Author Archives: irnews122

Railway Board starts work on cleaner, faster train system.

Increase speed to convert more trains into “super-fast” category, fit bio-toilets in all coaches by January 2018, total electrification of railway network in about a year, drastically bring down turnaround time of trains, and improve the look and feel of coaches. These are some of the items on agenda which the Railway Board has started working on since the brief meeting with Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday, sources said.

On Tuesday, the Railway Board remained busy preparing implementation strategy on these items. Even though a formal Board meeting is yet to take place, as Board chairman Ashwani Lohani was away, given Goyal’s reputation of being a hard taskmaster, work is on to show the minister a blueprint soon. Each Railway Board member is also preparing 10 big ideas in respective fields for a turnaround of the state of affairs, sources said.

One of the ideas, sources said, is to bring down the turnaround time of each train at destination from the current six hours to about an hour. At the end of every long-distance journey, each train undergoes primary examination of six hours to be ready for the next run. If this time is reduced to an hour by deploying extra manpower, officials said, operating efficiency and potential for earning will increase manifold. The only challenge is to find the required manpower, they added.

While the present target of retrofitting coaches with bio-toilets is 2019-20, Goyal wants that to be completed by January 2018, sources said.

Increasing speed of trains is one of the issues pushed by PM Narendra Modi and the PMO. Goyal appears to have signalled to the bureaucracy that this task will be a priority, and that he would not like delays in implementation. Accordingly, speed of another 700 or so trains will be upgraded in near future. While many passenger trains will be turned into mail or express trains, many of the latter would upgrade to the “super-fast” category, officials said.

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Posted by on September 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


Sound of train engines, not cartoons piques this 5-year-old boy’s interest.

When Lucknow Metro finally took off on Tuesday , it wasn’t just the city’s dream come true but also that of five-yearold Aman Ojha, who might be the transport system’s youngest fan. 

Aman is extremely passionate about trains and has been closely following the Metro project’s progress for the past two years. The otherwise shy Aman maintains a diary in which he pastes newspaper clippings and photographs of the project’s progress.

On being asked about what fascinates him the most, the five-year-old said, “It’s the speed and the way these trains move. I love the sound of the engine.“ Impressed by the boy’s love for Metro, managing director of Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation Kumar Keshav presented him with a toy train during the project’s inauguration on Tuesday .

The boy’s father, Piyush, said. “He was hardly one-and-a-halfyears old when he first travelled in Rajdhani Express. He liked it so much that he used to jump with joy on seeing a train each time. The day he got to know Lucknow is getting its own Metro, he was overwhelmed and curious.“

A banker, Piyush and his wife take Aman to the railway station every weekend to satiate his inquisi tiveness. “I guess now, it would have to be the Metro station,“ he added.

The five-year-old has already charted out a career plan. No points for guessing what he wants to become–a loco-pilot. “He used to say he wants to become a train driver. One day , he got to know that loco pilot is a more apt term for the profession he’s aspiring for. Since then, he says he wants to become a loco pilot.“

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Posted by on September 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


Glass roof, LCDs, freezer: Central Railways gets first Vistadome coach.

With the latest shipment from the Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai, quality of trains in Central Railways has gone up a notch.

The new Vistadome coach is everything Indian Railway coaches are not: adorned with customizable glass roofs and big windows, it will also have automatic doors, 12 hanging LCDs and 40 push-back seats along with a fridge, oven and juicer-grinder.

Talk about luxury!

In context: Indian Railways’ ultra-luxurious Vistadome coaches
05 Sep 2017
Glass roof, LCDs, freezer: Central Railways gets first Vistadome coach


This is the second such coach in Indian Railways; the first, costing Rs. 3.38cr, runs on the 128-km Visakhapatnam-Araku Valley route.

Unique features were the reclining seats that could be rotated 360 degrees as well as the glass roof fitted with electrically-controlled opalescence, both for better sightseeing experience.



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Posted by on September 22, 2017 in Uncategorized



Renewable Target Moves Closer As 750 Indian Railway Stations Receive Solar Boost.

Train stations along one of the most used railway corridors in the world will soon have their dependence on traditional sources of energy loosened thanks to the power of the sun. The 750 stations in north India belonging to Indian Railways, one of the largest railway networks in the world (carrying more than 8 billion passengers annually) has a 25 percent renewable target by 2025. Tropical northern India is blessed with abundant sunlight with 300 sunny days a year, and solar power is a natural alternative to conventional electricity, much of which is generated using coal.

This project will be delivered by ABB India who will provide the solar inverters – the tech that converts the direct current generated by the solar module into alternating current can be used. ABB recently reached a milestone of 5 GW of solar inverters installed, supplying some 40 percent of India’s solar power at approximately 13 GW.

ABB solar inverters for this project vary between 5kW to 50kW in performance depending on the size of the station, part of the ABB Ability of connected solutions, the customer can ensure uptime through remote management services. They will be part of the solar installations being set up by Azure Power. ABB set up its solar inverter manufacturing facility in India in 2012 and contributes to approximately 40 percent of the country’s solar installations. ABB solar inverters have been widely used in the transportation sector, deployed, for instance, in the world’s first fully solar powered airport in Kochi.

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Posted by on September 22, 2017 in Uncategorized


Railways to roll out high-end luxury coaches ‘Anubhuti’ in next few weeks.

Given a choice, most people would choose to take a flight. Not only is it faster, it is simply more luxurious. To give passengers a similar experience, Indian Railways proposed high-end luxury coaches, called Anubhuti in 2013.

Now, four years later, the first of these luxurious coaches is ready to roll out. The coach has a capacity of 56 people and is made at an expense of 3.5 crore each. Ten such coaches are likely to be produced this year. The first one that is almost ready to start its journey will be dispatched to the Western Railways.

One Anubhuti coach is likely to be added to each premium trains, such as the Shatabdi Express.

The fares of these coaches will be more than the standard AC ones. Every seat in the Anubhuti coaches has an LCD attached, along with headphone jacks. There are mobile charging docks, extra foot space, recliner chairs and sensor-enabled modular toilets, as reported by The New Indian Express . Just like airplanes, there are reading lamps, and an indicator to summon coach attendants.

That’s not all; the coaches also have a GPS-linked passenger information system on board. The coaches are lined with anti-graffiti paint, making it easier to be cleaned.
Introducing such high-end coaches into the country’s trains might just be the dawn of a new era of the Indian Railways.

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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized



Govt releases five-point agenda to make Indian Railways free from accidents.

The new Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has ordered an immediate review of safety standards after three train derailments rocked the Indian Railways within a span of 12 hours on September 7.

Taking note of the situation, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has asked the Railway Board to divert rails marked for construction of new lines to stretches prone to accidents and where replacement was due.
Unmanned level crossings and defects in tracks have been attributed as major causes leading to accidents.

He also directed the board officials to expedite procurement of new rails to complete laying of tracks in pending projects and eliminate unmanned level crossings within a year.

Piyush Goyal held a marathon meeting with members of full Railway Board and Safety Directorate of Railway Board to comprehensively review safety measures for train operations.
In the meeting, the Minister emphasized that the safety is paramount and there cannot & should not be any compromise on this front.
Minister of Railways gave following directions to the Railway Board to ensure safety in train operations:

1) All unmanned level crossings should be eliminated expeditiously on the entire Indian Railway network in a year’s time from now.

2) Track replacement/renewal should be accorded priority and the tracks (rails) earmarked for use for constructing new lines should be diverted to places/ stretches which are prone to accidents and where replacement is due.

3) The procurement of new rails should be expedited on a large scale with a view to complete construction of new lines in time.

4) The manufacturing of conventional ICF design coaches should be stopped forthwith and new design LHB coaches only should be manufactured.

5) Anti-Fog LED lights should be installed in locomotives so that unhindered safe train operations can be ensured during fog season.
Also, in a Twitter post, the Ministry of Railways has shared an image, sharing the five point agenda to make the IR free from accidents.

Railway Minister Chaired a meeting with Railway Board officials & directed them to undertake immediate measures on passengers’ safety.

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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Govt kicks off 25% divestment in 5 Railway units with first sale in RVNL

The Centre plans to offload as much as 25-per cent of its stake in the five subsidiary units of the Railways, despite stiff employee opposition to any dilution of stake in entities owned by the national transport network.

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is on the lookout for a registrar to manage a proposed 25 per cent disinvestment in Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) and has invited applications from eligible firms latest by 21 September.

Besides RVNL, the government also approved plans to offload 25 per cent equity each in other Railway subsidiaries, including IRCON International Ltd, Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) and RITES Ltd, according to DIPAM officials.

”RVNL is a test case, but 25-per cent stake will be sold in all the five rail PSUs. This will not only ensure better revenues, but also help improve the functioning of the firms and get them more resources,” said an official, adding that it is also to achieve the Sebi-set minimum public holding norm of 25 per cent for listed companies.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had in April, approved plans to list the five rail PSUs through a public offer of up to 25-per cent stake following a Budget announcement. However, the ”actual disinvestment of each CPSE along with the mode of raising resources has been delegated for decision on a case-to-case basis to the Alternative Mechanism”.

At present, the centre holds 100 per cent equity each in the five rail PSUS and is keen to offload stakes in at least RVNL and RITES this fiscal, according to DIPAM officials.

The government plans to raise up to R72,500 crore through sale of stake in state-owned enterprises and Rs46,500 crore from sale of minority stakes in some privately-owned units.

Till now, it has raised Rs9,960.12 crore from divestment in PSUs, including NTPC and the sale of a minority stake in L&T through Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India.

DIPAM is expected to soon issue requests for proposal for the remaining rail PSUs as well.

The funds are needed for Railways to complete projects on time and to repay funds raised by IRFC.

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Posted by on September 18, 2017 in Uncategorized