Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Naxals Set Vehicles Ablaze At Rail Construction Site, Abduct One

Naxals today set ablaze four vehicles and a loader machine engaged in the construction of railway line in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Kanker district, police said.

The incident took place this afternoon between Rowghat and Tadoki villages under Koyalibeda police station limits where track-laying work is underway as part of the Dallirajhra-Rowghat railway project, a senior police official told news agency PTI.

A group of armed Naxals reached the spot and asked workers to leave the place, said police. The rebels then torched four trucks and a loader machine before taking a 40-year-old man, son of one of the project contractors, with them, the officer said.

Security forces have been rushed to the spot and further details are awaited, he said. The construction of Dallirajhara-Rowghat-Jagdalpur broad-gauge railway project covering 235 km would allow transportation iron ore from the Naxal-affected area in north Bastar.

Work on the first phase covering a 95 km route from Dallirajhara to Rowghat is in progress with 17 km of tracks up to Gudum commissioned for passenger train traffic.

Indian Railways extends executive class free travel to Ashok, Kirti Chakra awardees

Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees can now travel for free in executive class in any train for life, giving them travel benefits at par with the recipients of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra, according to the railways.

As per a 2014 policy, the Railways Ministry provides free travel passes for 1st AC Class/Executive Class to Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra awardees.

However, Vir Chakra, Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra awardees, and widows of posthumous gallantry awardees are entitled to lifelong free rail travel in 1st AC Class/2nd AC Class along with one companion over the entire railways network except the Metro Railway, Kolkata.

The decision to raise the entitlements of Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees was made in August and a letter was issued on October 13 by the railway board to all zonal railways for necessary action to be taken in this regard.

“Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra awardees will now onwards be entitled to the same free rail travel facilities as admissible to the recipients of Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra awardees”, the letter stated.

With the free rail pass, recipients of Ashok Chakra and Kirti Chakra will now be able to travel free of cost with a companion in not only the existing 1st AC coaches but also executive class on all trains including the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.

The executive class is the railways’ version of business class in an aircraft, and is only found on Shatabdi Express trains, Tejas Express and a few Duronto Express trains. Fares of the Shatabdi Express executive class are generally double t ..


Indian Railways’ Panchavati Express enters 43rd year

The Manmad-Mumbai ‘Panchavati Express’ today completed 42 years of its operations, Central Railway officials said.

The train passes through Nashik and several traders use it daily to commute to Mumbai from the North Maharashtra city.

Nashik MP Hemant Godse and others cut a cake at the Nashik Road railway station, when the train arrived at around 7 AM, the CR officials said.

The train, which starts from Manmad, terminates at the Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

JSPL keen to supply rails to Indian Railways

NEW DELHI: Jindal Steel and Power LtdBSE 0.70 % (JSPL) is keen to participate in a tender floated by the Indian Railways for procuring rails, a senior company official said today.

The Ministry of Railways has recently floated a global tender to procure 7 lakh tonnes of rails worth Rs 3,500 crore. This is the first time that the railways has come up with such a tender.

Terming it a “not-to-miss opportunity”, JSPL’s corporate strategy head Kapil Mantri told PTI, “We are already supplying rails to railways of other countries and if we are able to grab it (tender) this will be the first opportunity for us (in the country).”

In India, JSPL is the only company manufacturing rails besides public sector Steel Authority of IndiaBSE 0.18 % Ltd (SAILBSE 0.18 %), he said.

Mantri further said that JSPL is, however, supplying rails for metro projects in India as well as abroad.

At present, SAIL is the only company supplying rails to the country’s largest transport network railways. SAIL’s Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) is country’s sole producer and supplier of rails to Indian Railways including 260-metre long rails.

The inheritance of loss: Bengaluru is busy destroying architectural links to its past

On Wednesday, the century-old Krumbiegel Hall in Lalbagh was reduced to a rubble by the Horticulture Department without prior consultation with either conservationists or the public whose culture scape it belonged to.

Even as politicians created a brouhaha over celebrating Tipu Sultan’s ‘jayanti’ earlier this month, the 18th-century ruler’s last-remaining armoury in Kalasipalyam continued to languish. In July, the heritage Murphy Town library was demolished to make way for the chief ..

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Orders Probe Into Train Derailment In UP’s Chitrakoot

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today condoled the death of three passengers, who died after 13 coaches of the Patna-Vasco Da Gama express derailed in Uttar Pradesh’s Manikpur. He ordered a probe.
“Immediate rescue and relief operations started and an inquiry ordered into the derailment of Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express at Manikpur, UP. My sincere condolences to the families of the deceased,” Mr Goyal said in a tweet.

The train going towards Patna, met with an accident at 4.18 am at the Manikpur Station.

Railway Ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena told IANS that railways has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. five lakh to the kin of the deceased, while Rs. one lakh for the passengers with grievous injuries and Rs. 50,000 for those with simple injuries.

“Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani has rushed to the accident site,” he added.

The 13 derailed coaches comprise S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S11, two extra sleeper coaches and two general coaches.

Two of the victims were identified as Deepak Patel and his father Ram Swaroop from Betia, Bihar.

3 Dead, Several Injured After Train Derails In Uttar Pradesh’s Chitrakoot

Three people were killed and at least nine persons left injured after a Patna-bound train derailed near Manikpur railway station in Uttar Pradesh early this morning, police said. Thirteen coaches of the Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express derailed at 4.18 am after it left the Manikpur station, less than 12 hours after a Bolero jeep collided with a passenger train near Lucknow killing four and injuring two.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has ordered an inquiry into the incident and announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh each to the family of the dead, Rs. 1 lakh for those with grevious injuries and Rs. 50,000 for the injured. “Immediate rescue and relief operations started and an inquiry ordered into the derailment of Vasco Da Gama-Patna Express at Manikpur, UP. My sincere condolences to the families of the deceased,” Mr Goyal said in a tweet.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also conveyed his sympathies to the families of the victims and wished speedy recovery to the injured. The chief minister also declared Rs. 50,000 each to the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 to those who suffered minor injuries.

The train derailed soon after leaving platform number 2 of the Manikpur Railway Station, about 250 km from Lucknow, officials said.  The train hadn’t picked up speed which is why the casualties were not heavy. Chitrakoot Superintendent of Police Pratap Gopendra Singh said a man and his six-year-old son from Bettiah district of Bihar died on the spot while the third person died at a hospital. Two of the injured are said to be serious.

 Anil Saxena, Railway spokesperson, said medical relief is being provided to the injured. “Patients have been admitted to Manikpur and Chitrakoot Hospital and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has been closely monitoring the situation. Ashwani Lohani, railway board chairman, has been asked to rush to the spot,” he said.

Railway officials are on the spot and investigating the reasons that led to the accident. According to Additional Director General (Law and Order), Anand Kumar, fractured railway track could have derailed the coaches. “Another possible reason being cited is that due to some technical problem, emergency brakes were slammed, causing the derailment,” he said, adding that it can be confirmed only by railway authorities. The Uttar Pradesh government has asked the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to probe the tragedy, the ADG said.

Exactly a year ago, over 100 people were killed and nearly 200 injured when 14 coaches of the Indore-Patna Express jumped the rails near Kanpur. The number of deaths due to train accidents has already reached over 200 this year, the highest in a decade.

Earlier in August, about a dozen carriages of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express ran off the tracks in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar. At least 23 people were killed and more than 70 injured in the accident. A few days later, over hundred people were injured when 10 bogies of the Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of the state.

Former Railway Board chairman AK Mittal had resigned taking responsibility for frequent train accidents. Ashwini Lohani, the former chairman of national carrier Air India, replaced him as the new chief of the board. The then Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, had also offered to quit, but was told to wait by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India Is In Talks For $6 Billion Lotte, Peugeot Investments: Report

South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group and French automotive group Peugeot SA have discussed proposals to invest as much as $6 billion combined in India, a move that would boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attempts to attract foreign capital in Asia’s third-largest economy, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Lotte may invest between $3 billion and $5 billion in the next five years, the person said asking not to be identified as the proposals are preliminary. The South Korean firm intends to invest in retail, chemicals, food processing and real estate, as well as develop railway platforms in the country, the person said. Separately, PSA Group, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, plans to spend about 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build a car factory and an engine plant in southern India, the person said.

PM Modi’s flagship “Make in India” plan encourages foreign firms to manufacture locally by offering easier land acquisition, pruning the number of approvals and, in some cases, offering incentives. The efforts have helped India move up in the World Bank’s ease of doing business survey and achieve an unexpected credit rating upgrade last week by Moody’s Investors Services.

“Lotte is exploring various business opportunities in India and other countries, but there is nothing confirmed or discussed in detail as to which areas to enter and how much money to invest,” Lotte said in a statement. A Paris-based spokesman for PSA referred to a statement in January on the cooperation with C.K. Birla Group in India, which included an initial investment of 100 million euros.

Lotte plans to develop urban real estate by adopting railway stations and maintaining them, the person said. In return, the railways will allow the South Korean firm to operate restaurants, hotels and shops, the person said. The confectionery arm of Lotte is in the process of setting up a new factory in India, according to the person.

The Indian government is discussing more than 550 foreign investment proposals worth about $85 billion, offering competitive terms to companies and ensuring uninterrupted supply of power and water to plants, the person said. The proposed projects include setting up factories in the areas of food processing, electric vehicle components and electronics among others, the person said.

Railways saves over Rs 5,000 crore in power bills in two years

The railways has registered savings of Rs 5,636 crore in power bills from April 2015 to October 2017, the transport behemoth said today.

It also projected a cumulative saving of Rs 41,000 crore in the next ten years.

“The Indian Railways (IR) has succeeded in achieving a cumulative saving of Rs 5,636 crore from April 2015 to October 2017 against the Business As Usual (BAU) mode by procuring power directly under Open Access arrangements.

“This cumulative figure is likely to further go up to Rs 6,927 crore by the end of the current financial year which is around Rs 1,000 crore more than the stipulated target,” the ministry said.

The Open Access policy under the Electricity Act, 2003, allows consumers with electricity load above 1 MW to procure power directly from markets.

The railways currently sources power through open access route in seven states–Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Haryana and Karnataka–and Damodar Valley Corporation area.

Five more states namely Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have also agreed to permit the railways for flow of power though open access route which is likely to start by next year, the ministry said in a statement.

“The estimated savings on these accounts indicates that in ten years (2015-’25), these initiatives can generate a cumulative saving of about Rs 41,000 crore,” the statement said.

As of now out of total requirement of about 2,000 MW of the IR for electric traction power more than 1,000 MW is flowing under open access. This has reduced the average cost in these states, where power is flowing under open access, to about Rs 5 from earlier cost of more than Rs 7 per unit.

These savings, the statements said, will be utilised for taking up electrification of the rail network as part of Mission Electrification.

This will further reduce the diesel bill and multiply the savings in energy bill, taking it to about Rs 10,500 crore per annum in the next few years on 100 per cent electrification of the IR network, the ministry said.

The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission had allowed the railways to undertake transmission and distribution of electricity as a deemed licensee under the Electricity Act through an order in November 2015.

The railways consumes around 2.8 billion litres of diesel a year, costing Rs 18,000 crore, and 17.5 billion units of electricity. Currently, nearly 30 per cent of the fuel bill goes into paying state taxes.




Railways to invite tenders for electrifying 8,000 km every year from next fiscal

The Indian Railways will start tendering 8,000 km of rail lines for electrification every year, starting next financial year, to complete the network electrification target in the next five years.

In a first, the contract size that will be awarded on the government-funded engineering-procurement and construction (EPC) model, will be mostly in the range of 1,500-2,000 km to achieve faster completion. “We are standardising designs and processes to save time and cost. Along with that, we are building a pipeline for bidders so that they’re sure about the quantum of contracts available for the next four-five years,” a top railway official said.
The official said instructions have gone across to zones to send details of high-density corridors that should be prioritised. Almost 70% of traffic in both passenger and freight segments is mostly on 40,000 km of rail routes. Nearly half of the 66,000-km railway tracks in the country have been electrified so far.

The railways, which currently has a fuel bill of Rs 26,500 crore, will save Rs 10,500 crore in fuel bill annually by electrifying its entire route. The cost for electrifying would be around Rs 30,000-35,000 crore. Railways is aiming to cut project cost by at least 20% by offering large contracts.