Author Archives: rail

Page 97 of 170« First...102030...9596979899...110120130...Last »

Swedish rail operator uses IBM Tealeaf to re-read credit card sessions

SJ_(rail_operator)_logo.svgSJ, Sweden’s largest rail operator, has announced it is using IBM’s Tealeaf customer experience management (CEM) system to get its mobile and online booking processes back on track.

SJ carries over 100,000 passengers every day, with more than 50% of passenger bookings completed online. It found out that more than 230,000 customers annually had difficulties when booking online travel with a credit card.

Against a backdrop of railway deregulation, begun in 2009, the state-owned operator realised it is vulnerable to competition from private rail operators.

It carried out a pilot project with IBM and discovered that customers struggled with the online booking process, including booking multi-stop journeys, reserving seats and making payments using a mobile device.

IBM’s Tealeaf technology provides SJ with the ability to record and replay individual customer sessions, without revealing information such as complete credit card numbers.

Some customers had valid credit card payments declined during the booking process because of what a press statement described as “overly stringent criteria set by SJ’s fraud team”.

In the same statement, Thomas Mann, head of distribution at SJ, said: “As the largest train operator in Sweden, we understand how important it is for our growing digital customer base to easily book and purchase journeys through our website without issue.

“Together with IBM, we realised our digital technology investments were not optimally supporting our customer experience. To improve the online experience, our key e-commerce departments now monitor critical business processes around ticket sales, improving our ability to immediately resolve customer problems. We expect this to result in an increase in customer ticket sales.”

SJ uses IBM Tealeaf CX, IBM Tealeaf cxImpact, and IBM Tealeaf cxView, the statement confirmed.

Brazen Demand: Central Railway PIO demands Rs.81,000 for RTI information

The Central Railway has demanded Rs.1000 per page of train reservation information from an applicant whose relative is said to have died in an accident, on a journey from Kalyan to Nashik, in May.

The applicant, Ravindra Wabale, received this notice from the railways on July 24, 2013, in response to his application under the RTI Act. Under the right to information law, such information is to be charged at Rs.2 a page (of the regular A4 size).

In fact, the information runs into 81 pages and Wabale would have to pay Rs.81,000 for it. A railway official says that the charges have been set by the Railway Board.

Wabale has sought the reservation chart information to get in touch with other travellers on the train who may be able to help him find out more about his cousin’s death. The cousin, Swapnil Surse, was a resident doctor at Mumbai’s Cama and Albless Hospital.

On May 26, 2013, Surse was to journey from Kalyan to Nashik on the Geetanjali Express. His body was found the following day in Lasalgaon, about 60 km east of Nashik.

“The railway police said it was an accident. But we were told that his body was found way off from Nashik, his destination. The heart and kidneys were missing when we collected Swapnil’s body,” said Wabale. Swapnil’s phone SIM and memory cards were also missing.

“We were very disturbed by the incident. We wanted to get in touch with people who were travelling with him on the train and collect as much of details as possible to help us to get to the truth,” said Wabale, who lives in Ahmednagar. So the family made an application for a copy of the reservation chart that would help them to get details of passengers on the train.

Wabale said that he has made similar RTI applications before and got the information for a charge of Rs.2 a page. “This is the first time that we have been told to pay such a huge amount. It shows that the railways does not want to give us the information and we need it very much,” he said.

The response from the Central Railway said, “In reference to your RTI application for furnishing copies of reservation chart of train numbers 12859 and 12869 dated 26-05-2013. It is informed that as per Railway Board’s letter dated 13-12-2011 (copy enclosed) a fee of Rs.1,000 per page is to be charged for furnishing a copy of reservation chart to any person. You are therefore requested to pay a total amount of Rs.81,000 to railways for furnishing 81 pages by way of demand draft or banker’s cheque…” The letter was signed by M.A. Kamble, Chief Commercial Manager (PS) and Public Information Officer.

When asked about this exorbitant charge, Atul Rane, Chief Public Relations Officer of the Central Railway in Mumbai, said, “One page of reservation chart has details of multiple PNR. We are governed by the Railway Board’s commercial circular No.65 of 2011 where all the issues were discussed before fixing the rate.”

Wabale has now complained to the information commission about the unreasonable charges levied by the railways, said RTO activist SK Nangia.

Weekend Special train from Lucknow to Delhi

LUCKNOW: Railways will run a special train Lucknow-New Delhi AC Express (1 trip) to clear weekend rush. Train number 14207 will depart from Lucknow at 8.15pm on Sunday (August 18) and reach New Delhi at 5.35am the next day. The train will comprise one AC-1, four AC-2 tier and eight AC-3 tier coaches. It will stop at Hardoi, Shahjahanpur, Bareilly, Moradabad and Ghaziabad stations.

Railways has attached an extra AC-3 tier and two sleeper coaches 12167/12168 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Varanasi Superfast Express with immediate effect till August 31/September 1. The train’s timing, route and stoppages remain unchanged.

SR posts 11.6% increase in revenue from passenger traffic

CHENNAI: Southern Railway posted 11.6% growth in earnings from passenger traffic in the first four months of the financial year compared to that in the corresponding period a year ago. It registered a 14% increase in earnings from freight transport in the same period compared to that in the previous year, said Rakesh Misra, General Manager, Southern Railway, on Thursday.

“On the passenger front, during the first four months of the current year, we carried 274 million originating passengers, yielding an originating passenger earnings of Rs 1,150 crore, thus registering 11.6% growth in earnings over the previous year. Similarly on the freight sector, the originating freight loading from April to July this year was 14.81 million tonnes, which is the best ever loading for the first four months of any year in Southern Railway’s history. This translates to a huge increase of nearly 14% over last year. At this rate, the board’s target would be exceeded by a huge margin by the end of this year,” Misra said after hoisting the national flag at the zone’s headquarters here.

Several additional passenger trains were run during the current fiscal year. Fifteen pairs of new trains were introduced, seven pairs of trains were extended and frequency of two trains was increased, he said.

Despite the increased freight and passenger traffic, Southern Railway achieved 94% punctuality during the first quarter.

The zone improved its infrastructure, he said. During the current financial year, Salem-Karur new line was commissioned and the gauge converted section between Manamadurai-Virudhunagar was opened.

Gauge conversion of Pollachi-Palakkad and Pollachi-Podanur would be completed in the current financial year. Electrification of Villupuram-Vellore section, Dindigul-Virudhunagar-Tirunelveli section, Vanchimaniyachi-Tuticorin section and Shoranur – Kozhikode sections were expected to be completed soon, he said.

“Southern Railway takes every step to ensure safe running of trains by constantly monitoring safety and by conducting safety drives and safety campaigns. The index for accidents per million train kilometer for the year 2012-13 is 0.084 which is well below the limit of 0.17 accident per million train kilometre fixed in the corporate safety plan,” Misra said.

17 RPF personnel awarded Prez’s police medal

On the occasion of Independence Day, the Hon’ble President awarded President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and Police Medal for Meritorious Service to Railways Protection Force/Railway Protection Special Force (RPF/RPSF) officers and personnel.

Shukdev Raj, posted in Ambala as Inspector Protection Force (IPF), has been awarded with President Police Medal for distinguished services.

The 16 other RPF personnel include the following Officers:

1. Shri Dinesh Kumar Shukla, ASC/JR RPF Academy/Lucknow.
2. Shri Arun Kumar Nigam, ASC/Surat/Western Railways.
3. Shri Subash Govind Nalawade, ASI/Pune/CR.
4. Shri Rajesh Sunder Rao Nilamwar, SI/Mumbai/CR.
5. Shri Suresh Chand Gupta, HC/Bhopal/WCR.
6. Shri Abdul Azeez, ASI(Dvr)/Bangalore/SWR.
7. Shri Shyam Lal Gaur, SI/Railway Board/SWR.
8. Shri Sanjeev Kumar Dwivedi, ASI/Moradabad/NR.
9. Shri A. Sridhar, IPF/Tiruchchirappali/SR.
10. Shri Gopal Raj Yuvraj, IPF/Chennai/SR.
11. Shri B.Karthikeyan, HC/Chennai/SR.
12. Shri Jagdish Singh, CT/GMC/NCR.
13. Shri Chandra Shekhar Ojha, SI/Gonda/NER.
14. Shri Gama Yadav, SI/LJN/NER.
15. Shri M Arunachalam, IPF(M)/7th BN RPSF.
16. Shri Basu N. Pawar, ASI/12th BN RPSF.

SCR’s Kamareddy-Bodhan passenger train extended upto Mirzapalli

The South Central Railway (SCR) today announced that Train No.57502/57503 Kamareddi – Bodhan Passenger will be extended upto Mirzapalli with effect from 16th of August. A SCR release here said Train No. 57502 Kamareddi- Mirzapalli Passenger , on its extended section, will depart Bodhan at 0745 hours and arrive Mirzapalli at 1125 hours on the same day. In the return direction, Train No. 57503 Mirzapalli – Kamareddi Passenger, on the extended section, will depart Mirzapalli at 1530 hours and arrive Bodhan at 1925 hours on the same day, the release said.

Bharti Airtel North partners with IRCTC to offer Rail Ticket booking through Airtel Money

Bharti Airtel’s Northern part of India had partnered with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to offer its customers railway bookings through Airtel Money. This facility is available in Northern part of India comprising, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

IRCTC mobile bookings through airtel Money service works across all mobile devices, does not involve any data or SMS charges. It uses a simple USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology that prompts users with interactive and guided menu options towards booking tickets.

“Our integration with IRCTC for reserved ticketing is a step to empower our customers specifically beyond the urban footprint with the convenience of booking tickets without the need of holding a bank account or an Internet connection,” Airtel CEO-North Sarang Kanade said. 

Through this service, customers can not only make ticket bookings but also search for stations, trains, availability, PNR enquiry, cancellation etc, he added.

63 held For damaging Railway property in south Kashmir

SRINAGAR: At least 63 youth have been arrested by Railway police for their alleged involvement in damaging trains and railway property in different parts of South Kashmir.

Police sources said that during different stone pelting incidents agitated youth damaged railway property at different places in South Kahsmir. “After analyzing video clips all the culprits were identified and arrested,” sources said.

At least 63 youth have been arrested so far who belong to different places including Awantipora, Kakapora and other areas.

“All these youth have been detained by Railway police,” a police official said.

Despite repeated attempts Superintendent of Police, Railways could not be contacted.

Rly Pravasi Gp, Pune demands Holiday Spl Trains to Konkan during Ganesh Festival

PUNE: The Railway Pravasi group has urged the Pune division of the Central Railways to start holiday special trains from Pune to Konkan during the Ganesh festival. The festival will be held next month. Chairperson of the group, Harsha Shah in a memorandum submitted to Divisional Railway Manager Sunit Sharma said the Central Railways runs holiday special trains from Mumbai to Konkan during the Ganesh festival which will be celebrated from September 5 to 22. The Konkan Railways and the Western Railways also run special trains via Konkan railway route, she said. The group said that trains be started from Pune up to Madgaon, and Mangalore via Konkan rail route. Similarly, trains can also be started from Solapur via Pune to these places, she said.

In addition to the special trains for Ganesh festival, the group has urged the railways to start special trains from Pune to Shirdi.

The group said that in Maharashtra, Pune is the second most important city after Mumbai. Pune should have better rail connectivity to all important places in the country, Shah said. The railways runs holiday special trains during the winter season and summer season. These trains should be run on a daily basis, Shah added.

Integrated security at three railway stations soon

Integrated Security System will be commissioned shortly by South Central Railway at Secunderabad, Hyderabad and Tirupati railway stations at a cost of Rs.6.30 Crore.

To enhance passenger comfort, 22 lifts and 14 escalators have been commissioned at 13 stations so far. Besides, 38 lifts and 35 escalators will be installed at 15 stations in the near future.

Speaking after unfurling the national flag at the Railway Sports Complex Grounds in Secunderabad on Thursday, South Central Railway Additional General Manager K.L.Pandey said the train accident rate on SCR declined during the period between April and July this year due to the safety measures taken by the zone.

As many as 171 unmanned level crossings have been removed as part of an action plan which aims to eliminate all of them by 2016 while 32 major stations have been brought under security surveillance with the installation of 430 CCTV cameras.

In the last financial year 2012-13, SCR loaded more than 110 million tonnes of freight and carried 387 millions of originating passengers, with a record earnings of more than Rs 10,000 crore.

The gross earnings for the period April to July 2013 are Rs 3,357 crore which is Rs 158 crore higher than that of last year, posting a healthy growth rate of 5 percent. The zone achieved an originating freight loading of 35.2 MT and carried 127 millions of originating passengers.

IRCTC Witnesses record 5.04 Lakh e-tickets sold on August 12

Mumbai: E-Ticketing website of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) witnessed a record 5.04 Lakh bookings on 12th August, surpassing the earlier one-day sales record set in March.

On March 1, 5.02 lakh e-tickets had been booked. Advance reservations for any train open 60 days before the date of its scheduled departure. The bookings done on August 12 can be attributed to the festive season after two months. While Vijay Dashmi falls on October 13, Bakri Eid and Diwali will be celebrated on October 16 and November 3 respectively.

Following criticism, IRCTC , which now books nearly 50% reserved tickets on the Indian Railways network, has improved its website’s performance. Joint General Manager (PR) Pradip Kundu said, “Last year (2012-2013), the average daily bookings were around 3.85 lakh, it has now reached 4.30 lakh. This translates into nearly nine lakh passengers and a daily transaction of more than Rs 37 crore. IRCTC has increased the booking rate to 7,200 tickets per minute from the earlier capacity of nearly 2,000 tickets. We are augmenting the capacity to handle 1.2 lakh users at any point of time as compared to the existing 40,000 users. This is expected to be ready by early next year.”

Kharola promises transparency in BMRCL

05bg_bgimg_bmtf_06_1322480gPradeep Singh Kharola, who assumed office as the Managing Director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) on Monday, said that his priority was to ensure that the working of the corporation was transparent and hassle-free.

Speaking to reporters at an informal gathering, he said that although there were not many major problems in the BMRCL, small glitches would be fixed.

BMRCL has been at the receiving end of public anger for allegedly withholding information and initiating projects without public debate and consent. Former Managing Director of BMRCL, N Sivasailam, had said at a recent public interaction, “I tweet project details. Our website too has plenty of information regarding the projects.”

However, people had expressed dissatisfaction about his comment, saying that Twitter and the BMRCL website were not of much use to people who cannot read English.

Consequently, the BMRCL decided to make the website bi-lingual. But the effort was limited only to the home page. Key content and essential information on the website were displayed in English alone.

When a journalist questioned the quality of the website, calling it inferior to that of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Sivasailam said they would work on improving the site soon.

Kharola said it would take some time for him to be able to comment on specific issues relating to the Corporation or the project.

“We are committed to adhering to deadlines and will work towards the expedited completion of works. We will throw open the Metro reaches to the public as early as possible.”

When questioned about the phase-II project near Jayadeva Hospital, which has become a cause for concern among citizens, he said that the Corporation would try to fix the problem soon. He added that it was too early to comment on the implementation of phase-II as the process had just begun.

He said the Corporation would take measures to ensure safety of labourers and also prevent accidents. BMRCL has been a talking point lately for lax safety measures, with even the High Court criticising BMRCL on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Union Labour Department has issued a show-cause notice to several contractors of BMRCL, seeking the reason for the impounding of their licences.

IDBI Capital upgrades Texmaco Rail to ‘accumulate’

Texmaco Rail and Engineering (TXMRE) results were better than expected and largely supported by higher other income. Revenue fell 4.2% to Rs1.4 bn impacted by fall in wagon delivery with IR orders being exhausted. EBIDTA margin stood at 5.7%, down 1030 bps YoY. PAT was down 46% to Rs89 mn impacted by the fall in volume and higher expenses. The UGL JV received order for 135 Loco bogies during the quarter.

Start of operations from UGL facility is a positive as it already provides lease income of ~Rs100 mn annually. Indian Railway (IR) regular or ad-hoc orders have not been released and remain a concern. We still maintain our 1,625 wagons execution for FY14 assuming IR ad-hoc orders and Concor orders. Post a significant correction in the stock price since our last update, we upgrade the stock to ACCUMULATE with a target price of Rs38 based on 10x our FY15E EPS.

Texmaco Rail & Engineering Limited (Texmaco), a ISO: 9001-2008, an Industry for Industries founded its Heavy Engineering and Steel Foundry businesses in the year 1939 by renowned industrialist, Late Dr. K.K.Birla. The Engineering and Steel Foundry Divisions of Texmaco Limited were transferred to Texmaco, with the parent company retaining the businesses of Real Estate, Mini Hydel Power and Investments. The demerger has been done as per the decision of the Board in the FY 2010, to unlock the value of the shareholders in both the companies and enable them to focus on their core business strengths and grow independently of each other.

Texmaco is now a proud member of ADVENTZ Group, comprising renowned blue chip companies, headed by the Group Chairman Mr. Saroj Poddar. The Group has been launched with the idea of one virtual company with many real businesses. It is based on four fundamental principles – Collaboration, Sustainability, Inclusiveness and being Global.

With 5 manufacturing units extending over 170 acres, Texmaco is one of the leading Mechanical and Structural Engineering Companies in India, located in the suburbs of Kolkata.

Jaipur Metro to get Rs.630 Crore aid from the Centre

JAIPUR: The Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation (JMRC), which aims to replicate the Delhi Metro magic in Pink City, is expected to receive financial support from the Union government. In a public investment board meeting chaired by the Union Finance Secretary, Mr. R.S.Gujral, a recommendation to allocate Rs 630 crore for the Jaipur Metro, Phase -I was made on Tuesday. The final approval to the proposal will be given in the Union cabinet meeting.

An official explained that JMRC is seeking financial help from the Central government for the Jaipur Metro corridor-I (Mansarovar to Badi Chaupar), in the form of equity. “Out of the total amount, the government of India will give Rs 472.5 crore as equity and Rs 157.5 crore as loan,” the official said. As part of the joint venture, the Centre is expected to provide approximately 20% financial assistance in the form of equity for the entire project.

The announcement in the meeting was a big relief for the JMRC senior officials as the state government was not in a position to fund the entire project from its own pocket, according to sources.

Initially, when the project was conceived, stage-I was estimated at Rs 1,250 crore with the state government taking up just the civil work. The rolling stock and the construction of Metro from Chandpole to Badi Chaupar was planned to be taken up on public and private partnership. But later the state government decided to fund even these two on its own increasing the project cost to Rs 3,149 crore.

Apart from receiving funds from the Central government, the JMRC will also take Rs 969 crore loan from Asian Development Bank.

The loan will be used to fund development of the underground Metro corridor between Chandpole and Badi Chaupar. According to the Metro officials, the loan process is in the final stages and ADB and JMRC are expected to sign an agreement next month.

The senior urban development and housing (UDH) and JMRC officials in the meeting also said that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is all set to conduct the trial run of Jaipur Metro train from Mansarovar to Vivek Vihar station by next month. The trial run will be held on elevated tracks by rakes (trains having four coaches) recently purchased from Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).

49th All-India Basketball Tournament, Southern Railway Women wins

TH16_RLY_1552402fIt was an easy ride for Southern Railway Women (Chennai), with quality stars such as Geethu Anna Jose, Anitha Paul Durai and Soniya Joy in its ranks, the Chennai outfit, barring for a brief period, called the shots before ousting a well-oiled South Central Railway (SCR) unit from Secunderabad 70-53 for the CRI Pumps Trophy.

The Chennai team gained an early edge, thanks to the efforts of Geethu (30 pts) and Anitha (21).

The dynamic duo shattered the water-tight defence set by the Secunderabad side time and again to score baskets with ease. But the SCR women were not deterred. They continued to fight but the contest was good as over for the team in the last quarter.

Nod for Metro tunnel under Tilak Bridge

NEW DELHI: The approval from the Northern Railways for the Tilak Bridge tunnel excavation by Delhi Metro has finally come through. “The permission came through on Wednesday evening. Delhi Metro should start work on the stretch immediately,” revealed a government official.

The tunnel boring machine (TBM) had been stuck for the past five months since work had stopped in the absence of Northern Railway’s approval. The excavation work under the bridge is expected to take around 20 days. Around 60% of the work on the ITO station is complete, said an official.

The TBM will connect the Mandi House station with the ITO Metro station which is part of the Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate alignment. The 225m stretch had been inactive for almost six months. The last time the TBM was used on this section was in March, while the second TBM stopped work in February.

The corridor between Central Secretariat and Mandi House is scheduled to become operational from March 2014. The Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate corridor is scheduled to start by 2015.

The principal approval from the Northern Railways was obtained in 2011. The Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) had also given permission for the tunnel to go under the existing Delhi Metro corridor at Tilak Marg.

Delhi Metro officials had, for the past few months, been working on the rest of the alignment. While the tunneling work between Janpath and Mandi House has been completed, DMRC is working on the stretch from Delhi Gate towards Jama Masjid.

The delay in getting the approval was the distance between the tunnel for the Central Secretariat-Kashmere Gate corridor and Tilak Bridge. Northern Railways rules say, minimum 15m clearance is required from “the top of the tunnel to the natural ground level”. But, this criteria was not met in the Metro tunnel since the ground level was 13m high from the tunnel.

Patel Engg seeks clarity from Mozambique

New Delhi:  In race for an ambitious USD 6 billion railway infrastructure project in Mozambique, Patel Engineering has sought clarity from the African nation on certain changes in the bidding criteria at an advanced stage.

While Indian infrastructure firm had earlier emerged as a successful bidder, the Mozambique government later decided to call for global tenders for the project and a Thai government entity is now said to be leading the race, sources said.

WR, CR jointly plan tri-lingual indicators, clear announcements in Mumbai

MUMBAI: Soon, you will get clarity in railway announcements as Western Railway is embarking on a computerized sensor-based public address system-the first-ever for suburban railways.

A pilot project is being carried out at Borivli station in which the system tries to identify the number of commuters standing on a platform using sensors. “If there are more passengers during peak hours, the system will amplify the volume of the announcement and make it more sharper for people to understand what is being relayed,” said a senior WR official. “On the other hand, if the platform has just a few commuters, the system will ensure that the announcement is made in a softer, audible tone. The objective is to have clarity. Every passenger should be able to comprehend what is being announced,” he stated.

Several commuters had complained in the past about the poor announcement system on platforms. “When indicators are blank and there are no trains arriving on platforms, we depend completely on the announcements. If there is no announcement or it is inaudible, it is frustrating for commuters,” said Kapil Gokhale from Andheri.

The WR, during its I-Day message to public, also announced plans to instal 500 ATVMs between Churchgate and Virar to reduce crowds at ticket counters, 21 new trains, and at least 30 services to cater to passengers from far flung suburbs between Borivli and Virar.

General manager Pramod Kumar said his team had registered an impressive growth in freight traffic. CR’s general manager B P Khare promised to instal tri-lingual display indicators. It also announced installation of nearly 200 doorframe metal detectors, close to 1,000 handheld detectors to prevent terror attacks on CR premises and in trains. It also has eight vehicle scanners, 26 x-ray baggage scanners and 69 dogs in RPF Dog Squad.

“The CR recently completed important projects like new model station building at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus with modern features like AC dormitories, retiring rooms, waiting halls, spacious car parking, etc,” Khare added.

Said Kumar, “As a result of various drives undertaken by RPF to check crime and anti-social activities, more than a lakh persons were apprehended in WR and fine of about Rs.1.8 crore recovered.” On CR, round-the-clock surveillance is being carried out through 1,530 CCTV cameras and 146 monitors on 66 stations

The WR runs 1,305 services as on date, with 20 new services between Churchgate and Dahanu. The CR, on the other hand,runs 1,618 services.

What you can expect in coming weeks:

Western Railway

  • Computerised sensor-based public address system.
  • Installation of 500 ATVMs between Churchgate and Virar.
  • At least 30 new services to cater to passengers from far flung suburbs between Borivli and Virar.
  • New escalators at Dadar, Borivli and Andheri.
  • Refurbished the first class AC coach of Mumbai – Delhi Rajdhani Express, giving it a plush look with added facilities.

Central Railway

  • Tri-lingual display indicators (Marathi, Hindi and English) at all platforms. 
  • Ticket reservation counters for outstation trains open for longer hours on Sundays at Thane, Kalyan, Nashik, Pune and Nagpur.
  • Installation of nearly 200 doorframe metal detectors, close to 1,000 handheld detectors to prevent terror attacks. 
  • More 15-car suburban services from CST to far flung suburbs.

WR facelifts the railway booking offices and amenities at Vile Parle, Bhayandar

Parle_09The Western Railway has renovated the existing booking windows at Vile Parle and Bhayandar stations, while also constructing new booking windows at the Vile Parle station. One of the windows has been earmarked for differently-abled passengers only and the present queuing area has been made more spacious and passenger friendly.

“Out of the five booking windows on the west side of Vile Parle station, two windows have been newly constructed and three have been renovated. This facilitates the commuters of on the west to easily buy tickets before reaching the platforms”, said Nitin David, Public Relations Officer, Western Railway.

Similarly, the booking office at Bhayandar has also been renovated, helping the passenger of Bhayandar east.

At Vile Parle, a total of eight booking windows are now functional in 17 shifts and 12 booking windows in Bhayandar are working in 27 shifts.

The booking offices have been constructed with transparent glass and better amenities. All the booking and reservation windows have been constructed and renovated with a futuristic view. A facelift of these booking offices has also done by providing aluminum composite panel cladding to them.

Central Railway inaugurates Second Escalator at Thane Railway station on I-Day

30thane-escalatorMUMBAI: Thane station has got its second escalator as the Central Railway has inaugurated this facility on the occasion of Independence Day on Thursday.

Thane is considered to be the busiest station of Mumbai suburban division with an estimated passenger footfall of 6.3 lakh. It was the first station to get an escalator, when this passenger amenity was inaugurated for commuters on June 27 on Platform No. 3 and 4.

Divisional Railway Manager, Mumbai Division Mr.Mukesh Nigam confirmed that the second escalator facility will come on Platforms 5 and 6.

RPF Police nabs tout in Allahabad

ALLAHABAD: Sleuths of Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Wednesday nabbed an alleged tout identified as Tamim Ahmed, a resident of Bairahna near the main hall of Allahabad junction. The RPF sleuths also recovered nine confirmed tickets for Mumbai, five cancellation tickets, three token forms, 10 empty forms, two PAN cards, Rs.21,800 in cash and one mobile set from his possession.

Acting upon a tip off, a team of RPF personnel led by inspector (RPF) Anand Kumar reportedly nabbed the tout red-handed when he was making an abortive bid to book tickets on fake names. The RPF after frisking him recovered confirmed and cancelled tickets. The tout, as per RPF officials, had even taken token to book two more tickets and was having two PAN cards with him. A case has been lodged in this regard.

Brazil delays bids for $16.4bn high-speed rail project

“Spanish and German groups have guaranteed they would bid for the rail project if given more time.”

The Brazilian government has postponed the bidding process for its BRL38bn ($16.4bn) high-speed rail project, which would link the country’s two largest cities, by at least one year.

The bidding process has been pushed back because there was only one confirmed consortium competing for the Sao Paulo-Rio de Janeiro high-speed rail project.

Brazil Transport Minister César Borges said that Spanish and German groups have guaranteed they would bid for the rail project if given more time.

“It’s better to have a competitive process with the greatest number of bidders possible,” Borges said.

According to analysts, the government preferred not to open itself to further criticism by awarding the rail project to the one bidder, as in June 2013 it faced massive protests against corruption and misuse of public money.

The only consortium ready to take part in the competition was comprised of French companies Alstom and SNCF Group.

Companies such as Germany’s Siemens, Spanish firms Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) and Renfe have also showed interest in the project, according to Borges.

Brazil has already cancelled the previous tendering process in 2011 as there were no bids for the project.

According to reports, a Spanish consortium comprising Renfe and Talgo has asked for postponement of the process, to offer bids for the project.

The delay would also give French, Spanish and German groups time to better analyse the project and help in securing more bids from Japanese, Chinese and South Korean firms.

Despite the further delay, the government still expects to complete and start operations on the high-speed rail line by 2020.

Once operational, trains are planned to travel at speeds of around 350kmph between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, completing the journey in under two hours

In the first year of operation, the high-speed rail link is estimated to carry 40 million passengers, with demand expected to increase to about 100 million by the end of the concession in 2060.

Undertrial who escaped custody nabbed at Mathura railway station

An undertrial, who had escaped from police custody when he was being taken to a court hearing, was nabbed at Mathura Jn station on Tuesday, police said.

Rajveer alias Vijai Yadav, was booked on July 3 on charges of theft, managed to give a slip to two constables – Hakim Singh and Dinesh, while being taken to the court of ACJM, where he had to be presented on Tuesday.

“Few constable of Govind Nagar police station, where the undertrial was booked, were also deployed at Mathura Jn station. A constable who had booked him earlier on the charge of stealing some articles and carrying a country made pistol, incidentally nabbed him,” Deputy SP Anil Kumar Yadav said. Police from several police stations in the district were deployed to nab him, they said.

Kerala user groups and activists demands for a new Railway Zone

Thiruvananthapuram:  Various Railway user groups and activists also comprising of ZRUCC and DRUCC members from Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Mangalore from Kerala are pulling up socks to urge for formation of South West Coast Railway (SWCoR) zone bringing Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Mangalore divisions into one zonal structure with Thiruvananthapuram as its Zonal Headquarter.  The demand for separate Railway zone is growing eversince the demand for formation of a new Mangalore Division has picked up, particularly after Railway Minister Mr.Kharge announced formation of Gulbarga Division recently.

Few of the members have planned to meet A.K. Antony, Minister of Defence at his official residence at 9, Krishna, Menon Marg, New Delhi, and also at his hometown residence ‘Anjanam’, Easwara Vilasam Road, Thiruvananthapuram for putting pressure on the UPA Led government and Ministry of Railways for creation of a new Zonal Railway carved out of the Southern and South Western Railway systems.  User groups and activists have submitted a draft memorandum in this regard, yesterday.

New Mangalore Railway Division – a Consensus in the Pipeline

Mangalore:  If Kerala gets zonal tag, Port City demand will get boost without hurdles from Karnataka.  As the pressure for a separate railway division for Mangalore has been gaining momentum despite the strong protest from Kerala, a consensus between the two states is slowly being evolved behind the curtains. Railway sources in Palakkad railways and Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) confided that if a separate zone for Kerala is allowed, which has been a long pending demand, Mangalore’s division demand will get a boost without any objection from the neighbouring state.

A separate division with Mangalore as headquarters is a long pending demand raised by different organisations and people of the Port City. The Coastal city is literally sandwiched between Palakkad (Southern Railway), Mysore (South Western Railway) and Konkan Railway Corporation. While Konkan railway starts from Thokur, Mysore division has it’s border after Mangalore Junction station. Being the tail of Palakkad division, Mangalore has not been getting it’s due since long. At the same time, Palakkad division’s survival itself is from the freight charges through MRPL and NMPT. In this financial year (2012 -13), the loading from Panambur area alone was 6.495 MT, which contributed for 91.2 per cent of overall loading of the division. Nonetheless Mangalore is the supporting pillar of the division, however, it is by and large neglected in terms of development.

Railway officials say that the major stumbling block for Mangalore division is not Kerala’s objection, but the demand is not strongly being pushed by Karnataka itself. “The division demand is heard in Mangalore only. When it reaches New Delhi, the name of Gulbarga is being heard now more than Mangalore,” told an official.

Southern, South Western or Konkan?

Though the moves for carving out of Mangalore division is going on, sources said that the authorities concerned are yet to decide on where should Mangalore division be included. If KRCL is the option, then problems are plenty. KRCL is not a part of Indian Railway but a separate Railway entity started in 1998. It was running at a loss of more than Rs 10,000 crore and the Central Government is now not in a position to incur the loss by merging the KRCL in Indian Railways.

Kerala’s demand

Kerala is the only Indian state having a major place in rail map of India without a zone headquartered in its territory. A separate zone means the state’s projects and new train services will come directly from the Centre and not via Southern Railway. For a zone, three divisions under it is mandatory. If Mangalore division is allowed, then including that, Kerala can fulfill it’s zonal ambition with other two divisions, Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram. Thus the state is willing to form Mangalore division provided it’s zonal demand should be allowed with new division coming under it.

But this unofficial idea among top railway officers and politicians from Kerala is yet to reach Union Railway Minister’s office. Kerala is also skeptical about how Karnataka will react to this proposal as Karnataka is for a division which comes exclusively under a zone which is within it’s borders.

Palakkad’s ill-fate

When Salem division was carved out of Palakkad in October 2007, the Kerala division lost 623 kilometre of it’s area in Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore and a sizable part of the revenue. At that time, Kerala has been promised with a railway zone and a rail coach manufacturing factory in Palakkad as a compensatory measure. But both the projects are still in paper only. If Mangalore also goes from Palakkad, then it’s better to close down the division, told a railway official to DH.

The Rs 550 crore coach factory at Kanjikode in Palakkad was annouced in 2008-09 rail budget presented by the then Union Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Other than handing over 92.04 hectares of land to Railway, nothing has progressed in Kanjikode. At the same time, the Raebareli Coach factory which was announced along with Kanjikode factory has commenced operation.

Finally CAG finds major faults in Railways’ accounting systems, budget preparations

New Delhi:  The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has found several miscalculations of expenditure and other accounting mistakes while verifying the accounts of Railways.

It has also detected inadequate planning, weak links among policy making, planning and budgeting by Railways. It has also found inadequate relationship between budget as formulated and budget as executed, and many of the accounting and financial workings are mired with poor logic and this needs to be corrected immediately”, the CAG said.  It also observed that many practices were put in place which are quite illogical for an accounting system of an institution of the stature of Indian Railways, right from the Board level to Zonal and Divisional levels and observed that such a practice is highly detrimental to the very purpose of function and structure.  Although many financial austerity measures and accounting reforms have been published by Railway Board from time to time, in practice, nothing is actually practiced in Railways across the Zonal/Divisional/Workshops.  On most of the occasions, the cases are pursued at the whims and fancies of the executive with undue objectives and logics interpreted in expenses to justify the cases and push them further for approvals.

Besides, CAG has observed the non-compliance of Finance Ministry’s suggestions regarding rail budget preparation.

Chennai Central gripped in tight security ahead of Independence Day

Tuesday saw an unusual sight at the Chennai Central railway station — armed security guards. In the wake of Independence Day, heavy security has been deployed at the station, including sniffer dogs, frisking and baggage checks. Here are some images of police personnel wielding automatic weapons, sand-bunkers, police patrol and baggage checks on Tuesday.
Chennai_IndependenceDay Independence_Day MAS Central MASwomenpolice

Lalita Venkataraman posted as DRM/Ratlam

INDORE: Lalita Venkataraman took charge as new Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Ratlam division on Monday.

Venkataraman is a senior official of 1986 batch of Indian Railway Traffic Services and has held senior positions with Container Corporation of India, Railway Board (Freight), Western Railway and traffic safety. Outgoing DRM Lokesh Narayan has been transferred to Central Railway headquarters.

Pakistan Hackers hack IR’s Eastern Railway website, CRIS retrieves it, now restored

We are just 2 days away from the Independence day and the Pakistani hackers seem to have gone on the overdrive. Official Website of Eastern Railways has been hacked by group of Pakistani hackers called Mindcracker.  Though the main homepage is intact, and also the links from the main homepage seems to be fine, they seem to have gained access to some part of the website. The hackers seem to have exploited a part of website that may have been vulnerable and have been able to deface it.

At the time of writing this piece, the hacked page is still showing up.
indian railways website | Updated: Pakistani Hackers Hack Indian Eastern Railways Website!

indian railways website | Updated: Pakistani Hackers Hack Indian Eastern Railways Website!

If you are curious enough, here is the link to the defaced page of Eastern Railway website.  If you find out about this before Indian railways does, you will be able to see it.  The defaced page says that this hack is in reply to the Pakistan Army website being hacked by Indians.

We will update this story with more info shortly!

After doing some research we found that site may have been hacked earlier (in June or July), because this eastern railway website was defaced back in June and it is still live. We are not sure if Railways even know about this. Here is another defaced page which was live in June and still remains.

Today’s Update: The concerned officials from CRIS managing the site have mentioned that the website is now retrieved from hackers and restored to normalcy.

Expedite completion of Signalling Tech Upgrades: CAG to Indian Railways

Raising concern over passenger safety, the CAG today rapped Railways on the issue of monitoring of signal failure saying the present system was not “reliable” in presenting a fair view of the actual progress achieved in signalling incidences.

Though it said the average number of collision has come down because of various safety works executed under the ‘special railway safety fund’, the government auditor stressed on revisiting the basis of measuring the signalling failures.

“Indian Railways need to revisit the basis of measurement of signalling failures in view of the ongoing modernisation of the ongoing signalling system for ensuring effective performance monitoring, targeted implementation of the upgrading of the signalling assets,” it said in its report tabled in Parliament.

The corporate safety plan of Railways for 2003-13 had envisaged to make the railway network free of any collision with completion of all safety related works.

According to the CAG report, the move led to “average number of collision per annum coming down from 22.5 during 1998-99 to 2001-02 to 8.25 during 2008-09 to 2011-12.

However, during 2008-09 to 2011-12, out of 587 consequential accidents, 33 were due to collision.

“Analysis of the inquiry report in 27 cases revealed that human error of judgement and non-observance of rules were cited as major cause,” it said.

Therefore, it is evident that Railways would have to expedite completion of upgrading of signalling technology that would significantly reduce human intervention, upgrade preventive maintenance and human skills, it said.

No sale of Platform Tickets at Delhi Railway stations till Independence Day

New Delhi:  No platform tickets will be sold at New Delhi, Nizamuddin and Old Delhi railway stations from today till August 15 due to security reasons on account of the Independence Day.

However, platform tickets will be sold on demand to senior citizens, physically challenged and patients, said a senior Northern Railway official.

He said tickets would also be provided to ladies travelling alone or with children.

The railways had earlier decided to stop the movement of trains between Old Delhi and Shahadara on the morning of August 15 in view of the Independence Day function at the nearby Red Fort.

Railway construction to boost China’s geotextile industry

The construction of railway, particularly in China’s central and western regions, would boost China’s geotextile industry, according to China National Textile and Apparel Council.

The investment in national infrastructure development and the growth of geotextile industry are closely related.

Between 2010 and 2020, an amount of about 4 trillion yuan would be invested for water conserving projects, which provide a broad market for the geotextile industry.

From January to May this year, the railways invested 132.2 billion yuan, up 25.4 percent year-on-year, increasing the pace of growth of geotextile sector.

At present, China’s central and western regions will be investing in railway construction, which would provide an important direction and sustained momentum for the development of the geotextile industry.

Since the beginning of 2013, the orders with geotextile companies are relatively full and profits are better.

Ling County in Shandong province is China’s largest geotextile production base. Here, geotextile production rose by 20 percent to 6.49 billion yuan this year, with profit increasing by 8 percent to 530 million yuan.

Since the second half of 2012, the faster growth of environmental projects has also contributed to continued momentum and rapid growth of the geotextile sector.

New weekly train between Sainagar Shirdi and Puri

The Railway authorities have decided to introduce a New Weekly express train between Sainagar Shirdi and Puri for the benefit of passengers.

According to an official release here today, Train No. 18408 Sainagar Shirdi- Puri Weekly Express will leave Sainagar Shirdi at 1300 hrs on every Sunday from August 18, this year, and will arrive Puri at 2300 hrs the next day. Train No 18407 Puri-Sainagar Shirdi Weekly Express will leave Puri at 2215 hrs, every Friday from August 16 and will arrive at Sainagar Shirdi at 0825 hrs on the third day.

It will halt at Kopargaon, Manmad, Bhusaval, Akola, Badnera, Wardha, Nagpur, Gondia, Durg, Raipur, Mahasamund, Khariar Road, Kantabanji, Titlagarh, Balangir, Bargarh Road, Sambalpur, Boinda, Angul, Talcher Road, Dhenkanal, Mancheswar, Bhubaneshwar and Khurda Road, it added.

Murals at a Kozhikode Railway Station

13tvkzmural_s_at_r_1550305fThe famed murals of Kerala will soon adorn the Kozhikode railway station, with the pictures bringing out the city’s culture and tradition.

Five mural specialists from Sargaalaya Arts and Crafts Village are decking the upper-class waiting hall near the fourth platform and the VIP lounge near the first platform. Sargaalaya says the murals will be ready for formal unveiling on Friday.

The murals will visualise the theme “Kozhikode — historical capital of Kerala” and will project the culture and tradition of the city.

The initiative comes as part of the Community Assisted Railway Development Scheme of Southern Railway, aimed at communicating the importance of people’s participation in keeping public places clean and beautiful.

“The railway passengers are sure to get a kaleidoscopic view of the city’s culture from the work. We hope to carry this art mission to nearby stations; one such work is already complete at the Kannur station,” T.K. Rajesh, general manager, Sargaalaya, says.

The project was designed after the visit of Divisional Railway Manager Piyush Agarwal to Sargaalaya two months ago, he adds.

Naveen Kumar, P. Sumesh, K. Shanmughan, K.M. Vipin Lal and M. Shamseer are working on the murals.

CAG raps Railways over lack of cleanliness, Passengers’ dissatisfaction

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has slammed Railways for not effectively implementing Railway Board’s guidelines for mechanised cleaning of major stations and not taking effective pest control measures in coaches.

Besides, the audit body has observed that Railways has failed to provide good quality of linen to passengers which has resulted in increased passenger dissatisfaction.

“There was lack of synchronisation between guidelines of Railway Ministry on maintenance of cleanliness and availability of infrastructure in the field for their implementation,” the CAG report, tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, said.

CAG team inspected 123 major stations over 17 zones and found mechanised cleaning was adopted only at 65 stations.

Despite assurance rendered to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), detailed action plan for monitoring cleanliness and sanitation at stations and on trains was not formulated at the zonal level, it noted.

The report observed that mechanised cleaning could not be effectively implemented at major stations due to inadequate provision of washable aprons or damaged and uneven surfaces. “The availability of infrastructure in the field for improving the standard of cleanliness was not commensurate with the policies and guidelines laid down in this regard,” it stated.

The CAG team in a joint inspection of 88 trains over 17 zones with railway officials found cockroaches in AC and non AC coaches of selected trains in six zones.

In its survey of 212 stations for food adulteration, CAG found testing of samples as per the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act was not done in 41 stations. Even in major stations like Howrah and Sealdah, shortage in sampling of food under quality control check was noticed.

CAG also found absence of adequate number of toilets and filthy condition of existing toilets through the issue was highlighted in the previous audit report.

CAG notices Railways following defective budgeting procedures

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the highest watch-dog of public finance, has blamed “defective budgeting procedures” adopted by the Railways as the reason for incorrect assessment of funds. Besides, it has also asked to railways to rationalise the tariff structure to improve internal revenue generation.

The Railways was further criticized for failing to ‘address the observations of the Ministry of Finance’, which asked IR to ensure greater fiscal discipline while planning the budget. The report tabled in Parliament today notes various instances of expenditure where grant was either used in excess or remained under-utilised.

IR has also been accused of ‘arbitrary investment decisions’ which were made without adhering to laid down criteria for assessing the economic viability of the projects. The report also asked the IR to verify the authenticity of data used in projecting estimates.

Adding to the dismal performance, the net revenue was below the budget projections by 43.45%- Rs 5,211.53 crore.   Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recommended that existing budgetary mechanisms be thoroughly ‘revamped’ so that the ‘misclassification syndrome’ – various accounting mistakes in the accounts of Zonal Railways-could be overcome. Audit also called to ensure responsibility for each misclassification so that greater diligence is exercised.

The report notes that the Railways’ accumulated funds have eroded substantially from Rs. 21,681 crore in 2007-2008 to Rs 1,770 crore in 2011-2012. It recommends the Railways to explore new avenues to recover cost from its service in order to generate sufficient funds. The report notes that the operating ratio decreased slightly from 94.59% in 2010-2011 to 94.85% in 2011-2012, with usual scenario of earnings from freight being eaten up by the losses in passenger operations.

CAG indicates Railways sell branding rights to earn more revenues

The Indian Railways can make much more money by selling branding rights on stations, trains and Railway tickets, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has said.

But CAG has pulled up the Railway Board, the top policy making body of the Railways, for setting up high revenue projections without inputs from the ground.

The Indian Railways network is spread across 65,000 km, on which 19,710 trains ply, carrying 2.3 crore passengers everyday. That’s a lot of eyeballs for firms wanting to attract customer attention.

For instance, by selling branding rights on the stations, trains, wagon depots, tickets, reservation forms, Indian Railways garnered Rs 864 crore from 2008 to 2012. This was less than the earnings target of Rs 1,000 crore set in just one year of 2010-11.

On a yearly basis, Railways’ revenues from such branding activities were Rs 195.14 crore in fiscal 2011-12; Rs 187.7 crore (2010-11); Rs 170 crore (2009-10); Rs 157.48 crore (2008-09); and Rs 153.24 crore (2007-08).

The audit report throws up some interesting trends of Railways’ earnings from branding.

Of the total revenues from branding rights, 85 per cent came from rights sold on stations, 11 per cent from rights on trains, and four per cent from tickets, charts, and level crossings.

Also, publicity through vinyl wrapping on premier and suburban trains was more successful compared to passenger trains, as these categories deal with different segments.

For instance, in the three-year period — 2009-10 to 2011-12 — rights for 74 premium trains such as Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi, Mail and Express were sold for Rs 24.49 crore, while rights for 37 passenger trains were sold for Rs 1.04 crore. Meanwhile, 112 suburban trains were contracted out at Rs 11.62 crore. Revenue projections set by the Railway Board on account of commercial publicity were not backed by assessment of market potential; earnings targets were set without associating the Zonal Railways, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said.

The CAG said this was based on an audit study conducted during May-August 2012. But, the audit has also said that the Zonal Railways also did not undertake any external agency to assess the revenue potential through advertising and media.

Page 97 of 170« First...102030...9596979899...110120130...Last »