Feb 19, 2014

C.Rly spine-chillied on scary decoupling of 5 Bogies of running train packed with Commuters

Mumbai: Monday’s incident where five bogies packed with commuters got detached from a 12-car local train on its way to Kalyan has alarmed Central Railway authorities.

A railway official said, “We will inspect all rakes to erase even a remote possibility of recurrence of this incident.” It is the first time that a bar of the Schaku coupler broke off in Mumbai. Schaku couplers are the most advanced and best in the world. Its failure has come as shock to the authorities. A bar with holes at the inner ends through which cars are connected with a bolt is called a coupler.

“Breaking of the bar coupler is a serious incident. Orders for this type of material are placed at the board level. We will have to look for the lot in which this defective coupler came. All other couplers in the consignment will be traced and inspected,” the official said These types of couplers are generally used for Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) rakes kept in formation of three or four cars. They can be disconnected only in a workshop.

“Bar couplers are designed to possess enough strength to withstand the stress when trains accelerate, decelerate or stop on application of brakes. If the coupler breaks, the train can witness parting and abrupt braking, which can lead to unexpected jolts in the coach and can cause people to fall off trains. Fortunately, Monday’s decoupling did not lead to any injury and caused only disruption of service.”

Ultrasound technology will have to be used to inspect any deformities in manufacturing of the couplers, said the railway official.

Monday’s incident had taken place on the slow track between Diva and Kopar around 6.30pm. The stretch had to be shut for almost two hours, leading to delays and overcrowding. CR has ordered an inquiry into the mishap and the process has begun.

The commissioner of railway safety, Central Circle, too is likely to seek an explanation from CR authorities. However, he cannot conduct an inquiry into the accident as there was no loss of life or injury due to the incident.


Bangalore based MRO-TEK signs pact with Rlys to deploy MAPLE 4C to enhance Safety

Bangalore (SBC): MRO-TEK, a pioneer in the field of communication and networking has signed a pact with South Central and South Eastern Railways in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to deploy MAPLE 4C to enhance railway safety and lower the risk of derailments.

MAPLE 4C is the multiplexer used in Key areas of Indian Railways’ Daily Operations.

Indian Railways is one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km of track over a route of 65,000 km and 7,500 stations, transporting over 25 million passengers daily. The safety of this mammoth network is a formidable challenge.

MRO-TEK’ s MAPLE 4C is playing a significant role in two crucial segments of railway safety in India.

Firstly in the area of axle counter system. When a train has to pass from Station A to Station B, axles are counted at both points and matched to ensure that all carriages have crossed successfully. Only then signal for the train to pass through is given. The interface from the counter at every point is analog, which is converted to a digital signal before being transmitted to the other point.

In the earlier days, this information was transmitted through copper cables, which had a tendency of getting cut often. With MAPLE 4C, the signal is converted to a digital format and transmitted through fibre, ensuring total reliability.

Secondly, in the area of Voice Logger at Level Crossings. Commands at level crossings are given by the station master to the gateman through telephone. These conversations must be stored so that they can be retrieved later to analyse why the train was stopped.

To ensure accurate storage without loss of clarity, the analog voice is digitized and multiplexed using MAPLE 4C and then carried to the Voice Logger through fibre.

S. Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director of MRO- TEK said – “We are extremely pleased to have won this contract to deploy our most advanced technology to further enhance the safety in Indian Railways. Our team will continue to leverage our strong technical capability, solid execution and reliable products operation, to further penetrate into the Indian railways and explore international opportunities in order to create value for our shareholders.”


Clueless Northern Railway authorities run helter-skelter on Fire outbreak in Guard’s Coach

Jalandhar (JUC): Even though 24 hours have passed, the Northern Railway authorities seemed to be clueless about the cause of the fire in a parked coach of the Amritvani Express here late last night.

Although the local authorities conducted a preliminary investigation round into the incident, they were unable to find out the cause of the fire that had engulfed the guard’s cabin and destroyed it completely.

“There is a possibility of a short-circuit that may have caused the fire outbreak in the cabin, but it is not confirmed. Only the detailed investigation that will happen sometime next month will reveal the exact cause of the tragedy,” said SS Walia, station superintendent, city railway station.

On Sunday, the local authorities constituted a team of five members, comprising SS Walia, Station Superintendent, City Railway Station, Parminder Singh, SSE, (Carriages and Wagon), Sharda, SSE (Loco), SP Singh, SSE (Power) and Narinder Singh, ASI (RPF), immediately after the incident.

The team visited the spot around 5 am and video-graphed the whole scene. After doing the preliminary investigation for almost four hours, the team left the spot at around 9.30 am. Two officials were also reported to have joined the investigations from Amritsar.

The coach was parked on track No. 6 to begin its journey to Ambala. Earlier, it had arrived on the city railway station carrying around 1,600 passengers from Begumpura. After its arrival, it was taken to the yard for cleaning and later was parked on track No. 6 to be sent back to Ambala. It was only during this time that the railways staff at the station saw some smoke coming out from the guard’s cabin. They immediately informed the fire services. The fire was so severe that it took 45 minutes to control it. The rest of the coaches were immediately separated from the guard’s cabin and were sent to Ludhiana. A detailed investigation into the case will be held later next month.


MUD Officials creates tussle over appointment of Sreedharan as Advisor to Lucknow Metro

Some in the Union Urban Ministry are seeking a re-think on E. Sreedharan’s appointment as Chief Adviser to Lucknow Metro

A tussle is brewing between the Union Urban Development Ministry and the Uttar Pradesh Government over the appointment of E. Sreedharan as chief adviser for the Lucknow metro rail project.

According to a source, an advisor to the Uttar Pradesh government was instrumental in roping in Dr. Sreedharan, but the move is being strongly contested by some senior officials in the Ministry. There are some concerns that have been expressed over the appointment, especially after his stint with the Kochi Metro has come in for criticism. Though an announcement has been made, there is a demand from some sections in the Ministry for a re-think on the appointment,said a source.

However many IASs from the UP Government argue that the tussle was more created by the Kochi Metro’s former Managing Director Mr.Tom Jose against Sreedharan and it require no debate on the outstanding contributions Mr.E.Sreedharan made to the Metro Rail revolution in India. It is learnt that Akhilesh is also keen to have Sreedharan as Chief Advisor to Lucknow Metro Railway.


Golden Rock Railway Workshop bags order for 1,000 container wagons

First rake of 45 container wagons of 2011 order to be dispatched

Ponmalai Golden Rock (GRC): The railway workshop at Golden Rock here has bagged a fresh order for manufacture of 1,000 container wagons valued at Rs. 365 crore from the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR).

A letter of intent for the production of bogie low container (BLC) wagons was issued by the CONCOR, a Government of India undertaking, recently.

An agreement would soon be signed by Southern Railway top officials and the CONCOR, workshop authorities here said.

Engaged in a myriad of activities, the workshop is already manufacturing 1,000 BLC wagons, costing Rs. 291 crore, following an order it received from the CONCOR in 2011. The first rake of 45 container wagons of the 2011 order would be dispatched on Tuesday.

The BLC wagons are meant for transportation of ISO containers. The wagons have been provided with automatic twist lock to keep the container intact with wagons. An airbrake system with automatic load sensing device has also been provided.

The workshop, which started producing wagons from 1962, has manufactured more than 35,000 wagons of 53 varieties. Production work for CONCOR started in 2003. The capacity, facility, quality and timely deliver of wagons enabled the workshop in receiving orders from the CONCOR continuously.

The workshop has manufactured 3,820 container wagons worth Rs. 850 crore so far.

In addition to producing container wagons, the workshop, over 80 years old, is also involved in the manufacture of oil-fired steam locomotives for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and stainless steel wagons besides carrying out periodic overhaul of diesel locomotives and passenger coaches.


Reliance Jio at Loggerheads with Railways over right-of-way fee

New Delhi: Reliance Jio has filed a petition with the Delhi High Court against the fee collected by the Railways for giving right of way to lay optical fibre cable. According to Reliance Jio, the Railways was charging a high fee from telecom companies.

Right of way is required for telecom companies to lay optical cable under state-owned land. In this case, Reliance Jio had approached the Railways seeking permission to lay cable across stretches of land owned by the Railways.

According to an industry source, Reliance Jio had to seek legal recourse after discussions failed to arrive at mutually acceptable fee.

Reliance Jio is laying the optic fibre communcation network as part of its plans to launch 4G technology based broadband services. According to an internal Government note seen, Reliance Jio has told the court that the fee fixed by the Railways was discriminatory.

Currently M/s RailTel Corporation of India Limited – a Teleco PSU under Ministry of Railways enjoys free right of way along the Railway areas as per the MOU signed between Railways and RailTel. RailTel pays performance based dividend to Railways annually.


Railway SMS alert service a boon for Passengers

New Delhi: Patnaites have welcomed the railways’ move to provide automatic SMS alerts to waitlisted passengers. This facility, demanded for long, has been provided for in the interim rail budget presented in the Lok Sabha recently by railway minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

The railways’ integrated inquiry system, 139, currently provides PNR status to waitlisted passengers in response to SMSes or calls. The call on 139 is an expensive one for a common passenger. Sometimes many calls are to be made or many SMSes are to be sent to 139 to get the exact information about the PNR status and confirmation of berths as well. Most of the people, therefore, preferred to check their PNR status on arrival at the station.

The automatic SMS alert to waitlisted passengers would prove a boon for them as they would be freed from the last-minute tension pertaining to a journey. Besides, they can also plan their journey accordingly in case of non-confirmation of berths.

That apart, the railways’ decision to provide online booking facility for meals has also been hailed as a step towards further improving passenger amenities on running trains. “The railways should display the number at which the meals could be booked in each superfast train so that passengers could know about this facility,” said a passenger from Patna. They, however, added the railways would have to keep a tab on the quality of meals being served to passengers on trains through the online booking system.

According to sources, the railways has also planned to provide ‘cash accepting automatic ticket vending machine’ at all major locations of railways across the country. Patna Junction will be one of them, sources said and added this facility would help passengers get platform tickets or short-distance journey tickets on their own.

According to a Railway Board official, the railways has already announced a train inquiry information system on cellphones. A wake-up call to passengers on demand is also under consideration on select routes. This facility will be provided in premier trains on a trial basis. Details are being worked out by the railways’ technical experts, he said.

Kochi Metro Rail Limited moots minibus service to boost ferry operations

KOCHI: In an effort achieve synergy between multiple modes of transport under the Unified Metro Transport Authority (UMTA), Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is mooting a minibus service by the end of March. The aim is to start pilot feeder minibus services connecting Kakkanad Jetty, Collectorate and Infopark and thus ensure better connectivity.

The company has invited tenders seeking 14-seater minibuses for the service. This will provide connectivity to the ferry service started by state water transport department (SWTD) along Kakkanad-Vyttila stretch. The ferry service, launched in last November to ease traffic congestion, received a lukewarm response due to the lack of proper transport connectivity at its stops.

"The bus service will support the ferry service. We hope to get things in place by March so that we can launch it as soon as possible. We have invited tenders for the purpose. Interested service providers should supply the bus and a driver, KMRL will take care of the payment," said a company spokesperson, adding that cost and other relevant details cannot be divulged until the tendering process is complete.

The boat service along Kakkanad-Vyttila stretch will assume significance as Vyttila will soon be a converging point of water, rail and road transport once Metro rail service becomes operational. "So, the ferry service along the stretch is quite significant for us. That's why we decided to start the bus service to support it," said Elias George, managing director of KMRL.

"We will be starting more ferry services to tap the potential of water transport in Kochi. A detailed project report (DPR) for the project has been prepared. The state government is now studying the DPR and once we receive the green light, the DPR will be sent for the approval of the Union government," he said.

The cost of the project is around Rs 60 crore and KMRL will explore the possibility of including this service in the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) schemes, if possible, since the complementary service will enhance connectivity among multiple modes of transport within the city.

As of now two boats are plying along Kakkanad-Vyttila stretch and it takes roughly 20 minutes to cover this stretch. The schedule from Vyttila is as follows - 9.15 am, 10.15 am, 11.15 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm. Return trips from Kakkanad are as follows 9.45 am, 10.45 am, 11.45 am, 1.30 pm, 2.30 pm,3.30 pm and 4.30 pm. The boats start service from Vyttila. The fare for the five-kilometre stretch is Rs 8.
Source..times of india

First look at Chennai Metro Rail’s underbelly

The HinduTwo tunnel boring machines from China were employed to drill from Nehru Park to Egmore and it took nearly 18 months for the machines to tunnel a distance of about 950 metres. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Sunitha Sekar takes a walk through the new corridors being unearthed below a bustling Chennai and brings you exclusive glimpses. Presenting, the making of an engineering marvel in the city: underground tunnel for Chennai Metro Rail

For the very first time since Metro Rail crawled through the earth below the city, The Hindu is the only media organisation allowed to go underground.

At quarter to six in the evening, sunlight has waned, but bright floodlights are switched on. There is a flurry of activity at Nehru Park for the construction of an underground station — where the first tunnel boring machine (TBM) from China was launched in July 2012.

Two TBMs from China were employed at this station to drill from Nehru Park to Egmore and it took nearly 18 months for the machines to tunnel a distance of about 950 metres.

Washed by surprise morning showers on Monday, the station area is damp and slippery. In a corner, a caged staircase takes you 50 feet below the ground — where few years hence, passengers will enter and exit the train.

The construction of an underground station with two levels, the concourse and platform, is afoot at Nehru Park. Soon after this station becomes operational, the four entry/exit points of this station (near Kilpauk traffic police station, Sangam theatre complex, Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Arya Vaidya Sala) will serve as subways even for non-Metro users, says an official.

As you hop on to the other side of the road and take a narrow steel staircase to go 50 metres underground, two neat, whitish-grey tunnels with a stunning diameter and an inviting length welcome you.

It took one and half years, 150 Indian and 70 Chinese workers, and two TBMs to build these tunnels underneath 100 buildings, to connect Kilpauk with Egmore.

Hu Ha Bin, a tunnelling expert from Shanghai, brings with him 15 years of experience. “I have worked in Singapore and Hong Kong earlier; the soil conditions in Chennai are as difficult as they were in the other two cities. Initially, it was very challenging to carry out the work here,” he said.

During a long walk through the tunnel, you realise it’s a little warm. Apparently, temperatures range between 24 and 25 degrees Celsius this season.

While the construction of the tunnel is complete, it may take a few more months to lay the track as some civil works await completion, says an official of Chennai Metro Rail Limited.

Meanwhile, creation of cross-passageways has just begun inside the tunnel. To handle emergencies, the tunnels will have a walkway running along their length and for every 250 metres, there will be a cross-passageway connecting the two tunnels. This may help passengers walk along the tunnel, use the cross-passageway and move to the adjacent tunnel during an emergency.

At the end of this tunnel, on reaching Egmore, around 7.30 p.m., a giant 850-tonne TBM is ready to be dismantled as tunnelling work at this site is complete.

The other TBM used at this site was dismantled weeks ago, re-assembled and has already begun drilling to create a tunnel from Pachaiyappa’s College to Nehru Park.

Mohammed Faiz Karim, from Makhdumpur in Bihar, superintendent of tunnels at Nehru Park, who has earlier worked in Delhi, Dubai and Singapore, says, “It has been a wonderful experience working here so far. The best thing about this place is people have been very co-operative.”
Source..The Hindu

Rail-track laying at the mercy of 3 cos

16 bidders for Eastern Rail Freight Corridor banking on three firms for machinery

Harsco Corporation of the US, ETF France and China Railway Shanghai Design Institute Group Company have key roles to play in the civil contract to build the 400-km section of the Eastern Rail Freight Corridor between Bhaupur and Mughalsarai, both in UP.

All the 16 contractors which are vying for the project are dependent on these three firms for bringing in rail track-laying machinery. The aim is to complete it in four years.

This is because there are no more than five players globally in the rail track-laying equipment space.

And an even smaller number wants to come to India, said a source. Interestingly, 15 of the 16 bidders are dependent on two firms — Harsco and ETF.

The only exception is China Railway 20 Bureau Group, which has named another Chinese firm as the track-laying machine partner, the source said.

Based on past bidding experience, the total contract value of the stretch is estimated at ₹3,500 crore, say multiple sources. Expensive machinery

According to a source, rail track-laying machines are expensive. “A few years ago they used to cost around ₹10-30 crore a machine,” the source said.

“And there are very few firms globally with such technology. These firms are expected to import the track-laying machines, help the winning bidder lay 400 km within the target time, and then re-export the equipment.”

The 16 bidders have a good mix of foreign and Indian players, including Isolux Corsan-Sadbhav Engineering, Gammon-Yuksel, Posco-PNC Infratech, Continental Engineering Corporation Taiwan-JMC-Brahmaputra Infrastructure, Oriental Structural Engineers, China Railway 20 Bureau Group, Essar Projects –KEC, Obrascon Huarte Lain-Constructora De Proyectos Viales De Mexico-GMR Infrastructure-SEW Infrastructure, Constructora Andrade Gutierrez-Afcons, Sibmost- Gayatri-Megha Engineering, Patel Engineering-BSCPL Infrastructure, Chonquing Communications Constructions Group-Era Infra, Punj Lloyd-Balfour-Beatty, IL&FS India-China Railway 21 Group, and Unity Infra-China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group.
Source..The Hindu

Kanjikode rail coach factory remains off track

Railways unable to identify partner for project

The Rs.550-crore rail coach factory at Kanjikode in Palakkad remains uncertain with the rail budget “silent” on it and Railways unable to identify a partner for the public-private partnership project.

Union Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge’s announcement that the rail wheel plant at Chhapra, rail coach factory at Rae Bareli, and the diesel component factory at Dankuni, announced along with the Kanjikode factory in 2008-09, have commenced production puts things in perspective.

Officials are sceptical whether the factory, that would have triggered development of rail network and industrialisation in the State, will take off the way things are progressing.

Authorities have adopted a go-slow approach as the Request For Qualification (RFQ) floated to identify a private player for the project elicited response from a Chinese firm.

Railways are planning to set up facilities for making Linke Holfmann Busch (LHB)-design stainless steel and state-of-the-art aluminium coaches at Kanjikode.

An official said it would be difficult to get a private player as the LBH technology was restricted to a handful of players.

“Unless it is made a South Asian manufacturing base, such players will not look towards Kanjikode. The domination of Chinese firms in this sector is another issue that cannot be ignored.”

The move to partner Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) had also failed to take-off as the project was on the PPP mode.

Additional land

Railways had been able to complete only 70 per cent construction of the boundary wall around the 92.04 hectares handed over by the State.

The boundary work could not be completed unless the additional land sought was handed over to Railways.

Sources said the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was yet to de-notify 36 hectares of forestland, additionally sought. The land was being sought to lay the assembly lines to its shape and specifications.

Going for public-public sector partnership instead of the public-private partnership mode would help put the project back on rails, it is said.
Source..the hindu

Interim budget focuses on transport but misses out on Metro Rail for UT

In the budget for the year 2012-13, an amount of Rs 10 crore was earmarked for introduction of Metro Rail Transit System, Bus Rapid Transit System or Light Transit System. (Reuters)

Transport may be the key focus area for the Chandigarh Administration in the budget for the financial year 2014-15, but there is no budgetary provision specifically made for introduction of either Metro Rail or Light Rail Transit as had been the case in the budget of the previous years.

Curiously, there are several projects for which provisions have been made year after year, but there has been no progress on ground.

In the budget for the year 2012-13, an amount of Rs 10 crore was earmarked for introduction of Metro Rail Transit System, Bus Rapid Transit System or Light Transit System. For the coming financial year, however, no such provision has been made, though the project report of the Metro Rail was submitted to the administration by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation last year.

As per the budgetary provisions for transport, Rs 13 crore have been allocated for replacement of 50 condemned buses. For purchase of 400 buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, a matching grant of Rs 60 crore has been earmarked. As sum of Rs 1 crore has been kept for upgradation of the bus stand.

The Metro Rail, however, does not figure in the schemes that have been incorporated in the budget estimates for the year 2014-15. The project, in fact, has been hitting roadblocks. One of the biggest hindrances is the lack of a consensus on the terms and conditions among Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

UT Adviser K K Sharma, however, says that the administration would make provisions for Metro Rail as a substantial amount of the allocation is for transport. He adds that the project for BRTS has not been found feasible for Chandigarh due to which there are no provisions.

The last meeting about the Metro Rail that was scheduled to be held with the Ministry of Urban Development had to be cancelled as officials from Haryana did not turn up. The project report for the Metro was prepared on the presumption that the construction would start in the year 2013 and the first phase would be completed by 2018.

Interestingly, there are several projects for which budget is allocated year after year with little progress being made. One such project relates to construction of underpasses. For the past several years, a token amount has been allocated for the project. This year the project has been transferred to the Municipal Corporation where the allocation has now been made.
Significantly, the allocation made under the plan head by the Centre has been slashed this year.
Source..indian express

Tiruchi Rail museum to receive visitors from April

Photo: A.MuralitharanA view of the newly inaugurated rail museum in Tiruchi.

A toy train would be introduced inside the premises for children

Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Misra on Tuesday inaugurated the rail museum building constructed near the Tiruchi Junction.

Mr. Misra went around the new building and offered some suggestions to the divisional railway officials.

The museum building has been constructed on an area of over 9,000 square feet at a cost of over Rs. 1 crore. The Railway Board had sanctioned funds for setting up the museum at Tiruchi.Public access

Although the new building has been opened, the museum is expected to be thrown open to public in April to coincide with summer holidays, said railway officials.

A toy train would be operated within the sprawling museum premises for children visiting the museum.

The museum would be opened to public after laying the toy train track, completion of landscaping, and placing glass cupboards to display the artefacts and objects used by the railway during the British rule.

The museum will showcase the rich heritage of the erstwhile South Indian Railway (SIR), the landmark railway construction work executed during the colonial era, rare photographs, and documents providing insights into the developments that took place in different periods.

Exhibits would be displayed both indoor and outdoor to capture the attention of the public.

This includes old lamps, clocks, and other equipment used by the SIR.The old gazettes, railway manuals, books, and articles preserved at present in the Heritage Hall situated within the Divisional Railway Manager’s office would be kept at the museum.
Source..the hindu





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