Mar 12, 2014

Electrification of Freight Corridors make Ambitious Project more Expensive: Yoshiyui Kasai

Even USA and Australia haul freight trains by diesel locomotives – Yoshiyui Kasai, Chairman, Japanese Railway Co.,

New Delhi: Electrifying the dedicated freight corridor would make the project more expensive, the chief of the Japanese rail company which runs the famed bullet train has said while finding fault with the condition set by his country’s global funding agency for clearing loans for work on the route.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had suggested that the proposed Western Dedicated Freight Corridor connecting Dadri with Navi Mumbai be electrified.

But Yoshiyuki Kasai, the Chairman and Representative Director of the Central Japan Railway Company, fears that electrification of the route would escalate its cost and force end-users to pay more.

To buttress his point, he gave the examples of the USA and Australia where freight trains are hauled by diesel locomotives.

“In case of freight trains, you do not have to travel very fast… What is important for freight trains is that they have to move at a cost per ton. Electrification is expensive,” Kasai told PTI today.

Known as an authority on high-speed train services, Kasai manages the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train system, which links the major Japanese cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.

His remarks assume significance in light of the condition set by JICA that the western corridor of the Dedicated Freight Corridor project be electrified in order to receive financial support.

DFC Corporation, a SPV for executing the project, is securing a loan worth 677 billion yen from JICA for developing the Western DFC.

The 1,483-km Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will join Dadri (near Delhi) with the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (near Mumbai).

Kasai though favoured electrification of high-speed train routes and said such a service could run in India between cities which have a major potential for growth.

He also stressed that such projects should be funded by the government as costs involved were high which, however, would be largely offset by the benefits accruing to the people.

“For high-speed trains, an electrified route is the requirement but, for freight movement, electrification is not required,” Kasai said.

Source-Rail News

IRCTC launches Special Train to cover all Panj Takhts

Chandigarh (CDG): Providing an opportunity for devotees to cover all the Pank Sikh Takths at one stretch, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has lunched Pank Takht special train from March 21 to 31.

The special train can be boarded from Jammu, Khatua, Bharoli, Gurdaspur, Batala, Amrtisar, Beas, Kartarpur, Jallandhar, Phagwada Ludhiana, Dhuri, Bhatinda and Delhi, said IRCTC’s Regional Manager R.K.Sondh here at the regional office in Sector 34, Chandigarh.

He added that the train would reach Hazoor Sahib on March 23 followed by day-long halt at Bidar on March 25, night halt at Patna Saheb on March 27 and another night halt at Bhatinda on March 29 before reaching Amritsar via Anandpur Sahib on March 31.

Sondh also said, on return journey, the train would leave for Jammu via Batala, Gurdaspur, Bhaoli, and Khatua. But those who would board the train from Beas, Kartarpur, Jallandhar, Phagwada Ludhiana, Dhuri, Bhatinda and Delhi, would be given separate tickets of different trains from Amritsar.

According to him, the journey would be in sleeper-class coaches and the passengers would be given both on-board and off-board catering services, including morning tea, breakfast, lunch, evening tea and dinner. Arrangements shall also be made for accommodation of all the passengers at respective Takht Sahibs.

Transportation, security and housekeeping aspects will also be taken care off. “The package cost for the trip is Rs. 9,072 per person inclusive of all taxes, which is very economical looking at the services,”he said.

Booking could be done through our online booking portal Counter booking options were also available at Jammu Tawi, Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Ludhiana railway stations and also through our regional office in Sector 34, Chandigarh. Similar special train would run from Chandigarh on April 18, he informed.
Source-Rail News

दानापुर रेल मंडल की पहली महिला रेल ड्राइवर माया, मिलने के लिए लोगों की भीड़

खगौल. माया कुमारी ने शनिवार को दानापुर व रघुनाथपुर के बीच पैसेंजर ट्रेन चला कर दानापुर रेल मण्डल की पहली महिला रेल चालक होने का गौरव प्राप्त किया है। दानापुर स्टेशन से 9 बजकर 50 मिनट पर खुलने वाली 63219 अप पैसेंजर गाड़ी पर माया कुमारी हाथों मे वायरलेस फोन झंडी लेकर ट्रेन के ड्राइवर सीट पर बैठी तो वह मौजूद यात्रियों को आश्चर्य का ठिकाना ना रहा।

साथ मे मौजूद लोको पायलट जगदीश ठाकुर द्वारा निर्देश देने के बाद माया सिग्नल होने का इंतजार करने लगी। भास्कर संवाददाता से बातचीत में माया ने बताया कि उसे बचपन से चुनौतीपूर्ण कार्य में दिलचस्पी थी। उन्होंने सबसे कठिन माने जाने वाली रेलवे ड्राइवर की नौकरी करने की ठानी। आरआरबी रांची से माया को सहायक लोको पायलट के लिए सलेक्ट किया गया। माया की इस कामयाबी में उसके पति शंभू राम ने अहम भूमिका निभाई। शंभू धनबाद के माइनिंग फील्ड मे कार्यरत हैं।

बेटी का था सपना

माया बताती हैं कि उनकी 8 साल की बेटी प्रिया भारती का सपना था कि वे ड्राइवर की सीट पर बैठें। बेटी कहती है माँ जब ट्रेन चलना तो हमको भी ले जाना, ताकि देख सकें कि कैसे तेजी से ट्रेन चलाती है। माया को ट्रेन चलाते हुए देखने के लिए भीड़ इकट्ठा थी। कुछ यात्रियों ने उनसे हाथ भी मिलाया और कुछ ने माया का ऑटोग्राफ भी लिया।

Senior Railway Staff do ribbon-cutting as a Mark of Honour

Madurai (MDU) (Courtesy TOI): When the Madurai-Chennai Egmore Pandian Express was operated on electric traction on February 12 for the first time after electrification, the senior employees of the technical wing had the privilege of flagging off the train. P Palanisamy, a loco pilot, and K Kasinathan, a technician, were selected by the railway authorities to do the honours, though without any fanfare.

The Indian Railways chooses the senior-most staff of a department or station to preside over internal functions. This gestured is aimed at honouring the railway personnel who put in several years of service. The senior most staff with good track record and who may be retiring in a few days will be chosen by senior officials to inaugurate trains, sections or projects if the railways is not organising any major function for the occasion, said railway sources.

Madurai Divisional Railway Manager A K Rastogi said such acts help to honour the railwaymen and make them feel proud about their tireless service. “We will invite elected representatives for public functions, but the internal ones are normally presided over by the senior most staff of the concerned department,” he mentioned.

R Sankaranarayanan, the divisional secretary of Dakshin Railway Employee Union (DREU), said the custom was in vogue during Jawaharlal Nehru’s rule. “It will be the proudest moment for any railway employee if he or she gets such an opportunity,” he commented. He recalled the inauguration of Vaigai Express in 1977 at the hands of veteran railwaymen. This train was the first superfast train on the meter gauge section of Southern Railway.

P Edward Jeni, secretary of Kanyakumari District Rail Users Association (KKDRUA), said the practice of politicians inaugurating trains amidst much fanfare is a decade-old phenomenon. “New trains or sections used to be inaugurated without much celebration, but after the 1990s, it turned out to be major events with MPs and MLAs taking all the limelight,” he said.

Jeni also noted that the public railway functions organised of late are turning chaotic. AIADMK and Congress workers made a big scene during the recent inauguration of Palani-Tiruchendhur Passenger in their bid to take credit, a railway source said. “Now, inaugural functions are turning into a pain. Recently, a minister wanted the entire 1-km stretch up to the station illuminated for a function,” a railway employee seeking anonymity said.

It is fitting that the railway employees get their due honour. “Our train journeys are safer because of hundreds of unknown railwaymen who carry out their duties tirelessly,” commented S Ramalingam, a regular train passenger. Jeni suggested that railway staff can be even roped in for bigger functions also. “A senior most employee can be asked to flag off or inaugurate in the presence or presidency of MPs or MLAs. Why should political parties take all the credit instead of railwaymen? He reasoned.

Source-Rail News

Election Commission questions Railways’ FDI proposal

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has raised certain questions on the government’s proposal to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the construction and maintenance segments of the railways. The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), under the ministry of commerce and industry, had sought permission from the EC for passing the proposal in the Cabinet, since the model code of conduct became effective from March 5. The general elections are going to be held from April 7 to May 12.

Apparently, the EC had asked DIPP to send a brief note on the proposal, since it was asked by the Cabinet Secretariat to seek permission from the poll panel.

The EC has now raised some “procedural” queries based on the note, officials in the ministry of commerce and industry told Business Standard. They said the EC has asked how the policy will be floated, what is the procedure to be followed, its general impact and, most important, whether the decision will tantamount to favouring the ruling party.

DIPP is yet to send a formal reply to the queries.

The proposal to allow 100% FDI in the construction and maintenance segments of the railway network was floated in August last year.

While private participation based on the public-private-partnership (PPP) model was already allowed by the railways in limited areas, there was a need to sync it with the country’s FDI policy and Industrial Development and Regulation Act. DIPP has proposed that up to 100% FDI be allowed in dedicated freight corridors and high-speed railway networks falling under the fixed-line category.

Currently, FDI is prohibited in railway transport other than mass rapid transport system and component manufacturing. The railways has various models of participation under its policy on participative models for rail connectivity and capacity augmentation projects. This policy was approved in December 2012, where it stated that a foreign direct investor can participate in expansion and modernization work of the railway network only after prior permission from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

The railways proposes to earn around Rs 1 lakh crore through public-private partnership (PPP) projects, which include construction of factories for making locomotives and coaches. Several countries such as China, Japan and Germany have shown keenness to invest heavily in the world’s fifth largest rail network.

Source-Rail News

Tiruchirapalli STC to train newly recruited ‘Maintenance Supervisors’

The first batch of 68 undergoing one-year training at STC

Tiruchirapalli (TPJ): Southern Railway has created a Supervisors Training Centre (STC) at Diesel Traction Training cCentre (DTTC) on the Diesel Loco Shed premises here to impart theoretical and hands-on training to directly-recruited railway maintenance supervisors.

The first batch of the 68 supervisors, including 43 directly recruited by the Railway Recruitment Board, is presently undergoing one year-long training at the STC here on a host of aspects, including maintenance of rolling stock. Hitherto, the new recruits were trained at the STCs in Bangalore, Kharagpur, and Hyderabad.

In addition to the four instructors, guest faculty from railway workshops, diesel sheds, and carriage maintenance of Southern Railway have been engaged to impart training on areas like basic functions of rolling stock and maintenance and inspection procedures.

As part of their training, the trainees are being taken to the diesel loco shed, which houses different types of diesel locomotives for practical exposure on functioning of locomotives and aspects connected with them.

Upon completion of training, the supervisors would be posted to different railway divisions, loco sheds, and workshops falling within the Southern Railway zone.

Although a STC is functioning in Bangalore, it came under the South Western Railway zone, which was created by bifurcating the Southern Railway zone.

Consequently, Southern Railway did not have a dedicated STC facility for long and newly-recruited maintenance supervisors were sent to other centres for training.

The newly-created STC in Tiruchi is the first such establishment in Southern Railway zone, a senior railway official told The Hindu.A proposal has now been forwarded to the Railway Board, New Delhi, to make the maintenance supervisors training at the Tiruchi STC a permanent arrangement.

The DTTC conducts refresher courses at periodic intervals for loco pilots and assistant loco pilots besides organising training in diesel loco simulator established on its premises to enhance the driving skills of loco pilots.

The over 40-year-old diesel loco shed houses 55 high horse power EMD type diesel locomotives, over 50 ‘Alco’ diesel locos, and 23 Diesel Electric Multiple Units besides a few metre gauge diesel engines.

The Tiruchi shed is the largest and lone shed in the Southern Railway zone to house the 4,500 horse power EMD locos which are slightly longer than the conventional diesel locos and are capable of running at a maximum speed of 120 to 140 kilometres per hour.

Source-Rail News

Mumbai Metro: 14 Consortia keen to bid for Underground Metro Line

Mumbai: As many as 14 consortia, including those of L&T, IL&FS and HCC, have expressed interest in the new underground section of metro. Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), which developed the first line of transport system in the city, has stayed away.

The proposed Rs.23,000-crore underground line will link Colaba in the south to Seepz area in the north of Mumbai.

The 14 consortia are: Afcons-KMB, CEC-ITDCEM-TPL, CTCEG-PIIPL, Dogus- Soma, IL&FS-CR25G, JKumar-CRTG, L&T-STEC, Mos-metrostroy-Hindustan Construction, OHL-SKE&C, Pratibha Industries-GDYT consortium, Sacyr- CMC-Essar, Salin Impregilo- Gammon, Strabag-AG- Patel and Unity-IVRCL-CTG.

Source-Rail News

MMRDA to reimburse railways for its land near Ghatkopar Metro Station

Metropolitan Commissioner at MMRDA, UPS Madan claims the issue over the ownership of 1400 sq mtrs of Central Railway land on which the Ghatkopar metro station has been constructed has been solved with the MMRDA being ready to pay Central Railway Rs.18 crore to solve the issue. However, based on the current real estate market rates in Ghatkopar, the cost of this plot may be around Rs 160-180 crore.

While the 11.04 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar (VAG) metro line one is only awaiting safety certificate from Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety(CMRS) , the controversy had knocked the door of MMRDA before the actual operations begun. According to the MMRDA sources, the Central Railway had written a letter to MMRDA informing them that the 1400 meters of land near the Ghatkopar Railway station and LBS Marg belongs to Central Railways and on this land the MMRDA-MMOPL has constructed the Ghatkopar Metro Rail Station.

In a letter sent to MMRDA in January, CR had asserted that the land belonged to them. MMRDA had refuted the railway claim and stated that the land on which Ghatkopar metro station was constructed belonged to the BMC, but had to make a u-turn after the railways submitted documents related to the plot which clarified the land ownership issue.

In order that the metro gets off to a smooth operational start, the authorities have informed the railways that MMRDA would reimbur CR the land cost.

Confirming the same, MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan said, “Earlier, we thought that it was BMC land, but after going through the documents submitted by CR, it came to light that it was CR’s land and so we have decided to pay them the amount they have demanded.”

The railways had demanded Rs 18 crore from MMRDA and the planning authority will pay the amount soon. Sources from MMRDA told this newspaper that the CR will be having a meeting with their Finance Department on this issue soon after which the decision will be taken.

Source-Rail News

Pune Division ready to shift to its New DRM Office-cum-Administrative Complex in a month

Pune: The Administrative Offices of Pune Railway Division, including its commercial office which handles applications of group booking, coach booking and adding of coaches, will soon shift to a new building on Raja Bahadur Mill Road. Around 90% work at the new building is complete and the administration plans to shift operations by next month.

At present, the departmental offices of the Pune division are in three different locations. These offices host more than 500 visitors every day. The commercial department office is located near the Maldhakka chowk, while the offices of the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM) are located in the premises of Pune station. Scattered locations of these offices often lead to difficulties for citizens as well as staff.

“Visitors and staff will no longer be inconvenienced as all offices will now operate from one building”, an official from the Pune railway division said.

“The construction work has been completed and we are expecting to complete the electric fittings and related works in the next one month”, the official said.

The official added that the three-storey structure, built at a cost of Rs 20 crore, has all the principle provisions of a green building, including maximum use of natural light and ventilation. A separate parking has been provided inside as well as outside the premises for visitors.

The proposal for the new administrative building was initiated a few years back, but was delayed because of financial constraints. The work gathered momentum in the last couple of years after the funds were received.

Sources said that the administration is working on a proposal to provide additional waiting rooms at the station once these offices are shifted in April.
Source-Rail News





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