Elimination of unmanned level crossings by Indian Railways

” A passenger train hit a school bus at an unmanned railway crossing” is one of many such headlines which occurs very regularly in news.The reason is the presence of a large number of unmanned level crossings in the country.As of 1st December,2014 there are 30348 level crossings on Indian Railways across the country. Out of these, 18785 are manned and 11563 are unmanned level crossings that account for 40% of rail accidents and 60% of all deaths due to rail mishaps, besides delaying trains.

An unmanned level crossing as the name suggests,is neither being guarded by railway personnel nor is it being closed by gate when a train arrives.The railway provides a hooter at the crossing site which warns the commuters on road about the incoming train.However the present measures have proved to be insufficient.

4792 level crossings(Both manned and unmanned) have been removed by Indian Railways in the last five years.As per IR,730 of these crossings shall be removed in the current year. IR needs Rs 39,001 crore to complete all the ongoing works of constructing Road Over Bridges, Low Height Subways and elimination of all the remaining unmanned Level Crossings.

However reeling under financial stress,railways has urged the finance ministry to increase its share from the Central Road Fund so that it can plough the additional funds into efforts to eliminate level crossings.IR gets only 12.5% of the total amount annually credited to the Fund, whereas Roads get 50% of the share, the balance being shared by the States. It therefore becomes a limited amount even though IR can absorb much more.

It is true that the elimination of unmanned level crossings is a huge task. Removal of level crossings or making alternative arrangements like road over bridges and under-bridges entail huge investment running into crores.However as the high-level committee on safety headed by Anil Kakodkar pointed out, such expenditure can be recovered over seven-eight years due to saving in operation and maintenance costs incurred at gates and smooth train operations.The process should be undertaken in an expeditious manner as safety of people overrules all other considerations. It should also be accompanied by a rigorous campaign to educate the people on proper and safe use of unmanned crossings.

Source- Press Information Bureau ,Indian Railways White paper-2015,Image by The Hindu


NBCC exploring re-development around New Delhi Railway Station

State-owned National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) today said it has formed partnership with a Malaysian joint venture firm for exploring areas for re-development around New Railway Station.

In a filing to the BSE, NBCC said it has “formed strategic partnership by executing Memorandum of Business Exploration on June 10, 2015 with Malaysian Joint Venture Company Railway Engineering Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd & Amona Group for exploring further areas of re-development around Railway Station.”

NBCC said the government intends to develop smart cities and re-development of existing cities, including improvement of quality of civic amenities.

“To contribute to the objectives of the government, NBCC is currently working on re-development of various scheme(s) in the capital,” it added.

NBCC, which is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Urban Development, provides project management consultancy services for construction projects, civil infrastructure for power sector and real estate development.


From ‘Swach Bharat’ to ‘Swach Railway’: 4 Stations to lead

NEW DELHI: The railway stations at Okha, Porbandar, Rameshwaram and Katra are being developed as green stations, and the railways aims to achieve zero waste discharge from trains starting from and ending here. Among other steps, the transporter will ensure that all trains passing through these stations are fitted with biotoilets, aimed at eliminating direct discharge from passenger coaches.

The next step, though ambitious, aims at developing more such green stations, along with green de ..

India’s first railway line becomes high-powered

India’s first and oldest railway line laid between Mumbai CST and Thane on Tuesday became “high-powered” with a successful conversion from a 1,500-V DC to 25,000-V AC traction system.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at a function in Mumbai dedicated the new high-powered system, which will entail huge savings in electricity bills and time to the Central Railway.

He inaugurated the newly-converted system, which cost Rs 1,176 crore, between Mumbai CST-Mumbra on slow corridor and Mumbai CST-Thane on the fast corridor.

“The major benefits of this conversion includes seamless operation on 25,000-V electric traction services for all mail/express trains (including non-daily), coming/going from Igatpuri side and Lonavala side to CST and vice versa,” said a Central Railway spokesperson.

This conversion from DC to AC traction – sanctioned nearly 20 years ago – will reduce energy losses from changeover of trains (from DC to AC traction sections) by 30 percent or around Rs.114 crore annually in the Mumbai Division, plus lower maintenance costs.

“Besides, the technical halt of 15 minutes for long-distance trains for the change-over will be eliminated, permit increased traffic flow, enhance speed and sectional capacity, reduce costs and allow higher reliability”, the spokesperson added.

The signalling system will also become more reliable with provision of state-of-the-art technology, audio frequency track circuits and improved control communication due to provision of optical fibre cable network.

India’s first train ran between Bombay as it was called and Thane on April 16, 1853. But it was in November of the previous year that the trial run took place.

The Mumbai suburban section between Mumbai and Kalyan was the first in the country to be electrified in 1925 with the 1500-V DC traction system – the only option available then.

However, over the years, it proved ineffective to handle any increase in services, either frequency or longer trains as it could not provide the extra power, was much less reliable and prone to fire hazards.

“History has been created by executing this challenging work of very complex nature in the busiest network of Indian Railways, without any disruption to sensitive commuter traffic,” the spokesperson said.

Prabhu was flanked by Mumbai MPs Gopal Shetty and Rajan Vichare, Central and Western Railway’s General Managers and other top officials on the occasion.


Indian Railways Scheme: Convert Your Waitlisted Train Ticket Into an Airline Ticket

NEW DELHI:  In some good news, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is offering passengers who fail to get their waitlisted ticket confirmed an option to convert it into an airline ticket at a competitive fare.

The Railway PSU has already tied-up with budget carrier GoAir and have sold about 100 tickets through this scheme in the past one month.

“We have also entered into an understanding with SpiceJet under the scheme and plan to rope in other domestic carriers too,” said IRCTC spokesperson Sandip Dutta.

However, the scheme applies to tickets booked at least three days prior to the date of the journey. The flight tickets would be made available only for the day of the train journey or a day after that.

IRCTC would be sending e-mails to waitlisted passengers who seek to avail the benefit under the scheme.

Passengers booking train tickets right from sleeper class to AC classes can avail the facility, Mr Dutta said.

“For such passengers, the airline ticket would be competitively priced and cheaper by as much as 30-40 per cent,” he said.

The airlines would be placing their unsold tickets with IRCTC, a move that not only promises a boon for the domestic carriers but an added option for the passengers in reaching their destination without having to abort their trip.

With an average seat factor of about 70 to 75 per cent, most of the domestic airlines fly with about 20 per cent seats empty in their plane and IRCTC plans to make the best use of it.


Indian Railways changes Tatkal ticket timings, 50 per cent refund on cancellation

NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has changed the timing for the booking of Tatkal tickets, and said that customers can get a refund of upto 50 percent on cancellation for the same.

As per the new schedule, the Tatkal booking for AC classes will commence at 10 a.m. and close at 11 a.m., while for the non-AC classes, the Tatkal booking will commence at 11 a.m and close at noon.

Railways will soon launch its ‘Tatkal Special’ train service, travelling on which will be dearer than on ..

Hello world!

Indian Railways is an 162 year old organisation and is the lifeline of India.With over 7000 railway stations,Indian Railways is capable of giving an amazing social/cultural/natural/historical tour of this amazing and beautiful country-India.(although sometimes uncomfortable and unpunctual)

This blog would act as one stop  for all news and other content occuring in online world which report the recent developements taking place in Indian Railways.