Some of the major achievements and initiatives achieved by Indian Railways to benefit the country and people.
1. KATRA CONNECTIVITY; In another landmark engineering marvel, Indian Railways completed Udhampur-Katra Broad gauge line in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister dedicated this line to the nation at a programme on 4th July. This line has brought Jammu & Kashmir Valley nearer to the rest of the nation . Four train services up to Katra commenced from July 2014. These are: New Delhi- Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Express, Pathankot-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra DMU and two DMUs between Jammu Tawi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra.
2. SAFETY MEASURES;
Review of Kakodkar Committee; With focus on improving safety, Railway Board held a series of meetings to review recommendations on various technical and technology related aspects of the High Level Safety Review Committee constituted by Ministry of Railways under the chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar. The exercise aimed at examining the recommendations in regard to their feasibility and implementation.
Automatic Block Signalling; Automatic Signalling on 150 Route Km is targeted for commissioning during 2014-15. Against this 53 Route Kms. of Automatic Signalling has been commissioned during these 3 months. Automatic Block Signalling is being provided on Sub-urban section and High Density Routs which permits more than one train between two block stations to increase the line capacity and reduce headway between two trains.
Route Relay/Interlocking at Major Stations; To eliminate mistakes in multiple cabins mechanical lever frame working at major stations to ensure safety in train operations, Route Relay/Electronic Interlocking (RR/EI) with Centralised Operation of Points and Signals are being provided. During these 3 months, Gomoh (ECR), Bardhaman (ER) & Chheoki (NCR) have been commissioned. Work for EI at Nagda (WR) is in advanced stage and targeted for commissioning in September 2014.
Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS); TCAS is an Automatic Train Protection System being developed indigenously by RDSO in association with Indian vendors. This system is aimed at preventing train accidents caused due to driver’s error of Signal passing at Danger (SPAD) or non-observance of speed restrictions. Extended field trials with multi-vendor interoperability features are in progress by RDSO in Lingampalli-Wadi-Bidar section (250km) of South Central Railway.
Radio Communication; Mobile Train Radio Communication system has been commissioned on 15th August 2014 covering the Metro Railway, Kolkata from Naopara to Kavi Subhash Nagar. Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) system is based on Global System for Mobile-Railways (GSM-R). The system enables continuous mobile communication from train while on run with emergency calling features.
3. IMPROVING CLEANLINESS; With a special emphasis on cleanliness, a special cleanliness drive was launched in June 2014 on all railway stations and trains across the country. Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) all over the country personally visited inspected and supervised the cleanliness activity during the drive and initiated remedial measures to make a visible impact on cleanliness in passenger areas.
30 additional mail and express trains have been covered under On-Board Houskeeping Service (OBHS) to ensure cleanliness in the trains on move. Altogether Indian Railways has implemented the scheme in 446 trains. To ensure cleanliness on track, passenger coaches are being fitted with bio-toilets. During this financial year so far 475 coaches have been fitted with bio-toilets by RCF and ICF.
To improve the level of cleanliness on trains and at stations, the budget allocation for cleanliness in the current year has been increased by 40 per cent over the previous year.
Action has also been initiated for framing the guidelines to outsource cleaning activities at 50 major stations to professional agencies and to set up a separate Housekeeping Wing to have focus attention and exclusive responsibility of maintaining cleanliness and sanitation at stations.
4. HIGH SPEED TRAINS; Continuing with its emphasis on increasing the speed of passenger trains, successful trial of semi high speed trains with 160kmph conducted between New Delhi-Agra. The other identified sector for 160 kmph are; Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Kanpur, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Mysore-Bengaluru-Chennai; Mumbai-Goa, Mumbai-Ahmedabad; Chennai- Hyderabad and Nagpur-Secunderabad.
A high level meeting was convened by Railway Board to discuss the action plan for these nine corridors. The meeting was among others attended by 19 Divisional Railway Managers connected with these nine corridors. Simultaneously, Ministry of Railways took steps for introduction of High Speed Bullet Trains in the country on Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor. It is the part of the Ministry’s ambitious plan to have Diamond Quadrilateral network of High Speed Rail connecting major metros and growth centres of the country. A detailed presentation was also shown to Railway Minister. Interim report-I of JAICA about Mumbai-Ahemdabad has been received by the railway Board. A provision of Rs. 100 crore has been made in this Budget for high Speed project to RVNL/HSRC (High Speed Rail corridor) for taking further steps.
The issue also came up during the recent visit of the Prime Minister to Japan. Japan expressed its readiness to provide financial, technical, operational support to introduce bullet train in India.
5. IT INITIATIVES; In a move to provide more hassle-free services to railway users, Indian Railways launched new IT initiatives/applications developed by its autonomous organisation, Central Railway Information Centre (CRIS). Some of the salient features are as follow
Next Generation e-ticketing (NGeT); NGet system which can book 7200 online tickets instead of 2000 tickets per minute and now to attend 2,00,000 enquiries instead of 50000 per minute, launched
Freight E-Demand system; In Freight train movement, the need for an on-line system for Registration and Demand for rakes and wagons has been finally met with the launch of the e-Demand module of the Freight Operations Information System (FOIS). With the release of this module, customers can sit in the convenience of their homes or offices and register their freight demands.
Freight E-Diversion system; The power of IT has been extended to revamp the current manual process of diverting coal rakes among the Power Houses and Corporations of Electricity Board through the new “e-diversion system”. The system will allow authorized Railways personnel to issue diversion orders and notify controllers by integration with the Control Office Application.
Go India Smart card; This is a pan India smart card to enable passengers to pay for tickets for long distance reserved, unreserved, and suburban journeys as a pilot project. It can be used at nominated UTS counters and Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) and nominated PRS counters for reserved tickets.
Train Enquiry Mobile App; Indian Railways has enhanced the Train Enquiry system by developing a Mobile App and a desktop application for Windows 8 platform. It has now become easier to track the movement of passenger trains and arrival and departure timings for the benefit of passengers. The app connects to the Train Enquiry system at the Back-end.
6. PASSENGER FRIENDLY TICKETING SCHEME; A new scheme called the Yatri Ticket Sewa Kendra (YTSK) Scheme has been launched in August 2014. Under this scheme, agents of Indian Railways can operate ticketing terminals at various locations in the cities and towns for issuing reserved tickets and unreserved tickets. The scheme is aimed at expanding the reach of the ticketing systems of Indian Railways and evokes the principles of PPP and provides for revenue sharing between the private operators and Indian Railways.
7. NEW RAIL NEER PLANT AT MUMBAI; A new Rail Neer plant at Ambernath (Mumbai) of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a Public Sector Undertaking of Ministry of Railways, was inaugurated for commercial production. The production capacity of this plant will be 2 lakh liters per day, raising the total production (of the four plants) to 6.1 lakh litres of Packaged Drinking Water (PDW) daily. Till now, existing three Rail Neer plants used to cater to the Northern, Eastern and Southern parts of our country.
8. STATION DEVELOPMENT; Shareholder Agreement and Development Agreement for the functioning of Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) have been signed. This will further expedite the work of development/re-development of railway stations on Indian Railways.
At present, with the approval of Ministry of Railways, five railway stations at- Chandigarh, Anand Vihar, Bijwasan (both at Delhi), Habibganj (Bhopal) and Shivaji Nagar (Pune) have been entrusted by Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) to Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) for redevelopment that will involve modernization and up gradation of passenger amenities at these stations by raising finances through commercial development of railway land and air space at these stations.
9. FDI; As per Cabinet decision, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been allowed in infrastructure development of Indian Railways. FDI will provide a permissible framework to foreign investors who are keen on making investment in rail sector. This was important as all big ticket projects like high speed train project; dedicated freight lines etc require huge investment. Also since FDI policy is a sectoral policy meant for governing all allied companies working in rail sector, permitting foreign investment will bring down the cost of funds for these companies leading to growth of manufacturing industry, employment etc.
10. COAL RANSPORTATION; Transportation of coal is an important activity of Indian Railways and is very crucial for the country’s power supply system. Railways along with Power and Coal ministries held special joint meeting to put three critical coal connectivity projects on fast track and formed Multi Disciplinary Project Monitoring Unit for better coordination.
The three rail connectivity projects for coal movement are:
i) Tori-Shivpur(44kms), Shivpur-Kathautia(53kms) railway line in North Karanpura in Jharkand.
ii) Jhasuguda-Barpalli-Sardega railway line (53 kms) in Ib valley, Odisha.
iii) Bhupdevpur-Korichapan-Dharamjaigarh(180 kms) in Mand-Raigarh coalfield, Chhattisgarh.
11. ELECTRIICATION; Electrification of 591 route kilometres of railway track has been undertaken which include 150 Rkm between Vellore -Villupuram, 100 Rkm between Pathankot –Jammu Tawai, 81 Kms between Manmad-Puntamba-Shirdi, 88 Kms between Barabanki-Gonda, 88 Kms between Chhapra-Siwan-Thawe and 84 Kms between Kurja-Meerut.
12. SOLAR POWER PLANT; Solar Power Panels of total 2.1 MW capacity installed and commissioned at Rail Coach Factory, Rae Bareli. At present, this factory is functioning completely on solar power. Action has been initiated for installing Solar Power project at Katra station to be completed by December 2014.
13. ENERGY CONSERVATION; Indian Railways introduced Hotel Load Locomotive in regular service in Lucknow-Raipur Garib Rath express resulting in substantial fuel saving. Integral Coach Factory has turned out 1400 Horse Power DEMU with engine which is smaller in size and has Electronic Fuel injection and meets Tier-1 emission requirements. Thus, the DEMU is not only fuel efficient, but it is also environmental friendly.
14. STATUS OF PROJECTS IN NORTH EASTERN REGION; Meghalaya got its first rail connectivity with the completion of Dubhnoi-Mendipathar new line in August. The 19.75 Kms line was completed at a cost of Rs. 248 crore. In the Lumbding – Silchar Guage Conversion project, most critical tunnel No. 7 of 1687 metre lenth has been completed in August 2014. This tunnel is located on a 6 degree curve in a very unstable geological condition. Three kilometres tunneling work has been completed and two tunnels have been made through in Jitban-Tupul-Imphal new line project. One girder of 125 metre span has been launched on 10th July 2014 on Rail-cum- Road Bogibeel bridge project which is being constructed over Brahmaputra River in Assam.
15. ELIMINATION OF UNMANNED LEVEL CROSSINGS; During this period against the target of 125 , a total number of 176 unmanned level crossings were eliminated. 58 manned level crossings were closed against the target of 35 manned level crossings. Works for construction of 249 RUBs/Subways and 30 ROBs have been undertaken against the target of construction of 130 RUBs and 25 ROBs during this period.
16. DOUBLING; More than 60 Kms. doubling of railway lines in different sections were completed during this period. This includes Bandla – Katwa section in West Bengal, Krishnanagar – Bathuadhari in West Bengal, Sabi – Lilapur in Gujarat and Ambari – Falakata section in West Bengal. In addition gauge conversation of Fatehabad – Indore section in Madhya Pradesh was also completed during this period.
17. PEMIMIUM TRAINS FOR MORE BERTHS; With a view to make sufficient berths available to passengers, Indian Railways introduced 29 premium special trains during April to August 2014 and more than 950 trips have been operated during the summer period. These trains which have been operated under dynamic fare system earned approximately 40 per cent additional revenue as compared to trains operated on normal fares.
BETTER SERVICE TO THE PASSENGERS; After carrying out intensive safety tests, air conditioned double-decker trains have been introduced for commercial run on 3 more routes, namely Kacheguda-Tirupati, Kacheguda-Guntakul, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus- Madgaon, thus providing low cost inter-city ravel. To improve upon the quality of linen, Indian Railways is setting up mechanized laundries. Four such laundries were set up at Varanasi, Bikaner, New Jalpaiguri and Lucknow.
19. INDO-CZECH COOPERATION; Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and Czech Railways (Ceske Drahy) of the Czech Republic and Association of Czech Railway Industry (ACRI) of the Czech Republic on Technical Cooperation in the field of railway sector on 19.8. 2014.
20. IMPROVING CATERING; Indian Railways also strengthened its monitoring mechanism forimproving catering in trains and stations. In a recent move, 13 catering agencies were penalized with Rs. 1 lakh each for their negligence in serving quality food to passengers in the trains. In order to provide value to passengers in the different regions, popular items from the north, south, east, and western parts of the country will be introduced in the Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and Duronto trains.
Branded packaged pre-cook food has also been introduced as a pilot project in a few selected trains.
21. SPEICAL TRAINS; In order to clear extra rush of passenger during this peak summer season, 8778 trips of special trains were made run. Also 25452 extra coaches were attached on temporary basis. 40 extra coaches ere attached on permanent basis.
TRANSPORTATION OF MILK; Railway Ministry is taking steps for further streamlining the transportation of milk through rail. New design milk wagons have been finalized. A total of 60 Rail Milk Tankers are already proposed for procurement over the next 3 years. Out of these an order for 30 new railway milk tankers has already been placed by M/s RITES on behalf of National Dairy Development Board and Amul.
NEW WAGONS; New wagons have been designed with ERP lining and with sliding roof for transportation of salt and other commodities. This will facilitate transportation of salt in a much more convenient and economical way.
Indian Railways has designed high capacity parcel vans which can carry higher parcel load.
24. EXTEDNING EXPERIMENTAL STOPPAGES; Railways extended the validity of all experimental stoppages of various trains for a period of three more months upto 30.9.2014.
25. STATION AMENITIES; Escalators and 3 Lifts commissioned to improve passenger amenities.
26. USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA; To keep pace with the modern means of internet media, Indian Railways launched its three social media platforms namely Facebook, Twitter and You Tube with the URL @railminindia. Railway Budget was for the first time live streamed on social media platforms.
27. RAILWAY PLAYERS BAG MEDALS AT CWG; Railway sportspersons as a part of Indian contingent at recently concluded Commonwealth Games-2014, (CWG) at Glasgow, Scotland, againbrought glory to the nation by bagging 9 medals out of total 64 medals won by India. Indian Railways felicitated these sportspersons by announcing cash awards to each of them.
28. AWARDS TO RPF PERSONNEL; On the occasion of Independence Day, 2014, the Hon’ble President of India has awarded President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and Police Medal for Meritorious service to 14 RPF/RPSF officers and staff.
29. RECRUITMENT; A total of 16,299 candidates have been empanelled for recruitment in Indian Railways during June to August 2014. 341 ex-servicemen have also been empanelled for recruitment during the same period. A total of 76000 candidates are also targeted to be empanelled by 31st March 2015.
30. NEW RAILWAY COURSES; Courses in subject related to Railway Engineering Transport Management are being introduced shortly in association with IIT, Khargpur. Steps have been initiated for this purpose.
31. WEB PORTAL FOR ROB/RUB; Indian railways would become more responsive for speedy clearance of crossing of Road Over Bridges/Road Under Bridges (ROBs/RUBs) of different state government by hosting an online web portal for which trail will start soon.
- RESOURCE MOBILISATION;
Investible surplus funds; Action has been initiated to put in place a scheme to bring the investible surplus funds of Railway Public Sector Undertakings in infrastructure projects of Railways through appropriate annuity model.
Commercial Exploitation of Vacant Land; The vacant land plots which are not required by the Railways for its operational needs in near future are entrusted to Rail Land Development (RLDA) for commercial exploitation, which will help in mobilizing additional financial resources. Developers for commercial development of another 5 sites are likely to be fixed ruing 2014-2015. Out of these the tender process has been initiated for four sites: – Vijayawada, Esplanade (Chennai), Aurangabad and Tollygunj (Kolkatta).
Advertisement on wagons; 14972 wagons have been offered for advertisement out of which 600 wagons already under contract for advertisement.
- MINISTER’S INTERACTION WITH FIELD LEVEL OFFICERS; In a unique meeting of its kind, Railway Minister had a detailed interaction with General Managers and DRMs of all Zonal Railways for speedy implementation of important railway projects and programmes.
34. RAILWAY BUDGET; Railway Budget for the year 2014-2015 was presented in Parliament to outline various important policies, programmes, schemes and projects of railway sector.
35. FREIGHT INCENTIVE;
A special freight incentive scheme has been launched to monetize the empty flow of wagons by offering automatic rebate to customers moving commodities on traditional empty flow routes.