Nov 25, 2013

Over 1.3 lakh used Delhi Metro to reach Trade Fair

New Delhi: Over 1.3 lakh people took the Delhi Metro to reach Pragati Maidan on Sunday to visit the ongoing India International Trade Fair, recording an all time high footfall.

“At 6 PM today Pragati Maidan station recorded footfall (entry and exit) of 1,32,160, an all time high. Another 50,000 footfall is expected in the remaining hours of the day,” a DMRC spokesperson said.

Last year, the highest footfall was recorded at 1,07,000. The average footfall of Pragati Maidan on regular days is around 25,000.

The overall ridership at 8 PM today stood at 16.22 lakh. Last Sunday at 8 PM it was 14.52.

Senior officials and staff at Pragati Maidan station and inside Trade Fair area are facilitating and guiding passengers since morning, the spokesperson said.

Crowd and ticket management, including security checks are all being managed smoothly and it is ensured that no passenger or visitor faces inconvenience, he added.

Inside Trade fair DMRC officials are also guiding and making announcements for the visitors to purchasemetro tickets/cards from special counters inside gate 10 of Pragati Maidan to avoid last minute rush at the station, spokesperson said.

Source..Rail News

NFR to run Special Train on 338th Sohidi Divas of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib

Guwahati: The Northeast Frontier Railway will run a Special Train from Dibrugarh to Dhubri on December 4 on the eve of the 338th Sohidi Divas (Martyrdom Day) of Sri Guru Tej Bahadur Sahib Ji, the ninth Guru of the Sikhs.

The occasion will be celebrated with a three-day programme at Dhubri Gurudwara Sri Guru Tej Bahadur Sahib Ji here under the auspices of Sikh Pratinidhi Board, Eastern Zone, from December 5-7. NFRGeneral Manager R.S. Virdi today said the special train would leave Dibrugarh on December 4 and reach Dhubri the following day.

“This direct special train was sanctioned to minimise the rush of devotees who visit Dhubri Gurudwara during Sohidi Divas,” he said.

The secretary of Sikh Pratinidhi Board, Sardar Kulwant Singh, expressed gratitude to NF Railway for sanctioning the special train which would help devotees.

“We appeal to the devotees and people of all communities to avail this special train to reach Dhubri. It willembark on its return journey on December 7 from Dhubri and reach Dibrugarh the following day,” he added.

Singh said various programmes have been organised to celebrate the event.

An Akhand path will begin on December 5 and a nagar kirtan (procession in the town) will be taken out on December 6. Guru-ka-langar will be served all the three days.

Besides, a mass marriage will be solemnised for the first time at the Gurudwara.

Singh sought the co-operation of the Dhubri district administration, police department and people to make the grand celebration a success.

Source..Rail News

Shifting of Tipu Armoury on Srirangapatna-Mysore Section to take 4 more months; Director/Archealogy

Mysore: The first of its kind initiative to shift a heritage monument – an armoury of Tipu Sultan period in Srirangapatna has hit a road block with no takers for the Rs.11.50 crore project.

The project of translocating the armoury from its current position near the city railway station to a distance, 100 metres away to facilitate railway track doubling work will not be completed by December as scheduled. In the first round of tendering process that began last month, no one has volunteered to take it up. The project was cleared by National Monuments Authority (NMA) in January.

“The first round of tendering process was started last month and no firms have come forward till now. So, we have decided to continue and extend dates so that some firm takes it up. We are putting serious efforts to ensure we find a bidder. As this is new to the country, we haven’t found any one,” a senior state archeology department official over seeing the process of translocation told.

The method the state archaeology officials have finalized proposes shifting of armoury, which measures about 40 feet in length and 30 feet in width with one meter thick walls without any disturbance to the structure. Unlike the heritage structures, which are made of stones and involves three major steps of numbering, dismantling and resetting while being translocated or during conservation, this 18th century structure has posed a challenged as it is made of bricks and lime mortar. The main structure is built on a pebble structure over a 15 feet foundation.

The proposal states that a new foundation would be built at a distance of 100 meter away. The existing structure, which weighs around 1,000 tonnes with a 15 feet height wall, would be translocated using skidding method on wheels to the new foundation built to fit the structure.

Tenders estimated a budget of about Rs.11.50 crore. “This is a unique method which is first in country. It will take another three months beyond the scheduled date, as the firm is yet to be finalized,” Dr.R.Gopal, Director, State Archaeology Department told.

Source..Rail News

8 Selected as Brand Ambassadors of Hyderabad Metro Railway

The brand ambassadors campaign for Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) came to end with unveiling of eight persons as the brand ambassadors on Saturday.

The Hyderabad Metro Rail Brand Ambassadors Campaign was conceptualised and promoted by L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited. It was a unique platform created to bring all denizens of Hyderabad to be completely involved with Hyderabad Metro Rail Project.

The campaign was aimed at finding the right flag bearers for Hyderabad Metro Rail from the denizens of Hyderabad to represent various genres – school students, college students, senior citizens, housewives, executives and entrepreneurs.

The eight brand ambassadors were selected through a stringent format and methodology, carried out in various phases to select the right set of HMR brand ambassadors.

This event is the culmination of the selection process, followed by HMR brand ambassadors taking centre stage in representing the Hyderabad Metro Rail.
Source..Rail News



HS2 Bill to kick off rail project

The Government is publishing a Hybrid Bill today to get the first phase of the £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail project up and running.

As ministers and supporters of the controversial scheme set out its benefits to the UK, opponents of the project will gather for a rally outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.

Today's Bill will, if all goes to plan, enable the building of the first phase of HS2 which is costing £42.6 billion, plus £7.5 billion for the trains.

The first phase, to be completed by 2026, comprises a high-speed line running from London through Tory heartlands in the picturesque Chilterns to Birmingham.

A second phase, to be completed by 2032/33, envisages a Y-shaped extension of the line, taking it from Birmingham to north west and north east England.

Staunchly supported by some and vehemently attacked by others, the project has been dogged by claim and counter claim as to its eventual benefit to the UK on a rail network that is already struggling to cope with passenger numbers.

Today's rally is being organised by the Stop HS2 group with demonstrators expected to come from as far away as Cheshire and Yorkshire.

Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said: "With the widespread criticism of HS2 from independent bodies, it is quite depressing that MPs and Lords speaking for the project recently are so ill-informed and unwilling to listen to the exceptionally sound arguments which make it clear HS2 should not go ahead.

"People from up and down the HS2 route are descending on Parliament, not to say they don't want HS2 to come near their homes, but to say that they have studied the plans and justifications for HS2 and that it should be scrapped completely. It is sad that people in affected communities know more about HS2 than the majority of Parliamentarians know about what HS2 means, and we hope to change that."

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "HS2 is absolutely vital for this country, providing a huge economic boost which will generate a return on investment that will continue paying back for generations to come.

"Over the last 15 years the number of long-distance rail journeys in this country has doubled to 125 million a year and without HS2 the key rail routes connecting London, the Midlands and the north of England will soon be overwhelmed.

"This Bill is a crucial step which will give the Government the powers to start construction, get HS2 built and get on with providing the rail capacity this country needs."

Former Labour cabinet ministers Lord Mandelson and Alistair Darling have expressed reservations about HS2 but Labour seems set to back the Bill in Parliament.

Shadow transport secretary Mary Creagh said today: "Labour supports HS2 because we must address the capacity problems that mean thousands of commuters face cramped, miserable journeys into Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and London.

"However, three years of Government delays and mismanagement has caused costs to balloon. Incompetent ministers have only just launched the consultation on phase 2 of the route, despite the fact that it was being worked on when Labour were in government.

"Our message to David Cameron is clear. Get a grip on this project, get control of the budget and get it back on track."

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: "This Bill is a key milestone in delivering an important piece of national infrastructure investment.

"HS2 will tackle the looming capacity crunch on the West Coast mainline, connect some of our biggest cities and bring significant economic benefits. We would urge politicians on both sides of the House to back this important project."

HS2 Ltd spokesman Ben Ruse said: "HS2 is the country's largest ever project. As such it warrants debate.

"However, we must be clear that HS2 will yield hugely significant benefits while addressing the cripplingly strained transport network. Those that oppose HS2 are risking the very future of the country."

Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers' union Aslef, said : " We believe Britain needs not only a new high speed rail line but a high speed rail network.

"We would, ideally, like to see HS2 run the length of the United Kingdom, being built from Scotland and the south at the same time, meeting in the middle, linking HS1 (the Channel Tunnel high-speed link) and going via Heathrow.

"The number of passengers on our railways has doubled since 1995 while rail freight traffic has risen by 65% over the same period. The existing rail network is operating at near full capacity and neither new motorways nor domestic air travel are environmentally sustainable options to meet the mobility requirements of a British population expected to grow by 10 million by 2033."

An anti-HS2 group, the HS2 Action Alliance (HS2 AA), said the business case for HS2 had "eight fatal flaws". The group's director, Hilary Wharf, described the scheme as "a £50 billion vanity project project that generations of taxpayers will be paying for with little or no benefit"

A recent report from consultants KPMG said HS2 would boost the economy by £15 billion a year. KPMG bosses defended their report when they appeared earlier this month before the House of Commons Treasury Committee.

However, transport economists told the committee they disagreed with the £15 billion prediction, with one saying the key calculation behind the figure was "essentially made up".

KPMG chiefs are due to appear before MPs again tomorrow - this time before the House of Commons Transport Committee which will also be taking evidence from Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

Source..Rail News

Aurizon and GVK Hancock agree on rail

RAIL freight company Aurizon and Gina Rinehart's part-owned Queensland coal company have agreed on a rail solution to develop the Galilee Basin as part of a $6 billion plan.

The rail and port development aims to unlock the Galilee Basin coal reserves and help support the next phase of coal growth in the Bowen Basin.

Aurizon and Mrs Rinehart's joint-venture company, GVK Hancock, plan to develop and manage a port and rail project with the capacity to ship 60 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

Under the newly agreed proposed rail solution, 300km of track will be constructed before connecting into existing Aurizon infrastructure.

This will also allow a phased development at the Abbot Point T3 terminal and reduce initial cost of infrastructure.

The joint venture partners have not released figures on the transaction but said the southern rail connection would be able to carry trains of up to 25,000 tonnes and be open to other miners.

The projects involve a new rail project and a development right for a coal terminal at Abbot Point, near the town of Bowen.

"Collectively the proposed development of the rail and port infrastructure is expected to attract an investment for Queensland in the order of $6 billion and provide over 1,300 jobs during construction and around 300 long-term jobs once operational," a joint statement said.

Aurizon shares gained five cents to $4.74.

Under the proposed framework, Aurizon will acquire a 51 per cent interest in Hancock Coal Infrastructure Pty Ltd (HCI), which owns GVK Hancock's rail and port projects.

Chairman of GVK, Dr G V Krishna Reddy, said the company had spent a considerable amount of time with the senior management of Aurizon over the past few months.

"This milestone symbolises our common vision and I look forward to progressing this historic infrastructure development with Aurizon," Mr Reddy said.

Aurizon managing director Lance Hockridge said the agreement brought the partners a step closer to providing the primary rail and port solution for the Galilee.

"We're pleased this also aligns with government objectives - getting early tonnes out of the Galilee, at lower cost," he said.

Source..Rail News

Plan for rail link to Nepal: Kharge

GORAKHPUR: Railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge flagged off DEMU train between Badni and Gorakhpur on Sunday. He also inaugurated Naugad as Adarsh railway station and laid the foundation for developing Shohratgarh railway station as Adarsh railway station.

He said that the government is planning to connect Indian cities with Nepal through rail.

Kharge inaugurated the conversion of Naugad railway station into a model railway station. "Naugad railway station is an Adarsh railway station with better passenger amenities," he said.

The area of Poorvanchal is densely populated and transportation is a matter of concern. With the DEMU train and upgrading of passenger amenities at Naugad station and Shohratgard stations, the people of the area will be benefited. DEMU train will also run in Poorvanchal. The train will run thrice from Badni to Gorakhpur. The train will not run on Sunday.

"Rs 35 crores was sanctioned for NER in the rail budget among which Rs 10 crores is sanctioned for Gonda-Badni broad gauge rail track," he said.

"The government is planning to connect Jammu and Kashmir through rail and it is also planning to connect districts near border with Nepal through rail," he said.

MP Jagdambika Pal said: "The DEMU train is six-day train. We demand a train between Badni and Gorakhpur on Sunday so that in absence of DEMU train on that day, people could commute easily."

Maharajganj MP Harshvardhan Singh demanded a DEMU train between Nautanwa and Gorakhpur.

"Soon Sidharthnagar district will be connected with cities like Gonda and Lucknow as the work between Badni and Gonda on broad gauge rail track is on at war footing and it will be completed this year," Kharge said.

NER general manager KK Atal, member mechanical, Railway Board, Devi Prasad Pandey, DRM Lucknow division, Anoop Kumar and others were present.
Source..Rail News

Southern Railway announces 90 special trains for Sabarimala

CHENNAI: Southern Railway will operate several special trains, starting on November 25, to meet the rush during the Sabarimala pilgrim season.

Advance reservations will start on November 20.

Train No 06001 Chennai Central - Kollam Superfast weekly special (via Coimbatore) will leave Chennai Central at 3.15pm on Mondays (November 25, December 2 ,9, 16, 23, 30 and on January 6,13,20) and arrive at Kollam at 5.45am on Tuesdays. In the return direction, Train No 06002 Kollam-Chennai Central weekly special will leave Kollam at 10.45am on Tuesdays (on November 26, December 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and on January 7, 14, 21) and arrive at Chennai Central at 3.45am on Wednesdays.
Source - TOI





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