Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

RRB NTPC Exam In December, Option To Check Application Status Closes On September 30

The Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) will conduct the first exam for selection to non-technical popular category posts (NTPC posts) in December. Regarding the RRB NTPC admit card, the RRBs have notified that it will be available for download well before the computer based test in the website of the respective RRBs.

Since more than 3 crore applications have been registered for the exam, it is expected that the RRBs will conduct the exam in multiple shifts over many days. On the detailed exam schedule, the RRBs have said that the update regarding the computer based test will be intimated through the respective website of the RRB.

The recruitment was notified in February, 2019.

Selection to RRB NTPC posts will be through two computer based tests, skill test and the final merit list will be through document verification. A total of 35,208 vacancies will be filled through this recruitment out of which  10,628 posts are undergraduate posts (Junior clerk cum typist, accounts clerk cum typist, junior time keeper, trains clerk and commercial cum ticket clerk) for which the minimum eligibility is 10+2 pass. 24,649 posts are graduate posts for which the minimum eligibility is graduation.

After the two computer-based tests, the selection process will differ post wise. For station master and traffic assistant post there will be a computer based aptitude test after the two computer based tests. For Junior Clerk cum Typist, Junior Time Keeper, Accounts Clerk cum Typist, Senior Clerk cum Typist, Junior Account Assistant cum Typist and Senior Time Keeper there will be typing skill test. For Trains Clerk, Commercial cum Ticket Clerk, Goods Guard, Senior Commercial cum Ticket Clerk, Commercial Apprentice, there shall be two stage computer-based test followed by document verification and medical examination.

As of now, the RRB NTPC application status of the candidates has been released. Candidates can check their application status till September 30.

2 Railway Engineers Accused Of Gangraping Woman In Bhopal Station

Two engineers of the Bhopal division of West Central Railway were placed under suspension for allegedly gang-raping a woman in a room in the railway station, an official said on Sunday.

Junior Engineer (Carriage Wagon) Rajesh Tiwari and Senior Section Engineer (Electrical) Alok Malviya are accused of raping a 22-year-old woman from Uttar Pradesh on Saturday after Rajesh Tiwari befriended her on Facebook and invited her to Bhopal with the promise of getting her a job, said Bhopal Superintendent of Police (Railway) Hitesh Choudhary.

“When the woman arrived on Saturday morning, main accused Rajesh Tiwari (in his 40s) put her up in a room at the railway station, after which he and Malviya, 54, gave her a drink laced with a sedative and then raped her. She filed a complaint after she regained consciousness,” Hitesh Choudhary said.

A departmental inquiry has been instituted by the Bhopal divisional railway manager (DRM) against the two and they have been suspended, a WCR release informed.

UPSC Civil Services Exam: Railways To Operate Special Trains In Odisha, Andhra Pradesh

To facilitate candidates of civil services preliminary examination, scheduled to be held on October 4, the Railways ministry has decided to run special trains within the jurisdiction of East Coast Railway (ECoR) the day before, an official said on Saturday.

The examination special trains will touch different cities in Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

The special trains will leave from Berhampur, Keonjhar, Khariar Road and Ichhapuram at 4 pm, from Koraput at 5 am and 1 pm on October 3. The trains will arrive in the cities in the evening on the same day (October 3), the official said.

The ECoR’s special trains are Brahmapur-Cuttack MEMU examination special, Kendujhargarh-Cuttack MEMU examination special, Ichhapuram-Visakhapatnam MEMU examination special and Khariar Road-Sambalpur examination special.

The ECoR will also operate examination special trains between Koraput-Cuttack, Koraput-Visakhapatnam, Rourkela-Cuttack via Jharsuguda, Baripada-Cuttack and Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam to ferry the candidates.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre and the Union Public Service Commission on a plea seeking postponement of the exam by two to three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Auditor Raises Concerns Over Delay In Railway Projects

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Wednesday hit out at the Railways, saying it resorting to “window dressing” to present its operating ratio in “a better light” during the financial year 2018-19 by including advance freight payments in its calculations.

It also raised concerns over delays in projects over the past five years due to inefficiency of zones and weak monitoring by the Railway Board.

Operating Ratio (OR) represents the ratio of working expenses to earnings. A higher ratio indicates poorer ability to generate surplus.

In a report on the Railways’ finances tabled in both Houses of Parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said against the target of 92.8 per cent in the Budget Estimates, the OR of Railways was 97.29 per cent in 2018-19. This meant that the national transporter spent ₹ 97.29 to earn ₹ 100.

“However, if advance freight of ₹ 8,351 crore from NTPC and CONCOR was not included in the earnings of 2018-19, OR would have been 101.77 per cent instead of 97.29 per cent,” the report said.

“The Net Surplus in 2018-19 was ₹ 3,773.86 crore. OR would have ended with a negative balance of ₹ 7,334.85 crore but for receipt of advance freight and less appropriation to DRF and Pension Fund.

Ministry of Railways (MoR) resorted to window dressing for presenting the working expenses and operating ratio in a better light,” it said.

The audit report also cast doubts over the Railways” use of its Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) for project financing which started 2015-16 onwards.

While financial assistance of ₹ 1.50 lakh crore was agreed to by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) over a period of five years (2015-20), the audit observed that the financing arrangement with LIC materialized only partially due to regulatory constraints.

“During 2015-19, only ₹ 16,200 crore could be raised from LIC. MoR recouped the shortfall of ₹ 49,164 crore by raising funds through short-term/medium term market borrowings which carry higher rate of interest,” it said.

The report also pointed out that progress remained slow in projects which were to be completed during 2015-20, due to “inefficiency of Zonal Railways and weak monitoring at the Railway Board level”.

“Scrutiny of records relating to 395 projects funded from EBR revealed that 268 projects were still in progress as on March 31, 2019. This had resulted in a blockade of ₹ 48,536 crore EBR funds besides defeating the intended objective of generation of revenue for debt servicing. Review of identification and sanction of projects for EBR funding revealed that financially unviable projects were sanctioned,” it said.

Railways Issues “Domestic” Tender To Manufacture 44 Vande Bharat Trains

The Railways has floated a new “domestic” tender for manufacturing 44 semi-high speed “Vande Bharat” train sets, in which only India-registered companies can participate and the minimum local component percentage required is 75, officials said on Monday.

In August, the Railways had cancelled a global tender it had floated the month before after it emerged that among the six candidates that had submitted financial bids was CRRC Pioneer Electric, in which China’s CRRC is a joint partner.

“The revised tender is in line with the Government of India’s preference for the Make In India policy,” a Railway spokesperson said.

“The minimum local content percentage has been revised to 75%. It is the first big tender under revised DPIIT norms of Atma Nirbhar Bharat having at least 75 % domestic components. This tender is now a domestic tender. It shall be local (indigenous) tender in which a two-stage reverse auction shall take place,” the spokesperson said.

The tender is for three-phase propulsion, control and other equipment along with the bogies for the 44 train sets.

The ministry also said a pre-bid meeting for the tender will be held on September 29 and the tender will be opened on November 17.

The bid document states that the train sets shall be manufactured at Integral Coach Factory, Chennai; Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala; Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.

The government had earlier scrapped three global tenders for the project.

The August cancellation had come in the backdrop of rising tensions between India and China. The Railways had then said a fresh bid will be put out as per the revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order.

As per the CRRC Pioneer Electric’s website, it is a joint venture of CRRC Yongji Electric Co. Ltd — a core subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation — and India’s Pioneer Fil-Med Pvt ltd, set up in 2015.

The other bidders for the project, estimated to cost about ₹ 1,500 crore, were Indian PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals, the Hyderabad-based Medha Group, the Himachal Pradesh-based Electrowaves Electronic Pvt Ltd, Powernetics Equipments Pvt Ltd and Bharat Industries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the maiden run of a Vande Bharat train on the New Delhi-Varanasi route on February 15, 2019.

The second such train service between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra was flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah on October 3, 2019.

Officials said that going by the cost of manufacturing of the first Vande Bharat Express, or Train 18, the present tender would be worth over ₹ 1,500 crore.

Earlier, the Railways had also cancelled a ₹ 471-crore signalling contract of another Chinese firm and scrapped a tender for thermal cameras as again a Chinese firm was seen as a front-runner.

Railways Issues “Domestic” Tender To Manufacture 44 Vande Bharat Trains

The Railways has floated a new “domestic” tender for manufacturing 44 semi-high speed “Vande Bharat” train sets, in which only India-registered companies can participate and the minimum local component percentage required is 75, officials said on Monday.

In August, the Railways had cancelled a global tender it had floated the month before after it emerged that among the six candidates that had submitted financial bids was CRRC Pioneer Electric, in which China’s CRRC is a joint partner.

“The revised tender is in line with the Government of India’s preference for the Make In India policy,” a Railway spokesperson said.

“The minimum local content percentage has been revised to 75%. It is the first big tender under revised DPIIT norms of Atma Nirbhar Bharat having at least 75 % domestic components. This tender is now a domestic tender. It shall be local (indigenous) tender in which a two-stage reverse auction shall take place,” the spokesperson said.

The tender is for three-phase propulsion, control and other equipment along with the bogies for the 44 train sets.

The ministry also said a pre-bid meeting for the tender will be held on September 29 and the tender will be opened on November 17.

The bid document states that the train sets shall be manufactured at Integral Coach Factory, Chennai; Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala; Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.

The government had earlier scrapped three global tenders for the project.

The August cancellation had come in the backdrop of rising tensions between India and China. The Railways had then said a fresh bid will be put out as per the revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order.

As per the CRRC Pioneer Electric’s website, it is a joint venture of CRRC Yongji Electric Co. Ltd — a core subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation — and India’s Pioneer Fil-Med Pvt ltd, set up in 2015.

The other bidders for the project, estimated to cost about ₹ 1,500 crore, were Indian PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals, the Hyderabad-based Medha Group, the Himachal Pradesh-based Electrowaves Electronic Pvt Ltd, Powernetics Equipments Pvt Ltd and Bharat Industries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the maiden run of a Vande Bharat train on the New Delhi-Varanasi route on February 15, 2019.

The second such train service between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra was flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah on October 3, 2019.

Officials said that going by the cost of manufacturing of the first Vande Bharat Express, or Train 18, the present tender would be worth over ₹ 1,500 crore.

Earlier, the Railways had also cancelled a ₹ 471-crore signalling contract of another Chinese firm and scrapped a tender for thermal cameras as again a Chinese firm was seen as a front-runner.

India Delivers Two Diesel-Electric Multiple Unit Trains To Nepal

India has handed over two modern trains to Nepal that would run between Jaynagar in Bihar and Kurtha in Dhanusa district from mid-December, marking the beginning of the first broad-gauge railway service in the Himalayan nation, officials said on Saturday.

The Konkan Railway delivered two modern Diesel-Electric Multiple Unit (DMUC) trains to the Nepal Railway for Jaynagar-Kurtha broad gauge line on Friday. These trains are manufactured by Integrated Coach Factory, Chennai with modern amenities and latest AC-AC propulsion technology.

The Indian technicians and the Nepal Railway staff were welcomed at various locations when the trains arrived in the country from India on Friday.

Thousands of people gathered to see the new trains despite the coronavirus pandemic that has killed 390 people and infected over 60,000 others in Nepal.

The train operations from Kurtha to Jaynagar, covering a distance of 35-km, will benefit citizens of both the countries, according to Indian Embassy sources.

The trial run of the new trains started from Friday on the broad gauge tracks whose construction was completed last year, according to Nepal Railway Company Director General Guru Bhattarai.

Since the border is unlikely to open soon due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the train services would not start immediately and the trains would be parked at the Nepal Railway Station in Jaynagar for the maintenance and safety, according to Senior Divisional Engineer Devendra Shah.

“The trains are expected to go into regular operation around the Ram-Janaki marriage ceremony in mid-December when the situation is likely to improve,” said Nepal Railway Company Engineer Binod Ojha.

The Jaynagar-Kurtha rail line was originally built during the British Raj to transport logs from forests at Mahottari, Nepal to India.

At that time, the line from Jaynagar in Bihar to Bijulpura in Mahottari was 52 kms long.

The 69-km Jaynagar-Janakpur-Bardibas railway is being built at a cost of Rs10 billion with support from the Indian government.

According to the Nepali media reports, the railway track is being built in three phases. The 35-km-long first section of the rail line links Jaynagar and Kurtha in Mahottari district. The 17-km-long second section will link Kurtha and Bhangaha while the third phase is 17-km-long and will extend from Bhangaha to Bardibas.

GMR, Adani Among 20 Firms Keen In Redeveloping New Delhi Railway Station

France’s state-owned railway company SNCF, the GMR Group and the Adani Group are among 20 entities that have shown interest in redeveloping the New Delhi railway station into a world-class multimodal hub.

At a pre-bid meeting on Tuesday, around 20 national and international firms — such as the SNCF, the Arabian Construction Company, the GMR, the Adani Group, the JKB Infra, Anchorage Infrastructure — participated.

The project, being implemented by the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), is estimated to cost ₹ 6,500 crore and will be completed in around four years.

“The redevelopment of New Delhi Railway Station has attracted interest from leading global firms,” RLDA Vice Chairman Ved Parkash Dudeja said.

The objective of the ambitious project is to position the New Delhi railway station as a multimodal hub through upgradation of the infrastructure and provision of state-of-the-art amenities such as an elevated concourse, a multi-level car parking and much more facilities.

The project would be developed on a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT) model for a concession period of 60 years.

“The project aims to transform New Delhi Railway Station into a world-class transit hub, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of New India. This station will be a one-stop destination for retail, commercial and hospitality. It will also boost real estate and ensure cascading development of New Delhi and surrounding regions,” Mr Dudeja said.

The concessionaire will earn revenues from several components including passenger handling fees collected via ticket sales, revenues from passenger facilities within the station such as retail areas, lounges, parking, advertisement spaces, food and beverages, income from the development and lease of the commercial components to name a few, the RLDA said in a statement.

The phased exercise encompasses redevelopment of station and associated infrastructure, relocation of social infrastructure as well as the refurbishment of offices and quarters.

Other aspects include developing food courts and restrooms, an elevated concourse with segregation for arriving and departing passengers, and refurbished platforms with easy access from the concourse level.

The redevelopment plan also envisions mezzanine level exclusively for passenger facilities such as lounges, an elevated road network with multiple entry and exit points.

Green building provisions such as optimum use of natural ventilation and lighting will also be a key highlight of the redeveloped station.

New Delhi Railway Station is the largest and second busiest station in the country and handles approximately 4.5 lakh passengers daily (approximately 160 -170 million passengers annually).

The station handles 400 trains per day which are expected to increase due to higher operational efficiencies resulting from the redevelopment and better yard utilization.

The RLDA is currently working on 62 stations in a phased manner while its subsidiary, IRSDC has taken up another 61 stations for redevelopment.

In the first phase, the RLDA has prioritised prominent stations like New Delhi, Tirupati, Dehradun, Nellore, and Puducherry for redevelopment.

Railway stations across the country will be redeveloped on a PPP Model as a part of Smart City Projects launched by the government.

The RLDA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Railways for development of vacant railway land for commercial use in line with the objective to generate revenue by non-tariff measures.

Currently, the approximately 43,000 hectares of Railways land are lying vacant.

The RLDA has over 79 sites across India for leasing and the eligible developers for each will be selected through an open and transparent bid process.

The RLDA is currently also handling 84 railway colony redevelopment projects and has recently leased out a railway colony in Guwahati for redevelopment.

Railways To Run 20 Pairs Of Clone Trains From September 21

The Railways Tuesday said it will run 20 pairs of clone trains from September 21, most of them to and from Bihar.

While the tickets for 19 pairs of these trains will be charged at the Humsafar Express rates, it will be at par with the Janshatabdi Express rates for the clone train between Lucknow and Delhi.

The advance reservation period for these trains will be 10 days and the booking will open at 8 am on September 19, the Railways said.
In a media briefing recently, Railway Board chairman V K Yadav had said the national transporter will operate clone trains on the routes that have a long waiting list, so that the passengers with such
tickets can travel.

These clone trains will run ahead of the actual trains so that passengers have no problem in travelling.

On Tuesday, the Railways said that these trains will operate on notified timings and will be fully reserved services.

While the 19 pairs of Humsafar Express trains will be of 18 coaches, the Lucknow-Delhi train will have 22 coaches.

According to the list of trains being run by the Railways, 10 trains (5 pairs) will operate between Bihar and Delhi under the East Central Railways.

These trains will originate and terminate in Bihar’s Saharsa, Rajendra Nagar, Rajgir, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur.

The two trains operating under the Northeast Frontier Railway are also from Bihar: Katihar to Delhi and back.

The Northern Railway will also run 10 trains (5 pairs) which will operate between Delhi and Bihar and back, West Bengal to Delhi, Punjab to West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh to Delhi among others.

The South Central Railway will operate two trains between Danapur (Bihar) to Secunderabad and back.

The South Western Railway will operate 6 trains (3 pairs) between Goa and Delhi, Karnataka-Bihar and Karnataka-Delhi.

The Western Railway will run 10 trains (5 pairs) between Bihar (Darbhanga)-Gujarat(Ahmedabad), Delhi-Gujarat, Bihar (Chhapra) to Gujarat (Surat), Mumbai-Punjab, Gujarat(Ahmedabad)-Bihar (Patna)
These trains will run in addition to the 310 special trains already in service and their stoppages will be limited to operational halt or the Divisional Headquarters en-route (if any).

The suggestions of state governments may also be kept while restricting the halts, the national transporter said.

Why 2030 is big year for Indian Railways

Commerce, Industry and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted that “By 2030 we will be a net-zero railway, our carbon emission will be zero. Indian Railways transports nearly 8 billion passengers and 1.2 billion tonnes of freight every year. Ours will be the world’s first Railways of this scale to go green.”

Indian Railways also plans to use its surplus land to generate 20 GW of renewable energy from ‘Made in India’ solar or wind equipment to power its network. Goyal said Indian Railways will be a 100 percent electricity-driven rail network in coming years which would make it the largest such network in the world.

He was addressing CEEW India’s programme on ‘Powering Livelihoods: Transforming India’s Rural Economy with Clean Energy Solutions’. The railways may need to either expand battery storage or other forms of storage for this, he said.

Goyal on Monday also reviewed the progress of the ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridors, and was apprised that the Western Corridor, connecting Dadri in Uttar Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai, and the Eastern Corridor, starting from Sahnewal near Ludhiana (Punjab) to terminate at Dankuni in West Bengal, will be completed by December 2021.

“He suggested that involving young fresh minds to suggest best solutions may be encouraged,” the ministry said. “During the meeting, it was decided that strict monitoring of work of all contractors be done. Resolution of all issues, including coordination with the states, to be done on a mission mode. Innovative mechanisms to constantly monitor the weekly progress of the project to be evolved,” it said.

With the need for public transit increasing with each passing year, there has also been a rise in demand for faster transit causing the evolution to superfast trains, but only select countries have pulled them off, here are a few

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