Indian Railways News

Southern Railway launch New Mode of Mobile UTS Tickets – ‘BAAT’, for Chennai Suburban Commuters

Southern Railway is launching BAAT – Book Activate And Travel – mode of paperless mobile tickets for Chennai Suburban commuters today i.e. 7th April 2018. Southern Railway had launched a mobile APP for booking of unreserved tickets through the mobile phone in 2015. Passengers can download this App in their mobile from Google Play store and book their unreserved tickets using R wallet, which is an e-payment mode of Railways with no service charges. Using this App, passengers can buy two types of tickets viz., paper ticket and paper-less ticket. Today about 3 % of suburban tickets are booked through mobiles, crossing one million in January 2018.

In case of paper ticket, the passenger can book the ticket from the App and can take print out of the ticket from the ATVM machines, as well as UTS counters at stations. This facility is now available to buy season tickets and non suburban journey tickets also.

Booking paperless tickets on mobiles, normally requires GPS and Internet connection in the phone. Once the passenger books the ticket in paperless option, the image of the ticket is downloaded to the phone. The passenger can show the ticket image on the mobile phone and travel. However, for booking paper less ticket, the passenger has to be at least 25 metres away from the railway track and station platforms but within five kms from the station. This facility is provided through ‘geo fencing’

To overcome the difficulties faced by the passengers due to such geo fencing, a new feature called ‘BAAT’ (Book Activate And Travel) has now been launched as a trial measure at Chennai Central. By this feature, the passenger can book the ticket from anywhere either from office or home, without worrying about the distance restriction. The passenger can come to the station to an area earmarked as ‘BAAT Activation Zone’ and can ‘activate’ the ticket for travel. No internet or GPS is required for activation. Passenger also need not take print out of the ticket.

This facility is being launched at Chennai Central as a trial measure from Saturday, 7/4/2018. BAAT is expected to be another passenger friendly feature being bought out by Southern Railway to benefit over one million passengers every day in Chennai suburban area. Railway hopes to increase the percentage of mobile tickets to over 10 % of the total UTS tickets during the current year.

CR’s Bhusawal Division bags Security Shield after 14 years

The Bhusawal Division of the Central Railways has bagged five efficiency shields, the highest number in the zone. The safety department has bagged the honours after a 14-year gap.

The Bhusawal Division received more shields than other divisions including Nagpur, Pune, Mumbai, Solapur.

The division has earned honours in the commercial, operating, security and cleanliness departments. The fifth shield came in the form of workshop efficiency, where the Nashik-based Traction Machine Workshop (TMW) bagged the honour of being the best maintained in the zone. “We are elated over the division receiving five honours. For us, it is more special as we have earned the security shield after 14 years,” Ajay Dubey, senior divisional security commissioner of the Bhusawal division, said.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) responsible for passenger security has bagged the honour for its splendid performance as it has achieved phenomenal rise detection and arresting criminals.

The numbers of criminal cases detected by the RPF stood at 193 in 2017, which was up by 371% compared to only 41 cases in 2016. Similarly, it arrested 246 criminals in 2017 as against 69 the previous year, registering a rise of 257%. “There was also a strict no-tolerance policy on crime against passengers and chain pulling cases. We arrested 34,223 people involved in unauthorized vending, chain pulling etc.,” the officer added.

SWR Zone declared Safest in the Country, to bag National Award during Railway Week Celebrations to be held at Bhopal

The South Western Railway (SWR) Zone comprising Hubballi, Bengaluru and Mysuru railway divisions, has been declared the safest in the country by the Railway Ministry.

The ‘Safety Efficiency Shield’ is awarded annually by the Indian Railways. Three railway staff of the Zone have earned national honours.

SWR has emerged the topper out of 17 Railway Zones. It has registered only one railway accident in the financial year 2017-2018, said an official.

E Vijaya, Deputy General Manager-cum-Chief Public Relations Officer of the Zone will be conferred the Ministry of Railways award for her ‘Outstanding performance’ during the year.

Accounts Assistant Gururaj B Mokhasi and Track Maintainer Manjunath B Gunnanavar, will also bag awards for their exemplary performance on duty.  The awards will be conferred during the Railway Week celebrations set to take place next week at Bhopal.

HC asks SCR to complete Inter-zonal transfers by May 31

A two-judge bench, comprising Justice V Ram Subramanian and Justice M Ganga Rao, on Friday granted time to South Central Railway to complete the task of interzonal voluntary transfers by May 31. The bench posted a batch of cases for the railways to report compliance to June 5.

The court by an order on October 31, had directed the Railway Recruitment Board to complete recruitment and had given Railways time up to February 28 to relieve various persons in the safety sector who had opted for interzonal transfer on loss of seniority basis. When Railways were found dragging its feet, the employees approached the Central Administrative Tribunal. In its present application, the Railways had sought time till August to implement the order.

Karnataka State okays higher Floor Space Index for Railway Stations

BENGALURU: In order to ensure 50 per cent funding for the suburban rail project by the Centre, the state government has recently given a nod to provide the Floor Space Index of 5 sought by the Railways on the land near its stations. FSI refers to the total area on a plot which can be built.

Additional Chief Secretary of Urban Development department, Mahendra Jain, has conveyed this in a letter sent to the Chairman of Railway Board on April 2. The decision was taken during a meeting between the chief secretary and general manager of South Western Railway on March 21, the letter said.

The meet also decided that a Special Purpose Vehicle needs to be set up for the suburban project under the K-RIDE, a joint undertaking between the state, Indian Railways and I-deck.

Russian Railways named as official 2018 FIFA World Cup sponsor

The Russian Railways company became an Official European Supporter of the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, the company’s statement said Thursday.  Russian Railways has been named by FIFA on Thursday, as an official sponsor of the 2018 World Cup, which is being held in the country in June and July.

FIFA said the state railway monopoly would be a third-tier regional sponsor of the event, joining fellow Russian companies Alfa-Bank and Rostelecom. The Russian Railways obtained the status of Official European Supporter of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The agreement was signed by CEO and Chairman of the Board of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, FIFA Chief Commercial Officer Philippe Le Floc’h and FIFA Director of Marketing Sales and Strategy Iain Downie,” the statement said.

According to the company, Russian Railways organizes transportation services for the tournament’s games, with a total of 75 free trains set to make 728 rides on 31 routes during the tournament. Russian Railways is offering 880,000 free journeys to match ticket holders traveling between venue cities and that half of those had already been booked, FIFA said in a statement.

It added that an additional 728 long-distance trains on 31 routes had been scheduled during the course of the tournament.

“Over 440,000 seats were offered to the fans in the free trains, and over 200,000 seats have been already booked,” the statement added, stressing that in order to book a free train ride fans need to obtain tickets to the games of the World Cup and receive their FAN ID.

This is the first time Russia will host the FIFA World Cup. The games will take place at 12 arenas in a total of 11 cities, namely Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, St.Petersburg, Volgograd, and Yekaterinburg.

Project Delivery partners for Kuala Lumpur–Singapore High Speed Rail selected

Promoter MyHSR Corp announced on April 5 that it had selected the project delivery partners which will design and build the civil works for the Malaysian section of the Kuala Lumpur – Singapore High Speed Rail project.

A consortium of Malaysian Resources Corp and Gamuda has been selected for the northern portion of the alignment, while a consortium of Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay and TH Properties has been selected for the southern section.

The contracts are to be formally awarded following the satisfactory conclusion of negotiations between MyHSR Corp and the two consortia.

The PDPs would be responsible for designing and delivering the civil works at an agreed cost and schedule, undertaking planning, construction, testing and commissioning.

The tender called on November 22 2017 was open to all parties who had experience in railway design and construction, and were familiar with Malaysian railway construction practices and regulatory requirements, as well as the local supply market conditions. The tender also promoted involvement of Malaysian firms consistent with the government’s aim of encouraging the growth of local industries.

‘We are pleased to have selected two very capable consortia to work on the project’, said MyHSR Corp CEO Mohd Nur Ismal bin Mohamed Kamal. ‘The PDPs will bring both local and international experience, through their own experience in building railways in the country and through partnerships with high speed rail experts. Together, we will build the KL-SG HSR project.’

A separate procurement is underway for Malaysia and Singapore to appoint jointly the AssetsCo which would be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the rolling stock and railway systems, including the track, electrification, signalling and telecoms.

Passenger services of the 350 km high speed line are expected to start by the end of 2026.

Joint Venture of Railways with Foreign Companies

Ministry of Railways Agreements have been signed with ALSTOM (France) and General Electric (USA) for manufacturing and maintenance of electric and diesel locomotives. As per contract 800 electric locomotives and 1000 diesel locomotives are to be manufactured and supplied from the factory set up by the companies at Madhepura (Bihar) and Marhowra (Bihar) respectively over a period of 11 years. Two Joint Venture (JV) companies have been set up for this purpose. Ministry of Railways is a 26% stakeholder in these two JV companies. The companies would also undertake maintenance/supervision of the first 500 locomotives by setting up maintenance facilities at Saharanpur, Nagpur, Roza and Ghandhidham.

The project envisages transfer of technology for maintenance to Indian Railway staff in terms of providing benchmarking of maintenance facilities as well as global practices in undertaking maintenance of these locomotives. The maintenance facilities would revert back to the Indian Railways on completion of the maintenance obligations following which the maintenance would be carried out by Indian Railways staff. These projects were approved by the Cabinet in 2010 and subsequently the bidding documents were also approved by the Cabinet in 2014. The companies were selected through an international competitive bidding process. Compliance to the requirement of national security and public interest is a part of the eligibility criteria.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of Government of India had issued the consolidated Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy which allows FDI in Railway Infrastructure sector on automatic route in the areas namely :-

(i) Suburban corridor projects through PPP;

(ii) High speed train project;

(iii) Dedicated freight lines;

(iv) Rolling stock including train sets and locomotive/coaches manufacturing and maintenance facilities;

(v) Railway Electrification;

(vi) Signalling systems;

(vii) Passenger terminals;

(viii)Infrastructure in industrial part pertaining to railway line/sidings including electrified railway lines and connectivities to main railway line; and

(ix) Mass Rapid Transport Systems.

Further, the Indian Railways undertakes outsourcing of certain facilities like cleaning, pay and use toilets, retiring rooms, parking etc. on need based manner to improve efficiency.

Interest of the railway staff is taken into consideration while outsourcing.

IRCTC Tatkal ticket booking norms changed by Indian Railways

IRCTC Tatkal ticket booking In an attempt to help travellers, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to introduce new norms for booking Tatkal tickets, which are booked by those who want to travel on an urgent basis. The Indian Railways reportedly made this provision for online booking of Tatkal tickets so that passengers can travel even during the peak season without any problems. Remember the days when booking railway tickets both online and at railway station used to be a nightmare? The ticket reservation facility of Indian Railways, which allows railway passengers to book accommodation in trains prior to their railway journey should not be misused by touts. To prevent misuse, Indian Railways says it has implemented several checks and procedures in its bid to strengthen the reserved ticketing system. Here are 20 measures that the national transporter says it has taken to strengthen the reserved ticketing system online:

The new IRCTC norms for booking of Tatkal ticket are given below:

  1. Now, the booking for AC Tatkal tickets will start from 10 am, while non-AC tickets can be booked from 11 am. Travellers have to book the ticket a day before their scheduled travel date.
  2. In case your train is more than three hours late, you can claim complete refund of fare and Tatkal charges.
  3. You can also claim full refund if the train’s route is diverted and you dos not want to travel on that route.
  4. The new rules also ensure to claim refund on Tatkal tickets if the train’s route is diverted and the boarding station/destination or both are not on the diverted route.
  5. You can also claim full refund if accommodated in lower class and do not wish to travel in that class.
  6. If you have no problem travelling in the lower class, you will be refunded the difference of fare and Tatkal charges.
  7. You can book through computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS) on first come first served basis.
  8. You should know that there will be no refund on the cancellation of a confirmed Tatkal ticket unless you cancel a waitlisted or RAC ticket at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure.
  9. A Tatkal ticket will reportedly be treated as confirmed if a confirmed reservation has been given to one RAC or a waitlisted ticket holder up to the final preparation of charts.
  10. Irrespective of number of railway passengers, Indian Railways has set the standard form filling time of passenger details in passenger detail form online at 25 seconds.
  11. In order to carry out payments, minimum time check of 10 seconds will be provided to users.
  12. Indian Railways has set 5 seconds as minimum input time for CAPTCHA on passenger details page and payment page.
  13. Also, CAPTCHA is provided at Login page, Passenger detail page and Payment page by the national transporter.
  14. As per railways rules, only two Tatkal tickets can be booked for single user ID in Opening Tatkal, which is from 10:00-12:00 hrs.
  15. In a duration of one month, up to 6 tickets can be booked by a user from one user ID. However, if the user ID is Aadhaar verified and one of the passengers is Aadhaar verified then up to 12 tickets can be booked by a user in a month.
  16. Except return journey, only one tatkal ticket in a single session is allowed by Indian Railways.
  17. Also, the national transporter allows only 2 tatkal tickets per IP address between 10:00-12:00 hrs.
  18. At one point of time, a user can have only one login session active.
  19. Indian Railways does not allow quick book functionality (single page for booking tickets) between 08:00-12:00 hrs.
  20. As per railways rules, a user can book only 2 tickets in Opening Advance Reservation Period between 08:00-10:00 hrs.
  21. At one point of time, a user can do only one login either from multiple windows of same browser or from different browsers.
  22. Indian Railways has implemented Dynamic Field name on Passenger page.
  23. For Net Banking, the national transporter has also made One Time Password (OTP) mandatory for all banks.
  24. Also, Indian Railways print QR Barcodes on Electronic Reservation Slip.
  25. Indian Railways randomly asks additional security question from user after passenger input page related to user personal information, e.g. user name, email, mobile number, check box etc.
  26. In order to prevent cornering of tickets at the time of opening of Tatkal and Advance Reservation Period bookings, Indian Railways does not allow agents to book tickets between 08:00 AM to 08:30 AM, 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM
  27. Indian Railways has made Aadhaar Card mandatory for agents registration.
  28. For suspicious user IDs, time check violation attempts and for bookings done in first second of opening of ARP and tatkal bookings, exception reports are generated. Moreover, after analysis, such IDs are manually deactivated.
  29. In the e-ticketing system, Indian Railways has implemented multi layer security with deep defence.

It may be noted that the IRCTC and the State Bank of India (SBI) have jointly launched a debit card to incentivise passengers and to make them opt for online ticket booking. The SBI card, known as Railway Debit Card, will allow people to go for cashless transactions while booking the railway tickets.

Railways to restart Special Service between Panipat-Delhi for women soon

Haryana Women and Child Development Minister Kavita Jain today assured that the services of a special Indian Railways train for women would soon be restarted between Panipat and Delhi for convenience of the female passengers. Jain said that a large number of women commute between Delhi and Panipat every day.The train service was stopped due to some difficulties for some time now which has caused a lot of resentment among women passengers who faced commuting problems.

A large number of women held a protest in the morning today at Indian Railways Sonipat station and even held up a train passing through for a while as they were demanding re-starting of the women special train between Panipat and Delhi.

The minister said that the state government supports the demand of daily passengers and would resolve their problems on priority basis in this regard.

Jain said that she spoke to a senior railway official who gave her assurance to get this Indian Railways train started within next three to four days.