noted.

The railway minister is scheduled to flag off two Humsafar Express trains – Tirupati-Jammu Tawi (train No. 22705/22706) and Howrah-Vijayawada (20889/20890) from Vijayawada on Thursday. The remaining Humsafar trains will also be introduced in due course, the ministry said. Indian Railways plans to manufacture 10 Humsafar rakes in the current financial year at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.

 

This Is What 40,000 Railway Coaches You Travel In Will Look Like

To enhance passenger experience, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched a mega project to overhaul nearly 40,000 old coaches. Under its “Mission Retro-Fitment” project, the Indian Railways will equip the coaches with better interiors, safety features and amenities including LED lights, anti-graffiti paint coats, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and smoke alarm systems. Besides new safety features, “Mission Retrofitment is an endeavour to provide better travel experience as the interiors of the coaches would be refurbished,” the minister said.

Here are 10 things to know about Mission Retro-Fitment:

1) Indian Railways plans to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23, the transporter in a press release.

2) The programme includes refurbishing of coaches which includes upgradation with improved interiors. The approximate cost for this task is estimated at Rs. 30 lakh per coach.

3) The railways said 57 coaches have already been refurbished by Coach Rehabilitation Workshop, Bhopal and the refurbished coaches are running in Varanasi-New Delhi Mahamana Express since 22 January, 2016.

4) Besides fitment of panels without visible screws, LED lights, modular toilets with concealed plumbing, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and anti-graffiti coating, the refurbishing task would include enhanced safety features such as fire and smoke detection system (in newly manufactured AC coaches), double acting compartment doors (in AC coaches) and rounded edges at most locations for injury-free.

5) The refurbished coaches will also have bio toilets, passenger address/information systems, braille signage, ergonomic design and an increased number of mobile and laptop charging points, the railways said.

6) The Indian Railways plans to use better materials for the task, such as polycarbonate ABS, advanced composites, glass fibre reinforced plastic and stainless steel, among other features.

7) Indian Railways envisions improved passenger experience with its overhauling project.

8) “By 2020, Indian Railways would provide a new travel experience to the passenger over Indian Railways. This mission is challenging as it will be carried out without affecting the traffic operation,” Mr Prabhu added.

9) In addition, for retro-fitment of Centre Buffer Coupler (CBC) with balanced draft gear, the transporter has estimated an approximate cost of Rs. 28 lakh per coach.

10) This task includes stripping of the lavatories and doorway area, gas cutting the end wall stanchions, headstock assembly and trough floor, fabrication of the head stock compatible with CBC, tack welding of the new head stock with the stanchions pillars and sole bar, inspection of the critical weld joints, painting with high performance anti-corrosive epoxy coating, replacement of sole bars as well as cleaning and painting.

Railways to Launch Overnight Service for Business Travellers

The Railways will soon launch an overnight double-decker train service equipped with modern facilities to attract business travellers.

The public transporter is looking to connect metropolitan centres through the new service, Uday Express, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said today at the ‘Smart Railway Conclave’ here.

We will be launching Uday Express for business travellers who would start in the night and reach in the morning so that they can save on hotel cost,” Prabhu said, adding that it will have improved amenities.

Currently railways has undertaken a large number of projects to provide better onboard amenities for passengers.

“We are moving ahead with a holistic strategy and we are doing it in a most challenging situation. Whether it is catering, booking tickets, cleaning of coaches, all these are happening in a smart way in the railways,” he said.

He said railways has suffered from under investment and lack of capacity expansion in the past.

 “The expansion was not commensurate to the demand. Goods were moving away from the railways. There was a huge gap in demand and supply. So we decided to come out with a holistic strategy to deal with it. We tried to implement projects involving laying new lines, electrification on a faster pace,” he said.

He said the challenge now is to make better use of latest technology. “Technology was always been there but now the scale has multiplied now. Use of right technology is the game changer.”

The Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) which was languishing for years was made to progress rapidly and it is expected to be operational by 2019, he said.

Highlighting the importance of investment in the rail sector, Prabhu said “Every rupee invested in railways has six time multiplying effect on economic and job creation sector.”

A huge capital expenditure of Rs 8.56 lakh crore was planned out for five years out of which more than Rs 3 lakh crore is being spent now, he said.

New Interior, Powered Blinds…40,000 Old Train Coaches To Get New Features

To enhance passenger experience, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched a mega project to overhaul nearly 40,000 old coaches. Under its “Mission Retro-Fitment” project, the Indian Railways will equip the coaches with better interiors, safety features and amenities including LED lights, anti-graffiti paint coats, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and smoke alarm systems. Besides new safety features, “Mission Retrofitment is an endeavour to provide better travel experience as the interiors of the coaches would be refurbished,” the minister said.

Here are 10 things to know about Mission Retro-Fitment:

1) Indian Railways plans to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23, the transporter in a press release.

2) The programme includes refurbishing of coaches which includes upgradation with improved interiors. The approximate cost for this task is estimated at Rs. 30 lakh per coach.

 3) The railways said 57 coaches have already been refurbished by Coach Rehabilitation Workshop, Bhopal and the refurbished coaches are running in Varanasi-New Delhi Mahamana Express since 22 January, 2016.

4) Besides fitment of panels without visible screws, LED lights, modular toilets with concealed plumbing, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and anti-graffiti coating, the refurbishing task would include enhanced safety features such as fire and smoke detection system (in newly manufactured AC coaches), double acting compartment doors (in AC coaches) and rounded edges at most locations for injury-free.

5) The refurbished coaches will also have bio toilets, passenger address/information systems, braille signage, ergonomic design and an increased number of mobile and laptop charging points, the railways said.

6) The Indian Railways plans to use better materials for the task, such as polycarbonate ABS, advanced composites, glass fibre reinforced plastic and stainless steel, among other features.

7) Indian Railways envisions improved passenger experience with its overhauling project.

8) “By 2020, Indian Railways would provide a new travel experience to the passenger over Indian Railways. This mission is challenging as it will be carried out without affecting the traffic operation,” Mr Prabhu added.

9) In addition, for retro-fitment of Centre Buffer Coupler (CBC) with balanced draft gear, the transporter has estimated an approximate cost of Rs. 28 lakh per coach.

10) This task includes stripping of the lavatories and doorway area, gas cutting the end wall stanchions, headstock assembly and trough floor, fabrication of the head stock compatible with CBC, tack welding of the new head stock with the stanchions pillars and sole bar, inspection of the critical weld joints, painting with high performance anti-corrosive epoxy coating, replacement of sole bars as well as cleaning and painting.

Several Killed As Speeding Bus Hits Train In Benin

Several people were killed when a train operated by a subsidiary of French industrial group Bollore in Benin collided with a speeding bus, authorities said on Wednesday.

The Benirail train was travelling on the railway that runs from the capital Cotonou to the northern city of Parakou when it collided with the bus, which was exceeding the speed limit, early on Tuesday morning, Ramani Kassoumou, a senior official at the National Centre for Railway Security (CNSR), told Reuters.

Interior Minister Sacca Lafia said the accident caused “several deaths” but did not offer specifics. Hospital sources in the city of Save near where the accident occurred said at least four people had died and another 30 were injured.

Bollore is the operator and largest stakeholder in Benirail, with the remaining stake held by the Benin and Niger governments and other private investors. A Bollore spokesman in Benin could not be immediately reached for comment.

At least 79 people were killed in a crash in Cameroon last October on a train operated by Camrail, also a Bollore unit.

Bollore declined to comment on the report at the time.

Mumbai to get first AC local train in September this year

Air-conditioned local trains will start plying on the suburban sections of Mumbai from September this year.

“The trial runs are underway and if everything goes as per our plan, which is most likely, then the commercial operations of this silver-blue coloured AC local would start from September this year,” said member, rolling stock of the Railway Board, Ravindra Gupta.

Gupta was interacting with the mediapersons from Mumbai at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi.

“We will be procuring nine more AC rakes taking the total to 10. They would be plying on both Central and Western Railway corridors,” said A K Mittal, chairman, Railway Board.

 The AC local had arrived in Mumbai on April 4, 2016. Initially, the trial runs were conducted on central railways but due to the height of electrical overheads and other issues, it was shifted to western railway last month.

 

Railways has, however, not fixed the fare structure.

Mohammad Jamshed, member (traffic), railway board, said “we are working on it (fares) and the suggestions for fares would be taken into account after considering the needs of Mumbaikars. We will decide the fare which will be in the favour of the Mumbaikars.”

Equipped with GPS and micro-processor-based software system, this 12-car local has a seating capacity of 1,208 and standing capacity of 4,936 passengers. Around 108 to 112 passengers can travel in one coach.

Built at a cost of Rs 54 crore, the train doesn’t have first class and general class division; the entire rake would be vestibule-connected (in two parts of six coaches each) and can run at the top speed of 110 kmph.