Mar 7, 2014

Kochi Metro gets Cabinet’s nod for extension of project



It is being proposed to extend the metro rail up to S.N.Junction in Tripunithura at an investment of Rs. 323 crore

A detailed project report for extending the first phase of the Kochi Metro Rail project to Tripunithura is expected by May even as the Cabinet gave its nod for the project on Wednesday.

Approvals pending

A detailed study in this regard is being conducted by the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES). While the Cabinet had given its approval to the preliminary report on the first phase extension, approvals from the central Public Investment Board and the ministerial-level high-power committee are pending. Efforts for securing these approvals would be initiated shortly.

Initially, the metro rail was proposed from Aluva to Pettah. Now it is being proposed up to SN Junction in Tripunithura at an investment of Rs. 323 crore. There would be two stations at Tripunithura – Alliance Junction and SN Junction. Demand for extension of Metro to Tripunithura has been there from the very beginning. The benefits of Kochi Metro would reach larger segments of passengers with the extension. Besides, more space for metro station and related facilities are available at Tripunithura compared to Pettah.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had pointed out the possibilities of extending the project up to Tripunithura at the launch of the construction work itself. Organisations including resident’s associations had organised protests demanding the extension of the project.

Source-Rail News

Jyothirlingas Train Tour: IRCTC organize pilgrimage package to Lord Shiva temples



Chennai (MAS): Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) is organizing a 14-day pilgrimage to nine shrines of Lord Shiva (Jyothirlingas), covering different states.

The train route is: Chennai- Mahakaleshwar- Omkareshwar – Somnath – Bhim Shankar – Triambakeshwar- Grushneshwar – Ayuundh Nagnath – Parli Vaijinath – Srisailam. The tour/pilgrimage will begin on March 16 and end 29. “The tour has been planned mainly for senior citizens to have a darshan of the nava jyotirlingas of four states which are not accessible by regular modes of transport,” said a press release.

The features of the train are: 3 tier AC coaches and sleeper class coaches, a separate pantry car, escort to safeguard luggage and a public announcement system.

The ‘Jyothirlingas Train Tour’ includes hotel accommodation, buses for transfers and sightseeing, onboard and off-board vegetarian catering and services of escort and security.

The tour has been classified into deluxe, comfort, standard and budget categories and package starts from Rs 17,300 per person.

For details, contact IRCTC tourism information and facilitation centre at Chennai Central railway station -044-64594959, 9003140681 and 9840902920 and Madurai railway station: 0452-2345757, 9840902915, 9003140714.

For online booking, contact www.railtourismindia.com.

Source-Rail News

RDSO approves Layout for AC Local Train for Mumbai



Mumbai: The much-awaited air-conditioned local train for Mumbai has begun taking shape. Late last week, the railway board approved a ‘layout’ of the coach and other technical parameters of the train. Layout is railway lingo for placement of seats, luggage racks, grab poles and the like inside a coach.

The train is estimated to cost a little over Rs.43 crore and is expected to have a majority of its parts imported, including the vestibules connecting the coaches and the flooring.

According to officials, the coach shell has also been finalised by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai and work on building the shell will commence by mid-April. The most important part of the 12-coach train — the three-phase electrical systems that will power it — will arrive from Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited by the last week of April.

“It is a tight schedule for the train because it needs to be brought in by July 2014 as that date has been announced in the railway budget. The train is already going to miss its March 31 deadline that was announced in the previous budget, and missing it again would reflect badly on the railways. Moreover, we understand there is tremendous curiosity in the city for the AC local, with people mistaking the Bombardier rakes currently being tested as the air-conditioned train and posting pictures of the same on social media sites,” said a railway official.

As reported earlier, the most important aspect of the layout that has been approved by the railway board is that the seats would be in the same pattern that locals currently have. This pattern was approved because of Research Design Standards Organisation’s objection to the longitudinal pattern — the one used in metros worldwide — which, it says, would put strain on the train floor.

“We have to keep in mind the crowd inside a Mumbai local. During peak hours, it’s a mind-boggling 16 people per square metre, something the railways calls the super dense crush load. The longitudinal pattern of seating would mean more people standing, which is not a good thing in dense suburban systems like Mumbai’s,” said an official.

The horizontal, rectangular windows — the kind used in the Rajdhani Express — have also been approved by the railway board, sources said.

Source-Rail News

China brings its rail network closer to the Indian border



The new extension line will take travelers from Lhasa to Xigaze, also known as Shigatse, in about two hours, railway authorities said. The 253-km Lhasa-Xigaze railway line will be open before October

Beijing: China is extending the world’s highest Qinghai-Tibet railway line to Panchen Lama hometown of Xigaze as well as taking it closer to the Indian border.

Observers said Chinese authorities are trying to kill two birds with one stone to meet both political and military goals with the move. It is expected to bring more tourists to the China-backed Panchen Lama’s hometown in Tibet and enhance his world image.

China has desperately been preparing for 24-year to counter the Dalai Lama, whom Chinese officials describe as “wolf in lamb’s clothing”.

The young Lama is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body. He spends most of his time in Beijing and holds an important position in the state-backed China Buddhist Association. The seat of Panchan Lama in Xigaze and Dalai Lama’s Potala Palace in Lhasa are regarded as revered sites in Tibetan Buddhism.

The new extension line will take travelers from Lhasa to Xigaze, also known as Shigatse, in about two hours, railway authorities said. The 253-km Lhasa-Xigaze railway line will be open before October. Officials said 93% of the track, including construction of all bridges, culverts, tunnels on the mountain route, has been completed.

The Xigaze region borders India’s Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan. The new extension line will make it easier for the People’s Liberation Army to carry men and machinery to the Indian border at short notice.

The move comes soon after China announced plans to lay a new road linking Tibet’s capital of Lhasa to Nyingchi, a prefecture in southeast Tibet that borders India.

“It could reduce the driving time from Lhasa to Nyingchi by more than two hours,” a senior railway official, Tashi Gyatso, was quoted in the state media as saying.

The Nepalese government has been pleading with China to provide an extension railway line from Xigaze to its border.
Source-Rail News

Central Railway to use ‘WhatsApp’ Messaging App to keep track of Rooftop travellers



Mumbai: Central Railway (CR) has decided to zero in on offenders using WhatsApp, a popular messaging service.

Railway employees will circulate images and videos of miscreants using the phone app.

Form a group of their own employees on the mobile messaging application Whatsapp to zero in on law breakers. The members will be assigned the circulating the images or videos of criminals snapped or received by them to help nab the culprits.

“Ticket-checking staff, Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police personnel, who are mostly on the field , will form a group and disseminate information on bag-lifters, pickpockets, molesters, rooftop travellers and those who perform stunts,” CR’s General Manager S K Sood told. Apart from the circulating images snapped by them, the staff can also upload stuff that has been received through commoners.

A reward of Rs 10,000 has been announced for those who help in getting miscreants booked using the messaging service. Railway officials have welcomed the idea on the grounds that it will act as deterrent, besides helping nab culprits.

A senior railway officials said, “For example, a TC may witness a crime but he does not have powers to nab the culprit. He can take snaps and send them to GRP or RPF officials, who can then track the offenders,” said a CR official.

The initiative will deter rooftop travellers and train stuntmen, believe officials.

“We have seen videos of stunts being circulated on several social networking sites. Such videos shed light of the identity of the person and the location where these stunts were performed. Once we start receiving such videos on WhatsApp, our security personnel can keep tabs on offenders,” a CR official said.

“On occasions, CCTV grabs are not clear and can’t help us identify offenders. Since many people use smartphones, the quality of images are good enough to submit in the form of evidence in the court of law.

We hope more people will be encouraged to shoot videos or click pictures when they come across law-breakers,” he added.
Source - Rail News

BIG CATCH: Rlys collect Rs 3.83 lakh from ticketless commuters at Andheri in 14 hrs

The windfall came after Western Railway’s top boss, along with 158 ticket checkers, laid siege at Andheri railway station to curb ticketless travelling yesterday

Leading from the front, the Western Railway’s (WR) divisional manager yesterday ditched the comfort of his office and stationed himself at the foot over bridge of Andheri railway station. The result: 1,685 ticketless commuters were caught and fined, earning the WR Rs 2.5 lakh on one day.


Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), along with 158 rail officials, laid siege at Andheri railway station yesterday, looking for ticketless travellers

As part of a 48-hour ongoing drive to curb the menace of ticketless travelling, Shailendra Kumar, divisional railway manager (Mumbai), along with 158 ticket checkers (TC), laid siege at Andheri from 6 am to 8 pm.

Hands-on operation
When mid-day visited the station, it came as a pleasant surprise to see the top railway official asking commuters for valid tickets. At around 3.50 pm, Kumar approached a man carrying a bulky carton on his head.

Soon after he was stopped, the commuter was asked to lay down his goods and asked for a ticket for both. The man did not have one and was fined as per the law. Meanwhile, just a few feet away, an altercation ensued. A passenger began arguing with a TC, questioning the reason behind such random checks.

Until 2 pm, the WR authorities had collected fines amounting to over Rs 2.5 lakh, and by 8 pm earned Rs 3.83 lakh. Following the success of the drive, similar intensive checks will be held at Borivli and Dadar stations soon, authorities said.

Excuses, excuses
Several of the commuters gave some silly reasons when asked to pay the fine of Rs 260 for travelling without a ticket. One individual carrying an iPad and an expensive phone had only Rs 40 in his pocket after he was caught without a valid ticket. When mid-day asked him the reason for travelling ticketless, he said, “I’ve been using this bridge regularly and no one has caught me.”

Another lady who was apprehended said she dropped her ticket somewhere, while an offender said that he forgot his ATM card at the bank and hence didn’t have money. When the official asked him which bank, he lacked an answer and was asked to call someone to pay the fine.

Hawker menace
Meanwhile, seizing the opportunity of a top railway official present, several passengers complained about the presence of hawkers at the station and shoddy train services. “I was told by a bona fide commuter that the hawker menace outside Andheri station on the western side is a hazard. I have instructed WR officials men to evacuate them,” said Shailendra Kumar, DRM, WR.
Source-Mid Day

FG Committed To Reviving Rail Services – Senator



Sen. Sahabi Ya’u-Kaura, Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, on Thursday said the rehabilitation of the 221 kilometre Zaria–Kaura–Namoda rail line had reached 56 percent completion.

The senator, who said this in an interview with newsmen after inspecting the project, assured Nigerians that the Federal Government was committed to revitalising railway services.

“From what we have seen so far and from the report we received from the contractors, the level of work had reached about 56 per cent,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee members joined the train through the 83 kilometre Zaria-Funtua route to test-run the rehabilitation.

Ya’u-Kaura said, “we are here to inspect the ongoing rail rehabilitation from Zaria to Kaura-Namoda. The essence is to see the level of work done by the contractors.”

He said also that the rehabilitation work from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri was ongoing, while that of Lagos to Ibadan would be completed in the next two years.

The Senator also said work on the standard gauge rail system from Abuja to Kaduna had reached an advanced stage, adding that it would be completed before the year ends.

According to him, the second and third phases from Kaduna to Kano and Ibadan to Ilorin respectively, would start soon.

In his comment, Mr Adeseyi Sijuwade, the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) expressed happiness with the level of work.

“As you can see we have actually come by rail all the way from Funtua. The rail line is fully rehabilitated, we now have balanced retainer wall and the bridges are also fully rehabilitated.

“We are happy that the work is moving well and we hope by the middle of this year, the work will be completed and full operation will resume,” he said.

Mr Steven Onwude, the Project Manager, Duluidas Nigeria Ltd, handlers of the project, attributed the slow phase of work to some problems that had been solved.

He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to ensure prompt and consistent payment to enable it deliver on time.
Source-leadership

 

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