Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

NFR registers double-digit dip in Revenue Earnings

Prolonged disruption in rail services to and from the rest of the country due to massive floods in eastern Bihar during August last has affected the finances of the Maligaon-headquartered Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), with the zone registering a double-digit fall in overall revenues on an annual basis during the first half of the current fiscal. However, earnings from the goods segment went up during the period under review.

Latest data shows that the total approximate gross earnings of the NFR on originating basis during the April-September period of 2017-18 stood at Rs 1,550.94 crore as compared to Rs 1,802.65 crore during the corresponding period of the last financial year. This amounted to a decline of 13.96 per cent in total earnings for the railway zone year-on-year.

The NFR’s passenger revenue during the first six months of the current fiscal was Rs 742.04 crore as against Rs 807.26 crore in the April-September period of 2016-17, registering a fall of 8.08 per cent.

Revenue from other coaching also went down by 9.18 per cent annually during the April-September period this year to Rs 108.74 crore. The earning from other coaching was Rs 119.73 crore in the first half of the last fiscal.

Similarly, sundry earnings of the NFR in the first six months of 2017-18 went down by 76.87 per cent to a mere Rs 64.64 crore as against Rs 279.42 crore in the year ago period.

However, earnings from goods on originating basis increased by 6.59 per cent to Rs 635.52 crore in the period under review. The NFR’s goods revenue has stood at Rs 596.24 crore in the same period of the last financial year.

Official sources attributed the annual growth in goods earnings to the low base.

Interestingly, the NFR was among the only six of the total 17 zones of the Indian Railways to have registered a year-on-year decline in its gross earnings during the first half of the current fiscal. The other five zones which have performed badly are the Eastern Railway (Kolkata), the Northern Railway (Delhi), the Southern Railway (Chennai), the South Western Railway (Hubli) and the Western Railway (Mumbai).

The total gross earnings on originating basis of the Indian Railways as a whole increased by over 5.8 per cent on an annual basis to Rs 81,686 crore in the first half of this fiscal.

Meanwhile, the approximate number of passengers booked in the NFR zone touched 51.04 million during the period from April 1 to September 30 this year. This is an increase of 4.21 per cent over the figure of 48.98 million recorded during the corresponding period of last year.

Commenting on the latest numbers, officials said the Bihar floods had severed railway link between the NFR zone and the rest of the country for over three weeks during August and it is the main reason for the poor earnings. Officials further said with services back on track, the revenue figures are expected to get better during the second half of this fiscal.

They added that expansion of railway services to remote parts of the North-east as well as progress in double-tracking will boost both passenger and goods traffic in the region, thus helping the NFR further augment its earnings.

China-made Tram powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells put into Operation

Close your eyes and imagine with us for a moment a mode of transportation whose only emission is water. Imagine that said transportation method could run for 100 kilometers at speeds up to 70 kilometers per hour. That’s right: Foshan, in Guangdong province, is set to be the first Chinese city to operate a hydrogen-powered tram system.

As the world’s biggest polluter, China may have earned its reputation as the big bad wolf of greenhouse gas emissions. That being said, officials left many with their mouths open recently after their rare admission that they are aware of the negative impacts emissions have on global climate, which could threaten the country’s infrastructure projects, crop yields and environment.

Although still reluctant to set a target for slashing emissions, China is investing a substantial amount into green energy and was even a world leader in renewable energy production back in 2013. They generate more wind power than any other country in the world and their contributions accounted for almost 30% of all global investment in clean energy. Now, continuing with their push for clean energy developments, China has just announced the production of the world’s first hydrogen-powered tram.

The vehicle was developed by Sifang, a subsidiary of China South Rail Corporation, and was rolled off the assembly line in Qiangdao, Shandong Province, last week. Although hydrogen fuel cells have been around for a while and are currently being used and tested in various vehicles, including buses, nobody had managed to master the technology for trams before.

“It took two years for Sifang to solve key technological problems, with the help of research institutions,” said chief engineer Liang Jianying, according to Xinhua news agency. But Liang did not give any indication as to when the tram would be in operation.

Hydrogen-powered trams are an attractive mode of transport for numerous reasons. Hydrogen is extremely abundant and can be extracted from a variety of sources, both renewable and non-renewable. Furthermore, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are zero emission, producing only water. The newly designed vehicle will also help slash energy running costs as one tank will last for around 100 kilometers (62 miles), and it only takes three minutes to refuel.

“The average distance of tramcar lines in China is about fifteen kilometers [nine miles], which means one refill for our tram is enough for three

Central Railway cancels Solapur Intercity Express for four months

The Central Railway will be cancelling the Pune-Solapur-Pune Intercity Express train (train nos. 12169 and 12170) from November 1for the next 125 days, causing much trouble for passengers travelling along the route. While schedules of several other trains on this route have been changed, the reason behind this cancellation is that the railway track work between Washimbe and Jeur on this route will begin from November 1. Every day, one hour 45 minutes during the afternoon will be set aside for this track work. As the Intercity Express is a major mode of travel for students, office goers and other passengers, they will suffer the most for the next four months.

“Currently, it is a single line railway track on the Daund-Kurduwadi-Solapur route. So, work will start in the first phase on the Washimbe to Jeur stretch for development of the track. For this, daily, a one-hour-45-minute block will be taken by our workers on this route to carry out the work. So, all trains running in the afternoon are being either cancelled or delayed. Other than the Intercity Express, the Sainagar-Pandharpur-Sainagar train that runs thrice a week has also been cancelled. We will be trying to complete the work as early as possible, but the estimated time needed for it is 125 days according to our calculation,” said senior commercial manager of Central Railway R K Sharma.

Regular passenger Shailesh Kshirsagar said, “I work in Pune, but my native place is Kurduwadi and the Intercity Express is a lifeline for a majority of people living on this route. We prefer this train due to its convenient timings and as it runs on all seven days of the week. The railways should not have cancelled this train.” Bhaurao Tandale, a trader from Solapur, added, “Travelling by the Intercity Express to Pune is convenient, cheaper and takes less time than road travel. If it doesn’t ply from November 1, it will be difficult for regular passengers like us as we cannot afford the high fares of state or private buses.”

Rajdhani Express to travel via.Chakradharpur from February 10

A long wait of passengers from Chakradharpur to travel on the Bhubaneshwar- New Delhi Rajdhani Express is over. The train will travel via Chakradharpur railway station on every Saturday from February 10 next year. This change has been made in the new railway time table of South Eastern Railway ( SER) which will be effective from November 1.

As per the plans, on Saturdays starting from February 10 the train will leave Bhubaneshwar at 7.10 am and it will reach Chakradharpur railway station at 4.20 pm the same day. The train will reach New Delhi the next day at 10.40 am. On its return journey the train will leave New Delhi at 5.05 pm every Sunday ( with effect from February 11). The train will reach Chakradharpur the next day at 10.37 am. It will reach Bhubaneshwar at 8.35 pm the same day.

Chakradharpur is the highest revenue earning railway division in terms of freight in the country.

Railway officials said that commensing February 10 on every Saturday he train will travel via Sambalpur,Jharsuguda, Rourkela and Chakradharpur. “It has been long waited demand of the people of Chakradharpur. The town has been included in the route of Rajdhani Express keeping in view the demand of passengers,” said an official of Chakradharpur Railway Division.

Moreover, the new railway time table one pair of Weekly Humsafar Express between Santragachi and Pune every Saturday and leaving Pune every Monday will be introduced. The train will travel via Tatanagar railway station. The date of introduction of the train will be notified later.

Similarly, another weekly Humsafar Express train between Santragachi and Jabalpur leaving Santragachi every Thursday and Jabalpur every Wednesday will be introduced.

Located on the Howrah-Mumbai main route Tatanagar is an important station. Several important trains travel via Tatanagar, including the high-profile Rajdhani Express and Duronto Express. The station sees a daily traffic of 90 mail, express and passenger trains, besides a footfall of more than 60,000 passengers.

RFP floated to develop Pune’s Hadapsar Railway Station

Pune rail division officials have revealed that the works to develop the Hadapsar railway station into a full-fledged terminal will begin in a couple of months. A tender for the first phase of the project has been floated and bidder submissions will be opened in a fortnight. The new terminal will allow Pune Junction to expand its operations by adding more trains to different destinations from the city.

“Hadapsar already has a railway station. The plan is to develop it into a proper terminal. We expect construction to begin by January, and the works to be completed by mid-2019,” a senior official of the division told.

“Phase one of the project involves the extension of the existing platforms to full coach length. Also, an additional platform will be erected at Hadapsar, bringing the total number of platforms at the station to three. Passenger amenities will be created as well. Work on this phase will begin soon. A decision on the second phase will be taken in the near future as it involves more work and land acquisition. We will have to study and calculate the extent of land that needs to be acquired. Currently, we will be focusing on phase one,” the official said.

Another official said that apart from some new trains, most of the north-bound trains from the Pune Junction will be shifted to the Hadapsar terminal.

“The Pune station has become congested. The new terminal will reduce the load on Pune station. Though a final decision on the trains is awaited, the plan is to shift the originating point of all north-bound trains to the new terminal. Also, once the project is ready, trains to new locations can be run from Hadapsar. With the city expanding, one needs a proper rail terminal and Hadapsar is the answer,” the official pointed out.

Passengers, however, are in two minds. “Rail projects take a lot of time. If they are planning to shift the north-bound trains to Hadapsar, other infrastructure like roads leading to the station, proper connectivity to the station etc. need to be considered too,” said Ankur Singh, a Bihar native.

The railway authorities had said that the total cost to develop Hadapsar station as a rail terminal would be about Rs23.94 crore, but since the project got delayed, the cost went up.

Indian Railways New November Time Table: 6 New Trains, Faster Runs

Indian Railways has announced six new trains under the Tejas, Humsafar and Antyodaya services in the new November time table. The schedule is part of Indian Railways’ new timetable effective November 1, 2017. Humsafar, Tejas and Antyodaya were among the four new train projects announced by the government in the Rail Budget of financial year 2016-17, along with Uday Express. Indian Railways aims to speed up trains in the new timetable applicable from November 1, 2017. Indian Railways will reduce the running time of close to 500 trains across zones from anywhere between 15 minute to three hours, news agency Press Trust of India reported citing officials.

(Also read: IRCTC Tatkal booking: Timings, reservation, rules and latest facilities)

The Railways will introduce the six new train services soon, according to news agency IANS (Indo-Asian News Service):

A six days a week Tejas Express train between New Delhi and Chandigarh
A six days a week Tejas Express train between Lucknow and Anand Vihar
A weekly Humsafar Express train between Sealdah and Jammu Tawi
A tri-weekly Humsafar Express train between Allahabad and Anand Vihar
A weekly Antyodaya Express train between Darbhanga and Jalandhar
A weekly Antyodaya Express train between Bilaspur and Ferozepur
Anand Vihar-Allahabad new train

A new Humsafar Express train will hail out of Allahabad for Anand Vihar at 10:20 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturday, according to the North Central Railway website. This train will arrive at the Anand Vihar station on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, it noted. “Commercial stoppage and composition will be decided later,” the carrier noted.

In the new time table virtually every rail zone has trains which have been speeded up – for example, 51 express and 36 passenger trains running under the Southern Railway have been speeded up while in East Coast Railway (ECoR) 37 express and 19 local passenger trains will run faster, according to news agency Press Trust of India.

The Tejas Express, India’s first semi-high speed, full-AC train will run six days a week between New Delhi and Chandigarh, and Lucknow and Anand Vihar. The Humsafar Express, completely three-tier AC sleeper train, will run between Sealdah and Jammu Tawi once a week and tri-weekly between Anand Vihar and Allahabad.

The Antyodaya Express, featuring all unreserved or general coaches, will run between Darbhanga and Jalandhar, and Bilaspur and Ferozepur once a week.

Besides, the Indian Railways has also announced enhanced frequency for two of its trains. The frequency of the 12595/12596 and 12571/12572 Gorakhpur-Anand Vihar Humsafar Express trains is being enhanced to thrice and four times a week, respectively.

The Railways has already hiked speed of 17 trains by raising sectional speed and has introduced additional stoppages to 13 trains besides upgrading several mail and express trains to superfast trains.