Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Less Trains Running In Late Than Flights In Fogs: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal

Lesser number of trains are running in late than flights due to fog this year because of constant efforts for computerisation of the signalling system, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said today.

“Due to our constant efforts, less trains were running in late in comparison to flight during fogs,” he claimed during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha.

Mr Goyal said that a committee has been set up to review the flexi-fare system and recommend best options, keeping in mind the interests of passengers and the railways.

The minister said the railways have given highest priority on safety and highlighted the public transporter’s focus on computerisation of the signalling system, which continues to run through the old system started before independence.

Mr Goyal said the ultimate solution to the railways’ problems was capital investment, which has been highest in the last last three years.


Rs. 1,20,000 crore will be invested this year and the amount will be more next year. Our aim is to make a new Indian Railways by 2022 and works are going on in this regard,” he said.

 Referring to the committee to review the flexi-fare system, the minister said it will examine the impact on revenue generated for railways, impact on passengers in terms of their choice of railway as means transport, competitiveness of flexi fare vis-a-vis other means of transport.

Indian Railways To Triple Its Freight Traffic By 2030, Says Piyush Goyal

The Indian Railways has set a target to triple its freight traffic to 3 billion tonne by 2030, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said today. He said the railways was looking to come out with a “reciprocation” strategy on bidding for major projects.

Under the strategy, companies from only those countries which allow Indian firms to bid for their development projects would be allowed to participate in similar projects in India, Goyal said.

“As we are taking steps to become a $10 trillion economy, we want to increase the share of railways freight traffic to 3 billion tonne from the current 1.1 billion tonne,” the minister told reporters here.

Goyal also said that the plan was to increase the railways’ share in the overall goods movement to 50 per cent from the current share of around 35 per cent. Senior officials said that railways has completed a record 476-km track renewal in the month of December. It expects to touch 3,500-km of track renewal in 2017-18, they said.

DMRC commences Trial Run of Noida-Greater Noida Metro successfully

The trial run of the Noida-Greater Noida Metro commenced today with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director Mangu Singh flagging off the ambitious project to link the twin cities by rail.

Singh flagged off the trial run after a brief ritual ceremony here which was attended by Chief Executive Officer and Noida Metro Rail Corporation Managing Director Alok Tandon besides other DMRC officials.

Initially the metro will run between Greater Noida Depot to Knowledge Park 2 metro station, a stretch of around 6 km, after tests and clearance, according to an official release.

The total length of this metro link is 29.07 km and is called the Noida-Greater Noida Metro Rail corridor. It has 21 metro stations, with Noida Sector 71 in Noida and Delta Depot Station in Greater Noida being the two terminus stations, the release stated.

The Rolling Stock of this corridor is being procured from CRRC Limited, a state-owned Chinese manufacturer. DMRC had signed the MoU on behalf of Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) Ltd with CRRC Corporation Limited in March 2016. The Standard Gauge trains are being manufactured in the Nanjing Plant.

The Standard Gauge trains are being manufactured in the Nanjing Plant. The train with 4 coaches had arrived in Greater Noida on 14th December 2017. Basic movement trials and validations were done over the last fortnight.

The train has been designed with ‘Aqua Blue’ as its theme colour. Each train will comprise four coaches with a total seating capacity of 186 passengers. Total passenger capacity of the train (Seating + Standing) is approximately 1,000 passengers under loaded conditions.

The corridor will have a total of 19 train sets (i.e, 76 coaches). The trains are expected to arrive every fortnight, according to the release.

Each train has two driving trailer cars and two motor cars and the total number of seats in both are 43 and 50, respectively. Each coach has ports for mobile and USB charging, 6 backlit LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays) and 4 Dynamic Route Maps.

Dedicated space has been provided for wheel chair based commuters in Driving Trailer cars at both the ends of the trains, it added.

The Civil Work of this 29.7-km-long standard gauge corridor having 21 stations was completed in November 2017 with the erection of the last girder. Track laying and system works are in progress.

During the test run, the train will undergo rigorous signaling testing. During testing and the trial runs, the interface of the Metro train will be checked to ensure that there is no physical infringement with civil infrastructure during the movement of the train on the track and also testing of various subsystems of coaches shall be done.

Noida and Greater Noida Authorities have decided to have their own Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), jointly funded by authorities of the two cities, in the name of NMRC.

After the trial run and technical clearance, the Metro service will be inaugurated and opened to public. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is expected to inaugurate it, the release said.

The purpose of NMRC is to facilitate mass transit and other urban transport in the twin cities, it said. “NMRC’s vision is to develop a world class metro with sustainable development. Its mission is to provide safe, reliable and eco friendly transportation services for people,” it added.

NMRC said it had started a city bus service last year and its fleet is connecting Metro stations in Noida, and also connecting it with various sectors in Greater Noida.

This metro corridor is constructed by the DMRC on a turnkey consultancy basis. For this a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the DMRC was signed in October 2014.

It said there is also a plan to implement ‘one city-one card’ as smart card for this metro corridor and feeder buses of NMRC.

This corridor will have green energy intitiative as 10 MW solar power generations is planned from solar panels installed on rooftops of Metro stations.

Rainwater harvesting provision will also be available at all stations and along the viaduct.

Beside this Metro corridor NMRC will develop two other metro corridors. One corridor is 14.95 km corridor between Noida Sector 71-72 to Greater Noida Knowledge Park V having 9 metro station. Other corridor to be developed by NMRC is 10.922 km from Okhla Birds Sanctuary to Sector 142 Noida having eight stations.


JNPT’s new PSA Terminal with dedicated Rail lines capable of handling 1.5-Km trains with 360 TEU loading capacity

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) announced that work on its much-awaited fourth mega container terminal awarded to PSA International has been completed and that commercial operations will begin soon, paving the way for quicker turnaround of vessels and cargo at India’s busiest public container gateway.

PSA International has been preparing itself to give BMCT — touted as the single largest foreign direct investment in the Indian port sector — a head-start over peers in the region, with its efficiency seen as a key competitive differentiator in an increasingly competitive market. The company has put in place sophisticated supply chains to receive and deliver cargo, including four dedicated railway lines capable of handling 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) trains with a loading capacity of 360 TEU. Equally important, these rail-sidings conform to the requirements of Indian Railways’ under-construction Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) linking JNPT with northern hinterland points.

Other features include special train operation arrangements with Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) and a deal with domestic multi-modal logistics provider PNP Maritime Services to operate a regular container-on-barge service between JNPT and Dharamtar Port.

When fully operational, BMCT will have a 6,562-foot quay, a 494-acre storage yard, 24 quay cranes, and an annual capacity of 4.8 million TEU, doubling JNPT’s combined capacity to nearly 10 million TEU.

JNPT said in statement that “The development of the fourth container terminal reinforces JNPT’s position as the premier container port of India.”

Currently, JNPT encompasses a port-owned terminal, two facilities operated by DP World and one by APM Terminals. While the port has come a long way since the days of off-and-on labor flare-ups and gate closings in 2015 and early 2016, on the back of gate automation and other ease-of-doing-business measures, it needs to work harder to fend-off aggressive efforts by private rivals, especially Adani Group’s Mundra Port, to poach its business.

Industry sources told that Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT) has already commenced partial operations and that several major carriers currently using other terminals in JNPT are expected to switch their weekly calls to the new terminal in the coming weeks, as full-fledged operations get under way.

The start of operations at the new treminal comes as JNPT battles serious capacity issues stemming from rapidly growing traffic: fiscal 2017 to 2018 throughput is expected to exceed the record 4.5 million TEU booked in fiscal 2016 to 2017 that ended in March.

BMCT, 1 of 200 projects outlined in India’s mammoth Sagar Mala port-led development program, has a 30-year operating concession, involving public-private investments worth INR 7,935 crore in two phases.

The first phase is estimated to have cost INR 4,719 crore, will provide two berths with a total quay of 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), a 90-hectare (222 acres) storage yard with 9,336 ground slots, 12 quay cranes, 4 rail-mounted gantry cranes, 36 rubber-tire gantry cranes, 324 reefer slots, and a capacity of 2.4 million TEU per year.

JNPT said in a statement that “The port and the Ministry of Shipping has provided all supporting infrastructure and assistance on a continuous basis for operationalization of the terminal, thus fulfilling the initiatives of the prestigious Sagar Mala initiatives and will also help cater to the growing demands and expectations of India’s growing exim [export-import] trade.”

JNPT Port expands its operation with Wardha and Jalna Dry Ports

JNPT will develop dry ports in the Jalna and Wardha region of Maharashtra. Both Wardha and Jalna dry port will be connected by dedicated freight rail corridor and expressway. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping has performed bhoomipoojan for Wardha dry port. These dry ports will cater effective logistics services to the industries in Vidarbha and Aurangabad region and improve cargo throughput at the Port.

The proposed Wardha Dry Port is to be constructed over an area of 350 acres in phased development with a total estimated investment of Rs 500 Crore. The Phase-I would involve the development of around 25 Ha of the total area, with an estimated cost of Rs.180 Crores (including private investment of Rs. 79 Crore).

The proposed Wardha dry port is estimated to generate traffic of almost 7,000-9,000 TEUs in next 5-7 years. The traffic is expected to ramp up gradually to around 30,000 TEUs in the medium term (by 2030) considering the geographical location advantage, upcoming road and railway connectivity, increased focus on warehousing and other ancillary industries in the region. The project is expected to attract a direct employment of at least 1000 persons. The project would have the necessary facilities as a one-stop shop for the EXIM based industries such as customs clearance facilities, Container Freight Station, Warehousing Space, Cold Storage, Liquid Storage, truck terminals etc.

The site is strategically located around the Industrial belt of Nagpur & Wardha and is well connected to the other industrial regions in Vidarbha. The dry port would benefit the rice exporters, textile and garments industry, steel and minerals traders, scrap trade, plastics, and paper pulp, electrical machinery, automotive parts manufacturers etc. located in the region. Besides, domestic cargo movement is also expected to be routed through the dry port due to its logistical proximity to upcoming Nagpur-Mumbai super communication expressway, National Highways and railway connectivity.  The dry port shall get connected to the Central Railways network through Nagpur-Wardha line, to Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication expressway and six-lane National highways connecting major cities of central, Southern and Northern India.

The Jalna port will come up close to Aurangabad, with an annual capacity of 20,000 TEUs. It will be located near Aurangabad – Jalna state highways and close to proposed Mumbai – Nagpur Samruddhi Corridor. Jalna Dry port will cover 163 hectares of government land and 22 hectares of agricultural land. The port will have customs bonded area where all import and exports can be handled. In the warehousing area, facilities like cold storage would be beneficial for farmers to store export quality agricultural produce. Both, Wardha and Jalna dry ports will commence operations in 2019.

Indian Railways targets raising INR 30,000 Crore through Asset Monetisation

Indian Railways expects to raise INR 30,000 crore in the current financial year from its first asset monetisation drive so as to give a boost to its capacity expansion plans for the next financial year. The Railways has lined up 30,000 km of its power transmission lines for monetisation and is in talks with two public sector units that are willing to invest in the project. The railways will sell power lines to these companies and lease it back by paying a fixed fee.

A top Railway official said that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be set up to operate and maintain these power lines. The official however refused to name the PSUs that have shown interest in buying power transmission assets of the railways, which expects to earn nearly INR 30,000 crore from the sale.

As part of its land monetisation drive, the railways is lining up three land parcels in prime localities of Delhi and Mumbai. Land has been identified in Sarai Rohilla and Ashok Vihar in Delhi and Bandra in Mumbai. Though the size of the land is yet to be ascertained, the railways expects to raise INR 2,000 crore from the sale of these land parcels.

Tenders for the land parcels will come out next year, the official said. Union Minister of Railway Piyush Goyal had said in November that the Railways is not looking at more funds in the Union Budget for 2018-19 as it is focussed on monetising assets within. He said that “Railways is looking at innovative ways to finance its expenditure.”

Indonesia launches Rail Service from Jakarta to country’s largest Airport

 Indonesia’s main aviation hub opened a new railway service to Jakarta on Tuesday, in an effort to tackle massive traffic congestion that has choked the city’s roads and highways for years. Jakarta had been one of the few Asian capitals lacking a rail connection to its main airport.

The new railway service, with a price tag of 5 trillion rupiah ($369 million), was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo, following a week of public testing. It links Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, in Tangerang, Banten Province, with two other stations — including the Sudirman Baru station in the heart of Jakarta’s business district.

The 34-kilometer rail journey from Jakarta to the airport takes nearly an hour. That compares with a two- to three-hour — or more — drive by car, depending on traffic conditions. The new rail service is expected to alleviate the worsening gridlock to and from the airport, which has seen an increasing number of passengers over the years and is anticipating further growth.

Once fully operational next year, the railway will have a total of five stops and stretch 37 kilometers — most of which will be on existing tracks already in use by greater Jakarta’s commuter lines, and which partly explains the airport service’s limited speed.

The Soekarno-Hatta station is linked to the airport’s three terminals with the newly launched Skytrain, an automated people mover service.

Meanwhile, work is underway to connect some of the stations in Jakarta with other public transportation — including the existing commuter lines and TransJakarta bus system, as well as the metro and light-rail transit networks that are currently under construction.

“They will all be integrated — busway, MRT, LRT and the airport railway,” Widodo said to reporters after the launching ceremony. “We hope the public will use less private cars, and instead move to safe and convenient public transports that we can use together across greater Jakarta and to the airport.”

He added that “the grand scheme” includes connections with the high-speed railway linking Jakarta and Bandung in West Java Province, whose construction has been significantly delayed; and the medium-speed railway that will connect Jakarta and Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya in East Java Province, which is still in the planning stage.

The construction of the airport link began in 2014, near the end of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s term. It is Indonesia’s second airport railway — with the first connecting Kualanamu Airport in North Sumatra with Medan, the provincial capital, that began operation in 2013.

Both projects are owned by Railink, a joint venture between state-owned railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia and airport operator Angkasa Pura II. Railink is mulling a third railway project that would connect Yogyakarta Province, a tourism hub on Java island, with a planned new airport.

SAIL setting up new Railway Yards at Bilaspur

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is setting up rail related projects mainly New Ore Load Yard and Coal Tippler Yard under its modernisation and expansion plan at the Bhilai Steel Plant.

SAIL has set a target of increasing hot metal manufacturing capacity of BSP from 15.41 million tonnes per annum to 23.5 million tonnes post the ongoing modernisation and expansion project, officials informed.

Notably, the company has the highest rail making capacity of 2.0 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) at one location–the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP), officials informed.

Commercial production of world class 130 metre long rails from the new Universal Rail Mill of Bhilai Steel Plant began in November last year.

The new URM established at a cost of about Rs. 1200 Cr. is part of SAIL-Bhilai Steel Plant’s modernization programme that would scale up capacity to 7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

Notably, the world’s longest 130 metre rails rolled at the new Mill are welded at the new Rail Welding Plant adjacent to URM and loaded for despatch from the Mill’s loading complex.

The new 1.2 MTPA Universal Rail Mill would help SAIL to meet the increased demand for 260 metre rails from the Indian Railways.

Continuing to operate well above the rated capacity in all major areas of production, the Bhilai Steel Plant has concluded the financial year 2016-17 with an annual production of 5.04 Million Tonnes of Hot Metal, 4.74 Million Tonnes of Crude Steel and 4.00 Million Tonnes of Saleable Steel.

NRTU to be a Deemed University in the de novo category under UGC Framework & Regulation

The Union cabinet has cleared a proposal for setting up the country’s first rail university aimed at building skilled human resources but no related ministry scrutinised the plan, raising eyebrows among academics and lawmakers.

According to the plan, the NRTU would be a deemed university under the de novo category in keeping with the University Grants Commission’s regulations. New institutions offering courses in innovative areas are given deemed status under this category.

For deemed university status, an institution needs to send a proposal to the HRD ministry, which forwards it to the UGC for its recommendations. But before the proposal was sent to the HRD ministry or the UGC, the PIB release claimed the “government is working towards completing all approvals by April 2018 and to launch the first academic program in July 2018”.

Official sources said the proposal to establish the National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara – a brainchild of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – was taken to the cabinet without inter-ministerial consultations between Ministry of Railways, Ministry of HRD.

“At times, top-secret proposals are taken to the cabinet by the ministry concerned without any consultation to avoid leakage. But any welfare measure is always discussed with related ministries,” a senior law ministry official said.

Several senior bureaucrats spoke to said that the inter-ministerial consultations enriched proposals, but the railway ministry decided against going by the usual practice. A cabinet meeting chaired by Modi had cleared the plan on December 20. A media release issued by the Press Information Bureau the same day said: “This innovative idea, inspired by the Prime Minister, will be a catalyst for transformation of rail and transport sector towards New India.” But it did not give any details.

Modi had in October 2016 announced the government’s intent to set up the university in Vadodara in his home state Gujarat.

K. Keshav Rao, a Rajya Saha MP and former member of a House committee on human resource development, said: “Any proposal for a university should be examined by the related ministries. It is a healthy convention.”

Official sources privy to the NRTU concept said the plan was to offer bachelor of engineering (BE) courses in railway engineering and such courses would be non-specialised programmes unlike specialised B.Tech courses.

This means, students may learn some aspects of civil, mechanical, electrical and signal engineering while doing the course.

An IIT Delhi teacher disapproved of the idea. “In IITs, every student has a specialisation even though they get a little bit of other branches. There must be a core discipline. Otherwise, the pass-outs may not be able to do the core job after recruitment,” he said.Two emails were sent to the PIB officer, who handles media queries related to the railways, on December 21 and 22. The officer was requested to confirm the information that the NRTU would offer non-specialised courses.

The railway ministry’s perspective was also sought regarding no prior consultations and concerns related to the course. Neither has replied so far.

All Trains To Have 22 Coaches Soon To Be Able To Run On Any Route

The railways is planning a standardisation of trains in terms of number of coaches so that all trains can run on all routes, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in New Delhi today.

Soon, all trains in the Indian Railway network would have 22 coaches, making them suitable for running on any route, irrespective of the time taken by each to complete the journey, he added.

“All trains will have 22 coaches, the length of the platforms will be increased and other related changes will be carried out. The engineering department is looking into it,”  Mr Goyal told reporters.

Currently, coaches are of two kinds – ICF and LHB – and the number of coaches in a train could be 12, 16, 18, 22 or 26, depending on its demand, making it difficult for the railways to substitute one with the other, particularly in case of a delay.

“If the number of coaches is the same in every train, we can press any train – which is ready, has arrived at the station and undergone maintenance – into operation, instead of waiting for the same train to get ready,” a senior railway official explained.

He added that the railways had identified over 300 groups of trains and their routes in the first phase. The changes in the number of trains operating on a route and their timings will reflect in the new time-table, to be published in July.

“The advantage of having standard trains – all of the same composition – for example, the same number of general, sleeper and air-conditioned coaches, is that they can run on any route.


“In the first phase, we have segregated over 300 groups of trains and identified routes on which they can be run mostly mainline, busy routes,” the official said.

He added that for a successful implementation of the plan, the railways would also have to standardise its infrastructure – the length of the platforms, filling and washing lines etc.

Ambala Rail Division’s First Woman Locomotive Driver Dies After Childbirth

Ambala Railway division’s first woman locomotive driver, Rajni Devi, died in civil hospital at Ambala City after delivering a baby this morning, with her husband alleging lack of proper arrangement while transferring her from maternity to emergency ward.

However, Dr Vinod Gupta, the civil surgeon said he had already inquired into the matter and no negligence on the part of doctors or nurses concerned was found.

Shiv Shakti said he had got his wife, Rajni Devi (32) admitted to the hospital three days ago after she had labour pain. She was shifted from maternity ward to the emergency ward early this morning when her condition became critical after the delivery.

He alleged that there was no proper arrangement for carrying her from the maternity ward to the emergency ward.

“I myself had to carry the oxygen cylinder while shifting her to the emergency ward,” he claimed.

Dr Gupta said, “After the normal delivery the patient had a sudden heart attack and died.”

COMMENTSWhen the matter was brought in the notice of Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, he said if any complaint of negligence was received from the husband of the deceased he would order an inquiry into the matter.