Aug 7, 2015

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Underground rail strike brings transport chaos to London

Millions of Londoners struggled to work on Thursday as a strike brought the Underground rail network to a standstill for the second time in a month, leading to traffic gridlock across the British capital.

Commuters turned to cars, boats, bicycles and heaving buses to cope with the 24-hour walkout by rail unions over plans for a new all-night service. No trains were running on the network, which usually handles some four million journeys a day.

"When you get into the central stations, it's carnage," said James Isaacs, who works for a private bank and was struggling with two large bags in the City of London financial district. "It's hot, it's sweaty and someone's going to lose their temper soon."

Congestion brought vehicles across the city to a halt, with traffic analysts TomTom reporting more than 200 jams causing tailbacks amounting to some 100 miles.

The action follows a dispute over planned 24-hour services at weekends due to start on Sept. 12 on the "Tube", as the world's oldest underground passenger railway is known.

Nick Brown, managing director of London Underground, said it had offered unions an above-inflation 2 percent pay rise, a one-off payment of 500 pounds ($776) and a promise that drivers would have the same number of weekends off. Annual leave would remain the same - 43 days for a train driver and 52 days for station staff.

"We listened to their concerns over work-life balance and put forward an extremely fair, revised offer," Brown said.

All four unions involved said they supported night services and that their concerns centred on safety an staffing levels rather than pay.

"Our dispute is not with the travelling public - it is with those who have botched the introduction of Night Tube and who are trying to plug staffing gaps by wrecking any chance of a decent work/life balance for our members," said RMT General Secretary Mick Cash.

Many of those who had to find alternative ways to get to work were unimpressed.

"They get way more holiday than me," said Marie Kelly, 27, who was walking to her job in a central London restaurant. "They should just get on with it. It is annoying, it's disruptive."

However for some who opted to work from home, the strike had an unexpected bonus, allowing them to watch England's rampant cricket team skittle out fierce rivals Australia for just 60 on the first day of their fourth Test Match.

"What an amazingly timed tube strike. Come on England!" one fan, Luke Tansley, tweeted

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National Federation of Indian Railwaymen
Dated: 06/08/2015
Meeting between the Federations (NFIR & AIRF) and Hon’ble Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu – Rail Bhawan, New Delhi – 6th August,
A special meeting was held in the Chamber of Railway Minister, Shri Suresh Prahhu wherein the Presidents and General Secretaries of NFIR/AIRF have participated in the discussion. CRB, MS and ED (IR) were present during discussions.
Important issues discussed in the meeting
1. Bibek Debroy Committee Report
The Federations expressed their strong reservations on certain recommendations or High Level Railway Restructuring Committee (HLRRC) headed by Bibek Debroy, more particularly Railway Regulatory Authority (RRA), Private Players entry into the Railway services, Railway Medical services. RPF etc..
The Minister while appreciating the points raised bv the NFIR has directed the Railway Board (CRB/MS) to organise a separate meeting between Mr Debroy and the Federations for discussing the recommendations freely and frankly for the purpose of understanding each others perception, facilitating the Railway Ministry to appropriately consider further.
2. Productivity Linked Bonus to Railway employees
P.L. Bonus and the new formula floated by the Railway Board was discussed. Federations insisted thal the agreement reached on 22nd November, 1979 should be respected and no capital should be taken into consideration as the utilization or capital is not in the hands of workers.
After discussion, it was agreed to consider all points for sorting out the issues satisfactorily.
3. Charter of Demands and the decision of the JCM constituent organisations to go on Indefinite Strike from 23rd November, 2015.
The compelling circumstances under which the JCM constituent organisalions have taken a decision to go on indefinite strike and Railway Federations are party to the decision was explained to the Railway Minister. The Federations urged upon the Railway Minister to see that the Railway Ministry takes initiative towards reaching a negotiated settlement on pending issues and Charter of Demands. Issues, particularly upgradation of Apex Level Group ‘C’ posts to Group Gazetted. Act Apprentices. Non-implementation of agreement reached between the Federations and full Board on February, 2014. were brought to the notice of the Railway Minister.
After discussion, the MR has instructed the Board to deal with these issues for ensuring that healthy industrial relations are maintained with the Federations.
The Minister has been categorical in assuring the Federations that there is no question of privatization of Railways. The Minister also said that improved technology and improvement of efficiency levels will be given priority for making Indian Railways a dynamic infrastructure. He also complimented the rail work force for their devotion which has resulted in improvement of Operating Ratio.
Yours fraternally,
(Dr M. Raghavaiah)
General Secretary
Source: NFIR


ticket in five minutes

TWIN TRAIN ACCIDENT - Railway Board is making excuses on Harda Train Accident inspite of clear warning by weather department

Source  - jagaran

Railway officer caught red handed by CBI for taking bribe

Source - Govemployee

Sri Lanka says Indian, Chinese railway projects cost too much

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government is investigating two railway projects funded and built by India and China as costs were found to be excessive and also probing other irregularities and corrupt practices in the transport sector, a spokesman said. 

Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the corruption was uncovered by a Special Investigation Committee appointed to probe allegations against the former regime.

The cost for rebuilding the island’s northern railway line, which was destroyed in the ethnic war, was found to have been too high, he told a news conference.

He was referring to a project done with an Indian government soft loan by Ircon International Limited, an Indian government construction company.

The committee had probed the “enormous cost and issues regarding the estimates of the constructions of the northern railway line,” Senaratne said.

It also found the costs estimated for the construction of the southern Matara - Kataragama railway line to be high.

This project was funded with a Chinese loan and is being built by China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation (CMC).

In both projects, competitive bidding had not been done in selecting contractors. 

The Internal Transport Ministry has also sought advice from the Attorney General's Department on taking legal action against institutions and people found responsible for irregularities, Senaratne said. 

He said legal action has been instituted against politicians of the ousted Rajapaksa regime for not paying for the use of state buses during the January 2015 presidential poll. 

The Ministry of Internal Transport is seeking to recover 142 million rupees for providing Sri Lanka Transport Board buses for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s publicity campaign in the presidential election.  (Colombo/August 6 2015)

Railway minister to meet heads of financial institutions in Mumbai on Friday

MUMBAI: Ministry of Railways are convening a meeting in Mumbai on Friday with representatives of Financial Institutions to sensitize the finance community of emerging investment opportunities in the Railway Sector. 

This is a follow up on the Banks' and Financial Institutions' Conclave held in Delhi on July 21. 

A Press Information Bureau (PIB) release said , "The meeting of senior railway officials with Heads and CEOs of FIs and a few corporates is being organized at the initiative of the Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu who had in his maiden Railway Budget unveiled massive investment plans for strengthening and modernizing the key Railway infrastructure in the country." 

Prabhu, Chairman, Railway Board and Financial Commissioner, Railways are scheduled to address the meeting. 

The meeting is being held in Mumbai this time to increase exposure and visibility to the investment plan of Railways. The Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) which is the financial intermediary for the Railways is co-hosting the meeting.

Source - toi

adurai Railway Minister to greet employees on birthdays

Suresh Prabhu

K. Kasirajan, Travelling Ticket Inspector in Tirunelveli, would be doubly happy on Friday, his birthday. On reaching office, he will have a pleasant surprise — a birthday greeting from none other than Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu.

Kasirajan is not the only one to be greeted by Minister. All the employees and officials of one of the biggest organisations in the world would get greetings signed by Mr. Prabhu on their birthdays.

“This is one of the several initiatives the Railway Board has taken to encourage the railway men, even as several austerity measures have been proposed to make the organisation profitable,” an official said.

In the greeting, a print out of which would be handed over to the employee by their immediate boss, the Railway Minister wished him and said the birthday was a reminder that the best in him was yet to come.

Stating that railway men are the biggest asset to the organisation, he hints at the proposed transformational journey and says “We are setting direction for a long and difficult road ahead.”

However, exuding confidence in overcoming the challenges, Mr. Prabhu says with faith, courage and dedication, no dream is too big.

The Minister further says, “I hope that in realising this dream, you turn the challenges into opportunities, consider your weakness as motivation and polish your strengths into your uniqueness.”

Huge database

Indian Railway has built a huge data base of the railway employees, including that of various railway units, in its portal, Comptran.

The employees whose personal or railway closed user group mobile numbers are registered in the database would get the greetings in the form of a short message service (SMS). And those whose numbers are not available, will get it in the form of a printout, the official said.

Source - the Hindu

Kharik Me Dhasi Patri Bal Bal Bachi Train

Source - jagaran

Rlys clueless on flood alert at mishap site

Twenty-four hours before the twin train tragedy in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh, local administration had sounded a flood alert and was evacuating 24 villages in the vicinity of what turned out to be ground zero.

But the railways had no hint of the flood alarm or the rising waters near the bridge where the tracks were washed away on Tuesday midnight.

Harda collector Rajneesh Srivastava confirmed both evacuation as well as Met department's alert about the heavy downpour. On Monday , district administration had carried out rescue operations for the flood-hit in two dozen villages, but railway officials, who carried out routine inspections just an hour before the tragedy, said they were not kept in the loop.

“The district administration did not alert the railways about the situation as per protocol. The bridge was never part of the vulnerable sections identified during floods. The water level suddenly rose alarmingly and washed away the tracks,“ said West Central Railway (WCR) GM Ramesh Chandra. He also claimed railways was not made aware of any evacuation taking place near the site of the train accident.

The death toll was expected to cross 40 with 12 passengers still missing. On Thursday , eight bodies were identified by family members of the victims.

Source - toi





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