Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Now you can order McDonald’s burger, Domino’s pizza on Rajdhani, Shatabdi – Know how!

In case you are bored of meals offered on board in Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains, here is something that will make your day. The Indian Railways has come up with a service which allows travelers to prebook meals from their favorite pizza or burgers chains.

 From today onwards the service will be available on Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains.

The Indian Railways has tied up with food chains such as Domino’s, KFC, McDonald’s and Sagar Ratna, among others.

As per reports, the meals can be booked online, on call or SMS. The food can be ordered online through website www.ecatering.irctc.co.in.

The order will be delivered to the customers inside the time of train’s halt at any specified station and the food aggregator will be responsible for the delivery.

Ordering Meal

Online

  • Click on www.ecatering.irctc.co.in.
  • Enter PNR number or station where the food should be delivered
  • Select food operator, choose from menu and place order
  • OTP received to be verified during delivery

Phone Call

  • Place order on number ‘1323’ and verify through OTP received vis SMS
  • On delivery pay through cash

SMS

  • Text ‘MEAL’, and then type PNR number to 139
  • Place your order
  • Verify through OTP
  • Pay through cash on delivery

More Humsafar Trains Soon With Fridge, Display Screens, More Facilities

Indian Railways’ new Humsafar trains will come with USB charging points, baby nappy changing pads and information display screens. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday inspected a new rake of Humsafar Express with additional features at Delhi Safdarjung Railway Station. First announced in Rail Budget 2016-17, Humsafar Express trains will be a fully air-conditioned third AC train service with an optional service for meals. Besides the nappy changing pads in two toilets per coach, Humsafar Express will also come fitted with CCTV surveillance systems. Humsafar Express was one of the four new train projects announced in 2016, along with Uday Express, Tejas Express and Antyodaya Express.

Here are 10 things to know on the Humsafar Express:

The cost of a Humsafar AC 3 Tier coach is estimated at Rs. 2.58 crore, as against Rs.2.39 crore for a normal LHB AC 3 Tier coach.

The new rake inspected by Mr Prabhu on Wednesday included many features in additional to those planned for the Humsafar Express. The new rake came with a single piece side lower berth, instead of a two-piece model previously. “Humsafar trains were already good, but we wanted to further improve the design for better passenger experience,” Mr Prabhu said on Wednesday.

The new coaches had a mobile charging point for each berth including USB charging points. Earlier, there were three chargers for eight passengers.

Each berth was provided with reading light, in contrast to only the lower berths previously.

Among some of the other features given in the new coaches were a convenient upper berth climbing arrangement, display monitor screens for the CCTV installed in the coach, and dustbins in each bay inside the coach.

In addition to these, according to a press release by the Ministry of Railways, all the existing features of Humsafar Express coaches will continue to be available.

Some of the features planned for the Humsafar Express include an anti-graffiti coating and distinctive 3D numbering on the exterior, colourfully coordinated seats, berths, partitions, curtains, improved/hygienic toilets and film type mirrors, deodorizers, dustbins and sleek bottle holders in the cabins.

Besides, the Humsafar Express coaches will also come with CCTV surveillance cameras in the common areas of coaches, integrated braille displays, hygienic lavatories with odour flushing systems, GPS-based passenger information systems, passenger announcement systems, fire and smoke detection systems, auto vending machine and mini pantries with ovens/fridges.

A total of 11 Humsafar trains have been announced by the railways ministry in the new time table, of which six are running with a composition of 16 AC 3 Tier coaches and 2 power cars, the press release noted.

The railway minister is scheduled to flag off two Humsafar Express trains – Tirupati-Jammu Tawi (train No. 22705/22706) and Howrah-Vijayawada (20889/20890) from Vijayawada on Thursday. The remaining Humsafar trains will also be introduced in due course, the ministry said. Indian Railways plans to manufacture 10 Humsafar rakes in the current financial year at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala.

 

This Is What 40,000 Railway Coaches You Travel In Will Look Like

To enhance passenger experience, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched a mega project to overhaul nearly 40,000 old coaches. Under its “Mission Retro-Fitment” project, the Indian Railways will equip the coaches with better interiors, safety features and amenities including LED lights, anti-graffiti paint coats, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and smoke alarm systems. Besides new safety features, “Mission Retrofitment is an endeavour to provide better travel experience as the interiors of the coaches would be refurbished,” the minister said.

Here are 10 things to know about Mission Retro-Fitment:

1) Indian Railways plans to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23, the transporter in a press release.

2) The programme includes refurbishing of coaches which includes upgradation with improved interiors. The approximate cost for this task is estimated at Rs. 30 lakh per coach.

3) The railways said 57 coaches have already been refurbished by Coach Rehabilitation Workshop, Bhopal and the refurbished coaches are running in Varanasi-New Delhi Mahamana Express since 22 January, 2016.

4) Besides fitment of panels without visible screws, LED lights, modular toilets with concealed plumbing, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and anti-graffiti coating, the refurbishing task would include enhanced safety features such as fire and smoke detection system (in newly manufactured AC coaches), double acting compartment doors (in AC coaches) and rounded edges at most locations for injury-free.

5) The refurbished coaches will also have bio toilets, passenger address/information systems, braille signage, ergonomic design and an increased number of mobile and laptop charging points, the railways said.

6) The Indian Railways plans to use better materials for the task, such as polycarbonate ABS, advanced composites, glass fibre reinforced plastic and stainless steel, among other features.

7) Indian Railways envisions improved passenger experience with its overhauling project.

8) “By 2020, Indian Railways would provide a new travel experience to the passenger over Indian Railways. This mission is challenging as it will be carried out without affecting the traffic operation,” Mr Prabhu added.

9) In addition, for retro-fitment of Centre Buffer Coupler (CBC) with balanced draft gear, the transporter has estimated an approximate cost of Rs. 28 lakh per coach.

10) This task includes stripping of the lavatories and doorway area, gas cutting the end wall stanchions, headstock assembly and trough floor, fabrication of the head stock compatible with CBC, tack welding of the new head stock with the stanchions pillars and sole bar, inspection of the critical weld joints, painting with high performance anti-corrosive epoxy coating, replacement of sole bars as well as cleaning and painting.

Railways to Launch Overnight Service for Business Travellers

The Railways will soon launch an overnight double-decker train service equipped with modern facilities to attract business travellers.

The public transporter is looking to connect metropolitan centres through the new service, Uday Express, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said today at the ‘Smart Railway Conclave’ here.

We will be launching Uday Express for business travellers who would start in the night and reach in the morning so that they can save on hotel cost,” Prabhu said, adding that it will have improved amenities.

Currently railways has undertaken a large number of projects to provide better onboard amenities for passengers.

“We are moving ahead with a holistic strategy and we are doing it in a most challenging situation. Whether it is catering, booking tickets, cleaning of coaches, all these are happening in a smart way in the railways,” he said.

He said railways has suffered from under investment and lack of capacity expansion in the past.

 “The expansion was not commensurate to the demand. Goods were moving away from the railways. There was a huge gap in demand and supply. So we decided to come out with a holistic strategy to deal with it. We tried to implement projects involving laying new lines, electrification on a faster pace,” he said.

He said the challenge now is to make better use of latest technology. “Technology was always been there but now the scale has multiplied now. Use of right technology is the game changer.”

The Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) which was languishing for years was made to progress rapidly and it is expected to be operational by 2019, he said.

Highlighting the importance of investment in the rail sector, Prabhu said “Every rupee invested in railways has six time multiplying effect on economic and job creation sector.”

A huge capital expenditure of Rs 8.56 lakh crore was planned out for five years out of which more than Rs 3 lakh crore is being spent now, he said.

New Interior, Powered Blinds…40,000 Old Train Coaches To Get New Features

To enhance passenger experience, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has launched a mega project to overhaul nearly 40,000 old coaches. Under its “Mission Retro-Fitment” project, the Indian Railways will equip the coaches with better interiors, safety features and amenities including LED lights, anti-graffiti paint coats, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and smoke alarm systems. Besides new safety features, “Mission Retrofitment is an endeavour to provide better travel experience as the interiors of the coaches would be refurbished,” the minister said.

Here are 10 things to know about Mission Retro-Fitment:

1) Indian Railways plans to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23, the transporter in a press release.

2) The programme includes refurbishing of coaches which includes upgradation with improved interiors. The approximate cost for this task is estimated at Rs. 30 lakh per coach.

 3) The railways said 57 coaches have already been refurbished by Coach Rehabilitation Workshop, Bhopal and the refurbished coaches are running in Varanasi-New Delhi Mahamana Express since 22 January, 2016.

4) Besides fitment of panels without visible screws, LED lights, modular toilets with concealed plumbing, branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds and anti-graffiti coating, the refurbishing task would include enhanced safety features such as fire and smoke detection system (in newly manufactured AC coaches), double acting compartment doors (in AC coaches) and rounded edges at most locations for injury-free.

5) The refurbished coaches will also have bio toilets, passenger address/information systems, braille signage, ergonomic design and an increased number of mobile and laptop charging points, the railways said.

6) The Indian Railways plans to use better materials for the task, such as polycarbonate ABS, advanced composites, glass fibre reinforced plastic and stainless steel, among other features.

7) Indian Railways envisions improved passenger experience with its overhauling project.

8) “By 2020, Indian Railways would provide a new travel experience to the passenger over Indian Railways. This mission is challenging as it will be carried out without affecting the traffic operation,” Mr Prabhu added.

9) In addition, for retro-fitment of Centre Buffer Coupler (CBC) with balanced draft gear, the transporter has estimated an approximate cost of Rs. 28 lakh per coach.

10) This task includes stripping of the lavatories and doorway area, gas cutting the end wall stanchions, headstock assembly and trough floor, fabrication of the head stock compatible with CBC, tack welding of the new head stock with the stanchions pillars and sole bar, inspection of the critical weld joints, painting with high performance anti-corrosive epoxy coating, replacement of sole bars as well as cleaning and painting.

Several Killed As Speeding Bus Hits Train In Benin

Several people were killed when a train operated by a subsidiary of French industrial group Bollore in Benin collided with a speeding bus, authorities said on Wednesday.

The Benirail train was travelling on the railway that runs from the capital Cotonou to the northern city of Parakou when it collided with the bus, which was exceeding the speed limit, early on Tuesday morning, Ramani Kassoumou, a senior official at the National Centre for Railway Security (CNSR), told Reuters.

Interior Minister Sacca Lafia said the accident caused “several deaths” but did not offer specifics. Hospital sources in the city of Save near where the accident occurred said at least four people had died and another 30 were injured.

Bollore is the operator and largest stakeholder in Benirail, with the remaining stake held by the Benin and Niger governments and other private investors. A Bollore spokesman in Benin could not be immediately reached for comment.

At least 79 people were killed in a crash in Cameroon last October on a train operated by Camrail, also a Bollore unit.

Bollore declined to comment on the report at the time.

Mumbai to get first AC local train in September this year

Air-conditioned local trains will start plying on the suburban sections of Mumbai from September this year.

“The trial runs are underway and if everything goes as per our plan, which is most likely, then the commercial operations of this silver-blue coloured AC local would start from September this year,” said member, rolling stock of the Railway Board, Ravindra Gupta.

Gupta was interacting with the mediapersons from Mumbai at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi.

“We will be procuring nine more AC rakes taking the total to 10. They would be plying on both Central and Western Railway corridors,” said A K Mittal, chairman, Railway Board.

 The AC local had arrived in Mumbai on April 4, 2016. Initially, the trial runs were conducted on central railways but due to the height of electrical overheads and other issues, it was shifted to western railway last month.

 

Railways has, however, not fixed the fare structure.

Mohammad Jamshed, member (traffic), railway board, said “we are working on it (fares) and the suggestions for fares would be taken into account after considering the needs of Mumbaikars. We will decide the fare which will be in the favour of the Mumbaikars.”

Equipped with GPS and micro-processor-based software system, this 12-car local has a seating capacity of 1,208 and standing capacity of 4,936 passengers. Around 108 to 112 passengers can travel in one coach.

Built at a cost of Rs 54 crore, the train doesn’t have first class and general class division; the entire rake would be vestibule-connected (in two parts of six coaches each) and can run at the top speed of 110 kmph.

Travellers Can Now Book Railway Tickets Using mVisa Payment Solution

Rail travellers can now book tickets by mVisa payment method which allows them to scan a quick response (QR) code and pay through smartphones.

Users can securely link their visa debit, credit or prepaid account to the mVisa application on their smartphones and make their travel bookings by simply scanning their mVisa QR code on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation website.

IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, is offering a promotion offer until September 4 that will give Rs. 50 cashback to consumers booking their tickets through mVisa scan and pay on the IRCTC website.

“The key to our success as India’s largest e-commerce organisation has been our ability to embrace new technologies that help us drive consumer engagement across our platform,” IRCTC CMD AK Manocha said on Tuesday.

India is currently one of the major smartphone markets in the world, with over a billion smartphones expected to be sold in the next five years.

“Considering the phenomenal penetration of smartphones in India, moving to a mobile based payment solution such as mVisa was thus a natural choice for IRCTC,” Manocha said.

The increasing popularity and adoption of mobile devices presents a huge opportunity for the growth of mobile-based digital commerce.

The mVisa payment solution on IRCTC can potentially empower millions of consumers spread across Indian cities, towns and villages, to make payments using just their smartphones from the comfort of their homes.

Shots Fired At Rail Station Near Munich, Several Injured: Police

Several people were wounded when shots were fired at a commuter rail station near the southern German city of Munich on Tuesday and one person was detained, police said.

“Several people were injured by shots. A female police officer was badly wounded” at an S-Bahn station in Unterfoehring, a northeastern suburb of the Bavarian city, police tweeted, and that the scene was now “secured”.

Police has confirmed that there was ‘no political or religious motive’ behind the Munich shooting.

“The sole male perpetrator was motivated by personal reasons. There is no political or religious background here,” Munich police spokesman Marcus da Gloria Martins told reporters.

It was not immediately clear whether it was a police officer or an assailant who had fired. Police said they had cleared the station.

German Police also tweeted following the incident.

Railway Bridge On Chenab River To Be Higher Than Eiffel Tower

The world’s highest railway bridge that will soar 359 metres above the bed of river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir will also be 30 metres higher than the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The bridge on the Katra-Banihal railway line at village Kauri in Reasi district is likely to be completed by June, 2019 as more than 66 per cent work has been finished.

The 1.3-kilometre-long bridge is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 1,250 crore, Konkan Railway chief engineer R K Singh said today.

He told PTI that more than 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge by 2019.

Its construction started in 2004, but the work was stopped in 2008-09 on the aspect of the safety of the rail passengers due to frequent high velocity winds in the area.

The Railways decided to survey the area again and find some alternate site where the bridge could be constructed on Chenab river to avoid 100 kilometres-an-hour high velocity winds but finally it was decided not to change the site as it is the most suited taking into account the high altitude, said deputy chief engineer R R Malik.

He said that it was finally decided to stop train operations when the wind velocity rises to 90 kmh with the help of the automatic signalling system and anemometer (instrument to measure the velocity of winds).

He claimed that the bridge under construction can withstand winds upto 260 kmh and its lifespan will be 120 years.

He said that on the other side of Chenab river, the Railways is constructing three big tunnels of various lengths – T 2 (5.9 kilometres), T 3 (9.369 kilometres) and T 14 (13 kilometres).

AFCONS Construction Company project manager S M Viswamurthy said that it is a joint venture of AFCONS, VSL and Ultra companies.

The company has undertaken the construction of the bridge and the laying of rail track from Katra to Banihal is very treacherous and difficult, he said adding that 80 per cent of the railway line will have to pass through tunnels which are under construction.
He said the company has bought a crane from Italy at a cost of Rs. 20 crore to carry all the construction material to the site of bridge.

He said that it is the most challenging work to construct such a high bridge on the Chenab river and he complimented the engineers and workers for their high morale to complete the project by June, 2019.

Mr Viswamurthy said it is the seventh largest arch-shaped bridge in the world as there is no support except on both sides of the river banks and one of the supporting RCC and steel pillar is 133 metres high. The arch is being supported by piers and trusses.

Mr Malik said that force technology firm Denmak has made a model study for the construction of bridge while US-based ITASCA company has rendered help in slope stabilisation.

IIT Delhi Professor K J Rao is the project consultant and Indian Institute of Science’s Dr T G Seeta Ram has also rendered help in the construction work.

The steel work is being supervised by UK-based consultant David Macanjii.

He claimed that slope cuttings, transition curves and curves besides all the foundation work have been completed.

The Railways have deployed two CRPF battalions to guard the construction of bridge and for the safety of workers and engineers, said senior section engineer Anup Khare.

The Railways plan to run a DMU on the Katra-Salal section near the bridge in 2018 as the railway track is almost complete, according to a spokesman.