Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Bullet Train Project To Be Completed By 2023, Says Piyush Goyal

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR), also known as Bullet Train Project will be completed by 2023, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Rajya Sabha today.

In a written reply, Piyush Goyal said that the bullet train project that spans across 508 kilometres, has been sanctioned by the Government.

“This project is being executed by a special purpose vehicle namely National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), with the financial and technical assistance from the Government of Japan. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs. 1,08,000 crore,” he said.

So far, the expenditure of Rs. 3226.8 crore has been incurred on the project up to June 2019, he said in his statement.

Asked when the government will expand the bullet train network all over the country, Mr Goyal said, “Bullet Train or High-Speed Rail Projects are highly capital and technology-intensive, and therefore, their proposals for other sections are subject to technical feasibility, financial and economic viability and availability of funding”.

Three Murders Within 24 Hours In Cuttack, Special Team To Trace Killers

A special police team has been formed to identify and trace the killers in the wake of three murders in the city since Tuesday, an officer said. Two police inspectors and 11 constables are in the team, senior police official Akhileswar Singh said today.

The first body was recovered from Ranihat Bridge on Tuesday morning. Two bodies, one from near SCB Medical College and another from neighbouring OMP market, were recovered on Wednesday morning.

The throats of all the three bodies were slit and their heads were found to be smashed with a heavy object, he said.

The mutilated bodies and untraced killers have sparked rumours of the involvement of a suspected ”stoneman” behind the murders.

The police has stepped up night patrolling and the homeless are being told to sleep at shelter homes, Mr Singh said.

The Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissionerate Police also plans to take several steps to help prevent more such murders.

The Government Railway Police (GRP) has been alerted to remain vigilant as many sleep in the open in station areas.

On June 28, two persons were found to have been killed in the same manner in Paradip, near

Nine persons were killed by a suspected ”stoneman” in Berhampur in 1998.


6.83 Lakh Vacancies In Central Government, Hiring Underway For 3.89 Lakh: Minister

The government on Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that there has been a reduction in number of vacancies in various departments of the central government. Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh said filling up of vacancies in the government was a continuous process and efforts were being made to reduce them further. “The government is already working in this direction. If you go by the vacancy figures, the percentage of the vacancy strength has been constantly reducing over the past five to six years.

“When this government came in, in the year 2013-14, ending March 31, 2014 before the government took over, the vacancy percentage was 16.2 per cent. The successive year it is 11.57 per cent. Then in 2015-16 it is 11.52 per cent, then in 2016-17 it is 11.36 per cent. In fact, the record is better in the central government than many of the states,” he said.


Mr Singh said the record in the central government was far better than Karnataka where he said it had gone down from 27.3 per cent in 2014-15 to 32.56 per cent in 2018-19.

He also informed the House that steps to fill up almost 4 lakh vacancies in central government departments was underway and would be filled up by 2020.

The minister also pointed out that the Congress had claimed in its manifesto for the recent Lok Sabha polls that it will fill up the 4 lakh vacancies in the central government departments and the PSUs.


But, he said, the party did not mention that the process for filling up the vacancies had already started during the last NDA regime.

Mr Singh said there is a total vacancy of 6,83,823 in all departments of central government, out of which almost half 3,89,069, almost 4 lakh, were already in the process of being filled up in the beginning of the year.

“All of 4 lakh vacancies in central government and PSUs, judiciary and Parliament will be filled up before March 2020.


But the catch is that the process of filling the vacancies had already been in the process. So we are already pro-active in filling up of vacancies,” the minister said.

In his written reply, the minister said vacancies in Central Government Ministries/Departments, their attached and subordinate offices arise due to retirement, resignation, voluntary retirement, promotion, transfer, transfer on deputation, termination of service, dismissal from service, death etc.


Based on the vacancies reported by the user Departments, the SSC has started recruitment process to fill up 1,05,338 posts during the year 2019 and 2020, the minister said.

“During 2017-18, the Centralised Employment Notifications (CENs) for 1,27,573 combined vacancies of various Group C and Level-1 posts were notified by the Ministry of Railways  For new and future vacancies to arise in two years’ time, another five CENs covering 1,56,138 vacancies of various Group C and Level-1 posts have been issued in 2018-19.


“Thus, recruitment process to fill up 3,89,069 vacancies has already started,” the minister said.

To reduce the recruitment cycle, some recruiting agencies have switched over to computer based on-line test and interview for non-gazetted posts has been discontinued, he said in a written reply.

The minister also said provisional appointment is being made pending verification of antecedents of the candidates.

Garib Rath Train Restored On Two Routes, Says Railways

The Railway Ministry on Friday rolled back its decision to replace services of Garib Rath in Kathgodam-Jammu and Kathgodam-Kanpur route by mail or express trains, and the services of the low-cost no-frills AC train will be resumed from August 4, officials said.

It said due to temporary shortage of coaches on Northern Railway, two pairs of weekly trains of Garib Rath service were temporarily operated as express services.

“Services of Train no. 12207/08 Garibrath Express between Kathgodam and Jammu Tawi and Train no. 12209/10 Garibrath Express between Kanpur and Kathgodam restored with effect from August 4, 2019,” the rail ministry tweeted following protests over discontinuation of the two trains recently.

An official from the ministry said no plans are underway to replace the Garib Rath trains, 26 of which are operational across the country.

The initiation of Mail or Express trains in the said route also means that train fare would go up passengers. For example, a Delhi-Bandra Garib Rath ticket that was priced at Rs. 1,050 will cost Rs. 1,500 – Rs. 1,600 in case of Express trains.

Garib Rath — touted to be poor man’s no frills AC three-tier train — was planned to be phased out by the national transporter and replace those with express trains with higher fares.

The train was started in 2006 by then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and the target was middle and lower income classes. The first ”Garib Rath” was flagged off from Bihar”s Saharsa to Amritsar in Punjab.

However, the manufacture of new coaches for the train has already been stopped putting a question mark on their continuance as the present coaches are 10-14 years old and require heavy maintenance for which railways have to incur heavy cost.

Indian Railway To Begin RRB Paramedical Exam Tomorrow; 62 Per Cent Applicants Female

Touting it the largest recruitment drive for Paramedical staff by the carrier, Indian Railway will begin the computer-based test (CBT) for recruitment of paramedical staff tomorrow. The RRB Paramedical examination will be conducted in three shifts over three days – July 19, July 20, and July 21. As per a release by Indian railways, more than 4.39 lakh candidates have applied for 1923 posts that were advertised by Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) in march this year.

The Test will be held in 345 Test Centres in 107 towns/cities across the country. The marks of the candidates will be normalized since the exam will be conducted in nine different shifts.

As per the data released by the National Carrier, 62 per cent of the total applicants are female. Also, more than 50 per cent candidates will be appearing for the exam for Staff Nurse post. There are also 28 number of Transgender (TG) candidates in the fray.

The largest number of candidates who have applied for this recruitment are from Uttar Pradesh (64,596 applicants) followed by Rajasthan (62,772 applicants), Maharashtra (38,097 applicants), and Kerala (35,496 applicants).

This is also the first recruitment by Indian Railways in which reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) will be available to eligible candidates. Against 10 per cent of the total vacancies earmarked for EWS candidates, 4,654 EWS candidates will be appearing in the Tests.

The examination will be conducted in 15 different languages including English and Hindi. A candidate will be able to view the questions in English and in the language they have opted as the medium of test.

Looking To Book A Train Ticket? IRCTC Reservation Rules Explained Here

IRCTC, the e-ticketing arm of Indian Railways, allows an individual to book a maximum of six tickets in a calendar month under certain circumstances from its official website/app. A maximum of six berths/seats can be booked at a time for a specified journey between any two stations served by the train subject to distance restrictions in force, according to IRCTC’s website. In case of Tatkal tickets, tickets are booked against extra payment of premium charges as per extant railway rules.
Here are 10 things to know about IRCTC’s online reservation:
  1.  Passengers can book a ticket up to 120 days in advance for all classes and trains. However, in  case of some intercity day trains, the ARP (Advance Reservation Period) is less than 60 days.
  2. One must be a registered user to IRCTC’s website/app to book tickets and for any type of enquiries. No user can register more than once on the site.
  3. Online booking of train tickets are allowed from 00:20 am to 11:45 pm (Indian Standard Time) on all days including Sundays, according to IRCTC.
  4. All payments towards the cost of the tickets issued should be done through one of the payment mode provided on the payment page, according to IRCTC.
  5. For Tatkal booking, opening day means one day in advance from date of departure of train from originating station. For e.g.-if train is to depart from originating station on August 2, Tatkal booking will commence at 10.00 AM on August 1.
  6. Bookings can be done against General (GN), Senior Citizen (SS), Ladies (LD) and Tatkal (TQ) quota berths/seats only.
  7. Under Tatkal quota, berths/seats are earmarked in all-important trains in different classes except First Class Air-conditioned (1A) class.
  8. Ladies Quota (LD) is generally earmarked in sleeper class (SL) and second sitting (2S).
  9. Auto upgradation is available to the next higher class on optional basis, as per railway rules.
  10. Cancellation of e-tickets can be done by passengers only before chart preparation of the train. After chart preparation, passengers can use the online TDR (ticket deposit receipt) filing facility and track the status of refund.

Railways To Go Green, Offer 4 Lakh Additional Berths Per Day By October

More than four lakh additional berths will be available to railway passengers every day from October, thanks to a new technology that will allow power generation cars to be replaced with sleeper coaches, senior officials said Wednesday.

Currently, most trains have power cars housing diesel generators, which supply electricity to coaches for various purposes including lighting, fans and air conditioning.

Indian Railways now plans to introduce a new technology, known as “Head on Generation” (HOG) where power supply is tapped from overhead power lines and distributed to train coaches. “Head on Generation” is already in use worldwide. Currently, the power tapped from overhead tension wires through an equipment known as pantograph is used only to run the engines.

Officials say by October this year, over 5,000 coaches of the Indian Railways will be modified to run on the new technology so that they will be able to accept power coming from the overhead cables via the engines.

This will not only enable trains to shed their power cars and make way for more coaches but also save the national transporter more Rs. 6,000 crore in fuel bills annually, officials said.

A power car needs 40 litres of diesel per hour per non-AC coach while an AC coach needs 65-70 litres of diesel per hour. Around three units of electricity is provided by one litre of diesel, so a non-AC coach uses around 120 units of electricity per hour.

The new system, which is ecofriendly, with no air or noise pollution will reduce carbon emissions by 700 MT per year per train, officials said.

“In regular practice, two power cars equipped with Diesel Alternator sets are placed at either ends of the rake run in for example every Shatabdi Express. After we move to the HOG system, there will be a need of only one power car for standby purpose only.

“Another power car can be removed and replaced with an extra passenger coach without increasing the train length. Once all Linke Hoffman Busch coaches are on this system, we have calculated an increase of more than four lakh berths every day through this and thus additional revenue as well,” the official said.

“No Proposal To Privatise Railways,” Piyush Goyal Informs Lok Sabha

There is no proposal to privatise Indian Railways, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

The response of the Railway to a question on privatisation came against the backdrop of a proposal of the national transporter to give two trains to private operators.

In a written reply, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said “no specific passenger train has been identified to be run by private payers so far.”

However, sources have said that Railways have identified New Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express, but no official announcement has been made.

Responding to a supplementary, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said further studies on the issue are on and trials will be held in the coming days.

In his written response, Mr Goyal said, “…there is no proposal to privatise Indian Railways”.

He was asked whether he is aware that a report submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018 had highlighted challenges presented by largescale privatisation to protection of human rights.

In a separate written reply, Goyal said that as on April 1 this year, there were 189 new lines projects totalling 21,443 kilometres in various stages of planning/ approval/ execution, which will connect areas not covered so far under railway network.

“Launching of new railway projects to cater to the increasing passenger footfall and to connect areas not covered so far under railway network is a need-based ongoing process subject to commercial justification, operational requirement, technical feasibility and resource availability,” he said.

Railways A “Unifying Force”, Says Nitish Kumar, Opposes Its Privatisation

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called the Railways a unifying force and has opposed any move to privatise it.

“Anyone can see the record to find out which is the one big unifying force which has kept the country united and the answer will always be Railways. Today a north Indian or people from the North-eastern states can go to the south, and how it’s possible? It is because of the Railways, which is the lifeline,” he said.

Indian Railways, the largest rail network in the world, has been owned by the government since its inception by the British in 1853.

Over the last years, following huge losses, the government has initiated several efforts to reverse the tide.

Last year, railways minister Piyush Goyal, who is handling the portfolio in the second term of the Narendra Modi government, said his focus was to increase the capacity of railways though enhanced signalling and adding more lines, along with cost-cutting in the loss-making passenger sector.

The railways’ revenue comes from the freight section, but much of it is lost in subsidies in the passenger sector.

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week proposed public-private partnerships in Railways to build more tracks and increase connectivity across the country.

After the budget speech, Mr Kumar had cautioned that the proposal for raising funds for railway projects through public-private partnership model “should not send across the message that the railways is being privatized”

Mumbai Local Train Services To Be Affected Due To Maintenance Works

The Central Railway division of the Indian Railways on Sunday will block a large number of routes on its suburban sections for carrying out the maintenance work.

Trains departing from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) will be diverted on the line between Matunga and Mulund stations.

An official press note said that all fast and semi-fast trains departing from the CST between 9.53 am and 2.42 pm will be diverted on Dn slow line between Matunga and Mulund stations.

These trains will halt at all stations between Sion and Mulund stations and are likely to reach their destination 20 minutes late as against their scheduled arrival time.

“Dn fast trains beyond Thane will be re-diverted on Dn fast line from Mulund,” the official statement further read.

“All Up fast and semi-fast services leaving Thane from 10.46 am to 3.18 pm will halt at Mulund, Bhandup, Vikhroli, Ghatkopar, and Kurla stations in addition to their respective scheduled halts and will arrive destination 15 minutes behind schedule,” added the statement.

All slow trains functional in CST between 11 am and 5 pm will arrive at their destination 15 minutes after their scheduled arrival.

“Dn Harbour line services to Vashi/Belapur/Panvel leaving Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus from 10.34 am to 3.44 pm and Up Harbour line services towards CST leaving Panvel/Belapur/Vashi from 10.21 am to 3.47 pm and will remain cancelled,” said the statement.

However, special local trains between Panel-Mankhurd will not be affected during the block period.

Passengers that were to travel through Harbour line have been permitted to travel through the Trans Harbour line or the mainline between 10.00 am and 4.30 pm.

The Central Railways has also issued a warning: “Due to these blocks, suburban trains are likely to be more crowded than usual. Passengers are requested not to take any risks while travelling.”

“Passengers are also requested to avoid travelling on the footboard, the rooftop of locals and not to board extremely overcrowded trains.”

A similar mega block was operated by the central block on June 16, which had also affected the movement of several trains