Jun 2, 2015

Indian Railways trials solar-powered trains to help cut pollution

Indian Railways is soon going to materialise its ambitious plan of harnessing solar energy to run trains. 

The prototype of the solar power-enabled coach is undergoing trials, and soon the entire train will be fitted with solar panels, officials said. 

They said that while solar power will significantly bring down diesel consumption, it will also prove to be cost-effective. At present, nearly 17 units of electricity are being generated from the solar power enabled coach. 
Clean and cheap: Solar power will significantly bring down diesel consumption, and will also be cost-effective

“As the pilot project, one non-AC coach has been fitted with solar panels on the rooftop. The trial has been successful so far with the coach generating nearly 17 units of electricity every day. Depending on its success, decision will be taken to convert the entire train into a solar power-enabled one,” said Divisional Railway Manager, Arun Arora. 

Officials said that by harnessing solar power, the railways will be able to save Rs 1.24 lakh per coach year. 

“Solar energy will be used to meet the electricity needs in moving trains, and reduce diesel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions,” Arora said. 
As part of the pilot project, a non-AC coach has been fitted with solar panels on the roof

According to studies, a train using solar power can reduce diesel consumption by up to 90,000 litres per year and also bring down the carbon dioxide emission by over 200 tonnes. 

As per the plan, the train would be pulled by conventional diesel-run engines while solar panels will provide all the internal electricity needs for lights and fans on both AC and non-AC coaches. 

Officials said India has huge solar power potential, with a good amount of sunlight available for a major part of the day round the year. Harnessing solar power to power Indian Railways is more feasible and cost-effective. 

The clear motive of the project is to cut down on the railways’ fuel bill, which is the second-largest component of expenditure after the employee salaries for the cash-strapped government behemoth used by over 1.3 crore people every day. 

In 2013-14, from the Rs 1.27 lakh crore of Indian Railways’ expenditure, nearly Rs 28,500 crore (22 per cent) were spent on fuel. 

According to a Northern Railway official, 40 sqmetre of space is available on a train’s roof top. Of these, nearly 24 sq-metre of space is covered with 12 solar panels. The remaining 16 sq-metre of space can further accommodate six solar panels, officials said. 

As per the mechanism, alternate coaches are provided with solar panels and when required electricity is fed from the adjoining coach. 

Indian Railways has been focusing on alternate source of fuels with trials already on to use CNG, biodiesel and natural gas among others. 

CNG is being used in local trains on Rohtak–Rewari section of Delhi Division. The dual fuel concept of using CNG and diesel has also helped in saving fuel and money.
Source - daily mail

Central Railway starts ICUs for accident victims

MUMBAI: Train accident victims can expect faster treatment in case of accidents as Central Railway has deployed India's first Intensive Care Unit on Rails ferry patients to its tertiary care hospital in Mumbai. 

The fully -air-conditioned van all the facilities, including medical professionals and equipment, that one needs in the Intensive Care Unit. Member of Parliament Gopal Shetty commissioned this van in service o Moday. 

CR's general manager SK Sood said, "As soon as accident take places, this van will be rushed to the site to shift people fast by rail to tertiary care hospital. It is ambulance on rail but each van being able to accommodate 7 to 8 people." 


Southern Railway with a rail network of 6844 track km, originated 831.36 million passengers and 42.403 million tonnes of freight during 2014-15.The total transportation output o­n Southern Railway during the year was 77.4 million train kms.This staggering volume of traffic has been handled by an ownership of 9676 wagons, 7367 coaches, 847 locomotives and with 730 stations o­n the Railway.

Safety of passengers and freight is of utmost importance over Indian Railways.In fact, Southern Railway has been a pioneering Railway in this aspect.During 2014-15, there were no casualties or injuries to passengers and the corresponding accidents were o­nly two.Both these accidents were at unmanned level crossing gates, which continue to be a cause for concern over the Railway.In fact, at an accident index of 0.025 accidents per million train kilometres during 2014-15, Southern Railway achieved an all India best figure which helped it earn the ‘Safety Shield’ of the Ministry of Railways during the year.

The endeavour of the Railway is to be an accident free zone.Through continual improvement processes of mitigation and prevention, the Railway leaves no stone unturned in infusing modern technology and in training its personnel to the highest standards of safety.Seminars, conferences, drives and mock-drills are also tools extensively used in this endeavour.

To combat the accidents occurring at unmanned level crossings, Southern Railway has planned an extensive campaign during the period 1st June to 5th June, 2015.Campaigns include road shows, counselling road users, awareness through SMS, radio FM, TV channels, advertisements, etc.Of the 720 unmanned level crossings existing o­n Southern Railway, the more densely utilised o­nes – 141 in number – shall be fully covered during the campaign in this period.

It is noteworthy that during 2014-15, 1,84,422 inspections were conducted by officers and supervisors of Southern Railway.24 Safety drives were also conducted during the year.Regular safety inspections / audits are being conducted to eradicate system failures and to improve the efficiency of the system, which is a well-oiled machinery, tuned to achieve an accident free Zonal Railway.
Source - sr.indian railways

The fire that changed the face of Chennai Central

Another era:Nearly 900 traders were running authorised shops and stalls when the fire destroyed Moore Market—PHoto: The Hindu Archives

Thirty years ago on June 1, 1985, Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran made a decision to pull down the fire-ravaged Moore Market after a visit to the heritage premises. The reportedly controversial decision, however, paved the way for the growth of Chennai Central as a multimodal transit hub in the city. Although much water has flowed down the Cooum, similar conflicts between managing the needs of heritage structures and modern infrastructure continue in the locality.

Udupi railway station to get escalator by September

The escalator is going to be set up near the reservation counter on the ground floor of the Udupi railway station.

Widening work on platform No. 1 is also going on

Come September and commuters will use an escalator to reach the main entrance of the Udupi railway station. Apart from the escalator, other facilities for the passengers are also on the anvil at the station.

Since Udupi is a major pilgrim centre and the education hub of Manipal is close, nearly 2,000 passengers alight at the Udupi railway station daily on an average.

Railway minister Prabhu launches passengers' amenities in Maha

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today launched a slew of amenities for passengers which included opening of an elevated circulating area at suburban Andheri railway station. 

Prabhu opened new booking office and the elevated circulating area at Andheri station, besides mechanised linen care centre at Grant Road and a special lounge at CST station along with MP Gopal Shetty. 

The railway minister was here to participate in the ongoing 'Rail Passenger and Customer Facilitation Fortnight' at Andheri station which is one of the busiest railway stations on the Western line of Mumbai local train routes. 
Prabhu also introduced two special ICU coaches of Central Railway and re-introduced dining car in Deccan Queen Express at a function held at Andheri station, the Western Railway stated in a release. 

Wi-Fi at Vijayawada rly. station by June-end

After the Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS), the city railway station is all set to offer Wi-Fi facility to passengers by the end of June.

With the move, Vijayawada railway Station will join the elite club of A-1 category stations in the country offering the facility.

Passengers can avail 4G (fourth generation) services, once the facility is commissioned for which arrangements are going on at a brisk pace, according to official sources.
So far, only seven stations in the country– Agra Cantonment, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Secunderabad and Varanasi -- are providing Wi-Fi facility to passengers. Vijayawada station will be the first in Andhra Pradesh to provide the facility free of cost up to the first 30 minutes and charge for the subsequent usage is being worked out.

DMRC ready to fix imported rails for Kochi

KOCHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will start placing the rails on Kochi Metro's viaduct, starting July 15. The Metro agency is awaiting sanction from the Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) of the Indian Railways to carry out the work.

"It's mandatory to obtain sanction. The rails and design have to meet the specifications of RDSO. We have already approached railways. We expect to get it before July 15," said DMRC project director Dani Thomas. Each 18m-long rail has to be lifted and placed on the viaduct. "These have to be welded together. But, we are not keen on doing such high precision work during heavy rains," he added.





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