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Mar 16, 2013

Result of Exam of Assistant Loco Pilot, Written Test held on 15.07.2012

Railway Recruitment Board 
st Floor MG Railway Station Building
 Ahmedabad - 380 002

No. RRB/ADI/E/R&T/01/2011/ALP Date:- 13.03.2013
 Employment Notice No. : 01/2010 (GDCE) (ALP)
 Name of the Category : Assistant Loco Pilot
Category Code : 01
 Scale : 5200-20200 + (GP-1900)
Date of Written Exam : 15.07.2012
Date of Aptitude Test : 05.11.2012 & 06.03.2013

Based on Written Test held on 15.07.2012, followed by Aptitude Test held on 05.11.2012 & 06.03.2013,
following candidates whose Roll Numbers given below (Total – 117 Candidates) are found provisionally
eligible for “Verification of Documents and Genuineness of candidature”

Date of Documents Verification - 25.03.2013 Reporting Time : 09.00 Hrs.

99015411000006 99015411000008 99015411000023 99015411000024 99015411000044
99015411000047 99015411000068 99015411000085 99015411000095 99015411000096
99015411000102 99015411000103 99015411000106 99015411000158 99015412000011
99015412000012 99015412000018 99015412000019 99015412000023 99015412000025
99015412000032 99015412000038 99015412000039 99015412000042 99015412000049
99015412000063 99015412000071 99015412000073 99015412000081 99015412000084
99015412000090 99015412000097 99015412000111 99015412000118 99015412000119
99015412000123 99015412000128 99015412000129 99015412000134 99015413000001
99015413000002 99015413000003 99015413000004 99015413000010 99015413000017
99015413000018 99015413000037 99015413000062 99015413000065 99015414000006
99015414000010 99015414000012 99015414000019 99015414000021 99015414000027
99015414000031 99015414000032 99015414000033 99015414000040 99015414000049
Total 60 (Sixty) Candidates
Date of Documents Verification - 26.03.2013 Reporting Time : 09.00 Hrs.
99015414000051 99015414000052 99015414000053 99015414000055 99015414000058
99015414000062 99015414000064 99015414000069 99015414000073 99015414000076
99015414000079 99015414000081 99015414000082 99015414000085 99015414000087
99015414000088 99015414000089 99015414000092 99015414000093 99015414000094
99015414000095 99015414000097 99015414000098 99015414000100 99015414000103
99015414000104 99015414000109 99015414000114 99015414000138 99015414000141
99015414000142 99015414000144 99015414000145 99015414000146 99015414000148
99015414000150 99015414000151 99015414000153 99015414000154 99015414000156
99015414000157 99015414000159 99015414000160 99015414000163 99015414000167
99015414000168 99015414000180 99015414000188 99015414000191 99015414000194
99015414000198 99015414000200 99015414000201 99015414000202 99015414000209
99015414000210 99015414000227
Total 57 (Fifty Seven) Candidates
1/2 No candidate is found provisionally eligible for “Verification of Documents and Genuineness of
candidature” as waitlisted candidate.
Merely calling a candidate for “Verification of Documents and Genuineness of candidature” does not in
any way; entitle them for an empanelment/appointment in the Railways.
Call letters to the provisionally eligible candidates have been issued through Speed Post / Regd. A.D.
Candidate must bring original documents along with attested copies of documents in support of Date of
Birth, Educational Qualification (Mark sheets & Certificates of Class 10th Onwards) and Caste Certificate
for SC/ST/OBC (Not older than one year for OBC) candidates in prescribed proforma.
The Result is also available at Notice Board of RRB Office as well as on RRB Ahmedabad’s Website
www.rrbahmedabad.gov.in and shall also be published in Employment News.
Utmost care has been taken during result preparation; however, Railway Administration reserves the
rights to rectify the same due to inadvertent error, if any

For more detail - log on - http://www.rrbahmedabad.gov.in/

Result of written examination held on 09/09/2012 for Cat.No. 26 – JUNIOR ENGINEER (Works) of Centralised Employment Notice No. 01/2012


On the basis of written examination held on 09/09/2012 for Cat.No. 26 – JUNIOR ENGINEER (Works) of Centralised Employment Notice No. 01/2012, the following candidates are provisionally found successful for Documents and Candidature Verification against the vacancies including 30% additional candidates. The Roll Numbers of successful candidates are given in ascending order.
CEN- 01/2012 Cat.No. Cat.No. 26 – JUNIOR ENGINEER (WORKS)
Total Vacancies- 53 (UR 26 SC10 ST 08 OB 09 EXSM 05)

Documents and candidature verification to be held on – 21/03/2013

For Result  CLICK HERE

Facilities By Indian Railway for Ladies, Handicaps and Senior Citizens in Trains

For the convenience of female passengers, handicapped persons & senior citizens, Railways have provided the following reservation related facilities in trains:-

(i) In all trains having reserved accommodation, a combined quota of two lower berths per coach has been earmarked in Sleeper, AC-3 tier and AC-2 tier classes for following category of passengers when travelling alone:-

b) Female passenger 45 years of age and above; and

c) Pregnant women

(ii) A reservation quota of two sleeper class berths has been earmarked in all trains running on non-suburban sections for handicapped persons performing their journey on handicapped concessional ticket. The person accompanying the handicapped person as escort is also allotted the berth out of this quota.

(iii) Specially designed coaches known as SLRD coaches with wider entrance doors to allow a wheel chair to enter, wider aisles and modified toilet with 4 berths, the lower two for physically challenged persons and upper berths for attendants have been attached in almost all Mail/Express trains except Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi Express Trains and Duronto Express Trains. These coaches are treated as unreserved except in case of GaribRath Trains.

(iv) In Sleeper Class, a reservation quota of 6 berths is earmarked in Mail/Express trains for ladies irrespective of age travelling alone or in a group of female passengers. Ladies special trains are also run wherever required and feasible.

(v) Rear passenger portion of guard brake van (SLR) is also earmarked for ladies in certain Mail/Express trains for ladies passengers going without reservation.

(vi) Accommodation is also earmarked for ladies & handicapped persons in Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU)/Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU)/passenger trains.

(vii) Accommodation is also earmarked for senior citizens during specified hours on suburban sections by Central & Western Railways.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha .
Source - PIB

Railways Conduct Checks to Prevent Misuse of Tatkal Tickets

Under Tatkal Scheme, tickets are sold only to genuine passengers on production of self attested photocopy of one of the prescribed proofs of identity. While booking Tatkal tickets through internet, the details of the specific proof of identity have to be indicated. The passenger has to carry the same in original during travel. Further, Tatkal scheme has been rationalized and a number of modifications have been made with a view to avoid misuse of Tatkal scheme, which include no refund on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets, non-issue of duplicate Tatkal ticket under normal circumstances, change of timings of opening of booking of Tatkal tickets, etc. 

To check the cornering of seats by touts in connivance with railway staff, preventive checks are conducted in and around reservation offices. Checks are also conducted in trains against travelling on transferred ticket. Surveillance/Monitoring of the working of reservation offices is also undertaken by installing CCTVs to prevent possible activities of touts. Railway staff, if found indulging in malpractices in connivance with touts, are taken up under the Disciplinary and Appeal Rules. During the financial year 2012-13 (upto January 2013), 2115 touts have been apprehended/prosecuted. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha .

Source - PIB

Railways take steps to ensure Punctuality of Trains

Indian Railways constantly endeavors to run trains to time and to this end Indian Railways have started monitoring the punctuality of trains using Integrated Coaching Management System (ICMS) at all the three levels viz. Divisional level, Zonal Head Quarters level and Railway Board level. This system, which is integrated with Control Office Application (COA), ensures on-line monitoring of punctuality, greater transparency as also accurate data-keeping regarding punctuality of trains. in addition to these, Indian Railways also undertakes punctuality drives from time to time and counsels staff to sensitize them regarding punctuality. 

Furthermore, with a view to ensure safe operations and the punctuality of passenger carrying trains, constant endeavors for Up-gradation of technology of track, rolling stock and signaling systems as also improvement in standards of maintenance of assets to reduce equipment failures, is undertaken. 

Railways also maintain close co-ordination with State Governments to tackle the Law and Order problems and miscreant activities, for smooth and punctual running of trains. 

There is no provision to inform passengers with confirmed reserved tickets about the cancelation of trains, at present. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha .

Source - PIB

Mar 15, 2013

Proposal to Amend Railway Protection Force Act

A proposal to amend the Railway Protection Force (RPF) Act, 1957, has been approved by the Ministry of Railways. The proposal seeks to achieve the objective of replacing the presently prevailing three tier security system of RPF, Government Railway Police (GRP) and District Police with a two tier security system of RPF and District Police over Railways. The Ministries of Home Affairs and Law & Justice have already approved the above proposal. Matter has been forwarded to the States for soliciting their opinion on the above proposal.

Security has been identified as one of the priority areas by Railways for strengthening and up-gradation. Efforts made to strengthen railway security in recent past include installation of an integrated Security System, procurement of modern security related equipment, setting up of All India Security Help Line, networking of RPF Posts and Security Control Rooms and strengthening of manpower etc. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha .


Train Travel Concession for Disabled Persons

Indian Railways grant concession to four categories of disabled persons in extreme cases i.e. (i) Orthopedically Handicapped/Paraplegic persons who cannot travel without escort (ii) Mentally Retarded persons who cannot travel without escort (iii) Completely Blind persons travelling alone or with escort and (iv) Totally Deaf and Dumb persons (both afflictions together in the same person) travelling alone or with escort. One escort is also granted same concession. Concessions are granted at stations on surrendering the copy of prescribed disability certificate. 

No age limit has been prescribed for eligibility of concession in the case of disabled persons. Indian Railways grant concessions to disabled persons on production of prescribed disability certificate irrespective of age. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Source - PIB

A regular and rigorous system of inspection of Rail Bridges

A regular and rigorous system of inspection of railway bridges is followed on Indian Railways. Under this system all the railway bridges are thoroughly inspected once a year by designated officials. In addition, the inspecting officials also inspect the bridges during their routine inspections. Rebuilding/Rehabilitation/Strengthening of bridges is undertaken on the basis of their physical condition as ascertained during regular inspections. During the last five financial years, a total number of 6011 Rail Bridges have been rebuilt/rehabilitated/strengthened in Indian Railway system. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha .

Source - PIB


To clear extra rush of passengers, Northern Railway has decided to run an Unreserved Special train no. 04061/04062 between Palwal and Sirsa as per the following programme:-

The 04061 Palwal- Sirsa Unreserved special train will depart from Palwal on 16.3.2013 (1 trip) at 05.50 p.m. to reach Sirsa at 02.30 a.m. the next day.In the return direction, the 04062 Sirsa-Palwal Unreserved special train will depart from Sirsa on 18.3.2013 (1 trip) at 09.00 a.m. to reach Palwal at 05.45 p.m. the same day.

Consisting of 19 General Class and 2 Second Class cum Luggage Van coaches, the 04061/04062 Palwal- Sirsa- Palwal Unreserved special train will stop at Balabhgarh, Faridabad Town, Faridabad, Tughlakabad, Shakurbasti, Rohtak, Bhiwani and Hisar stations enroute in both the directions.

Source - N rly

Kota-Hazrat Nizamuddin-Kota Holi Special Train

For the convenience of rail passengers during the ensuing Holi Season, Railways have decided to run Special train no. 09807/09808 Kota-Hazrat Nizamuddin-Kota Holi Special Trainas per thefollowing programme:-

The 09807 Kota-Hazrat Nizamuddin Holi Special train will depart from Kota Jn. at 09.20 p.m. from 15.03.13 to 31.03.13 to reach Hazrat Nizamuddin at 04.20 a.m. the next day. In the return direction, The 09808 Hazrat Nizamuddin-Kota Holi Special Train will depart from Hazrat Nizamuddin at 05.15 am from 16.03.13 to 01.04.2013 to reachKotaat 01.15 p.m. the next day.

Consisting of one AC 3 Tier, one AC 2 Tier cum AC 3 tier, five Sleeper Class, three General Class, , one Second Class cum luggage van and one disabled friendly second class cum luggage van coaches, the 09807/09808 Kota-Hazrat Nizamuddin-Kota Holi Special Trainwill stop at Sawai Madhopur, Gangapur City, Hindaun City, Bharatpur Jn, Mathura Jn, Palwal and Faridabad stations enroute in both the directions.

Sourc - N RLY

Some Interesting Facts You Should Know About Indian Railways

  • Railways were first introduced to India in 1853 from Bombay to Thane. In 1951 the systems were nationalized as one unit, the Indian Railways, becoming one of the largest networks in the world and today Indian Railways is the world’s ninth largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with over 1.4 million employees. 
  • Fastest train in India: New Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi Express is the fastest train in India. The all air-conditioned superfast train clocks a maximum speed of 150km/h on the Faridabad-Agra section. It also has the highest commercial speed – 89.87 km/h- and covers the 704 km New Delhi – Bhopal stretch in 7 hours 50 minutes.
  •  Slowest train in India: Metupalayam Ooty Nilgiri Passenger which runs at a speed of 10kmph, 15 times slower than fastest running train. Since this train runs in hilly region there are speed limits to comply. The one that comes close is Pratapnagar-Jambusar passenger, with a maximum speed of 12km/h and an average speed of 11km/h. It takes 4 hrs for a journey of 44 km. 
  •  Trains with most stops: The record for maximum number of stops by an Express/Mail train is held by Howrah – Amritsar Express 115 halts, followed by Delhi – Howrah Janata Express 109 halts and Jammu Tawi – Sealdah Express 99 halts.
  • Junction with most number of routes originating from it: Mathura junction with 7 routes- Broad Gauge (BG) line to Agra Cantt, BG line to Bharatpur, BG line to Alwar, BG line to Delhi, Metre Gauge (MG) line to Achnera, MG line to Vrindavan and MG line to Hathras, Kasganj. Six route junction – Bhatinda. Five route junctions – Lucknow, Guntakal, Katni, Varanasi, Kanpur Central, Villupuram, Dabhoi, and Nagpur.
  • Longest Platform: Indian Railways owns the longest railway platform in the world at Kharagpur (West Bengal) with a length of 2,733 ft (1072.5 m) in length.
  • First Railroad: The first railroad was constructed by two Indians (Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy and Jaganath Shunkerseth) and not the British.
  • Railway Network: Though it is commonly believed, India doesn’t have the largest railway network in the World. India comes fourth with approx. 64,000 km of railroad after US, Russia, and China. If the tracks were to be laid out from one point to another around the equator, it would circle it one-and-a-half times
  • .Distance Covered: The total distance covered by the 14,300 trains daily on the Indian Railways daily equals three & half times the distance to moon.
  • Worst Rail Disaster: In the Bihar train disaster on June 6, 1981, a passenger train carrying 800 or more passengers between Mansi and Saharsa, derailed and plunged into the river Bagmati while it was crossing a bridge. After five days, more than 200 bodies were recovered, with hundreds more missing that were feared washed away by the river. Estimates of total deaths range from 500 to 800 or more. It was the worst Indian rail disaster.
  • Passenger Load: The Indian Railways (IR) carries over 25 million passengers daily which is perhaps more than the entire population of Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania put together. Annually Indian Railways ferries 7.2 billion passengers (nearly 6x India’s current population).
SOURCE - India TV News

Development of 5 Railway Stations

Development of Railway Stations 
Five stations viz. Anand Vihar (Delhi), Bijwasan (Delhi), Chandigarh, Habibganj (Bhopal) and Shivaji Nagar (Pune) have been entrusted for redevelopment to Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd. these are planned for development with private sector participation by leveraging the commercial potential of land and air space around the station subject to techno- economic feasibility studies. 

Contracts for Architectural Consultancy for four stations have been awarded and the fifth is under finalization. Tender for financial and bid advisory consultant for these stations is also under finalization. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha .

Source - PIB

Transportation of Perishable Commodities by Railways

Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) together with National Horticulture Board (NHB) has developed one rake of 90 insulated containers for transportation of perishable commodities on Railway system. The aim of this was to provide safe, secure and fast transportation of horticulture produce through Railways. This rake has primarily been utilized for moving Bananas from Bhusawal in Central Railway to New Azadpur in Northern Railway in form of full rake of 80 constrainers. This service was provided till December, 2012 end whereafter there has been no demand. 

As per the assessment of National Horticulture Board (NHB), the running of this particular train brought down wastage of perishables to a negligible level. However, trade is not willing to avail the services at the prices offered to them. Issue has been reviewed and prices have been reduced. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today. 

Source - PIB

Railway Minister Delivers Key-Note Address at the Annual Conference on ‘Normalising India-Pakistan Trade’

The Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal delivered a key-note address at the two day annual conference on ‘Normalising India-Pakistan trade’ being organised by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) here today. Also present on the occasion among others were Smt. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Chairperson, ICRIER, Shri Rajat Kuthuria, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER, Dr. Salman Shah, former Finance Minister of Pakistan and Dr. Hafiz Pasha, Dean Beaconhouse NationalUniversity, Lahore and former Commerce Minister, Finance Minister and Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan.

The following is the text of Railway Minister’s key-note address:-

“It is with great honour that I stand here to participate in this conference, and am delighted to see such large number of participants from both India and Pakistan.

The theme of today’s meeting – “Normalising trade relations between India and Pakistan” - has an underlying connotation that things are not “normal”, which is in line with the perception in some sections, of generally strained relations between the two neighbours. There is, therefore, the need to commence our discussions on an optimistic note and recount the positive facets of our neighbourly relations that have grown over the years.

Mar 14, 2013

Railways minister announces 19 new trains, Extension of train services & Increase in frequency of train after Rail budget

Railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Wednesday conceded popular demands by announcing 19 new trains, but Opposition leaders remained dissatisfied – with leaders of the BJP, Left, JD (U), Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress and the BJD staging a walkout ahead of the passage of the rail budget by a voice vote in the Lok Sabha.

The extension of three trains and an increase in the frequency of five other trains have also been announced. These are in addition to the 106 new trains that Bansal had announced in his maiden budget speech on February 26.

Opposition leaders alleged that Bansal’s budget focused only on the Congress-ruled states. Responding to a two-day debate, Bansal reiterated plans to fill 1.52 lakh vacancies, while asserting that he would focus on spending the “limited resources” on rail safety and providing better services. 

Allocations for safety have been hiked 12.5% this year, as more than Rs. 41,000 crore has been set aside for the purpose against a provision of R36,500 crore last year, Bansal said.

Provisioning on passenger amenities have also been substantially hiked – from Rs. 968 crore last year toRs. 1,200 crore this year.

Countering opposition charges about discrimination, he said, “We cannot indulge in financial profligacy. We can’t indulge in the luxury which was resorted to earlier.”

New trains announced:

Delhi-Trivandrum Express (weekly),
Hatia-Yesvantpur Express (weekly),
Jodhpur-Samdari-Bhildi passenger (daily),
Mumbai-Karaikal Express (weekly) via Chennai, Nagapattnam,
Nagpur-Ajmer Express (weekly) via Bhopal, Kota, Nagada,
Okha-Nathdwara Express (weekly) via Dwarka,
Tata-Vishakhapatnam Express (weekly),
Varanasi-Shaktinagar Link Express (daily),
Chhapra-Anandvihar Express (wkly) via Jagdhatri, Sharanpur
Bilaspur-Bikram Express (Bi-weekly),
Raipur-Jammu Tawi (weekly) via Amritsar,
Durg-Chhapra Express (weekly) via Ballia,
Ernakulam-Kollam MEMU via Kottayam,
Tandur-Secunderabad MEMU,
Yashwantpur-Secundrabad (tri-weekly)

Extension of train services:

Trivandrum-Kozhikode Jan Shatabdi to Kannur
Shoranur-Kozhikode passenger to Thrisur
Patna-Sasaram Express to Bhabhua Road after development of
infrastructure facilities at Bhabua Road station

Increase in frequency:

Indore-Pune Express from three days to four days
Mangalore-Kacheguda Express (weekly) will be now bi-weekly
Lokmanya Tilak-Kochuveli Express (wkly) will be bi-weekly
Puri-Ajmer Express (weekly) via Abu Road will be bi-weekly
Karimnagar-Tirupati from weekly to bi-weekly.

Source - hindustan times

​Railway minister clears Nashik-Pune rail route

NASHIK: Union railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal cleared two new rail routes — Nashik-Pune and Manmad-Indore — during a debate on the rail budget in Parliament on Wednesday. The minister, however, failed to take any decision on the development of the railway station for the kumbh mela, which will be held in 2015-16.

Attributing the success to the people of Nashik and Malegaon for consistently demanding the two routes, City MP Sameer Bhujbal said decks have now been cleared for the new routes, but the entire project would take nothing less than eight to 10 years.

"The route will definitely bring Indore and Nashik, as well as Indore and south Indian states closer by more than 200 km. It will also promote textile and other trades between Gujarat and central and southern Maharashtra," said Bhujbal.

Dindori MP Harishchandra Chavan said, "It has been over 35 years now that we have been demanding connectivity between the two cities via Malegaon, Dhule, Shirpur, Sendhwa and Mhow. The Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments long back agreed to bear 50% of the cost in their respective areas. Maharashtra was totally ignored in the rail budget and politicians, cutting across party lines, demanded the two new routes,".

The introduction of new routes will obviously not be smooth as it will involve issues such as land acquisition. "Of course, there will be plenty of obstacles in land acquisition, but we will urge all the elected representatives to cooperate with the railways to ensure the route is created at the earliest," said Chavan.

Congratulating the MPs for their efforts in getting two rail routes sanction, the Rail Parishad expressed its regret as the Nashik Road railway station did not find any mention during the debate in Parliament. "We are happy that the routes have been sanctioned. But the station should not have been overlooked, especially in view of the forthcoming kumbh mela," Bipin Gandhi of the NGO said.
Source - Times of India


To clear extra rush of passengers during the ensuing Holi season, Northern Railway has decided to run two more Special trains nos. 04092/04091 New Delhi- Mumbai- New Delhi Superfast A.C. Special & 04094/04093 Hazrat Nizamuddin- Mumbai Central- Hazrat Nizamuddin Superfast A.C. Special Trains as per thefollowing programme:-

The 04092 New Delhi- Mumbai Superfast A.C. Special train will depart from New Delhi on 24.3.2013 & 28.03.2013 (2 trips) at 11.40 p.m. to reach Mumbai Central at 09.15 p.m. the next day.In the return direction, the 04091 Mumbai- New Delhi Superfast A.C. Special train will depart from Mumbai Central on 25.3.2013 & 29.03.2013 (2 trips) at 11.55 p.m. to reach New Delhi at 09.30 p.m. the next day.

Consisting of First A.C., A.C. 2 Tier & A.C. 2 Tier coaches, the 04092/04091 New Delhi- Mumbai- New Delhi Superfast A.C. Special train will stop at Mathura, Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur, Kota, Nagda, Ratlam, Vadodara, Surat & Borivali stations enroute in both the directions.
The 04094 Hazrat Nizamuddin- Mumbai Central Superfast A.C. Specialtrain will depart from Hazrat Nizamuddin on 23.3.2013 & 30.03.2013 (2 trips) at 11.50 p.m. to reach Mumbai Central at 09.15 p.m. the next day.In the return direction, the 04093 Mumbai Central- Hazrat Nizamuddin Superfast A.C. Specialtrain will depart from Mumbai Central on 24.3.2013 & 31.03.2013 (2 trips) at 11.55 p.m. to reach Hazrat Nizamuddin at 09.05 p.m. the next day.

Consisting of First A.C., A.C. 2 Tier & A.C. 2 Tier coaches, the 04094/04093 Hazrat Nizamuddin- Mumbai Central- Hazrat Nizamuddin Superfast A.C. Specialtrain will stop at Mathura, Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur, Kota, Nagda, Ratlam, Vadodara, Surat & Borivali stations enroute in both the directions.

In addition to above, Northern Railway has already announced to run following Holi Special trains:
  • ·04201/04202 Varanasi -New Delhi – Varanasi daily
  • ·04031/04032 Delhi Jn.- Ambala – Delhi daily
  • ·04009/04010 DelhiSaraiRohilla-Bathinda–Delhi Sarai Rohilladaily
  • ·04051/04052 Anand Vihar-Jammu Tawi – Anand Vihar tri-weekly
  • ·04012/04011 Hazrat Nizamuddin- Sainagar Shirdi- Hazrat Nizamuddin (Weekly)
  • ·04314/04313 Bareilly- Darbhanga- Barielly (Weekly) express
  • ·02208/02207 Jammu Tawi- Ahmedabad- Jammu Tawi (weekly)
  • A.C. Express
  • ·04602/04601 Amritsar- Barauni- Amritsar (unreserved weekly) Express 
  • ·04022/04021 Delhi Jn.- Patna- Delhi Jn. (bi-weekly) Express
  • ·04024 /04023 Delhi Sarai Rohilla – Darbhanga– Delhi Sarai Rohilla (Bi-Weekly) Express
  • ·04033/04034 Delhi Jn.-Udhampur-Delhi Jn. (tri weekly) Express
  • ·04203/04204 New Delhi-Lucknow-New Delhi (Daily) Express
As per the position at 4.30 p.m. on 12.3.13 berths are still available( In General Quota) in the following Holi Special Trains:-
  • Delhi-Udhampur Holi special train no 04033 in sleeper class on 22 and 25.3.13. 
  • Udhampur –Delhi Holi special no 04034 in sleeper class on 23 and 26.3.13. 
  • Delhi-Varanasi Holi special train no 04202 in sleeper class on 21& 27.3.13 and in 3 tier AC on 27.3.13. 
  • Varanasi-Delhi Holi special train no 04201 in sleeper and 3 tier AC from 21.3.13 to 27.3.13. 
  • New Delhi Lucknow Holi specoal train no 04204 in sleeper class on 27.3.13 
  • Lucknow-New Delhi Holi special train no 04203 in sleeper class from 22.3.13 to 27.3.13. 
  • H.Nizamuddin-Sai Nagar Shirdi Holi special train no. 04012 in sleeper class on 21.3.13 
  • Bareilly-Dharbhanga Holi special train 04314 in sleeper, 3 tier AC and 2 tier AC on 27.3.13 and 
  • Jammu Tawi-Ahmedabad Holi special train no. 02208 in 3 AC on 21.3.13. 

Passengers may book their tickets to travel by these special trains.
Source - n rly

Mar 13, 2013

During summer vacation, Western Railway will run summer special trains to various destinations

To facilitate passengers during summer vacation, Western Railway will run summer special trains to Indore, Okha & Bhavnagar from Bandra (T).

Bandra ( T ) – Indore Weekly Special

Train No. 09301 Bandra (T)- Indore Weekly Special train will leave Bandra Terminus at 12.25 hrs o­n every Mondayfrom 08th April , 2013 to 01st July,2013 and will reach Indore at 03.30 hrs o­n next day.

Similarly, Train No. 09302 Indore - Bandra (T) Weekly Special train will leave Indore at 17.25 hrs o­n every Sunday from 07thApril, 2013 to 30th June, 2013 and will reach Bandra (T) at 10.40 hrs o­n next day.

This train will halt at Borivali, Surat, Vadodara, Dahod, Ratlam, Nagda, Ujjain and Dewas in both direction.

It will have AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier, Sleeper class and 2nd class general coaches.

Bandra Terminus – Okha Weekly Special

Train no 09561 Bandra ( T ) – Okha weekly special train will depart from Bandra( T) at 00.15hrshrs o­n every Thursday from 4th April, 2013 to 27th June, 2013 and will reach Okhaat 21.20hrs o­n sameday .

Similarly, Train no 09562 Okha – Bandra (T) Weekly Special train will depart from Okhaat 11.25 hrs o­n every Tuesday from 2nd April, 2013 to 25th June, 2013 and will reach Bandra (T)at 07.35hrs o­n the next day .

The train halts at Borivali, Vapi, Valsad , Navsari , Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Nadiad, Ahmedabad, Viramgam, Surendra Nagar, Wankaner, Rajkot, Hapa, Jamnagar, Khambalia and Dwarkastations in both the directions.

The train will have AC II Tier, Sleeper Class and II class General Coaches.

Bandra ( T ) – Bhavnagar Weekly Special

Train no 09231Bandra ( T ) – Bhavnagar weekly special train will depart from Bandra (T)at 12.55 hrson every Monday from 8th April, 2013 to 1st July, 2013 and will reach Bhavnagar at 04.10 hrs o­n the nextday .

Similarly, Train no 09232 Bhavnagar – Bandra (T) Weekly special train will depart from Bhavnagar at 17.05 hrs o­n every Sunday from 7th April, 2013 to 30th June, 2013 and will reach Bandra (T)at 07.35hrs o­n the next day .

The train halts at Borivali, Vapi, Valsad, Navsari , Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Nadiad, Maninagar, Ahmedabad, Sabarmati , Viramgam, Joravarnagar, Botad, Dhola, and Songarhstations o­n both the directions.

The train will have AC II Tier, Sleeper Class and II class General Coaches.

The booking of train Nos. 09302/09301, 09562/09561 and 09232/09231 will open from Monday, 18th March, 2013.
Source - (Sharat Chandrayan) Chief Public Relations Officer

Augmentation of Various Express Trains by 23 coaches with immediate effect


Central Railways has decided to augment following trains o­n permanent basis with immediate effect for the benefit of passengers. The details are as under -

a) 11007/11008 Mumbai-Pune Deccan Express with o­ne second class seating

b) 12113/12114 Nagpur-Pune Garibrath Express with o­ne AC-3 tier coach

c) 12135/12136 Nagpur-Pune Express with Two sleeper class

d) 12105/12106 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai – Gondia Vidarbha Express with o­ne AC-3 tier

e) 12139/12140 Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai-Nagpur Sevagram Express with o­ne AC-3 tier and o­ne sleeper class between Mumbai and Ballarshah

f) 12157/12158 Pune- Solapur Hutatma Express with Two second class seating

g) 11025/11026 Pune-Bhusawal Express with Two second class seating

h) 12025/12026 Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi Express with o­ne Air Conditioned chair car

i) 12167/12168 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Varanasi Express with Two sleeper class and o­ne AC-3 tier

j) 11069/11070 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Allahabad Tulsi Express with Two sleeper class

k) 12107/12108 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Lucknow Express with o­ne sleeper class

l) 12161/12162 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Agra Cantt. Lashkar Express with o­ne Sleepr class

m) 12173/12174 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Pratapgarh Udyog Nagari Express with o­ne sleeper class

n) 12153/12154 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Habibganj Express with o­ne sleeper class

o) 11057/11058 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Amritsar Express with o­ne AC-3 tier and o­ne general second class between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Amritsar and also o­ne sleeper class and o­ne second class disabled coach with guard’s brake van between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Dhule.

Wait listed passengers of above trains are requested to check their booking status before commencement of journey.

Date: March 13, 2013

Source - This news comes to you from Public Relations Department, Central Railway, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai.

Food court to replace Presidency gym

KOLKATA: A swanky gymnasium, that had become the talking point of the erstwhile Presidency College, will soon give way to a trendy food court after remaining in disuse for the past one year.

Built in 2009, when the institution was yet to become a university, it was looked upon as one of the cosmetic changes that symbolized the change. The state higher education department had spent nearly Rs 10 lakh to get the historical gymkhana of the college refurbished into a modern gym. But with the change of guard at the top level, the process of this upgrade got a new impetus and many of those things initiated by the previous regime started dying a slow death.

Students and faculty members of Presidency were extremely unhappy with the gym going out of bounds despite several requests to the authorities. Those who have been doggedly pursuing the cause have recently been told that the gym will be "shifted" soon and a food court will come up in its place. This is being planned as part of the university's cosmetic uplift especially because a private coffee and a food chain have decided to wind up their businesses.

As things stand as of now, the university authorities are almost in the final throes of bringing in a new vendor who'll set up shop in the gym-turned-food court. Soon, equipment will be moved out of the gym to make space for a trendy eating zone. Indian Railways' catering company, IRCTC, is likely to set up shop in this space.

"We already have two canteens. If the university authorities feel that these are shabby or do not meet the standards, they can be upgraded. Why should they compromise with the gym? This simply means a waste of money," fumed Rahul Saha, the cricket captain of the university.

Though no concrete history of the gym is available, it is generally believed that it came into existence in the late 19th century when many students, who were also part of the freedom movement, used it for body-building. "During those days, exercising in a gymkhana was part of the urban intellectual psyche as right from Swami Vivekananda to Rishi Auribindo and Netaji, everyone believed that only a fit body can harbour a fit mind," said a faculty member who had used the gym regularly along with students. Old exercising instruments from the British times, like the Roman Rings, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bar that were part of the old gymkhana, were maintained and kept in the refurbished gym. The new-look gym also had modern instruments like treadmills, exercyclers, rubber dumb-bells for women etc.

"Games and physical fitness are just as important as studies and since the university is positioning itself as a world-class institution, it should realize this. How can you keep a gym to rust for a year?" asked Indrajit Sengupta, vice-captain of the cricket team and a member of the state squad.

Registrar Probir Dasgupta, however, said the university has better plans with the gym. "While we would split the gym and send them to the boys and girls hostels. A part of the gym would also be kept at the girls' common room so that the day scholars can use them. We have plans to buy a lot more equipment. Once this is done, the existing gym will be turned into a food court. Yes, IRCTC is an option we have in mind because being a government initiative it will be beneficial to our students both in terms of quality and price," he said.
Source - Times of India

Mar 12, 2013

Call letters issued Recruitment against Scouts & Guides Quota/Liluah

Recruitment against Scouts & Guides Quota/Liluah - call letters.

CLICK HERE to see or download the list of eligible candidates to whom Call Letters in connection with recruitment of staff against Scouts & Guides Quota by Liluah Workshop of  Eastern Railway have been issued. The written exam. will be held o­n 25 March 2013 at 12:00 hrs. at Hindi High School , Jenyns Road, Liluah, Howrah.


(M K Sinha)
Webmaster & Content Manager/ER

Summer Special Trains between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Shalimar, Sainagar Shirdi-Puri, Solapur-Jaipur via Sainagar Shirdi & Pune-Bilaspur - Bookings for Train No.08059, 02745, 08296 & 09716 open from 13.3.2013

Railways have decided to run special trains between Sai Nagar Shirdi – Puri, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Shalimar, Pune – Bilaspur and Solapur – Jaipur to clear the extra rush of passengers during summer season. The details of services as under –


02745 Saingar Shirdi – Puri Weekly special will leave Sainagar Shirdi o­n every Sunday at 13.00 hrs from 7.4.2013 to 30.6.2013 (13 trips) and arrive Puri at 22.55 hrs next day i.e. Monday.

02746 Puri – Sainagar Shirdi Weekly special will leave Puri at 23.35 hrs o­n every Friday from 5.4.2013 to 28.6.2013 and arrive Sainagar Shirdi at 08.25 hrs o­n third day i.e. Sunday.

Halts: Puntamba, Kopargaon, Manmad, Bhusawal, Akola, Badnera, Wardha, Nagpur, Gondia, Durg, Raipur, Kantasanji, Titlagarh, Balangir, Bargarh Road, Sambalpur, Angul, Talcher Road, Dhenkanal, Bhubaneshwar and Khurda Road Jn.

Composition: o­ne AC-2 Tier, Two AC-3 Tier, 9 Sleeper Class, 6 General Second Class and 2 General Second Class cum Guard’s brake vans


08059 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Shalimar weekly Superfast special will leave LTT at 00.45 hrs o­n every Friday (midnight of Thu/Fri) from 5.4.2013 to 28.6.2013 (13 trips) and arrive Shalimar at 08.20 hours next day i.e. Saturday. 

08060 Shalimar – Lokmanya Tilak Terminus weekly Superfast special will leave Shalimar at 06.00 hrs o­n every Wednesday from 3.4.2013 to 26.6.2013 (13 trips) and arrive LTT at 13.35 hrs next day i.e. Thursday.

Halts: Kalyan, Nasik, Manmad, Bhusawal, Akola, Badnera, Wardha, Nagpur, Gondia, Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Chakradharpur, Tatanagar, Kharagpur and Santragachi.

Composition: o­ne AC-3 Tier, 8 sleeper class, 6 general second class and 2 general second class cum guard’s brake vans


08296 Pune – Bilaspur weekly special will leave Pune at 14.00 hours o­n every Monday from 8.4.2013 to 1.7.2013 (13 trips) and arrive Bilaspur at 13.40 hours next day i.e. Tuesday. 

08295 Bilaspur – Pune weekly special will leave Bilaspur at 14.00 hours o­n every Sunday from 7.4.2013 to 30.6.2013 (13 trips) and arrive Pune at 11.05 hours next day i.e. Monday.

Composition: o­ne AC-2 Tier, o­ne AC-3 Tier, 10 sleeper class, 4 general second class and 2 general second class cum guard’s brake vans

Halt: Daund, Ahmednagar, Belapur, Kopargaon, Manmad, Bhusawal, Malkapur, Akola, Badnera, Wardha, Nagpur, Gondia, Rajnandgaon, Durg, Raipur and Bhatpara.


09716 Solapur – Jaipur weekly special will leave Solapur at 06.45 hours o­n every Wednesday from 3.4.2013 to 26.6.2013 (13 trips) and arrive Jaipur at 18.30 hours next day i.e.Thursday. 

09715 Jaipur – Solapur weekly special will leave Jaipur at 12.55 hours o­n every Monday from 1.4.2013 to 24.6.2013 (13 trips) and arrive Solapur at 02.00 hours o­n third day i.e. Wednesday.

Composition: o­ne AC-2 Tier, Two AC-3 Tier, 11 sleeper class, 4 general second class and 2 general second class cum guard’s brake vans

Halt: Mohol, Madha, Kurduwadi, Jeur, Daund, Ahmednagar, Belapur, Puntamba, Sainagar Shirdi, Kopargaon, Manmad, Bhusawal, Khandwa, Itarsi, Bhopal, Bairagarh, Sehore, Shujalpur, Berchha, Maksi, Ujjain, Nagda, Chaumahla, Bhawani Mandi, Ramganj Mandi, Kota, Indragarh S Mandi, Sawai Madhopur, Banasthali Niwai and Durgapur.

Reservation: Bookings for 02745, 08059, 08296 & 09716 will open from 13.3.2013.


Date: March 11, 2013.

Source - This news comes to you from the Public Relations Department, Central Railway, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai.

Rail recollections that go beyond the romance

Musings on track: Bharath Moro’s e-book Trackside is a collection of anecdotes about the Railways, from the interminable wait for delayed trains to chance encounters with strangers and the lives of railway staff. Photo: Special Arrangement
Free e-book captures the minutiae of offbeat rail travel

Like most, Bharath Moro grew up with a strong sense of the romance of the Indian Railways, associated as they are with holidays, window seats, beautiful views, and the array of edible items on sale through the journeys. All this, and more, is captured in Trackside, a collection of railway stories written by him, released online as a free e-book earlier this month.

Trackside is likely to be a railway enthusiast’s treat: its 12 anecdotes are full of minute details capturing the experience of train travel, from the interminable waiting for delayed trains to chance encounters with strangers.

Simultaneously, the collection tries to consciously move beyond the sense of romance; Mr. Moro points out there was no romance in train travel for daily commuters or the staff of the railways. So you encounter Yadaiah, a 56-year-old gangman, who walks up and down the tracks ensuring that nuts and bolts are in place. Another such encounter is with Rupa, a coal scavenger who is so poor she must eat mud for dinner on some days.

Off the map

All the places described in Trackside have railway history or significance, or are something offbeat, says Mr. Moro. For instance, Jharkhand isn’t on most people’s tourist maps. “But for the interested traveller, there is so much to see and learn,” he says.

The Bangalore-based author decides on the destinations for his travel by picking up an atlas and thumbing pages.

There’s only one other criterion: it must not be a tourist haven. “So despite being major railway places, Agra, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Goa were discarded in favour of Koraput, Jharsuguda, Vijayawada and Bodinayakannur,” he writes in the preface.

He admits that he hopes the book will inspire readers in small ways to travel to obscure locations, “and learn how it is for people who live at the margins of society.”

Cogs in the wheel

Another hope is that people gain some insights into how the Railways are run, into “the people who form important cogs in the wheel”, he says.

Mr. Moro, who works at a travel startup, says he compiled the digital book as something of an experiment, which is why the book is available for download free of cost from his website purisubzi.in
Source - The Hindu

Russian Railways to launch duty-free on trains

Russia's rail monopoly Russian Railways (RZD) plans to launch a pilot project for duty-free shops on its international trains, RZD said Monday.

Russia's rail monopoly Russian Railways (RZD) plans to launch a pilot project for duty-free shops on its international trains. AP file photoThe company hopes the project, which will be implemented by the Federal Passenger Company, a wholly-owned RZD subsidiary, will boost RZD's revenues and offset losses from its heavily subsidized passenger carriage business.

"The Moscow-Kiev train has been selected for the pilot duty-free project. The project is intended to be launched with the introduction of the summer schedule from the last Sunday of May," an RZD spokesman said Monday.

An operator for the project has been selected without a tender because this is a trial undertaking, he said, without naming the company.

"If the pilot project is successfully implemented, operators ... will be selected through a tender," the spokesman said.

The pilot duty-free project for trains running between Moscow and Kiev will run for a year, after which RZD will decide whether to extend the service to other trains, he said.

RZD announced in spring 2012 plans to organize duty-free trade on international trains, and said then it would open duty-free shops on Allegro bullet trains shuttling between St. Petersburg and Helsinki.

RZD also plans to open duty-free shops at Russian railway terminals. Head of RZD railway terminal directorate Sergei Abramov has said the first such duty-free shop will open in early 2013 at St. Petersburg's Vyborsky and then Finlyandsky railway stations. Similar shops may later be opened in all Russian railway terminals with international links.

The Russian Association of Duty-Free Operators estimates there are about 30 duty-free operators in Russia selling goods in airports and aboard passenger planes. Duty-free revenues totalled $1 billion last year, with sales aboard airliners accounting for just 10-15 percent of that sum.
Source - newi ndiane xpress

Now, book rail tickets at Mapusa post office

: Passengers can now book rail tickets from the Mapusa post office. This facility-an initiative by the Indian Railways and India Post-was inaugurated on Monday in the presence of deputy chief minister and Mapusa MLA FrancisD'Souza and North Goa MP ShripadNaik.

With the opening of the facility, the Mapusa post office will become the first post office in North Goa to have such a facility. In South Goa, the facility was commissioned at the Raia post office a month ago, while the facility will be available soon at the Cuncolim post office, sources said.

The cost of the tickets will include only the ticket fare and no commission will be charged to the customers. Only cash will be accepted at the post office counter. Mapusa post office has eight counters, and the first counter is reserved for the said facility.

"Passenger Reservation Systems (PRS) will ease the burden on railway counters and will enable local people to use the facility at their convenience" said S Shivram of India Post. While bookings at the railway station counter are accepted from 8am to 8pm, the post office facility will be available from 9am to 4pm.

"The facility will help North Goa people book tickets like tatkal. Under this facility, tickets can be booked prior to 120 days," said Sabaji Govekar, postmaster at the Mapusa post office.

Source - Times of India

Mar 11, 2013

Rail e-tickets to cost more by IRCTC

Although the rail budget did not increase the base fare after a 21 per cent hike in January, passengers will have to pay more for supplementary charges such as reservation fees, cancellation charges and Tatkal reservation fees. The change in supplementary charges will result in the railways earning an additional revenue of Rs 483 crore.

New Delhi, March 10: Railway passengers buying e-tickets will have to shell out more from April with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) deciding to pass on the service tax burden to them.

At present, the IRCTC charges Rs 10 per e-ticket for sleeper class and second sitting and Rs 20 for all other classes irrespective of the number of passengers. A maximum of six passengers can be booked per e-ticket.

A senior IRCTC official said, “We had been bearing the burden of service tax since July this fiscal. We have been paying Rs 1.20 for sleeper class and Rs 2.40 for AC classes per ticket and from April passengers will have to bear this.”

According to estimates, the IRCTC will be paying around Rs 18 crore to the government’s service tax kitty this fiscal.

Analysts said Indian Railways should offer incentives rather than penalise e-ticket buyers. They cite the example of air: websites such as Yatra.com and MakeMyTrip.com, which act as booking agents for flight tickets, offer incentives to passengers.

The IRCTC website is one of the largest e-commerce site globally with a sale of around 4.5 lakh e-tickets per day out of nearly 12 lakh tickets booked with Indian Railways.

Officials said they had petitioned to the railways to shift the service tax burden as the number of e-ticket buyers would go up substantially with Indian Railways planning to put in place the next-generation e-ticketing system by the end of this year.

The new system will be able to support 7,200 tickets per minute against 2,000 tickets per minute now. It will cater to 1,20,000 users simultaneously compared with the present capacity of 40,000 users.

Rail minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in his budget speech had said, “This will bring about a paradigm shift in Internet rail ticketing by significantly improving the end user experience with respect to ease of use, response time and capacity.”
Source - telegraph india

Pune-Mumbai section dropped from high speed rail corridor plan

In what would be another setback to Pune's connectivity and railway woes, the Railway Board has decided to do away with the Pune-Mumbai section in its high speed Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor plan. The bullet train will now run only between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

The board apparently took the decision due to financial constraints as the budget for the project was considerably shooting up because of the ghat section between Pune and Mumbai.

"It's basically a Western Railway project and very little portion of Maharashtra was being covered under it. Hence, the Maharashtra government was showing little interest in the project and was also reluctant to bear a financial burden. That is the reason why the Railway Board has decided against including the Pune-Mumbai portion in the high speed corridor," said V A Malegaonkar, Chief Public Relations Officer (PRO), Western Railway.

This would be another big blow to Pune after it got a thumbs down in the latest Union Railway Budget. The high speed corridor had a lot of significance for the city. There are a large number of businessmen who shuttle between Pune and Mumbai or Ahmedabad. The bullet train project would have brought the travel time between Pune and Mumbai down to one hour and between Pune and Ahmedabad to approximately three hours.

The project was announced in the 2009 Railway Budget but was progressing at a snail's pace for want of funds and due to technical hurdles. Recently, the project got a shot in the arm when the Indian Railways and the Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF), the French National Railways, signed an MoU for technical cooperation, under which a decision to carry out an 'operations and development' feasibility study on the high speed rail corridor was taken. SNCF also showed interest in funding the Rs 63,000-crore project with support from the country's finance ministry.

Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group said the state government still had time to act and make sure Pune was included in the project again.

"It would be a great misfortune for the city if it misses this opportunity. The state government should immediately approach the Railway Board with an attractive proposal such as easy land acquisition or funds. The project is vital for growth and development of the city and if Pune is kept out of it, it would be a huge loss to the city and its citizens," said Shah.
Source - indian express

Mar 10, 2013

The glamorous veneer of free Wi-Fi on Indian Railways

The final error of Wi-Fi on trains lies in the ‘free’ pudding. Is this a true viable project, or an attempt to show that India has arrived on the global stage?

It has been nearly a week since both the Railway and Union Budgets have been out – with the general verdict being that while not disruptive, both Budgets were the best that could be done under trying circumstances.

Both Budgets, however, were also very cleverly branded. Two images came through amidst the haze of numbers and book-balancing. One was that of modernization – a country trying to show that its rail system had indeed arrived on the global stage. The other was that of gender and social development – a country trying to do damage-control after a rape incident that reminded the world that India had not yet joined the 21st century.

There are, however, a few items from the Budgets that appear contradictory— which is perfectly natural when one considers that painting a veneer of modernization doesn’t work well when the canvas doesn’t stand on modern foundations.

Let us take the first – free public Wifi on select trains. I haven’t heard a more inane idea in quite a long time. The Railways is likely to suffer Rs. 24,600 crore loss this fiscal year, slightly up from the Rs. 22,500 crore.

A large part of these losses are to be accepted – as most public mass transit systems are not wholly profitable. Nevertheless, this near-bankruptcy is due to rising input costs such as fuel and more importantly, a near stagnant revenue stream. Implementing a large-scale public Wi-Fi network is quite a feat, even with Railtel in place, and will be an expensive public project – draining further away the Railways’ financial resources.

For who do we toil?

And for who exactly is this Wi-Fi being implemented? Some public systems of internet access have served as an economic booster – allowing more work to be done while commuting – thus raising the overall productivity of the workforce. But India has no high-speed trains, which the business-segment of the population often uses as a mode of transport. Most professionals use airplanes, as most trains are often unreliable and slow. (Another point to be interjected at this stage would be that the rapid proliferation of USB (Wi-Fi) dongles has rendered public Wi-Fi unnecessary for the business segment)

However, even if we take for granted that a large section of the working population use trains as a form of active commutation as they hop from one city to the other for business, we come to our next stumbling block. Even the six-hour journey between Chennai and Bangalore, which could conceivably have a travelling segment that would benefit from Wi-Fi for their working purposes, passes through often barren land.

In fact, the first thing one notices when making that journey is the lack of mobile phone connectivity—very often a few hours after pulling out from Chennai’s Central Station, the connection goes kaput. Even with the significant capacity in terms of bandwidth that Railtel brings to the table – this project will require tremendous infrastructural backing in the form of industry-grade routers to be even remotely viable. It will take years, even decades perhaps, to bring a Wi-Fi system that is worth browsing on. And this is if there are no ‘Router-Gates, or cable fibre scams that pop up along the way. Surely there are better ways to spend public money - this is an intiative which almost has no returns.

Why do something for free?

The final proof lies in the ‘free’ pudding however. Why miss up such an excellent opportunity to provide an additional revenue stream to the gasping Railways? It would be quite easy to provide a tiered plan (Rs. 50 per hour of Wi-Fi usage or Rs. 150 for the whole train journey) that passengers could have the option of purchasing.

It could even be integrated into the IRCTC service – as one enters ones credit card details to buy the ticket— they could have the option of purchasing Wi-Fi connectivity for the journey for a nominal sum. It could go towards paying for the inevitable maintenance costs that a project of this size would require. Why squander such a chance by making it free? Because ‘free’ is glamorous, it sounds better.

This is what truly makes it hard to believe the genuineness of the Government in this project. Free Wi-Fi on select trains is an indicator that India has finally made it to the global stage. It is an excellent tourism selling point. Perhaps it even makes us feel civilized?

The bottom line, however, is that it is a luxury that cannot be supported financially. It is also a luxury that perhaps helps us forget (or makes us feel better?) that the waste disposal system on the Indian Railways is something my five-year old sister could have designed.
Source - The Hindu

The last point on why the seriousness of this move must be doubted is the Union Budget decision to hike the duty on the sale of mobile phones that are worth more than Rs. 2,000. This is also the inherent contradiction mentioned above. Any smartphone that has limited browsing capabilities is clearly worth more than Rs. 4,000. If the Government really wishes for its citizens to jump on the Internet through free public Wi-Fi on trains, why limit the ability to purchase Internet-accessing devices?
Source - The Hindu

Extension to bring Tibet railway line closer to India

BEIJING: Chinese authorities have announced they will soon finish building an extension line of the Qinghai-Tibet railway link connecting Lhasato Xigaze. It will bring the link closer to Indian and Nepalese borders and open up new economic and military dimensions. 

"Hopefully, the Lhasa-Xigaze rail line will be completed at the end of this year or the beginning of 2014," Losang Jamcan, a member of the Tibetan provincial government, told legislators in Beijing. 

The extension covers 253km in the Himalayas and would cost $2.1 billion. It would enable authorities transport 8.3 million tonne cargo annually. The extension would improve China's capability to move tanks and other heavy military hardware to remote border region at short notice. 

Nepal has been waiting for the line's completion to boost its plans of rail connectivity with China. Kathmandu has been asking China to lay a line between Xigaze, the second largest city in Tibet, and its border. Losang said the project would facilitate the development of an ecological tourism zone that covers Lhasa, Xigaze and Nyingchi cities. 

Its construction began in September 2010, four years after Qinghai-Tibet line's completion. 

Source - Times of India


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