Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Indian Railways to ramp up production of LHB Coaches

NEW DELHI: Indian Railways plans to increase Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coach production sharply this year and has ordered 80,000 biotoilets as part of its safety and cleanliness drive.

“A decision has been taken to sharply increase LHB coach production,” AK Goel, DG-Stores, said on the sidelines of an international conference on technological advancements in rail and metro projects here.

Switch-over to LHB

Shailendra Singh, Chief Rolling Stock Engineer, Northern Railway, said a decision had been taken to produce 5,000 LHB coaches this year. At present, there are around 51,000 Integrated Coach Factory (ICF) coaches and 5,500 LHB coaches made in the Kapurthala factory.

“It has been decided to completely switch over to manufacture LHB coaches from April 1, 2018 onward,” he added.

Railways had already take a decision shift to LHB coaches, but increasing production requires a sharp ramp up from the present annual coach production target of 2,435. The vendor capacity also needs to be increased accordingly.

Addressing the conference, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Coal, said: “We must work to see whether we can design better coaches, better locomotives, better signalling system and other related activity. We must explore cooperation with Military Engineering Service. Indian Railways need to work with commitment to make the railways safe, secure and to offer better amenities, riding comfort, punctuality and efficiency.”

‘Adopt latest tech’

Earlier in the day, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said Railways needed to plan for a massive expansion very meticulously with forward-looking, efficient technologies and innovative practices currently available across the globe and adopt them.

“Indian Railways will have to plan for this massive expansion meticulously. It will have to look for technologies and innovative practices currently available across the globe,” he said.

ICF rolls out Indigenous LHB Coach

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, a premium railway production unit here, has rolled out the first indigenously manufactured Linke Hoffman Busch (LHB) coach. The technology for these coaches was acquired in 1995 by railways from Linke-Hofmann-Busch, a German company.

Although, ICF produced its first LHB coach in 2013, it was manufactured using imported materials. Over the years, the factory has been gradually reducing its import requirement with locally made substitutes. As the final step, the import of under-carriage materials has now been stopped. “We have thus been able to reduce the cost by around Rs.2.25 lakh per coach,” said a factory official.

At present, each LHB coach costs Rs.2.5 crore, which is estimated to be less than half of its original import cost.

The ICF General Manager Sudhanshu Mani inspected two LHB coaches with 100 per cent indigenous content, one a three-tier AC coach and the other a second sleeper compartment. These two coaches, he said, were to promote ‘Make in India’ efforts.

It has been proved that LHB coaches do not climb over one another during collision or derailment. Faced with a spate of accidents involving conventional coaches, the ministry had decided to replace them with LHB type.

“Coach No. LACCN 111 and LSDD 166 with 100% indigenous content was flagged off after inspection from Member Rolling Stock of the Railway Board,” an ICF official told FE Online. Out of the two ‘Make in India’ coaches that have been rolled out by ICF, the non-AC one has 100% indigenous components. The AC coach has one imported component. “The non-AC coaches are fitted with wheel disc manufactured at Rail Wheel Factory at Bangalore. The AC coach has an imported wheel that has been assembled at ICF with some value added component,” the ICF official said.

Asked about how soon the AC coaches will also have 100% indigenous components, the official said, “Member Rolling Stock has said that talks are on with local manufacturers. We should be able to zero in on someone soon. Once that happens, the AC coaches too will have all indigenous components.”

Given the spate of rail accidents over the last year, Indian Railways has decided to stop production of traditional ICF coaches in 2017. Now, ICF Chennai will make only LHB coaches. LHB coaches boast of stainless steel bodies and have anti-climbing features. This ensures that in case of a derailment, the coaches do not pile onto each other, hence making them safer. The LHB coaches also have a graduated release modular braking system the axle mounted disc brakes.

But, will all of them be 100% ‘Make in India’? Not yet, that’s a gradual process, says the ICF official. “We have been asked to almost double our production of LHB coaches, so 100% ‘Make in India’ will take some time to be absorbed completely,” he says, adding that focus is on meeting the twin goals of safety and ‘Make in India’.

Meanwhile, ICF is also working on project ‘Train-2018’ – a technological leap for the coach factory under which ‘Make in India’ self-propelled train sets will be manufactured. The ‘first of its kind’ semi-high speed self-propelled train set has been proposed for inter-city superfast travel.

Mission Indradhanush, Immunization Drive Conducted at Central Railway Hospital, Secunderabad

An Intensified Immunization vaccination drive “Mission Indradhanush Programme” was conducted at Central Hospital, Lallaguda on 08.10.2017. The programme was inaugurated by Dr. K.H.K Dora, Chief Medical Director, SCR.

The aim of this mission is to identify the unimmunised and partially immunised children and immunise them against 7 preventable diseases under cover of Universal Immunisation Programme including pregnant women also.  A team of Paramedical staff were sent to Railway Colonies and surrounding areas to educate parents about this mission and to identify drop out children and immunise them. Wide publicity was given in Railway Colonies and Workshops regarding the programme. Railway Employee Children’s and Outsiders were also vaccinated.

Dr.T.S.R.Murthy, Medical Director; Dr. C.K.Venkateswarlu, Chief Health Director; Dr. S. K. Mahapatra, Chief Physician; Senior Doctors and Nursing staff of Central Hospital, Lallaguda Secunderabad were also present and conducted the program.

Focus on Elimination of Unmanned Level Crossings by 2018: GM/SCR

Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager of South Central Railway stressed upon according top priority to ensure safety related works and instructed the Officials to ensure elimination of  all Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) on the zone by the end of 2018. He informed that the safety aspects related to UMLCs are monitored by the Hon’ble Minister for Railways on a regular basis. General Manager conducted an intensive review meeting on Safety, Punctuality, Freight loading, Passenger amenities and cleanliness today i.e., 9th October, 2017 at Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad along with Principal Heads of Departments. Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) from all six Divisions i.e. Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntakal, Guntur and Nanded attended the meeting through video conference.

Vinod Kumar Yadav, held an intensive review of all the safety aspects on the Zone including minor incidents of unusual happenings like yard derailments, gate open cases etc.,. He instructed the officials to conduct focused inspections on the safety aspects and  to counsel the staff to avoid unusual incidents and to ensure safe rail travel. Further he instructed all DRMs to send the proposals for safety related works immediately as it is the top priority item related to safety and monitored by the Railway Board. Further he advised to speed up the elimination of  UMLC gates works over the zone.

Speaking on the punctuality, General Manager, South Central Railway instructed the Officials to make action plans to improve the punctuality above 95% over the zone General Manager instructed the officials to focus for early completion of  ongoing foot over bridge (FOB) works and widening of platforms and instructed to take proper initiatives in crowd managements. Vinod Kumar Yadav complimented the officials for good maintenance of the employees facilitation hub at Head quarters in solving the grievances and he advised the officials to establish these type of facility hubs at all the divisional offices also. Further, he instructed the officials to take up the quarters repair works as priority item over SCR and to complete early.

Earlier, Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railway  presented “Man of the Month” safety awards to sixteen employees for showing alertness in the duty and taking timely action to prevent unsafe conditions.

John Thomas, Additional General Manger along with Sr. Officials were amongst the officials present.

Railways to end ‘Unproductive Ventures’, to Shut Down all 14 of its Printing Presses

With most public service undertakings in the country making the transition to digital services with increasingly less requirement of paper-based communication, the move accentuates the railway ministry’s efforts in keeping up with time and technology.

In another significant uphaul by Indian Railways to exit unproductive ventures, all the printing presses have been directed for shutting down, and the staff employed in these units will be reassigned to other departments.

Part of the national transporter’s strategy to redirect its resources to more integral schemes, the move was given the nod during an extensive meeting held between railway minister Piyush Goyal, Railway Board members and general managers of all 17 railway zones.

Currently, 14 printing presses fall under the jurisdiction of the railways. With most public service undertakings in the country making the transition to digital services with increasingly less requirement of paper-based communication, the move accentuates the railway ministry’s efforts in keeping up with time and technology.

Phasing out printing machinery that is not just old but outdated as well, all printing works will be carried forth only through tenders hereafter

“Traditionally, a lot of paper, such as forms were used by the railways. But now these are getting automated. These are moribund 19th-century units which are not required anymore,” explained a former railway employee.

While the units were mostly used for printing books, forms and tickets, important documents like that of railway budget were being reportedly printed at a security press that wasn’t operated by railways. Now that even tickets are being booked online, the requirement of printing units to print tickets is nothing more than a cost deficit.

As per a former finance commissioner of the railway, a lot of printing units were shut when the internal requirements of the railways dropped in recent years.

“Earlier, these units were used to print tickets which were then supplied to stations. Now, they have been computerised. The real estate of these units can be put to more productive use,” he added.

The staff, who have been working in these units, will now be redeployed and given training accordingly.

Railways new pension scheme not workable

The market-linked pension scheme would have 10 per cent contributory fund by Government and 10 per cent by the employees. In this, Government knows the money is being used, but the employee does not have any information regarding the use of its funds, said AIRF General Secretary, Shivagopal Mishra

The Government of India, in its different departments, has recruited over 5 lakh employees since 2004, including one lakh employees in the Indian Railways. The new officials and employees, recruited under the new pension scheme are not finding the new scheme workable.

The market-linked pension scheme would have 10 per cent contributory fund by Government and 10 per cent by the employees. In this, Government knows the money is being used, but the employee does not have any information regarding the use of its funds, said AIRF General Secretary, Shivagopal Mishra while addressing the press conference on Tuesday at the West Central Railway Employees’ Union (WCREU) office. He is in city to attend the Youth Zonal Conference of WCREU.

He added that the new pension scheme has various lapses. First, it is market-linked and has limited provisions for withdrawal. Its provision is against employee’s benefits that is benefits provisions would end if the service is not complete. On this issue, when the AIRF gave a notice of strike to the Government, the present Government constituted a committee to review the demands of AIRF. “We are demanding guarantee pension scheme for the employees that is 50 per cent of last salary. On death or permanent disability of the employee, the compensation should be given as per old scheme. On this, the Government has shown some positive response, while also, the committee constituted has given recommendations in this direction, asking the Government to accept this demand,” he said.

He further said that, every year, around 400 to 500 employees die on duty. In these incidents, a number of linemen and trackmen lose their lives. We are demanding that like the Indian Army has been exempted from the new scheme, the Indian Railways employees and officials should be exempted from the new pension scheme provisions.

Commenting on the outsourcing trending in Railways, Mishra strongly criticized the ongoing outsourcing and said that outsourcing of important works in Railways would not be tolerated. We are demand the Government to fill all 1.25 lakh vacancies in safety and security departments, as without manpower of Railways, proper instrumentation and equipment, the security of Railways is not possible, he added.

After recent incidents, the Government has ordered to fill all vacancies in Railways and now, following pressure, now again the decision is being reviewed. He lastly added that if Railways does not have any option for privatisation of every work, the AIRF would have no other option left, but to go on strike. He said, Railways is the lifeline of country’s economy. If we go on strike, it would add fuel to the ongoing impact of recession in the country.

Bengaluru-Karwar night Express to run on shortest route four days a week

The Railway Board on Wednesday approved South Western Railway’s (SWR) proposal to divert Bengaluru-Karwar/Kannur-Bengaluru night express through the shortest route, via Kunigal and Shravanabelagola, four days a week.

The train would run via Mysuru, the present route, during the remaining three days. The diversion via Shravanabelagola reduces the travel distance by about 90 km. The rail-road distance between Bengaluru and Mangaluru Central is about 447 km via Mysuru, and about 357 km via Shravanabelagola.

This comes as a relief to people who had been demanding complete diversion of the train for faster commute between the State capital and the coast. A public interest litigation writ petition by Sanjay Revankar of Kadwad village, Karwar, is also pending before the Karnataka High Court.

Sources in the Railway Board and SWR confirmed about the approval of the diversion. SWR sources said advanced reservation for the train on Mysuru route has to be frozen immediately and the diversion date has to be decided considering the advance reservations already made.

The journey hours between Bengaluru and Karwar are expected to come down by two hours from the present 18 hours.

Sources in the Railways said there may not be any advancement in the arrival timing of the Karwar Express either at Mangaluru Central or Karwar. The train might have a delayed departure, at around 10.20 p.m. from Bengaluru. There could be some changes in the arrival timing of the train at Bengaluru, though its departure timings at Karwar and Mangaluru Central are likely to remain the same.

Opposition from Bengaluru Division

The Bengaluru Division (SBC) of SWR, from where an average of 620 passengers board Bengaluru-Karwar/Kannur Express every day towards Mangaluru and beyond, had stiffly opposed the zone’s proposal to divert the train to the shortest route.

The division had said the proposal was not feasible either technically or commercially. If the train is diverted via Shravanabelagola, maintenance of its rake, stabling it and shunting it back to the platform for departure becomes difficult. Many people’s representatives too have opposed the diversion as it is the only train from Mysuru towards the coast, the division had informed the zone.

Port Officers irked as Railway, IAS peers take the helm

Seven of the 12 major ports are run by officers from the Indian Railways cadre while four are headed by IAS officers. Port officers say they are “systematically been deprived” of selection to top posts.

“Major port trusts have become the new hunting ground for Railway officers,” lamented a port official.

The rules framed by the Shipping Ministry in January 2008, on the appointment of chairmen/deputy chairmen in major port trusts, had said: “…it has been decided that in the six major ports in Category I (Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Jawaharlal Nehru, Visakhapatnam and Kandla), two posts of chairman/deputy chairman will be filled from among port officers. Similarly, three posts of chairman and deputy chairman in Category II ports (Paradip, Cochin, Mormugao, Tuticorin and New Mangalore) will be filled from among port officers.”

World Bank report

The rules were framed after the World Bank favoured such a plan in its ‘India Port Sector Strategy Report’.

“The present system of lAS recruitment is frustrating for port professionals,” the World Bank wrote. “There are advantages in the employment, as chairmen, of senior civil servants…However, to be effective and accepted, they must have the long-term development of ports, in all its many facets, as their primary goal, rather than their career as senior civil servants.

“A mixed solution is therefore recommended for consideration. First, chairmen should increasingly be recruited from among ports/shipping professionals. Second, the position of deputy chairman, recruited only among professionals of the port industry, should be upgraded, with increased possibility of acceding to the position of chairman.”

From the Railway cadre are I Jeyakumar, Chairman of Mormugao Port Trust and additional in-charge of VO Chidambaranar Port Trust; Rinkesh Roy, who heads Paradip Port Trust and is additional in-charge of Kamarajar Port; P Raveendran, Chief Executive of Chennai Port Trust and additional in-charge of Cochin Port Trust; and Vinit Kumar, the newly appointed full-time Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust.

Currently, there are no port cadre officers eligible for selection to the top post. MA Bhaskarachar, PC Parida and SAC Bose, the last three port cadre officers, retired recently as Chairmen of Kamarajar Port, New Mangalore Port Trust and VOCPT, respectively.

A port officer can become a head of department (HoD) after 15 years of service. He/she needs another five years as HoD to become empanelled for the deputy chairman’s post.

HODs with 15 years’ experience are still waiting to be promoted as deputy chairman in Category II ports.

A port cadre deputy chairman in a Category II port should work as deputy chairman in a Category I port for two years to become eligible for chairman of a Category II port. He/she needs a further two years’ experience to become eligible for chairman of a Category I port. These rules, however, don’t apply to Railway officers.

“One can see how norms are framed systematically to deprive port officers from being made chairmen and deputy chairmen. It is practically impossible for port officers to become the chairman of a Category I port,” added the port officer.

Court ruling

To rub it in, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) excluded deputy chairmen (from port officers) of major port trusts from applying for the post of CMD at Kamarajar Port.

This was set aside by the Chennai High Court two months ago on a petition filed by one of the port officers. The DoPT and the PESB are now looking to challenge the high court order.

Northern Railways to hire Retired Employees, 4500 posts on offer through RRB

RRB recruitment 2017: Vacancies are available for the posts of Senior Section Engineer, Junior Engineer, Welder, Blacksmith and Trackman. The age of the retired railways employees from civil engineering cadre should be not more than 62 years.

NEW DELHI: The Northern Railways has released a notification inviting retired railway employees to apply for 4500 vacant positions in various departments. The details on the application process are expected to release soon at

The re-engagement is valid up to September 14, 2018 for recruitment in Delhi, Ferozepur, Lucknow, Moradabad and Ambala Divisions. As per a note posted on the official website of the Northern Railways, “the period shall continue up to the last day of the month in which he attains the age of 62 years, that is, following the same system as that of normal assignment.”

Vacancies are available for the posts of Senior Section Engineer, Junior Engineer, Welder, Blacksmith and Trackman.

Eligibility: The age of the retired railways’ employees from civil engineering cadre should be not more than 62 years.

RRB recruitment 2017 details

Trackman: 4434 posts
SSE/ P.way: 127 posts
Junior Engineer (JE): 62 posts
Blacksmith: 33 posts
Welder: 34 posts

The daily allowances will be are as follows:

— Candidates retired with Rs 5200-20200 (Rs 1800) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 300 per day.
— Candidates retired with Rs 5200-20200 (Rs 1900,2000,2400,2800) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 320 per day.
— Candidates retired with Rs 9300-34800 (Rs 4200) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 550 per day.
— Candidates retired with Rs 9300-34800 (Rs 4600) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 565 per day.

Self-propelled ‘Make in India’ Train Sets on Delhi-Mumbai Route to run at 160 Kmph Speed

Indian Railways is eyeing world-class ‘Make in India’ self-propelled semi-high speed train sets! Indian Railways has invited bids for future-ready modern train sets that will be manufactured by foreign majors in the Integral Coach Factory (ICF)! Codenamed ‘Train-20′ in the hope that they will start plying by 2020, Indian Railways’ new train sets will have the capability of attaining speeds of 160 kmph. In fact, there is a strong possibility that these new train sets will ply on the Delhi-Mumbai and other major metro routes.

Sudhanshu Mani, General Manager, Integral Coach Factory said, “Train 20 is a Make in India project but the first rake will come from abroad. Train 20 would be 100% world-standard. We have called bids. European majors Siemens, Bombardier, Siemens and Alstom are together now, Stadler, Talgo – these are the people who will quote and we are hoping one of them will bag the order.”

The approximately Rs 2,500 crore order – said to be a ‘Make in India’leap – will be for 14 train sets of 20 coaches each, 11 spare coaches. In total 291 coaches will be made for Indian Railways. The contract involves design, development, manufacturing, testing and commissioning of the train sets. “One or two coaches will come from abroad. The last 4 rakes will be built entirely in ICF,” Mani told. Indian Railways hopes to finalise on the foreign major by mid-January 2018.

Train 20 will be able to attain a maximum speed of 160 kmph, making it a semi-high speed train. The aluminium-bodied self-propelled train set will be energy efficient, says ICF. The train set will have under-slung 3 phase propulsion system, automatic doors and a test speed of 176 kmph. Two types of coaches – air-conditioned chair car and sleeper-type – will be manufactured. The sleeper type coaches will include AC – 1st class, AC-2 tier and AC-3 tier.

According to Mani, simultaneous track-upgradation will happen so that the new train sets can run at their maximum speed of 160 kmph. “Some tracks are already there. For example, Gatimaan Express runs at 160 kmph. We are hoping that by the time Train 20 comes, Mumbai-Delhi tracks will be able to take 160 kmph and other metros also. So that’s a simultaneous exercise. The board is working on the upgradation of tracks. These are two separate exercises, they have to merged together to run the train at that speed,” he said.

The new coaches will also be safer, says ICF. “All safety features of LHB will be there. Also these new train sets will have more electronics and a platform where every new technology can be married into. The platform is available for a future upgradation of technology and whatever is already available is also safer than what we have,” Mani said.

ICF is also hopeful that the successful foreign tenderer will enter into future agreements with the coach factory for other train sets for Indian Railways and overseas markets as well.

Meanwhile, ICF is also working on ‘Train-18, which is another ‘Make in India’ project for self-propelled trains. According to Mani, Train 18 will be 90% world-class and Train 20 will be 100% world-class. Conceptualised as a chair car, the train set is also envisioned to achieve speeds of 160 kmph.