Indian Railways News

7 Coaches Of Shaktipunj Express Derail In Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra

Seven coaches of the Jabalpur- bound Shaktipunj Express derailed today in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, a railway official said.

“The accident occurred at around 6:25 AM and we have already cleared out the site,” Railway ministry spokesperson Anil Saxena said.

 “All passengers were put on the remaining coaches and by 7:28 AM all of them had left the spot. All of them are safe and no one was injured in the accident,” he said.

The train was running at a speed of about 40 km/hr which, officials say prevented any injuries when the incident occurred.

This is the third such derailment in the state in less than a month.

On August 19, the Utkal Express had derailed in Muzaffarnagar district, killing 22 people and injuring 156. About 100 passengers were wounded when 10 coaches of Kaifiyat Express train derailed after crashing into a dumper which strayed on to the tracks in Auraiya district on August 23.

Lucknow Metro gets ABB’s 1,000th Traction Transformer

ABB today said it has dispatched its 1,000th traction transformer that will be used in the metro project in Lucknow.

Manufactured at the Vadodara factory, the light-weight, reliable ABB traction transformers are attached to and critical for on-board or metro compartment power supply, ABB said in a statement.

These transformers enable efficient use of electric power and achieve higher levels of acceleration, with minimal space requirements.

They are designed to lower fault level, ensuring high reliability and commuter safety.

A stretch of Lucknow Metro has been thrown open to public today in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

ABB’s traction transformers have helped move more than 3 million passengers safely and sustainability in metros every day across 5 cities in the country.

ABB’s track side transformers for overhead electrification and auxiliary dry type transformers will also power the metro stations for lighting and other requirements.

“We are pleased that our historic 1,000th milestone has coincided with a project, which expands the horizon of mobility options in this historic city to enable safe commute for millions every day,” said Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, ABB India.

In addition, a comprehensive ABB electrification solutions package will be provided to Lucknow Metro in a phased manner.

In the second phase, ABB will provide compact power sub-stations for efficient power supply and distribution especially for the underground rail network, with relevant power protection and control technology.

Also, ABB technology will be used in the building infrastructure for the electrical distribution. Finally, the lightning arrestors provided by ABB will be used on the metro rail buildings to keep commuters safe.

ABB is among the leading firms providing turnkey power supply solutions for metro rail projects. Since 2002, ABB has implemented turnkey electrification of both AC and DC metro rail systems and currently 8 operational metro rail projects across the country run on ABB technology.

First Lucknow Metro Train flagged-off, operations opens on initial 8·4 km ‘Priority Corridor’

Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attended the opening ceremony of the Lucknow metro on September 5. Passenger services were due to start the following day.

Services are operating between 06.00 and 22.00 on an initial 8·4 km ‘priority corridor’ between Transport Nagar and Charbagh, serving eight stations. When complete, the city’s starter line would connect Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport and Munshipulia. Three stations on a 3·4 km section would be underground, with the remaining 19·4 km and 19 stations on an elevated alignment.

The project is being developed as a joint venture between the central government and the state of Uttar Pradesh.

In 2015 Lucknow Metro Rail Corp awarded Alstom a €150m contract to provide rolling stock and signalling. Designed in Bangalore and manufactured at Sri City and Coimbatore, the 20 four-car Metropolis trainsets each have 186 seats arranged longitudinally and two areas for passengers with reduced mobility. Alstom’s factories in Bangalore and Saint-Ouen in France are supplying Urbalis CBTC signalling.

The Chief Minister’s office posted a 2.27-minute video on its official Twitter handle, in which Adityanath is seen saying, “Your wish has finally come true. This metro is yours — this is a gift for your from the central and state governments.”

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always been in favour of a congestion-free, cheaper and eco-friendly public transport system,” he said in the video message.

“We have set a target of March 2019 to complete the second phase of the project,” Adityanath said in the video. Instead of a metro corporation for each of the cities/districts Hqrs where the project has been approved by UP cabinet, Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi on Tuesday said that an umbrella corporation Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) would be set up to supervise the operational work of metro construction in these districts. The Chief Minister was speaking before flagging off of the first metro rail of Lucknow at Transport Nagar along with home minister Rajnath Singh and governor Ram Naik. Also present on the stage was Metro man, Padm Bhushan and Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation consultant E Sreedharan. The first phase of 8.5 km from Transport Nagar to Charbagh Railway station would be opened for commercial operation from Wednesday 6am onwards.

The chief minister also sought support and guidance from Sreedharan in the UP Metro Rail Corporation. Since the metro man had spoken before the Chief Minister began his address it was still not known whether he would agree to be consultant of UPMRC or not like he had been of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dreamt of providing metro transport in 50 cities of the country in the next three years, UP has maximum opportunity to grab, Yogi said and added that metro project has been approved for Kanpur, Jhansi, Agra, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Meerut and Allahabad. While DPR work is complete in some districts, in other it is on and in a few survey work is on.

Once all this metro projects come under UP Metro Rail Corporation, these metro projects could be expedited. He urged the Metro Man Sreedharan to be on board the UP Metro corporation. Lauding his contribution, Yogi said that Sreedharan was the best example for the bureaucracy, which otherwise is known for delaying the projects, that how a project which had a three years deadline can be completed in two years time. Bureaucracy should learn from Sreedharan’s work culture, Yogi stressed.

There will not be a wait for six months, the wait to travel on metro for the people of Lucknow will be over tomorrow as the commercial run to cover 8.5 kilometres would begin, the CM said. “Yeh kewal ek shagoofa nahin hai, yeh ek vaastvikta hai,” the CM concluded.

Suresh Prabhu will be Remembered as Railway Minister who provided extensive Rail Connectivity to People of Northeast

History is proof that governments across party lines have often tried to find the answer to train accidents in the resignation of the railway minister – the latest example of this long practiced phenomena being Suresh Prabhu, former Union Minister of Railways. But for the people of the Northeastern region, the change of ministership of Suresh Prabhu, from Railways to Commerce and industry on September 3 is not a digestive item. Prabhu shall be remembered for delivering what no other Union Railway Minister could – a widened network of rail infrastructure to the people of the region.

In the last three years, the ministry under Prabhu was successful in including five northeastern states – Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura – to the broad gauge (BG) map of the country. As many as 29 new trains were introduced in the region in a span of just one year – 2016 to 2017.

Today, no metre gauge line exists in the northeastern states, thanks to conversion of over 900 kms of track to BG in the last three years. All the states of the region, except Sikkim, are now included in the BG network.

Many of these projects might have started during the UPA, Deve Gowda and Atal Bihari Vajpayee regimes but the ministry under Prabhu gave the much-needed push, thanks to which the projects, including those stranded for years, met completion or are near completion.

Look at Tripura. State capital Agartala saw a metre gauge (MG) track as lately as in October 2008, even though the MG line reached the state’s business hub Dharmanagar from Assam in 1964.

It was also during Prabhu’s term, in August 2016, that Tripura saw a foundation stone laid for the construction of the railway line connecting Agartala to Akhaura in Bangladesh, even though a pact to this effect was signed in January 2010 by the UPA government with the Sheikh Hasina regime.

Work is on in full swing in the 15-km stretch, which will not only be a part of the Trans Asian Railway Network but will substantially shorten the rail distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh – from the present 1,590 kms to 499 kms.

This rail link will connect Agartala to Ashuganj river port, via Akhaura, about 54 kms away. As per news reports quoting North Eastern Frontier Railway officials, the project is likely to be completed before the year turns.

Besides, the 114 km BG track from Silchar in Assam to Agartala and thereafter to the border town of Sabroom, from where the Chittagong port of Bangladesh is merely 75 kms away, is likely to completed by March 2019. Already, the track has reached Udaipur town of Tripura. The Silchar-Udaipur track has been operational since January 2017.

Thanks to the gauge conversion of the Silchar stretch, there are now three new BG trains from the Barak Valley of Assam, including Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express, a direct train from Silchar to New Delhi, a decades-old demand of the people of that valley.

The other two trains, flagged off by Prabhu in February 2016, were the first freight trains from Badarpur in Assam to Jirania in Agartala, and to Jiribam in Manipur.

While the freight train from Badarpur to Jiribam helped include Manipur in the BG network, the one to Jirania came at a time when NH 8, Tripura’s only road route to the rest of India through Assam, was in shambles, thus leading to a crisis situation as hundreds of trucks remained stranded on it for months together. The goods train helped cart essential stuff to the state.

Work is presently on the 84 km long Jiribam-Tupul section of the railway project in Manipur and likely finish by 2018. Thereafter, the link will stretch to state capital Imphal. Though this project to lay railway track to Imphal began in 2004, barely 20% of the work was reportedly completed till 2014. Media reports say survey is on also to lay a railway line from Imphal to Moreh, a business town bordering Myanmar.

The railway ministry has also sanctioned reconnaissance engineering-cum-traffic survey for eight new lines in the state for a total length of about 625 km.

While Nagaland has been a part of the BG network since 1997 after the MG track in Dimapur was converted, in August 2016, Prabhu laid the foundation stone in the town to extend the track for another 88 kms to reach Zubza, situated 16 km from the state capital Kohima.

Though Sikkim is the only northeastern state to not have rail connectivity yet, there is now progress in the project to link Sevok in West Bengal to Rangpo, a stretch of 44 kms, after the Supreme Court gave a go ahead to it last year. Though the foundation stone for the project was laid by the then vice president Hamid Ansari in 2009, it ran into legal trouble due to environmental concerns as the line would pass by Mahananda elephant sanctuary.

In coming times, this railway line is likely to reach Nathu-La on the India-China border.

Quite a few times during his visit to the region, the former railway minister had reiterated to the media that all the capitals of the northeastern states would have rail connectivity with the national capital by 2020. Hope the new railway minister Piyush Goyal fulfils this unfinished agenda. For clearly, New Delhi needs to continue this ‘Act’ in the northeast, for the region to be truly able to play its part to make real the ambitious policy of the Modi government – Act East.

Extension of Hyderabad MMTS from Ghatkesar to Raigir cleared, famous Temple Town Yadadri to appear on Rail map

Extension of Multi Model Transport System (MMTS) to temple town Yadadri has been cleared. Sanctioning the extension of MMTS Phase II from Ghatkesar to Raigir, Rail Vikas Nigam limited (RVNL) has sent the detailed estimates for the project. RVNL has estimated the total project cost to be around Rs 412.26 crore.

This cost will be shared between the Telangana government and the Indian Railways at 2:1 ratio.

The state government has to provide around Rs 290 crore as its share and remaining amount will be contributed by the railways.

RVNL has asked the state government to release Rs 75 crore to-wards the first installment to start work on the project.

Once the state government gives its approval and releases the funds, the project will commence.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who has been vocal about his keenness to provide a railway link to the pilgrim town of Yadadri, had requested the Railway Ministry to grant approval on the extension of MMTS Phase II services from Ghatkesar to Raigir.

Raigir is just three km away from temple town Yadadri.  The distance between Ghatkesar to Raigir is 32 km. After the extension of MMTS Phase II to Raigir station, the state government wants to rename it as Yadadri.  The estimated time it would take to reach Raigir from Secunderabad by MMTS is 45 minutes.

Sanatnagar-Moula Ali rail line picks up pace, defence land survey on

Woes of lakhs of commuters plying between Malkajgiri, Sainikpuri, Neredmet and Hi-Tec City may end soon as Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) Phase II work between Sanatnagar and Moula Ali has picked up pace.A survey on acquiring defence land to lay the railway track between Sanatnagar and Moula Ali is underway .A team from Defence Estate Office and local military authority (LMA) has been carrying out the survey for the past two weeks and might complete the task by September-end.

Though the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), which is executing the project, had received a communication from the ministry of defence (MoD) regarding permission given to the LMA to take up a detailed survey on defence land in June, the LMA delayed it stating that they were yet to get any communication from their headquarters. As a result, the survey got delayed by nearly two-and-half months. In fact, the RVNL had been pursuing the issue since 2012, but due to unknown reasons, the survey got stuck in red tape.

To lay the railway track between Sanatnagar and Moula Ali, the RVNL would require 65 acres of defence land, especially near Suchitra (Secunderabad Cantonment periphery). The LMA raised objections over parting land of the firing range. Now, the LMA has asked the RVNL to pay compensation for the defence land. According to the MMTS Phase-II proposal, 35-km track would be laid between Ghatkesar and Sanatnagar via Moula Ali. MMTS phase II works are currently on between Ghatkesar and Sanatnagar via Moula Ali (37 km). Five stations -Ferozguda, Suchitra junction, Bhudevi Nagar, Neredmet and Moula Ali HB Colony -would come up between Moula Ali and Sanatnagar. “Survey on the defence land in at a brisk pace. The team hopes to complete 65-acre land survey by September end. Later, a survey report will be submitted to the MoD for a decision on land transfer,” defence sources told.

Meanwhile, the railway authorities completed marking properties likely to be affected as part of doubling the railway track at Rail Katta Lane at Nandamuri Nagar. This is as part of the new railway track proposed between Moula Ali and Sanatnagar. As per the demarcation, nearly 42 properties might get affected.Locals have appealed to the railways to provide them alternate parcels of land When contacted, Ward NoVI member Pandu Yadav, in whose jurisdiction the area falls, said.” It is true some properties at Rail Katta Lane will be affected as part of MMTS phase-II. I will make efforts to either shift them to another area or construct new houses on abutting defence land.”

 

Railway Tribunal Benches To Settle Claims Of Utkal Express Accident Victims

Special benches of Railway Claims Tribunal (RCT) would be held at six places, including Bhubaneswar, to expeditiously settle compensation claims of victims of recent Kalinga Utkal Express and Kaifiyat Express train accidents.

The chairman of Railway Claims Tribunal has ordered for these special benches to inquire into and decide compensation claims of the victims of these mishaps so that compensation can be handed over immediately, an East Coast Railway (ECoR) statement said.

While 18477 Puri-Haridwar Kalinga Utkal Express had derailed on August 19, 12225 Azamgarh-Delhi Kaifiyat Express mishap took place on August, 23 in Uttar Pradesh, it said.

The Special Benches will be held at RCT Headquarters in Delhi and also at five other places — Ghaziabad, Bhopal, Lucknow, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar from September 11 to 15.

In Bhubaneswar, RCT would hold Special Bench at Odisha Forest Development Corporation Limited Building during this period, it said.

People who had sustained injury or suffered any loss, any agent authorised by the victim on his behalf, guardian of the victim in case of minor or the dependant of the deceased resulted from these accidents can apply for compensation with relevant identity proofs in original like Aadhaar Card, voter identity card, ration card, family register, resident proof including other relevant documents, it added.

Mumbai Local Motorman Stops Train To Save Dog On Tracks

Time and Tide – and the Mumbai suburban trains — wait for none, but today was an exception. An alert motorman of a local train in Mumbai did stop a train to save a dog which was about to get run over.

The incident happened at the crowded Churchgate station of the Western Railway here this afternoon. A local train had barely pulled into the station when the motorman saw a dog on the tracks.

He stopped the train and blew the horn but the canine did not budge.

The incessant blowing of the horn attracted commuters, including a PTI correspondent, from other platforms but did not seem to have any effect on the dog who stood on the tracks, facing the train.

It was left to a good samaritan, who was waiting for this train, to get down on to the tracks and lift the dog to safety amid applause from onlookers.

There was a rush to laud the rescuer and also the motorman for saving the dog’s life.

The motorman, R P Meena, told PTI that it was all in a day’s work for him. When told that he had done a wonderful thing, the railway employee merely shrugged, saying “it is nothing.”

Relieved that the drama had ended on a happy note for the canine, the passengers jumped into the train, the 1.43 pm Churchgate-Virar fast local.

Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Inaugurate Lucknow Metro

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the first service of Lucknow Metro on Tuesday at the Transport Nagar railway station.

Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, senior Ministers of the state cabinet, local legislators and Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Hardeep Puri were present on the occasion along with Principal Advisor to the project E. Sreedharan.

The 8.5 km stretch of the rapid transport system Lucknow Metro — starting from Transport Nagar to Charbagh railway station — will be open for public from Wednesday.

Chief Minister Adityanath, in his address on the occasion, lauded the team behind the early completion of the project and said the metro would ease traffic congestion in the state capital.

He assured that the work on other phases of the Lucknow Metro project would be completed at the earliest.

Mr Adityanath also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for facilitating a loan from the European Investment Bank for the project.

Railways at ‘critical juncture’, safety to be priority: Board chairman Ashwani Lohani

Safety will be the focus area of the Indian Railways, which is at a critical juncture and faces an “image perception” problem, newly-appointed Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani has said.

Lohani said in a letter to employees yesterday that Indian Railways had suffered a “serious dent” in the recent past due to “certain unfortunate incidents”.

Lohani’s letter dated August 28 — before the fourth derailment in 10 days today morning — also indicated at reforms in the country’s largest passenger carrier.

“At this critical juncture when we are facing a serious issue with the image perception of the railways, I expect all my fellow railwaymen to pitch in wholeheartedly to set this perception right,” Lohani wrote.

The former Air India CMD made it clear that safety would be the principal focus area of the public sector behemoth which carries nearly three crore passengers per day

“We have to always be on our guard to ensure the highest level of safety in train operations and instill a renewed sense of confidence in our esteemed passengers.

“The great Indian railways has suffered a serious dent in the recent past due to certain unfortunate incidents. Such incidents often overshadow the great work that this organisation performs day in and day out,” Lohani wrote.

He also identified quality of catering, linen and cleanliness, which he said was crying for attention, as other areas of concern and stressed on the need to adopt a mission mode to bring improvements in a very short time.

“Our operating ratio needs to be brought down considerably, not only by reducing expenditure but by increasing freight loading and also finding other means of non-conventional revenue generation to achieve a spurt in revenues,” he added.

In the fourth train derailment in the country in 10 days, the engine and nine coaches of the Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express derailed between Vasind and Asangaon stations in Maharashtra early today following a landslide today. There were no reports of any injuries.

On August 19, 14 coaches of the high-speed Kalinga Utkal Express jumped the tracks on August 19, with one of them crashing into a house adjacent to the track near Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, claiming 23 lives and injuring over 60 people.

On August 23, about 100 passengers were injured when 10 coaches of the Kaifiyat Express train derailed in UP’s Auraiya district after crashing into a dumper which strayed on to the tracks.

On August 25, six coaches of the Andheri-bound local train derailed in Mumbai, injuring six passengers.

Soon, Swiss tilting trains to run on Indian railway tracks; India signs MoU with Switzerland

India will collaborate with Switzerland for developing trains which will tilt on approaching a bend, just like a motorbike on a winding road.

A memorandum of understanding was signed today between the two countries in this regard.

Such trains are now operational in 11 countries — Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, the UK, Switzerland, China, Germany and Romania.

Explaining how the tilting trains work, officials said that as a train rounds a curve at speed it cause objects to slide about.

“While it makes seated passengers feel squashed by the armrest, standing passengers tend to lose their balance. The design of the tilting trains counteract this,” an official said.

During a curve to the left, the train tilts to the left and vice versa, the official said.

The railway ministry signed two MoUs with the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport and Communications of the Swiss Confederation for technical cooperation in rail sector in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The first agreement is a follow up on bilateral cooperation in rail sector discussed in the meeting held between Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and the Swiss Ambassador in July 2016.

The MoU aims at cooperation in the areas of traction rolling stock, electric multiple unit and train sets, traction propulsion equipments, freight and passenger cars, tilting trains, railway electrification equipments, tunnelling technology among other things.

The second MoU was signed between Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology which will help the former in establishing the George Fernandes Institute of Tunnel Technology (GFITT) at Goa especially for assimilation and dissemination of knowledge in the field of tunnelling, the officials said.

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