Suresh Prabhu inaugurates 5 new Railway Projects

Railway Board

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated five new activities today namely (i)New AC Weekly Express train between H. Nizamuddin-Pune, (ii) Expansion of VIKALP Scheme of Alternate Train Reservation to Delhi-Howrah, Delhi- Chennai, Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Secunderabad Circuits, (iii) Pilot Project of Sale of Unreserved Tickets through Hand Held Terminals, (iv) Launching of Ergonomically Redesigned & Optimised Tools for Track Gangs, Keymen & Patrolmen and (v) Pilot Project for Improving Safety at Unmanned Level Crossing.

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated following activities through video conferencing from Mumbai.  Simultaneously, there was a parallel ceremony at H. Nizamuddin Railway Station where Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology & Earth Sciences and Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha were specially present to grace the occasion. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital Member Traffic Mohd. Jamshed, Member Engineering V.K. Gupta, Member Mechanical Hemant Kumar along with other senior officials were also present on the occasion.

Silent Features : –

New Train Between Hazrat Nizamuddin- Pune

The Indian Railways, introduces a new train service viz. 12493/12494 Hazrat Nizamuddin- Pune AC Express (Weekly) [Budget 2014-15]. The train services would be inaugurated today (i.e. on 23.05.2016) by Hon’ble MR by Remote Flagging from Mumbai (at about 13.00 Hrs.).

 The abstract schedule including timings, composition, stoppages etc. of the train service to be introduced today is as under:


  1. Timings for inaugural run on 23th May 2016
02493 Pune-H. Nizamuddin AC Express (Weekly) Station 02494 H. Nizamuddin-Pune AC Express (Weekly)
Arr. Dep. Arr. Dep.
21.25 (Tue) D Pune A 16.10 (Tue)
21.00 (Wed) A H. Nizamuddin D 16.25 (Mon)
  1. Between 31.05.2016 to 28.06.2016
12493 Pune-H. Nizamuddin AC Express (Weekly) Station 12494 H. Nizamuddin-Pune AC Express (Weekly)
Arr. Dep. Arr. Dep.
05.15 (Thu) D Pune A 21.25 (Wed)
22.10 22.20 A/D Kota A/D 03.00 03.10
05.35 (Fri) A H. Nizamuddin D 21.35 (Tue)
  1. 12493/12494 Hazrat Nizamuddin-Pune AC Express (Weekly) w.e.f. 01.07.2016 (Regular run)
 12493 Pune-H. Nizamuddin AC Express (Weekly) Station 12494 H. Nizamuddin-Pune AC Express (Weekly)
Arr. Dep. Arr. Dep.
05.15 (Sun) D Pune A 21.25 (Sat)
22.10 22.20 A/D Kota A/D 03.00 03.10
05.35 (Mon) A H. Nizamuddin D 21.35 (Fri)
  • Days of run:  Ex-PUNE – Sunday ,Ex-NZM – Friday
  • One way distance: 1520 Kms.
  • Journey time:

From Pune to H. Nizamuddin: 24 hrs. 20 mins

From H. Nizamuddin to Pune: 23 hrs. 50 mins

  •  Average Speed:

From Pune to H. Nizamuddin: 62.50 KMPH

From H. Nizamuddin to Pune: 64.00 KMPH

  • Stoppages: Kota, Ratlam, Vadodara, Surat, Vapi, Vasai Road, Kalyan, Lonavala.
  •   Composition of regular service: WLRRM-2, ACCN-8, ACCW-5, FAC-1, WCB-1 =17 Coaches
  •  Primary Maintenance: Hazrat Nizamuddin with RBPC (NR)
  •  Nature of Service: AC Express
  •  Existing train service:

 Between H. Nizamuddin and Pune: 7 pairs of Express trains including 1 pair of Duronto Express trains.

 Launching of“ ergonomically redesigned and optimized tools for Track gangs, keymen and patrolmen” for Indian Railways and Safety at Unmanned Level Crossings

 Indian Railways’ network, approximately 70,000 Route Kms., with approximately 1.2 Lakh km. track, passing through dense forest, ice-capped mountains, deserts and cities is maintained in safe and comfortable condition by the untiring efforts of our fleet of gangs, comprising trackmen, keymen, patrolmen etc.. This 2,60,000 strong manpower is the base of the Engineering Department over Indian Railway. These men do strenuous work of track maintenance in all types of weather, rather in extreme weather, so as to ensure safety of track.

With adoption of heavier track structure on PSC sleepers, the systematic maintenance is gradually being done by Heavy On Track machines. Still, there are various activities, which can only be done by sectional gangs.

Sectional Gangs are normally having gang beat of 6-8 kms. For assigned work, the track maintainers are carrying contingent of tools from their tool boxes to site of work. Each track maintainer carries about 5 tools, which are weighing about 26 kg. The primary tools are Beaters, crowbars, rake ballast, etc.

Keyman is the first person to inspect the track everyday in morning. The entire length walked by keyman on Indian Railways everyday is such that it would cover the circumference of earth twice every day. These keymen apart from inspecting the track minutely, have to attend to minor abnormalities, initiate protection in case of major abnormalities as well as do the planned activities of greasing of Rail fitting. For effective discharge of the duties both the hands of keyman have to be free.

Whenever the climatic or security conditions pose a risk to safe operations of trains, patrolling is introduced. Hot weather, cold weather and monsoon patrolling are normally done as a regular measure. The patrolman has to be suitably equipped to not only detect any abnormal condition but also to initiate the immediate protection measures. Among the equipments being carried by patrolman, tricolor hand signal lamps and 3 cell torch posed a regular problem.

These tools and equipments with these railway men did not get any attention so far and were very heavy and cumbersome. Now, the tools have been ergonomically redesigned by using improved metallurgy and better design. This will make the work of these people easy and lead to increased productivity.

Following improvements have been done in this regard:

ØTotal weight of equipment carried by trackmen has now been reduced to about 16 kg from 26 kgby reduction in weight of some equipments and number of equipments. Carrying of these equipments to site will now be more easy and handy which will increase productivity of trackmen.

ØBy suitable design and review, the weight of tools in Keyman bag has been reduced from 16 kg to about 10 kg. The improved fish bolt spanner made of low carbon Vanadium Steel weighs approximately 1kg in place of conventional Spanner of about 3.3 kg.  Shoulder bag has been ergonomically redesigned to reduce the strain of carrying these equipments and keeping the hands free.

ØFor patrolman, tricolor hand signal lamps have been replaced with tricolor torches and helmet with miner’s light and improved staff for site protection has been provided.

Safety at Unmanned Level Crossings

Accidents at unmanned level crossings over Indian Railways have been an area of grave concern. These accidents have an enormous safety as well as punctuality dimension. As per para 131, chapter-VIII of motor vehicle act 1988, the responsibility of safely crossing an unmanned level crossing lies entirely with the road user, however such large number of accidents erode the confidence of the people in the resolve of the government, to provide safe road and train travel. Several initiatives have been taken over the years to address the matter. However most of these attempts have been man power oriented.

Recent initiatives however have tried to rope in the latest technology. After field studies following two methods have been identified :

  1. Warning to road users of approaching trains using radio frequency based method– The approaching train is detected at station on either side of Level Crossing and information about it is sent via radio communication to the unmanned level crossing. These signals are picked up by the equipment at the level crossing and a flasher light gets switched on to warn the road users.
  1. Sensing of Obstruction on level crossing and visual warning to train drivers –

Unmanned level crossing is kept under electronic observation using suitable CC cameras. The application is so made as to sense obstruction more than a particular size. If the obstruction continues on the track beyond the normal travel time, the flashing yellow light is shown to driver of approaching trains to warn about the obstruction

Pilot implementation has been done. Now extended field trials are being launched.

Sale of tickets through Hand Held Terminals (HHTs)

  • Hon’ble Minister of Railways had announced ‘Operation Five Minutes’ i.e. passengers will get tickets within five minutes. To fulfill this commitment, Railways have already proliferated Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs), introduced Cash operated Ticket Vending Machine (CoTVM) and Paperless Mobile Phone Ticketing for issuance of unreserved tickets. A pilot project was also started for printing of bar coded UTS tickets through Thermal Printers.
  • Hon’ble Minister for Railways had announced in the budget speech of 2016-17 to commence sale of tickets through hand held terminals for the benefit of the suburban and short distance travellers. The aim is to minimize waiting time for passengers at booking windows. For achieving this commitment, sale of unreserved tickets through hand held terminals is being introduced today as pilot project at Hazrat Nizamuddin station of Northern Railway. This expands the ‘Points of Sale’ of ticketing with minimal infrastructure requirement.
  • These devices are versatile smart hand held terminals consisting of a multifunction keyboard, LCD display, Internal Flash Memory and battery with external charger. It is light weight and very convenient to carry.
  • Each machine has unique number which can be used to monitor and regulate the functioning.
  • It is GPRS enabled for data synchronisation with server. Besides, the data can also be synchronised through a network cable with server.
  • The system is secured through encryption of data which can be accessed through the application only and through security of connection between the device and application server.
  • The hand held terminals will work in disconnected mode and being portable device, tickets can be sold in the non ticket booking zone of railway premises.
  • Hand held terminals will reduce queue length at booking windows and passengers need not  stand in long queues.
  • These terminals can issue platform ticket, monthly season ticket and journey tickets for adult, child and senior citizen.
  • On these terminals, printing is done through thermal printer on thermal stationery. The issue of ticket will be fast and will eliminate possibilities of fraud.

In peak seasons, popular trains of Indian Railways have very heavy waiting list, even when Special trains introduced by Railways have vacant berths due to the fact that the general public is most of the time not aware of these special trains/non popular trains. To overcome this problem Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme (ATAS) is introduced by Indian Railways. In this scheme, waiting list passenger bookings will be transferred to special trains/popular/non popular trains depending on availability in these trains.


  • The scheme is already implemented in following sectors:

New Delhi- Jammu

New Delhi- Lucknow

  • The scheme is applicable to all e-ticket waiting list passengers irrespective of booking quota and concession
  • Under this scheme, Waiting list passengers are given give choice to opt for ATAS scheme.
  • ATAS opted passengers who remain fully Waitlisted after charting are considered for allotment in the alternate train.
  • At present passengers are transferred to other trains belonging to same site as that of their train.
  • No extra charges are taken from passenger nor any refund is provided for difference of fare.
  • Either all passengers of a PNR or none are transferred to alternate train in same class.
  • The passenger allotted alternate accommodation can travel in the alternate train on authority of original ticket and in case of ticket on ERS/SMS of original booking.
  • When an ATAS opted passenger opts to cancel, after he has been given an alternate accommodation, he is treated as a CONFIRMED passenger and the cancellation rules are applied accordingly.
  • At present this scheme applies to only source quota passengers.
  • New Changes Introduced:
  • The scheme will now be launched on following sectors:

New Delhi-Chennai

New Delhi-Bangalore

New Delhi-Mumbai

New Delhi-Howrah

New Delhi-Secunderabad

  • The scheme will be implemented across all train types except Suvidha/Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto/Jan Shatabdi.
  • Inter site train pairing will be allowed that is a passenger can be transferred to a train which is originating from other site and touching passengers boarding station. The condition being that the source station of main train or its principle station should be present in alternate train as valid remote.
  • Passengers booked against any remote station will be tried for transferring condition being that exactly same remotes should be present in the alternate train. Principal station concept will not apply for other remote (except source)  passengers. wishes the very best to Shri Prabhu and his team from Railways .

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