Indian Railways News

Railways Mulls Discounts On Train Tickets On Advance Bookings

Just like air travellers, railway passengers planning their journey in advance could get cheaper deals, if the recommendations of a fare review committee are approved by the Railway Board.

The committee, which submitted its report earlier this week, has suggested graded discounts depending on the number of vacant seats in a train, sources said. Similar to the modus operandi of airlines, which offer heavy discounts to passengers if they book their tickets months in advance, the committee, officials said recommended discounts from 50 per cent to 20 per cent depending on the number of vacant seats available at the time of booking.

The panel has also proposed discounts for tickets booked after charting. It has said that discounts can be offered in slots from two days to two hours before the departure of the train.

The committee has also said that passengers will have to pay more for choosing lower berths, just like air travelers pay more for front-row seats.

However, officials say that senior citizens, people with disabilities and pregnant women could be allotted the seats free of charge.

The committee has also suggested that fares be increased for those trains which reach their destinations at “convenient” times such as early morning as against those that arrive at “odd hours” for example between 0000 and 0400 hours and 1300 and 1700 hours, the officials said.

Sources said the Railway Board, however, is likely to make changes before approving the recommendations.

They said that there are also suggestions to leave the fare differentials for the zonal railways to decide on as they can take the decision based on local demand and supply ratio.

The committee has also recommended that instead of having flat fares, the railways should increase fares during festive seasons, and reduce them during lean months.

The committee, the sources said, has also recommended premium charges for overnight trains and trains with pantry cars.

The committee consists of some Railway Board officials, NITI Aayog adviser Ravinder Goyal, Executive Director (Revenue Management) of Air India Meenakshi Malik, professor S Sriram, and Iti Mani, Director, Revenue, Le Meridien, Delhi.

The committee has proposed these changes in the flexi-fare system which led to up to 50 per cent increase in fares of premium trains, drawing opposition from certain sections.

Under the flexi formula, base fares increase by 10 per cent (up to 50 per cent) after every 10 per cent of berths booked.

“If these changes mean that I can get a discount on my ticket if I book early and get cheaper tickets if I take a train that arrives late in the night at the station, then I am all for it,” said Shyamali Sinha, who works as a cleaner in a multi-storied building.

 

Cameras with Face Recognition technology on Central Railway rakes by December

 The cameras with facial recognition software would help trace past movements of any offender on a local train and arrest the person when he travels next. Jain said at least 30 special train services and 20 bus services have been arranged to facilitate commute during the block hours. With better face recognition technology in cameras, arrests would become easier,” said a senior CR official. Meanwhile, toy train services between Neral and Matheran are scheduled to become operational from January 26. (Representational Image) The cameras with facial recognition software would help trace past movements of any offender on a local train and arrest the person when he travels next.

The cameras with facial recognition software would help trace past movements of any offender on a local train and arrest the person when he travels next. (Representational Image) The cameras with facial recognition software would help trace past movements of any offender on a local train and arrest the person when he travels next. (Representational Image)

To tackle the persistent problem of male commuters boarding coaches reserved for women on the suburban local railways, the Central Railway (CR) has come up with plans to procure cameras that will store facial details of commuters. The cameras with facial recognition software would help trace past movements of any offender on a local train and arrest the person when he travels next.

At least six such cameras would be installed in each coach of the suburban rakes of the CR by the end of 2018. With 76 cameras to be fitted in each rake, a total of 11,160 cameras would be procured. Women passengers have frequently complained about illegal entry of men commuters in coaches reserved for them during non-peak hours. In the past six months, three cases have been registered wherein women have jumped off trains upon the entry of men in reserved coaches.

Officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) have complained against poor quality of existing cameras at the stations. “If the movement of the accused was not registered in the cameras installed at the stations, nabbing him would become difficult. With better face recognition technology in cameras, arrests would become easier,” said a senior CR official. S K Jain, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of the CR, said: “We have asked for a certain set of requirements in the cameras to be procured. Face recognition and analytics must remain the key features of these cameras. After the cameras recognise a face, the technology will be able to trace the movement of that commuter in the past 10 days. We plan to catch habitual offenders.”

The total cost to procure the cameras would be Rs 276 crore. Two talk-back units would also be installed in every ladies’ coach by the year-end.

“We also plan to install at least one pair of escalators (upward and downward directions) in each suburban railway station by the end of the year. An additional 52 escalators will be in place by March 31, 2018,” Jain added.

The Mumbai division of the CR will also see an additional 25 foot overbridges this year. “We expect to invite the chief minister to inaugurate certain passenger amenities on January 26,” said an official.

While the foot overbridge developed by the Army at Ambivali station would be commissioned by January 31, the other two at Currey Road and Elphinstone Road stations would be commissioned by February 15. On Thursday, the Army would launch girders of the foot overbridge at Ambivali during a five-hour mega block of train services between Ambivali and Asangaion. Jain said at least 30 special train services and 20 bus services have been arranged to facilitate commute during the block hours.

Meanwhile, toy train services between Neral and Matheran are scheduled to become operational from January 26.

Special Train from Kakinada Town-Secunderabad (via Bhimavaram) on 19th Jan

In order to clear extra rush of Passengers during Pongal festival season, one special train will be run from Kakinada Town to as detailed below:-

Train No. 07002  Kakinada Town-Secunderabad Special Train will depart Kakinada Town at 20:05 hrs on 19th January, 2018 and arrive Secunderabad at 06:55 hrs on the next day.

Enroute, this special train will stop at Samalkot, Rajahmundry, Nidadavolu, Tanuku, Bhimavaram Town, Akividu, Kaikaluru, Gudivada, Vijayawada, Khammam, Warangal and Kazipet stations.

This special train consist of AC II Tier, AC III Tier, Sleeper Class, Chair Car and  Luggage cum brake van Coaches.

SCR runs Twenty Special Trains between Secunderabad and Raxaul

SECUNDERABAD: In order to clear extra rush of passengers, South Central Railway will continue running of Special Trains between Secunderabad and Raxaul as detailed below:-

Secunderabad – Raxaul – Secunderabad (20 Services):  Train No. 07091 Secunderabad – Raxaul Special train will depart Secunderabad at 21:40 hrs on 23rd & 30th January; 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th February; 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th March, 2018 (Tuesdays) and arrive Raxaul at 18:15 hrs on Thursdays.

In the return direction, Train No. 07092 Raxaul – Secunderabad Special train will depart Raxaul at 12:45 hrs on 26th January; 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd February; 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th March 2018 (Fridays) and arrive Secunderabad at 06:55 hrs on Sundays.

Enroute, these special trains will stop at Kazipet, Ramagundam, Mancherial, Balharshah, Sevagram, Nagpur, Betul, Itarsi, Pipariya, Jabalpur, Katni, Satna, Allahabad, Gyanpur,Manduadih, Varanasi, Mughalsarai, Buxar, Ara, Danapur, Patna, Bakhtiyarpur, Mokama, Barauni, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, and Bairgania stations in both the directions.

These trains will comprise of one AC II Tier, four AC III Tier, ten Sleeper Class and six Second class General Coaches.

Central Railway wins Championship Rolling Trophy “Vrushawali 2018” Flower Show

Central Railway, Mumbai Division won the Championship Rolling Trophy in the 10th Plants, Fruit, Vegetable & Flower Show “Vrushawali 2018”  organised by Thane Municipal Corporation at Thane from 12.1.2018 to 14.1.2018.  Shri D.K. Sharma, General Manager, Central Railway congratulated the horticulture team for their efforts.

CR won First prize in 7 categories viz. Foliage plants in pots; Annuals grown in pots, Flowering plants, Bougainvillea, Outstanding Orchids, Roses HT in pots, Cut Flowers – Annuals.

Second Prize in 9 categories viz. mass display of potted plants (sunny situation), mass display of potted plants (shady situation), Bonsai/Landscape bonsai, Succulents, Roses Floribunda in pots, Roses miniature in pots, Fruits grown in pots, Vegetable grown in pots, Landscape on the spot.

Third prize in 7 categories viz. Collection of flowering creepers, Cacti, Orchids collection, Cut flower- Biennial and Perennial, Medicinal plants in pots, Flowering and Avenue Tree in pots, Hanging Baskets.

Guntur Railway Division is now 100% Energy Efficient, power all Railway Stations & LCs with LED-based lighting source

GUNTUR: South Central Railway continues to remain in the forefront towards adopting various energy conservation measures. In this direction, yet another achievement has been attained with Guntur Division getting the  distinction of converting not just all the railway stations, but also the entire Railway Level Crossing Gates and Service Buildings on its jurisdiction to 100% LED Lighting.

The attainment has seen provision of 100% LED lighting at all the 76 Railway Stations, 184 Railway Level Crossing Gates and 99 Service Buildings on the Division. It is anticipated that the Energy Savings will be around 5.8 Lakh Units Per Annum, amounting to Rs. 52.5 Lakh per year, which is a notable saving in terms of Energy Conservation and also in revenue.

SWR to continue Experimental Stoppage of Trains at Palahalli Halt on Mysore Division

Railways will continue to provide experimental stoppage for Train No. 56237/56238, Mysuru- KSR Bengaluru – Mysuru Passenger at Palahalli Halt for a period of six months i.e. 10th January, 2018 to 09th July, 2018. Palahalli is one of the biggest village of Srirangapatna Taluk, with a population of over 12000.  Students, State Government employees, farmers, labourers and artisans travel daily to Mysore, Mandya, Maddur, Channapatna, Ramanagara and Bangalore from Palahalli Halt Railway Station.

TEMPORARY AUGMENTATION OF TRAINS WITH ONE ANUBHUTI COACH

Railways has decided to temporarily augment with ONE ANUBHUTI COACH (AC Executive Chair Car) for Train No. 12007/12008, Chennai – Mysuru – Chennai Shatabdi Express with effect from 12th January, 2018 from both end until further advice.

The revised Train composition will have TWO AC Executive Chair Cars, ELEVEN AC Chair Cars and TWO Luggage cum Brake Van with generator.

TEMPORARY DE-AUGMENTATION OF TRAINS WITH TWO AC-3 TIER  COACHES

Railway has decided to temporarily de-augmentation with TWO AC-3 Tier Coaches for Train No. 12735, Secunderabad – Yesvantpur Garibrath Express with effect from 14th January, 2018 from Secunderabad end, Train No. 12736, Yesvantpur – Secunderabad Garibrath Express with effect from 15th January, 2018 from Yesvantpur end.

The revised Train composition will have NINE AC-3 Tier Coaches and TWO Luggage cum Brake Van with generator.

Railway Board pulls up Zones over surrender of Funds for doubling of projects

Railways Board has pulled up zonal railways over poor utilisation of funds with some zones returning huge funds for doubling of projects, which are important to decongest busy routes.

What is bothering Railway Board is that the money for doubling works has mostly been arranged from the Rs 1.5 lakh crore loan by LIC and any surrender of that fund would reflect badly on part of railways.

The railways got into an agreement with railways in 2015 for providing extra-budgetary support of Rs 1.5 lakh crore for five years for implementing railway projects.

In a review meeting, it was observed that the expenditure in construction organizations projects is below expectation till 2017 and only 40 per cent of budgeted expenditure has been made so far.

Railway construction organization undertakes all construction related major construction activities like new line projects, gauge conversion, doubling of existing lines, important bridges, important signal and telecommunication works and electrical works among others.

Asserting that the surrender of funds will not be acceptable, Railway Board has directed the Chief Administrative Officers (Construction) to devise means to overcome the surrender.

“As per the revised estimated figures available with the Railway Board, heavy surrender has been proposed by Western Railways and East Coast Railways,” said a senior Railway Board officer.

The officer further said that the most of the surrenders are proposed in doubling plant head.

“We should understand that doubling is important and crucial from the operational point of view. The money from doubling works has mostly been arranged from LIC loans, any surrender of which will not be acceptable by higher management,” said the officer.

Railway Authority Apologises For Posting Wrong Picture Of Jagannath Temple

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) today tendered an apology for posting a picture of an ‘ISKCON temple’ as ‘Puri Jagannath Temple’ at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai.

“The news article appeared in Odisha newspapers where IRCTC posters of Bharat Darshan has shown ISKCON temple instead of Puri Jagannath Temple. The posters were displayed at Mumbai where this has happened inadvertently. All the posters have now been removed. Our sincere apology,” IRCTC East Zone said in its twitter handle.

The issue was raised by priests of Sri Jagannath Temple after Shambhu Nath Khuntia, a servitor of Puri Jagannath temple during his recent visit to Mumbai, found an ISKCON temple photo in place of the 12th century shrine in Puri.

Protesting the IRCTC’s action, Mr Khuntia immediately posted the image on social media which sparked a statewide resentment. Subsequently, Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) also wrote to the Indian Railways and protested the IRCTC’s act of displaying a wrong picture in the name of Puri Temple.

“We have written a strong letter to the Indian Railways for posting wrong picture in the name of Puri Temple,” said SJTA official Sujit Chatterji.

 Meanwhile, Puri-based Jagannath Sena Convenor Priyadarshan Pattnaik appealed to the IRCTC to remove such posters. He also described such activities as a disrespect to the Lord Jagannath and its millions of devotees across the world.

Four Rail Corridors to complete ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ likely to get Nod in Budget

The budget is likely to approve the four remaining corridors that will complete the railways’ ambitious ‘Golden Quadrilateral’, connecting the four metros — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata — through a high-speed network, officials said.

Two corridors of the quadrilateral — Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah — were sanctioned at a cost of Rs.11,189 crore and Rs.6,875 crore respectively in the last Union budget.

The remaining four — Delhi-Chennai, Chennai-Howrah, Chennai-Mumbai and Howrah-Mumbai — will now be connected through high- speed corridors, with trains running at a speed of 160 kmph-200 kmph.

Officials said the estimated cost of the remaining corridor is likely to be about Rs.40,000 crore.

The plan is to launch the high-speed ‘golden quadrilateral’ by August 15, 2022, which will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the country’s Independence, they said.

Once these corridors are operational, the train travel time between these metros will reduce by 50 per cent, officials said.

For example, currently, the travel time from Kolkata to Mumbai varies from 26 to 40 hours. While Duronto takes 26 hours to reach Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Jnaneswari Express takes 30 hours to reach Lomanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla).

With semi-high-speed trains, the travel time will vary between 10-16 hours.

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