RPF starts WhatsApp groups to ensure security of women.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has come up with an initiative aimed at enhancing and ensuring the safety of women and children at Thiruvananthapuram railway division. Under the programme, ‘Security on Wheels’, two WhatsApp groups, which have RPF personnel and women commuters as members, have been started.

Each group has nearly 100 members who travel frequently on trains. The objectives of the groups — SoW South and SoW North — are to address difficulties faced by passengers during their journey and enable RPF personnel to communicate with them. The groups were started after the awareness programmes conducted by RPF woman constables in trains.

“With the help of the groups, passengers can now share information on any criminal activity on the train or at a railway station. After receiving the information, RPF officers will act immediately. Details of the persons passing on the information will be kept confidential so that they don’t face any trouble,” said T S Gopakumar, Assistant Security Commissioner, RPF, Ernakulam.

The two groups cater to the northern and the southern areas of the Thiruvananthapuram railway division. The groups are directly monitored by Gopakumar and RPF Divisional Security Commissioner S Ramakrishnan. “In the groups, members can share their suggestions on improving security at a railway station. However, messages and comments on any other issue will not be entertained,” said Gopakumar.

“We had spread awareness in the women’s compartments in trains so that more women can use these group effectively for their safety. In Thiruvananthapuram, we have almost 200 women commuters who use the group. It has only been a week but the response has been overwhelming,” said RPF woman constable V Dhanya.

To other districts
According to Gopakumar, more groups based on railway circles will be created once the group reaches the maximum number of 250 members. This will help ensure security of women in other districts.
The RPF is also planning to make SoW a part of the RPF Mitra Yojana, through which members will be given identity cards and declared RPF mitras.

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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


New technology to curb costs on Telangana Express.

With an aim to reduce carbon footprint, the South Central Railway has introduced the Head On Generation (HOG) system in Telangana Express on Wednesday. The new technology caters to the power needs of the train service, including lighting and air conditioning in the coaches.

All the existing Telangana Express trains will now run on HOG system. According to SCR, previously, two power cars known as HOG system (EOG) were available on both the ends of Telangana Express for providing lighting and air conditioning in the coaches. These power cars, which used to produce electricity with a diesel generator, require 40 litres of diesel per hour for every non-AC coach and around 65 to 70 litres of diesel per hour for every AC coach.

The new system does not require any diesel consumption and will reduce air and noise pollution. On average it will reduce carbon emission by 700 MT per year per train in regular practice for a train provided with two power cars equipped with diesel alternator sets. The average expenditure incurred on fuel consumption per trip by Telangana Express is around Rs 2 lakh. The energy consumption cost per trip per train in the new system will be around Rs 78,000. The estimated savings for each trip is around Rs 1.22 lakh and savings per year is around Rs 1.35 crore.

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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


Indian Railways passengers cheer! Trains and coaches to become swankier, cleaner with these steps

From periodic maintenance to mid-life rehabilitation, there have been several steps taken and various projects launched in order to give an essential infrastructural boost to the trains on the network and the railway stations.

Various projects have been launched to give an infrastructural boost to the trains on the Indian Railways network.

Big infrastructural boost for Indian Railways! In its endeavour to provide passenger safety and convenience, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is taking several new steps. The repair and improvement of Indian Railways passenger coaches is a continuous process. From periodic maintenance to mid-life rehabilitation, there have been several steps taken and various projects launched in order to give an essential infrastructural boost to the trains on the network and the railway stations. Below are some of the steps Indian Railways is taking to upgrade coaches in order to improve passengers train journey:

Project Utkrisht:
Indian Railways had launched Project Utkrisht in the month of April 2018 in order to improve the condition of ICF-design coaches operating on Mail /Express trains. The project involves upgradation of as many as 640 rakes of Mail / Express trains which has been taken up under Project Utkrisht for the improvement in patronized train services.

The cleanliness of coach interiors, toilets, exteriors of train coaches is being taken up under Project Utkrisht. The train coaches are also being painted with a new and vibrant colour scheme. This redevelopment work in more than 135 rakes has already been completed under the project.

Induction of modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches:

In order to provide safer and more comfortable journey to the passengers, the Railway Ministry decided to proliferate or induct the modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches and also to convert trains operating with conventional ICF type coaches to LHB coaches, in a phased manner.

The production units of the network are now only being manufactured as LHB coaches from the year 2018-19, and presently, as many as 411 pairs of trains on Indian Railways are being operated with the LHB coaches. Recently, the semi-high speed Train 19-set of Vande Bharat service had also been introduced between the New Delhi – Varanasi route.

Project Swarn:
Indian Railways had launched Project Swarn in the month of May 2017 with the objective of significantly improving the passenger experience in premium Indian Railways trains. This project was taken up across multiple dimensions, which include the redevelopment of coach interiors, toilets, onboard cleanliness, linen in the premium Rajdhani and Shatabdi train services. The redevelopment work under Project Swarn has already been completed in 58 out of 67 rakes on the Indian Railways network.
The coaches operating on the Indian Railways network are worked upon through periodic stipulated maintenance schedules during which the required repairs are attended to. The systems have been put in place in order to ensure that the passenger coaches which have completed their prescribed service life or are unfit for the service, are not allowed for running train services on the network.

Indian Railways also undertakes mid-life Rehabilitation (MLR) of the conventional integral coach factory (ICF) manufactured type mainline coaches, which have been in service for around 12-15 years, in a regular programmed manner. This includes extensive body repairs, bogie repairs, wheel overhauling, trimming of berths, painting, water tank repairs are done on these coaches.

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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


Indian Railways goes extra mile to upgrade tracks! Automatic track renewal machines being used at night

One stretch – the Dhupguri – Khalaigram block section in West Bengal that falls under Northeast Frontier Railway zone, is a single line section, having line capacity of more than 170 per cent. At this location, Indian Railways is using automatic track renewal machines to speed up work – that too at night.

This kind of maintenance work at night hours has been carried out for the very first time in Northeast Frontier Railway zone.
Efficient step by Indian Railways! Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is focusing on upgrading railway infrastructure, especially on track renewal for safe operations of train services. One stretch – the Dhupguri – Khalaigram block section in West Bengal that falls under Northeast Frontier Railway zone, is a single line section, having line capacity of more than 170 per cent. At this location, Indian Railways is using automatic track renewal machines to speed up work – that too at night! According to NFR, the Plasser Quick Relaying System (PQRS) work is a necessity under the track renewal work of the line.

The zonal railways has planned the work for at night as it is not possible to carry out the work during daytime due to heavy flow of passenger trains. Interestingly, this kind of maintenance work at night hours has been carried out for the very first time in Northeast Frontier Railway zone.

According to a press release issued by the Northeast Frontier Railway zone, working on blocks during night time is very tough and challenging. Also, it requires a lot of lighting arrangements so that labour, as well as machineries, can work smoothly. For this work, two generators of 63KVA each were used with 65 number of Halogen in a length of 500 metres on both sides of the track. In addition to PQRS work, rail renewal work was also planned in the shadow of this night block, where similar arrangements were made as well.

According to Northeast Frontier Railway, the problem was further aggravated due to heavy rains in the area during the laying of the tracks. For this, raincoats were also provided to all labourers on humanitarian grounds. In this block, one officer, two Supervisors from railway side, three Supervisors from contractor side and a total of 120 number of labourers were engaged so that the maximum output can be given, the release stated.

Recently, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal also showed his appreciation by tweeting about the employees who worked with utmost precision and accuracy while laying tracks at night near Dhupguri, ensuring better connectivity in far-flung areas.

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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


Indian Railways hire air hostesses, flight stewards for Vande Bharat Express.

After its high-tech interiors and tasty meals, now the superfast Delhi-Varanasi Vande Bharat Express will have smartly-turned out ‘air-hostesses’ on board handing out food to passengers.

Indian Railways has hired over 34 ‘air hostesses and flight stewards’ to care for passengers on Vande Bharat, which was inaugurated on February 15.

The air hostesses, attired in white shirt-black trousers with a black sleeveless jacket, a silk scarf around the neck, and with the hair smartly combed back, would wheel in the food trolleys, laden with food and drinks for the passengers.

The Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has done the hiring of air hostesses and flight stewards on Vande Bharat, which was earlier named Train 18, a railway official said, declining to be named.

‘Part of Pilot Project’
The move is part of a six-month pilot project to take forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s dream of making the railways more competitive by providing world class service to passengers.

Besides adding to passenger comfort, the railways also hopes the move will help minimise complaints regarding shoddy behaviour of pantry staff.

Just like on an airline flight, the air hostesses and flight stewards would greet passengers with a smile and ‘namastey’ while boarding and thank them during debording.

IRCTC MD M.P. Mall told IANS, “We have hired 34 Air Hostesses and Flight Stewards from the Air Borne Air Hostess Academy in Delhi to provide flight-like hospitality services on board the Vande Bharat Express.”

He said the pilot project is aimed at not only improving the catering service but also “improve communication” with passengers.

The pilot project was launched a month ago and the response has been “amazing!”, he said.

IRCTC Can Recruit More Air Hostesses
If the project is successful, the IRCTC would float a tender to hire more such personnel for the Vande Bharat Express as well as other premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Tejas and Humsafar Express trains.

IRCTC Spokesperson Siddharth Singh said that IRCTC is paying Rs 25,000 a month as salary to the Air Borne Air Hostess Academy personnel.

Earlier, the pantry staff would be paid around Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 a month by the private player hired for providing services.

The Prime Minister flagged off the Vande Bharat Express chair-car train from New Delhi to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh on February 15. It covers the 850 km distance in eight hours, compared to the 12 hours by other trains.

Free WiFi
The high-speed Vande Bharat train has been manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) of the Indian Railways in Chennai.

The gleaming blue-nosed train comes fitted with the best amenities, including high-speed on-board WiFi, GPS-based passenger information system, touch-free bio-vacuum toilets, LED lighting, mobile charging points and a climate control system that automatically adjusts the temperature.

The 16-coach train has two executive compartments with 52 seats each and trailer coaches with 78 seats each. The executive class coaches have rotating seats to match the direction of the train.

The food on board the train is much compared to other trains.

(Anand Singh can be contacted at

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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


Indian Railways begin onboard shopping for Karnavati Express passengers.

Indian Railways’ Passengers from now onwards can enjoy shopping while travelling. The passengers in the train can purchase items for day-to-day use while travelling. From today, Ahmedabad Division of Western Railway has started on-board shopping in train no 12934/33 Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Karnavati Express and in train no 12931/22 Double Decker Express. This service will be available in both direction with access to digital payment from passengers.

Passengers who purchase products from merchandisers will have the options to make payment using a debit card, credit card, Google Pay and Paytm.

Indian Railways’ on-board shopping will have a trolley/shopping cart carrying various FMCG products like beauty items, home and kitchen appliances, Stationery products, paper products and fitness and health items. However, sale of gutka, cigarettes, tobacco are not permitted.

The products will be available at MRP value. In December 2018, the Mumbai Division of Western Railway zone had decided to this projecton a pilot basis. For this project, as manay as 16 Mail/Express were shortlisted by the railways and the contract was awarded for five years to HBN Network Pvt Ltd.

As per reports, two sales staff are deployed by the licensee to sell FMCG goods. The sales staff will be allowed to merchandise the products between 8 am to 9 pm so that it can avoid onboard passnegers from being disturbed.

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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized


Meet the officer behind the country’s first railway station with vertical gardens

With a garden sporting 37,000 plants, the Ludhiana Railway Station is not only the first station in Punjab to have a vertical garden, but the first in the country. With an aim to reduce the use of plastic, and add more greenery to the campus, the initiative was inaugurated on Income Tax Day on July 24. This initiative is the brainchild of Rohit Mehra, an Internal Revenues Services officer.

Inaugurated by Binay K Jha, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT- Ludhiana), Vivek Kumar, the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) and Rohit himself, the project has already gathered the right kind of attention, since its launch a year ago.

Speaking to the Tribune India, he said,

“Waste plastic is a major environmental concern. It is better to put these bottles to good use by planting small shrubs in them.”

He says that a vertical garden not only helps in longevity of a wall as it protects it from extreme weather conditions, but also helps in lowering the indoor temperature by almost five degrees Celsius.

Rohit confesses he drew inspiration from one of his visits to Sri Lanka, where he saw vertical gardens in home terraces too. Instead of using new plastic pots, he promoted the usage of plastic bottles that are used for packing water and aerated drinks. He did a pilot project at his house and on its success, he took it forward to his own office, where today he houses over 18,000 bottles.

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized


DEPwD takes initiative of verification audit of accessibility features in 70 Railway Stations.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Smt. Shakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, DEPwD, M/o Social Justice & Empowerment and Dr. P.S.N. Rao, Director, School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, today in the presence of senior officers of DEPwD and SPA, Delhi. The main purpose of the MoU between the DEPwD and SPA Delhi is to conduct verification audit of 10% major railway stations which have been made accessible.

The verification audit of 70 railway stations in 25 states will be completed within 6 months. In first phase, 15 important railways stations will be audited. Subsequently, 25 and 30 stations will be audited in second and third phase.

On receipt of verification audit reports, Ministry of Railways will take steps for any further modification and corrections if required, to improve accessibility of the stations.

Accessible India Campaign (AIC) under the aegis of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) M/o SJ&E is a flagship campaign launched on 3rdDecember 2015 by the Prime Minister, with the vision to create a barrier-free environment for the ease of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). Implementation of the Campaign was based on making three essential aspects of daily living in everybody’s life universally accessible, namely; Built – up Environment, Transportation Systems and Information &Communication Eco-system.

Railways is an important means of transportation used by the general public. The DEPwD has been coordinating with Ministry of Railways to make railway platforms, ticket counters, toilets alongwith railway buildings accessible used by the public. Ministry of Railways has informed the DEPwD that they have made 639 out of 709 major railway stations accessible under AIC.

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Step By Step Guide To Change Boarding Station, Passenger Name In Railways’ Online Ticket

IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Operation), e-ticketing website of Indian Railways, offers the facility of changing boarding station online. E-ticket commuters can also change the name of the passenger by approaching the nearest railway reservation office with ‘electronic reservation slip’ print out and photo identity proof in original of one of the passenger traveling in the ticket, as mentioned on the official website of IRCTC. User can log in to his/her IRCTC account and change the boarding station. Indian Railways doesn’t provide any facility to change the boarding station when the tickets have been booked via offline mode.
Passenger who has booked online tickets via IRCTC can change his boarding station online before 24 hours of the scheduled departure of the train.

Steps to change boarding station online via IRCTC:

1. Login into IRCTC website- with login ID and password

2. Click on option ‘Booking Ticket History’

3. Select the appropriate booking to change boarding point

4. Click on ‘Change Boarding Point’

5. The user be navigated to ‘Change Boarding Point’ page. Now select new boarding station from the drop down under change boarding station section.

How to change passenger’s name in online ticket:

According to extant railway rules, the ‘name change’ facility of passenger holding confirmed e-reservation has been permitted. The passenger can make a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of train to the nearest railway reservation office, said IRCTC. The ticket can be transferred to another member of the family like father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, husband and wife, said IRCTC.

The passenger should bring the ‘electronic reservation slip’ print out along with photo identity card proof in original and a proof for blood relation desired to be changed. Indian Railways also allows ‘name change’ facility in case a government servant is proceeding on duty and appropriate authority makes a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of train.

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized


How Indian Railways is pushing zones to generate crores of non-fare revenue?

In a bid to bring its tottering non-fare revenue policy back on its feet, the Railway Board has now asked zones to leverage virtually every inch of railway property to generate funds through advertisements on a “mission mode”. Indian Railways’ plans to generate Rs 39,000 crore from non-fare sources over 10 years has been a damp squib. In terms of earnings, after the initial burst of generating revenue of Rs 10,338 crore in 2016-2017, things slowed down to Rs 8,600 crore against a target of Rs 14,000 crore in 2017-2018. In 2018-2019 till April, the revenue has crawled to Rs 32.65 crore against a target of Rs 1200 crore.

“You would be aware of the pressing need to generate non-fare revenues. Besides other measures, leveraging spaces at railway stations for improving passenger comfort and generating additional revenue could give quick results,” Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said in his letter dated July 12, adding that zones should make a “realistic assessment” of the likely additional revenues that can be generated and send monthly reports to him on the issue. Lohani in his letter has asked zones to leverage every inch of railway property to generate revenue through advertisements – from its platforms, circulating areas, benches, walls of toilets, foot overbridges, linen packets, interior and exterior of coaches to charging for usage of air-conditioned waiting rooms.

The national transporter has already withdrawn tenders for out-of-home (OOH) advertisements and advertisements on trains owing to a “low industry response” and “technical reasons”. OOH included station areas, overbridges, underbridges, level-crossing gates, railway colonies, workshops, production units, and railway land along tracks. These initiatives would have added at least Rs 82.5 billion to its revenues over 10 years. “It is of essence that zonal railways move forward in a mission mode to generate non-fare revenue,” Lohani said.

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in Uncategorized