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Nov 24, 2014
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Experimental operation of the 480-km Haramain Railway that links the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah will take place in the beginning of next year, said Transport Minister Jabara Al-Seraisry.
He said the first train from a total of 35 trains for the railway would arrive in the Kingdom by the end of this year. “We need sometime to fix the train’s parts and we’ll conduct an experimental operation.”
“We have completed 90 percent work on the main stations and we are studying prospects of establishing a new station near the Meeqat Mosque in Madinah for the benefit of pilgrims,” the minister said.
The 300 km/h speed train system will pass by Jeddah, King Abdulaziz International Airport and King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.
Al-Seraisry, who inspected the railway station in Madinah, urged contractors to establish proper rainwater drainage systems for the stations.
He said work on the two stations in Makkah and Madinah was affected by Umrah and Haj seasons. “Engineers wanted to establish the stations 1.2 meters above the ground level to protect them from flashfloods.”
The Madinah station located in the Knowledge Economic City covers an area of 172,000 square meters and include passenger lounges, six platforms for trains, arrival and departure halls, a helipad, and a mosque and a parking area for 1,000 vehicles.
Mohammed bin Khaled Al-Suwaiket, president of Saudi Railway Organization, said the project would be able to make 90 percent of returns within 12 years. He estimated the project’s total cost at SR3 billion.
He said the railway would operate seven trains between Jeddah and Makkah, two between Makkah and Madinah, and four between Makkah and Rabigh. “Every train is expected to carry nearly 20,000 passengers every hour.”
IMPHAL, Nov 23 – The Tupul-Imphal Railway tunnel in the on-going Manipur railway project (Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal) could be the longest railway tunnel in the country, according to a spokesperson of the Northeast Frontier Railway (Construction Organisation), Guwahati.
“But it could be confirmed whether the tunnel would be the longest in the country only when the construction work is completed,” the spokesperson said over phone.
The Tupul-Imphal Railway tunnel (tunnel number 12) is presently projected as the longest tunnel (10.75 km) amongst 46 tunnels which will cover a total distance of 54.5 km on the 111 km-long new railway line in the State, according to reports.
The 11.2 km long Pir Panjal Railway tunnel which passes through the Pir Panjal Range of middle Himalayas in Jammu and Kashmir which is a part of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project, is India’s longest railway tunnel. The tunnel has reduced the distance between Quazigund and Banihal. Till November 20 this year, as many as nine tunnels have been completed along Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal rail project covering more than 11 km in the new railway line, NF Railway sources added.
Interestingly, out of proposed 148 bridges including four tall, five major and 139 minor bridges, the proposed railway bridge (number 164) near the proposed Noney station along the railway line would be the tallest girder rail bridge in the world with a height of 141 metres.
The anticipated cost of the bridge which is expected to consume 5.1 lakh cement bags (2,55,000 quintals), 75,000 quintals of structural steel, 60,000 quintals of reinforced steel and 22,000 mild steel plates, is Rs 280 crore. At present, the tallest railway bridge is 139 metres high Malarijeka Viaduct in Montenegro in Europe. Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line which is estimated to cost Rs 5,996 crores, is targeted to be completed by 2018 while the 84 km Jiribam-Tupul sector is projected for completion by mid-2016.
NAGPUR: Even as the third railway line project between Nagpur and Wardha is in limbo, the Nagpur Central Railway has proposed third line in rugged terrain of Dharakho-Maramzari and Chichonda-Tigaon between Nagpur and Itarsi.
The Rs140 crore project forwarded by the Nagpur division was okayed by the Mumbai-based headquarters and sent to the Railway Board last month. As part of the project, 13km line will be laid between Dharakho and Maramzari and 17km between Chichonda and Tigaon, both routes lie in the ghat section.
Both these stretches are considered to be one of the toughest routes across the Indian Railways, yet played an important role in its expansion. While the eastern and western parts of the country were connected with the railways comparatively faster, it took time to connect the north and the south. One of the biggest challenges was the Satpuda ranges between Nagpur and Itarsi stations, through which tracks had to be laid in order to expand the railway.
When contacted, Central Railway public relations officer (PRO) PD Patil confirmed the project is at a proposal stage and a final go-ahead by the Railway Board will only tell about how the route is going to be worked out. The third line between both places will stop detention of trains and enhance passenger safety.
The proposal was first conceptualized by the then chief operations manager (COM) RD Tripathi who is now additional general manager of Central Railway. It was being worked out since last year but was forwarded by DRM OP Singh last month considering increase in freight and passenger traffic.
Senior divisional operating manager (SrDOM) Atul Rane said the project, if implemented, will help improve efficiency and punctuality of trains. "The line between Chichonda-Tigaon and Dharakho-Maramzari either way is steep and trains are pushed by bunkers. This takes time but the third line will remove all bottlenecks," said Rane.
"It will be a rare kind of work but once in place, the third line will also be helpful in case of any eventuality. Any mishap in the section means diverting trains via Wardha, Akola, Bhusawal and Itarsi. This is not only time consuming but also increases financial burden, says Rane.
As it is both, freight and passenger traffic in Nagpur Central Railway is increasing substantially but the division is grappling with line capacity. In the last seven months, Nagpur division recorded a revenue of Rs1,529.34 crore. Of this, Rs1,231.64 crore comes from freight while Rs259.73 crore from passenger traffic. This is a jump by 20% as compared to last year.
DRM Singh admits that freight and passenger traffic in the Nagpur-Amla-Itarsi section is increasing. The third line in Chichonda and Dharakho areas will ease congestion and improve efficiency.
Owing to the experience of third line between Nagpur and Wardha and doubling between Kalamna and Nagpur, work on which has not started despite sanction of funds, will the fresh proposal see light of the day is a difficult proposition. Presently, over 150 trains operate daily between Nagpur and Wardha exhausting the line capacity.
Source-times of india
NEW DELHI/BENGALURU: The Railway Ministry plans to shelve projects worth over Rs 10,000 crore in Karnataka as part of a larger move to freeze non-starter schemes across the country.
Altogther 160 such projects, including 47 in the four southern states worth nearly Rs 41,000 crore, will be affected. A majority of these were sanctioned when Lalu Yadav and Mamata Banerjee were railway ministers.
While Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka will lose 14 projects each, Kerala will lose five. The highest value of projects, worth Rs 19,500 crore, is in Tamil Nadu followed by Rs 10,000 crore in Karnataka and Rs 9,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh. Kerala’s projects are worth Rs 2,300 crore.
Most of the projects were sanctioned between 2004 and 2012, and some are as old as 1992-1993. Physical progress in all these projects was zero and the rate of return negative. Besides new rail lines, they include electrification and doubling of existing lines.
For example, the 260-km Bengaluru-Satyamangalam rail line project connecting Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, worth Rs 13,951.7 crore, was sanctioned in 1996-97, but it has been a non-starter. The Kotipalli-Narsapur project sanctioned in 2010-11 was worth Rs 1,045.2 crore, but has met the same fate.
Seven projects were sanctioned between 1992 and 2000 and are yet to take off. The oldest is the 81.2-km Whitefield-Bangarpet-Kuppam rail line sanctioned in 1992-93, the present cost of which is Rs 225 crore.
According to a source in the Railways, land acquisition and delays in clearances by the Forest Department are the main reasons for several projects not being completed. Regarding the Bengaluru-Sathyamangalam project, the source said the Tamil Nadu government had not given the necessary clearances for surveys to be done in forest land.
“Ever since the new land acquisition Act was implemented, not one square inch of land has been given for railway projects,” the source claimed adding that projects like Tumakuru-Rayadurga, Tumakuru-Chitradurga-Davangere and Harihar-Shivamogga had been stalled over land acquisition issues.
Of the 47, nine projects each were sanctioned by Lalu Yadav and Mamata Banerjee. According to the Railways, they are not viable. In order to improve the fiscal health of Railways, the NDA government has decided to review all non-starter projects as money has to be allocated to each of them in the budget. A final call on these projects is yet to be taken by the government.
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