Indian Railways News

Railways ropes in noted Architect to Redevelop Network, earn 1L crore

A redevelopment plan for the entire mass transit system, designed by architect Hafeez Contractor, could help railways earn Rs 1 lakh crore. The plan for suburban railway network will be unveiled in a few months.

The government is also looking at revising the terms of public private partnership in railways to facilitate longer leases, enabling sub-leasing and mortgaging property. The railways is also in talks with Bombardier and Siemens to convert three coaches in each of its 80 suburban rakes into air-conditioned ones. Also on the cards are separate first- and second-class compartments in the air-conditioned section and a separate compartment for ladies.

The railways has drawn up an ambitious Rs 54,000 crore investment plan for Mumbai suburban section, which includes extending the network to outward sections of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. This includes construction of an elevated railway line along the Harbour line to the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport.

The investment plans reflect the demographic shift in the city-traffic in the island city is falling as housing and employment increases in the northern suburbs. “Until now, modernization and monetizing of assets meant looking at each station as a unit. This plan looks at the entire rail network as one unit and could help railways realise Rs 1 lakh crore according to Contractor,” said a source in the railways.

The PPP in developing stations, however, has met with mixed results. Only two stations-Habibganj and Gandhinagar-have been developed under this scheme. According to a source, it is a challenge for a private developer to meet specifications of Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd.

Railways launches Mobile App for General, Platform Tickets

The Northern Railways authorities have launched a mobile-based app UTS (Unreserved Ticketing System) for rail commuters of Ferozepur Division to get general as well platforms tickets. This development would provide a major relief to most passengers who earlier had to stand in long queues to get their general tickets for travelling throughout the division.

The service of providing general tickets through the mobile-based app commenced on Saturday, and it would also resolve the problem of charging of excessive amounts on general tickets by rail officials deputed at various general ticket booking counters. Senior divisional commercial manager of Ferozepur Division, Monu Luthra, said: “Finally, the service of providing general as well platforms tickets through the mobile-based app has commenced for passengers in the Ferozepur Division.”

The Central Railway Information System (CRIS) has enabled the technical process for the e-ticketing system. Railways officials too had generated some general tickers to verify its working, and found it was working smoothly without error. Railways will soon install hoardings in the premises of different stations to create awareness regarding this mobile app. Through this app, passengers can make payments through credit cards, debit cards, and several mobile-based wallets, without facing any hardship. Although several specifications have been taken into consideration while developing the mobile app, passengers would have to follow all the steps strictly to get their unreserved tickets.

If a passenger wants an unreserved ticket, then the foremost thing to do is stay away from railway tracks to at least a minimum distance of 70 metres up to 5km for the smooth functioning of the app. Luthra added: “Southern Railways authorities have already started this project in their railway stations, and the same thing will be implemented in our division in the forthcoming days for the convenience of passengers travelling on unreserved tickets.”

One of the passengers, Dilpreet Singh, said: “Railways had achieved another milestone in their ticket generating system with the commencement of e-ticketing system for general as well as platform tickets, as earlier, passengers would have to stand in queues for several hours to buy tickets for their trains, and in between the whole process, they would even miss their trains at times.”

How Indian Railways is Revamping the famous Old Delhi Railway Station with New Passenger Amenities

The historic Old Delhi railway station would get back its glory after the ongoing renovation work which will preserve its heritage look while improving passenger amenities. Railway Board Chairman Ashwini Lohani, who visited the station complex today along with senior railway officials, directed officials to ensure that the main facade of the station building should be well maintained at all cost, a statement issued by Northern Railway said.

The design of the windows too should be in harmony with the building architecture, it said. As the second entry of the station is gaining more importance these days, he directed the officers to develop Platform number 16 and its surrounding areas to make them more traveller-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, the statement said.

“The CRB gave comprehensive instructions to the officers and staff to speed up the pace of the works that are being done to increase passenger amenities that shall make the passengers’ travel experience a pleasant one,” the statement said. During his inspection, Lohani said the signages must be placed strategically so as to guide passengers at every step.

During his inspection, Lohani said the signages must be placed strategically so as to guide passengers at every step. He said a proposal for creating comfortable air-conditioned passenger lounge should be taken up and expedited.

Expressing his displeasure over the poor upkeep of the parcel booking office, Lohani directed that the entire setup including the furniture, computers, printers and CCTV must be immediately upgraded so that the employees feel pride in their workplace.

He directed that a time-bound action plan should be made for the upgradation and any slackness in the working of this office including its upkeep should be dealt with very strictly, the statement said quoting him.

Cyber Cops on fake Railway job site trail

The chairman of the Railway Recruitment Board’s Ranchi has shot a letter to cyber police alleging that some websites were using information and links of their official website to con job aspirants and expressed concerns that this might only be the tip of an iceberg.

DSP, cyber thana, Shradha Kerketta said she had received Mahendra Kumar Yadav’s complaint and initiated a probe.

Yadav said his letter was a warning for job-seekers. “Our site ( www.rrbranchi.gov.in) is hosted by the National Informatics Centre and we have not permitted anyone else to use our links/information. If you search for us on the Web, you will find at least a dozen more sites that are designed to trick people into believing they are genuine,” he said.

A few months ago, railways had published a vacancy notice for Group D jobs. Candidates were required to fill up application forms and submit the examination fee online through a link posted on the original website.

“We received as many as seven phone calls from aspirants complaining that they did not get admit cards despite filling up the form and depositing the fee. Their money had also been deducted from their bank accounts. We asked some of them to come to our office where the forms were filled up successfully. It is clear they had been trapped by fake websites,” Yadav said.

Rail sources said the candidates mentioned sites like https://railway.net.in/rrb-ranchi-group-d-status-2018/ and http://www.freejobalert.com/ that had online application links, which possibly directed them to a bank account other than that of the railways.

Kerketta said an inquiry had been set up. “The letter mentions the links of some of the fake websites that have used official information and links of the board. Railway authorities are suspecting that the information can be used to cheat job-seekers, but no such instance has been cited.” she said.

Sources at the cyber police station said the server of some of the fake websites were located outside India and the process had been started to procure their operational details.

CR’s earnings from ‘PRS’ up by Rs.237 Crore

: The earnings of Central Railway (CR) for 2017-18 from the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) increased by Rs 237 crore over the figures from 2016-17.

In the year 2017-18, the CR earned Rs.338 crore from the PRS, while the previous year it earned Rs.314 crore. Similarly, 5.64 crore passengers booked tickets through the PRS in 2017-18 while there were 5.33 crore and 5.10 crore such passengers in 2016-17 and 2015-16.

The Asian Age has accessed CR’s PRS and non-PRS data, according to which Rs.123 crore has been earned from non PRS in 2017-18, Rs.123.9 crore in 2016-17 and Rs.126 crore in 2015-16.

The numbers of passengers for Non-PRS have decreased despite the railways providing several incentives to passengers for booking tickets in the last three years. Non-PRS passengers touched 17,68,03,751 crore in 2017-18, 17,88,62,739 in 2016-17 and 18,29,90,444 in 2015-16.

Earlier in the month, the Railway board had decided to give five per cent additional recharge value to commuters in the Railways Wallet, so that they could book tickets from non PRS system, which will help railway to save not only man power but also  paper.

The earnings of the Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) of CR have increased by eight crore. The earnings of the UTS are, Rs 211 crore in 2017-18, 210 crore in 2016-17 and 209 crore in 2015-16.

Chandor resolves against developing Railway Station as Coal Hub

Demanding that the government restore ‘Any Other Business’ (AOB) on the gram sabha agenda, the Chandor Cavorim gram sabha unanimously resolved against developing the railway station in the village as a coal hub.

Stating that they had no objection to the double tracking of the railway line, the villagers however strongly objected to any plans to convert the Chandor Railway Station into a coal hub as reported in a section of the media.

The sarpanch was asked to write to the South Western Railways immediately informing them about the villagers’ objection to plans to increase the number of platforms at the station to 10 in future. The villagers were unanimous in their stand that development should not be at the cost of the village and peace of the locals.

The Sarpanch as also asked to write to the sarpanch of neighbouring Guirdolim village in whose jurisdiction the railway station actually comes under.

A villager strongly protested against the dropping of ‘AOB” from the gram sabha agenda and argued that AOB gives actual liberty and voice to the rural inhabitants. She argued that by dropping AOB, the government was seeking to suppress the voice of the people, which has been increasingly growing in dissent to the state’s policies.

Even as the panchayat informed that it had started the pre-monsoon cleaning of drains, some villagers pointed out that it was not being done properly.

There was a heated discussion on the gaddas in the market square even though their license clearly states that they should move away from the market square in the night.

The panchayat was asked to cancel the trade license issued to those violating this norm and ensure that the market square is free of any gaddas at night.

The status of State Highway No 8 was discussed at length with the villagers demanding that panchayat immediately stop the work of asphalting currently underway in the village as the tender notice was not submitted to the panchayat.

Until the tender order is submitted to the panchayat the work will not go on, said a villager, arguing that the panchayat is responsible for any development work undertaken in the village and hence has to be informed on any work that is taken up.

Chandor wants clarity on Railway station status

Members of the Chandor gram sabha, held on Sunday, have requested sarpanch Celina Furtado to write to the South Western Railways inquiring about their plans to make the Chandor railway station a ‘coal hub’ .

Furtado told that “the Chandor village panchayat will also write to the neighbouring Guirdolim panchayat regarding this matter as it falls within its jurisdiction but Chandor villagers are very concerned”.

Gram sabha members requested that the panchayat write to local MLA Clafasio Dias regarding their opposition to the notified State Highway 8 (SH8) requesting Dias to provide the panchayat with the detailed work order , he said

He added that the meeting raised the issue of the temporary blockage of the natural waterways prior to the onset of the monsoon by a private firm.

“I have asked them to remove it as per their assurance in a letter dated January 31. They replied that it would be done by May 20. If the blockage is not cleared by then, the panchayat will write to the firm holding it entirely responsible for any eventuality occurring in the village,” Furtado said.

WR’s popular DISHA App will be replicated across all Zones of Indian Railways

WR’s DISHA (Digital Interface of Stations for Help and Amenities) Mobile App has earned praise from the railway board, which has asked to other zonal railways to develop a similar app, which is single window for information only passenger amenities, including providing real-time status of suburban services.

Railway board had directed all the zonal railway to share the good work initiative on its portal “Rail Good Works Portal”. A total of 1250 entries were received of which 25 have been identified for mass scale implementation across Indian Railways.

A WR officer said, “Of these 25, DISHA was the only initiative that was related to passenger services. We are happy that this effort had drawn praise from the board.”

The mobile app DISHA, which is the brain-child of WR’s senior divisional commissioner (Mumbai) Aarti Singh Parihar, gives useful and valuable information like general information about the railway station with nearby places, helpful amenities like ticketing, food and toilets and important facilities like medical help and police along with a whole range of other facilities that are available at the stations.

The app can now provide real time updates of suburban train. Commuters have to select the originating station and the destination station to get real time status of the running train which are scheduled to depart within next 15 to 45 minutes.

DISHA also has catering menu that where one can see the approved rates of the food items. Commutes can also ascertain steps to use the ATMV and book unreserved tickets through mobile app.

It also gives you phone numbers that you can dial to get emergency help and support. DISHA also contains links to do PNR enquiry, online ticketing, helpline numbers along with suggestions and complaints. DISHA also contains Western Railway timetable and live updates.

Integrated Unreserved Ticketing System at 138 stations launched on Southern Railway

For speedy access of ticketing facilities and optimum utilisation of railway resources, Southern Railway (SR) has launched Integrated Unreserved Ticketing System (IUTS), merging both unreserved ticket counters and reserved ticket counters, at 138 stations in six divisions in Tamil Nadu and Kerala recently.

This means passengers will be able to purchase reserved tickets at unreserved ticket counters between 8 am and 8 pm at select stations in Madurai, Tiruchy and Salem divisions, while reserved ticket counters will also sell unreserved tickets during peak hours in Chennai division, said railway sources.

According to official records, the zone has 566 unreserved ticket counters across Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchy, Salem, Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad divisions, while it has only 121 reserved ticket counters. Though SR operates 74 additional counters for booking reserved tickets — 45 at non rail head (NRH) locations, 20 at post offices and nine Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK) counters operated by private agencies, it could not cater to demand.

Though more than 55 per cent of reserved tickets are booked through IRCTC, a section of passengers still wanted to purchase through counters. “Trains bound for southern Tamil Nadu has huge ticket demand and railways is unable to provide dedicated PRS counters for many stations in Madurai and Tiruchy divisions. So we have merged both UTS and PRS counters together at many stations in Tiruchy and Madurai division in the last two months,” said a senior railway official.

Of the 116 UTS counters, an UTS counter at each of 40 stations, including Pamban, Madurai East, Mettur and Kizhapuliyur railway stations, has been earmarked as IUTS counter for performing the dual role in Madurai division. As many as 28 counters out of 110 counters were converted as unified counters across Tiruchy division, while 18 counters were upgraded in Salem division. All the counters were upgraded in C, D and E category stations.

“Chennai division has limited demand for reservation counters. Six counters at Villivakkam, Puttur, Nayudupetta, Ekambarakuppam, Gudiyatham and Vaniyambadi have been selling both unreserved tickets and reserved tickets,” the official said.

The integrated ticketing system will enable railways to serve passengers without increasing manpower and creating additional infrastructure.  However, the railways said that functioning of the counters will depend on passenger patronage at the particular station.

“When smaller stations had passage of express and passenger trains, the ticketing staff has been directed to sell only unreserved tickets. During Tatkal hours, the counter staff will cater to passengers who want to purchase reserved tickets,” an officer explained.

Loksabha Speaker to Flag-off Indore-Puri Weekly Humsafar Express

Ministry of Railways has decided to introduce New Weekly Humsafar Express train between Indore and Puri for the benefit of passengers.  This train will be flagged off by Smt Sumitra Mahajan-Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha in a function to be held at Indore station on 12th May 2018.

According to a Press Release issued by Shri Ravinder Bhakar-Chief Public Relations Officer, Western Railway, Train No 09317 Indore – Puri Humsafar Express Special will run as an inaugural run on Saturday, 12th May 2018 at 18.15 hrs from Indore station and will reach Puri on Monday, 14th May, 2018 at 01.55 hrs. Similarly, in the return direction Train No 09318 Puri – Indore Humsafar Special will leave from Puri at 08.15 hrs on Monday, 14th May 2018 to arrive Indore at 17.35 hrs the next day.

In its regular run, Train No.19317 Indore – Puri Humsafar Express will depart from Indore every Tuesday at 12.40 hrs to reach Puri at 19.55 hrs the next day.  Similarly in the return direction, Train No. 19318 Puri – Indore Humsafar Express will depart from Puri every Wednesday at 23.55 hrs to reach Indore at 11.25 hrs on every Friday. Regular run for the above trains will be from ex Indore 22/05/2018 and ex Puri 23/05/2018.

This train will have 3 tier AC coaches. The train will halt at Dewas, Bhopal, Itarsi, Nagpur, Rajnandgaon, Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur, Jharsuguda Rd, Sambalpur City, Angul, Bhubaneswar and Khurda Rd stations in both directions.

Booking for Train No. 09317 Indore-Puri Humsafar Weekly Express Special will be opened with immediate effect and forTrain No 19317 Indore-Puri Humsafar Weekly Express will be opened from 14th May 2018 at all Passenger Reservation Centres and IRCTC website.

माननीया लोकसभा अध्यक्ष श्रीमती सुमित्रा महाजन करेंगी इंदौरपुरी साप्ताहिक हमसफर एक्सप्रेस का उद्घाटन

यात्रियों की सुविधा के लिए रेल मंत्रालय द्वारा इंदौर तथा पुरी के बीच एक नई साप्ताहिक हमसफर एक्सप्रेस ट्रेन शुरू करने का निर्णय लिया गया है। माननीया लोकसभा अध्यक्षा श्रीमती सुमित्रा महाजन 12 मई, 2018 को इंदौर स्टेशन पर आयोजित होने वाले एक समारोह में इस ट्रेन को हरी झंडी दिखाकर रवाना करेंगी।

पश्चिम रेलवे के मुख्य जनसम्पर्क अधिकारी श्री रविंद्र भाकर द्वारा जारी एक प्रेस विज्ञप्ति के अनुसार उद्घाटक सेवा के रूप में ट्रेन संख्या 09317 इंदौर-पुरी साप्ताहिक हमसफर  एक्सप्रेस विशेष ट्रेन शनिवार, 12 मई 2018 को इंदौर से 18.15 बजे प्रस्थान करेगी तथा सोमवार, 14 मई, 2018 को 01.55 बजे पुरी पहुँचेगी। वापसी यात्रा में ट्रेन संख्या 09318 पुरी-इंदौर साप्ताहिक हमसफर विशेष एक्सप्रेस सोमवार, 14 मई 2018 को पुरी से 08.15 बजे रवाना होगी एवं अगले दिन 17.35 बजे इंदौर पहुंचेगी।

अपनी नियमित सेवा के रूप में ट्रेन संख्या 19317 इंदौर-पुरी साप्ताहिक हमसफर एक्सप्रेस इंदौर से प्रत्येक मंगलवार को 12.40 बजे रवाना होगी तथा अगले दिन 19.55 बजे पुरी पहुंचेगी। इसी प्रकार वापसी यात्रा में ट्रेन संख्या 19318 पुरी-इंदौर साप्ताहिक हमसफर एक्सप्रेस पुरी से प्रत्येक बुधवार को 23.55 बजे रवाना होगी एवं शुक्रवार को 11.25 बजे इंदौर पहुंचेगी। ट्रेन संख्या 19317/19318 की नियमित सेवाएं इंदौर से 22 मई, 2018 से तथा पुरी से 23 मई, 2018 से प्रारंभ होगी।

यह ट्रेन पूर्णतःवातानुकूलित है एवं इसमें 3 एसी के डिब्बे हैं। यात्रा के दौरान दोनो दिशाओं में यह ट्रेन देवास, भोपाल, इटारसी, नागपुर, राजनांदगाँव, दुर्ग, रायपुर, बिलासपुर, झारसुगुडा रोड, संबलपुर सिटी, अंगुल, भुवनेश्वर तथा खुर्दा रोड जंक्शन स्टेशनों पर ठहरेगी।

ट्रेन संख्या 09317 इंदौर-पुरी साप्ताहिक हमसफर विशेष एक्सप्रेस की बुकिंग तत्काल प्रभाव से तथा ट्रेन संख्या 19317 इंदौर-पुरी साप्ताहिक हमसफर एक्सप्रेस की बुकिंग 14 मई, 2018 से सभी आरक्षण केन्द्रों एवं आईआरसीटीसी वेबसाइट पर प्रारम्भ होगी।

Railways mulls daily services to Madurai from Mettupalayam

The Blue Mountain Express is expected to commence operations between Mettupalayam and Madurai soon. Southern Railway officials have sent a proposal in this regard to the railway board headquarters.

The plan to start the service to Madurai was unveiled when the divisional railway manager U Subbarao visited the Mettupalayam station recently.

“We conducted a survey and came to know about the public demand for a train between Mettupalayam and Madurai,” an official with the Salem railway division said.

The Blue Mountain Express, which runs between Mettupalayam and Chennai, presently lies idle at the Mettupalayam railway station during the daytime.

The train departs Mettupalayam at 7.45pm and reaches Chennai at 5.5am. It then leaves Chennai at 9.15pm and reaches Mettupalayam at 6.15am.

The official said the plan was to introduce to and fro service to Madurai, instead of keeping the express train stationed at Mettupalayam diuring the daytime.

Now that the Pollachi line has become functional, we have sent the proposal to operate the train, the official said and added that the train timings and stoppings would be decided after the proposal gets approval.

Another official source, meanwhile, said works on the platform and foot over-bridge were on at the Mettupalayam railway station. “The service will start after the work is completed,” the source said.

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