Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Indian Railways to E-Auction Assets for Commercial Earning, Non-Fare Revenue

In a boost for small entrepreneurs and start-ups, the railways has brought its commercial earning and non-fare revenue contracts online, with no financial turnover requirement for annual contracts of up to Rs. 40 lakh.

In line with the prevailing e-auction of scrap sale, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launched e-auction for commercial earning and non-fare revenue (NFR) contracts on Friday.

“This policy is in line with the vision of the prime minister to change the experience of the common man by the use of technology. With this new policy, the tedious process of tendering would get simplified. Also, it would give opportunities to youngsters to join the e-auction process. This policy enhances ease of living, promotes transparency and adds to Digital India initiatives in the railways,” Vaishnaw said.

In the e-auction process, a bidder from anywhere in the country needs to self-register once for participating in the auctions of any field unit of the Indian Railways through the portal. Bids can be placed remotely for the management rights of an asset after depositing the earnest money (EMD) electronically.

A successful bidder would be able to receive acceptance online and through e-mail in a very short span of time. Except the requirement of financial turnover, as such all the eligibility criteria have been removed.

“Further, the financial requirement has been relaxed to a great extent. There is no financial turnover requirement for annual contracts of up to Rs. 40 lakh,” the minister said.

A pilot for the project was launched in 11 divisions of nine railway zones. A total of 80 contracts of a combined value of Rs. 128 crore were finalised during the pilot launch.

During the pilot run, the Ahmedabad division had conducted an e-auction for two parking lots at Gandhidham Junction and Himmatnagar on June 4. For Gandhidham Junction (GIMB), 24 bids were received with the highest one being Rs 12.6 lakh (per annum), which is 38 per cent above the conventional bidding price.

For Himmatnagar (HMT), 26 bids were received with the highest one being Rs. 62,500 (per annum), which is 72 percent above the conventional bidding price.

The e-auction will be conducted online through the “E-Auction Leasing” module of IREPS —

On Duty Engine Driver Dies Of Cardiac Arrest In UP

The engine driver of the Pratapgarh-Kanpur Intercity Express died on Friday after suddenly falling ill on the train, a railway official said.

Harishchandra Sharma (46) of Parshurampur Chilbila was driving the train towards Kanpur when he suddenly developed a health problem near Kasimpur Halt, Gauriganj railway station superintendent Praveen Singh said.

The assistant pilot on board stopped the train and called an ambulance. Sharma was rushed to a nearby health centre, where the doctors declared him dead, Mr Singh said.

The doctors suspect Sharma suffered a cardiac arrest, he said.

The train departed from the location after the arrival of another loco pilot from Pratapgarh, Mr Singh said.

Fursatganj police station in-charge Manoj Kumar Sonkar said the body has been sent for a post-mortem examination.

Britain’s Biggest Rail Strike In Over 3 Decades: All You Need To Know

Britain’s railway network this week faces its biggest strike action in more than three decades, in a row over pay as soaring inflation erodes earnings.
Rail union the RMT has said that more than 50,000 workers will take part in a three-day national strike, coinciding with major events including the Glastonbury music festival.

Schools are warning that thousands of teenagers taking national exams will also be affected.

The RMT argues that the strikes are necessary as wages have failed to keep pace with inflation, which has hit a 40-year high.

Jobs are also at risk, with passenger traffic yet to fully recover after the lifting of coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

Countries around the world are being hit by decades-high inflation as the Ukraine war and the easing of Covid restrictions fuel energy and food price hikes.

The strikes are planned for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the biggest dispute on Britain’s railway network since 1989, according to the RMT.

The union has also announced a 24-hour walkout of its members on the Tube, London’s underground railway network, planned for Tuesday.

Rail operators, however, warn of disruption throughout the week — with lines not affected by strike action nevertheless reducing services.

“Talks have not progressed as far as I had hoped and so we must prepare for a needless national rail strike and the damaging impact it will have,” said Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, which looks after the country’s rail tracks.

“We, and our train operating colleagues, are gearing up to run the best service we can for passengers and freight users next week, despite the actions of the RMT.”

The strikes are likely to compound travel chaos in the aviation sector, after airlines were forced to cut flights due to staff shortages, causing long delays and frustration for passengers.

Thousands of workers were sacked in the aviation industry during the pandemic but the sector is now struggling to recruit workers as travel demand rebounds following the lifting of lockdowns.

War of words

The government and the RMT were engaged in a war of words over the weekend, after the union’s general-secretary Mick Lynch said strikes would go ahead as “no viable settlements” had been found to the disputes.

But Transport Secretary Grant Shapps accused union bosses of refusing to meet for further talks on Saturday and instead attending a protest march against the rising cost of living.

Shapps said the disruption would cause “misery” and force hospital patients to cancel appointments. And pupils sitting exams would face extra pressures through having to change their travel plans.

“By carrying out this action, the RMT is punishing millions of innocent people, instead of calmly discussing the sensible and necessary reforms we need to make in order to protect our rail network,” he added.

Treasury minister Simon Clarke told Sky News on Monday, “We absolutely need to have an understanding across the wider public sector that we cannot have inflation-busting pay increases” as it will cause further price rises.

Modernising the rail network was necessary, as travel use changes, including after the pandemic, he said.

But Lynch accused Shapps of fabrication, insisting talks with train operating companies had broken up without agreement last Thursday night and no further negotiations had been scheduled.

Contrary to government claims, no pay offer had been made and the union had received no response to its push for a pay increase of 7.1 percent in December, in line with inflation at the time, he said.

“If there’s not a settlement, we will continue our campaign,” Lynch told Sky News on Sunday, predicting more strikes as other transport unions balloted their members.

The RMT was not looking for special treatment but a deal was needed as members had not had a pay rise for several years, he added.

“If we don’t play our hand, thousands of our members will lose their jobs” and safety on the network would be compromised, he said.

The government was being “just as ruthless as P&O but they haven’t got agency workers to step in”, he added, referring to the mass sacking of staff at the ferry operator earlier this year.

British Railway Network To Face Biggest Strike In 3 Decades

Britain’s railway network faces its biggest strike action in more than three decades later this month in a row over pay as inflation erodes earnings, a union has announced.
Rail union RMT said more than 50,000 workers will take part in a three-day national strike coinciding with major events including the Glastonbury music festival, an Elton John concert and an England cricket match.

“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze,” RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said in a statement announcing the planned strikes late Tuesday.

“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.”

Countries around the world are being hit by decades-high inflation as the Ukraine war and the lifting of Covid lockdowns fuel energy and food prices.

Britain’s annual inflation rate has surged to a 40-year high at nine percent.

The strikes are planned for June 21, 23 and 25, the biggest dispute on Britain’s railway network since 1989, according to the RMT.

Lynch said the union “is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers”, whom he urged “to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps described the move as “incredibly disappointing”.

The RMT announced also a further 24-hour walkout of its members on the Tube, London’s underground railway network, planned for June 21.

The British capital was hit by a Tube strike on Monday, while the country faces further travel disruptions as UK airlines are cancelling flights on a daily basis owing to a lack of staff.

The aviation industry, which sacked thousands of staff as planes were grounded during the pandemic, is now struggling to recruit workers as travel demand rebounds following the lifting of lockdowns.

Viral LinkedIn Post On Bihar Railway Platform ‘Study Group’ Inspires Many

 railway station filled with young men with books. They squat here for hours, studying, chasing government jobs as their ticket to success. For the station gives them what they don’t get at home: round-the-clock electricity and lamp posts with working lights.

This story from Sasaram station in Bihar — though only partly true — has gone viral again after a corporate executive, Hari Singh Shekhawat, posted it with a photograph on LinkedIn, a social network for professionals. Some months ago, IAS officer Awanish Sharan had posted the same story as a Twitter thread that had caught the imagination of lakhs on the internet.

The post said, “For two hours every morning and evening, both the platforms 1 and 2 of the railway station turn into a coaching class for young people who are aspirants for the Civil Services.”

“Mostly, the boys are from Rohtas, the district in Bihar that is hit by Left-wing insurgency. In many villages, either there is no power or the electricity is only intermittent,” it further read.

After the tweet went viral, The Indian Express last year found that these study groups existed in some form since 2002 but had ceased to exist now. Railways officials acknowledged that aspirants studied here in groups, but they differed on the numbers and scale. One officer even said that the photo going viral was not specifically of those groups but of students headed out for an exam and waiting for a train.

Students and locals said the number of students had swelled to a thousand at one point. Some local men who had got jobs in government departments credited the platforms for their success; some would travel 20 kilometres to reach the station at night. A local resident cited a 2018 protest by the aspirants – reportedly over a delay in holding railway job exams – as the reason why they were no longer allowed to study here.

Despite some caveats in the story, Hari Singh Shekhawat’s LinkedIn post has led to a flurry of comments. Posted four days ago, it had nearly 11,000 reactions by June 7. While many are drawing inspiration from the men’s struggle, others are seeking to make larger points.

One user commented, “And it’s only boys! Shows how much the girls are left behind in rural India. When boys at least have a dream or an opportunity, girls are not even in the picture.”

Another said it was “awesome and inspiring”, adding, “I saw such study centre in heart of Mumbai in Colaba too.”

Comments“Glorifying desperation and failing our younger generation,” was how a LinkedIn user saw it, and there were some who claimed the “old” photo was “a ploy to defame Bihar”.

Jupiter Wagons Enters Electric Mobility Market in Collaboration With EA GreenPower

Jupiter Wagons Limited, manufacturer of wagons, high-speed brake systems, and railway and engineering equipment, is entering the electric mobility market with the launch of ‘Jupiter Electric Mobility’ (JEM) focusing on commercial EV vehicles, a statement said on Wednesday.

The company has formed a joint venture with EA GreenPower Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GreenPower Motor Company, a publicly listed company in the United States and Canada specialising in ECVs (electric commercial vehicles) in the passenger transportation and freight transport markets.

The joint venture will mark GreenPower Motor’s entry into India, focus on ECVs for Indian and other markets, and launch products in the passenger transit and cargo market in the next two years. They also intend to shift their manufacturing hub to India from China and export from there to the global markets, the statement added.

According to a report from consulting firm RBSA Advisors, the electric vehicle market in India appears to be picking up steam, with a CAGR of 90 percent expected between 2021 and 2030.

JEM will work with GreenPower Motor to undertake end-to-end production in India and establish service facilities in key markets to expand to after-sales requirements for a seamless customer experience.

Meanwhile, tech-enabled third-party logistics service provider Zyngo on Tuesday said it will deploy over 18,000 electric vehicles for last-mile delivery in the country as part of its fleet augmentation plans.

These delivery vehicles, which are to be deployed pan-India by this fiscal-end, are being leased/sourced by the company from various domestic original equipment makers (OEMs), Zyngo EV Mobility said in a statement.

Zyngo has been catering to several major e-grocery and e-commerce platforms with its fleet spread across Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Chandigarh.