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Now, quench your thirst with water generated from moisture at stations in Waltair division of East Coast Railway.

Water-deficit railway stations located in hilly terrains and dense forests of the Eastern Ghats that fall under the Waltair division of East Coast Railway (ECoR) will soon receive a unique apparatus, which will allow it to harvest potable water from atmospheric moisture. The name of the equipment is Atmospheric Moisture Extractor (AME).
Nearly 15 to 20 railway stations located along the Kothavalasa-Kirandul (KK-line) railway line does not have access to safe potable water sources owing to their geographical location.

Railway officials are exploring the possibility of using AME, which has already yielded successful results at Rauli, a small railway station under the division, near Rayagada in Odisha. Named Akash Ganga, the project is the first-of-its-kind to be taken up in the Indian Railways. The railways introduced AME at Rauli this summer and got successful results.

Speaking to TOI, Waltair divisional railway manager MS Mathur said, they would identify the railway stations at hilly locales that lack access to safe potable water and would implement the AME method.

A technical railway official said, the AME draws air from the atmosphere and the air is passed over condenser so that the water vapour in it is transformed into water due to heat exchange. It works at low relative humidity level such as 50% and ambient temperature in shade 90-95° F. The output of AME is about 120 litres per day usually and energy consumption per litre is 0.35KW to 0.40 KW (kilowatt).

“The AME method at Rauli station has been a boon to the railway staff and passengers at the station, which had water problem for decades. After examining various methods, the authorities decided on the AME and installed it at Rauli in April end this year,” the railway officer, added.

While the cost of AME is around Rs 2 lakh, the maintenance cost is considerably less.
“The railway stations, which have water problems and do not have access to proper water sources, can use this machine to get water. The only requirement is the stations should have good atmospheric moisture,” the railway officer said.

The officer revealed that there are nearly 15 to 20 such railway stations along the KK-line, which passes through the Eastern Ghats in the division limits. The stations depend on stream water to meet their needs. Moreover, the water collected from hill streams is unfit for drinking. “We will examine the installation of this AME at the KK line stations,” the railway officer added.

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Posted by on June 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Indian Railways: The old and creaky behemoth is undergoing large-scale transformation at rapid pace.

Indian Railways is world’s fourth largest train network but has traditionally been known for its delays, inefficiency and sloppy service levels. However, since the current NDA government taking over in 2014, this old and creaky behemoth is undergoing a large-scale transformation at a rapid pace.


While HSR trains in Europe, Japan, and China run at 300+ km/hr, the fastest train in India (Shatabdi Express) still clocks a maximum of only 75 km/hr. The average speed of passenger trains in India is a shoddy 50 km/hr and freight trains run even slower at an average speed of 25 km/hr.

This is set to dramatically change with High-Speed-Rails (300+ km/hr), Semi-High-Speed trains (160+ km/hr) and Dedicated Freight Corridor.

First HSR (Bullet Trains) project on Mumbai–Ahmedabad route was launched in 2017. Currently, five more routes for connecting major Indian cities are at different stages of evaluation which will eventually create 10,000+ km of bullet train network across India.

In addition, Semi-High-Speed trains (Gatimaan Express and Tejas Express) have been launched in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Many more routes are planned to be covered by semi-high-speed trains shortly. Currently code-named as Train 18 and Train 20, these swanky trains are indigenously Made in India (at ICF, Chennai) with modern features like engine-less travel and zero discharge bio-vacuum toilets. Running at more than 160 km/hr, they will reduce travel time by 20% and will eventually replace Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains in India. Train 18 is planned to be launched before the end of 2018 and Train 20 by sometime in 2020.

Safety and Punctuality:

Currently, both passenger trains and freight trains share the same railway tracks. Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project is constructing 3,300 km of Railway Tracks exclusively for goods trains. Once slow-moving freight trains are shifted to DFC, the tracks for passenger trains will be significantly de-congested, resulting in increased safety and punctuality. DFC will also enable double the freight train lengths, carrying 2.5 times the load to travel at three times the current speed (from 25 km/h to 75 km/hr). The first stretch of DFC is planned to be operational by end 2018 and full corridor by 2020.

Since 2018, the old signal system is being replaced by the new European Train Control System-2 (ETCS2) in phases. ETCS2 allows trains to run on the same track with a minimum distance of just 500 meters between them, which will increase track utilization, help to run trains at faster speeds and further reduce delays.

To increase safety, Railways has also started implementing Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) on 3,330 km of tracks. This advanced accident prevention measure, under which trains are in constant communication with the signals through sensors installed on the track side, will be implemented in two phases over the next four years. It will reduce manual effort, increase train safety and prevent delays during foggy weather.

Quality of Service:

In 2017, Mumbai local got its first AC train 150 years after its inception. These modern coaches are made indigenously in Integral Coach Factory, Chennai.

Catering vendors in many trains have been given hand-held PoS machines for billing the passengers. This will prevent passengers being overcharged for food or vendors pocketing the money without issuing bill thus causing loss of revenue to railways.
Indian Railways has also partnered with Google to provide free high-speed Wi-Fi on all 8,500 stations across the country. As of March 2018, it is already available on 600 stations.

Environment and Cleanliness:

In 2017, Indian Railways also started using solar panels on rooftops of DEMU trains. These panels generate energy for train’s electrical systems like lights, fans, door operation, information display panels etc. Using solar energy on six carriages saves Railways around 21,000 litres of diesel every year while reducing the carbon signature by 54 tonnes per year.

In another appreciable initiative, Railways has installed 1,25,000 bio-toilets in train coaches. Jointly developed by the engineers of Indian Railways and DRDO, these are modern technology mechanisms which convert human waste into water and gases. This initiative will go a long way in maintaining the hygiene and cleanliness of railway tracks.

Skill creation for future:

Initially announced in 2014, India is also setting up its first “Rail University” in Vadodara, Gujarat. With a focus on R&D on modern railways, signalling, communication and transportation technology, this will be set up as a global university, open to 3,000 students from across the globe. With Pramath Sinha, founding dean of Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad as Chief Advisor for the project, the university is planned to start by 2018.

Indian Railways is transforming at a never before scale and is setting the ground for a much better customer experience in years to come.


















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Posted by on June 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


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‘Free Internet’: How to access free Wi-Fi at railway stations? Check step-by-step guide

Google in partnership with Indian Railways’ telecom company RailTel, on Thursday announced that its free public Wi-Fi programme, RailWire has been successfully accomplished with the Dibrugarh in Assam becoming the 400th railway station to get the public Wi-Fi service. The RailWire project began piloted in 2016 under PM Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative. It was then proposed that there will be at least 400 railway stations that will be equipped with free high-speed public Wi-Fi hotspots.

The RailWire Wi-Fi hotspot offers 30 minutes of free Internet access to the people who are at the covered railway stations in India. The data limit given to the users is around 350MB per person, which includes both browsing and downloading. Due to the free Wi-Fi hotspots available across the strong network of railway stations, many people have leveraged the service for various purposes, including for education. If you want to access the free RailWire Internet service, here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1 – Make sure you are at one of those railway stations that are covered by RailWire Wi-Fi service

Step 2 – Turn on Wi-Fi settings on your mobile phone, PC, or other supported device

Step 3 – If you are in the coverage area, you will see the RailWire Wi-Fi SSID, although it is generally suffixed with some numbers and English letters.

Step 4 – Tap on RailWire to connect to Wi-Fi. You will get a notification to sign into the network

Step 5 – Now, tap on the notification that will open a secured webpage of Google’s RailWire service. The page is ad-supported, so it is possible that a video advertisement begins playing the moment you open the webpage. Therefore, it is recommended to lower down the volume on your device to save the unwanted attention.

Step 6 – Tap on the Start button located in the top right corner of the webpage.

Step 7 – Now you will be asked to enter your mobile phone number for registration. Make sure that the mobile number you are entering is accessible to you so that the OTP can be obtained.

Step 8 – On the next page, you need to enter the OTP you received on your mobile number. Now click Connect

Step 9 – Your RailWire Wi-Fi connection is successful. Exit the Wi-Fi sign-in page now.

After you are connected to Google and RailTel’s RailWire free public Wi-Fi hotspot, you are free to use the Internet at high speeds. However, the speed largely depends on the number of connections presently active in a particular area. Once registered on RailWire, you won’t need to repeat the sign-in process on any railway station across India – just turn your Wi-Fi on and your phone will automatically connect to RailWire.

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Posted by on June 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Big Modi government project complete! Google says free WiFi available at 400 Indian Railways stations now.

Tech giant Google today said it has rolled out free public WiFi at 400 Indian railway stations in collaboration with RailTel.

Launched as a key initiative under Digital India programme, the service was kicked off from Mumbai Central station in January 2016, and Dibrugarh in Assam has become the 400th station to go live today, Google said in a statement.

The project has succeeded in its mission of bringing connectivity to millions of unconnected Indians, leveraging on the nationwide optic fiber network backbone created by RailTel, it added.

RailTel is the telecom arm of Indian Railways.

Within the first year of the project’s launch, 100 of the busiest railway stations across India were brought online, enabling 15,000 people to experience the internet for the first time every day, it said.

“With over 8 million monthly unique users connecting to the network, this is a lighthouse project for India and every growing economy that is looking to bring the benefit of connectivity to everyone in their country,” Google India Director Partnership Next Billion Users K Suri said.

K Manohar Raja, Executive Director (Enterprise Business) at RailTel said the endeavour has been to bridge the experience divide by providing one of the fastest public WiFi networks in the world.

The service, which offers thirty minutes of free access to the internet, saw users consuming about 350 MB of data per session on an average.

While majority of the users are in the 19-34 age group, efforts to help older and first time users with onground support staff has helped millions to experience the internet for the first time, the statement said.

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Posted by on June 12, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Enjoy Free Virtual Tours With Indian Railways, Courtesy Google.

Indian Railways has joined hands with Google to consolidate a digital repository of its rich heritage through an elaborate crowd-sourcing exercise in form of a free virtual tour.

Under a pilot project of Google Cultural Institute, six video screens were deployed at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Station (CSTM) in Mumbai while showcasing the national transporter’s rich history and heritage.

A senior Railway Ministry official associated with the project said, “A virtual visit will never replace the real thing. But technology can help open up art and culture to everyone and we think that’s powerful thing.”

The virtual tour will showcase railway’s heritage to the commuters through similar screens at stations. Indian Railways have already started collecting unique pictures related to its history through crowd-sourcing effort.

Google Cultural Institute has agreed to contribute to the initiative by digitising and showcasing these important instances of history on digital platforms while creating a digital repository for free and universal online access.

With the project, Railways have also joined the list of various other government ministries and institutes to collaborate with Google Cultural Institute for displaying and preserving their cultural heritage digitally.

Among the number of heritage assets, Indian Railways has 34 museums, heritage parks and heritage galleries across India. “Once these are placed online, it will act as a great tourist attraction,” the official said.

The ministry already spends about Rs. 250 crores to maintain and manage the heritage assets annually. Under Digitial India-Digital Rail campaign, Google will also provide free Wi-Fi service at 100 stations.

The ongoing project might take about 5-7 years to become operational fully starting from Rewari Steam Locomotive Shed and National Rail Museum, followed by Nilgiri Mountain railway. A rail heritage website already disseminates related information.


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Posted by on December 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


Railway Push To Heritage Conservation: Steam Engines To Return To Mountains.

GIVING A fillip to heritage conservation in railways, the national transporter is going to bring back steam engines of yore to haul trains in its mountain railway sections such as Kalka-Shimla, Darjeeling-Siliguri and Matheran.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani announced Saturday that the mountain lines where trains are currently pulled by diesel engines will instead host steam engines. “We will also try to keep the ticket prices of these special trains economic,” Lohani told the National Congress of Indian Steam Railway Society, an independent body of enthusiasts of steam locomotives and railway heritage patronized by, among others, retired and serving railway officers. Lohani is a founding member of the society.

The 96-km Kalka-Shimla Railway line in Himachal Pradesh line is a UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed in 2008. Built in 1889, it sees steady patronage by tourists during the busy season mostly on its flagship Shivalik Deluxe Express for tourists and a couple of passenger trains for commuters. These trains are currently hauled by diesel locomotives.

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Posted by on December 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


Railways ropes in IRSDC for speedy redevelopment of 400 stations.

Indian Railways has decided to expedite redevelopment of 400 A1 and A category railway stations across the country. It will now appoint its joint venture company Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) as the nodal agency to speed up the process, the Mint reported.

The high-value project to revamp these stations through public private partnership (PPP) will require investments of around Rs 1 lakh crore. The Railways will also monetise 2,700 acres of spare railway land as part of it.

The first phase of the redevelopment was launched in February this year with 23 stations under previous railways minister Suresh Prabhu.

The appointment of IRSDC, a joint-venture between Ircon International Ltd and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), took place following recommendations from a three-member committee of experts, which had submitted its report in November, railway ministry sources told the newspaper.

The report recommended IRSDC’s appointment as a nodal agency to ensure a speedy redevelopment process because the firm has shown notable performance in handling its model projects in places such as Gandhinagar and Surat.

The redeveloped stations will be designed to provide services such as digital signage, Wi-Fi, escalators, automatic ticket-vending systems for self-service, executive lounges, restaurants, and malls, the Business Standard reported.

The committee suggested IRSDC be the monitoring body for future and existing railway station projects deciding the mode of implementation for such projects.

The committee’s report underlined the firm’s extensive experience in planning station redevelopment, executing and monitoring the projects; other railways departments and ministry officers are lacking in such experience, as per the Mint article.

Previously, the ministry used overlapping models for its redevelopment programmes carried out by IRSDC by general managers of zonal railways in PPP mode, in collaboration with Ministry of Urban Development, National Building Construction Corporation, or through RLDA and public sector undertakings of the ministry of railways, and so on.

The varied modes of operation led to confusion regarding decisions and overlapping of work. With a singular nodal agency things are expected to become more streamlined, a railway official told the Mint.

The IRSDC, on the other hand, said it has not received any communication regarding the appointment yet.

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Posted by on December 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


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