Indian Railways News

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.

Railways on alert as Gurjars threaten agitation from May 15

Indian Railways has been put on alert in view of yet another annual Gurjar agitation set to begin from May 15.

It has taken pre-emptive steps in view of Gurjar supremo Kirori Singh Bainsla’s announcement for a mahapanchyat on May 15 which is likely to be held near a track in Bharatpur district.

Railway has ordered six of railway protection force companies to be deployed along Delhi-Mumbai and Jaipur-Agra rail tracks at Byana, Hindaun, Bharatpur on Kota Divison of WCR, Jaipur on WCR and Agra Division of NCR.

Come summer and Gurjars of this region are notorious to organise agitations that focuses on disrupting rail traffic for days.

In 2007 and 2008, their agitation had led to the loss of more than 70 lives and properties worth hundreds of crores in arson and violence.

Gurjars resort to agitation every year and despite successive governments promising them whatever they ask for, nothing is done on the ground because of their ultra constitutional demands.

As a result, Bainsla has lost most of his credibility. He has been aligning with Congress and BJP according to his convenience.

Gurjars began with a demand to be included in Scheduled Tribes but powerful Meena community, which corners most of the ST reservation quota, did not let it happen.

Then Gurjars demanded that they be carved out a special category within existing OBC along with others of most backward classes but this time jats, who corner most of the OBC quota, did not let it happen.

Finally, Gurjars settled down for a special OBC status for which state government assured one per cent reservation from general quota so that it did not exceed 50 per cent and another five per cent through an amendment which has been repeatedly set aside or stayed by the courts.

Rajasthan badly needs to review castes that get ST and OBC reservations but fearing a backlash of these powerful castes, no government dares to do it.

As a result, lopsided reservation carries on.

If at all Bainsla wants to help Gurjars, he must then demand either a segregation within the reservation quota for the OBCs or shifted to ST category.

But since both are a mammoth task, he keeps arriving on agreements knowing well that these cannot be implemented only to harass the common man and put at risk life of Gurjars.

Sound of Bees to keep Elephants off Rail Tracks creating a Buzz

The sound of honeybees downloaded from the internet to keep elephants away from railway tracks has created quite a buzz after the novel idea introduced by the Northeast Frontier Railway brought down the number of accidents. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has this system in place across four of its divisions at select level crossings where elephant zones exist. The idea was implemented in late 2017 and this year only six elephants have died after colliding with a train. In 2013, the number of elephants killed was 19, in 2014 it was 5, in 2015, it was 12, in 2016, it was 9, while in 2017, it was 10.

“We installed this in Rangiya division and once it was successful we have installed it in other locations as well. This was started barely six months back,” said Lokesh Narayan, Additional General Manager, NFR. Unlike in Kenya, where boutique beehives are dangled from fences to keep elephants away, NFR uses an electronic “buzzer” to keep the animals at bay. While elephant-repulsion techniques such as the chili bomb and electric fences have been used earlier, this buzzing sound has been the most effective and cost-efficient.

It is a simple device that amplifies the recorded sound of honeybees downloaded from the internet. The device costs around Rs 2,000 to put together and is audible to an elephant 600 metres away. NFR covers northern West Bengal and parts of eastern Bihar besides the northeastern states. In fact, railways has put in place several measures to ensure elephants do not get killed in collision with trains. It has imposed 49 temporary speed restrictions of 20/25 kmph over a total of 109 km in different stretches.

“We have also created this WhatsApp group with forest officials for real time information sharing. This alerts the loco pilot in real time basis when elephants are spotted,” said Mr Narayan.

This project will be funded by Ministry of Environment and implemented by the Railways.

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