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RAILWAYS DIGEST

Metro Mirror

Railways gathers pace with Gatimaan

AGRA:MMNN: 7 April 2016
Gatimaan Express, the fastest train in the country, kept its date with history on Tuesday as it covered its maiden journey between Delhi and Agra in exactly 100 minutes, clocking 160 kmph during most of its run.
The Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station of Delhi was completely decked up as Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off the train at around 10.10 a.m. on Tuesday. The train sputtered to a start but soon picked up speed as it crossed Okhla railway station and from there on, completed its journey at tearing speed even as the 237 passengers on board settled down in their cushy seats of AC Chair Car coaches.
"We often drive down to Agra during the weekend with my family but with the Gatimaan Express now taking less time in covering the distance and in far greater comfort, I wouldn't need to drive to Agra anymore," said Ravi Kumar Goel (52), a Kalkaji resident and a businessman.
Most passengers were taking the train for a joyride, with many having booked tickets on Tuesday morning. Kapil Jain, a 30-year-old Indian Air Force official, had come to Delhi from Agra just to board the inaugural train back to his home. "It is a great initiative and I wanted to be a part of it. It was just awesome to see the train speed at 160 kmph and I would hope that soon, we can have trains running at 300 kmph," he said.
There was also a small group of ‘rail fans', who had come equipped with GPS based apps on their smartphones to see exactly how fast Gatimaan can run. "The speed varied between 147 kmph to 170 kmph but since these apps are not entirely accurate, I have taken an average and that is coming to 160 kmph," said Mohit (28), a member of Indian Railways Fan Club Association (IRFCA).
For the passengers, the high point was the always smiling Train hosts and hostesses, who greeted them with flowers and chocolates. A sore point, however, was unavailability of free wi-fi services that railways had promised. "Where is the internet connectivity they had promised? Apart from the speed, which is impressive, it's like any other Shatabdi," said Ravi Mehrotra (64), a businessman who travels between Delhi and Agra frequently.
The on board multi-cuisine menu, provided by IRCTC was much appreciated by the passengers. IRCTC is also offering two different Agra guided tours of one day and two day duration, coinciding with the time table of the Gatimaan Express.
The rather plush LHB coaches have been built by the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala and have been fitted with bio-toilets that turn waste into smaller amounts of disposable water.
From April 6, Gatimaan Express will depart from Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station at 8.10 a.m. and reach Agra Cantt. Railway station at 9.50 a.m. On its return leg, the train will depart from Agra at 5.50 p.m. and reach Hazrat Nizamuddin at 7.30 p.m. Indian Railway PRO Anil Saxena said that studies are on to achieve a speed of 200 kmph for trains and more corridors such as Delhi-Agra would be started for Gatimaan Express.
"This is a new milestone for Indian Railways, which has entered the high speed age," Mr. Saxena said. "Passengers are very satisfied provided on the Gatimaan Express and we will try to improve them and make them world-class," he said.


Halts at Bhopal & Itarsi increased

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 26 Feb. 2016
Amid no announcement of new trains in the railway budget, the region has something to cheer about as Bhopal division will have halts of 15 pairs of superfast and premium trains like Duronto, Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express in the coming months. Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu announced in rail budget that operational halts will be converted into commercial halts, thereby benefitting Bhopal and Itarsi station passengers.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, DRM Bhopal Alok Kumar said, "Previously, these 30 trains only had operational halts at Itarsi and Bhopal stations. But now, passengers can actually book their seats from these stations." Among the trains that will halt at Itarsi after this announcement are up and down Secunderabad Duronto, Chennai Duronto, Yeshvantpur Duronto, Allahabad-LTT Duronto, Patna-Bandra Weekly Express, Bangalore Cantt-Patna Premium Express etc. Similarly, up and down Nagpur-Indore Trishatabdi Express and Katra-Yeshvantpur Premium Express will halt at Bhopal station.
DRM Kumar also expressed hope that among the new Humsafar category trains announced in the budget, trains via Bhopal to Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru would figure in the routes that would be decided later. Humsafar would be fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals.
The division has also got 12 new road over bridges (RoBs) that will replace railway crossings. Of these, two are in Bhopal city - Barkhedi and Subhash Nagar while nearby RoBs that will be constructed are Obaidullahganj-Mandideep and Nishatpura-Sukhi Sewania. These will be constructed with 50:50 Central and state funds.
Itarsi station will have a second foot over bridge (FoB) with ramp facility at a cost of Rs 8.64 crore while four stations in the division will have additional cover sheds and circulating area at a cost of Rs 3.3 crore. "Itarsi-Khandwa section will be broken down into six sections at a cost of Rs 19.45 crore that will also benefit the efficiency of trains from third rail line between Bina and Itarsi.
In the same sequence, 14 level crossing gates that were not linked between Bina and Itarsi have got interlocking sanction at a cost of Rs 13.7 crore. Bhopal too has got sanction for interlocking of five level crossing gates at Rs 4.2 crore. This will also increase security when three lines are constructed," the DRM added.


Habibganj to become world class station

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 26 Feb. 2016
Habibganj would be the first station in the country to be redeveloped into a world class station. It got an honourable mention in Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu's budget speech in Parliament on Thursday.
"Financial bid has been received for redevelopment of Habibganj station in Bhopal while 4 other stations are in advanced stage of bidding," he said. Bhopal division railway officials informed that financial bid was received on February 22.
Announcement for making Habibganj into a world class station was done in 2009-10 Union rail budget while pre-bid conferences and master plans have been held between potential developers and Indian Railway Sustain Development Corporation (IRSDC) from November, 2014.
Three developers-GMR Group, Ahluwalia Contracts India Ltd (ACIL) and Bansal Construction were short-listed by IRSDC almost a year ago.
Now, final tender for redevelopment of the station would be awarded to one of the three after opening financial bid that was pushed back from January 28. IRSDC officials informed that work on station would commence from last week of March or first week of April.
Developers had demanded that for redevelopment of Habibganj station, 38 acres of land should be given on 45 years of lease. The land was with railway for 30 years lease, which would expire in 2016. State government had agreed to extend the lease for around Rs 23 lakh.
Redevelopment will involve modernization and up-gradation of passenger amenities at stations by raising finances through commercial development of railway land and air space at stations. Habibganj will be redeveloped on PPP mode and it will take three years for completion, officials said. Besides five stations, Chandigarh, Anand Vihar, Bijwasan (both in Delhi) and Shivaji Nagar (Pune) are also being redeveloped.
They are in process of obtaining approvals and clearances from railway and state authorities which will be followed by appointment of developers.
The first phase alone at Habibganj would cost Rs 350 crore where the developer will have to deposit Rs 100 crores with the railways. In all, around Rs 450 crore will be incurred in the project.
Bhopal station may pip others in WiFi
DRM Bhopal Alok Kumar said efforts are being made to make Bhopal station first Wifi enabled station in the country under new scheme of railways. "We are planning to launch the Wifi service with help of Rail Tel and Google at Bhopal station by April. Just like we are leading in redevelopment of stations with Habibganj, we would like to see Bhopal as the first A1 railway station with Wifi," Kumar said. Railway minister Suresh Prabhu proposed to commission Wi-Fi services at 100 A and A1 stations this year and at 400 more stations in the next 2 years.


English Rendering of the text of PM's reaction on Railway Budget 2016-2017

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 26 Feb. 2016
I congratulate Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu, on presenting a thoughtful budget for the dynamic Railways of a progressive nation.
This budget strives for the dignity of the poor, honour of the women, enthusiasm of the youth and broadening the smile of the middle class.
This budget presents an optimistic strategy for the future, while giving a complete account of the promises made in the budget of previous year. We have achieved a lot in the past one year and this budget presents an effort to make it further better.
Cleanliness and upgradation of passenger facilities and technology remains the basic Mantra of last two budgets. Beside this, Railway projects have been defined on the basis of ‘Commissioning', in place of ‘Completion'. I believe this policy-transformation is a Paradigm-shift in nation's economy. The special arrangement of the ‘Super-fast trains' for the poor through launch of Antodaya Express and Deen-Dyalu rail coaches , reiterate the commitment of our government to the poor.
This budget will have long-term positive impact on the national economy by effective execution, enhanced capital investment and infusion of technology along with IT, in the Railways.
Appropriate steps has been taken towards fulfilling the Government's promise to enhance connectivity in the backward areas of the country, especially the North-East. Beside, the chronic problem of our rail routes due to the lack of capacity, has been done away with to a large extent over the past one year. This Rail Budget has further strengthened the measures..
We have seen the budgets before Mr. Suresh Prabhu. I don't want to criticize those, but if I see the Budgets of last five years by the previous Government, the Budget by Suresh Prabhuji has taken a big jump with 2.5 times higher investment. This budget will be an important tool towards the renovation of the nation. The best thing is that the State Governments are also enthusiastically participating in the expansion of our Railways.
A detailed road-map in this direction has also been presented. Along with that an effort has been made to seek the co-operation of Passengers and the Railway Employees, as well. Discipline in spending, efficiency in management and accountability to the consumer is the focus of our Government, which is reflected in this budget.
My congratulations once to the Railways Minister Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Rail Family and the Team Railway.
Thank You very much.


Rail Budget highlights: Social media being used for 100% transparency

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 25 Feb. 2016
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has presented his ministry's budget for the next fiscal year in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, promising to address the issues concerning all stakeholders -- citizens, employees and industry, among others.
Here are highlights from his speech:
# The Rail Budget2016 is a story of transformation. We need to reorganise and rejuvenate the Indian Railways.
# PM once said his vision is to make Indian Railways the backbone of India's progress and economic development.
# For year 2016-17 we expect the operating ratio of 92%.
# Co-operation, collaboration and communication- hallmarks of Indian Railways' journey forward.
# We need to re-imagine conventional ways of solving issues. We will focus on zero based budgeting approach.
# 1.21 lakh crores capital plan in Rail Budget2016, shunning conventional approach, adopting new ways.
# A saving of 8,720 crore rupees for budget estimates of last year will be effected this year.
# We will be at the forefront of infrastructure investment in the country.
# Action has been initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year.
# Budget's 3 Rs are restructure, reorgranise, rejuvenate.
# 8.5 lakh crore to be spent over 5 years for modernisation of railway infrastructure.
# Expect revenue growth of over 10% this year.
# Propose to electrify 2,000 km next year, increased electrification budget by 50%.
# Indian Railways to surpass ambitious target of commissioning 2,500 kms of broad gauge lines, almost 30% higher than last year.
# Broad guage Lumding-Silchar section in Assam opened, thus connecting Barak Valley with rest of the country.
# Our mission is to ensure 100% transparency. Social media is being used as a tool to ensure the same.
# North East India, especially Mizoram & Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon.
# 17,000 bio toilets & additional toilets in 475 stations before close of this financial year.
# The common people have always been the focus of all our initiatives.
# Cabinet approval for joint ventures with state govts. 17 consented and 6 MoUs signed with state govts.
# Introduced 1,780 automatic ticket vending machines, mobile apps, GoIndia smart cards for cashless purchase of UTS and PRS ticket.
# Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 per minute.
# We will introduce WiFi services at 100 stations this year, 400 more stations over next two years.
# 2,500 water vending machines at railway stations have been provided.
# Supporting 1.2 lakh concurrent users now, as opposed to 40,000 earlier.
# Reserved middle bays in coaches for women security.
# All major stations to be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.
# Will introduce Antyodaya Express, a long-distance, superfast train, for common man to be operated on densely populated routes.
# Will introduce Humsafar Express , fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals.
# Tejas: Will showcase future of train travel in India with operating speed of 130 KMPH and above.
# E-booking ticket facility on the concessional passes available to journalists.
# Will introduce sub-quota of 33% for women in each of the reserved categories in catering.6
# Local cuisine of choice will be made available.
# Introduce Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway to help old and disabled passengers.
# Prabhu introduces Utkrisht double-decker AC yatri (Uday) Express with increased capacity of almost 40%.
# Porters to not be called ‘coolies' but ‘sahayaks' now; will be trained in soft skills.
# Facility of cancellation of tickets through 139 telephone line.
# Battery operated cars and paid porters services for specially able people.
# Intend sale of tickets through hand-held terminals for short-distance travellers.
# Propose to invite FM radio stations to provide train borne entertainment via PA systems.
# Baby food, hot milk and water to be available on stations.
# To capture automobile traffic, we will soon inaugurate India's first rail auto hub in Chennai and continue to build more.


Minister Shri Gaur meets Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 13 Aug. 2015
Home and Jail Minister Shri Babulal Gaur met Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi today and held discussions on recovery of 50 percent expenditure on state's railway police, adjustments of funds of other departments, sanction of new posts and running special trains for Simhastha.
Shri Prabhu directed railway officers for immediate action on all cases pertaining to state railway police.
Shri Gaur apprised Railway Minister there is a provision that 50 percent of expenditure on salaries and allowances of state railway police officers and employees is given by railway administration. As on June 2015, railway administration has to pay Rs. 116 crore 76 lakh 89 thousand to the state.
Similarly, payment of bills put up by PWD, Irrigation, Building Safety and Signals & Communications departments are adjusted by railways. Arrangements for issuing crossed cheques will be ensure on making available audit details with certificate. These details are not being provided at present.
Shri Gaur urged for sanction to creation of 367 posts in state's railway police and revised sanction for 41 posts. He urged for running special trains for Simhastha-2016. Railway Minister Shri Prabhu said that all cases pertaining to state railway police will be disposed of at the earliest.
For railway arrangements for Simhastha-2016 and running special trains etc, he will visit Bhopal and hold discussions with Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Shri Gaur also met Shri Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, MPs Shri Prabhat Jha and Shri Shyam Jaju in New Delhi. Shri Gaur held discussions with journalists at Madhya Pradesh Bhavan on Dial-100 Scheme and Bharat Rakshit Vahini's expansion.


Achievements and Initiatives of Ministry of Railways

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 31 Dec. 2014
The year 2014 has been significant for the Railways in achieving goals and targets with regard to thefollowing: • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi along with Railway Minister inaugurated the commencement ofExpansion Project of Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), a production unit of Indian Railways at Varanasion 25th December 2014. Some of the features of the expansion plan are; a new block shop, loco frameshop and loco assembly shop, new plant shop having advanced paint booths, induction of high productivitymachines and generation of 250 kw Green Power by roof mounted grid connected solar power plant. Theproject will herald the ‘Make in India' campaign in the holy city, Varanasi.
• The Railway Minister inaugurated the Musical Fountain, Toy Train and Renovated Exhibits at NationalRailway Museum in New Delhi on 24th December 2014. National Rail Museum has added this newattractions for the visitors by introducing 1:8 scale toy train, chugging on miniature track of about half akm length. This is first of its kind in India. Other attractions for the visitors will be the musical fountain. Toenhance the experience of the visitors, a new pathway has been laid in throughout the museum. Signagesand landscaping has been done in sync with the restored exhibits. Railway Ministry is also in process offormulating a ‘Solar Policy' in this regard. Railway Minister directed for a separate section at the Museumwhich will exhibit the futuristic vision of Indian Railways. Railway Minister released this book titled"Indian Railways – More Miles...More Smiles" edited by retired Indian railway official Shri J L Singh andpublished by the Indian Railways. Railway Minister also inaugurated a documentary film "Imprint ofIndian Railways over Indian Cinema. The film depicts the 100 years old association of Indian Railways &the Indian cinema.
• The Railway Minisrte3r inaugurated the Mobile Ticketing System for Mumbai Suburban tickets at Dadarstation in Mumbai on 27.12.2014. Initially this system is launched at Dadar station only. It will beimplemented at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Kurla, Thane and Kalyan soon and thereafter at otherstations in a phased manner. One can download the free application for Android/Windows to avail thisfacility. Application for iPhone and Blackberry will be available soon. User has to open the application andsign up by giving name, mobile number and Mumbai city upon which one time password will be sentthrough SMS. On entering the OTP, the user is registered and R-wallet with zero balance is created. At thejourney originating station, one will have to go to a Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) and selectPrint Mobile Ticket option, enter your mobile number and booking ID to get printed ticket.
• The Minister of Railways commissioned 30 kW Solar Plant at roof top of Rail Bhawan at New Delhi, on23rd December 2014. Indian Railways is planning to harness solar energy in a big way which will be a stepforward in mitigating the challenges currently being experienced by our environment. Railways to expediteprovision of solar plants at other Railway buildings also preferably in public private partner model.
• Gwalior-Gonda Sushasan Express (weekly) was flagged off on 25th December 2014. This train willtravel through various important destinations which are connected with the life of former Prime MinisterShri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
• An education train ‘Gyanodaya Express' – a tour package for the students of Delhi University to visitNorth east states, was flagged off from Delhi on 18th November 2014. During his recent visit to NorthEastern region, the Hon'ble Prrime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has announced Rs. 28000 crore for newrail projects, Rs. 5000 crore to provide 2G mobile coverage for comprehensive telecom development,setting up of six agricultural colleges in the region, among other initiatives. This tour is in line with thephilosophy of the Prime Minister to emphasis on developing of North Eastern states.
• The Railway Minister flagged off a new Shatabdi Express between New Delhi and Bhatida from NewDelhi Railway station on 18th December 2014. It is envisaged that the Railways' role in bringing enhancedinter-city connectivity and thereby greater mobility through this new Shatabdi services between NewDelhi-Bhatinda would mark another turning point to the hinterland of Punjab and to the developing citiesin the vicinity.
• In a significant move to make Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) safer for road users thereby avoidingaccidents thereat, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has directed the Railway Board toexplore the use of Geo-spatial technologies for this purpose.
Under such technologies which combineGlobal Positioning System(GPS), Geographic Information System(GIS) and Remote Sensing, an alertmessage will be flashed automatically in the mobile phones of all the road users carrying GPS enabledmobile phones and who are in the vicinity of an Unmanned Level Crossing, about the approaching train. • In order to improve the railway recruitment system, the Railway Minister has directed Railway Board toundertake entire recruitment exercise including recruitment ‘On Line' and to examine for implementationof this project in a time-bound manner with adequate checks and balances.
• In order to improve the railway recruitment system, the Railway Minister has directed Railway Board toundertake entire recruitment exercise including recruitment ‘On Line' and to examine for implementationof this project in a time-bound manner with adequate checks and balances. • The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1st April 2014 to 30thNovember 2014 were Rs. 100622 crore compared to Rs. 89341.26 crore during the same period last year,registering an increase of 12.63 per cent.
• Indian Railways carried 713.11 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during 1st April to 30thNovember 2014. The freight carried shows an increase of 35.53 million tonnes over the freight traffic of677.58 million tonnes actually ccarried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of5.24 per cent. •
The Railway Minister inaugurated the Wi-Fi Broadband Services at New Delhi Railway Station 8thDecember 2014. The Wi-Fi project on Indian Railways is being executed by RailTel, a Public SectorUndertaking of the Ministry of Railways. The ‘RailWire' powered Wi-Fi gives maximum speed of 1 mbps.Wi-Fi facility is available to the users free of cost initially for a period of 30 minutes by registering on theWi-Fi network through their mobile.


Developing rail network between Indore & Goa'

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 25 Nov. 2014
This is in connection to a letter no.: DLO/MPR3/0413/G2/72, dated22.04.2013 addressed to Railway Minister atthattime. Lettet is teproduced hetewith'
I would like to dtaw yout attention towatds a need fot railway netwofk between Indote and Goa' There are few points to be consideted'
A large numbef of tourists visit Goa evefy ye f as Goa is a favourite destinatioll to many' Also near Indote there are many tourist places, irs going to be a valuable initiative in terms of drawing tourism to Madhya Ptadesh.
There is no direct ffain between Indore and Goa. Since both of the cities are developing as pharma hub' Also Indore is considered as a business c*pita! of Mp.
If the train can ]'*e a connectivity thtough I{olhapur or. anyfleafest station, that would "lro b" benefi'cial to the state as Kolhaput is a textile hub and Indote is famous for cloth market itself'
Indore has also emer$gdr as an education hub in the countfy. It has educational institutes of immense importance ,rrd ,"p.rt". {Iike Indian Institute of Management (III\O & Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), etc.). Based on the feasibility of this ft in, tfnot evefy day, there could be other options like train on specific days of week or during special occasions like Ganesh Utsav ot in month of Decembet'
I tequest you to please see if there is any possibility of such tfain in neaf futuIe'" Please provide details of anypfogfess till date and kindly look in to the mattef fot the same'


Mr Alok Sanjar, Hon'ble Member of Parliament, Bhopal and Mr C P Sharma, Chairman, CII – Bhopal Zonal Council's interaction with DRM, West Central Railway

MM Correspondent, Bhopal, 04 July 2014
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Bhopal Zonal Council Chairman Mr. C P Sharma and Hon'ble Member of Parliament from Bhopal Shri Alok Sanjar jointly interacted with Divisional Railway Manager Shri Rajiv Chaudhri today with respect to major issues concerning Industries and general public in Bhopal.

The objective of the interaction is to discuss continuation of Indore Bhopal Double decker service which railways have decided to discontinue from 12th Aug 2014. The train service is beneficial for commuters especially business class travelling between commercial Capital and political capital of Madhya Pradesh and also to people who wish to proceed to other destinations from Bhopal junction.

Proposal to extend the Bhopal - New Delhi Shatabdi Express upto Habibganj station and new EMU service between Vidisha to Itarsi to help people commute to Mandideep and Bhopal for work also submitted to DRM.


Railways releases new time table

ALLAHABAD: Indian Railways has released its new All India Railway Time Table as 'Trains at a glance (TAG)' which will come into effect from July 1. In addition to the 'Trains at a Glance', all the 17 zonal railways have also released their zonal railway time tables which will come into effect from July 1, 2013. Passengers are advised to refer to the new timings with reference from July 1 before starting their journey. The new time table will be shortly uploaded on www.indianrailways.gov.in.

Encouraged by the public response over the past few years, all the user-friendly features of the time table like reading the table, route map, station index, trains between important stations, station code index, train number index, train name index have been retained in the 'Trains at a glance.'
Commercial information of passenger use and interest like advance reservation period, reservation through internet, Tatkal scheme, Refund rules and rail travel concessions have been suitably updated.

Information regarding Vigilance organization, public grievance machinery, disaster management and catering services have been incorporated.
In addition to this, the mail/express services (introduction, extension and increase in frequency of the existing services) that have been announced in the railway budget in the Pa rliament have been incorporated in the new 'Trains at a Glance.'

Altogether, about 82 new trains including 6 fully AC trains and 76 Express trains will be introduced in the current financial year which will run across the length and breadth of the country. In addition to this, about 42 trains have been extended and frequency of 23 trains have also been increased.
As far as North Central Railway is concerned, about 18 new trains will pass through the NCR region. And 9 trains have been extended and frequencies of 9 trains have also been increased.


 
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