Indian Railways News

Aluminium-bodied Trainsets to run on Rajdhani routes

In a first, the Railways will soon roll out 15 aluminium-bodied trainsets – called Train-20 — on its prestigious Rajdhani routes that will run faster and boast of improved passenger comforts.

The aluminium trainsets – or trains like the Metro or EMUs that do not have locomotives hauling them — will not only be lightweight and energy-efficient, they will run at 160 kmph and have an automatic door system. They will have both seating and sleeper berths.

The aluminium trainsets, estimated to cost Rs 2,500 crore, will start rolling out of the Railways’ Integrated Coach Factory (ICF)/Perambur by 2020.

“A global tender has been floated inviting bids from leading international coach manufacturers for design, development, manufacturing, testing and commissioning of aluminium car body trainsets. Bids are expected to be opened next year for necessary action,” a senior ICF official, who did not wish to be named, told.

Under the bidding conditions, the first trainset of 20 coaches is to be manufactured — complete in all respects — at the successful bidder’s premises and dispatched to the ICF.

From the second trainset onwards, the successful bidder will supply the components, electrics, furnishing material, etc., to the ICF. The assembly of the trainset car body, bogie, painting and furnishing will be carried out at ICF.

There is an option to manufacture up to 10 trainsets in the successful bidder’s premises and ship them to ICF. However, the last four trainsets and spare coaches will be assembled entirely at ICF.

Covered space with a crane facility for manufacturing and storage space for material will be provided by ICF, as per the bid conditions.

A trainset is a set of coaches coupled mechanically and electrically with driving cabins at both ends and distributed traction power across the train. The acceleration and decceleration is faster in a trainset as compared to trains hauled by locomotives.

ICF expects leading global coach manufacturers to participate in the tender as, apart from the approximately 291 coaches on offer at present, the scope is so defined that the successful bidder will build a long-term relationship with the production unit.

Indian Railways will, in coming years, need a large number of trainsets beyond those tendered for, and the successful bidder will likely be an active partner in the expansion of modern rolling stock of the state-run transporter.

In order to make the train travel more joyful, all trainset coaches will be provided with on board Wi-fi, infotainment and a GPS-based Passenger Information System that will keep commuters informed of the travel status.

The trainsets will have plush interiors and diffused LED lighting. The toilets of these coaches will be fitted with zero discharge vacuum-based bio-toilets and touch-free fittings.

Currently, the ICF is executing the manufacture of 16 trainsets designed by in-house talent under its Train-18 programme. The first trainset under the Train-18 plan is expected to roll out by May next year.

While the Train-18 coaches are of stainless steel and meant to run on intra-day, inter-city Shatabdi routes, Train-20 coaches will be of aluminium and aimed at the day-night Rajdhani service.

While Train-18 coaches will only have seating arrangements in its AC Chair Car and Executive Class, Train-20 will have both AC seating and sleeper berths required for overnight journeys.

On First Day Of Mumbai AC Local Train, Ticketless Traveller Arrested

A passenger was today caught for travelling without ticket in an air-conditioned (AC) suburban train, whose services started here, a senior railway official said.

A fine of Rs. 435 was recovered from the passenger and the amount includes Rs. 165 as fare, Rs. 250 as penalty, Rs. 10 as CGST and Rs. 10 as SGST, he said.

The passenger was arrested while he was travelling in a Churchgate-bound train, the official added.

In a Christmas gift to Mumbaikars, the country’s first AC suburban train commenced its services, thus realising the long-awaited dream of lakhs of commuters.

The train, operated by the Western Railway (WR), began its journey at 10.32 am from Borivili station to Churchgate in South Mumbai.

The WR this evening claimed that it received “decent” response from the commuters.

The WR in a statement said in total five trips of the day, total 446 tickets were booked and 579 passengers travelled.

“We earned Rs. 62,746 through the fares from these five trips,” it added.

Meanwhile, railway activist Rajiv Singal, who has been a member of Railway Users Consultative Committees in both Central Railway and WR, claimed that the train would be “a failure due to institutional flaws.”

Another social activist Anil Galgali said he has written to Railway minister Piyush Goyal and urged him that first-class ticket holders be allowed to travel in AC local trains.

BHEL bags Order worth Rs.672 Cr for Supply of IGBT-based 3 phase Electrics for 25KV AC MEMU Trains

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has secured a contract for 146 sets of IGBT – based 3 phase electrics for 25 KV AC Mainline EMU (MEMU) trains. The contract valued at Rs 672 crore has been placed on BHEL by Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. BHEL’s scope of work in the order envisages design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of IGBT-based propulsion system and other equipment for MEMU trains of Indian Railways.  BHEL has been supplying electric as well as diesel locomotives, EMUs, propulsion system sets and drives to Indian Railways over the years.

Against international competitive bidding (ICB), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has secured a landmark contract for 146 sets of IGBT-based 3 phase electrics for 25 KV AC Mainline EMU (MEMU) trains. Valued at Rs672cr, the order has been placed on BHEL by Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala. BHEL’s scope of the work in the order envisages design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of IGBT-based propulsion system and other equipment for MEMU trains of Indian Railways.

These state-of-the-art system and equipment will be developed and produced by BHEL at its various manufacturing plants located at Bengaluru, Bhopal and Jhansi.

BHEL has been a reliable and trusted partner in the growth of Indian Railways for over 50 years and has always remained in the forefront for bringing in new technology.

The company has been supplying electric as well as diesel locomotives, EMUs, propulsion system sets and drives to Indian Railways over the years.

Notably, BHEL has supplied 360 electric locomotives of various ratings to Indian Railways till date apart from over 370 Diesel Electric Shunting Locomotives to various industries which are operating successfully.

BHEL is India’s largest power plant equipment manufacturer with 20,000 MW pa manufacturing capacity. It is the market leader in generation equipment space with 55% market share of the total installed power capacity. BHEL derived 79.2% of its revenue from power segment, and remaining from the industrial segment (transmission, transportation, renewables, defence) in FY17.

MOSPI Report highlights Cost Overrun of Rs.1.61 Lakh Crore on 213 Railway projects

Indian Railways’ 60 per cent projects out of the total 353 central sector projects are facing huge cost overrun due to various reasons, according to a government report.

As many as 213 railway projects are facing total cost overrun of Rs 1.6 lakh crore, as per the flash report of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) for September, 2017.

The MOSPI monitors central sector projects envisaging an expenditure of Rs 150 crore and above each on regular basis.

According to the report, the total original cost of these 213 projects was Rs 1,21,595.36 crore. The total anticipated cost of these projects is estimated at Rs 2,83,482.35 crore, which indicates overall cost escalation by 133.14 per cent.

The ministry monitored 353 projects of Indian Railways in September this year. The study said that as many as 36 railway projects reported time overrun or delay of 12 months to 261 months.

After railways, power sector reported second highest incidence of overall cost overrun. Out of the 124 projects monitored by the MOSPI in the power sector, 44 reported cost overrun of Rs 57,756.87 crore.

The total original cost of these 44 projects was Rs 1,05,404.62 crore which escalated to total anticipated cost of Rs 1,63,161.49 crore. The report stated that out of the 124 power sector projects, 61 reported time overrun (delay) of three months to 136 months.

First AC Local Train service begins in Mumbai on the Borivali Churchgate route; Commuters elated

In a Christmas gift to Mumbaikars, the country’s first air-conditioned (AC) suburban train commenced its services, thus realising the long-awaited dream of lakhs of commuters.

The train, operated by the Western Railway (WR), began its journey at 10.32 am from the Borivili station to Churchgate in South Mumbai.

The commuters, excited at the launch of the AC local which is expected to bring them respite during the scorching summer, captured the historic moments by clicking selfies as the train reached the Churchgate station at 11.16 am.

Earlier, BJP MPs Kirit Somaiya, Gopal Shetty, Maharashtra minister Vinod Tawde, Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar and WR General Manager Anil Kumar Gupta flagged off the train.

Gupta said, “This AC local is being run through a prototype coach and we will invite feedback from commuters and incorporate it in our next fleet of coaches.”

Built in Chennai at a cost of Rs 54 crore, the 12-car rake of the AC local arrived here on April 4, 2016.

Initially, it was meant to be run on the Central Railway (CR) corridor. However, later it was decided to run it first on the WR corridor.

Subsequently, the WR conducted about 65 trial runs of the train before starting its services for the public.

According to WR Chief Public Relations Officer Ravinder Bhakar, the last successful technical run of the train, running on broad gauge, was conducted on Sunday.

Initially, the AC local will operate only on the Churchgate-Borivili section.

The train will make six trips daily (12 services per day) and from January 1 next year, it will run from Churchgate to Virar, Bhakar said.

“The train will not operate on Saturdays and Sundays as it requires maintenance,” he said, adding that the 12 services of the AC train will replace the existing 12 non-AC services.

Mumbaikars, who took the first ride, expressed delight at the new service.

“It’s quite unbelievable. I can’t express my feeling. I pray to the almighty that every local is made like this,” Sheela Raut, a commuter, said.

Railway activists too expressed happiness at the launch of the AC train.

Kailash Verma, an activist of the Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, said, “The commissioning of this train is a testimony that the Indian Railways is trying hard to meet the demands of the passengers. I hope that maintenance and punctuality of the trains will be monitored on priority.

HERE ARE 10 POINTS ON MUMBAI AC LOCAL

  • The fully air-conditioned 12-coach train was flagged off from Borivali at 10.30 am by railway officials, BJP leaders, local lawmaker Gopal Shetty and Maharashtra’s Education Minister Vinod Tawde.
  • Built in Chennai at a cost of Rs. 54 crore, the Mumbai AC Local was meant to be run on the Central Railway (CR) corridor. However, later it was decided to run it first on the Western Railway (WR) corridor.
  • The WR conducted about 65 trial runs of the train before starting its services today.
  • Initially, the AC local will operate only on the Churchgate-Borivili section. The train will make six trips (12 services per day) and from January 1 next year, it will run from Churchgate to Virar.
  • “The train will not operate on Saturdays and Sundays as it requires maintenance,” he said, adding that the 12 services of the AC train will replace the existing 12 non-AC services.
  • The full AC air-suspension coaches will carry nearly 6,000 commuters per rake. Just like the Metro trains, these coaches will also have automatic door opening-closing system.
  • Emergency Talk Back system between commuters and guard besides a public address system, advanced GPS-based passenger information system, air-tight vestibules connecting all 12 coaches are some of its other features.
  • “The automatic doors will keep us safe and the AC makes it comfortable too. The emergency communicator, a safety feature in which passengers can directly communicate with the guard of the train, is impressive,” a passenger said.
  • The base fare of the single journey of the Mumbai AC local will be 1.3 times of the base fare of the existing fare for a single journey by first class. However, passengers will be charged 1.2 times the first class ticket cost in the initial six months. Unlike regular local trains, the AC service will have a special weekly and fortnightly season ticket.
  • Kailash Verma of the Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, said, “The commissioning of this train is a testimony that the Indian Railways is trying hard to meet the demands of the passengers. I hope that maintenance and punctuality of the trains will be monitored on priority.”

PM Modi inaugurates India’s to-be-First Driverless Train system on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25 inaugurated a segment of Delhi Metro newly-built Magenta Line, which will connect Botanical Garden in Noida to Kalkaji Mandir in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took an inaugural ride on a short section of the 12.6-kilometer (7.8-mile) Magenta Line, which connects the southern part of New Delhi with Noida. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Ram Naik and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) managing director Mangu Singh also graced the event. After the inauguration, all the dignitaries, including PM Modi, took a ride on board the Magenta Line metro during its first public run.  While Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath accompanied PM Modi as he travelled to the Okhla Bird Sanctuary station in the swanky train.

A section of Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line that connects Botanical Garden to Kalkaji. The 12.64-km stretch, part of the Botanical Garden-Janakpuri West corridor, aims to bring Noida closer to south Delhi. Earlier, passengers had to take a train from Noida had to switch Metro at Mandi house to go to south Delhi. Now, the journey that took 52 minutes can now be completed in just 19 minutes. This Metro line will immensely benefit the students of Jamia Milia Islamia and Amity University and officer-goers headed for Noida.

Noida and Faridabad have also come closer and those travelling to Faridabad will be able to change trains at Kalkaji Mandir and go directly to Faridabad, saving them a lot of time.

This line will also have an interchangeable station at Hauz Khas. Once this line opens completely, commuters from Noida to Gurgaon would be able to bypass the crowded Rajiv Chowk station and change trains at Hauz Khas station to reach Gurgaon.

The first-phase of Delhi Metro’s Magenta line has a lot in store. Commuters travelling via this route can look forward to every station having Wi-Fi connectivity, trains offering more space for those using wheelchairs, charging points that are USB compatible, LCD screens displaying videos, vibrant coloured seats and a host of other new features.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corp. has said the highly automated train will run initially with a driver but could become driverless in the future. An official said that it would have human operators for ‘a year or two’.

One of the new trains crashed through a wall at a depot last week, sparking concern about the automation technology. However, Delhi Metro said human error was the cause, with workers forgetting to re-engage the brakes after they had been disengaged for maintenance. The train rolled down a ramp and into the wall.

The Magenta Line is the latest addition to the Delhi Metro system, which opened 15 years ago and covers more than 200 kilometers (125 miles).

With the commissioning of the new line, the travel time between south Delhi and Noida will be reduced from 52 minutes to 19 minutes on the Magenta Line.

The entire line, when complete, will run from Botanical Garden to Janakpuri West.

The coaches will have LED information display, power charging capacity and colourful seats. The new stations have been decorated using themes of nature, yoga, and cultural landmarks.

This would be first line on the Delhi Metro network where driverless trains will be introduced along with the Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling technology, which facilitates the movement of trains within a frequency of 90 to 100 seconds.

The platform screen doors (PSDs) are also being used for the first time. PSDs are glass-made screens installed near the edge of platforms that open only when a train arrives and shut after it departs.

Metro rides in Delhi-NCR got costlier this year after the fare structure saw two revisions. Starting at Rs. 10, the fare goes up to Rs. 60. Divided into six fare slabs, the new fare structure, Monday through Saturday, is:

Rs. 10 for up to 2 kms
Rs. 20 for 2 to 5 kms
Rs. 30 for 5 to 12 kms
Rs. 40 from 12 to 21 kms
Rs. 50 from 21 to 32 kms
Rs. 60 for journeys over 32 kms

Those carrying a smart card and travelling during off-peak hours — between 6am to 8am, 12pm to 5pm and 10 pm onwards — can avail a discount of 20 per cent. On Sundays and national holidays (January 26, August 15 and October 2), there is a discount of Rs. 10 across slabs. When the Metro had started operations in 2002, the minimum fare was Rs. 4 and maximum was Rs. 8.

The trains run from 6 am till about 11 pm.

SWR setting up more passenger amenities for Mastakabhisheka rush

With over 35 lakh visitors expected for the Mahamastakabhisheka Jain festival that takes place once in 12 years, railway officials are on the overdrive to ensure passenger adequate amenities at the tiny Shravanabelgola railway station.A huge chunk of passengers are expected to reach the venue through rail, particularly in light of the railway line connecting Nelamangala with Shravanabelegola that was commissioned in March this year.

While the key days of the Mahamashtabhisekha festival (Grand Consecration) run from February 17 to 26, devotees and VIPs are expected to start pouring into this town right from mid-January to early March.

Sharavanabelegola railway station, being an ‘E’ category one wherein sale of less than 100 train tickets takes place daily, the passenger amenities here are in the process of being upgraded completely to cater to the crowds expected.

Four pairs of trains from Yesvanthpur pass through the Sharvanabelegola station daily. “We have now requested the Railway Board to permit us to run an additional four pairs of trains to the station at the earliest, “a top railway official of the Bangalore Railway Division said.Within the railway station, extra canteen stalls and food plazas are being built. “We will be deploying additional ticket checking staff there next year and will be creating extra parking facilities near the station,” the official said. Railways have also requested Ola, which does not run its services in the town, to open counters at the railway station temporarily to help transport passengers.Officials are expecting the transport aggregator to respond positively.

Rakesh Singh, Special Officer for the Mahamastakabhisheka festival, told that infrastructure was being beefed up across the town.“The State government has provided `200 crore for the event. We are upgrading infrastructure all over so that the town will have a permanent benefit from hosting the event. Roads, hospitals, the KSRTC bus stand, the water supply and underground drainage system are all getting a major facelift.” A separate area, Tyagi Nagar, has been readied to house the spiritual heads of the Jain community, he added.

South Western Railway (SWR) has taken a few development works to help passengers visiting Shravanabelagola in Channarayapatna taluk during Mahamastakabhisheka to be held in February. Senior officials of SWR Bengaluru division, including Divisional Railway Manager R.S. Saxena, visited the place on Tuesday.

The team visited the railway station in Shravanabelagola and met Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamy of the Jain Mutt.

Senior Divisional Manager (Commercial) Sridharamurthy told presspersons that KSRTC would be appealed to provide bus services from the railway station to different locations in Shravanabelagola during Mahamastakabhisheka. The service of local buses would be required as the railway station is located far from the pilgrimage centre. “We have decided to prepare the ground around the station to park nearly 2,000 vehicles. A road to the station would be upgraded and a ramp would be built for the benefit of senior citizens and physically-challenged,” he said.

Additional ticket booking centres, restrooms, and a drinking water dispenser would be installed in the railway station. Around 200 security personnel would be hired for ensuring the safety of the passengers during the mega event, he said.

SCR HQ becomes the First fully LED lit Headquarters Office Building on Indian Railways

Rail Nilayam, the Zonal Head Quarters Office of South Central Railway has become the first fully LED lit Zonal Head Quarters Office Building on Indian Railways, marking another major mile stone in the Endeavour of SCR towards Energy Conservation. Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railway appreciated the Electrical Department of the Zone and Hyderabad Division for this achievement.

The achievement has been attained by replacing 3048 conventional light fittings with Energy Efficient LED lights. The connected load earlier, of conventional light fittings of Rail Nilayam was 112.25 KW which has been reduced to 65.8KW after provision of the new LED lighting, lessening the connected load by 46.45 KW.  This initiative is anticipated to ensure savings of around 1.33 Lakh Units per annum, thereby reducing the expenditure by Rs.10.64 lakhs per annum.

In brightening up office spaces, the Rail Nilayam, zonal headquarters of the South Central Railway in Secunderabad has achieved the distinction of becoming the first in the Indian Railways to be fully lit with LED systems. “It marks another milestone in the SCR efforts towards energy conservation and use of newer technologies,” said Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager.

The exercise involved replacing 3,048 conventional light fittings with energy-efficient LED lights. The connected load earlier, of conventional light fittings of Rail Nilayam, was 112.25 KW which has been reduced to 65.8 KW after provision of the new LED lighting, bringing down the connected load by 46.45 KW. This initiative is anticipated to ensure savings of around 1.33 lakh unit a year, thereby reducing the expenditure by ₹10.64 lakh a year, according to a press release.

In March, the Nampally station was equipped with a rooftop solar power plant, which is meeting the electricity requirements. The historic Hyderabad Deccan Railway Station was built in 1907 by Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam of Hyderabad. It is among the first stations in the country to tap solar power.

Persistent Tech’s gesture

IT major Persistent Technologies pitched in to donate solar power plant of 222.5 kWp installed capacity. The plant will generate minimum of 3.15 lakh units of electricity a year. On a bright sunny day, it will generate 1,000 units of electricity.

The ₹1.3-crore project has been implemented by Sunshot Technologies. It is expected to save up to ₹25.6 lakh a year without any upfront investment. It will also make the station greener by reducing 260 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Theme-based revamp planned for Railway Stations

Rajkot, Morbi and Jamnagar Railway stations are all set to get a pleasant makeover.

Passengers will soon get an eye-pleasing view of beautiful paintings on different themes at these railway stations. The railway authorities have roped in ‘Chitranagari,’ a voluntary organization of artists, to create artworks based on the flavour of respective cities at the stations. This is envisaged on the lines of Mumbai’s Churchgate station.

Rajkot railway station will tell the history of Mahatma Gandhi’s historic Dandi March through paintings. Currently, the station wall is being refurbished so that artists can paint on it. The staircase of the station will be painted on the theme of tigers.

Railways have also decided to convert the heritage gallery outside the station into a museum. At present, old equipment like manual signalling systems are stocked there.

Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (Sr.DCM) of Rajkot Division, Ravindra Shrivastav, said, “We have planned a makeover for Rajkot, Morbi, Jamnagar and Makansar railway stations on the lines of Churchgate. There are several railway stations in the country which have got beautiful paintings but we are the first in Gujarat to initiate this kind of project.”

Chitranagari had painted several walls of Rajkot and beautified the routes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s road show with different themes in July.

Jitendra Gotecha, managing trustee of the NGO, said, “We will start the work at Rajkot railway station within 2-3 days and thereafter will paint at the Morbi railway station. Railway officials have finalized the theme and we are working on design. “

Morbi railway station will have paintings depicting the erstwhile royal era of the princely state Morbi as well as the culture of Kutch. “The station is the entry point to Kutch. Therefore, we chose this theme,” said Shrivastav.

For Jamnagar, the theme currently under discussion is the royal era of Jam Saheb. However, it is yet to be finalized.

Railways to Accept Penalty or Additional Fare Through Credit And Debit Cards

The Indian Railways has decided to go digital in accepting fines and for paying additional fare. Now, passengers will be able to pay penalty or any additional fare by swiping their debit and credit cards.

The new system will help railways check shady cash transactions, and it will be convenient for the passengers too. The decision was taken in a railway board meeting recently. The final call will be taken before January 15.

According to reports, ticket examiners will be given a tablet computer and a POS machine. Several meetings were organised in railways’ connection, co-operation and dialogue programme. Railway board chairman Ashwini Lohani told the officers to decide the target date for completion of various works undertaken by the ministry.

A railway officer told Dainik Bhaskar that if a TTE often charge people for allotting berths– now passengers can pay that using debit and credit cards. Reservation fare and supplementary charge can also be paid through POS machine. Often passengers have no money to pay the fine– in these cases, either the passenger is let off or is handed over to police. Now, TTEs will be able exact fine using credit and debit cards. By giving TTEs tablet computers, the TTEs will have the details of reservation and will also feed revenue details.

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