Indian Railways News

Bengaluru-Karwar night Express to run on shortest route four days a week

The Railway Board on Wednesday approved South Western Railway’s (SWR) proposal to divert Bengaluru-Karwar/Kannur-Bengaluru night express through the shortest route, via Kunigal and Shravanabelagola, four days a week.

The train would run via Mysuru, the present route, during the remaining three days. The diversion via Shravanabelagola reduces the travel distance by about 90 km. The rail-road distance between Bengaluru and Mangaluru Central is about 447 km via Mysuru, and about 357 km via Shravanabelagola.

This comes as a relief to people who had been demanding complete diversion of the train for faster commute between the State capital and the coast. A public interest litigation writ petition by Sanjay Revankar of Kadwad village, Karwar, is also pending before the Karnataka High Court.

Sources in the Railway Board and SWR confirmed about the approval of the diversion. SWR sources said advanced reservation for the train on Mysuru route has to be frozen immediately and the diversion date has to be decided considering the advance reservations already made.

The journey hours between Bengaluru and Karwar are expected to come down by two hours from the present 18 hours.

Sources in the Railways said there may not be any advancement in the arrival timing of the Karwar Express either at Mangaluru Central or Karwar. The train might have a delayed departure, at around 10.20 p.m. from Bengaluru. There could be some changes in the arrival timing of the train at Bengaluru, though its departure timings at Karwar and Mangaluru Central are likely to remain the same.

Opposition from Bengaluru Division

The Bengaluru Division (SBC) of SWR, from where an average of 620 passengers board Bengaluru-Karwar/Kannur Express every day towards Mangaluru and beyond, had stiffly opposed the zone’s proposal to divert the train to the shortest route.

The division had said the proposal was not feasible either technically or commercially. If the train is diverted via Shravanabelagola, maintenance of its rake, stabling it and shunting it back to the platform for departure becomes difficult. Many people’s representatives too have opposed the diversion as it is the only train from Mysuru towards the coast, the division had informed the zone.

Port Officers irked as Railway, IAS peers take the helm

Seven of the 12 major ports are run by officers from the Indian Railways cadre while four are headed by IAS officers. Port officers say they are “systematically been deprived” of selection to top posts.

“Major port trusts have become the new hunting ground for Railway officers,” lamented a port official.

The rules framed by the Shipping Ministry in January 2008, on the appointment of chairmen/deputy chairmen in major port trusts, had said: “…it has been decided that in the six major ports in Category I (Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Jawaharlal Nehru, Visakhapatnam and Kandla), two posts of chairman/deputy chairman will be filled from among port officers. Similarly, three posts of chairman and deputy chairman in Category II ports (Paradip, Cochin, Mormugao, Tuticorin and New Mangalore) will be filled from among port officers.”

World Bank report

The rules were framed after the World Bank favoured such a plan in its ‘India Port Sector Strategy Report’.

“The present system of lAS recruitment is frustrating for port professionals,” the World Bank wrote. “There are advantages in the employment, as chairmen, of senior civil servants…However, to be effective and accepted, they must have the long-term development of ports, in all its many facets, as their primary goal, rather than their career as senior civil servants.

“A mixed solution is therefore recommended for consideration. First, chairmen should increasingly be recruited from among ports/shipping professionals. Second, the position of deputy chairman, recruited only among professionals of the port industry, should be upgraded, with increased possibility of acceding to the position of chairman.”

From the Railway cadre are I Jeyakumar, Chairman of Mormugao Port Trust and additional in-charge of VO Chidambaranar Port Trust; Rinkesh Roy, who heads Paradip Port Trust and is additional in-charge of Kamarajar Port; P Raveendran, Chief Executive of Chennai Port Trust and additional in-charge of Cochin Port Trust; and Vinit Kumar, the newly appointed full-time Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust.

Currently, there are no port cadre officers eligible for selection to the top post. MA Bhaskarachar, PC Parida and SAC Bose, the last three port cadre officers, retired recently as Chairmen of Kamarajar Port, New Mangalore Port Trust and VOCPT, respectively.

A port officer can become a head of department (HoD) after 15 years of service. He/she needs another five years as HoD to become empanelled for the deputy chairman’s post.

HODs with 15 years’ experience are still waiting to be promoted as deputy chairman in Category II ports.

A port cadre deputy chairman in a Category II port should work as deputy chairman in a Category I port for two years to become eligible for chairman of a Category II port. He/she needs a further two years’ experience to become eligible for chairman of a Category I port. These rules, however, don’t apply to Railway officers.

“One can see how norms are framed systematically to deprive port officers from being made chairmen and deputy chairmen. It is practically impossible for port officers to become the chairman of a Category I port,” added the port officer.

Court ruling

To rub it in, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) excluded deputy chairmen (from port officers) of major port trusts from applying for the post of CMD at Kamarajar Port.

This was set aside by the Chennai High Court two months ago on a petition filed by one of the port officers. The DoPT and the PESB are now looking to challenge the high court order.

Northern Railways to hire Retired Employees, 4500 posts on offer through RRB

RRB recruitment 2017: Vacancies are available for the posts of Senior Section Engineer, Junior Engineer, Welder, Blacksmith and Trackman. The age of the retired railways employees from civil engineering cadre should be not more than 62 years.

NEW DELHI: The Northern Railways has released a notification inviting retired railway employees to apply for 4500 vacant positions in various departments. The details on the application process are expected to release soon at nr.indianrailways.gov.in.

The re-engagement is valid up to September 14, 2018 for recruitment in Delhi, Ferozepur, Lucknow, Moradabad and Ambala Divisions. As per a note posted on the official website of the Northern Railways, “the period shall continue up to the last day of the month in which he attains the age of 62 years, that is, following the same system as that of normal assignment.”

Vacancies are available for the posts of Senior Section Engineer, Junior Engineer, Welder, Blacksmith and Trackman.

Eligibility: The age of the retired railways’ employees from civil engineering cadre should be not more than 62 years.

RRB recruitment 2017 details

Trackman: 4434 posts
SSE/ P.way: 127 posts
Junior Engineer (JE): 62 posts
Blacksmith: 33 posts
Welder: 34 posts

The daily allowances will be are as follows:

— Candidates retired with Rs 5200-20200 (Rs 1800) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 300 per day.
— Candidates retired with Rs 5200-20200 (Rs 1900,2000,2400,2800) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 320 per day.
— Candidates retired with Rs 9300-34800 (Rs 4200) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 550 per day.
— Candidates retired with Rs 9300-34800 (Rs 4600) will be getting the daily allowance of Rs 565 per day.

Self-propelled ‘Make in India’ Train Sets on Delhi-Mumbai Route to run at 160 Kmph Speed

Indian Railways is eyeing world-class ‘Make in India’ self-propelled semi-high speed train sets! Indian Railways has invited bids for future-ready modern train sets that will be manufactured by foreign majors in the Integral Coach Factory (ICF)! Codenamed ‘Train-20′ in the hope that they will start plying by 2020, Indian Railways’ new train sets will have the capability of attaining speeds of 160 kmph. In fact, there is a strong possibility that these new train sets will ply on the Delhi-Mumbai and other major metro routes.

Sudhanshu Mani, General Manager, Integral Coach Factory said, “Train 20 is a Make in India project but the first rake will come from abroad. Train 20 would be 100% world-standard. We have called bids. European majors Siemens, Bombardier, Siemens and Alstom are together now, Stadler, Talgo – these are the people who will quote and we are hoping one of them will bag the order.”

The approximately Rs 2,500 crore order – said to be a ‘Make in India’leap – will be for 14 train sets of 20 coaches each, 11 spare coaches. In total 291 coaches will be made for Indian Railways. The contract involves design, development, manufacturing, testing and commissioning of the train sets. “One or two coaches will come from abroad. The last 4 rakes will be built entirely in ICF,” Mani told. Indian Railways hopes to finalise on the foreign major by mid-January 2018.

Train 20 will be able to attain a maximum speed of 160 kmph, making it a semi-high speed train. The aluminium-bodied self-propelled train set will be energy efficient, says ICF. The train set will have under-slung 3 phase propulsion system, automatic doors and a test speed of 176 kmph. Two types of coaches – air-conditioned chair car and sleeper-type – will be manufactured. The sleeper type coaches will include AC – 1st class, AC-2 tier and AC-3 tier.

According to Mani, simultaneous track-upgradation will happen so that the new train sets can run at their maximum speed of 160 kmph. “Some tracks are already there. For example, Gatimaan Express runs at 160 kmph. We are hoping that by the time Train 20 comes, Mumbai-Delhi tracks will be able to take 160 kmph and other metros also. So that’s a simultaneous exercise. The board is working on the upgradation of tracks. These are two separate exercises, they have to merged together to run the train at that speed,” he said.

The new coaches will also be safer, says ICF. “All safety features of LHB will be there. Also these new train sets will have more electronics and a platform where every new technology can be married into. The platform is available for a future upgradation of technology and whatever is already available is also safer than what we have,” Mani said.

ICF is also hopeful that the successful foreign tenderer will enter into future agreements with the coach factory for other train sets for Indian Railways and overseas markets as well.

Meanwhile, ICF is also working on ‘Train-18, which is another ‘Make in India’ project for self-propelled trains. According to Mani, Train 18 will be 90% world-class and Train 20 will be 100% world-class. Conceptualised as a chair car, the train set is also envisioned to achieve speeds of 160 kmph.

Pre-bid meet held on Vizag Metro Rail

A pre-bid meeting was held for pre-qualification of Visakhapatnam Metro Rail Project in public-private partnership here on Thursday.

The pre-bid meeting was meant to answer the queries raised by companies intending to participate in the pre-qualification.

A total of nine companies participated on Thursday’s meeting at VUDA Office, it is learnt.

The last date for submitting proposals for expression of interest/request for proposal for Visakhapatnam Metro called by Amaravatri Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC) is December 7.

The Visakhapatnam Metro is proposed on three corridors on a total of 42 km with the detailed project report prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in 2015. However, it was revalidated as per the PPP norms by Urban Mass Transport Company (UMTC) in February, 2017.

In the PPP mode, about 50% funds will be provided by the Central and State governments and the remaining has to come from the agency taking up the work.

AMRC managing director N. Ramakrishna Reddy, Municipal Administration and Urban Development principal secretary Karikal Valaven, Joint Collector G. Srijana, Municipal Commissioner M. Hari Narayanan and VUDA Vice-Chairman P. Basanth Kumar, Visakhapatnam Metro executive engineer K.V.N. Ravi and consultants of UMTC participated in the meeting.

Among the companies that participated in the meeting were L&T, Tata, S&P, Adani, Siemens and Altsom.

Flag pending decisions to Railway Board: Goyal to Railway Zones

In a bid to ensure safety of passengers, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said he has asked all zones to immediately flag “pending decisions” to the Railway Board.

He said the September 29 tragedy at the Elphinstone Road railway station in Mumbai was a wake-up call for the railway officials.

“After the stampede at the Elphinstone Road railway station in Mumbai, I was pained to see that several decisions that were to be implemented earlier had been pending for over a year,” Goyal said at the 12th International Rail Conference in Pragati Maidan here.

He said that for the safety of passengers, he had given immense powers to the zonal general managers after keeping the Railway Board informed.

Goyal was referring to the stampede at the Elphinstone Road station in Mumbai on September 29, in which 23 people were killed.

The minister also stressed the need for taking decisions fast.

“Earlier the decisions were not taken at the required speed. I have asked the Railway Board to list out everything that is with the RDSO (Research Designs and Standards Organisation),” he said.

Speaking at the event, Goyal said that for safe and comfortable journey, there should be a separate freight and passenger corridor.

He also said that the Indian Railways had adopted modern technologies late.

“India is already late in adopting modern technologies. Last thing was the Rajdhani Express in 1969,” Goyal said.

“But despite being late, India … is in a hurry to provide most efficient modes of transport to serve the common man. And the High Speed Rail project shows that the Indian Railways is fully prepared to be the best of the best,” he said.

He also urged railway officials and entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas for the railways.

“There is no fund crisis in railways, give us a plan and we shall implement that, and I also want to assure the people here that soon a new system will come where the railways will make payments within 30 days,” Goyal said.

Railway Minister stresses need to redefine the roles of RPF, GRP

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has stressed the need to clearly define the roles of the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to avoid confusion in their operations, Director General RPF Dharmendra Kumar has said.

The suggestion has come in the wake of the September 29 Elphinstone bridge stampede in Mumbai that killed 23 people. Both the GRP and the RPF work to secure railway premises and trains.

The DG RPF in a letter to the Director General of Police and the Additional DGP (Railways), Maharashtra, on October 10 said there are areas in which the roles of the two forces overlap, resulting in confusion.

“While their legal powers are clearly defined, field formations of both organisations find their roles overlapping in many areas during their day-to-day working. This causes confusion among the rank and file of the forces.

In the absence of a standard operating procedure, this confusion becomes more pronounced during a crisis. The recent stampede at Elphinstone Road Station in Mumbai is a prime example, Kumar said in the letter, a copy of which is with PTI.

“In the wake of the incident, a meeting was conducted by the minister of railways in Mumbai on September 30 during which the need for proper codification of duties of the GRP and the RPF was flagged,” the letter read.

Kumar in his letter recommended setting up a committee under the Commissioner of Police (Railways), Mumbai, with the Additional Commissioner of Police as a member and two representatives from the RPF.

Its task, Kumar said, would be to examine the roles and responsibilities of both forces and suggest ways for the proper codification of their duties.

“The committee can also suggest a shared standard operating procedure to be implemented by both agencies in case of exigencies such as bomb threat, large-scale law and order disturbance, stampede, terror attack,” Kumar said.

The RPF DG said the panel’s recommendations would be implemented for the Mumbai suburban railways first and then replicated across the country if found suitable.

Secunderabad Railway Station is India’s first Green Railway Station

The Secunderabad Railway Station has earned the distinction of being the first railway station in the country to be certified as a ‘Green Railway Station’ by the Indian Green Building Council – Confederation of Industry (IGBC-CII), in association with Indian Railways.

The Station has bagged the coveted Silver Rating in the category, according to an SCR release. The IGBC-CII, with the support of Environment Directorate of the Indian Railways had developed the Green Railway Stations Rating system to facilitate adoption of Green Concepts to reduce adverse environmental impacts due to station operation and maintenance and enhance overall commuter experience.

The six modules involved in the evaluation of the Secunderabad station were sustainable station facility; health; hygiene and sanitation; energy efficiency; water efficiency; smart and green initiatives and innovation and development.

Tai Lee Siang, chairman, and Terri Wills, chief executive officer, World Green Building Council presented a shield, plaque and certification to SCR officials during the Green Building Congress-2017 at Jaipur last week. The certification is valid for three years.

Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, SCR who was instrumental in drawing up the plan to meet norms for the Green Railway Station Certification, congratulated officials involved in the exercise.

Secunderabad Railway Station holds a total area of 13.34 acres and has 408 different species of trees available in the station area. Organic fertilizers and pesticides are being used while solar photo voltaic installations cover 41.2% of the exposed station roof area.

A 500 Kwp solar plant was installed in 2016, generating 2,500 units of power per day, accounting for 37% of energy requirements of the station, and leading to savings of Rs.72.92 lakh annually.

With 4,864 fixtures, Secunderabad station is 100% LED lit as well. Other green initiatives here include a 5lakh-litre Sewerage Treatment Plant, central waste collection, bottle crushing machine, CO2 sensors at AC waiting halls and rainwater harvesting pits

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Stresses Need To Define Overlapping Roles Of RPF, GRP

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has stressed the need to clearly define the roles of the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to avoid confusion in their operations, Director General RPF Dharmendra Kumar has said.

The suggestion has come in the wake of the September 29 Elphinstone bridge stampede in Mumbai that killed 23 people.

Both the GRP and the RPF work to secure railway premises and trains.

The DG RPF in a letter to the Director General of Police and the Additional DGP (Railways), Maharashtra, on October 10 said there are areas in which the roles of the two forces overlap, resulting in confusion.

“While their legal powers are clearly defined, field formations of both organisations find their roles overlapping in many areas during their day-to-day working. This causes confusion among the rank and file of the forces,” the Minister said.

In the absence of a standard operating procedure, this confusion becomes more pronounced during a crisis. The recent stampede at Elphinstone Road Station in Mumbai is a prime example, Mr Kumar said in the letter, a copy of which is with PTI.

“In the wake of the incident, a meeting was conducted by the minister of railways in Mumbai on September 30 during which the need for proper codification of duties of the GRP and the RPF was flagged,” the letter read.

Mr Kumar in his letter recommended setting up a committee under the Commissioner of Police (Railways), Mumbai, with the Additional Commissioner of Police as member and two representatives from the RPF.

Its task, Mr Kumar said, would be to examine the roles and responsibilities of both forces and suggest ways for proper codification of their duties.

“The committee can also suggest a shared standard operating procedure to be implemented by both agencies in case of exigencies such as bomb threat, large scale law and order disturbance, stampede, terror attack,” Mr Kumar said.

The RPF DG said the panel’s recommendations would be implemented for the Mumbai suburban railways first and them replicated across the country, if found suitable.

Northern Railways To Recruit Retired Staff For More Than 4500 Vacancies

In a few of its kind recruitment, Northern Railways has announced to recruit more than 4500 retired railway employees. Northern railways has invited applications, for re-engagement valid up to 14 September 2018, for recruitment in DLI, FZR, LKO, MB and UMB divisions. Vacancies are available in the posts of Senior Section Engineer, Junior Engineer, Welder, Blacksmith and Trackman. ‘Retired railway employees from Civil Engineering cadre within the age limit of 62 years who are desirous and fit to work on daily remuneration basis are eligible to apply.

The indicative recruitment advertisement has been released at the official website nr.indianrailways.gov.in. Interested candidates can find details in this regard in the leading and local newspapers as well.

‘The present scheme of re-engagement of retired employees is upto 14.O9.2O18 unless extended further by Railway Board. Those re-engaged during this period shall continue upto the last day of the month in which he attains age of 62 years, i.e., following the same system as that of normal retirement. All the re-engaged staff will be discharged from engagement immediately after availability of suitable replacement,’ reads the official notification.

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