“While Railways is investing millions to upgrade the passenger amenities in fight for footfalls with airlines, capacity constraints on tracks do dog us,” Central Railway’s General Manager D K Sharma said while admitting to it as a real challenge. He was addressing a press conference at Satpuda Rest House in Civil Lines, on Sunday.
The General Manager was in city for All Indian Railways Painting Competition hosted by Nagpur Division of Central Railway.
“At many places there is only a single line. Even worse there is no electrification which has clogged the speed of long distance trains,” Sharma said citing an example of a Mumbai-Bangalore train which takes nearly 24 hours to complete its journey. “The situation will change very soon and within five years, we would be seeing a new railways,” he added with optimism.
Sharma referred to unigauge policy and also decision to go for total electrification on part of Railways. He informed that total electrification would ensure 40 per cent savings on power bill, also increase average speed of trains.
“Already, we are investing in upgrading five corridors to run trains at 160 km/hr speed and bullet trains will run on several routes within next years. Once the overhaul is complete these teething issues would come to an end and Railways would be back on tracks,” he added.
When asked about induction of new high speed diesel engines recently, the senior railway officer said, “Since electrification process would need time to complete, and for that gap these may have been procured.
On all women crew issue, Sharma said, “Posting all women crew is a conscious decision on part of Railways to empower women. This shows the society that women do not lack in anyway to stand in competition with their male counterpart. About Matunga station on Mumbai suburban railways, it was first in country to hand over charge of railway station to all women team. It is close of educational hub. So when young college-going girls pass through Matunga and see only women manning the station, they would feel proud.”
“At Ajni station, the upgradation to satellite terminus would be done in two phases, with first phase comprising building an island platform with two platforms slated for completion by year end. During the second phase, there would be addition of pit lines, stabling lines while integrating with third and fourth lines on Sewagram-Nagpur section at Ajni Yard. Ajni is also nominated for development of common mobility platform, means one can purchase fare card from here and travel by any means of transport,” he added.
On a query about availability of cabs from Nagpur Railway Station, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Brijesh Kumar Gupta stated that Ola has signed an accord and it would be starting the services very soon. The company has deposited Rs 35 lakh with Railways and would deploy its cabs on western side of the main station, he added.
Chief Personnel Officer (CPO), Central Railway, N Vishwanathan, Principal Chief Personnel Officer, Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Sunil Udasi also were present at the press conference.