Japan to modernize India’s railway stations

09 Sep

Japan has agreed to modernize railway stations across the country while participating in Indian Railways’ $140 billion investment over the next five years.

A Japanese delegation will soon visit India to study the opportunities for industries in the railway station development plan of railways as the public transporter has identified 400 stations to be upgraded in private investment, an official release said here on Wednesday.

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, who is in Japan to strengthen cooperation in rail sector, held a series of high-level meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, deputy Prime Minister and finance minister Taro Aso among other ministers and senior officials and has highlighted that the Indian public transporter would be the next major destination for infrastructure investment worth $140 billion, it said.

Participation of Japanese railways and Japanese companies in various areas of Indian Railways with the aim of modernization and technology upgradation was also emphasized in the discussions.

While agreeing for cooperation on modernization and upgradation, Japan has agreed to assist the public transporter in achieving its zero-accident mission.

Railways invites ideas on cleanliness

Railways research wing – Research Designs & Standards Organization (RDSO), will sign an MoU with Railway Technical Research Institute of Japan to carry out research work on acquiring modern technology for the public transporter, as per the finalization of the action plan.

Prabhu also held meetings with heads of leading financial institutions and highlighted the investment prospects in railways in the coming years. Railways has chalked out a plan to investment $140 billion in infrastructure upgradation in the next five years, the release said.

Japan will also provide its expertise and technology in solving problems of sanitation including the development of waterless, odourless toilets in trains and at stations, it added.

Besides, the country has also agreed to assist Indian Railways in development of a legal and regulatory framework on high speed railway here, the official statement said.

Prabhu is on a two-nation visit to Japan and Korea since September 7.


1 Comment

Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Uncategorized


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One response to “Japan to modernize India’s railway stations

  1. R. Sudharsan

    September 11, 2015 at 10:01 am

    3. Railway stations are an important interface of the Railways with the passengers. Suggest ways and means to improve them and make them more passenger friendly.

    A Railway station is the only interface for a passenger in so far to undertake his journey. Having entered the premises, irrespective of any criterion, certain basic and essential needs, in the form of amenities, are bound to be made available, is very much expected. This holds good even for a person with a PLATFORM ticket. Even for stations where the volume of passenger traffic is very minimal, the need to cater the above is a must.

    With the advent of “Human Rights” non availability of any provisions is being viewed seriously. The recent directive to cater for physically challenged persons at public places is a classic example. Apart from this, unhindered flow of passenger & quick exit mechanism for detrained passengers also play a vital role in designing. Other aspects like Geography, Historical background, Architectural value, Development index, Commercial importance, Industrial growth, Strategic, logistic & military area too contribute to the facilities at any given Station.

    The suggestions brought out are general in nature and coined keeping in mind with stations catering to heavy passenger traffic. These may have to be scaled down suitably to each station depending on its functional aspect and the passenger population it is catering with.

    Given this backdrop an attempt has been made to put in the right kind of things that would bring in:
     Value added service.
     Gap the immediate need.
     Vital parameters installed.
     Need based facilities.
     Safety & Security.

    Cleanliness & Hygiene: This is the prime most factors that come into play. This is an area where the task is a continuous one than with a do & complete. Mechanical cleaning means needs to be put up so that the task can be accomplished quickly and neatly. Over a period of time the station premises needs to be modified to accommodate such works seamlessly. Hence, the whole design of a Railway station needs to be made out as master plan and changes shall abide by this.

    Placing of various amenities has to be wholesome. These need to be analysed at micro level and to be fitted at macro level keeping in mind its functional value. Integrating different needs might be an uphill task but still it is definitely possible.

    PF width: The station premises shall be provided with platforms of right width that would cater for easy movement of passengers & goods, provision for stall area, waiting area, water stations & FOB/Escalators. The pathway of the platform shall be having no goods dumped, as they hinder the free movement of the passengers.

    PF surface: The platform surface is laid with polished stones. These are slippery and causes hardships to elders, patients, physically challenged persons, etc. The scenario becomes worst in case of water stagnation, leakages and during rainy period. It is suggested that stones with rough finish be laid.

    Laying of tile too needs to be discouraged for the aforesaid reason. Apart from this, the top layer gets weared out shortly depending upon the traffic and paints an ugly picture, thus warranting replacement causing huge financial loss & disruption to public. Railways may explore the possibility of tie-up with leading tile manufacturers & R&D institutions to produce tiles exclusively catering to Railways, keeping in mind the specific requirements.

    Stalls: The stalls on platforms shall be of uniform width and that too shall be placed at broad intervals only and not all along. This would provide ample space for other services. Blocking of entire length or even partly for a long length is undesirable to reach across the PFs. While switching trains these are a big obstacle and for passengers with luggage & children it is a nightmare.

    Connectivity among PF: Connections between platforms at every 100m -150m interval preferably with escalators would ease congestion and entail smooth movement between platforms rather than rushing to one point. This would also help in saving lives in case of unusual happening.

    Connection trains at a Station: In case of connecting trains, both the trains shall be berthed on either side of the same platform and the coach number of either train should also match. This would enable passengers to detrain & entrain quickly & swiftly. Though this would be a welcome move in general, it would be more so particularly in the back drop of pairing trains running late.

    Passenger movement management: Clear and demarcated walk ways must be provided on platforms. A suburban passenger needs a quick exit mechanism due to the volume; the long/short distance passenger requires ease of entry & exit as near as possible to the PF. In both the cases easy access to road transport Bus/taxi/auto would be ideal. So is in case of visitors.

    Interiors: The interiors of the station premises shall be devoid of any projection of any kind. The aesthetics shall be of paramount importance and all vital needs like Communication, Electrical works, PA system, Signage, Display units, TV, etc are to be concealed suitably, keeping in view the need for any future expansion. This doesn’t mean that the station shall have false ceiling all over. The structures can be neatly covered with wood works suitable for Signage, which has to be of sticker type.

    Acoustics: The acoustic at an open public place like Railway Station has to be thought of. To start with, the PA system should be acoustically designed and provided with sensors so as to adjust the decibel depending on the noise level at any particular location. This would serve the purpose of the system which as of now adds up to the noise, while the information is lost.

    Self help trolleys: Sufficient high quality noiseless self-help trolleys to be provided all along the PF length, as they would result in quick dispersion of passengers. In order to avoid straying of the trolleys, these can be stacked along the length of the PF at regular intervals and similarly at the exit point. A securing mechanism is available for a trolley that requires inserting a coin to release the trolley and when the trolley is secured at the bay, the coin is returned.

    Emergency calling facility: Intercom facility for the public to reach the RPF & GRP must be provided on each PF at designated intervals. These must be linked to the computers with provision to record and also repeated to the nearest Police station and the control rooms.

    Leaky places: The stations get filthier during monsoon and a leaky location adds to the woes. This could easily be overcome, had a little attention been given while construction. Enough attention needs to be given to the quality of troughs and its suitability from the view point of maintenance. This area is avoidable.

    Security: In the change scenario, security of men and material along with the public property needs no emphasis. Given the severe fund crunch rehabilitation of a massive scale would tell upon the development of a nation. Thanks to the tremendous development on the technology front, this can be effectively put into use to safe guard the premises. Security cameras need to be put in places which would eventually deter undesirable events to a larger extent.

    Entry restrictions: The entry to premises shall be restricted to only those who are bona fide passengers. This would not only enable right crowd at the right place, but would address towards the security measures too.

    Bar code enabled ticket: The tickets shall be printed with bar codes so that the entry into the premise shall be regulated. Each entry point shall have an electronic bar code reader that would validate the ticket with respect to a host of conditions. These include the date, time, train, embarking station, validity, etc. Entry shall be denied to even visitors beyond this point.

    Computerized TTE chart: Once the chart is prepared the RAC & the WL passenger’s status is known for sure. Chances of securing a reserved accommodation for those RAC/WL passengers who haven’t got one is at the mercy of higher forces. In order to obviate such a defect, the TTE’s should be equipped with a net enabled portable machine, instead of the paper charts, through which the checking shall be conducted. As and when a passenger has not joined, the system shall automatically allot it to the next one in order. To alert these passengers the PA system both in the Train and at the next station shall be put into use. This shall be linked to the entry checking mechanism to find out whether these passengers had checked in or not.

    Intelligent lighting: The lighting shall be done in a professional manner. The codal provisions with the advancement in technology shall be put in the best way to achieve the goal. As of now, the new installations can be of LED/OLED. Very few R&D establishments and the lack of co-operation among them, in a vast country like ours, is a major hurdle in bringing out and formulation of policies on this front. The requirement of light [lux] must be assessed and lighting to be provided accordingly, rather than raining the station premises with light, resulting in over lighting, loss of capital & recurring charges.

    These shall also be made as sensor enabled do that during off times, ie when train services are not operated over a long time period, these shall be switched off automatically involving no moving parts or manual intervention. This system alternatively will be useful on the security front also, as they are enabled to switch on, upon a predetermined movement.

    Concealed water station: The water points at the stations are one of the dirtiest locations. The tap is non functional releasing water continuously or unable to be operated. The drains are mostly blocked spilling sullage water all over. In toto the purpose is lost. The cooler is either not working or does not have water. The area around these too is similar in nature. Concealed water station with access to fill containers shall be provided with a mechanism to tackle spill not to fall onto the PF.

    In general the PF shall have no obstruction of any kind. A neat pathway for passenger movement, setback area to stand with luggage, minimum seating at wall ends, Dust bins and water stations in between. The space between the setback area and the wall end shall be designated trolley path. The setback area in front of the parcel van shall be earmarked for goods to be loaded in that vehicle only.

    ATM: Large tract of land is wasted when each bank is allowed to construct its own ATM’s. These are also an eye sore as they do not blend with the station’s architecture, as each bank have their own style. Also they are so closely spaced and the aesthetics too is not conducive for a public place. It is opined that a single hall to accommodate certain number of ATMs would be the solution. Both the banks shall incur less expenditure and Railway too would benefit from lesser area towards this purpose.

    Additional Value added Facilities: Wherever possible, the open spaces in and around the Railway Stations shall be provided with a building that would cater to the moving population.

    These may have one or more of the following:
     Cafeteria.
     Lodging & Boarding.
     Specialist Clinics [Dentist, ENT, Ophthalmic, Diagnostic center, etc].
     Crèche.
     Children’s play area.
     Gymnasium.
     Swimming pool.
     Jogging track at various levels.
     Multiplex.
     Shopping Mall.
     Helipad.
     Tourist operators.
     Laundry services.
     Florists.
     High speed Elevators.
     Roof garden.
     Running of Specials to suit the needs of the offices located.
     Indoor games [Carom, Chess, Table Tennis, etc]
     Outdoor games [Tennis, Badminton, Shuttle, Mini Golf course, etc.]
     Twin sharing rooms.
     One room + pantry quarters.

      


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