Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Satellite Tracking Of Trains Improved Efficiency In Operations

Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav on Tuesday said satellite tracking of trains has improved efficiency in train operations amid coronavirus pandemic.

“Satellite tracking of trains has improved efficiency in train operations: Around 6,500 locos (electric and diesel) are already equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS), about 6,000 locos to be equipped by December 2021,” Ministry of Railways tweeted.

Amid the pandemic, the Railways has increased the freight loading traffic along with the average speed of freight trains.

“The freight loading was 3.13 million tonnes on July 27, which is higher than last year for the same date,” the Railways stated in a release.

The average speed of freight trains in July is 45.03 kilometre per hour which is around double in comparison to last year for the same month (23.22 kmph).

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Piyush Goyal had said that Railways is making strides towards enhanced freight transportation.

“In pursuance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives to make Railways “Growth Engine of Indian Economy”, Indian Railways becomes synonymous to prompt, efficient and economical freight transportation in India,” the Railways Minister tweeted. 

Satellite Tracking Of Trains Improved Efficiency In Operations

Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav on Tuesday said satellite tracking of trains has improved efficiency in train operations amid coronavirus pandemic.

“Satellite tracking of trains has improved efficiency in train operations: Around 6,500 locos (electric and diesel) are already equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS), about 6,000 locos to be equipped by December 2021,” Ministry of Railways tweeted.

Amid the pandemic, the Railways has increased the freight loading traffic along with the average speed of freight trains.

“The freight loading was 3.13 million tonnes on July 27, which is higher than last year for the same date,” the Railways stated in a release.

The average speed of freight trains in July is 45.03 kilometre per hour which is around double in comparison to last year for the same month (23.22 kmph).

Earlier in the day, Union Minister Piyush Goyal had said that Railways is making strides towards enhanced freight transportation.

“In pursuance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives to make Railways “Growth Engine of Indian Economy”, Indian Railways becomes synonymous to prompt, efficient and economical freight transportation in India,” the Railways Minister tweeted.

IRCTC SBI RuPay Card launched; save money on Indian Railways train tickets, shopping discounts & other benefits

The new IRCTC SBI RuPay Card is equipped with Near Field Communication technology. Claimed to be more convenient, faster and secure, the IRCTC SBI RuPay Card can make use of it by tapping at a secure reader

IRCTC SBI RuPay Card Launch: Big news for Indian Railways passengers! Now, train journeys to get better with the launch of the new IRCTC SBI RuPay Card. Today, a contactless credit card – IRCTC SBI RuPay Card has been launched by the three Indian entities – Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), State Bank of India (SBI) and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) with an aim to give a boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat, Digital India and Make in India initiatives. The new IRCTC SBI RuPay Card is equipped with Near Field Communication technology. Claimed to be more convenient, faster and secure, the IRCTC SBI RuPay Card can make use of it by tapping at a secure reader.

According to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, this card will bring in a slew of benefits while booking tickets online. Here are some of the major highlights of IRCTC SBI Card on the RuPay platform:

  • IRCTC SBI RuPay Card users will get up to 10 per cent value back on AC1, AC2, AC3, AC CC train ticket bookings made through the official IRCTC website irctc.co.in
  • 1 per cent transaction fee waiver on ticket bookings made through the website of IRCTC
  • IRCTC SBI RuPay Card users will get 350 activation bonus reward points, along with benefits on travel, dining, retail and entertainment
  • Discounts will be given on e-commerce sites like Big Basket, OXXY, Ajio, food for travel.in, etc.
  • Redemption of reward points on the official IRCTC website for free tickets
  • The IRCTC SBI RuPay Card is a tap and pay using contactless card
  • It will also provide 1 per cent fuel surcharge waiver

Apart from savings on rail travel, the card also offers several benefits for online shoppers. Customers can get exciting benefits like 20 per cent discount on medicines on Medlife, 25 per cent off on Fitternity, Rs 250 off on Me N Moms, Re 1 for 1 Month Hungama Music. Moreover, welcome benefits are being offered by RuPay to its customers like up to 40 per cent discount on pathology, 10 per cent fee waiver on any UpGrad course, 18 per cent off on buying medicines from 1Mg, Rs 250 off on shopping at The Man Company and 10 per cent discount each on Apollo and Mamaearth Pharmacy.

Additionally, RuPay is offering 10 per cent discount while shopping at Carlton, VIP, Skybag, Aristocrat and Caprese. Users or customers will also get 25 per cent off on Bata, 15 per cent discount on Cuemath, up to Rs 300 off on Myntra, 10 per cent off on ordering in train from Rail Recipe and 50 per cent off on All Test Series by Adda247.

Railways Stops British-Era Practice Of Personal Messengers To Cut Costs

The Railways has decided to do away with a British-era practice of sending confidential documents via personal or Dak messengers and instructed zones to move to communication via videoconferencing.

This is the latest in a string of instructions for zonal railways to cut costs.

“As a measure to reduce cost and improve savings on establishment related expenditure, the Board has desired that all discussions amongst officials of Railways PSU /Railway Board should invariably be held over video conferencing accordingly booking of personal messenger/Dak messenger should be stopped immediately.”

“Compliance of the above should be ensured, as it would lead significant savings in allowances, stationery, Fax etc,” the order dated July 24 to the zones stated.

These dak messengers are usually peons who are identified and given the responsibility of ferrying files, documents of sensitive nature across the Railways’ network — from Railway Board to its various departments, to its zones and divisions. This was introduced by the British when there was no internet or email.

Earlier, the Railways had called for a freeze in the creation of new posts, rationalisation of manpower at workshops, shifting outsourced work to CSR, moving ceremonial functions to digital platforms.

It also advised the zones to control expenditure by reducing staff cost, rationalising staff and also by making them perform multiple tasks.

It further asked the zones to review contracts, reduce energy consumption and cut cost in administrative and other areas.

The Railways also instructed that all file work be moved to the digital sphere and advised that all correspondence must be done through secure e-mails and asked them to reduce the use of stationery articles, cartridges and other items by at least 50 per cent.

It asked the zones to review and close all uneconomic branches of the ministry.

While most communication by officials are currently done by email, the Dak messengers are as good as obsolete, say officials. With the latest direction, their use has been officially brought to an end.

All Existing Demand For Shramik Trains Met, Last One Operated On July 9

The Railways on Thursday said it has met all the existing demand of states for Shramik Special trains to ferry stranded migrant workers home, with the last service being operated on July 9.

Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav said a total of 4,615 Shramik Special trains have been run since May 1, taking over 63 lakh people home during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Railways started Shramik Specials on May 1 to transport stranded migrant workers to their native states after thousands tried to reach home on foot due to the lockdown.

On July 9, the last two trains departed from the Chennai Central station. One to Jodhpur with 1,449 passengers and second one to Howrah with 1,620 passengers, officials said.

The Ministry of Railways has said it subsidised the ticket prices for migrant workers by agreeing to pay 85 per cent, while state governments have been asked to pay the remaining 15 per cent.

“The last Shramik Special train ran on July 9 and with that we presume that we have met the demand of the states regarding these trains. However, if there is more such demand, we will run these services again,” Mr Yadav said in an online press conference on Thursday.

He said that while in May, the Railways operated 4,109 trains, in June it came down to 493 trains and in July only 13 trains have been run so far.

Most of these trains originated from Gujarat (1,027), followed by Maharashtra (844) and were mostly destined towards Uttar Pradesh (1,712) and Bihar (1,507), officials said.

Railway Ministry Organises Pre-Application Conference On Private Train Project

The ministry invited 12 requests for qualifications for private participation in the operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination pair of routes through the introduction of 151 modern Trains (Rakes).

Ministry of Railways organised a pre-application conference on Private Train Project in Delhi on Tuesday where they received the participation of around 16 prospective applicants.

The ministry invited 12 requests for qualifications for private participation in the operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination pair of routes through the introduction of 151 modern Trains (Rakes) which shall be in addition to the existing trains operated on the network.

“This is the first initiative of private investment for running Passenger Trains over Indian Railway Network. The project would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore,” read a statement from the Railway ministry.

“The initiative is towards improving the availability of transportation services to the people of this nation, introduce modern technology rolling stock and services that would improve the overall travel experience of passengers. Multiple operators in train operations will create competition and improve service delivery. This initiative is also intended at reducing the demand-supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector,” the ministry added.

The private entities for undertaking the projected will be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process comprising of Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP), informed the ministry.

Speaking on the queries on haulage charges, for which the Ministry replied that haulage charges will be specified “upfront and will be suitably indexed for the entire concession period” thereby bringing certainty in the haulage charges.

The ministry further said that it would “also be providing the details of passenger traffic being handled on the routes under biding. This will enable bidders to undertake their due diligence in the project.”

“The Ministry of Railways has clarified that trains operated under the project can be either purchased or taken on lease by the private entities. Ministry of Railways has also clarified that risks with regard to operation of trains shall be allocated to the parties in an equitable manner,” they added.

Ministry of Railways will be providing written replies to the queries received from the prospective Applicants by July 31. The second pre-application conference is scheduled for August 12.

First Set Of Private Trains To Be Introduced By 2023, All 151 By 2027: Railways

The first set of 12 private trains will be introduced in 2023, followed by 45 more in the next fiscal, according to an initial timeline drawn by the railways which plans to roll out all 151 such train services by 2027, officials said.

In a formal kick-start to its plans to allow private entities to operate passenger trains on its network, the railways earlier this month invited proposals from companies to run 151 modern passenger trains on 109 pairs of routes across the country. The project would entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.

As part of the plan for private trains, the railways has planned to introduce 12 trains in 2022-23, 45 in 2023-2024, 50 in 2025-26 and 44 more in the next fiscal, taking the total number of trains to 151 by the end of FY 2026-2027.

The request for qualification (RFQ), which was floated on July 8, is likely to be finalised by November, the financial bids will be opened by March, 2021 and selection of bidders is planned by April 31, 2021, according to a timeline for introduction of private passenger trains prepared by the railways.

Bidders quoting the highest share in gross revenue shall be awarded the project, officials said.

“We have worked out a plan by which we hope to begin private train operations. Tenders will be finalised by March 2021 and trains will operate from March, 2023,” a senior official said.

The railways also has pre-specified penalties which will be recovered from the private players for failure to meet the prescribed performance standards and outcomes. Similarly, penalties will be pre-specified in the Concession Agreement for the failure on the part of the railways, officials said.

Piyush Goyal Seeks Crowdsourcing Of Ideas To Boost Railways Profitability

Piyush Goyal urged the leaders of the federations to ponder on how the railways can overcome the crisis looming across the world due to the pandemic, according to a statement issued by the railway ministry.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday sought crowdsourcing of ideas from railway employees for boosting profitability and bringing transformational changes in the national transporter.

The move comes in the backdrop of huge losses incurred by the railways due to suspension of passenger train services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The national transporter is also in the process of finalising various cost-cutting measures to bring down its expenses.

Addressing an online ‘Workman Sanghosti” in which representatives of railway workers unions across the country participated, Goyal asked the general managers to seek ideas from the workforce in their respective regions.

He urged the leaders of the federations to ponder on how the railways can overcome the crisis looming across the world due to the pandemic, according to a statement issued by the railway ministry.

He asked them to come up with unique ideas to boost railways revenue, minimise costs and improve its freight share.

“The hearts of railway employees beat for the organisation. They would be having ideas which can boost the profitability of railways,” Mr Goyal said.

Addressing the Sanghosti, Suresh Angadi, Minister of State of Railways, said the Indian Railways has never stopped in the last 167 years, but it was stopped due to the pandemic. He also congratulated the staff for working as “warriors” in the current times.

Earlier, Anand Khati, Director General, Human Resources, Railway Board said the national transporter has more than 12.18 lakh employees on roll, out of which, 1.21 lakh employees have been recruited recently.

He said the process of recruitment for 1.40 lakh vacancies has been initiated.

The office bearers of various railway federations also highlighted the work done by the employees during the challenging times amid the pandemic, in the online interaction, the statement added.

Railways To Move To 100% Electrification In Next 3.5 Years

Railways will move to 100 per cent electrification in the next 3.5 years and by 2030, we will be owing the world’s first large “Clean Railways”, said Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Thursday.

“Railways will move to 100 per cent electrification in the next 3.5 years and 100 per cent Net Zero operator in the next 9-10 years. By 2030, each one of us will be a proud citizen, owning the world’s first large Clean Railways,” said Piyush Goyal at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event.

“Prime Minister has promoted–One Sun, One World, One Grid. India is taking the lead role in the International Renewable Community. Transitioning into the international solar grid is something we are all working on. With PM-KUSUM Yojana we are bringing farmers too in renewable energy fold,” he added.

He added that the Prime Minister has said that India has become a model for the world when the transition to renewable energy is mentioned. Today, every willing citizen has access to power at affordable prices.

“We have invested deeply in the transmission sector for widespread availability of sector. I do hope the states support us to make power 24×7 available at affordable prices,” said Mr Goyal.

“Renewable energy is the way forward. Dependency on fossil fuel is not viable. Along with environmental benefits, renewable energy is good for the nation economically,” he added.

The Railways Minister further said, in renewable energy, we have been able to bring in scale, increase demand and reduce prices. We are seeing people wanting to go in for renewable energy.

“For renewable energy to further progress, we need to enhance our manufacturing and become self-sufficient and need the support of the states,” said Mr Goyal.

“Government of India is promoting Make in India for renewable energy. We are fully committed to making the industry Aatmanirbhar. We have the PM-KUSUM Yojana in which we are getting the farmers in the renewable energy fold,” he added.

“The important thing if we become self-sufficient. We will move towards indigenous manufacturing in a sensible manner, without compromising quality,” the Minister added.

“With high-quality products at economical prices. Whichever countries give us reciprocal access, India wants to expand trade with them,” he added.

Indian Railways unique step! PM Modi gave innovative idea to convert coaches into COVID-19 wards, says Goyal

While addressing the India Foundation Dialogue 70 via video conference, the Railway Minister said that over 5,000 number of coaches have been converted by the national transporter, in which 80,000 isolation beds are now ready.

Indian Railways unique step, courtesy PM Modi! The idea of converting Indian Railways’ coaches into isolation wards, was given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says Piyush Goyal. According to the Railway Minister, the innovative idea was given by PM Modi, even before the nationwide lockdown was imposed. According to Goyal, PM Modi called him one day to ask whether railway coaches can be converted into isolation wards. Goyal was quoted in an ANI report saying that Indian Railways’ employees worked hard and in consultation with the Health Ministry, they developed the entire design. While addressing the India Foundation Dialogue 70 via video conference, the Railway Minister said that over 5,000 number of coaches have been converted by the national transporter, in which 80,000 isolation beds are now ready.

According to the Railway Minister, since the month of March, the national transporter has operated freight trains non-stop throughout the lockdown period ensuring adequate supplies of medicines, foodgrain, milk, fertilizer, coal petroleum products to very far-flung areas. He said that nearly 4,611 Shramik Special train services transported over 63 lakh stranded migrants to their respective destinations. The migrant passengers were provided with meals and water during the journey. Till 18 June 2020, as many as 1.85 crore meals as well as 3.12 crore drinking water packets were provided to migrant passengers during their railway journey, Goyal said.

According to Goyal, there is no demand for migrant trains at present. Also, no Shramik train service was operated yesterday, he said. He further said that the national transporter was able to make personal protective equipment like face masks, hand sanitizers for its own needs without depending on anyone else. Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, trains are not running to their capacity at present as railway passengers are still not ready to travel in public transport.

In Indian Railways’ 167-year history, it is the first time that passenger trains are not running to full capacity. The national transporter had started 125 pairs of trains as special train services, across the country, but Indian Railways has not still reached the full potential of its passenger traffic. Currently, the average occupancy of passengers is around 70%. Only a few trains are going full, he added.