Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Safety, not bullet train, should be first priority of Railways, says EAS Sarma

EAS Sarma, former secretary of the Government of India, has demanded the Railways and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to give priority to safety in Railways. Pointing out to specific reference from a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Mr Sarma cautions the Railway Minister to leave everything else and concentrate on safety instead of waiting for another accident to occur.

Mr Sarma has been sending warning to Railway Ministers about lackadaisical attitude of railways towards safety. In his recent letter, he says, “I thought that Railways, after the successive accidents, would drop the idea of taking up bullet trains and, instead, focus on the safety of tracks, modernisation of unmanned level crossings etc. The stampede on the narrow footbridge at the Elphinstone station in Mumbai has once again raised public anger against the warped priorities of the Railways.”

“What surprised me is Report No13/2016 of CAG on Railways. I reproduce a portion of Para 6.8.8 of that report, that says, ‘Foot over Bridge (FOB) is a critical element of crowd management and is prone to stampede. It was observed that FOBs were not strong enough to sustain crowd pressure at 25 stations of seven Zonal Railways’,” Mr Sarma says.

According to the former Secretary, what the CAG had said so clearly ought to have woken up Rail Ministry in time to save the innocent lives of the people. He says, “Who is responsible for the inaction that has cost people’s lives? Is it not ironic that the Prime Minister should spend so much effort on buying bullet trains from Japan instead of thinking of investing on safety improvements first? Is not the government misguided by warped priorities?”

“It is criminal on the part of the Railways to act indifferently towards modernising the 14,000 unmanned level crossings, strengthening the railways tracks, installing modern advance alert systems, crowd management systems and safety of women travelling by train,” Mr Sarma added.

In his earlier letter on 28 December 2016, Mr Sarma had said, “To the ordinary citizen not affiliated to any political party, the blame goes to everyone. Something is wrong with the safety systems in place in the Railways and the priority given to safety in the Railway budget. What is the use of merging the Railway budget with the general Budget, when the priority is for Wi-Fi and bullet trains, and not for the safety of passengers?”

“Once again, as a responsible Minister in charge of the Railways, you have the obligation to bring in technology into safety systems. Instead of holding the small fry responsible for these accidents, you will do well to hold those in the higher echelons answerable. Otherwise, you will only encourage the business-as-usual approach that will continue to consume human lives and cause human trauma,” the former Secretary wrote to the then Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu.

“The money that you spend in the budget on Railways is the money given to you by the tax-payer of this country to spend prudently, not fritter away on foreign companies to introduce ‘bullet trains’ and so on. May I request you to recall what all I have been saying on the need to launch a mission of ‘Zero Tolerance for Accidents’, make the senior officers of the Railways responsible for lapses and assure the nation of an accident-free railway system in a time bound manner?” Mr Sarma asked.

In China, Man Caught With 50 Vipers In His Suitcase

A Chinese man who was trying to transport 50 venomous serpents in his suitcase for making snake wine has been detained by authorities at a railway station in eastern China, media report said today.

The man, who was not named, said he had bought the vipers in eastern Zhejiang province and was taking them home to the southern city of Guangzhou to make snake wine, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Snake wine has been used as a tonic in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia, and remains popular in some regions of the country and in other parts of Southeast Asia.

The passenger, who was aged in his 50s, was quoted as saying that he had travelled to Zhejiang to buy 4kg of pit vipers as they were cheaper there. At the railway station, security guards became suspicious after seeing a writhing mass inside the suitcase when it was passing through the scanner. When they asked him to open it they found the vipers inside a bag that had been wrapped in a towel, the report said.

The snakes were confiscated and handed over to the local forest police, who confirmed they were wild animals and not factory reared. The man was also detained for questioning, it said.

Snake wine is made by soaking serpents in a large jar of rice wine or other strong alcohol – sometimes with added herbs – and leaving them to steep for several months until their “essence” and venom dissolve into the liquor. It is regarded as a panacea for all types of health problems – from hair loss to leprosy – and as an aphrodisiac, the report said.

Local Train Derails In Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus Station; None Hurt

Two wheels of the motorman’s coach of a local train derailed this afternoon at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) here, disrupting the service on two platforms of the station, a railway official said.

No injury or casualty was reported in the mishap, which took place just two days after a stampede at the Elphinstone Road railway station in which 23 people died and over 30 were injured.

The two wheels of the train, headed to Karjat in neighbouring Raigad district from CSMT in South Mumbai, derailed a couple of minutes after it left from platform no 5 at 1.43 pm, Central Railway’s Public Relations Officer AK Singh said.

Around 50 to 60 passengers were on-board the train when the mishap occurred. The passengers later alighted from it to take alternative trains to their destinations, he said.

No injury was reported in the incident, he said.

The suburban train services on platform no 5 and 6 at CSMT were affected due to the derailment, the official said.

Senior railway officers were at the spot, he said, adding that the work to put the train back on track was underway.

Cancellation Charges Of Train Tickets: Sleeper, AC 3, AC 2, AC 1, RAC, Waiting List Tickets

Indian Railways carries over two crore passengers daily. Train ticket cancellation charges and refund rules are one of the most common queries from rail passengers. The cancellation charges vary, depending on the class of travel and the time when the ticket is cancelled. With effect from November 2015, certain provisions of Railway Passengers (Cancellation of tickets and refund of fare) rules have been amended and comprehensive Railway Passengers (Cancellation of tickets and refund of fare) Rules 2015 have been notified through Gazette Notification G.S.R. 836(E). dated 04.11.2015.

Train ticket Cancellation Rules In 10 Points:

1) If a confirmed ticket is cancelled up to 48 hours before the scheduled departure of train, cancellation charges will be deducted at Rs. 240 for AC First Class/Executive Class, Rs. 200 for AC 2 Tier/First Class, Rs. 180 for AC 3 Tier/AC Chair car/ AC 3 Economy, Rs.120 for Sleeper

Class and Rs.60 for Second Class. Cancellation charges are levied on a per passenger basis.

2) If a confirmed ticket is cancelled within 48 hours and up to 12 hours before the scheduled departure of train, cancellation charges will be 25 per cent of the fare subject to the minimum flat rate mentioned above.


3) Between 12 hours and up to four hours before the scheduled departure of train, cancellation charges will be 50 per cent of the fare paid subject to the minimum cancellation rate. No refund of fare shall be admissible on the ticket having confirmed reservation in case ticket is not cancelled or TDR (ticket deposit receipt) not filed online up to four hours before the scheduled departure of the train, says IRCTC website.

Cancellation of Wait-Listed, RAC Tickets


4) Refund will be granted on an RAC (reservation against cancellation) ticket or wait-listed ticket up to 30 minutes before the departure of train.

5) The e-tickets should be cancelled through internet and the refund of fare will be credited to the account from which the booking transaction took place, after deducting the applicable charges.

6) No cancellation charge is levied and full fare is refunded to passengers holding confirmed, RAC and wait-listed tickets if the journey is not undertaken due to late running of train by more than three hours of scheduled departure, subject to the condition that the ticket is surrendered prior to actual departure of train.

7) In case of cancellation of trains, for e-tickets, an automatic refund is granted. Filing of TDR or ticket deposit receipt is not required.

8) For a PRS (Passenger Reservation System) counter ticket, when the train is cancelled, a refund of fare is permissible within three days excluding the scheduled day of departure of train.
Cancellation Of Tatkal Tickets


9) Under the existing rules, no refund is granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets. If a train is running late by more than 3 hours or train is cancelled, you can file TDR with proper reason for claiming refund, says IRCTC website.

10) In case of e-ticket issued for travel of more than one passenger, some passengers have confirmed reservation and others are on RAC or waiting list, full refund of fare , less clerkage, shall be admissible for confirmed passengers, subject to the condition that the ticket shall be cancelled online or online TDR shall be filed for all the passengers up to thirty minutes before the scheduled departure of the train, says IRCTC website. Other details about rules on railway cancellation and refund can be checked in this notification.

Indian Railway Catering And Tourism Corporation Delists Juice Brand After Ex-Rail Minister Complains Of ‘Kachra

The Indian Railways’ catering wing, IRCTC, has delisted a juice brand after former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi complained that he was served a “contaminated” drink onboard a premium train.

Mr Trivedi, who was travelling on board the Kathgodam-Delhi Shatabdi on Dussehra on September 30, was served lemon juice of a well-known brand, which, he said, had ‘kachra’ (contamination).

“The IRCTC (Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation) really needs to pull up its socks. The railways needs to put in checks and balances so that there is some accountability of its subsidiary departments,” Mr Trivedi told PTI.

The railways has reacted to Trivedi’s complaint swiftly and delisted the brand pending laboratory investigation, IRCTC spokesperson Siddharth Singh said.

“We have delisted the agency pending lab investigation. The brand will not be seen anymore on any train for the time being,” he said.

This incident comes months after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which revealed glaring lapses in rail catering services.

Mr Trivedi said the rail minister could not be blamed for such lapses as the departments need to be held accountable.

 He also rued that passengers do not protest enough about such issues and in a way they are also responsible for such a sorry state of affairs.

“Action must be taken against the caterer as well as the brand concerned. How can this ‘kachra’ be allowed to be served on trains? There should be an inspection at the factory where the juice was produced to see under what circumstances the drink was being churned out,” he said.

The TMC leader, who quit as the railway minister in 2012 after a controversy over his recommendation for the formation of a rail regulator to hike fares, said there must be surprise checks on vendors contracted by the national transporter.

RRB NTPC CEN 3/2015: RRB Ahmedabad To Conduct Final Document Verification On October 9, 10, 11

Candidates shortlisted for document verification, against vacancies advertised in CEN 03/ 2015 can appear for document verification on 9, 10 and 11 October for RRB Ahmedabad zone. Eligible candidates from the zone who were absent during the verification scheduled from 28 August 2017 to 26 September 2017 can now appear for the same as per the new schedule. ‘This is the final call to absentee candidates for appearing in Document Verification, failing which their candidature will be rejected without further correspondence. No further chance will be given for document verification for any reason whatsoever. These candidates are advised to visit RRB Ahmedabad’s website to download their e-Call letters for final Document Verification.

Email and SMS are also being sent to these candidates to download their e-Call letters,’ said RRB Ahmedabad.

A total of 193 candidates have been called for document verification.

The venue for the same is Railway Recruitment Board, 1st Floor, Meter Gauge Railway Station Building, Kalupur, Ahmedabad – 380 002, Gujarat. Document verification will be held from 9 am to 1 pm on the above mentioned dates.

RRB NTPC graduate exam: How to download e-call letter for document verification

Go to the official website of the RRB zone
Click on the relevant link displaying ‘Download Call for 2nd & Final Document Verification’
Enter the user id and password

Candidates can also view their normalized marks and cut off marks for the document verification for NTPC (Graduate) posts against CEN No. 03/2015.

Concrete Blocks Placed On Railway Tracks; Accident Averted

A possible rail accident was averted after the driver of a goods train alerted railway officials about concrete blocks being placed on the tracks near Kandari village in the district, police said today.

Concrete blocks were placed by unidentified persons on tracks on the both up and down routes near Kandari village in Karjan tehsil last evening, sub-inspector of Karjan police station, KM Rawal said.

At around 7:40 pm, the train hit some stones and the driver felt a strong jerk and the stones broke into pieces, said senior divisional security commissioner, Vadodara (Western Railway), Hemant Kumar.

The driver then informed officials at the Kashipura railway station. It was later found that six hexagonal concrete blocks, three each on the two tracks, were placed by unidentified persons, which could have caused a major accident, Mr Kumar said.

A case has been registered by the local police and it has launched a probe.

The blocks were placed with a mala fide intention to cause an accident, Mr Kumar said, adding that the railway officials acted promptly and averted a possible mishap. He said the concrete blocks were carried to the tracks from a nearby railway gate, which was unmanned after 7 pm.

Stampede Victim’s Jewellery Thieves In Mumbai Police’s Sights

Visuals have emerged showing some people allegedly stealing jewellery from a victim of the stampede at a railway station here, prompting the Mumbai Police to launch a probe.

The victim, Sumalata Shetty, was among the 23 people who lost their lives in the deadly crush at the Elphinstone Road station.

While there were samaritans who helped the injured in the time of distress, others saw an opportunity to make a quick buck in the face of tragedy.

“Acting on the visuals which were circulated on social media, we have initiated investigation in the ornament theft case,” Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dadar, Sunil Deshmukh said.

The police action comes after photographs and videos of unidentified persons stealing ornaments from Ms Shetty’s body went viral on social media.

“No complaint in connection with the theft has been lodged as of yet, but we took suo motu cognizance and have started the investigation,” Mr Deshmukh said. The officer said CCTV footage of the spot is being examined.

The police is also checking some mobile phone clips, which were recorded by commuters at the time of the stampede, he said.

Mumbai Stampede: PM Modi ‘Liar’, Won’t Allow Bullet Trains In Mumbai, Says Raj Thackeray

With 23 people dead in the stampede at the Elphinstone railway station in Mumbai, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray today warned that “not a single brick will be allowed to be placed for the bullet train in Mumbai” until the infrastructure of local railways was made better.

“I shall not allow even a brick for the bullet train project to be laid. First resolve all the basic problems of Mumbai commuters. If (Narendra) Modi wants, let him construct it in Gujarat. If they use force, we shall also retaliate,” an agitated Mr Thackeray said.

Attacking the ruling BJP, he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “liar” who changed all his statements before and after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “We have never seen a PM who is such a big liar. He made big promises and then dismissed them as ‘election jumlas‘. How much can a person lie in this fashion?” asked Mr Thackeray, according to news agency IANS.

The MNS chief claimed that Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu was replaced by Piyush Goyal only to push through the Bullet Train project. “This Goyal is useless, Prabhu was good,” he said.

“Why do we need terrorists or enemies like Pakistan? It seems our own Railway is enough to kill people,” 49-year-old Mr Thackeray added.

He also claimed that stampedes will continue to occur in Mumbai till hordes of migrants keep pouring into the city. “There has been a collapse of infrastructure facilities due to the migrant influx from other regions,” he said.

Mr Thackeray claimed that his party had written to authorities for building a new bridge at the stampede spot but no action was taken on his suggestion. The Kakodkar committee had proposed an expenditure of Rs. 1 lakh crore to improve the railway infrastructure but nobody acted on it, he claimed.

The MNS chief also announced that he would personally lead a morcha to Churchgate on October 5 to oppose the bullet train plans and urged all Mumbaikars to participate in large numbers.

The stampede took place around 10.30 am yesterday on the tiny bridge between the Elphinstone Road and Parel stations, which are among Mumbai’s busiest. Witnesses say four trains rolled in at the same time and a large crowd poured into the bridge that was already bursting with people taking shelter from a sudden, heavy downpour. A few commuters slipped, and people fell on them.

Saddened By Stampede Incident, Mumbai Railway Employees Call Off Dussehra Celebrations

There was no pre-festival illumination of the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus or CSMT as railway employees joined the city in mourning the Elphinstone Road station tragedy by not celebrating Dussehra festival.

Late last night Mumbaikars took out a candle march on the Elphinstone railway bridge and prayed for the departed souls.

“Yes, it is true that the railway officials, employees, workers are not celebrating Dussehra today in the wake of the tragic incident that took place yesterday.

“All our staff, officers are saddened and they have spontaneously taken a call not to celebrate Dussehra,” chief spokesperson of Western Railway Ravinder Bhakar said.

At least 22 people died and over 30 were injured in the stampede that took place on a narrow foot-over-bridge (FoB) that connects the Elphinstone Road on the Western Railway to Parel on the Central line.

Chief spokesperson of Central Railway Sunil Udasi said the Central Railway employees too are not celebrating the festival today.

He said, “It is a call taken by railway employees and officers on their own not to celebrate the festival owing to the tragic incident.”

 While the CSMT station is illuminated ahead of every festival, the building wore a gloomy look last night.