Indian Railways News

SCR main focus is Coach Cleanliness in all Passenger Trains: says GM/SCR

South Central Railways (SCR) General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav on Monday instructed officials to improve and ensure coach cleanliness for all trains and stations by means of continuous monitoring.

Yadav was speaking at a review meeting with Principal Heads of Departments at SCR Headquarters Rail Nilayam, Secunderabad. The Divisional Railway Managers (DRM) of six divisions, i.e. Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntakal, Guntur and Nanded, participated through video conference.

Yadav emphasised the need to accord high priority to coach cleanliness and to ensure passenger satisfaction by evolving effective mechanisms for round-the-clock cleanliness. He instructed officials to conduct frequent checks for maintaining cleanliness and formulate system improvement procedures to reach the prescribed standards.

He also advised the Divisional Railway Managers to prepare station re-development proposals for further action. The meeting held elaborate discussions on safety aspects and focused on the works related to elimination of level crossings, and track renewal works to be carried out to prevent untoward incidents.

Foundation Stone for Ujjain-Fatehabad Chandravtiganj Jn. Rail Line Broad Gauge conversion laid

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan laid the foundation stone for the Ujjain-Fatehabad Chandravtiganj broad gauge conversion and doubling of rail line at Gambhir Bridge works in Ujjain, on Saturday. The 22.96 km Ujjain-Fatehabad-Chandravatiganj meter gauge will be converted into broad gauge at a cost of Rs 104.82 crore. Similarly, the railway bridge between Ujjain-Nagda on the Gambhir river, which has a length of 440 meters, will be doubled at a cost of Rs 28.16 crore. Both works will be completed within a period of 18 months. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thavar Chand Gehlot were also present at the function held on platform number 8.

Piyush Goyal announced that the Mahakal Express would be started soon connecting Kashi Vishwanath or Somnath Jyotirling from Ujjain. He announced that Bilaspur to Bhagat Ki Kothi and Bikaner-Bilaspur trains will be given halt at Alot.  The Railway Minister also announced the stoppage of Ranthambor Express at Mahidpur Road and Indore-Bhopal Intercity Express in Kalpipal. The minister said the demand for the Indore-Pune Express stoppage in Khachrod will also be considered. He announced installation of 12 coaches instead of 8 in the train running between Ambedkar Nagar Mhow and Ratlam. He also announced the establishment of a reservation office at Agar-Malwa district and starting of the Bhind-Gwalior-Indore Ratlam train. He ordered to re-arrange the yard within a period of 15 months to ensure the movement of trains from Ujjain’s platform number 8. Due to gauge conversion, the connectivity of railways would be faster benefitting the area, he added.

Chief Minister Chouhan said the NDA government had increased the budget allocation for railway projects of Madhya Pradesh continuously after 2014. As a result, new rail lines, up-gradation of stations, doubling of gauge conversion and railway line have been done in a major way. He said that before the year 2014, in Madhya Pradesh, where only Rs 632 crore was spent every year, the current Union government had spent Rs 4206 crore in 2015, Rs 5376 crore in 2016 and Rs 6367 crore in 2017-18. Earlier Madhya Pradesh had been discriminated, urging the Railway Minister to approve the project of laying Ujjain-Agar-Susner-Jhalwar railway line.

Union Minister Gehlot said that after many years, proper and balanced development of the Railways is being carried out by the Central government throughout India. Historical sanctions are being given in Western Railway and modernization of stations had been completed, he said. Gehlot sought to lay the line on the Ujjain-Agar-Jhalawar road.

Rajya Sabha member Satyanarayan Jatiya said that the movement of passenger trains should be provided from Ujjain’s platform number 8. Giving information about the closure of narrow gauge years ago, he urged the Railway Minister to restore the rail service between Ujjain-Agar. Jatiya demanded to run Mahakal Express from Ujjain.

Member of Parliament Chintamani Malviya said due to the change in Ujjain-Fatehabad gauge, Ujjain would be connected directly to South and North. Direct trains can be moved from here to Secunderabad and Chennai. Malviya said that the Railway Minister is working on the Golden Quadrilateral Railway Project. He requested that the Bilaspur to Bhagat Ko Kothi train and Bikaner-Bilaspur train halt in Vikramgarh Alot. He also demanded to halt the Ranthambore Express at Mahipur and Indore-Pune stoppages at Khachrod.

Prior to it, welcome speech was given by Western Railway General Manager Anil Kumar Gupta. He said that the work of Ujjain-Fatehabad-Chandravatiganj gauge conversion will be completed by December-2019. After gauge conversion, there will be a short route to link Ujjain station to Mumbai and western India. At the same time, after completion of the final phase of gauge conversion of Ratlam-Khandwa large line, Ujjain will be directly connected with Bhusawal, Nagpur and Central India, he added. Energy minister Paras Jain, Shajapur-Aagar MP Manohar Untwal, Mayor Meena Jonwal, MLA Mohan Yadav, Dilip Singh Shekhawat, Satish Malviya, Anil Feroziya, Mukesh Pandya, Bahadur Singh Chauhan and Rajesh Sonkar were present at the foundation stone laying ceremony. CPRO (Mumbai) Nitin David conducted the proceedings while DRM RM Sunkar proposed a vote of thanks.

NBCC forays into the Redevelopment of Railway Stations

Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh today laid the foundation stone for Redevelopment of Gomti Nagar & Charbagh Railway Stations at Lucknow. The redevelopment project is being executed by NBCC (India) Ltd., a Navratna CPSE under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Govt. of India. NBCC has been entrusted with the Redevelopment of 10 Railway Stations across India. The other dignitaries who were present during the ceremony were Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Railway and Coal Minister and Dr. Anoop Kumar Mittal, CMD, NBCC.

The redevelopment of these Railway stations shall be carried out in phases and the estimated project cost of Phase 1 is approx. Rs 374 Cr and Rs 1206 Cr for Gomti Nagar and Charbagh respectively. NBCC shall be executing this project on a self-revenue generation model by commercial utilization of vacant railway land parcels.

NBCC which has wide experience in constructing and developing modern day infra will carry out the redevelopment of these railway stations on lines of Smart Development to enhance passenger amenities, create congestion-free station premises, seamless integration with other modes of transport and passenger friendly services; while incorporating Green Building and Energy efficient features.

“The redevelopment work related to the expansion & modernization of railway stations, beautification of railway premises and building world-class infrastructure, is in line with the government’s thrust to make railways as the preferred choice for travel; and NBCC is proud to be a partner of Ministry of Railways” said Dr. Anoop Kumar Mittal, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NBCC. “We will deploy the best of manpower and resources to mark this as an iconic structure in the Lucknow city”, he added.

The project includes features like integrated green field development, modern terminal building, segregated arrival and departure zone, passenger lounge areas, adequate concourse space, food courts, Budget Hotels (at Charbagh Railway Station), escalators, shopping facilities, lifts, Cloak room, etc.

The company is working towards transforming the landscape of cities and towns for the ultimate realization of the “New India” vision

Centre decided to make Raebareli Rail Coach Factory as the Biggest one in the World: Railway Minister

Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said on Sunday that Centre has decided to make Raebareli’s railway coach factory as the biggest one in the world.

“We have resolved to make Raebareli’s railway coach factory the largest factory in the world. The previous governments have hardly done anything for the development of the railways in Uttar Pradesh. We have begun the recruitment of 90,000 people for railways,” he said at an event held here on Sunday.

While flagging off redevelopment projects in Lucknow’s Gomti Nagar and Charbagh stations, he also said the current Railway ministry would oversee changes to the railway facilities on a scale that has not been done since Independence.

Accusing the previous government of partiality against the Uttar Pradesh and allocating a small amount for the railway projects in the state, Goyal said the current dispensation would give a sum of Rs 7,865 crore for such projects in the state.

“Our government is determined to ensure that all the railway stations in the country are clean, safe and have all kind of facilities. We have decided to put CCTV cameras in all trains and also provide WiFi facility,” said Goyal.

Railway Minister says Budget for UP increased from Rs.1,100 Crore to Rs.3,600 Crore this Year

Union minister Piyush Goyal said today the budget allotted for railways in Uttar Pradesh had been increased from Rs 1,100 crore last year to Rs 3,600 crore this year.

Goyal also announced several projects including re-development of Charbagh railway station, Lucknow Junction and Gomti Nagar stations , over bridge at Malhaur (in Lucknow) and development of passenger amenities at Alamnagar station, an official statement said.

“The budget outlay for Uttar Pradesh has been increased to Rs 3,600 crore as against Rs 1,100 crores in the previous year,” the minister said.

He added the total budget for the projects announced today alone will be Rs 3,600 crores.

The minister said he was very pleased with the cleanliness standards of Lucknow station. The standard now was better as compered to his previous visit, the minister said.

Goyal said that Indian Railways are working relentlessly on speed, safety, security and passenger amenities being provided over all the stations across the length and breadth of the country.

The Northern Railway in a statement said that as a major step towards strengthening the rail infrastructure and for betterment of passenger services, it is providing upgraded facilities especially focusing on the state capital and its neighbouring areas.

“The facilities that are being offered are: two escalators and a lift at Lucknow Station (NR), three lifts at Platform nmber 1, 2/3 and 4/5 at Lucknow Junction (North- Eastern Railway), over-bridge at Lucknow Jn.(NER), foot over bridge at Utraitia, electronic interlocking at Ajgain, Amausi & Harauni stations, renovated circulating area and new station building of station entry at Aishbagh station and dedication of heritage steam locomotive stabled at Lucknow station (NR),” it added.

Create a separate Commuter Railway Company to manage Mumbai’s Suburban Railway System: World Bank

The World Bank, which has financed a slew of railway projects in the city, wants the megapolis’ lifeline to be managed by a dedicated commuter railway company, a top official has said.

“What Mumbai needs is a very efficient, sustainable and India’s first commuter railway company,” said World Bank country director Junaid Ahmad, stressing on the need to create strong public institutions, rather than the ‘project-by-project’ approach currently adopted.

At present, the suburban train network handles over 6 million passengers a day. The services are operated by the state-run railways and are administered by Central Railway and Western Railway. The suburban traffic also contributes a large sum to the overall passenger earnings of the railways.

Ahmad said having dedicated commuter railway firm could have a lot of advantages, and suggested that it could be run by the state government. He added that the company will be an “agile institution” which will respond to market signals, raise money in the market and gives shares to its workers.

He said the company will be an “agile institution” which will respond to market signals, raise money in the market and gives shares to its workers. Ahmad warned that if such a company is not created, it will be difficult to respond to the massive technological changes happening right now and such changes “will pass” the institution.

The World Bank has been associated with the Mumbai railway since 2002 and is widely credited for funding of the airy and less energy consuming rail rakes through two projects.

Ahmad said it is necessary for other public and transport utilities as well to adopt the same approach, of moving to stronger institutions rather than have only projects. “The next challenge is to move from creating good investment opportunities, to actually create bankable institutions in which you can bring in not only private finance, pension funds and institutional resources, but you create an impeccable institution which will be agile. “As the world of technology changes, that institution has an incentive to adopt that technology,” he said.

Ahmad warned that if such a company is not created, it would be difficult to respond to the massive technological changes. “As the world of technology changes, that institution has an incentive to adopt that technology,” he said.

Railways Launches Digital Platform To Help Employees Share Good Work, Facilitate Its Replication

The Piyush Goyal-led Ministry of Railways has launched a digital platform to help its employees share their good work with their colleagues and encourage easy and fast replication of these good work by other units.

According to the Railways, over 600 ‘good works’ have already been shared by employees from different zones of the department.

“Employees are enthusiastically describing and sharing the initiatives taken by them in various areas of their work like safety improvement, cost reduction, operations improvement, maintenance improvement, improving customer experience, energy conservation & environment improvement, digital initiatives and human resource development,” the Railways has said in a statement.

Employees sharing good work on the portal are required to provide their name, mobile number and email id to enable the viewing employees to contact him or her to learn more about the practice and its implementation.

“This Portal provides an opportunity to field officers and staff to showcase their work which can be replicated across Indian Railways.  In times to come this Platform will act as an enabler to the Railway System and also give a lot of confidence and sense of pride in their work to the Railway workforce,” the Railways has said.

ECoR launch Drive to check incidents of theft of Coal from Goods Trains

The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has launched a drive to check incidents of theft of coal from goods trains in its jurisdiction by alerting its workforce and inteisifying patrolling. While the workforce have been alerted about the thriving coal theft, fequent patrolling, deputation of staff in sensitive areas have been made to check such illegal activities, a senior ECoR official said adding that special squads had also been formed to check coal smuggling.

Many such incidents have been occurring on the Bhadrak-Dhamara Port Private Rail Line under the control of the Dhamara Port, he said. The Divisional Railway Manager at Khurda Road along with the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner have taken up the matter previously with the Dhamra Port authorities and Bhadrak district police. The Railway Line from the Dhamara Port to Ranital is owned and operated by the Dhamara Port Corporation Limited and falls under the jurisdiction of the Bhadrak District Administration.

Repeated public complaints and media alerts are being received regarding theft of coal from coal loaded wagons during their run between the Dhamara Port and the Ranital station particularly near Junction Cabin near Ranital, an ECoR statement said. Video footage of the same incidents are also getting viral in social media. A group of criminals are committing theft of coal by utilising local villagers who are engaged to unload coal from the wagons of the running trains.

Since Railway Line is not within the jurisdiction of ECoR, Railway Protection Force (RPF) is unable to intervene directly. ECoR RPF authorities at Khurda Road Division are pursuing the matter with the police at Bhadrak, it said. Divisional Railway Manager/Khurda Road has once again written to the state police authorities to stop coal theft and clamp down strongly against the illegal activities,it said.

IRCTC to carry out inspections primarily between food preparation and food distribution on trains

The Catering Policy, 2017 was issued to provide pure and healthy food to passengers on trains. As per the new policy, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) was mandated to carry out the unbundling by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and food distribution on trains.

In order to upgrade the quality of food preparation, IRCTC is to set up new kitchens and upgrade the existing ones.

Further, detailed instructions and guidelines have been issued to the Zonal Railways for conducting joint inspections by the medical, commercial and concerned infrastructure maintenance departments to inspect each and every catering unit (mobile and static), including base kitchens or cell kitchens on all Railway divisions and zones.

Apart from this, regular and surprise inspections will be conducted by food safety officers (FSOs), designated officers (DOs) and joint food safety commissioners.

A joint team of ticket checking staff and Railway Protection Force (RPF)/Government Railway Police (GRP) staff also conduct surprise checks to prevent unauthorised vending on stations and trains.

The general managers of the Zonal Railways have been requested to monitor such drives personally. Food samples collected by FSOs are sent to the nominated accredited laboratories for testing and analysis, as stipulated by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

Penalties are imposed in cases of detection of unsatisfactory food samples and prosecutions are carried out as per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011.

This information was given by the Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways, Government of India, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

ECoR launch Drive to check incidents of theft of Coal from Goods Trains

: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has launched a drive to check incidents of theft of coal from goods trains in its jurisdiction by alerting its workforce and inteisifying patrolling. While the workforce have been alerted about the thriving coal theft, fequent patrolling, deputation of staff in sensitive areas have been made to check such illegal activities, a senior ECoR official said adding that special squads had also been formed to check coal smuggling.

Many such incidents have been occurring on the Bhadrak-Dhamara Port Private Rail Line under the control of the Dhamara Port, he said. The Divisional Railway Manager at Khurda Road along with the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner have taken up the matter previously with the Dhamra Port authorities and Bhadrak district police. The Railway Line from the Dhamara Port to Ranital is owned and operated by the Dhamara Port Corporation Limited and falls under the jurisdiction of the Bhadrak District Administration.

Repeated public complaints and media alerts are being received regarding theft of coal from coal loaded wagons during their run between the Dhamara Port and the Ranital station particularly near Junction Cabin near Ranital, an ECoR statement said. Video footage of the same incidents are also getting viral in social media. A group of criminals are committing theft of coal by utilising local villagers who are engaged to unload coal from the wagons of the running trains.

Since Railway Line is not within the jurisdiction of ECoR, Railway Protection Force (RPF) is unable to intervene directly. ECoR RPF authorities at Khurda Road Division are pursuing the matter with the police at Bhadrak, it said. Divisional Railway Manager/Khurda Road has once again written to the state police authorities to stop coal theft and clamp down strongly against the illegal activities,it said.