Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

No New Demand For Shramik Special Trains From Any State, Says Railways

There is no demand for Shramik Special trains from any state now, the Railways said today, but offered to run more if states request for them.

At a press conference, railway spokespersons said no Shramik Special ran on Sunday and none is scheduled for Tuesday either.

“There was demand for just one train from Karnataka and that train is running today (Monday) from Bengaluru to Muzaffarpur. There is no demand for such trains tomorrow as well. We will run them if demand arises from states,” a spokesperson said.

He also said that so far 4,596 Shramik trains have operated since May 1.

Giving details, he said the demand for Shramik Special trains has been reducing significantly starting June. On May 31, the Railways operated only 69 Shramik trains while the next day it run just over 100.

Shramik Special trains are being operated primarily on the request of the states which want to send migrant workers stranded due to the coronavirus lockdown to their native places.

The spokespersons also said that the Railways’ earnings from the 200 mail/express special trains, which started operations from June 1, was Rs 20-22 crore per day.

They also said the occupancy in the 15 pairs of a/c trains running on Rajdhani routes from May 12 was 80 per cent.

They also said while the demand for migrant specials was reducing, the occupancy in trains going to big cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru from states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal was almost 100 per cent, indicating beginning of economic revival.

These three states together accounted for 81 percent of the 4,596 Sharmik Special trains that have been operated so far.

The railways is running 100 pairs of mail/express trains from June 1, and 15 pairs of air-conditioned trains on the Rajdhani routes.

Giving an update on the Railways’ COVID care coaches parked at stations in five states, they said that of the 59 patients admitted since June 20 in Uttar Pradesh’s Mau, 56 have been discharged, while nine of the 32 admitted at Delhi’s Shakurbasti station have been discharged so far.

They also said the Railways has decided to refund the full fare for passengers who have booked tickets on trains that have been cancelled now.

Recently, the Railways cancelled all its regular trains till August 12, but said special trains will continue to be in service.

AC Trains To Have Operation Theatre-Like Fresh Air Pumped Into Coaches

The Railways’ air conditioned trains will now have operation theatre-like fresh air pumped into its coaches, replacing the circulated air which raises the chances of spread of infections, officials have said.

The experiment, started with 15 pairs of air conditioned trains being run by the Railways on the Rajdhani routes since May 12, will be replicated in all AC trains as part of the national transporter’s preparations for post-COVID operations.

“The Roof Mounted AC Package Unit (RMPU) system of Indian Railways AC coaches replaces air more than 16-18 times per hour just like in OTs,” officials said.

Previously, these AC trains had air change six to eight times per hour and 80 per cent of the air that was pushed into coaches was recirculated air, while 20 per cent was fresh air.

However, with the increase in the number of air changes, there has been a 10 to 15 per cent increase in energy consumption.

“This is the price one has to pay for the safety of passengers. This is the new normal. The way an AC works is that it uses recirculated air so that it gets cooler faster. When we use fresh air it takes more time to cool, so there’s additional energy consumption,” an officer said.

The Railways has also increased the centralised AC’s temperature from the usual 23 degrees to 25 degrees as passengers are no longer being provided linen.

Officials said that on the advise of the health experts, the Railways’ has modified its non-AC coaches as isolation coaches for treating mild coronavirus cases and said that they have also applied health ministry guidelines to modify the ac units on board the special Rajdhani trains to ensure that the disease does not spread.

As per the Ministry of Health guidelines, centralised AC is acceptable provided complete air change inside an AC coach takes place at least 12 times per hour, officials said.

So far, only a study by Chinese researchers has concluded that droplet transmission was prompted by air-conditioned ventilation. Not many other studies, however, have associated AC use with coronavirus spread.

Railways Cancels All Tickets For Regular Trains From July 1 To August 12

The Indian Railways on Thursday said it would refund all tickets booked for regular trains between July 1 and August 12 as coronavirus cases in the country surged a month after the government started relaxing some of the restrictions imposed in March. Only special trains announced in May and June will run, the railways said.

Rail services, apart from the movement of some essential cargo, were abruptly halted in late March ahead of efforts to contain the virus that froze almost all economic activity, putting crores out of work overnight.

Earlier this month, the railways had increased the number of special passenger trains running in the country from 30 to over 200. These include 15 pairs of trains running on the Rajdhani routes since May 12 and 100 pairs operating since June 1.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise and the uncertainty over when normal services will resume, officials said they wanted to refund all tickets booked for regular trains. Before the lockdown, the Railways operated around 12,000 trains every day, transporting 2 crore people.

The limited special suburban services which began recently in Mumbai to ferry essential services personnel identified by the local authorities will also continue to run, officials said.

Under the rules issued by the Home Ministry for travel, all passengers are required undergo thermal screening and only those found asymptomatic will be allowed to board the train.

On board the trains, all passengers were asked to maintain social distancing and wear face masks throughout the journey. All passengers are also advised to use hand sanitisers.

No catering, bed linen, blankets or curtains will be provided inside the train. Passengers are advised to carry their own bedsheets if they need. Temperatures inside AC coaches shall be suitably regulated for this purpose.

India registered a record 16,922 new cases on Thursday, taking total cases in the country to nearly 5 lakh with nearly 15,000 deaths.

That is behind only the United States, Brazil and Russia, and five times that of China, that has a similar-sized population and where the virus originated late last year.

Indian Railways passengers note! No regular passenger trains likely till this month; details

Indian Railways has recently announced that it will refund the full booking amount to passengers of all train tickets booked up to April 14, 2020, for all regular time-tabled trains.At present, due to the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, the national transporter is running 230 IRCTC special trains along with Shramik special trains.

Indian Railways passengers note! In a move that hints at no regular Indian Railways train services till mid-August, the national transporter has announced cancellation of all regular train tickets booked up to April 14. Indian Railways has recently announced that it will refund the full booking amount to passengers of all train tickets booked up to April 14, 2020, for all regular time-tabled trains. At present, due to the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown, the national transporter is running 230 IRCTC special trains along with Shramik special trains on the Indian Railways network. Though it is being said that more trains are likely to be operated by Indian Railways to meet any demand, but sources told Financial Express Online that these passenger services may also be branded as IRCTC special trains.

In case of train cancellations, Indian Railways refunds the full amount to passengers, however the advise is that passengers should refrain from going to the IRCTC website to cancel their booking. The refund will be automatically credited to the user’s account once the train is cancelled in our system, IRCTC has said for online train ticket bookings.

In the light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the national transporter had suspended advance reservations for regular trains from 15 April 2020. Since 25 March 2020, when the nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic began, all regular train services of the national transporter have been cancelled by Indian Railways. However, to ferry those who are stranded and those who have to undertake urgent train journeys, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways started IRCTC special trains services from 12 May 2020 onwards. Initially, the IRCTC special train services consisted of 30 Rajdhani-style AC trains, including the to-and-fro journeys, but from 1 June 2020, additional 200 IRCTC special trains were introduced including non-AC sleeper train services.

To travel on these IRCTC special trains, tickets can be booked on the IRCTC website (irctc.co.in) or IRCTC mobile application, at reservation counters, post offices, through agents, etc. All the passenger trains that are currently being operated by Indian Railways are fully reserved services with limited waitlisted tickets. To prevent novel coronavirus infection, all those who are commencing train journeys on these special trains must follow certain guidelines like downloading Aarogya Setu application, social distancing, wearing of masks, thermal screening at stations, etc.

North Eastern Railway Deploys COVID-19 Isolation Coaches At 14 Stations

The North Eastern Railway has deployed train coaches converted into coronavirus isolation wards at 14 of its stations, a senior official said today.

At every station, as many as 10 coaches have been deployed for suspected COVID-19 patients, while an AC coach has been deployed for doctors and nurses, and a SLR coach for keeping things.

Till now, as many as 59 suspected patients were admitted to the coronavirus isolation wards at a railway station, out of which 20, have been discharged.

“On the directives of the Uttar Pradesh government, the North Eastern Railway has deployed 10 non-air conditioned coaches, modified to work as COVID-19 care centers (in addition to AC coach for doctors and nurses, and SLR coach to keep things) at 14 railway stations of Mau, Gorakhpur, Varanasi city, Gonda, Bareilly city, Marhuadih, Ballia, Ghazipur city, Azamgarh, Nautanwa, Farrukhabad, Bhatni, Bahraich and Kasganj.

“The coach meant for Deoria Sadar Railway Station is currently in Bhatni, and will be soon taken to Deoria Sadar station. This way, there will be 15 such stations where the special coaches will be deployed,”Chief Public Relation Officer of North Eastern Railways Pankaj Kumar Singh said.

He said each isolation coach will have eight cabins with each cabin having the space for two patients.

“In other words, there will be 16 patients in one coach, and 160 patients at a station. Adequate arrangements for fans and lights have been made. Mosquito nets have also been installed on the windows,” Mr Singh said.

The railway is looking after the safety and cleanliness of the coaches, while the treatment aspect is handled by the health department of the district.

A separate path to the special coaches has been reserved so that the common public does not take this route. This road will be used for transportation of patients by medical teams and other staff.

“Till now, these coaches were being used only in Mau. In Mau, on June 20, the district administration admitted 42 suspected coronavirus patients, and 17 patients on June 21. On June 22, as many as 20 patients were discharged. As of now, 39 suspected patients are admitted in these modified coaches,” he said.

The senior official also informed that the North Eastern Railway has modified a total of 217 coaches.

Northern Railways Moves 62.5 Lakh Tonne Food Grains To 18 Deficient States In 2 Months

To ensure enhanced availability of Public Distribution System (PDS) food grains reach the ration shops all across India in time, Northern Railways has moved a total of 2,218 rakes carrying about 62.47 lakh tonnes (LT) of wheat and rice to 18 deficient states during the period April 1 to June 8.

Indian Railways, the largest passenger transportation in the country has been an active participant in the country’s fight against the coronavirus. As the lockdown came into effect in India, all passenger train operations were staled from midnight of March 22, Over 12 thousand mail express, premium and suburban trains stopped running on the rail network.

A situation never encountered in the 167 years of Indian Railways. However, Goods trains continued their run unabated.

Rajiv Chaudhry, General Manager Northern & North Central Railways shared the information that the Task at Hand given to Northern Railway was to maintain a steady supply chain to feed 80 crores NFSA beneficiaries through the continuous evacuation of food grain from the granaries of Punjab and Haryana. The challenge was stiffer on account of demanding working conditions due to the pandemic and consequent lockdown. The availability of wagons, timely dispatch of food grain rakes, arranging staff and keeping them motivated to perform in the tough conditions was an uphill task for the Divisions involved.

As the Lockdown period was further extended, the Government announcement to provide an additional 5 kg food grain per person to NFSA beneficiaries. To meet the demand deficient states were permitted to lift 3 months” stock from FCI on credit. There was more pressure on the Railways to provide for the enhanced evacuation. This resulted in a sudden increase in loading requirement from average 15 to almost 3.6 times more rakes in a day over Northern Railways. An all-time high record of single day loading of 54 rakes was achieved on 22-04-20.

Since freight movement in covered rakes was being discouraged, managing the adequate supply of empty rakes from across the country and moving them to Punjab and Haryana for loading was an arduous task.

Chinese Firm On Railways Project Told To Go After Ladakh Violence

The economic backlash against China following Monday’s violence in Ladakh — in which 20 Indian soldiers died — continued today with a Chinese firm given a railways contract being show the door. The public utility DFCCIL (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India) said it was ending the Rs 471-crore contract “in view of poor progress”.

Four years ago, the contract to build signals on a 417-km freight corridor was granted to the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Co. Ltd.

The DFCCIL, which is under the railways ministry, today said in four years, the Chinese company has been able to complete only 20 per cent of the project.

At least four other Chinese firms, which are involved in various railways’ projects, also stand to lose business.

Yesterday, government sources said the Department of Telecom is set to “firmly tell” the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd not to use Chinese equipment in its 4G upgradation in view of security issues.

Sources said the department has also decided to rework the tender in this regard. The government is also considering asking private operators to reduce their dependence on equipment made by Chinese firms.

Following Monday’s clash at Ladakh’s Galwan Valley – the worst in nearly five decades — anti-Chinese sentiment has been sweeping the country. There has been a call to boycott Chinese goods by the all-India traders’ body — the Confederation of All India Traders or CAIT.

It has also appealed to celebrities including Amitabh Bachhan, Akshay Kumar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Sachin Tendulkar, to stop endorsing Chinese products under its “Bhartiya Saaman 

Chinese Firm On Railways Project Told To Go After Ladakh Violence

The economic backlash against China following Monday’s violence in Ladakh — in which 20 Indian soldiers died — continued today with a Chinese firm given a railways contract being show the door. The public utility DFCCIL (Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India) said it was ending the Rs 471-crore contract “in view of poor progress”.

Four years ago, the contract to build signals on a 417-km freight corridor was granted to the Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication Group Co. Ltd.

The DFCCIL, which is under the railways ministry, today said in four years, the Chinese company has been able to complete only 20 per cent of the project.

At least four other Chinese firms, which are involved in various railways’ projects, also stand to lose business.

Yesterday, government sources said the Department of Telecom is set to “firmly tell” the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd not to use Chinese equipment in its 4G upgradation in view of security issues.

Sources said the department has also decided to rework the tender in this regard. The government is also considering asking private operators to reduce their dependence on equipment made by Chinese firms.

Following Monday’s clash at Ladakh’s Galwan Valley – the worst in nearly five decades — anti-Chinese sentiment has been sweeping the country. There has been a call to boycott Chinese goods by the all-India traders’ body — the Confederation of All India Traders or CAIT.

It has also appealed to celebrities including Amitabh Bachhan, Akshay Kumar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Sachin Tendulkar, to stop endorsing Chinese products under its “Bhartiya Saaman – Hamara Abhiman” campaign.

Several Chinese firms have hit pause on scheduled launches and projects in India.

Chinese handset maker Oppo has cancelled the livestream launch of its flagship 5G smartphone in the country. Tech firm Vivo has even postponed the 100 per cent Make in India announcement.

Delhi Railway Station To Have Isolation Coaches For COVID-19 Patients

The Railways will not run any trains from Anand Vihar station from Monday and all the platforms will be used to deploy isolation coaches for coronavirus patients that the Centre will provide to the Delhi government to overcome the shortage of hospital beds.

All five trains which operated from the station will now be run from Old Delhi railway station till further orders.

Home Minister Amit Shah earlier Sunday said the Centre would provide 500 railway coaches to Delhi in view of the shortage of beds.

The Railways has already deployed 54 such coaches at the maintenance depot of the Shakurbasti station and is planning to deploy the remaining coaches on the seven platforms of Anand Vihar station.

There were five trains from Anand Vihar station operated by the Northern Railways. The services were to Motihari, Raxaul, Muzaffarpur in Bihar and two trains to Ghazipur city in Uttar Pradesh.

The Railways has deployed 204 isolation coaches in four states so far.

Delhi recorded 2,224 fresh coronavirus cases on Sunday in the highest single-day spike in the national capital, taking the infection tally to over 41,000, and the death count mounted to 1,327, authorities said.

This is the third successive day when over 2,000 cases have been reported in a day in Delhi. The previous highest spike in fresh cases — 2,137 — was recorded on June 12.

UP, Delhi, Telangana Seek Isolation Coaches From Railways As COVID-19 Cases Spike

After almost two months, the railways’ isolation coaches have finally found takers — Uttar Pradesh has asked for 240 such coaches for 24 locations, Telangana has requisitioned 60 for three places and Delhi has asked for 10 such coaches as COVID-19 cases in India close in on the three lakh mark.

The first COVID-19 isolation coach of the railways was deployed at Shakur Basti railway stations in Delhi on May 31. It had 10 coaches with 160 beds.

The coaches can be used for very mild cases that can be clinically assigned to the coronavirus care centres according to guidelines issued by the health ministry.

“Sixty coaches have been requisitioned by Telangana at Secunderabad, Kachiguda and Adilabad. Ten coaches have been requisitioned by Delhi. Each coach has a capacity for 16 beds.”

“However, the composition of the COVID care centres (rakes) will be decided as per the requirements of the state. As of now, Telangana which has asked for 60 coaches will get 960 beds which they can use in the three locations they have identified. Uttar Pradesh has asked for 240 coaches,” railway spokesperson said.

Uttar Pradesh on Thursday reported 24 more deaths and 478 new coronavirus cases, the biggest single-day spike in both numbers so far as the state battles a COVID-19 surge. The number of deaths in the state stood at 345 after three consecutive days of record highs while the COVID-19 tally reached 12,088. It now has 4,451 active cases.

Telangana has reported 4,111 coronavirus cases so far, while Delhi, which is among the worst-hit cities, has reported 32,810 cases.

India saw the highest single-day spike of 357 fatalities and 9,996 cases on Thursday, pushing the number of deaths to 8,102 and the nationwide tally to 2,86,579. According to the Health Ministry, the country registered over 9,500 cases for the seventh day in a row, while the casualty figure crossed the 300-mark for the first time.

Amid the surge in cases, Uttar Pradesh has asked for a minimum of 10 COVID care centre coach at 24 railway stations including Varanasi City, Jhansi, Gorakhpur, Gonda, Bareilly City, Saharanpur, Sonbhadra, Azamgarh and others.

In Delhi, the COVID care centre consists of 10 non-AC coaches with 160 beds and three AC coaches for healthcare staffers, including doctors.

These coaches are the first of the 5,321 coaches which have been converted into isolation wards by the railways for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

According to the integrated COVID plan developed by the health ministry and the NITI Aayog, these coaches can be used in areas where the state has exhausted the facilities and needs to augment capacities for isolation of both suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The train coaches have all necessary medical equipment such as oxygen cylinders, blankets, medical supplies, sterilized berths for the safety and convenience of the individuals placed in isolation.

According to the Railway Ministry, these coaches-turned-isolation wards will be equipped with mosquito nets, charging points for laptop and phones. The toilets also have been modified into bathrooms.

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