Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Complete Track Renewal units kept for Track Renewal works on Indian Railways

For the year 2017-18, a target of 3600 km in Complete Track Renewal (CTR) units has been kept for track renewal on Indian Railways. (One km of Through Rail Renewal is counted as 0.5 km CTR units and one km of Through Sleeper Renewal is counted as 0.5 km CTR units).

Railway tracks are replaced through track renewal works which is an ongoing process. Track renewal works are undertaken as and when stretch of track becomes due for renewal on age/condition basis as per criteria laid down in Indian Railways Permanent Way Manual. If any stretch of track is not renewed in time due to various reasons, suitable speed restrictions, if required, are imposed to ensure safe running of trains.

Details of track renewals are maintained Zonal Railway-wise and not State-wise. The targets fixed and actual progress of track renewal for these Zonal Railways for the last three year and current year are as under:

Zonal Railway2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18
TargetActual RenewalTargetActual RenewalTargetActual RenewalTargetActual Renewal*
Western Railway165194190229216240252280
Central Railway200205220185220195275186
South Central175208190278118150147154
South Western10296110118105117170146
South East Central102107120119174123161138
Target and Actual Renewal in km of CTR units………………………………………Upto January, 2017

Track Renewal works are planned in advance every year and their execution is prioritized according to the condition of track. This information was made available in reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

Integral Coach Factory’s 160 km-per-hour semi High-speed Train to run from June

India’s first indigenously manufactured semi high-speed train capable of speeds of 160 km per hour will be rolled out in June. The train will be self-propelled on electric traction like the metro and won’t require a locomotive to pull it.

Apart from the high speed, the train can accelerate quickly, helping to cut travel time. It is set to be deployed in place of one of the premium Shatabdi Express trains. The 16-coach train, which will have chair-car seating and all modern facilities, will cost about Rs 100 crore.

Each coach costs Rs 6 crore and is about 40% cheaper than European coaches of similar design. The Indian Railways-owned Integral Coach Factory in Chennai is manufacturing the train. “This will be the first ever semihigh-speed train that is being manufactured by Indian Railways on its own. The train set would be able to run at the speed of 160 km per hour, making it the fastest in the country,” said Sudhanshu Mani, ICF General Manager.

If successful, these trains will gradually replace all Shatabdi trains, Mani said, adding that its seating would be more spacious. ICF, one of the leading coach manufacturers for the Indian Railways, is now moving towards making high-end train sets under the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. “We’ll be producing a record number of 2,500 rail coaches including 1,100 LHB coaches this year, which will be the highest ever for the ICF facility,” Mani said. LHB coaches are new-generation passenger type coaches developed by Linke-Hofmann-Busch of Germany.

The factory now plans to manufacture light body aluminium trains based on European standards. “The aluminium train set is likely to roll out in 2020 and it will be much more energy-efficient and will follow the European standards and will be kind of a leapfrog for rail technology in India,” Mani added.

Ministry of Railways devises Action Plan for Improvement in Passenger experience at Hazrat Nizamuddin Station

Ministry of Railways is constantly striving to improve passenger amenities and facilities for making the journey of passengers comfortable and pleasant.

Towards this objective, a committee of senior officers was nominated for identifying the amenities and facilities that could be further provided at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station to make the overall experience of the passengers who visit that station even more pleasant and enjoyable. The committee was also tasked with preparing the Comprehensive Action Plan for removal of any deficiencies & for improvement of passenger amenities and experience at Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway station.

The nominated officers’ committee examined the entire station premises and prepared action plan has been made for execution in three phases namely –

  • Immediate measures (to be implemented within 6 months),
  • Short term measures (to be implemented in 6 to 12 months) and
  • Long term measures (to be implemented in 12 to 18 months),

The plan covers improvements on all platforms, station buildings circulating areas, parking areas, traffic movement, parcel movement/stacking area, signages at platforms, security arrangements and station cleanliness.

Immediate measures (to be implemented by June’18)

  • Widening & smoothening of entry to approach road at 1st entry side and beautification along road.
  • Parking for “Divyangs” to be earmarked near Main Porch.
  • Complete renovation of toilet block and bathing area.
  • Retro-reflective/LED Signage Boards to be designed aesthetically and to be located/placed at conspicuous & strategic locations in circulating area, concourse, Platforms and Foot over Bridges (FOB).
  • At the circulating and parking area on main entry side, there is traffic congestion due to unauthorized parking by Taxi/Auto & unregulated stoppages for drop off & pick up and poor drainage. Redesigning & earmarking the Lanes for Car/Bus/ Taxi/TSR /pedestrians. Identifying locations for drop off/pick up and parking. Deploying uniformed marshals for regulation of traffic. New drainage pipes (RCC) & manholes/gutters.
  • Sufficient no. of Stainless Steel benches to be provided at all platforms and concourses.
  • Disused/ abandoned old structures (cages etc.) at various platforms  be identified & removed from platform
  • Unused porta-cabin structure on Platform-1 to be redeveloped as cloak room.
  • Renovation of 2 Retiring Rooms on Ground Floor.
  • RO Water plant at 2nd entry.
  • Lift for Passengers at Platform No. 1.
  • At platform no. 2/3 &4/5 new water booths and Platform resurfacing.
  • Flooring of FOB (Okhla End) to be provided with Granite.
  • Worn out AC Sheet of roof / broken false ceiling to be replaced with meta-colour sheet &False ceiling to be replaced with ACP, windows to be replaced in Booking Hall and Windows on 2nd Entry (1st Floor).
  • Toilet blocks on Platform no. 4/5 & 6/7 to be provided on “Pay & Use” basis.
  • AC roof Sheets of both FOBs to be replaced with meta-colour sheet.
  • Stainless Steel railings for dividers to be provided on FOBs.
  • Damaged drain along platform no. 6/7 to be constructed.
  • Escalator on platform no. 6/7.
  • Damaged platform copings to be replaced and damaged platform surfaces to be resurfaced with VDC flooring/Kota stone flooring.

Short term measures (to be implemented in 6-12 months)

  • New toilet blocks to be provided on Platform no. 2/3,
  • Damaged Valley gutter of shelters on Platforms to be replaced.
  • Footpath to be provided on Approach road.
  • Deluxe “Pay & Use” Toilet to be provided in circulating areas.
  • Switching over to completely mechanized cleaning system at station.

Long Term Measures (to be implemented in 12 to 18 Months).

  • Escalator to be provided on 2nd entry Side FOB.
  • Damaged washable aprons of Platform nos. 1, 5 & 7 to be repaired.
  • Washable apron to be provided on Platform no. 3 & 4.
  • Redevelopment and remodelling of 2nd entry.
  • VIP lounge on Platform no. 1 (Okhla end) by IRCTC for development.
  • Staff Quarters on Okhla side to be relocated & area vacated to be utilised for parking & other facilities
  • Complete renovation of TTE Rest house.

Shri R N Singh, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi Division said that Modernization of Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station shall be done to bring about tremendous improvement in passenger amenities & services at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in next 12 months. Shri R N Singh stated that this will significantly improve cleanliness & shall give a very comfortable and pleasant experience to passengers who use Hazrat Nizamuddin Station for their journey.

7th PC Pay Scale changes: Railways introduces amendments for its Employees

7th Pay Commission: Ministry of Railways has just come up with a notification with regard to seventh pay commission recommendations for Railways employees. An amendment has been introduced in Railway Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2016, which has been necessitated by the government’s acceptance of 7th CPC recommendations modifying the 80:20 distribution within Group ‘B’ as provided in Railway Services (Revised Pay) Rules vide notification dated February 5, 1998 and April 25, 2003.

As per the notification, in supersession of the existing conditions regarding grant of Level 10 to 80 per cent of Group ‘B’ Officers of all Organised Services including Accounts Department after 3 years regular service, for Group ‘B’ Officers of all Organised Services other than Accounts Department, the revised scale of Level 10 will now be granted after completion of four years regular service in the grade of Level 8.

Below is the detailed 7th Pay Commission linked notification:

In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso of Article 309 of the Constitution, the President hereby makes the following amendment in Railway Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2016 namely:

1. These Rules may be called Railway Services (Revised Pay) Amendment Rules, 2018.
2. Below Note 2 of the Schedule to Railway Services (Revised Pay) Rules, 2016, Note 3 may be inserted as under:

“In supersession of the existing conditions regarding grant of Level 10 to 80% of Group ‘B’ Officers of all Organised Services including Accounts Department after 3 years regular service, for Group ‘B’ Officers of all Organised Services other than Accounts Department, the revised scale of Level 10 will now be granted after completion of four years regular service in the grade of Level 8. For Group ‘B’ Officers of Accounts Department, the revised scale of Level 10 will now be granted after completion of four years service in the grade of Level-9.

The revised scale of Level 10 may be operated to the extent of 100% of the Group ‘B’ Officers on roll including Group ‘B’ Officers officiating in the revised scale Level 11 on ad-hoc basis (subject to fulfillment of eligibility conditions) in respect of all organized services, with effect from the date of publication of these rules and thereafter with effect from 1st January and 1st July of subsequent years”.

CRS (Southern) to conduct Statutory Inspection/Speed Trial between Minchinal-Lachyan section of Gadag-Hotgi Doubling

The Commissioner of Railway Safety (Southern Circle), Bengaluru will conduct statutory inspection and speed trial run between Minchinal and Lachyan stations part of Gadag – Hotgi New doubling Project from 16 th March and 17 th March 2018. Public should not walk through or cross the track. This inspection is in connection with authorization for running passenger services on newly laid double line for public carriage.

Doubling for part length of this project, i.e. from Hotgi-Kudgi (134 km) is taken up under Customer Funding Model. For this purpose NTPC have deposited Rs.946 cr. with Railway. New Crossing station at Kudgi with 4 lines for giving connectivity to NTPC was commissioned on 29.01.2017.   Phase I of Indi Road commissioned on 28.07.17.  Tadwal Yard commissioned as 4 line station on 02.09.2017.  Work is in the section between Minchinal-Lachyan (42.5 km) is ready for commissioning now.

Warren Buffet’s Major Railroad Subsidiary BNSF officially joins the “Blockchain Transport Alliance”

BNSF will join the Alliance’s other members in experimenting with how to use blockchain — the house that Bitcoin built, as it were — to create new “standards in such areas as vehicle maintenance, quality control and fraud prevention.”

BNSF technology services vice president Muru Murugappan called the move an important step forward:

“It is important that the industry comes together to align around a set of standards.”

So Buffett and Munger may be opposed to investing in bitcoin directly. But, through BNSF, they now apparently have no problem owning companies enjoying blockchain plays of their own.

The Future of Transportation

With logistics and supply chain projects beginning to abound in the cryptoverse, BiTA has no shortage of options to choose from for research or experimentation. But whatever happens, the Alliance’s self-described vision is clear:

“The Blockchain in Transport Alliance is the first of its kind; a standards organization by the trucking industry FOR the trucking industry.

Members of BiTA come from every facet of the industry: tech vendors, OEMs, tier-1 suppliers, consultants,  banks, carriers, shippers, and brokers.

Members of BiTA know that blockchain is the way of the future, an industry changing technology that will revolutionize the way people do business. BiTA wants to usher in this change in a uniform way that will benefit the entire industry.”

With that said, BNSF Railway is like just the latest of many more to come. They might like that Buffett’s in — even if peripherally.

How IoT Is Making Private Railways Safer – From thermal imaging to audio sensors, the BNSF is using a host of connected tools to improve safety and daily operations.

Mike Garcia’s great-grandfather spent 40 years working as a railroad machinist. Today, he carries on that legacy as a director in BNSF Railway’s Modern Business Intelligence and Mechanical Systems department.

“I’m very proud to say that this is not the same railroad that my great-grandfather worked for,” he told an audience at Flathead Valley Community College Tuesday night. During his talk, the second installment in the college’s 2018 Honors Symposium, he explained that BNSF is now one of the country’s largest telecom firms, an operator of unmanned drones and thanks to these and other technolgies, an avid backer of the “internet of things.”

“The internet of things is about physical things that have sensors on them,” he explained.

“Those sensors are measuring physical aspects of whatever that physical thing is, generating data, and then that data through some connection is getting somewhere” where computers and humans can use it to identify problems and possible improvements.

Garcia gave a few small-scale examples of this technology, like his exercise-tracking wristwatch or homes equipped with “smart thermostats.” But his presentation focused on how the internet of things supports BNSF’s vast operations. The company owns 32,500 miles of track and 8,000 locomotives, moving 1,400 trains a day around the West.

Plenty can go wrong in this sprawling network. Rails buckle in heat and pull apart in cold; avalanches block tracks; wheels deform under too much stress; the components holding railcars together can fall out.

BNSF is able to catch these mishaps before they get serious, Garcia explained, by braiding its tracks with sensors and detectors, and analyzing the data they collect.

He described one type of problem that comes when a wheel’s brakes fail to release as a train starts to move. “You’re dragging that wheel on the rail, you’re creating friction…and you’re melting that wheel, you’re creating a flat spot, so that’s not good.”

Force detectors placed on a track watch for those flat spots as a train passes overhead. Thermal detectors can spot a hot wheel. “We’re able to use these detectors to find that, get those wheels off the car, get a new set on there, and send it on its way,” he said.

Garcia showed the audience a photo of a section of track flanked by a series of low metal boxes and cylinders, connected to a low metal shed. Detector sites like these, he explained, can conduct these tests and more as a train speeds through.

“Thousands of images are captured every time these trains pass,” he said. Sight and touch aren’t the machines’ only senses. Microphones listen to the wheels’ “tone” as they move; a bad note could mean a crack or other problem.

The trains themselves are also wired, he said, with sensors and computers watching for problems. Positive Train Control technology now installed uses GPS and electronic signals to guide locomotives.

And now the railway is taking to the sky. Garcia told the audience that last Saturday, BNSF conducted its first drone flight in Montana. The aircraft will fly two to three times a week, surveying two to three hundred miles of track on both sides of its base in Havre.

While the internet of things can gather far more data much faster than a person ever could, Garcia repeatedly stressed that the human element is indispensable. “When [the system] raises an alarm, we communicate that back, we say, ‘hey, we found an issue on this train’…and we send that to somebody who evaluates it” and determines the appropriate action.

“I know some folks worry that with machine learning and artificial intelligence, we’re all gonna be out of work…At least in our case, that’s not true.”

In the future, he predicted, the firm would need fewer humans to watch its tracks and more to keep an eye on its electronic systems. Coming back to the photo of the detector site, he said that “Now we have to go keep these things in top operating condition, so I believe there’ll be new work that comes with us rolling out this program.”

An audience member pressed Garcia on this topic during the question-and-answer session, prompting him to say that BNSF had programs to re-train its employees as drone pilots and other internet of things users. He also addressed matters ranging from the system’s safeguards against hackers to new dispatching software’s potential to reduce the time Amtrak passengers have to wait on sidings.

One guest voiced a concern held by many in the Flathead Valley: the risk of a train derailment spilling oil into the Flathead River. Pointing to a drop in derailment frequency across BNSF’s system – a trend also seen in Northwest Montana – Garcia said that thanks to these improvements, “we have a demonstrable reduction in derailments that are caused because of these mechanical failures…Our goal is to get it to zero.”

As electronic controls have sprung up along America’s railways, they haven’t always ensured safety. This past December’s fatal derailment of an Amtrak train south of Seattle took place on a line where positive train controls had been installed, but not activated.

Even so, John Smith, a technology program manager at Applied Materials, was excited by the technology being rolled out on Montana’s rails.

“I thought it was fascinating to hear what the railroad is doing with technology and how they’re using it to anticipate failures and improve efficiencies,” he told the Daily Inter Lake afterwards.

“You think of trains…as being low-tech, or just these big monsters that move a bunch of material around, and it’s very interesting to hear and see how high-tech they really are.”

SER strengthens Maintenance of Tracks and surpasses its Target of Track Renewal before year ends

South Eastern Railway has given highest priority to safety in train operations and track maintenance. For maintenance of track, sufficient block has been allowed over the jurisdiction of SER.  In the year 2017-18 up to the month of February 2018, sufficient hours of block have been granted which is 26% more than corresponding period of previous year (2016-17).

In the field of complete track renewal, SER is marching ahead of the target fixed by Railway Board. In the case of Complete Track Renewal, the proposed target for the period April 2017 to February 2018 was 452 track kilometre. This railway has completed track renewal of 506 kilometre, which is 54 track kilometre more than the proportionate target. SER has also surpassed the annual target of 480 track kilometre before the March ends.

The total expenditure on track renewal up to January 2018 of the current financial year has been Rs.380.45 crore as compared to Rs.266.73 crore up to January 2017 of last financial year i.e. an  increase of 42.63%.

Due to various steps taken in the recent past, the number of asset failure has reduced substantially during the period from April 2017 to February 2018. The cases of rail fracture were 77 in the year 2014-15 and 40 in the year 2016-17 and in the year 2017-18 up to the month of February the number is 26.

This railway has already removed 12 number Permanent Speed Restrictions from April 2017 to February 2018, which results in saving of running time of 20 minutes in case of mail/express trains.

This railway has adopted latest technology by providing GPS Tracker to the patrol men for track safety, in order to facilitate quick response in case of unsafe situation and proper monitoring of patrolling. All out plan has been taken for quality inspection and constant monitoring of track, thus improvements have been carried out in every sector.

Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) Mobile App is now available on IOS Platform

Suburban travelling for Iphone users becomes easier than ever. Indian Railways introduces UTS App for all IOS platform for modern and hassle free paperless travelling. The link to download the UTS App is https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/uts/id1357055366?mt=8.  The UTS Mobile App is easy to use for paperless travelling.

  • Sign-up or log-in on UTS app. Choose city as Mumbai. Now select your destination, type of ticket (local/season pass) and number of tickets.
  • Tickets for the new AC local trains can also be booked via the UTS app.
  • Use R-wallet for easy ticket booking.
  • Recharge R-wallet online on www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in or on any suburban ticket window.
  • Tickets booked via UTS app can be printed at Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or at ATVM kiosks

Railways makes arrangements for NTPC/Mouda to run upto Full Capacity in next fiscal

NTPC’s plant in Mouda is likely to run upto its full capacity in next financial year as arrangements are being made with coal companies and Railways.

“Next year, the target will be that our four units i.e 2 units x 500 MW and 2 units x 660 MW at Mouda will work to its fullest capacity,” said Raj Kumar, Group General Manager of NTPC Limited, Mouda while addressing a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. He said, presently, Mouda was getting 5 rakes against the requirement of 9 to 10 rakes to run to its fullest capacity.

“We are in talks with Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) and Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL) to meet the desired demand of coal,” he said. Presently, NTPC Limited, Mouda is receiving coal from Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) and South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL). On February, NTPC generated 907.0 million units where all the four units were operating.

“This year target was to have work on flue gas desulfurization gypsum (FGDG) to reduce sulphur. The desulfurising work will be done on all the units by 2022. We have to comply with the desulphurization. We have to reduce the cost of generation but that will depend from where we are bringing coal. If we improve efficiency, we will reduce the power generation cost,” he said.

He said, on March 12, from the Stage 1 two units i.e of the 1,000 MW, NTPC generated 755.52 MW while from the Stage 2 two units with installed capacity of 1320 MW, NTPC Mouda generated 455 MW. “It all depends upon the demand and supply theory and availability of coal too,” he said.

He said, for future generation safety point of view, the Western Region -1 has hired Du Pond from Mumbai as consultant to bring cultural change in the work. “We are very much hopeful that the initiative will bring desired results,” he claimed. The present requirement of the NTPC Limited, Mouda is 274 MLD. “Presently, we are lifting water from Gosikhurd dam. We have talked with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and they have agreed to supply 100 MLD.

NTPC had commissioned the second unit of 660 MW of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station Stage-II last year. With this, the commissioned capacity of Mouda Super Thermal Power Station, NTPC and NTPC Group has become 2,320 MW, 41,907 MW and 48,873 MW, respectively.

NTPC has a total installed capacity of 48,143 MW from its 19 coal-based, seven gas-based, 10 solar PV, one hydro and 9 subsidiaries/joint venture power stations. NTPC Mouda supply power to Maharashtra, Gujarat, Daman, Diu and Chhattisgarh. On the community development (CD), NTPC Mouda had spent Rs 12 crore and another Rs 6 crore is in pipeline totalling to Rs 18 crore against the targeted figure of Rs 15 crore.

Present were B Basu, GM (Project), Sanjay Seth, GM (Fuel Management), A K Mishra, GM (Maintenance), B SV Bhaskar, Assistant General Manager (Technical Services), A K Barlewar, Assistant General Manager (Environment Management), A Srinivas, Assistant General Manager (Finance), M V Sathe, Assistant General Manager (Maintenance Planning), Dr S K Soni, ACMO (Independent Charge), Dr Devaskar Tripathy, Assistant General Manager (Human Resource) and Smita Mishra Sumi, Senior Manager

Railways sets Track Renewal Target for 2018-19 at 3,900 Kms

The track renewal target has been set at 3,900 km for 2018-19, the government today informed Parliament, a day after a CAG report came down hard on the Railways for the poor condition of rail tracks.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that track renewal works are undertaken as and when a stretch of track becomes due for renewal as per the criteria laid down by railways.The track renewal target has been set at 3,900 km for 2018-19, he said.

The minister also provided zone wise renewal goals and the actual renewal carried out till now. In Central zone, while the target for renewal was 275 km, as of January 2018, actual renewal was 186 km. For South Central, zone while 147 km was the target, it achieved 154 km of renewal.

South Western railway achieved 146 km of track renewal against a target of 170. The Southern Railway achieved 241 km of renewal as against the 406 km of set target. Gohain also said that the Konkan Railway route track renewal works were not due. He also pointed out that the railways had incurred an expenditure of Rs 6,540 crore in the year 2017-2018 in track renewal, while the expenditure a year earlier was Rs 6,397.97 crore.

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