Jan 5, 2014

Golden Jubilee year celebrations of DLW end

Varanasi (BSB): The Railway Board member (mechanical) Alok Johari flagged off two diesel locomotives at Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) here on the concluding day of its Golden Jubilee year celebration on Friday.

One of the locomotives of 4,500 horsepower capacity named as ‘Prateek’, is equipped with ultra modernfacilities will be sent to Tuglaqabad diesel shed of Northern Railway (NR). Another locomotives of 2,600 HP capacity was the first locomotive ‘Kundan’ manufactured by DLW 50 years ago. It has been withdrawn from the rail service, and is available for exhibition only at the DLW.

Speaking on the occasion, Johari congratulated the DLW family for their achievements and also announced a prize of Rs one lakh for the employees.

Addressing the function, the DLW General Manager BP Khare highlighted the achievements of DLW and its 50-year journey. The function was also addressed by Chief Mechanical Engineer Rakesh Vatas, KB Sahay and Amlesh Srivatava.

Source..Rail News

BMC Chief takes stock of Metro corridor between Saki Naka and Ghatkopar

Mumbai: Senior Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials on Friday visited the Metro rail corridor between Saki Naka and Ghatkopar to check the passenger dispersal system and other arrangements that needs to be made before the Versova — Andheri — Ghatkopar is commissioned for public use.

Civic Chief Sitaram Kunte, Deputy Additional Municipal Commissioner SVR Srinivas and chief engineer (road) Dattatreya Dixit were among those who visited the spot.

According to an official, there are issues related to passenger dispersal system at Asalfa and Jagruti Nagar stations, which need to be sorted out with the civic body. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) wants to implement Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme (SATIS), for which changes need to be made to the road and pavement.

“The joint visit of the BMC and MMRDA officials focused on dispersal system that needs to be in place,” said Dilip Kawathkar, spokesperson of MMRDA.

A civic official said, “We are looking into issues brought to our notice by MMRDA. We will work to improve the station areas and adjacent approach roads.”

Since mid-2013, MMRDA has undertaken the SATIS project for 12 Metro stations, but had to face many hurdles due to narrow pavements and roads.

Pune railway station to get 46 advanced CCTV cameras

CCTV Cameras

Pune Jn: The railway administration is set to expand its CCTV surveillance system to more railway stations in 2014, including Shivajinagar and Miraj. At Pune station, the administration will replace the existing 33 CCTV cameras and add 12 new CCTV cameras with advanced features

The cameras will cover key areas, including entry-exit gates, parking lots, reservation counters, ticket windows and platforms.

The work of laying cables has already begun and the network of cameras is expected to be functional in the next three months. The new cameras will be able to capture a greater distance with better clarity, while the system will have increased storage capacity. As many as 14 cameras will be equipped withnight vision facility.

Sources in the administration said the expansion project would address all issues arising out of technological limitations of the existing CCTV cameras.

“Installation of advanced CCTV system is part of the integrated security system. There is a plan to upgrade security systems at more stations in the division. Stations with increasing passenger traffic will come under CCTV surveillance with priority. Shivajinagar and Miraj would have about 18 and 15 cameras respectively,” a senior official in the administration said.

Footage captured by CCTV cameras will be monitored round-the-clock by a team of railway protection force (RPF) staff and the existing monitoring room at the station will undergo minor changes after the installation of new cameras.

Meanwhile, the RPF has demanded additional staff in the backdrop of increasing train traffic. An official from the RPF said that the administration was expecting an addition to the existing fleet, adding that a proposal has been sent to the head office.

Pune station registers traffic of about 1 lakh passengers and over 150 trains, including mail, express and intercity trains, every day. The station is also a prominent junction in the western part of the country as it has direct trains to metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Source..Rail News

Railways to safeguard coaches with fire-retardant material

Textile Auxiliaries

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of frequent fire mishaps, Railways are planning to set up a fire test laboratory to develop strong fire retardant materials for coaches and make AC compartment doors operable from both sides.

Besides, it is also testing a new technology to be installed in all Rajdhani trains which will bring a train to a halt automatically in case of smoke or fire. The Jammu Rajdhani will be the first train to have a fire alarm with an automatic braking system.

The new system will be a four-layer alarm system and will be integrated with the braking system. The train will come to a halt the moment the emergency braking system is activated on detection of fire.

Railways’ production units manufacturing AC coaches have been instructed to develop AC compartment doors which are operable from both inside as well as outside. Currently, AC coach doors can be opened only from inside the compartment.

This was one of the recommendations of the Commissioner Railway Safety following the fire accident in Howrah-Dehradun Express in November 2011, said a senior Railway Ministry official.

Last month, 26 passengers were charred to death in an AC coach in the Bangalore-Nanded Express. Earlier, a fire in the Tamil Nadu Express had claimed 32 lives.

Seven persons were burnt to death in November, 2011 when a coach of Howrah-Dehradun Express train caught fire. Later, the fire spread to another coach and both the coaches were badly burnt.

Three coaches of Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express had caught fire near Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh on April 18, 2011.

New Delhi-Patna Rajdhani Express’ generator coach caught fire on the outskirts of New Delhi Railway Station in July, 2011.

“We are setting up a fire test laboratory at Research Development and Standards Organisation (RDSO) in Lucknow to have better understanding and testing the fire worthiness of various materials that go in the coach furnishing,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.

The lab will help us in developing better fire retardant materials for coaches, he said.

This is primarily aimed at giving reasonable evacuation by retarding initiation of fire and ensuring that in the case of spread of fire, loss of visibility due to smoke does not hinder evacuation.

Source..Rail News

Meet the first woman to pilot on WR’s long-distance trains

Fakhra, who is originally from Bhopal, joined the Western Railway as a loco pilot yesterday; she will be steering a freight train from Mumbai to Vadodara

Thirty-one-year-old Fakhra, who came to the cityfrom Madhya Pradesh, is yet to find an accommodation of her own in Mumbai. But on other counts, life has been on the fast track for her. She is the first woman to have become a loco pilot – that is, long-distance train driver – in the Western Railway. She is the only woman in the team of 27 people who have been chosen for the job.

For starters, she will run freight trains between Mumbai and Vadodara in Gujarat. Fakhra comes from a middle-class Muslim family from Bhopal. “My family members have been employees in the railways and have served the division for years. I, too, wanted to be part of the railways, and I decided to do something different,” she said.

Her younger brother Yasin Ahmed Qureshi has also been selected for a job in the same category in Bhopal. Fakhra shares an old memory about how she ended up being a loco pilot, which is usually considered a man’s domain. “Back in Bhopal, I had once gone to the railway workshop where my father worked. It was the Indian Railway’s 150th anniversary celebrations and I was extremely impressed with everything. I was curious about the type of work that was done in the railways,” she said.

In driver’s seat
The unconventional decision to work in the railways was not an easy one for her. But her father supported her and she took the leap, she said. “I started my training for the work last August and joined as an assistant loco pilot from Friday,” she said. At work, though, she is not insulated from the clear gender divide. “The job of a motorwoman is not easy, as she has to compete with motormen,” she said.

“Here, we are not given any special consideration because we are women. We have to work on the basis of the train schedules drawn up by the railways.” She added, “I want to be a motorwoman in Mumbai’s locals. It’s a challenging job and I would like to take it up.” Surendra Dwivedi, chief traction crew controller, Western Railway, said, “It’s a proud moment for the Western Railway to have Fakhra amid us as the first woman loco pilot.”

Ladies First:
Preeti Kumari - First motorwoman to have been directly recruited by the Western Railway
Surekha Yadav - Asia’s first motorwoman to pilot suburban trains; she started as an assistant locomotive driver before becoming a motorwoman in 2000
Mumtaz Kazi - Asia’s first female diesel engine driver
Source..Rail News


Shri Radhey Shyam has taken over as the General Manager of South Eastern Railway o­n 31st December, 2013. Prior to this, he was working as the General Manager of Chittaranjan Locomotive Works and Metro Railway.

Shri Radhey Shyam belongs to Indian Railway Service of Civil Engineers (IRSE) of 1976 Batch. He is known for his specialization in General Management in Railways, Track Maintenance and Bridge Design & Construction.

Shri Radhey Shyam joined Indian Railways o­n 21/9/1977 after passing BE (Civil) Hons. from University of Roorkee in 1974. He completed Masters with Honours in Civil Engineering in Structural Engineering in 1976.

During his distinguished career, Shri Radhey Shyam held various important positions as Chief Administrative Officer(Construction)/N.F.Railway, Divisional Railway Manager, Sealdah, Eastern Railway, Chief Bridge Engineer, Eastern Railway/Kolkata and Chief Engineer/East Coast Railway, Bhubaneswar.

He has dealt with all facets of Civil Engineering o­n Indian Railways. He has also attended foreign training in Welding Technology and Welded Construction under UNDP Fellowship at Purdue University in USA.

He has keen interest in Sports and Cultural activities.

Time Zone reset on NE to have potential consequences in Railway Operations

Guwahati (GWH): The New Year’s Day assertion by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that his State would re-set its clocks to introduce a local time zone that would be at least 60 minutes ahead of Indian Standard Time, has rekindled a new debate on its impact in Railway operations and its safety too.

The idea is to optimise daylight hours in the region where the sun rises around 4 a.m. in summer and it gets dark before 4 p.m., while at the eastern tip of Gujarat, about 2,900 km away, the same phenomena occur some two hours later. Since IST corresponds to 82.5 East longitude where Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh is located, the region east of the line has fewer daylight hours than in the west. Mr. Gogoi is seeking to resurrect the daylight saving schedule of ‘chaibagaan’ that was introduced by the British rulers more than 150 years ago for tea plantations — which still follow that practice. He has pointed out that the shift would help save energy and increase productivity.

While there is merit in the argument, the potentially adverse consequences of introducing a new time zone within the country are many. Not forgetting the fact that a country like Russia has as many as nine time zones across contiguous territory, having to cope with the zones and to be forced to reset the watch each time you need to cross a domestic line could be complicated. Transport and trade schedules could take a hit, for instance. Railway services could face the risk of accidents. Also, why is it only for Assam, and not for the rest of the northeast? And, even if the whole region makes the change, will it not intensify the sense of distance that northeastern India already has in relation to the rest of India? Given all these factors, it is not surprising that despite such demands having been made periodically, the Central government has appeared reluctant to proceed in this regard, presumably mindful of the administrative challenges. It is now time to initiate a process of consultation to consider all sides of the question afresh. What might be seriously examined is a proposal of some researchers, including those from the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore, to set the IST forward by half an hour so that it is six hours ahead of Universal Coordinated Time. This will mean advancing the point of reckoning at 82.5 degree East to 90 degree East, which will fall at a longitude along the West Bengal-Assam border. That should go some way in meeting Assam’s demand, and help avoid potential grievances from northwestern India about corresponding inconveniences that an advancing by one full hour could entail for it in terms of late sunrise time.

Source..Rail News

Hoax bomb call sends police into a tizzy

Tenali Jn (TEL): A hoax call threatening that a bomb was planted in Navajivan Express created panic at Tenali Railway Station on Friday afternoon. Government Railway Police (GRP) checked the train and confirmed that it was a hoax call. Vijayawada Division Railway SP Ch.Syam Prasad said an unidentified person called Eluru Two Town police and threatened that a bomb was placed in the train

Source..Rail News

New Act Makes Land Acquisition Costlier for Metro

Hyderabad: With the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 coming into force from January 1, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have to shell out double compensation to landowners towards acquisition of land for public private partnership (PPP) projects.

With the new Land Acquisition Act in place, HMR has to face the major brunt in terms of giving of double solatium to the land owners as GHMC and Hyderabad district administration could not acquire 60 per cent on properties in the old city, Badi Chowdi to Sultan Bazar as well as a few properties in Chikkadpally, Musheerabad where the Corridor II from JBS to Falaknuma metro line was proposed.

Similarly on the corridor III from Nagole to Shilparamam, stretches between Greenlands and Ameerpet X Roads, Sarathi Studios, State Home, Secunderabad, Krishnanagar and Gachibowli, GHMC has to acquire a few more properties.

GHMC officials told Express that the new legislation will guide all land acquisitions of Central and state governments, bringing in stricter norms and increasing landowners’ compensation significantly. They said the new Act replaces the earlier legislation and provides fair compensation to land owners.

The important feature of the Act is that the developers will need the consent of up to 80 per cent of people whose land is acquired for private projects and of 70 per cent of the landowners in the case of public-private partnership projects. It also provides for compensation as high as two times more than the existing practice in urban areas.

According to the new Act, the state government will have to set up at least six bodies to hear disputesarising out of projects where land acquisition has been initiated by the state or its agencies.

They said that in cases where the consent awards have been passed before December 31, but properties could not be acquired, the new Act does not apply. For the Metro Rail Project, the state government has spent nearly Rs 200 crore compensation for acquiring land.

Source..Rail News

Sparks in S6 Coach of Visakha Exp leaves passengers spend horrifying night fearing for their lives

The Railways do not seem to learn lessons from past mistakes when it comes to passenger safety.

In less than a week after a fire, which broke out due to suspected short-circuit in the Nanded Express, killed 26 passengers of an air-conditioned coach, a small fire broke out in the S6 coach of Visakha Express on Wednesday night.

An alert passenger noticed the sparks, which later resulted in a small fire, and promptly reported the matter to the TTE. The few passengers, who were awake at that time, spent a horrifying time fearing for their lives.

K.V. Bhagawan, a passenger from Visakhapatnam, boarded the Secunderabad – Bhubaneswar Visakha Express at Guntur around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday. “I was allotted the side berth in the S 6 coach. Soon after getting on to my berth, I noticed the switch board and wires hanging out of the socket. On taking a closer look I found sparks emanating from it. I promptly informed the TTE on duty but he brushed it aside but said he would inform the concerned authorities in Vijayawada,” he said.

“I held my breath and kept watching the loose wires all the time. No one came in Vijayawada and I once again took up the matter with the new TTE, who took over in Vijayawada, and an RPF man but no action was initiated even at Gudiwada and I did some running and found the helpline number on the coach walls and called on 040-27833366.”

“The man at the helpline centre admitted that it could turn out to be a major mishap had it occurred in an AC coach. He asked me not to worry saying that he would inform the authorities concerned. At Bhimavaram an RPF official came and took snaps of the switch board and left,” Mr. Bhagawan said.“Around a dozen electricians came at Rajahmundry with cutting pliers and cut the wires, put cello tape around the loose ends and put the switch board back in the socket and tape all around it and left.

After the train left Rajahmundry, the tape came off and the board was once again hanging out. I was shocked at the shoddy work done by the electricians and the callousness of the authorities,” he said.

Bhagawan and the other passengers of the S6 coach were a relieved lot when the train finally reached Visakhapatnam around 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.

I held my breath and kept watching the loose wires all the time. No one came in Vijayawada

K. V. Bhagawan

Source..Rail News

Impending Urgency; yet Western Railway to get nod to raise platform height

Mumbai: The delay by the railway ministry togrant permission for raising the height of platforms at suburban stations, to adjust to the new Bombardier rakes being introduced soon, has put the Western Railway in a quandary.

Work is already in progress at some stations to increase the height of platforms to between 760mm and 840mm, which is the maximum allowed under existing rules. But the new rakes will leave a wide gap between the floor of thecoach and the platform and this would require the height of the platforms to be raised to 920mm.

The WR had written to the ministry nearly six months ago about this, but there it has not received any response so far.

This has been a recurrent issue on the suburbannetwork. The WR recently completed work to raise the height of six platforms at Dadar, Malad, Kandivli, Borivli, Bhayander and Virar. Work is in progress to raise nine platforms at Charni Road, Grant Road, Elphinstone Road, Lower Parel, Vile Parle and Khar.

Contracts have been awarded for work on 20 more platforms at Marine Lines, Charni Road, Mumbai Central, Lower Parel, Dadar, Mahim, Bandra, Khar, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Bhayander and Kandivli.

But if and when the ministry gives the go-ahead to increase the height of the platforms to 920mm, the work at these stations would have to be taken up all over again.

“The fact remains that the new Bombardier trains are very high and beyond the existing norms. So it is only prudent, for the sake of the safety of passengers, that as and when the new standard is accepted, we go in for resurfacing of the platforms, even those that have been recently done,” said a senior railway official.

What this will mean is that more money will have to be spent and commuters will be put to inconvenience at the platforms all over again.

Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager, said, “We are vigorously pursuing the case with the railway board (for the increase in height of platforms to 920mm). We believe it should happen soon. The process involves changing the railway’s standard dimension rules, where lots of parameters have to be looked into.”

Height is the problem 
The existing Siemens rakes have a floor height of about 1,220mm (from top of the tracks), against a height of 1,187mm to 1,197mm set under railway rules. The new Bombardier rakes that are in the Virarcar shed have a floor height of 1,230mm.

This would leave a dangerous gap of 470mm at platforms that have a height of 760mm.

WR has undertaken work to raise the height of platforms up to the permissible 840mm, but officials now realise that is not enough.
Source..Rail News





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