Indian Railways Junction

RISING SUN

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Alstom delivers 100th locomotive to the Indian Railways in Rs 25k-crore deal​

Alstom, a leading sustainable mobility provider, has successfully manufactured and delivered the 100th electric locomotive to Indian Railways despite challenges posed by Covid-19. The delivery is part of the contract worth €3.5 billion (Rs 25,000 crore), signed between the ministry of railways and Alstom in 2015 which led to the creation of a joint venture for the project and the largest foreign direct investment project of the Railways. The company will be supplying 800 fully electric high-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 HP (9 MW) for freight service, capable of hauling 6,000 tonne at a speed of 120 km/hr.

Deployed for operations on major freight routes, including Dedicated Freight Corridors, the Prima T8TM WAG-12B e-locos have already clocked over close to 5 million kilometres hauling a wide range of commodities. These locomotives also made the inaugural run on the first fully operational sections of the DFC in December 2020. Some of the key commodities moved by these e-locos incluMade — coal, cement, food grains, fertilisers, petrochemical products, minerals, and posts/parcels, across 17 states and two Union Territories.


This project was a first-of-its-kind ‘Make in India’ initiative to pave the way for bringing advanced innovation and technology to the country. The Prima T8TM WAG-12B e-locos are built at an integrated green field manufacturing facility at Madhepura (Bihar). The site has installed production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum and Alstom has progressively achieved over 85% indigenisation.
 

RISING SUN

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Dec 3, 2017
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Alstom delivers 100th locomotive to the Indian Railways in Rs 25k-crore deal

Alstom, a leading sustainable mobility provider, has successfully manufactured and delivered the 100th electric locomotive to Indian Railways despite challenges posed by Covid-19. The delivery is part of the contract worth €3.5 billion (Rs 25,000 crore), signed between the ministry of railways and Alstom in 2015 which led to the creation of a joint venture for the project and the largest foreign direct investment project of the Railways. The company will be supplying 800 fully electric high-powered double-section locomotives of 12,000 HP (9 MW) for freight service, capable of hauling 6,000 tonne at a speed of 120 km/hr.

Deployed for operations on major freight routes, including Dedicated Freight Corridors, the Prima T8TM WAG-12B e-locos have already clocked over close to 5 million kilometres hauling a wide range of commodities. These locomotives also made the inaugural run on the first fully operational sections of the DFC in December 2020. Some of the key commodities moved by these e-locos incluMade — coal, cement, food grains, fertilisers, petrochemical products, minerals, and posts/parcels, across 17 states and two Union Territories.


This project was a first-of-its-kind ‘Make in India’ initiative to pave the way for bringing advanced innovation and technology to the country. The Prima T8TM WAG-12B e-locos are built at an integrated green field manufacturing facility at Madhepura (Bihar). The site has installed production capacity of 120 locomotives per annum and Alstom has progressively achieved over 85% indigenisation.
Indian Railways induct 100th WAG 12000 HP locomotive
In a boost to the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative, Railways have inducted the 100th 12000 HP WAG locomotive manufactured by Madhepura Electric Locomotive (MELPL) at one of India’s largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facilities.

These locomotives are state of the art IGBT based, 3 phase drive and 12000 horsepower electric locomotive which will help to decongest the saturated tracks by improving the average speed and loading capacity of freight trains. With twin Bo-Bo design having 22.5 tonnes) axle load and upgradable to 25 tonnes with a design speed of 120 kmph, these electric locomotives are playing a key role in revolutionizing the freight movement in the country.

It will help to decongest the saturated tracks by allowing faster, safer and heavier freight trains to move across the country, as well as improve the loading capacity. “So far, these e-locos have traversed across all railway divisions and are performing well. We look forward to more such delivery milestones,” a railway statement said.

These locomotives are proving to be a game-changer for further movement of coal trains for the Dedicated Freight Corridor. They can be tracked through GPS for its strategic use through embedded software and antennae being lifted through the servers on the ground through a microwave link.

Railways have entered into a procurement cum maintenance agreement with MELPL. These WAG 12B e-Locos have already clocked over 4.8 million m hauling a wide range of commodities across 17 states and 2 Union Territories.
 
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RISING SUN

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Indian Railways records highest electrification of sections covering over 6000 RKM in 2020-21​

Electrification in the Indian Railways Network: In the last seven years, Indian Railways has continued to be the key driver of the economy, Piyush Goyal recently said. According to the Railway Minister, the national transporter has been at the forefront of transforming the rail network by upgrading passenger services, enhancing freight performance, expanding connectivity across the country as well as strengthening the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Railway Ministry, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the national transporter recorded the highest ever electrification of sections across the Indian Railways network in fiscal 2020-21.

During the financial year 2020-21, Indian Railways achieved the highest ever electrification of sections, covering 6015 Route Km (RKM) in a single year, surpassing the previous highest of 5,276 RKM achieved in the year 2018-19. During the period between May 2019 to March 2021, the total Broad Gauge (BG) routes of 10,364 RKM was commissioned. The Railway Minister further stated that end-to-end connectivity was provided on many important railway routes by electrification of missing links along with the first time Indian Railways’ connectivity to the North-East part of the country. The national transporter has planned to fully electrify its rail tracks by December 2023. Earlier, the ministry had said that the total rail electrification would contribute to “net zero” emissions by the year 2030 by drawing its entire electrical load from the sources of renewable energy.


Following are some major sections electrified by the Indian Railways over the year:

  • Mumbai – Howrah section via Jabalpur
  • Delhi – Darbhanga – Jaynagar section
  • Gorakhpur – Varanasi section via Aunrihar
  • Jabalpur – Nainpur – Gondia – Ballarshah section
  • Chennai – Trichy section
  • Indore – Guna – Gwalior – Amritsar section
  • Delhi – Jaipur – Udaipur section
  • New Delhi – New coochbehar – Srirampur Assam section via Patna and Katihar
  • Ajmer – Howrah section
  • Mumbai – Marwar section
  • Delhi – Moradabad – Tanakpur section

 

Ankit Kumar

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Some weeks ago I had travelled to Gokarna/Goa on weekend from Bangalore via train. EMD was hauling the train throughout but I could see earth works for installation of poles on numerous places along the line. Konkan line should see some sections opening under wires by mid of 2022. But while returning, the journey was from interior of Karnataka, again behind an EMD, but there the non electrified section didn't had much works going on.
 

RISING SUN

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‘Make in India’ boost! Indian Railways exports another 3000 HP locomotive to Mozambique​

Boost to Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ policy! Giving a push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has exported another ‘Made in India’ locomotive to Mozambique. Recently, the Railway Minister announced that despite COVID-19 challenges, Indian Railways has exported a 3000 HP Locomotive to Mozambique, in addition to two locomotives that were exported in March 2021. Goyal, in the month of March, flagged off 3000 HP Cape Gauge loco via video conferencing, which was indigenously manufactured by Banaras Locomotive Works in Varanasi.

In March, the Railway Ministry had stated that the locomotives’ export to Mozambique will boost the Indo-African relationship as well as pilot the economic empowerment through export. The national transporter had exported the first batch of two locomotives in March as part of total order of six locomotives of 3000 HP cape gauge as well as 90 stainless steel passenger coaches to the African nation. According to the Railway Ministry, some of the key features of 3000 HP Cape Gauge locomotives are:


It is capable of hauling 2255 ton at a speed of 100 km per hour at level track and maximum tractive effort of 400N.

This locomotive’s driver cabin is Noise Vibration and Harshness standard compliant having ergonomically designed seats, very good acoustics, integrated Graphic Driver Display. Also, it is provided with Heating Venting AC.

Other facilities include on board water-closet (toilet module), hot plate and refrigerator.

The loco’s control console has been designed as well as developed for right hand drive.

It has also been equipped with Computer Controlled Brake system (CCB 2.0) to ensure the highest safety standards, maintainability and reliability.

Larger fuel tank of 6000 liters has been provided for longer operation.

For ensuring corrosion resistance, stainless steel pipes have been used.

These locos are cost-effective and they are at par with international standards
 

RISING SUN

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With 4G nod for railways, global rail major Wabtec eyes tie up for train safety in India​

Global rail equipment companies are eyeing business opportunities in India, which recently decided to give 4G spectrum for communication on Indian Railways to help the network adopt safety systems to prevent accidents.

Wabtec, one of global majors in the sector, is keen to tie up with Indian companies in implementing Automatic Train Protection Systems (ATP).


The Indian Railways is implementing the Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) on its tracks. This indigenous ATP system, developed by the Indian Railways in association with local manufacturers, has already been installed on Lingampalli-Vikarabad-Wadi and Vikarabad-Bidar section (250 Route km) of South Central Railway. Another 1,199 Route km on South Central Railway is also on track.

Wabtec says its ‘positive train control’ (PTC) launched in 2008, is a proven technology in the United States and is operational on more than 120,000 km of network. "We are looking at whether we can work with some of the Indian companies who are designing the TCAS solution right now. This will help them leapfrog the technology by at least 10 years, which will speed up India's efforts to implement its new signalling system at a faster pace," said Nalin Jain, the Group President of Wabtec’s Digital Electronics Business. At present, there are three companies in India that are working on TCAS -- Medha, HBL and Kernex.

PTC gives directions to the driver on when to slow down. There is another ATP technology called European Train Control System (ETCS), which was also implemented in India on selected tracks on a pilot basis, before it shifted to TCAS.

These systems prevent accidents due to collision, jumping of signals (SPAD, or signal passing at danger, in railway parlance) and over-speeding. It continuously checks the speed of a train and activates emergency brakes if it exceeds the speed limit.

"Conceptually, all these technologies are the same. The ETCS communicates through a wayside equipment, whereas a PTC works through a satellite and Wi Fi connectivity. In TCAS, they use RFID. But they are using different modes of how information is being processed and transmitted into the locomotive from the back office control centre," Jain said.

At present, around 96 per cent of the total traffic in India runs on 34,000 km long railways lines and at least in this area the new signalling system is planned to be installed in the next five years. This is likely to see investment to the tune of Rs 25,000 crore.

Wabtec says local players can enhance their product with a tie up with an established technology like PTC.


"They are at the beginning of the curve compared to a technology which today is running at 120,000 kms. TCAS if it goes on its journey right now, will take 10 to 15 years before India could say we got TCAS installed in 60,000 km of track. Then they will evolve and keep learning. We have gone through that journey in the last 15-20 years. In terms of cost too, PTC and TCAS cost are pretty comparable. I think ETCS is probably three to four times more than that," Jain added.

Last week, the Union Cabinet had decided to provide 4G spectrum to the Indian Railways and approved the allotment of 5 MHz in the 700 MHz band to the national transporter, a move that will improve safety and increase the speed of trains. The implementation of TCAS was getting delayed because of the absence of this higher spectrum.
 
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Ankit Kumar

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So, IR is ditching ETCS L2 for TCAS which will be using 4G/LTE.

@Amal @Ankit Kumar
I hoped for the European system to be installed on atleast some select routes. But now that the regional semi high speed proposals are being worked upon and those are to include this, I am not complaining.

But the DFCs should have all the modern amenities possible.
 
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RISING SUN

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All 15 Kashmir Valley Railway Stations, including Srinagar, get integrated with 6021 Station Rail Wi-Fi Network​

All 15 Kashmir Valley Railway Stations, including Srinagar, have now got integrated with 6021 Station Wi-Fi Network of Indian Railways.


Public Wi-Fi, provided under the brand name of RailWire, is available at 15 stations (Baramula, Hamre, Pattan, Mazhom, Budgam, Srinagar, Pampore, Kakapora, Avantipura, Panzgam, Bijbehara, Anantnag, Sadura, Qazigund, Banihal) of UT of Kashmir which are spread out in four District HQs – Srinagar, Budgaon, Banihal & Qazigund.


Wi-fi was already available at 15 stations in the Union Territory of Jammu -Kathua, Budhi, Chhan Arorian, Hira Nagar, Ghagwal, Samba, Vijaypur, Bari Brahman, Jammu Tawi, Bajalta, Sangar, Manwal, Ram Nagar.


RailTel was entrusted by the Ministry of Railways to provide public Wi-Fi at all the Railway stations. The vision was to convert the Railway platform into a platform for digital inclusion. Today, the Wi-Fi Network is spread over 6000+ Railway stations across the country and this is one of the largest integrated wi-fi network in the world.


In his message on this occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industries and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said, “Wi-Fi plays a significant role in connecting the people, and is bridging the digital divide between rural and urban India at a rapid pace. Indian Railways, in association with its RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, is playing a key role in bringing high speed Wi-Fi to every corner of the country. Today, on World Wi-Fi Day, I am delighted to announce that Srinagar and 14 stations of the Kashmir Valley have become a part of one the largest integrated public Wi-Fi network in the world connecting 6000+ stations across the country. With this, all the stations of Valley now have public Wi-Fi. It is a crucial step for Digital India mission and will go a long way in connecting the unconnected. I convey my appreciation to the team Indian Railways and RailTel, which has worked tirelessly to achieve this remarkable feat.”


Commending Indian Railways for achieving this commendable feat, Dr. Jitendra Singh, Hon’ble MoS(IC) DONER,MoS, PMO,DOAE, DOS, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance & Pension said, “ Today Wi-Fi is playing an important role in connecting communities & spurring innovative solutions to help bridge the digital divide. Owing to the pandemic, the need to be virtually connected is higher than ever. Indian Railways is playing a significant role in bridging the rural divide through the station Wi-Fi network created by its CPSU RailTel. I am very happy to note that 15 stations in the Kashmir Valley in Jammu & Kashmir are now live with are now live with RailWire Wi-Fi. This will be an added amenity for the people of the region and the country. I wish everyone a very Happy World Wi-Fi day.”


Designed to offer users the best internet experience, Wi-Fi at Railway stations will be available to any user who has a smartphone with working mobile connection for KYC considerations.


Access to Wi-Fi not only connect communities but also opens up a world of opportunity for innovation and growth. This year’s World Wi-Fi Day celebration stresses on the need to accelerate access to affordable Wi-Fi to bridge the Digital Divide. India has a stark Digital Divide between Urban and rural India. RailWire Wi-Fi at stations is helping to connect the unconnected as more 5000 stations of this public Wi-Fi network are located in rural India with poor connectivity.


Indian Railways is working towards transforming railway stations into digital hub by providing public Wi-Fi at railway stations across the country and 6021 stations are live with RailTel’s RailWire Wi-Fi.
 

RISING SUN

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Manipur enters India’s railway map as first passenger train reaches the state​

According to reports, the train covered the distance of 11 km between the two northeastern stations, with railway officials onboard. The train halted briefly at Manipur’s Jiribam railway staition, where railway officials were greeted by local citizens before the national flag was hoisted accompanied by the national anthem, East Mojo reported.

Among the Indian Railways officials that reached Jiribham station from Silchar were North East Frontier (NF) Railway senior PRO Nripen Bhattacharya, and CDO Silchar, Abdul Hakim, among others.

Addressing the media, Bhattacharya said that the broad-gauge train service was extended up to Vaingaichunpao railway station from Silchar, and that the passenger train service from Vaingaichunpao to Silchar will start soon, East Mojo reported.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Saturday took to Twitter to hail the moment as “historic”. “The first trial run of a passenger train from Silchar to Vaingaichunpao in Tamenglong was successfully conducted on Friday,” he wrote in the post, adding that the “people of Manipur are immensely grateful” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Echoing him, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Union minister of state (MoS) for Development of North Eastern Region Dr Jitendra Singh also wrote in his post on Twitter that the moment was “historic”.

Notably, the Vaingaichunpao-Imphal (capital of Manipur) railway line is also under construction, East Mojo reported. Once completed, it will be the longest railway tunnel near Imphal, the report added.
 

RISING SUN

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India’s plan to become a leading rail freight force​

As international rail freight superpowers grow, India should not be overlooked. The country is not a new rail freight market. However, it is an extensive and full of possibilities market that seems to take all the proper steps towards a more competitive role. What are the latest developments taking place in India, and how could they impact international rail freight?




India’s position and rail freight capacity constitute two beneficial factors for expansion to international rail freight routes. The countries home to big container ports, like Nhava Sheva, that allow deep-sea routes to connect with hinterland rail routes. Moreover, it has a comprehensive and dedicated rail freight network facilitating the transport of goods by rail.

On top of that, the country has an immense industrial power that allows it to export products worldwide. Rail freight could also play a more active role in this through investments in other countries and the utilisation of international freight corridors. More importantly, though, India seems to strive and stay up to date with current rail freight trends that include green environmental goals.

North-South corridor​

The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a 7,200 kilometre-long freight route connecting India, Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia via ship, rail and road. The line should reduce journey times between Mumbai and Moscow from forty to fourteen days. The main objective of the corridor is to provide an alternative to the traditional routes carried out by sea through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean, and the Baltic Sea.

The International North-South Transport Corridor through Azerbaijan and Iran.
For India participating in such an international route is a great success. In practice, this means that it can utilise a route that mainly uses rail for quick access to Russia and, respectively, Europe while skipping the Suez Canal. In fact, the first train trip from Europe, and specifically Finland, towards India through the INSTC is currently in progress. The train departed from Helsinki on 21 June and is on its way to cross the borders between Azerbaijan and Iran. The total transit time between Finland and India will be around 22 days making the route even more competitive.


Interest in regional neighbours​


India seems to be pacing up developments in countries belonging to Central Asia. For instance, in December 2020, Iran and Afghanistan acquired their first rail freight link. The two countries launched the Khaf(Iran)-Herat(Afghanistan) link that was under construction since 2007. The specific rail link can expand towards Turkmenistan in the north and open the way to the Caspian Sea and the countries accessing it (Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan).

The first train departs Khaf’s rail station in Iran during the inauguration of the Herat-Khaf railway operations connecting Iran and Afghanistan.
India engaged actively in the launching of the Khaf-Herat railway line. It got involved and contributed to the integration of the project, aiming to enhance its connections with Afghanistan further and provide the country with other vital destinations, for instance, Russia. The country attempts to seize opportunities popping up in neighbouring countries when it comes to rail freight developments because it acknowledges their potential regarding further connections with important destinations and economic centres.


It might not be the easiest thing to do. That is mainly because China and its Belt and Road Initiative currently gain most of Asia’s transport and economic attention. Still, India is on the right track, exploring smaller but meaningful opportunities to reach Russia and Europe.

Transport giants invest in the country​


Another interesting aspect of India is that transport powerhouses like Maersk invest in dedicated rail services. More specifically, in late April, Maersk launched its ‘Automotive Express’ service, connecting the Garhi Harsaru Inland Container Depot near Delhi with the APM Terminals at Pipavav Port. Maersk cooperates with GatewayRail, an Indian internodal rail operator in the service that covers approximately 2,000 kilometres per trip while providing the capacity of 180 TEUs each way.

Maersk’s double-stack train in India.

Becoming the world’s largest green railways​


Nevertheless, India focuses on its internal rail freight performance too. The Indian Railways are one of the world’s largest railways at the moment, with a network of 68,000 kilometres and dedicated freight corridors crossing the country. Each year, the company carries up to 1,2 billion tonnes of freight. Simultaneously, it tries to modernise its operations and reach zero carbon emissions by 2030.


Specifically, Indian Railways find themselves in a race to fully electrify their network while running multiple projects to extend it. Furthermore, they constantly add new types of products on trains. The latest additions concern the transport of food grains and oxygen by rail, which until 2020 took place mainly by road. India wants to have the world’s largest green railway by 2030. Even if it doesn’t entirely succeed, it’s at least encouraging to see the country moving in this direction while other governments worldwide still lack behind.