Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

16-Year-Old Boy Dies, Girl Injured In Attack By Unknown Person

Two teenagers were attacked by an unknown person while they were taking a stroll near the railway line behind Kadkad model village in the industrial area under Link Road police station, the police said.

While the 16-year-old boy died, the girl was hospitalised with a deep gash on her neck, they said.

SP, City, Akash Tomar said that a 16-year-old boy was returning after a stroll with a girl, student of class X, on Tuesday evening.

Some unknown person stabbed Rahul to death and slit the throat of the girl, Mr Tomar said.

The girl was admitted to a nearby hospital where she is undergoing treatment, he added. The body of the boy has been sent for post-mortem, the SP said.

An FIR has been lodged by Rahul’s elder brother Brijesh and the police are now waiting for the girl’s statement, Mr Tomar said.

The girl presently is not in a position to give any statement, Mr Tomar added.

Google says RailTel’s WiFi service far better than those in London and San Francisco

The Wifi connectivity provided by Google as part of the RailTel project is faster than those in San Francisco and London, said Google India’s Gulzar Azad, Country Head-Connectivity.

He also added that the Indian version is far ahead in terms of coverage and capacity.

The head of Google India’s connectivity department was speaking in an interview regarding the RailTel project, which is being executed in partnership of the Indian Railways.

RailTel Corporation of India Limited – a Public Sector Telecom PSU under Ministry of Railways, is part of the Digital India drive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Launched in January 2016, the project aims to provide WiFi broadband access to railway passengers in more than 400 major stations by 2018.

The service at present is available in 140 railway stations including New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin. The speed is at present 20 to 40 mbps for the first 30 minutes followed by a gradual decrease in order to manage bandwidth.

Azad said that the rise in data consumption following the arrival of Jio has increased the demand for data, but without hampering the RailTel’s growth. RailTel’s customers, he said, have increased to 65 lakh monthly users from 50 lakh since the emergence of free data phenomenon.

With regard with the lack of proper publicity for the project, Azad said that steps will be taken to make people more aware of the service. But he also added that more co-operation is needed with the Indian Railways to find innovative modes for publicity.

The RailTel project once fully implemented is set to become the largest WiFi project in the planet.

Gulzar said that Google want a billion people online and we want all of them on broadband. It is clear that the digital is an economic growth force. But the Google’s ultimate goal is that billion number of broadband users, each of them using 10 GB a month. The contributions have to come from the internet world, content players, telecom companies and the government. The data revolution has taken some time to come out in India. But it cannot be more inspiring with merger happening, transformation happening. Google would like to achieve 10GB per user per month in the next 4-5 years. Gulzar said that in last one year, we began with Railways WiFi and completed the 140 stations. Usage levels we are seeing from users, government and industry exhilarating. Which is why Google announced to create a product platform, Google Station to allow fast, reliable and secure Wi-Fi by ISPs, establishments and venues. Google also looking for more partnership around the Google station platform. Also L&T is one we are discussions with. Some will convert in the deals.

In India 115 stations stations live, our goal is to get to 400 stations with high speed networks, which jointly created by Google and RailTel. Our main focused on assuring that the monetization kicks in this year.

Railway Board clarifies details regarding Payment of Taxes under GST system for ongoing Supply Contracts

In a letter to the MSME suppliers in West Bengal, Railways has clarified various details regarding payment of taxes under GST system for ongoing supply contracts as on July 1, 2017 to Railways.

Railway Board said in case of purchase order with Original Delivery Period before June 30, 2017 where the material is supplied (wholly or partly) after June 30, 2017 during extended Delivery period, “Such situations shall be dealt under Denial Clause with payment restricted to lower of contract tax rate or tax rate under GST regime with the stipulation that any additional Input Tax Credit (ITC) benefit, if becomes available to supplier, the same shall be passed on to purchaser without any undue delay.”

For Valid Purchase order with Delivery Period after 30.06.2017 where the material is supplied (wholly or partly of it) after 30.06.2017 within Original DP or extended DP, “Such contract shall be dealt under SVC clause and payment with prevailing GST rate (whether having positive or negative variation) shall be made with the stipulation that any additional Input Tax Credit (ITC) benefit, if becomes available to supplier, the same shall be passed on to purchaser without any undue delay.”

In contracts where SVC is specifically mentioned as Not Applicable”, the payment in such:, cases shall be restricted to lower of contract tax rate or tax rates under GST regime with the stipulation that any additional Input Tax Credit (ITC) benefit, if become available to supplier, the same shall be passed on to purchaser without any undue delay.

Also, the payment of taxes in such situations shall be released by paying authority without any formal amendment against individual contract / Purchase order.

Meanwhile, the Railways clarified that for supplies effected after 30.06.20, the firm shall – Submit the Invoice / bill clearly indicating the appropriate HSN and applicable GST rate thereon duly supported with documentary evidence; and Give a declaration that any additional Input Tax Credit benefit, if become available to supplier, the same shall be passed on to purchaser without any undue delay.

Despite floods, Railways’ July freight and passenger Biz up

The railways, which has been losing business to the roadways, seems to be gaining ground with both its freight and passenger traffic showing an upward trend in July, which is generally considered a lean month.

This year, July has seen a robust growth with the freight loading being at an all-time high for the month at 94.09 million tonnes, 4.75 million tonnes more than July last year, said a senior official of the ministry.

The passenger traffic sector has also done significantly better compared to last year.

According to the latest figures, 60.5 million more passengers travelled this year between April and July 20 – a growth of 2.41 per cent – compared to the corresponding period last year.

The passenger earnings this year up to July 20 increased to Rs 15,758 crore as against Rs 14,739 crore in the corresponding period last year, according to the figures.

The loading of steel went up by 25 per cent, iron ore by 12.71 per cent, cement by 15.11 per cent, container by 10.31 per cent, petroleum, oil and lubricants by 6.83 per cent and other commodities by 11 per cent as compared to July last year.

The coal loading, however, recorded a mere rise of 0.44 per cent, mostly because of flooding in the mines.

The April-July loading this year was 375.32 million tonnes, which is an approximate increase of 15 million tonnes compared to the corresponding period last year.

“The railways has taken several measures since April-May when freight rationalisation was undertaken. Freight charges were reduced from anywhere between 5-30 per cent. Rebates on empty freight rakes and other such steps have worked for us. We were losing out to roads but now things are picking up,” said the senior official.

July is usually considered a lean month for the railways because of heavy monsoon rains and flooding in several parts of the country. This year is no different with Gujarat, Rajasthan and several Northeast states reeling under floods, which have claimed over 200 lives and damaged infrastructure.

“During 2012 to 2016, we have seen a downward trend in passenger earnings by around one to two per cent yearly. Now, we have not only stopped the decline by reversing the trend, in the last four months, we have seen a 2.4 per cent growth in the passenger traffic,” the senior official said.


Book Tatkal Railway Tickets Now And Pay Later

People can now pay later for tickets booked under the tatkal quota on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) website, it was announced on Wednesday.

Till now, this service was available only for general reservations. For tatkal bookings people had to pay first via the standard online payment gateways before the IRCTC portal confirmed their ticket.

For tatkal tickets, IRCTC users will be able to pay via cash, debit card or credit card by opting to have tickets delivered at their doorstep, said IRCTC payment provider Anduril Technologies.

IRCTC processes 130,000 tatkal transactions daily. A majority of these tickets is booked within minutes of the quota opening.

The new feature eliminates the transaction failures as often the money gets debited and the ticket is not issued due to multiple reasons. The refund cycle is of about seven to 15 days.

“The pay on delivery feature completely circumvents the use of a payment gateway and will help users make the bookings in just a few seconds greatly increasing their chance of booking a confirmed ticket under the tatkal quota,” said Anduril Technologies CEO Anurag Bajpai.

He said it will hugely benefit millions of travellers.

Railways begins process of phasing-out of Blankets in AC Coaches

After the CAG rap, the Railways has begun the process of doing away with providing blankets in AC compartments and is instead regulating the temperature inside the coaches so that passengers don’t shiver.
The ‘no-blankets rule’ has now been implemented in the third AC coach of the Jammu Mail, a senior official of the railway ministry said.

“The ministry has started the process of gathering data from passengers on the viability of not having blankets on trains. Once we find how many of them ask for blankets and how many say that they can do without these, we will come to a decision about replicating the project in other trains,” the official said.

The railways is using thermal control and regulating the temperature in the third AC compartment of the Delhi-Jammu train to around 24-26 degree Celsius from the current 19 degrees so that passengers are comfortable and do not need blankets.

The step to phase out blankets from trains was taken after severe criticism from the Comptroller and Auditor General in its report recently about dirty blankets and bedrolls.

Senior officials said that eventually the plan is to replace blankets with cotton sheets which would be enough for passengers given the revised temperatures being maintained in the compartments.

The no-blanket move would also be more economical for the Railways — it takes Rs 55 to clean the bedroll while passengers are charged just Rs 22 for it.

However, officials said blankets will be carried in the trains in case these are needed by passengers.

Railways offer blankets with covers in AC coaches after CAG picks holes in hygiene levels

Responding to a CAG report questioning the hygiene and cleanliness levels of bedrolls in trains, the Indian Railways has started providing blankets with covers in the first-class air conditioned compartments.

A Business Standard report, over the weekend, had suggested the railways could do away with blanketsaltogether as the costs of getting the laundry cleaned was not economical, as also monitoring hygiene standards for the linen was difficult due to absence of quality checks at departmental mechanised laundries.

“We now provide blankets with covers in AC first class. The service has been started in all the major railways’ divisions. By the end of this month, the service will be available across all divisions. These covers will be washed daily,” said railways spokesperson Anil Saxena.

Railways was also said to be considering raising the temperature to 24 degrees from 19 degrees to avoid providing blankets. Saxena clarified “We are looking into its feasibility and practicability.”

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had pointed out that norms pertaining to maintaining cleanliness standard of the laundry were not being followed. While guidelines stipulated by the railways require the linen to be washed after every use and dry-cleaned every two months, it was not being done.

Coal-fired locomotive yet to hit the tracks of Nilgiri Mountain Railway

The only surviving old coal-fired loco, which was brought to Coonoor loco shed for maintenance last February, is simply stationed there even after it has been readied for operation.Loco No.X-37384 is the only surviving coal-fired steam locomotive in the world and is in working condition. All other steam locomotives in the NMR section are oil-fired. The coal-fired loco (Swiss Class X) made in 1918 was earlier officially declared as decommissioned by the Salem division of Southern Railways.The loco was brought to Coonoor from Mettupalayam on February 17, 2017.

The very next day, it was shifted to Ooty railway station to be displayed at the station as a heritage ornamental piece.TOI reported on February 28 about the working condition of the 99-year old Swiss loco. The report made the railway officials take a decision to run the loco on charter for tourists. The loco was brought back to Coonoor shed for maintenance. Harishankar Varma, Divisional Railway Manager, Salem Division/Southern Railway, told “Yes.  He added, “Many tourists and NMR lovers are waiting for its early chugging on the NMR track, at least as photo charter.” According to him, most of the tourists, especially foreigners, are keen on experiencing a coal-fired loco chug. Udhagamandalam: The only surviving old coal-fired loco, which was brought to Coonoor loco shed for maintenance last February, is simply stationed there even after it has been readied for operation.Loco No.X-37384 is the only surviving coal-fired steam locomotive in the world and is in working condition. The loco was brought back to Coonoor shed for maintenance. Harishankar Varma, told “Yes. But it is simply lying at the loco shed in Coonoor.”

Railways to sell ad space on staffers’ uniform?

Railway officials are looking to increase non-fare revenue by selling advertising space on the uniforms of its staffers including ticketing checkers and stationmasters.

“The option is to either look for sponsorship for uniforms or allow advertisers to print their logos on them,” said a Western Railway official. Currently, railways earns non-fare revenue through advertising on hoardings and compartments and audio system on platforms and trains.

Railways also plans to allow commercial development on vacant land and stations, lease out space for marriages and allow wi-fi facilities among others.

According to a study by MRVC in Mumbai, in 2014, only 6.5% of the total revenue was non-fare revenue.

DMRC decides to increase the number of trains by 45%; fleet to go up to 328 by March 2018

In what can be called as a good news for Delhiites, the Delhi Metro Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to increase the number of trains by 45 per cent. At present, DMRC runs 227 trains including four, six and eight-coach rakes but after the completion of the project, the number of trains will go up to 328. Simultaneously, the number of coaches will also rise to 2,158 from 1,468.

According to the reports,  Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will start commissioning in phases two of its upcoming corridors — Magenta Line (Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden) and Pink Line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) this October. Both Magenta and Pink line are likely to be completely operational by March 2018.

Reportedly, of the total 690 new coaches,  504 will be used for the Magenta and Pink Lines. The number of trains will also be increased from 227 to 244 in the existing corridors to get rid of the crowd. Meanwhile, it has also been said that six-coach trains will be converted into eight-coach ones to accommodate more passengers in a train.

Most number of trains will be allocated to the Blue Line (Dwarka Sector 21-Noida City Centre/Vaishali) as it is considered as the network’s busiest corridor. Whereas on the second busiest corridor, the Yellow Line (Samaypur Badli–HUDA City Centre), the number of eight-coach trains will be increased from 38 to 52.

Meanwhile, the Pink, Magenta as well as the newly opened Violet Line (Kashmere Gate-Escorts Mujesar) will have only six-coach trains as the passenger rush on these corridors is less compared to that of Blue and Yellow Lines, says TOI report.

Reportedly, the four-coach trains on DMRC’s first operational corridor Red Line (Dilshad Garden-Rithala) will be converted into six-coach, which means the number of six-coach trains will go up to 39 from 10.

Apart from trains, DMRC will deploy 3,000 staffers, including train operators, station controllers, and customer care executives, to the existing 9,000

Delhi-Chandigarh Corridor to get first ever Semi-Highspeed Train route as India ties up with French Railways

The Indian Railways is going full steam to achieve the target of covering the 245-km long Delhi-Chandigarh distance in flat two hours despite many curves on the proposed semi-high speed route.

The Delhi-Chandigarh corridor, one of the busiest routes in north India, is slated to be first semi-high speed project being taken up by the state-owned transporter to run trains at maximum speeds of 200 kmph with French help.

There are about 10 major curves spanning over 32 km on the existing Delhi-Chandigarh rail route.

The public transporter will not go for land acquisition required for straightening up several curves on the Delhi-Chandigarh semi-high speed corridor and instead opt for slowing down while negotiating the track, according to the railways.

The earlier plan was to straighten up these curves to facilitate uninterrupted speed on the semi-high speed route, said a senior Railway ministry official involved with the semi-high speed project.

However, since it requires acquiring land for the purpose which is a time-consuming process, railways decided not to go for land acquisition to avoid delay.

In a recent review meeting with the French team, it was decided to avoid land acquisition and instead make some adjustment on curves as much as possible on the existing railway land, he said.

However, the official said, despite curves, the target of reaching Chandigarh in two hours will be achieved.

SNCF, the French railways, has been assigned the task of submitting the execution strategy and implementation model with detailed cost of the semi-high speed project involving upgradation of the Chandigarh route.

The French team will submit the final report with details of cost analysis and technical parameter by October.

According to a rough estimate, it is likely to cost over Rs 10,000 crore with about Rs 46 crore per kilometre for running trains at 200 kmh, which includes rolling stock and signal and track upgradation on the Chandigarh corridor.

Currently, the Shatabdi Express covers the 245 km distance in about three hours and 30 minutes travelling at a maximum speed of 110 kmh.