Indian Railways Junction

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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The Railway Ministry should refrain from saying "first" everytime something is rolled out.

Push Pull WAP 5 have been around since 2014 atleast in BRC shed for Rajdhani express.

The only thing new here is that the locomotive will have 1 aerodynamic face and other flat face.
I just tried explaining some latest facts to my father who is about to retire in next 15-16 months. He said plainly, don't go by optics. None of these assets are going to government kitty, private enterprises have started owning these assets as we speak including lease of his work place(that's a regional headquarter as well as UNESCO site.) He gave me some facts which are not in public domain but very demoralizing honestly. He also talked about Lalu Prasad Yadav and previous minister of state for IR(who is related to my mother's side.) when some real changes were brought in, despite bad image of Lalu Yadav specifically.
 
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_Anonymous_

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Dec 4, 2017
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Mumbai
If these assets owned & paid for by the GoI thru IR is monetized by leasing them out to pvt enterprises , what's wrong in it? I wish to see inter city & intra city rail networks being handled solely by State Railways under the aegis of state governments with or without PPP much like the metros we run.

I just tried explaining some latest facts to my father who is about to retire in next 15-16 months. He said plainly, don't go by optics. None of these assets are going to government kitty, private enterprises have started owning these assets as we speak including lease of his work place(that's a regional headquarter as well as UNESCO site.) He gave me some facts which are not in public domain but very demoralizing honestly. He also talked about Lalu Prasad Yadav and previous minister of state for IR(who is related to my mother's side.) when some real changes were brought in, despite bad image of Lalu Yadav specifically.
 

Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,205
1,972
Bangalore
I just tried explaining some latest facts to my father who is about to retire in next 15-16 months. He said plainly, don't go by optics. None of these assets are going to government kitty, private enterprises have started owning these assets as we speak including lease of his work place(that's a regional headquarter as well as UNESCO site.) He gave me some facts which are not in public domain but very demoralizing honestly. He also talked about Lalu Prasad Yadav and previous minister of state for IR(who is related to my mother's side.) when some real changes were brought in, despite bad image of Lalu Yadav specifically.
Finances are in a drub as of now. Only those projects directly linked to PMOs image are being undertaken as of now.

While in the 1st term of Modi there was real infrastructure boost, in the 2nd terms things are getting stagnant and Tuglaqi working style of Railway Ministry is interfering with the normal functioning of Railway Board.
 

RISING SUN

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
6,555
3,800
If these assets owned & paid for by the GoI thru IR is monetized by leasing them out to pvt enterprises , what's wrong in it? I wish to see inter city & intra city rail networks being handled solely by State Railways under the aegis of state governments with or without PPP much like the metros we run.
That was my initial impression as well before hearing from him, some facts aren't adding up and I don't find credible enough facts to counter his points.

During initial stage of trains resuming services post lock-down, there were serious malpractice in material & manpower management by private sector, without any action taken against them compared to what is taken against IR employees generally. LHB rake was dispatched from Mumbai to Kolkata location without railways authorization and then terminated just out of Thane, left there for quite a some time. An central railway AC coach ELT employee was somehow sent on train service to western railway zone and then was kept zuggling there without monetary support until threat was issued, off-course unofficially. Then there is infighting among the IR employees as well on equal opportunities, resulting in several incidents.

Railways and Military both are favorite subject of mine, partly due to long service of many immediate & extended family members(9 in railways & 3 in military). Hence when I hear damning incidents (and I hear quite a lot and can't say everything in public for obvious reasons.) about how things are hidden under carpet to prevent damage to particular group's image (be it governmental or private), it hurts.

Not everything told & recorded in public is truth & vice versa, that I know from my experience so far. Don't go by the fancy advertisement issued for public consumption, below the surface, there is lot of MUD!
 

Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,205
1,972
Bangalore
If these assets owned & paid for by the GoI thru IR is monetized by leasing them out to pvt enterprises , what's wrong in it? I wish to see inter city & intra city rail networks being handled solely by State Railways under the aegis of state governments with or without PPP much like the metros we run.

We need to first decide as a policy, do we need Railways as a commercial economic booster or a welfare asset means of public transport. Once that is decided, things will be clear.

The Ministry itself is clouded in its judgement imo.
 

_Anonymous_

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2017
12,080
8,632
Mumbai
We need to first decide as a policy, do we need Railways as a commercial economic booster or a welfare asset means of public transport. Once that is decided, things will be clear.

The Ministry itself is clouded in its judgement imo.
I don't think so. The days of seeing the IR as a purely welfare asset is past. We've now approached an evolving situation wherin a clear demarcation between seeing part of the IR as a commercial enterprise & part of it as a welfare asset is upon us. See the next 1-2 decades as transitional & a messy one at that.
 

Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,205
1,972
Bangalore
That was my initial impression as well before hearing from him, some facts aren't adding up and I don't find credible enough facts to counter his points.

During initial stage of trains resuming services post lock-down, there were serious malpractice in material & manpower management by private sector, without any action taken against them compared to what is taken against IR employees generally. LHB rake was dispatched from Mumbai to Kolkata location without railways authorization and then terminated just out of Thane, left there for quite a some time. An central railway AC coach ELT employee was somehow sent on train service to western railway zone and then was kept zuggling there without monetary support until threat was issued, off-course unofficially. Then there is infighting among the IR employees as well on equal opportunities, resulting in several incidents.

Railways and Military both are favorite subject of mine, partly due to long service of many immediate & extended family members(9 in railways & 3 in military). Hence when I hear damning incidents (and I hear quite a lot and can't say everything in public for obvious reasons.) about how things are hidden under carpet to prevent damage to particular group's image (be it governmental or private), it hurts.

Not everything told & recorded in public is truth & vice versa, that I know from my experience so far. Don't go by the fancy advertisement issued for public consumption, below the surface, there is lot of MUD!

The Goods segment is what earns value for the economy. The government should work on policy and infrastructure and land acquisition and should focus on privatisation of the goods segment.

And the government really doesn't have money to fund a non profit making passenger segment. For the welfare of poor or low middle income people, investment should be made in safety and timely operations.

Rest passenger segment can migrate to Air Travel or HSR and let the State Government take care of the last mile connectivity from airports to city centers.

These steps will break down the inefficient behemoth in several smaller more efficient portions.
I don't think so. The days of seeing the IR as a purely welfare asset is past. We've now approached an evolving situation wherin a clear demarcation between seeing part of the IR as a commercial enterprise & part of it as a welfare asset is upon us. See the next 1-2 decades as transitional & a messy one at that.
Only problem is there are huge leakholes and the money is just not there. And just like the work culture of OFB, there are issues in Railways.
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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The Goods segment is what earns value for the economy. The government should work on policy and infrastructure and land acquisition and should focus on privatisation of the goods segment.

And the government really doesn't have money to fund a non profit making passenger segment. For the welfare of poor or low middle income people, investment should be made in safety and timely operations.

Rest passenger segment can migrate to Air Travel or HSR and let the State Government take care of the last mile connectivity from airports to city centers.
If IR bears the cost of laying infrastructure, then why should IR not get the benefit of goods segment as you yourself said, it is the cash-cow segment. That isn't illogical?

I believe, IR should retain the ownership of the assets, it has built using its own resources. Loss making segments can be offered to private sector on equal ownership/long term lease/investment with equal risks attached. In regards to already over-capacity & profit making segments, private sector should be given opportunity to invest & create additional infrastructure on built & transfer and operate on either lease, joint or IR wholly operated whichever is feasible & sustainable. Will this not be sustainable from both IR & private enterprises point of view? I am fully in agreement with you & @_Anonymous_ on last mile connectivity under state or even local authorities operational control, however technical & standardization controls should be vested in central IR to make all Indian cities mass transit systems inter-operable if such need arises ever. Cost benefits are altogether different factor. That's my 2 cents. Thank you.
 
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vingensys

Active member
May 9, 2019
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Cherpalcheri
The Goods segment is what earns value for the economy. The government should work on policy and infrastructure and land acquisition and should focus on privatisation of the goods segment.

Isn't this counter to logic? You sell off what earns you bucks and twiddle fingers with the zombie of a loss-making enterprise?

And the government really doesn't have money to fund a non profit making passenger segment. For the welfare of poor or low middle income people, investment should be made in safety and timely operations.

How on earth is somebody who isn't able to afford a ticket supposed to benefit from better investments in safety? By walking on the rails and hoping the incoming trains wouldn't crush him under due to safety features?

Rest passenger segment can migrate to Air Travel or HSR and let the State Government take care of the last mile connectivity from airports to city centers.

These steps will break down the inefficient behemoth in several smaller more efficient portions.

Only problem is there are huge leakholes and the money is just not there. And just like the work culture of OFB, there are issues in Railways.

I find it silly, but in my opinion, Indians are fascinated with the idea that anything profitable can only be run by the private sector. Or in other words, we believe anything and everything that the Private sector does is inherently efficient. it may be in some countries but is surely not a cardinal principle to be upheld at any cost in India. Experience shows there isn't much to pat on the backs of private entities.
 
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vingensys

Active member
May 9, 2019
175
120
Cherpalcheri
That was my initial impression as well before hearing from him, some facts aren't adding up and I don't find credible enough facts to counter his points.

During initial stage of trains resuming services post lock-down, there were serious malpractice in material & manpower management by private sector, without any action taken against them compared to what is taken against IR employees generally. LHB rake was dispatched from Mumbai to Kolkata location without railways authorization and then terminated just out of Thane, left there for quite a some time. An central railway AC coach ELT employee was somehow sent on train service to western railway zone and then was kept zuggling there without monetary support until threat was issued, off-course unofficially. Then there is infighting among the IR employees as well on equal opportunities, resulting in several incidents.

Railways and Military both are favorite subject of mine, partly due to long service of many immediate & extended family members(9 in railways & 3 in military). Hence when I hear damning incidents (and I hear quite a lot and can't say everything in public for obvious reasons.) about how things are hidden under carpet to prevent damage to particular group's image (be it governmental or private), it hurts.

Not everything told & recorded in public is truth & vice versa, that I know from my experience so far. Don't go by the fancy advertisement issued for public consumption, below the surface, there is lot of MUD!

At one point during the ongoing saga of T-18 I had here mentioned nothing is going good at the higher echelons of IR & Rly Min. But many opposed. I would have been happy if not for the destruction of a system of this nation that what I had aired from people I had talked to, are turning out true
 
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Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
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Bangalore
Isn't this counter to logic? You sell off what earns you bucks and twiddle fingers with the zombie of a loss-making enterprise?


We need to get private sector in Goods sector as soon as possible and as much as possible because the current system even though is not making loss, is not competitive enough to grab a larger share from long route truckers in India. Even with DFC where the average speed was envisioned to be 75kmph with top speed of 110kmph from the current below 30kmph average speed, internal studies have actually revealed that even when fully commissioned the speed will not increase as much as it should. Once we get the private sector , with atleast 2 major players in the goods sector, that will give a flip to the way goods are transferred and bring down costs. Within the auspices of government that can never be fully attained.

2. On the services to lower middle and poor class, modern signalling, pure LHB coaches with safety features itself will be more than enough.

3. We are not born any different. The economics and policies which have been successful in other countries during their growth , will surely work here.

And you cannot really blame the private sector unless you fully give them a chance actually.
 

Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,205
1,972
Bangalore
If IR bears the cost of laying infrastructure, then why should IR not get the benefit of goods segment as you yourself said, it is the cash-cow segment. That isn't illogical?

Just about not making a loss is not actually making profits. As much as I would like it to be, it's not really a cash cow . And it's a great way for the government to raise a big amount for projects which are of national importance but not economically viable so as to get any meaningful private sector involvement.

PS: I want the operations part to be fully privatised, not the ownership/nodal agency.
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Just about not making a loss is not actually making profits. As much as I would like it to be, it's not really a cash cow . And it's a great way for the government to raise a big amount for projects which are of national importance but not economically viable so as to get any meaningful private sector involvement.

PS: I want the operations part to be fully privatized, not the ownership/nodal agency.
1. Freight ops is indeed cash-cow of IR, it's not only giving income money more than the investment done against its infrastructure(dedicated or otherwise) but also major factor in subsidizing the passenger category cost and still profitable.

2. Current freight average speed is well above 30s and if I am correct, well above 40 kmph as well. That is considering the old alignments resulting in more halts.

3. India has already migrated to LHB only coach manufacturing now and remaining ICF coaches are being converted into LHB based train rakes as we speak.

4. 6084 (96% of total Stations) Stations on Indian Railway equipped with modern Electrical/Electronic Signalling Interlocking System as on 29022020.

5. Electronic Interlocking being adopted in train operation and to enhance safety, 1913 stations provided with Electronic Interlocking till 29022020.

Given by the Piyush Goyal on 13 MAR 2020. What you are asking for has already been in the works since last few years. Hence please refer to post 891 which gives probably most logical & equal playing field to private sector as well IR (no monopoly organization will accept even that). Another fun fact, active manpower of IR is very much lower than the data available till few years back when we used to hear it has 16 lakhs approx employee. Crucial fact, not many of these numbers & designations are on-roll employee based anymore.
 

vingensys

Active member
May 9, 2019
175
120
Cherpalcheri
We need to get private sector in Goods sector as soon as possible and as much as possible because the current system even though is not making loss, is not competitive enough to grab a larger share from long route truckers in India. Even with DFC where the average speed was envisioned to be 75kmph with top speed of 110kmph from the current below 30kmph average speed, internal studies have actually revealed that even when fully commissioned the speed will not increase as much as it should. Once we get the private sector , with atleast 2 major players in the goods sector, that will give a flip to the way goods are transferred and bring down costs. Within the auspices of government that can never be fully attained.

2. On the services to lower middle and poor class, modern signalling, pure LHB coaches with safety features itself will be more than enough.

3. We are not born any different. The economics and policies which have been successful in other countries during their growth , will surely work here.

And you cannot really blame the private sector unless you fully give them a chance actually.

1. Seems like getting private sector to operate is the end in itself, I get it. in the midst of this, there exists China(PRC) with streamlined logistics, having its entire rail ops under the Govt. Also investing even in niche sectors too. Leaving that aside, this raises the fundamental question regarding the model of operations.

Should the track be privatized too? Or should a Japan/ Britain model be followed? If former, do you expect the investment over the long term in tracks to be positively recouped? Or if it is the latter, would we end up in the great state of affairs that prevail in erstwhile BR territory? Strategic control of operations is a question but Power grid has already provided a pro-privatization solution, so I guess that is settled already

2. Did you process what I had argued through? You end up selling the only profit making vertical of your organisation. You are left to operate the most inefficient and least revenue generating vertical which used to be subsidised by the sold one. Now how on earth are you proposing the continuation of the then IR? In contrast what Air India is facing now would be a walk in the park.

3. We are not born different is not an answer to my emperical observation that privatization hasn't turned out to be the panacea that every one thinks it to be. By your logic we aren't any different from Russians either. What makes you think this wouldn't end up similar to the shock treatment years? in fact the quality of Indian capitalism(or crony capitalism ??) inspires no confidence in this turning out like the splitting up of AT&T Bell in US rather the chances are more towards a MTS or Bashneft like oligarchies
 

Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,205
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Bangalore
If we really want to follow the development models outside, we need to follow proven contemporaries, not China imo. Japan, Germany and USA are great case studies. For Goods transportation, USA model can be very well implemented, albeit in electrified manner.

On selling (the operations part) the only profit making portion is important. 3-4 decades down the line we need to have least number of Government controlled entities with highly competitive private firms replacing them. If it were not for the poor or lower middle class , I would have been pro selling off the Operations of whole Railways.

Government's task is not to operate a certain business , it's task is to govern, create and implement fair policies.

On the last part, It's government's task to ensure that the businesses are properly and fairly regulated while not actually itself conducting the business.
 
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vingensys

Active member
May 9, 2019
175
120
Cherpalcheri
If we really want to follow the development models outside, we need to follow proven contemporaries, not China imo. Japan, Germany and USA are great case studies. For Goods transportation, USA model can be very well implemented, albeit in electrified manner.

Why Germany when DB is still a semi-govt entity?
Why is China not really a contemporary? I'm seriously intrigued by this suggestion.

In endorsing USA Model, did you forget that even Japan and UK haven't sold their tracks. Care to explain the modalities of equal and fair access of track network? Mini cartels being spawned off isn't really efficiency. In India, due to shorter distances involved, there is fairly a higher probability of multiple railways accessing each other's tracks. Even in electricity distribution, Govt Of India has retained nominal control of Grid & its Ops.
In USA trains can pretty much operate within their networks without needing to venture out to other operator's territory. We aren't USA and hence this fascination with imported models wouldn't, with a high probability, translate to on ground operations.
You must be amply aware of the travails in goods transit from one network to the other in USA at places like Chicago.

On selling (the operations part) the only profit making portion is important. 3-4 decades down the line we need to have least number of Government controlled entities with highly competitive private firms replacing them. If it were not for the poor or lower middle class , I would have been pro selling off the Operations of whole Railways.

What has been the result of selling Railways around the world to private entities?
Care to go through the history Of British rail, a setup which lies close to our system?Also what the status of railway ops in Britain now? With mini bus like contraptions called trains serving commuter routes? What Thatcher couldn't you are assuring Goyal would.

Its all philosophical and conservative to cry out minimum government, but real world is a bit different I guess.

Government's task is not to operate a certain business , it's task is to govern, create and implement fair policies.

On the last part, It's government's task to ensure that the businesses are properly and fairly regulated while not actually itself conducting the business.

"Govt shouldn't be in business" - How is that philosophy implemented across the world in railways? All the advancements in rail post ww2 have been brought about by govt funded or govt organizations. Right from JR's Shinkansen to SNCF and others. Care to give a good example of a fairly large network completely off the state, including operations and tracks except the north america?
 
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Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,205
1,972
Bangalore
Why Germany when DB is still a semi-govt entity?
Why is China not really a contemporary? I'm seriously intrigued by this suggestion.

In endorsing USA Model, did you forget that even Japan and UK haven't sold their tracks. Care to explain the modalities of equal and fair access of track network? Mini cartels being spawned off isn't really efficiency. In India, due to shorter distances involved, there is fairly a higher probability of multiple railways accessing each other's tracks. Even in electricity distribution, Govt Of India has retained nominal control of Grid & its Ops.
In USA trains can pretty much operate within their networks without needing to venture out to other operator's territory. We aren't USA and hence this fascination with imported models wouldn't, with a high probability, translate to on ground operations.
You must be amply aware of the travails in goods transit from one network to the other in USA at places like Chicago.



What has been the result of selling Railways around the world to private entities?
Care to go through the history Of British rail, a setup which lies close to our system?Also what the status of railway ops in Britain now? With mini bus like contraptions called trains serving commuter routes? What Thatcher couldn't you are assuring Goyal would.

Its all philosophical and conservative to cry out minimum government, but real world is a bit different I guess.



"Govt shouldn't be in business" - How is that philosophy implemented across the world in railways? All the advancements in rail post ww2 have been brought about by govt funded or govt organizations. Right from JR's Shinkansen to SNCF and others. Care to give a good example of a fairly large network completely off the state, including operations and tracks except the north america?
Fair points 👍