Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

India’s Bullet Train project to obtain the most Modern Technologies; to up the Innovation in Transportation

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid down the ceremonial first stone of India’s first high-speed rail line at the Athletic Stadium near the Sabarmati Railway Station in Gujarat, it showcased India’s entry from the smoke-billowing ‘chhuk-chhuk’ train, started under the British Raj some 164 years ago, to the league of those nations equipped with a high-speed ultra-modern rail network. Not only that, it is a back-to-back answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. A bullet train on Indian soil, under the government’s ambitious plan to modernise rail infrastructure after decades of underinvestment, is a proud moment as it indicates that Indian Railways would be obtaining the most modern technologies matching that of the developed countries.


The ultra-efficient Shinkansen train network connects cities along the length and breadth of the country. Till 2011, it also had the highest ridership annually before giving up the title to its rival China.

The trains, which run every three minute, attain the maximum speed of 320km. They are operated by companies of the Japanese Railways Group and are known for their punctuality and safety record. Sample this: crew members of the Shinkansen trains are asked to give an explanation if the train arrives a minute late to its destination.

The network boasts of zero accident fatalities in its 53-year-journey, although Japan is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes. A Google search about Shinkansen accidents streams an incident of self immolation in the train and a minor derailment due to earthquake.

The system has become synonymous with efficiency. A video on YouTube titled ‘The 7-Minute Miracle Of Japanese Train System’ was shared widely on social media websites. The clip showed crew members respectfully bowing as a Shinkansen entering the station, waiting for passengers to disembark and swiftly cleaning every car of the super speed train in seven minutes.


An undated report of the Japan Railway & Transport Review said the Shinkansen project has tried to minimise noise pollution because it passes through high population density areas. Compared to other means of transport, the Shinkansen hardly emits any carbon dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide and other harmful gases. “If the Tokaido Shinkansen had not been constructed, about 15,000 tons more CO2 would have been emitted in 1985. This corresponds to the annual amount of CO2 emitted by industry in and around Tokyo,” it read.

The fares for Shinkansen were, however, costly. Former member of the railway board, RC Acharya, wrote in an article for HT in 2015 that a Shinkansen trip from Tokyo to Kyoto (514 km) costs Rs 7,700. It isn’t surprising too that the estimate fares for the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train is estimated to range between Rs.3,000 – Rs.5,000.

This new High-Speed Rail (HSR) line which would run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, cutting the travel time down from eight hours to two or three hours for a 508-kilometers’distance is aimed to become a part of ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, its scheduled completion date has been moved up by one year to August 15, 2022. The total cost of this project had been approximated at 17 billion USD, of which Japan would provide a friendly loan for over 80 per cent of the value.

The Japanese government would charge interest at 0.1 per cent, over a 50-year repayment cycle along with a grace period of 15 years. Japan would also provide the HSR technology making India a potential developer of it. With an aim to unleash the unexploited potential of Asia’s two largest democracies, India and Japan had formed a ‘special strategic and global partnership’ in 2011. And, incidentally this Mumbai–Ahmedabad Shinkansen line has come within months after the announcement of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, which is a joint effort by both Japan and India to strengthen transportation infrastructure and development across Asia and Africa.

As China and Japan are the global giants competing for contracts to build new HSR lines and supply the rolling stock all over Asia and even in Europe, Beijing may also be eyeing the other two HSR projects in India waiting in the wings, including the proposals to construct HSR lines from Delhi to Nagpur and Delhi to Chennai. However, another reason for preferring Japan over China is that Japan does not have a history of accidents on their bullet train network. On the other hand, there remain many unanswered questions regarding the timely completion of the Mumbai–Ahmedabad Shinkansen line project. Maintaining a balance in providing better connectivity while managing costs due to the demands of the land, may escalate to become a big source of worry for the authorities. The government might face a hard time explaining even the fares – which is expected to be higher than the flight tickets between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

With train tickets costlier than flight tickets, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project would have to cater to at least 1.5 crore passengers a year to earn enough and repay the loans with interest on time. Acquiring 825 hectares of land for this project would be the toughest task as it covers more than 163 villages in eight districts of Gujarat and 44 villages in three districts of Maharashtra, affecting as many as 2,761 families. Besides, the safety issues for bullet trains will also be a matter of concern as it would be running at 320 kmph. Not to forget, Narendra Modi is a Prime Minister who is gradually gaining accolades for his particular brand of big stick politics – aimed to push his country into a full rebuild. Asserting that India is willing to jump on the ride to see where it goes, he said that this ambitious project would bring pace to development in the country and no country can grow if they don’t dream big. “It is a new India which has to fly high. To grow one needs to expand his dreams and decide his strengths that would be required to achieve that,” the Prime Minister said in his address at Sabarmati Ashram.

Only time can spell out the success of the much-hyped Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, but right now, it seems that India is aiming to become a high-speed rail powerhouse, resulting in a proper upgradation of its 164-year-old conventional transportation system on the tracks. And, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad line is the first step towards this ambition.

How the Railway systems around the world raced to get their fastest trains

The quest for the fastest possible rail network had been on the agenda of countries across the world throughout the twentieth century. The concept of high speed train is used to designate any railway system that has a speed above 250 kph. While European countries like Germany and Italy had been researching and experimenting on high speed rail network since as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, it was Japan which made the breakthrough in this race for the fastest rail technology.

Japan’s headway in high speed rail technology was soon followed by France, Germany, Spain United Kingdom, United States, China, Italy, Korea and Taiwan. “This transformation of ground transportation infrastructure has become the symbol of modernity in many countries, and, from the financial perspective, high speed rail lines have become the most important projects in those countries where this innovation has been implemented,” write economists Daniel Albalate and Germa Bel in their work on the economics and politics of high speed railways.

While the government of these countries have often justified the technology in terms of commercial gains to be made and environmental benefits, they have also come under criticism regarding the economic and social burden the fast train projects might lead to. Whatever be the highs and lows of high speed rail technology, its association with modernity has made the idea of ‘fast trains’ a near necessity for any country desiring to be labeled as ‘developed’.

On Thursday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, inaugurated the first high speed rail service in India, or what is popularly called the bullet train, the Indian rail industry took a leap in the direction of modern locomotives. Here is a look at few other countries who have been ahead in this race.


In the period following the end of the Second World War, Japan made several astounding economic gains as it benefited from Cold War politics. A product of this economic boom and the necessity of the post-war demographic situation in Japan led the country to discover high speed locomotive technology. Subsequently, the country made a breakthrough in high speed railways in 1964 with the Shinkansen or the bullet train network. At its inception, the network extended from Tokyo to Osaka. Over time it has extended to cover 2,764.6 km, linking most of the major cities in the country.

The bullet train technology inaugurated by India and Japan in Ahmedabad on Thursday rests on the same technology that made Japan the first country to successfully introduce high speed railways.


On January 10, 2012, the Secretary of Transportation of the British government announced the building of a high-speed railway line between London and Birmingham, with an extension to Manchester and Leeds. Despite criticism against the project regarding the high costs it would accrue, the British government maintained that the benefits to be gained from the rail network would be much higher than the costs. The project has come under strong criticism from organisations like the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Adam Smith Institute. The media too has been critical of the project. In 2011 an article on the high speed rail project published in the weekly publication, The Economist, came out with the title “The great train robbery”.

The British government, however, had been consistent in their confidence on the project. A report on the rail network presented by the government to the Parliament stated that “the Government believes strongly that the time has come to act with the same boldness as our Victorian predecessors”.


While research and tests for high speed rail in the United States had been ongoing since the early decades of the 20th century, one of the first substantial projects date back to the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965. Despite being one of the first countries to introduce high speed rail networks, it could barely spread with the same agility. A more recent development in the process has been the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act in 1991. The Act mandated the Federal Railroad Administration to identify five corridors for high speed rail network. Over time the number of such corridors identified have increased.

In April 2009, the Obama administration presented a blueprint for a national network of high speed passenger rail lines. “The purpose of the plan, as the president stated is to reduce traffic congestion, cut dependence on foreign oil, and foster livable urban and rural communities,” wrote Albalate and Bel. While the cost of the network has come under heavy criticism, a major point in support of the railways made by the government is that of environmental benefits to be made, particularly those related to energy efficiency and cutting down of air pollution.


The first high speed rail line arrived in Europe in 1981 with the Train Grande Vitesse line between Paris and Lyon. The process of opening high speed rails in Europe accelerated in the late 1980s with lines opening in Germany and Spain and later in Italy. The development of high speed rail network in European countries depended on a variety of factors including the specific socio-economic and territorial needs of the states, the condition of the rail companies and the strategies adopted by the individual governments.

While high speed rail network developed at a fast pace in almost all European countries, the French and the German models gained an upper hand over all others. Developed in the 1980s and 90s, the two models became a source of inspiration for most other European countries who wished to develop fast trains strategy, this was particularly the case for Italy and Spain.

In the early 1990s, the European Union launched an ambitious plan for an integrated European high-speed network. One of the first steps taken by the Union in the process of railway reorganisation was the liberalisation of the rail economy. As of 1994, nine projects were selected for building high speed rail lines. With the enlargement of the European Union, however, the number of projects also increased over time.

Weekly Special Trains/Temporary Augmentations/Partial Cancellations/Stoppage of Train Services on various routes

Trains short-originated due to Floods and Breaches on ECR, Trains on CR rescheduled due to Late Running of Trains

I. Due to heavy floods and breaches in Samastipur division of East Central Railway, the following trains are Short originated as detailed below:-

Change of Originating Station:

1)    Train no. 07006 Raxaul-Hyderabad Special Trains scheduled to depart Raxaul at 01.30 hrs on 17th September, 2017 will depart from Darbhanga instead of Raxaul.

2)    Train no. 07092 Raxaul-Secunderabad Special Train scheduled to depart Raxaul at 01.30 hrs on 15th September, 2017 will depart from Barauni instead of Raxaul.

­­­­IIDue to late running of trains in Central Railway, the following trains are rescheduled on 14.09.2017.

Trains Rescheduled:

1)        Train No.11028 Chennai Central–Mumbai CSMT Mail scheduled to depart Chennai Central at 23:55 hrs on 14th   September, 2017 is rescheduled to depart at 05.00 hrs on 15th September,2017 due to late running of its pairing train.

2)        Train No. 11014 Coimbatore–Lokamanya Tilak Terminal Express scheduled to depart Coimbatore at 08:55 hrs on 14th  September, 2017 is rescheduled to depart at 11.45 hrs on the same day due to late running of its pairing train.

Weekly Special Trains between Yesvantpur–Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra

In order to clear extra rush of passengers, 8 suvidha weekly special trains between Yesvantpur–Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra will be run as detailed below:

Accordingly, Train No. 82651 Yesvantpur-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Suvidha Weekly Special Train will depart Yesvantpur at 11:30 hrs on 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th October, 2017 (Saturdays), arrive/depart Secunderabad at 04:00 / 04:10 hrs on the next day and arrive Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra at 20:25 hrs on Mondays.

In the return direction, Train No.82652 Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra-Yesvantpur Suvidha Weekly Special Train will depart Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra at 05:40 hrs on 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st October, 2017 (Tuesdays), arrive/depart Secunderabad at 19:25 / 19:35 hrs on the next day and arrive Yesvantpur at 15:00 hrs on Thursdays.

Enroute these special trains will also stop at Tumakuru, Arsikere, Chikjajur, Chitradurga, Ballari, Guntakal, Mantralayam Rd, Raichur, Yadgir, Kazipet, Balharshah, Nagpur, Habibgunj, Jhansi, New Delhi, Ambala, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi stations in both the directions.

Special Trains between Thiruvanantapuram and Howrah

In order to clear extra rush of passengers, two special fare trains will be run between Thiruvanantapuram-Howrah as detailed below:

Accordingly, Train No. 06515 Thiruvanantapuram–Howrah special fare train will depart Thiruvanantapuram at 12:40 hrs on 17th September, 2017 (Sunday ) and arrive Howrah at 10:55 hrs on Tuesday.

In return direction, Train No. 06516 Howrah–Thiruvanantapuram special fare train will depart Howrah at 01:05 hrs on 21st September, 2017 (Thursday) and arrive Thiruvanantapuram at 22:35 hrs on Friday.

Enroute, these special trains stop at Chennai Central and Visakhapatnam stations.

These trains will have AC II Tier, AC III Tier, Sleeper Class and General Second Class Coaches.

Restoration of KSR Bengaluru – New Tinsukia Jn Superfast Express
  1. Train No. 22501, KSR Bengaluru-New Tinsukia Jn. Superfast Express Journey commencing on 19th September, 2017 is restored.

Cancellation of Trains

  1. Train No. 06531/06532, Bengaluru Cantt.-Howrah Jn.-Bengaluru Cantt. Superfast AC Express Special on special fare leaving Bengaluru Cantt. on 14th September, 2017 and Howrah Jn. on 18th September, 2017 is cancelled.
  2. Train No. 11014 Coimbatore-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Express Journey commencing on 15th September, 2017 from Coimbatore is cancelled for want of rake.
Due to delay in restoration work in flood affected sections over North Frontier Railway up to 25.09.2017, the following trains are cancelled:
  1. Train No. 12552, Kamakhya-Yesvantpur AC Superfast Express Journey commencing on 20th September, 2017 from Kamakhya is cancelled.
  2. Train No. 12551, Yesvantpur-Kamakhya AC Superfast Express Journey commencing on 23rd September, 2017 from Yesvantpur is cancelled.
  3. Train No. 12509, Bengaluru Cantt.-Guwahati Express Journey commencing on 20th, to 22nd September, 2017 from Bengaluru Cantt. is cancelled.

Siemens bags contract to supply 30 Vectron Electric Locomotives to full-service leasing Co., Mitsui Rail Capital Europe

A contract to supply full-service leasing company Mitsui Rail Capital Europe with 30 Vectron electric locomotives was announced by Siemens on September 14.

The order includes 10 multisystem locomotives rated at 6·4 MW for cross-border operation in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands, and 20 DC locomotives rated at 5·2 MW for use in Italy. Both versions will be equipped with national train control systems, and the Vectron MS locomotives will also be fitted with ETCS.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in January 2018, and there is an option for a further 20 locomotives.

‘With this new order, our Vectron fleet will grow to a total of 111 locomotives’, said MRCE Chief Executive Junichi Kondo. ‘Our customers throughout Europe value the reliability and flexibility of the Siemens locomotive.’

‘With its fleet of DC, AC and MS locomotives, MRCE can now offer all electric versions of the Vectron’, added Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens’ Mobility Division.

Bhubaneswar Railway Station to get iconic heritage look

The state government and the East Coast Railway (ECoR) on Thursday discussed the proposed draft for a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which they will sign very soon to redesign and redevelop the city railway station.

The multimodal hub project will come up on the railway station and its circulating area. It will have an iconic seven-storeyed building at the entrance of the station. Besides, it will have state-of-the-art amenities, commercial complexes, parking, rainwater harvesting system, firefighting facility with pump rooms, well maintained internal roads and attractive green landscape.

The Bhubaneswar development authority (BDA) will supervise the station development work. As the station comes under the smart city district, the work will be integrated in the smart city project. Budget amount for the redevelopment work will be increased beyond Rs 60 crore which was estimated earlier, said a senior BDA official.

“It is a joint project of the Railways and the state government. The multi-storeyed building will be used by both the government agencies. We will use some floors for operational purpose and the state will take the rest for their use. But the state government will develop the building,” said Brijmohan Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager.

The state government has authorized the BDA to prepare design of the hub. Design will be prepared through a noted agency. “We have floated tender for preparation of the design of the multi modal hub. We hope the final design will come by February next year,” said Krishan Kumar, vice chairman of the BDA.

Manoj Kumar Mishra, commissioner of rail coordination and special secretary, said they have discussed the draft MoU prepared by the railway in the presence of chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi. “We agreed with 99 per cent of the draft proposal and some small issues related to execution and monitoring were resolved,” he added.

The earlier design was put on hold. Even the project’s executive agency, Works department, has been changed. Sources said the existing building with passenger reservation system (PRS) and booking counter will be demolished for the project. Even PRS and booking counter have been shifted to a temporary building near RMS office in the circulating area of the station in November last year.

For 95% Commuters, Bullet Train Means Nothing: Bibek Debroy To NDTV

It may have been the top trend of the day with #BulletTrain spinning super-fast dreams for the twitterati, but Bibek Debroy, a railway expert, says the $19 billion project will be irrelevant for all but a tiny portion of Indians.

“95% people are those that travel in unreserved compartments, and not Rajdhani or Shatabdi. To them this day counts for nothing,” said Dr Debroy, who is a member of the NITI Aayog, the government’s main policy think-tank.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese premier Shinzo Abe launched the Ahemdabad-Mumbai bullet train project today, which is to be completed in 2022, and will link the two huge trading centres in a 2-hour journey. Japan is providing 85 percent of the cost of the new train link in soft loans.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other government handles described the laying of the foundation stone today as “historic”.

But Dr Debroy, who has chaired a committee that looked at major railway projects, said that the criticism, including from opposition parties, of a bullet train overshadowing basic and wide problems with the 164-year-old rail network is “vacuous”.

Abhishek Manusinghvi of the Congress tweeted that the bullet train is a misplaced priority.

Totally dismissing this, Dr Debroy explained that the bullet train isn’t being funded at the expense of other rail projects. “Even when Japan helped us built the metro, they offered to do that or the bullet train. So the argument doesn’t stand,” he said. While the government is being attacked over the fact that derailments have risen in the last 10 years claiming 51 per cent of 458 deaths, the economist explained that the reason was tracks being overused so heavily that there was no time for basic upkeeps. “You need to have at least 2 hours daily to just maintain the tracks. These lines are used perhaps every 5 minutes. So the only way is to delay trains. That’s the trade-off for safety.”

When asked if the bullet train project, which was inaugurated in Gujarat, is being used to win public opinion ahead of elections in the state, he responded, “This has been in the works for years now. And there is always some election around the corner.” But the choice of Ahmedabad? “It needed to be 800-1,000 km stretch without any obstruction, a straight road. The only other one which perhaps has potential like that is Delhi-Chandigarh.”

As for whether the 1.1lakh crore project will be viable by the time the loan is paid off in the 50 years granted by Japan, you may need to think again. “I don’t think even the Japan bullet trains are viable. Nowhere is it viable, but the real estate around it can be viable,” said Dr Debroy.

Rajdhani Express Coach Derails In New Delhi, No Injuries Reported

A coach of Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed today at the New Delhi Railway station in the national capital, but no one was injured in the incident, a Northern Railway spokesperson said.

The incident took place around 6.00 am when the train was entering the platform, the spokesperson said.

Nobody was injured in the incident, the official said.

The incident is the latest in a series of rail accidents in this month.

On September 7, seven coaches of Jabalpur-bound Shaktipunj Express jumped the rails near the Obra Dam station in Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh at around 6:25 am while the engine and power car of the Ranchi-Delhi Rajdhani Express derailed near Minto Bridge in Delhi, injuring a person.

Two wagons of a goods train derailed in Khandala in Maharashtra on the same day.

China Says ‘Pleased’ At India-Japan High Speed Rail Cooperation

China on Wednesday showed interest in reviving its proposal to build high speed railway projects in India which has chosen Japan as a partner for the country’s first such venture.

China has been aggressively marketing its high-speed rail technology abroad and in the past lobbied hard to get the first contract in India. It had taken up a feasibility study for the New Delhi-Chennai corridor but no headway has been made in this regard so far.

 The Chinese side showed interest in the projects in India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe prepared to lay the foundation for India’s first bullet train project.

“China is pleased to see the infrastructure among the regional countries including the high-speed railway,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing when asked about the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project using Japanese technology.

“We stand ready to promote cooperation with India and other regional countries for regional development,” Mr Geng said expressing interest in reviving the project.

As to the railway cooperation, it is part of the practical cooperation between India and China. We have reached important consensus in this regard. Relevant competent authorities between the two countries maintained communication and increasing speed of railway in the current projects,” he said.

 India and China have worked out a number of cooperative agreements for the development of railways under which the Indian Railways engineers are getting trained in China in heavy hauling.

China is also cooperating with India to set up a rail university. It has also undertaken work to renovate some of the railway stations in India.

China currently has the world’s longest high-speed rail network. It has connected most of its cities with high speed trains reducing the travel time drastically.

RLDA, NBCC to form a SPV in the form of a JV Company to execute Station Redevelopment project

Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has signed a MoU with National Building Construction Corporation for redevelopment of 10 railway stations across the country at par with international standards. The Railways has embarked on this ambitious project to redevelop 403 stations on PPP mode with the participation of private players, public sector and with the assistance of foreign funding.

The identified stations to be taken up initially by NBCC for redevelopment are Tirupati, Sarai Rohilla (Delhi), Nellore, Puducherry, Madgao, Lucknow, Gomtinagar, Kota, Thane (New) and Ernakulam. NBCC has been given 10 stations in first phase for redevelopment and more stations would be given to them in subsequent phases.

RLDA and NBCC shall form a Special Purpose Vehicle in the form of a joint venture company to execute the station redevelopment project. The JV shall redevelop the stations on a self-financing model. These stations would be developed as smart railway stations.

CCEA approves Doubling of Daund-Manmad Railway Line

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the doubling of 247.5 Km long Railway line from Daund (Solapur Division of CR)  to Manmad (Bhusawal Division of CR) to ease movement of passengers and goods across Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik in Maharashtra.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave the approval at an estimated cost of Rs 2,081.27 crore and expected completion cost of Rs 2330.51 crore.

The 247.5 km long railway line is expected to be completed in five years.

“Doubling of the line will greatly ease the ever increasing passenger and freight traffic on Daund-Manmad route, thereby increasing the revenue of Railways,” the rail ministry said in a statement.

“Besides passengers, industries in and around Daund- Manmad route will have additional transport capacity to meet their requirements. The districts of Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik in Maharashtra will be benefited by this project,” it said.

At present the Railways is working on the Mumbai-Chennai route by doubling the Bhigwan-Mohol and Hotgi-Gulbarga sections.

Work on a new line on the Lonand-Phaltan-Baramati route in Maharashtra is also in progress.

“Once these works are completed, there will be tremendous increase in traffic over the Daund-Manmad section and existing single line will not be in a position to deal with the increased traffic,” the ministry statement said, emphasising the need for doubling.

SAILs Bhilai unit bags 12 LT Rail order from Indian Railways

State-run SAILs Bhilai plant has received an order for 12 lakh tonne (LT) rails from the Indian Railways for the current fiscal, Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said yesterday.

She was replying to a question asked by an industry member at KATM conference on raw materials for steel and power here.

“Railways is on an expansion mode creating new railway lines. Is is not that the railways is not procuring new rails. Railways has already placed a confirmed rail order of 12 lakh tonnes with Bhilai in this financial year,” Sharma said.

Bhilai Steel Plant is the flagship unit of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). It produces high strength rails, heavy structurals, wide and heavy steel plates of different grades, merchant products, wire rods etc.

The unit became the first integrated steel plant in the country to surpass the 5 MT mark in crude production in the year 2005-06.

The plant has unique distinction of producing cleanest rail in the world.