Doubling of tracks to finish by March
Waiting time for train at outer of Charbagh railway station would be reduced as Railways has set March deadline to finish the expansion work on Alamnagar-Manaknagar and Alamnagar-Utretia sections. Member traffic, Indian Railways, Mohammad Junaid met chief secretary Rajive Kumar on Friday and discussed ways of coordination between state government and railways. After the meeting, the member traffic directed divisional railway manager (NR) Satish Kumar and DRM (NER) Laxmi Kaushik to speed up the expansion work in the two sections.
Senior divisional commercial manager of NR, Lucknow division, Shivendra Shukla said that the track doubling project had been divided into two phases.
Railway restores Andhra mountain bridge in record 58 days
The challenge was to do it within a tight deadline of 60 days. In the end, Railways in fact did it in just 58 days, as the broken bridge in the mountains of Eastern Ghats stood restored before time on Friday. On October 6-7, a 700-ton boulder fell on the half-a-decade-old “bridge number 249” in the Araku Valley region of Andhra Pradesh; shattered its pier and rendered the country’s highest broad-gauge freight line useless.
Within five days, work started to restore the bridge on war footing keeping a never-before 60-day deadline, putting to test Indian Railways’ engineering capability, and its ability to deliver on time. Incidentally, the bridge work coincided with time the Army was called in to build three foot overbridges in Mumbai’s suburban network in what was viewed by a section of railway bureaucracy as a snub to the national transporter’s engineering prowess.
Around 400 labourers worked day and night as zonal railways incurred a cost of just about Rs 7 crore to get the bridge restored. According to East Coast Railway, this is a record. “This is the record of any bridge work done in so short a period,” said a statement issued by the zonal railway Friday.
The work site was inaccessible from the beginning thanks to the rocky mountains and an adjacent waterfall.
Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani is due to visit the site next week and formally restore traffic. Sources said he will reward the team that spearheaded the job as this was no mean feat, officials claimed.
The work site was inaccessible from the beginning thanks to the rocky mountains and an adjacent waterfall. The impact of the boulder was such that a new pier had to be constructed from scratch after diverting the waterfall to gain access to the work site.
On Friday, Laxmi Narayan, Principal Chief Engineer, East Coast Railway and Mukul S Mathur, Divisional Railway Manager, Waltair Division of the zonal railway flagged off the first train to mark the formal commissioning of the bridge after engineers furnished a written certificate that the bridge was fit. The formal launch of commercial operations will start on December 12.
The impact of the boulder was such that a new pier had to be constructed from scratch after diverting the waterfall to gain access to the work site.
“The bridge stands commissioned from engineering point of view. We are just clearing the various machines and construction material from either side of the bridge. We moved the first vehicle on it today. Full-scale operation will start next week,” Mathur told The Indian Express. Railway restores Andhra mountain bridge in record 58 days
Kacheguda becomes India’s first energy-efficient railway station
Kacheguda Railway Station under the South Central Railway (SCR) has earned the unique distinction of being the first Energy Efficient ‘A1 Category’ Railway Station on Indian Railways.
The station has achieved 100% energy efficiency by replacing 1,312 conventional lights with light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, among other steps. About 370 ceiling fans, too, were replaced with energy efficient Brushless DC Electrical (BLDC) motors fans, and 12 air conditioners with energy efficient inverter-type air conditioners. All these measures would save about 1.76 lakh units and ₹14.08 lakh per annum with reduction of the connected load by 46.18 kW for Railways, said General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav.
Complimenting Divisional Railway Manager Arun Kumar Jain and his colleagues V. Venkata Ramana and P. Prem Kumar for the feat, Mr. Yadav said they had put in extensive efforts to achieve this distinction.
New modern trainsets are good and all, but I want to see how they fare over time given Indian population behaviours.
BTW there was some conversation happening a month or so ago about the biotoilets not being anywhere near 0 bio discharge....and then people were counter arguing it too....essentially it came down to whether the DRDO bacteria catalyst filters could work in the typical time allotted etc.
Is there any verdict on that whole thing given the scale of investment that is being proceeded with. Also has cost been looked into equipping stations with facilities (much larger ground biodigesters/processers) and having just storage of waste (between such stations) on the train?
Indian Railways’ ambitious $3 bn plan: Fencing, track upgrades for high speed on Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Mumbai routes Indian Railways will soon bring for cabinet clearance an ambitious, Rs 18,000 crore ($3 billion) plan that involves fencing off the existing Delhi-Kolkata and Delh-Mumbai routes to speed up train movement in the country’s two busiest corridors. Besides fencing, the proposal involves track and signalling upgrades and elimination of unmanned level-crossings along the two major trunk routes — Delhi-Mumbai at 1,384 kms Delhi-Howrah at 1,450 kms. The cabinet is expected to consider the plan next month. “The proposal has already been cleared by the extended Railway Board, Niti Aayog and the Finance Ministry. Now it awaits Cabinet clearance — after which the project will commence,” a senior Railway Ministry official said. The ambitious project envisages taking train speeds up to 160 km per hour in the busy corridors. While the overall cost for the Delhi-Kolkata route is estimated at Rs 7,000 crore, that of the Delhi-Mumbai corridor is Rs 11,000 crore. Of this, fencing alone will cost about Rs 2,200 crore. Fencing is a must for semi-high speed corridors as it prevents human or cattle interference on the tracks and ensures higher speeds and safety.
Describing it as a “paradigm shift” for the development of the rail network in the country, the official said once the route is fit for 160 kmph, the speed can be further upgraded up to 200 kmph. According to the feasibility study, it is a remunerative project with both routes having a high rate of return.
The official said that while the rate of return for the Delhi-Howrah route — which runs through major cities such as Kanpur and Lucknow — has been estimated at 18 per cent, it has been pegged at 14.7 per cent for the Delhi-Mumbai corridor that has cities such as Vadodara enroute. Currently, train speeds are greatly affected by network congestion. While the Railways is constructing dedicated freight corridors for the exclusive movement of the goods service, fencing off the existing Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata routes will enhance passenger movement on the existing tracks. Indian Railways’ ambitious $3 bn plan: Fencing, track upgrades for high speed on Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Mumbai routes
76 kms of Rly route to be electrified in Chhattisgarh: Railway Minister
A total of 76 route kilometres have been identified for Railway electrification in Chhattisgarh, the Union Railway Ministry has informed in a press release.
Notably , Indian Railways has prepared an Action Plan to electrify 38000 Route Kilometers in five years (2017-18 to 2021-22) for 100% electrification of its Broad Gauge (BG) rail routes in the country.
Railway Electrification projects are not confined to State boundaries.
To achieve 100% electrification of Broad Gauge (BG) rail routes, pace of electrification has been increased from present average of 1700 route kilometer per Annum to 4000 Route Kilometer/Annum which will further be increased to 6000 Route Kilometers in 2018-19.
Further, to expedite electrification of railway lines in the country, various steps have been taken, which inter-alia include award of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contracts, better project monitoring mechanism, enhancing power of field units for award of contracts including sanction of estimates and increasing the number of executing agencies from existing three to six by entrusting electrification works to new agencies viz. Indian Railway Construction Company, Rail India Technical and Economic Services ad Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.
Notably, the Centre has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) each with the States of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh for critical coal connectivity projects to improve transportation .
Agreement for World Bank loan of US $ 1100 million for Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) (Phase-2) have also been signed, they stated.
Freight train with speed of maximum 100 kms per hour will pass through Chhattisgarh in the East-West Corridor (Kolkata-Mumbai).
The train will traverse through the States of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra as the Ministry of Railways has sanctioned implementation of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) with freight train speeds of maximum 100 Kmph.
The Central Government’s approval for construction of 165 km long third railway line between Anuppur and Katni in Madhya Pradesh is expected to facilitate additional coal transportation traffic from parts of Chhattisgarh.
The coal transporation traffic from IB valley, Korba area, East Corridor and Gevra – Pendra Road Project in Chhattisgarh would be channelized through the aforesaid route to the respective destinations, officials stated.
The Centre has approved the project at a cost of Rs 1595.76 crore. The project is likely to be completed in 5 ¼ years spanning over 12th and 13th plan period.
The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has also approved construction of six Railway lines and a Railway bridge to cater to both increased passenger and freight needs in various areas of the country.
Public sector IRCON International Ltd has also commenced work in connection with the construction of new ‘Broad Guage Electrified Double Railway Line’ in Chhattisgarh on the East West Corridor.
The work is being undertaken in Gevra Road-Pendra Road and Dipka, Kathghora, Sendurgahr and Pasan sections, officials stated.
Indian Railways clears proposal to equip electric locomotives with European train protection systems
The Indian Railways has cleared a Rs 12,000 crore proposal to equip electric locomotives with the latest European train protection system.
Representational image. Reuters
At its meeting on 15 December, the Railway Board cleared the proposal to equip 6,000 electric locos with European Train Control System (ETCS) Level-II to help drivers — or pilots — to prevent rail mishaps, a senior Railway Ministry official told IANS.
Besides, the Board also decided to install the ETCS Level-II system on the entire 9,054 km-long Golden Quadrilateral route connecting the four metros to make it a fully accident-free corridor.
The entire project to ensure ETCS Level-II compliance is expected to cost around Rs 12,000 crore.
There are cases where accidents occur due to error of locomotive pilots who generally have to work in very stressful conditions.
Currently, the Railways has a basic automatic train protection system based on the ETCS Level-I specification to provide a back-up to loco pilots on a limited stretch.
Known as a "train protection warning system", the facility based on ETCS Level-I has been implemented on about 342 km of rail route. Gatiman Express, running at 160 kmph between Nizamuddin and Agra, safely runs at this speed protected by the system.
However, it was decided to upgrade the system to put it on par with world standards as the ETCS Level-I has limitations.
In a train protection warning system, information regarding the condition of the signals ahead — whether it is showing red, yellow or green — is communicated to the locomotive and is shown on a display screen called DMI (Driver Machine Interface) in the front of the loco pilot.
In the ETCS Level-I system, this information regarding the condition of the signal ahead is periodically received in the loco whenever it passes over a device called "balise" which is fitted in the middle of the track at certain intervals.
Thus this has a limitation that the information regarding the signal ahead is received only when a loco passes over a balise — and the driver has to wait till he passes over the next balise to get updated information.
This disadvantage of the ETCS Level-I is overcome in ETCS Level-II, which ensures that the status of the signal ahead is continuously available in the loco through a wireless radio medium using a GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communication-Railways) network.
GSM-R is similar to the mobile GSM network with some special features for Railway applications. With the status of the signal continuously available, the driver can now run the train more efficiently, as per the movement authority available to him, thereby improving overall speed and the section capacity of the route.
'Railway experts assessing JSPL's rail producing plant'
A team of railway officials has visited Raigarh to aseess steel plant of JSPL, which is interested in national transporter's tender to procure seven lakh tonnes of rails worth about Rs 3,500 crore, industry sources said today.
The Ministry of Railways has recently floated a global tender to procure rails. This is the first time that railways has come up with such a tender.
At present, state-run Steel Authority of India (SAIL) is the only company supplying rails to the country's largest transport network railways.
SAIL manufactures 260-metre long rails at its Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) in Chhattisgarh. Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) is the only private company in the country which produces rails.
A team of Railways comprising officers from Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) are camping in Raigarh and performing an assessment of the JSPL's plant, a source privy to the matter told .
While an email sent to the JSPL remained unanswered, an official requesting anonymity confirmed that a railways team is visiting for an assessment of the "domestic producer and supplier of rails".
The plant has a capacity to produce 1 million tonne (mt) of rails, about 30 per cent more than the railways' requirement.
JSPL is confident of making early deliveries to the Indian Railways if it succeeds in securing the tender, a top company official had earlier said.
"It is a golden chance for JSPL (Jindal Steel and Power Limited) as the company has been looking to make inroads into the domestic rail segment for about a decade," Naushad Ansari, CEO Steel Business, JSPL, had told over phone.
Ansari had said that the company is fully prepared and well equipped. It is capable of making early deliveries compared to any other player. "If we bag the tender today, we can start making deliveries in just three weeks. It would take much longer for a foreign firm to start making deliveries. JSPL has a capacity to supply over 50,000 mt rail per month."
"The delivery (is) to commence as early as possible and to be completed in 12 months from the date of placement of order (in case of domestic bidder) or opening of letter of credit (in case of foreign bidders)," the railway tender stated.
The company has experience in rails and is already supplying rails to other countries like Iran, Bangladesh, Mozambique and Brazil.
Rail Nilayam glows, fully lit by LEDs First Railway HQ to have all LED lights
Rail Nilayam, the Zonal Headquarters Office of South Central Railway has become the first fully LED lit HQ on Indian Railways, marking another major milestone in the endeavour towards energy conservation. SCR General Manager Vinod Kumar Yadav appreciated the electrical department for the achievement.
The project entailed replacement of 3048 conventional light fittings with energy efficient LED lights. The connected load earlier, of conventional light fittings of Rail Nilayam was 112.25 KW which has been reduced to 65.8KW after provision of the new LED lighting, lessening the connected load by 46.45 KW.
It is being anticipated there will be savings of around 1.33 lakh units per annum, thereby reducing the expenditure by ₹10.64 lakh per annum, a press release said. Rail Nilayam glows, fully lit by LEDs
ABB India wins INR 134 crore traction equipment order for Indian Railways ABB partners electrification and sustainable mobility with locally manufactured global technologies to enable energy-efficient rail operations
ABB India has won an order worth INR 134 crore to supply state-of-the-art traction equipment for electric locomotives, manufactured by Chittaranjan Locomotive works (CLW). ABB will deliver traction converters, stand-alone auxiliary converters and vehicle control units for 64 electric locomotives which will be used for passenger and freight operations. This order further strengthens ABB’s position in the Indian market where the government wants to equip electric locomotives with the next generation of propulsion system, with the state-of-the-art traction converters. It also supports the larger government initiative of energy efficiency and electrification of railways from introducing tri-phase energy-efficient technologies in electric locomotives and electrical multiple units to technology to drive efficiency in traction and non-traction areas.
This solution will be locally manufactured at ABB’s Nelamangala production unit in Bengaluru. The compact, light traction equipment converts electricity from overhead power lines to the voltage levels required for traction motors and generates power for on-board auxiliary systems. During braking, the kinetic energy of the vehicle is converted into electrical energy and fed back to the traction power supply network. The reduction in converter losses and recovery of braking energy significantly reduces energy consumption.
“ABB has been a key partner of Indian Railways over the decades with a suite of traction solutions. This year marks 10 years of our association with Chittaranjan Locomotive works (CLW ) and we are privileged to have their trust and cooperation,” said Sanjeev Sharma, Managing Director, ABB India. “ABB’s technology offerings have also evolved in line with the changing requirements of the Indian railway network like clean energy, electrification, safety, speed, robustness, and such. Our global leadership in railway and transportation technologies ensure that we can continue to develop and deploy the latest in the future of transportation technology for the fourth largest railway network in the world,” he added.
Currently, around 42 percent of the entire Indian rail network is electrified. Indian Railways has a goal to electrify its rail network by 2020. This move aims to reduce greenhouse emissions and the dependence on fossil-fuel based automotive power. ABB has supplied traction equipment to CLW for several years and is a major supplier of traction systems for rolling stock manufacturers around the world.
ABB is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing more than a 125-year history of innovation, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 136,000 employees. ABB India wins INR 134 crore traction equipment order for Indian Railways
Railways may invest Rs 20-lakh crore in high-speed corridors
NEW DELHI: The railways ministry is drawing up a Rs 20-lakh crore investment plan under which it will convert 10,000 km of its trunk routes into high-speed corridors and take up several other modernisation projects. The investment plan will be spread out over a period of 10 years, with average annual capacity upgrade and expansion outlay of Rs 2 lakh crore, a top rail official said. "Since there has hardly been technology development in railways in past 3-4 decades, we are looking at leapfrogging to new technologies, and considering huge investments in the sector which was neglected till 2014 ," the official said.
Half the total allocation — about Rs 10 lakh crore — will go towards speeding up train travel. Under the plan, railways would upgrade existing Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Howrah and Bengaluru-Hyderabad routes, among others, into high-speed corridors, and upgrade stations on the routes into world class terminals.
Railways would also complete the 3300-km long dedicated corridor project for freight movement that will free up existing routes to run more premium passenger trains and increase average speed. "It will help us attract more freight traffic as our delivery timelines and service would substantially increase.
Also, it will help us rationalise freight charges," the official said. The national transporter would also induct more than 40,000 German technology-based LHB coaches that are safer and will reduce the number of causalities in case of train derailment or an accident. Additionally, the Railways has planned a complete overhaul of the signalling and electrification network at an estimated cost of Rs 60,000 crore that will allow it to run trains every 6-7 minutes.
Since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has come to power, investment in railways has gone up substantially. In the past three financial years, the government has spent more than Rs 3 lakh crore towards the development of this critical infrastructure sector. The railways is expecting to generate substantial revenue by monetising assets such as overhead electric lines, land bank among other things to fund the plan.
The national transporter will also receive funding through institutional investors such as Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) bonds.
For its high-speed corridor projects, it could get financing from the Japanese funding agencies,World Bank, Asian Development Bank
(ADB) and several other investors, the official explained.
of trains, railway zones across the country have been quietly fudging data by bypassing an automatic system which would record correct timings and manually entering data to artificially increase punctuality.
This was made clear in a circular issued on December 21 by the Railway Board efficiency and research director to all zonal general managers.
Data logs of arrival and departure of trains is linked to a Control Office Application (COA) at terminals and interchanged through an electronic system brought in four to five years ago. The signal is monitored and train movement recorded
However, at most locations, this system has been made inoperative and the arrival and departure time of trains is entered manually. Indian Railways official punctuality is around 75%, while that of Southern Railway is 84%.
For instance, a train may arrive at Chennai Central station 10 minutes late, but the data entry operator may log it as the right time, showing an improved punctuality figure.
The December 21 circular directed zones to compulsorily make the system operative with immediate effect without fearing about the eventual drop in punctuality. The action taken report is to be sent to the board by December 28.
TOI sent this communication to a few Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officers who confirmed that the circular was a tacit admission of punctuality data being boosted by decreasing actual delay of trains. "Many trains wait outside the terminal station at the home signal, but the delay is rarely recorded," one of them said.
In the letter, Southern Railway general manager R K Kulshrestha has asked the chief operations manager and chief signal and telecom engineer to discuss the implications of the direction on the zone's punctuality. He has also asked them to find the impact of wrong logging by other zonal railways on Southern Railway punctuality.
Many passengers travelling on trains have reported this anomaly to railways via Twitter after cross-checking the train's physical location with the arrival/departure data provided on National Train Enquiry System (NTES).
Punctuality is a major issue; officials at the division level are questioned by those at the headquarters, who are in turn questioned by the board.
A few years ago, a top official at the Southern Railway headquarters cracked down on this misreporting, which brought punctuality to around 60%. Though hauled up by superiors for poor figures, he stuck to his guns.
An official from the signal department at Southern Railway said the circular was a step in the right direction. "Punctuality figures are also affected due to signal issues. More funds are needed to improve the signalling system. Once realistic figures are out, more funds for these improvements can be demanded," he said.
Indian Railways targets 100% electrification of broad gauge tracks by FY21: Report Indian Railways has set a target of achieving 100% electrification of its broad gauge tracks, in the December 2017 action plan.
Indian Railways Electrification of broad gauge tracks
In its December 2017 action plan, the Indian Railways has set a target of electrifying 38,000 km route in five years, incurring expenses of Rs. 32,591 crores for the project. According to Elara Securities India, this is a notable jump from the Railways' last year plans, reported by the Mint today.
A note from Elara said the current action plan’s target is 56 percent higher than an earlier plan of electrifying 90 percent of the network, or 24,400 route kilometres over FY17-21 announced in November 2016.
The national transporter has plans to award individual tenders as large as 1,500 km. This would reportedly lead to lowering of electrification costs due to better economies of scale and make these tenders more appealing to larger companies. Previously, railways had been awarding tenders for small length projects, making them very time-consuming.
The report also suggested this would give a thrust to engineering, procurement and construction companies (EPC). If the railways step up the pace to achieve its renewed target, then capital goods and EPC services providers can see accelerated order inflows.
According to Elara Securities, Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE), an arm of the railways that carries out electrification works, has sounded out empanelled vendors of government power utilities.
CHENNAI: By June this year, the railways will roll out a 'first of its kind' semi-high speed, self-propelled train set which will cut down the travel time by at least 20% in comparison to any train drawn by a loco due to faster acceleration and deceleration.
The Chennai-based Railways' Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has designed the train sets and will manufacture the first with 16 fully air-conditioned coaches by June 2018.
Touted as Train 18, it will have 'world-class' passenger amenities such as on-board Wi-fi and infotainment, GPSbased passenger information system and plush interiors with diffused LED lighting.
The new train with aerodynamic nose for reduced drag and for improved aesthetics is likely to replace elite
Shatabdi Trains currently used for superfast inter-city travel.
Another set of train, named Train 20, is likely to be launched in 2020. These will also be equipped with world class facilities to replace another elite train, Rajdhani Express, used in overnight travel. Both Train 18 and Train 20, 'Make in India' projects by ICF, will be manufactured for half the cost of imported train sets. The only difference will be that Train 20 will have an aluminium body while Train 18 will have stainless steel body.
The train sets (like EMUs), which will replace locomotive-hauled trains, will have continuous window glasses for a contemporary modern look; 'automatic plug-type' sliding doors and sliding footsteps which will open and close automatically at the stations and zero discharge vacuum-based bio-toilets.
ICF general manager S Mani aid, "Train 18 can travel at speeds of up to 160 kmph. It will have worldclass facilities for passengers. First set of train will be ready by June 2018."
A study shows the railways will be able to cut travel time by three hours and thirtyfive minutes on the 1,440-km Delhi-Howrah route. The Rajdhani and
Shatabdi Express can go up to 150 kmph, but the average speed continues to be 90 kmph as there are several speed restrictions. Given that applying brakes and accelerating takes longer using locomotives, the 'train sets' will cut down on time. The reduction in journey time was calculated at a maximum permissible speed of 130 kmph and could come down further if the permissible limit is raised to 160 kmph.
Four rail corridors to complete 'golden quadrilateral' likely to get nod in budget
The budget is likely to approve the four remaining corridors that will complete the railways' ambitious 'golden quadrilateral', connecting the four metros -- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata -- through a high-speed network, officials said today.
Two corridors of the quadrilateral -- Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah -- were sanctioned at a cost of Rs 11,189 crore and Rs 6,875 crore respectively in the last Union budget.
The remaining four -- Delhi-Chennai, Chennai-Howrah, Chennai-Mumbai and Howrah-Mumbai -- will now be connected through high- speed corridors, with trains running at a speed of 160 kmph-200 kmph.
Officials said the estimated cost of the remaining corridor is likely to be about Rs 40,000 crore.
The plan is to launch the high-speed 'golden quadrilateral' by August 15, 2022, which will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the country's Independence, they said.
Once these corridors are operational, the train travel time between these metros will reduce by 50 per cent, officials said.
For example, currently, the travel time from Kolkata to Mumbai varies from 26 to 40 hours. While Duronto takes 26 hours to reach Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Jnaneswari Express takes 30 hours to reach Lomanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla).