Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

No communication gap! Indian Railways responds to 13,000 queries everyday amidst COVID-19 lockdown

The Railway Emergency Cell for COVID-19 has been responding to nearly 13,000 queries, suggestions, and requests daily, from five communication as well as feedback platforms – Helpline numbers 138 and 139, social media platforms, especially Twitter, email and CPGRAMS.

Amid lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Indian Railways is taking steps for its customers and the general public! The Railway Emergency Cell for COVID-19 has been responding to nearly 13,000 queries, suggestions, and requests daily, from five communication as well as feedback platforms – Helpline numbers 138 and 139, social media platforms, especially Twitter, email ([email protected]) and CPGRAMS. The comprehensive nation-wide unit comprises of around 400 officers from the Railway Board to Railway Divisions. According to the Railway Ministry, over 90 per cent of the queries were responded on a one-to-one basis over telephone, mostly in the caller’s local language.

In addition to queries answered by Indian Railways’ IVRS facility, over 2,30,000 queries were answered through the Rail Madad Helpline number 139 on a one-on-one basis in the first four weeks of the nationwide lockdown. While the queries over helpline numbers 138 and 139 are generally for the commencement of passenger train services and the relaxed refund rules on tickets, the Social Media platforms are flushed with appreciation of Indian Railways’ efforts as well as suggestions in these trying times, the ministry stated.

On helpline number 138, which is geo-fenced, i.e., calls land on the nearest Railway Divisional Control Office as per the caller’s location, more than 1,10,000 calls were received, during the same period. The facility ensures that the callers receive guidance and information in the language that they are comfortable speaking. Besides, the new feature also makes the flow of information to customers of Indian Railways as well as others, faster as the pertinent information is readily available with the concerned Railway Division.

Additionally, the national transporter started time tabled parcel train services for the time-bound delivery of essential commodities such as life-saving drugs. Using Parcel special trains, RMS, as well as other consignments that were struck at various points, were cleared as well. Moreover, suggestions were incorporated by Indian Railways that were received from the public, on a real-time basis, wherever possible. For an example, the East Coast Railway zone had planned a parcel train service from Yashwantpur to Guwahati. However, the train did not have a planned stoppage at Vishakhapatnam, but after receiving a suggestion on Twitter, it was rerouted through the station. Moreover, the national transporter also played a crucial role in transporting life-saving drugs to those who were unable to procure them due to the countrywide lockdown.

 

Indian Railways Hubballi Workshop develops contactless cubicle for doctors to treat COVID-19

Indian Railways’ transparent contactless cubicle developed by Hubballi Workshop can be used by doctors to remain isolated with the patient, protecting them from catching the COVID-19 infection.

Indian Railways is working on various measures to tackle the novel Coronavirus virus and prevent the spread of the deadly disease. Recently, the South Western Railway zone’s Hubballi Workshop has come out with an innovative plan by creating contactless cubicles for doctors and medical professionals. With contactless cubicles, doctors checking suspected novel Coronavirus patients will not have to come in direct physical contact with patients. Even after maintaining the protocol in hospitals as per medical guidelines, doctors testing those who might have been infected with the COVID-19 deadly virus, are prone to catch the infection. Over the last few days, there have been instances of doctors treating patients of COVID-19, catching the infection and this way the threat of spreading the novel Coronavirus is compounded.

According to a press release issued by the South Western Railway zone, the transparent contactless cubicle developed by Hubballi Workshop can be used by doctors to remain isolated with the patient, protecting them from catching the COVID-19 infection. After each medical test, gloves that protrude out of the cubicle will be changed as well as the exterior and interior of the chamber will be sanitized, it stated. This transparent cubicle for testing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) being manufactured by theHubballi Workshop for treating COVID-19 patients will safeguard doctors as well as nurses, who are the frontline warriors in the fight against the novel Coronavirus pandemic so that they can serve the nation in the hour of need, it added.

A few days ago, Coach Rehabilitation Workshop in Bhopal, under the West Central Railway zone had set up a mobile doctor booth named CHARAK. The booth facilitates zero-contact check-ups in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic as well as ensure the safety of doctors and medical professionals. The booth can be smoothly transported to remote or rural areas. Moreover, it can be moved within 500 m area by hand transport. Besides, CHARAK is an economical and low-cost viral barrier for doctors treating COVID-19 patients.

World-class Anand Vihar, Bijwasan railway stations soon! Adani Realty, L&T, GMR participate in pre-bid meeting

The meeting was attended by Adani Realty, Bharti Realty, Larsen and Toubro, GMR, Eldeco, Godrej, R Cube, Kalpataru Power Transmission, and R Retail Ventures.

World-class Indian Railways stations! In line with the Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways’ long-term plan to develop world-class railway stations across the country, IRSDC conducted a pre-bid meeting with interested companies on the manner in which the government wants the Anand Vihar and Bijwasan railway stations to be developed. Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation or IRSDC is the nodal agency implementing the ambitious railway station redevelopment programme across the Indian Railways network.

The agenda of the meeting was mixed-use development of the railway station on the land parcel on the basis of leasehold rights. The meeting was conducted via a video conference on Wednesday. The meeting for the redevelopment of Anand Vihar and Bijwasan railway stations in Delhi was attended by Adani Realty, Bharti Realty, Larsen and Toubro, GMR, Eldeco, Godrej, R Cube, Kalpataru Power Transmission, and R Retail Ventures.

IRSDC plans to make the railway stations world-class by giving them an airport-like makeover. A few of the proposed salient features of these railway stations are:

Airport-style separate entry and exit points at the station to avoid crowding and to ensure efficient movement of passengers.

For an enhanced waiting experience, shops and food stalls would be functional at the departure section.

The stations would be environment friendly and divyang-friendly

According to a tweet by the IRSDC, the vision of the nodal agency for these stations is to ensure that the land of the railway station is used for multiple purposes and that there is a round-the-clock city centre at the railway station complex. IRSDC also wants the development of the railway stations to be in a way which promotes the movement of pedestrian and non-motorised transport (NMT). The vision also includes the plan to develop safe and active streets and a complex with significant green areas to ensure the quality of life as well as value addition.

During the video conference, the artist impressions of the proposed railway stations were also shared with the prospective bidders and stakeholders. Financial Express Online had earlier reported that both the Anand Vihar and Bijwasan railway stations will be awarded on the EPC or Engineering, Procurement and Construction mode. While the revamp of the Anand Vihar station is expected to cost Rs 224.48 crore, the Bijwasan station redevelopment is likely to be a Rs 270.82 crore project.

Good job! Indian Railways to manufacture over 1 lakh washable masks from cloth meant for uniform; details

The Northern Railway zone, which has been leading the charge in making things to fight the novel coronavirus such as isolation coaches, hand sanitisers and PPE coverall suits has issued instructions to manufacture the masks from the cloth with the material meant for the uniform of railwaymen.

 

Indian Railways to make washable face masks! As wearing masks have been made mandatory for public places and at work, the national transporter will manufacture over 1 lakh washable face masks using the cloth material that is used to produce bright orange uniform worn by railway trackmen, as well as the plain white uniform worn by other railway employees. According to an IE report, the Northern Railway zone, which has been leading the charge in making things to fight the novel coronavirus such as isolation coaches, hand sanitisers and PPE coverall suits has issued instructions to manufacture the masks from the cloth with the material meant for the uniform of railwaymen. Each mask produced by the railways will cost Rs 5.94, on the other hand, the same quality mask in the market costs approximately Rs 7.50.

According to the report, 5,000 meters of surplus cloth that was meant for orange and white uniforms have been identified by the workshops, lying idle for some time. As per the calculations of engineers, over 1 lakh masks can be yielded in no time and can be supplied across the country for its various units on demand. The idea of manufacturing masks using the surplus cloth came while stitching masks in Indian Railways’ 150-year-old workshops in Lucknow’s Charbagh and Alambagh area.

Before starting the production, the mask designs that are available in the market were studied and in consultation with railway hospitals, a design was finalized. According to officials, the basic requirement has been ensured i.e., full covering of the nose and mouth, correct tension of elastic, etc.

To prevent COVID-19 from spreading, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promoting homemade masks. He recently tweeted stating that one of the most important tasks is to be a part of #TeamMaskForce. He further said that small but necessary precautions can keep everyone safe from the coronavirus infection while endorsing the wearing of masks.

So far, one lot has already been supplied to the railway hospitals as well as other workshops. In the national capital, Railway staff colonies have placed an order on payment basis. Till now, the Northern Railway zone alone has manufactured around 31,000 masks from various sources during the whole period of nationwide lockdown, the report added.

 

Indian Railways completes 167 years of passenger train services! Check out interesting facts

The 14-carriage first passenger train was flagged off with a 21-gun salute, which was hauled by three steam locomotives- Sindh, Sahib, Sultan, carrying 400 passengers.

Big day for Indian Railways as it completes 167 years! Today i.e., 16 April 2020, marks a very special day for the national transporter as 167 years ago, the wheels of the first passenger train from Mumbai to Thane started rolling with the zeal to ‘never to stop’. The 14-carriage first passenger train was flagged off with a 21-gun salute, which was hauled by three steam locomotives- Sindh, Sahib, Sultan, carrying 400 passengers. Even though in India, trains started running much before the year 1853, this was the first time that a passenger train was operated on Indian Railways tracks. Take a look at some little known facts about Indian Railways:

  • In the year 1861, the Churchgate station was opened as the new terminus for Bombay (Mumbai).
  • Delhi’s oldest station, Delhi Junction was set up in 1864, starting train service between Delhi-Calcutta (Kolkata).
  • In the month of April 1867, the first rail line from Lucknow to Kanpur was built.
  • The first locomotive was developed in the year 1895 in Ajmer for the Rajputana Malwa Railway.
  • The development of the first Indian Bridge which was built across the sea, Pamban Railway Bridge started in the year 1911 and it was commenced on 1914.
  • In the year 1920, Indian Railways launched electric lighting between Dadar and Currey Road.
  • Between the years 1924 and 1944, nationalization of Indian Railways was initiated.
  • The first automatic colour light signals in India was introduced in 1928 on GIPR’s rail lines between Bombay VT – Byculla.
  • The iconic Howrah Bridge in Kolkata was commissioned in the year 1943.
  • In the year 1954, sleeping accommodation was introduced in three-tier coaches.
  • The Taj Express between New Delhi – Agra was introduced in 1964 to allow tourists/visitors to visit Agra and return to the national capital on the same day.
  • Fast Freight services were introduced in 1965 across several routes.
  • For the first time, the Centralized Traffic Control System on railways was launched in the year 1966 between Gorakhpur-Chhapra.
  • The first in dedicated electric passenger loco series, WAP-1 was built by CLW to RDSO specifications and was introduced in 1980.
  • The computerized ticketing and reservation were introduced in 1986 in New Delhi.
  • In the year 1990, the first Self Printing Ticket Machine was launched in New Delhi.
  • In the month of June 2001, WDP-4 was started and 10 of them, operating out of Hubli, were provided by General Motors.

Due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown because of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the passenger train services have been stopped for the first time in the history of Indian Railways.

You can’t book Indian Railways train tickets for coming months; all passenger trains cancelled till May 3

Indian Railways passenger train services update: With PM Narendra Modi announcing the extension of the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown till May 3, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways will not resume passenger train services. More importantly, the national transporter has also suspended all advance reservations for train tickets until further notice. This means that you cannot book any train ticket from the IRCTC website or agents for the coming months as well.

In an official notification, Indian Railways stated that all passenger train services including Mail/Express trains, premium trains, Kolkata Metro, suburban trains and Konkan Railway shall continue to remain cancelled till 2400 hours on May 3. Additionally, all the counters for booking of train tickets, whether reserved or unreserved, will remain closed both on railway stations and outside the station premises.

Earlier, the national transporter had cancelled all passenger train services till April 14 but continued to take bookings for trains scheduled from April 15. With the lockdown being extending till May 3, no passenger train services will operate till that date and passengers will be given a full refund for their train tickets.

While IRCTC e-ticket holders will be refunded automatically without the need to cancel their tickets, the PRS counter ticket holders have been asked avoid going to railway stations to claim a refund. For this purpose, Indian Railways has extended the time till which the refund can be claimed so that passengers don’t rush to stations amidst lockdown.

Indian Railways continues to run its freight trains to ensure the supply of essential goods across the country. E-commerce giants like Flipkart and even India Post are now using Indian Railways special parcel trains to ferry goods. The national transporter has introduced 109 parcel train services over 58 routes.

The national transporter is also innovating with its production units and workshops making ventilator prototypes, contactless doctor check-up booths, making masks, sanitizers and PPEs. The Railway Board has also directed all its zones to convert old train coaches into isolation wards for Coronavirus patients. As many as 20,000 train coaches are planned to be converted into isolation wards, providing over 3 lakh beds for quarantine. In the first phase, 5,000 coaches have already been converted. These isolation wards have proper facilities for doctors and nurses as well. With trains being converted into COVID-19 patient wards, India now has unique “movable hospitals on wheels” which can be moved depending on the need in a particular area.

Indian Railways goes innovative in fight against Coronavirus! Check out these top 5 unique initiatives

Indian Railways’ fight against the novel Coronavirus outbreak continues! In this time of crisis, when the entire nation has been put in a lockdown till 14 April 2020, Indian Railways is making efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. In a bid to help the government, the national transporter has taken several significant steps to provide medical facilities to the public across the nation. From manufacturing masks and sanitizers to converting train coaches into isolation wards for COVID-19 patients, Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry is implementing various innovations to tackle the deadly virus pandemic. Here, take a look at some of the top innovations introduced by Indian Railways to fight COVID-19 infection:

Production of ventilators: The Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, recently developed a prototype of a ventilator, which would be used in the isolation or quarantine facilities of Indian Railways. The newly developed prototype ventilator has an original design and moreover, it will cost almost a fraction of the cost of a regular ventilator. Besides, the Production Units of Indian Railways are also manufacturing ventilators, PPEs as well as other medical equipment to meet the needs to fight novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Isolation wards or quarantine facilities: The national transporter has converted as many as 5,000 train coaches across the nation into isolation or quarantine facilities with around 80,000 beds for COVID-19 patients. The aim is to convert as many as 20,000 coaches if the need arises.

Mobile doctor booth for check-ups: The Coach Rehabilitation Workshop of the national transporter, located in Bhopal has launched a mobile doctor booth called “CHARAK”. The mobile booth facilitates zero-contact check-ups of patients and also ensures the safety of the medical professionals or doctors in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Fumigation/disinfection tunnel: Indian Railways is setting up fumigation or disinfection tunnels at various places. So, when someone enters through it, the fumigation spray begins and sanitizes the entire body of that person. A Fumigation Tunnel has been set up at Indian Railways’ Jagadhri Workshop. Also, a disinfection tunnel has been made available at Electric Loco Shed, Bhusawal.

Manufacturing of masks and sanitizer: According to a press release issued by the Railway Ministry, till 7 April 2020, the national transporter manufactured a total of 5,82,317 reusable face masks as well as 41,882 litres of hand sanitizer in-house in the zones of Indian Railways, Production Units as well as PSUs to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Indian Railways installs Thermal Imaging Camera at Electric Loco Shed, Bhusawal to prevent COVID-19; features

Though no thermal cameras can detect or diagnose the novel Coronavirus infection, FLIR cameras can be used as an adjunct to other body temperature screening tools for detecting elevated skin temperature through quick individual screening in high-traffic public places.

With the novel Coronavirus outbreak, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is taking several measures to prevent the spread of deadly COVID-19 infection. Recently, the national transporter installed a Thermal Imaging Camera to measure body temperature at Electric Loco Shed, Bhusawal (ELS/BSL). Though no thermal cameras can detect or diagnose the novel Coronavirus infection, FLIR cameras can be used as an adjunct to other body temperature screening tools for detecting elevated skin temperature through quick individual screening in high-traffic public places. Also, a disinfection tunnel has been made available by the ELS/BSL.

According to the national transporter, if the skin temperature in key areas, especially the forehead and corner of the eyes, is above average temperature, then that person may be selected for additional screening. Identifying those people with EBT, who should be further screened with virus-specific diagnostic tests, can help or drastically reduce the spread of novel Coronavirus infection. Here are some highlights of the Thermal Imaging Camera for detecting elevated body temperature as part of employee health and screening provided at ELS/BSL:

  • At the office entrance, FLIR E40 camera is being used to detect elevated body temperature.
  • Live Thermal images are visible on the LED screen with the help of HDMI to 3 RCA connector.
  • One staff member is continuously monitoring the LED screen.
  • The system is an automatic temperature measuring system and is contactless.
  • With the help of the FLIR E40 camera, fast and accurate measurement is done.
  • In case, any abnormal temperature is detected, the LED Screen goes out fully red.
  • According to railways, the system is accurate up to 2 per cent of reading.

Recently, it was reported that the Jagadhari Workshop of Indian Railways is manufacturing coverall PPE’s in-house. Besides, the national transporter also built a Fumigation Tunnel in Jagadhri Workshop to prevent the spread of novel Coronavirus infection.

Indian Railways passengers note! Railway Ministry issues clarification on resuming train services

– No decision has been made on when passenger train services will be resumed on the Indian Railways network.

Important alert for Indian Railways passengers! The Ministry of Railways has clarified on resuming train services amidst the unprecedented situation. According to the Railway Ministry, some media reports have falsely published details of protocols that will be followed for passenger travel post the lockdown period. However, Indian Railways has clarified in this regard that no protocol has been issued for restarting train services after the COVID-19 lockdown will be lifted and all such media reports claiming otherwise, are misleading and incorrect. To put it clearly – no decision has been made on when passenger train services will be resumed on the Indian Railways network! The Railway Ministry further stated that as and when the decision for restarting passenger trains will be taken, all stakeholders will be informed.

In the wake of the rising COVID-19 pandemic across the country, Indian Railways had suspended the operations of all passenger trains throughout the network, including Mail/Express trains, suburban trains, metro, inter city trains, Konkan Railway and all long distance trains. However, the Railway Board allowed the continuation of Indian railways freight trains in order to ensure the supply chain in the country, by the valuable transportation of essential commodities such as food grains, fruits, milk, vegetables, salt, sugar etc. Indian Railways has also started 109 timetabled parcel trains over 58 routes for the transportation of essential items in the lockdown period.

Meanwhile, the Railway Board has also taken a slew of measures to support the Centre and state governments in dealing with the pandemic. Indian Railways is in the process of converting as many as 20,000 train coaches spread across the network, into COVID-19 isolation wards, for facilitating individuals to be kept in quarantine.

It is also preparing hospital beds, saline stands, face masks, sanitisers to be utilized for safety and protection across the network. Additionally, Indian Railways has also relaxed the refund rules for passengers, who had confirmed train tickets between the lockdown period i.e., March 21, 2020 – April 14, 2020. The relaxed refund rules apply for both IRCTC e-tickets as well as PRS counter booked tickets.

 

Indian Railways Prepared To Convert 20,000 Coaches Into COVID-19 Isolation Units

To help the government in its effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, Indian Railways said it would be prepared to convert 20,000 coaches into quarantine and isolation coaches which can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh beds for isolation needs.

“As part of COVID-19 preparedness, it has been decided by Indian Railways that it would be prepared to modify 20,000 coaches into quarantine and isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country. In this connection, consultations were held with Armed Forces Medical Services, Medical Department of various Zonal Railways, and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Five Zonal Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine/ isolation coaches,” an official statement said.

“These modified 20,000 coaches can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh possible beds for isolation needs. Work on modification of 5,000 coaches, which are to be converted initially into quarantine and isolation coaches, has already started,” it added.

These 5,000 coaches would be having the capacity to accommodate up to 80,000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation.

The Zonal Railways have been advised to plan for the said modifications immediately and inform the date of readiness of these rakes to Railway Board.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 1,251.

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