Indian Railways’ design wing RDSO to acquire off the shelf technology.

Indian Railways which is trying to leverage technology to shore up its fortunes is now looking for external assistance for its drive. The national carrier’s research wing–the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) which has the mandate to develop in-house technology—is now scouting for off-the-shelf technologies from countries such as Russia, Germany, US, Italy, Japan and Spain.

As part of this strategy, Indian Railways has organized a two days ‘Global Technology Conference’ starting Wednesday, where 52 global experts from state-owned and private firms are showcasing their expertise in areas such as safety, monitoring, congestion reduction and customer service.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Shailendra Jaiswal, executive director (efficiency and research) in Railway Board said, “We wish to seek ready to use technology for Indian Railways through this conference that can be adapted quickly.”

This comes in the backdrop of Indian Railways trying to improve its freight and passenger revenue. An increase in speed will help the carrier reduce congestion on its networks, which in turn will help improve revenue from freight and passenger traffic. However, this raises safety concerns given the abysmal record of the national carrier.

RDSO is the sole research and development organization of Indian Railways and functions as the technical advisor, employing around 350 design engineers. RDSO is headed by the director general and has 32 executive directors in-charge. It is responsible for development of new and improved designs, development, adoption, absorption of new technology for use in Indian Railways, development of standards for materials and products and technical investigation, testing and consultancy services.

On the question of what technology India will showcase in this global technology conference, RDSO chief R.K. Kulshrestha said, “We are the organizers, so why would we participate?”

An RDSO official said the only presentation by RDSO will be in the form of an audio-visual describing a train collision avoidance system (TCAS) on which RDSO has been working for over four years, with field trials still going on. The official added, “The focus will be on technologies to reduce accidents, increase speed, anti-fog devices, etc.”

Indian Railways is the world’s largest railway network under a single management. It runs around 20,849 trains daily, transporting 23 million passengers.

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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Railways to explore latest tech to prevent derailment.

he railways will explore the possibility of acquiring an advanced technology system for rail fracture detection and track monitoring to enhance safety in the wake of frequent derailments.

Aiming at augmenting the pace of latest technological adaptations, the Research and Development Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research wing of the railways, will hold a two-day global technology conference from May 3 here.

The conference will have the four major thrusts areas — enhanced safety, capacity enhancement and congestion reduction and better customer service, said the Director General of the RDSO, R K Kulshrestha.

Experts from 17 countries, including the US, China, Japan, Russia and South Africa, will take part in the meet.

At the conference, the RDSO will showcase the indigenously developed train collision avoidance system (TCAS).

Several experts from rail transportation development and allied technological industries, academia and research fraternity across the world are slated to deliver presentations and interact with experts of the Indian Railways for identification of appropriate cutting edge technologies and systems available worldwide for adaptation.

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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


Railways to track wagons, coaches with RFID tags

The Indian Railways will use radio-frequency identification tags (RFID) for tracking of wagons, coaches and locomotives to ensure effective and transparent functioning.

Leveraging information technology in a big way, the public transporter has issued instructions for equipping all wagons with RFID tags to begin with.

There are about 2.25 lakh wagons, 50,000 coaches and 9,000 locomotives in the railways. Railways have sanctioned Rs 57 crore for the first phase of rollout of the system.

The tag designed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) is estimated to cost Rs 1000 per tag.

Using RFID devices, it will be easier for the railways to know the exact position of wagons, locomotives and coaches.

Currently, such data is maintained manually, which leaves scope for errors.

While the RFID tag will be fitted in the rolling stock, trackside readers will be installed at stations and key points along the tracks to read the tag from a distance of about two meters and transmit the wagon identity over a network to a central computer.

In this way, each moving wagon can be identified and its movement tracked.

With the introduction of RFID, the issue of shortage of wagons, locomotives and coaches is expected to be addressed in a more transparent and expeditious manner, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the automatic vehicle identification project.

At the time of wagon condemnation, RFID tags have to be removed and can be reused as they have a life of 25 years.

Henceforth it would be a standard practice for all new wagons coming out of manufacturing units to be equipped with RFID tags.

RFID devices will be used for freight maintenance management, locomotive management and coach maintenance management so as to ensure more effective and transparent functioning, the official said.

Railways had implemented the RFID system on the Vishakhapatnam-Talcher-Paradeep section as a pilot project.

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Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Uncategorized


7,000 railway stations in India will be powered by solar energy.

India will soon power 98 per cent of its railway stations with solar energy. The country aims to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

98 per cent of India’s railway stations will be powered by solar energy. This is what the government of the Union of India aims to achieve by 2018 on 7,000 railway stations out of 7,137 across the country. The announcement was made by minister of Finance Arun Jaitley, who added that works have already started in 300 railway stations, with the number expected to increase to 2,000 soon.

Rooftop solar power systems
Solar energy will be provided to Indian Railways thanks to the Solar Mission of the Indian Railways programme, which includes the installation of solar power systems on railway stations’ rooftops. The aim is reducing the dependence on fossil fuels of India’s railway system, which ranks first globally for the number of passengers in relations to the amount of miles.

Along with rooftop solar power systems, Indian Railways aims to launch large-scale solar projects, including ground-mounted capacity. Also, the companies that manufacture the energy systems will be able to purchase the energy produced directly from Indian Railways.

Indian Railways is energy-consuming
Indian Railways is the country’s first energy consumer. For this, it has been working for years to meet its energy demand with renewable sources. Indian Railways’ electricity consumption is estimated to exceed 2 per cent of the country’s total consumption, using 2.6 billion litres of diesel each year. This turns into an expense of 5 billion dollars every year, which is about one fourth of the railways’ total income. Of course, costs must be compared with passengers, which amount to up to 20 million people every year in one of the world’s most trafficked railway networks. Passengers are on the rise and so is cargo transport, which increased by 165.7 per cent between 1992 and 2015 mainly due to raw and processed materials.

Solar power to meet India’s energy demand
In 2016 India signed a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to set up 5 GW of solar power capacity through a mix of rooftop and ground-mounted projects. So far, Indian railways launched their solar energy development programme in two states, Gujarat and Rajasthan, where 25 MG of rooftop and 50 MG of ground-mounted capacity will be installed in the first phase of the programme. In the second phase, the programme will involve 9 other states with 60 MG of rooftop and 660 MG ground-mounted capacity. During the third phase, 400 MW rooftop and 3,800 MW ground-mounted capacity will be installed in rest of the country.

india solar power
Solar panels installed in an Indian village © Abbie Trayler-Smith / Panos Pictures / Department for International Development
Solar power to reduce India’s dependence on fossil fuels
India’s government is investing in solar power in order to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Developing solar power in railways is a step in this direction and represents the right path towards a more sustainable development of the country.

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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


By 2025, renewables could power 25% of Indian Railways according to a study released by Council on Energy, Environment and Water.

Indian Railways could draw up to 25% of its electric power needs from renewables and achieve the target of 5 GW of solar by 2025, according to a study released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on Wednesday.

An investment of $3.6 billion would be needed by Indian Railways to meet the 5 GW target. A potential 5 GW target, provides an opportunity for solar developers, with an estimated 1.1 GW coming from rooftop and 3.9 GW from utility scale projects.

The CEEW study ‘Decarbonising the Indian Railways: Scaling Ambitions, Understanding Ground Realities’, funded by UNDP, identifies key policy and regulatory challenges that developers face while supporting the Railways’ renewable energy push.

The study was released by Union Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhu, and Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal.

Prabhu said, “We want Indian Railways to become a green engine of growth. Decarbonisation is extremely important for Railways. We have set up a target of electrifying the entire network of Indian Railways in next 10 years with at least 90% of track electrification in next 5 years.”

Goyal added that Railways have come out with a plan called Mission 41K where they are looking at saving of Rs 41,000 crore through the electrification of railway lines.

The Indian Railways announced its 1 GW solar target in 2015 and had achieved about 37 MW of wind and 16 MW of solar across railway operations until March 2017.

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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


Rlys eyes record new lines in FY 18.

With the objective of giving a boost to the Modi government’s plans for a massive infrastructure push, railways has set an ambitious target -much more than what the state-run transporter has ever achieved in the past -for laying of new tracks, doubling, gauge conversion and electrification.

Railways is aiming at commissioning of 3,500 km new rail lines in the financial year 2017-18 while it has almost doubled the target for electrification of tracks by keeping it at 4,000 km in the current fiscal year.

The national transporter has also raised the target for doubling of tracks to 1,400 km for 2017-18 fiscal even as railways has never in the past managed to do 1,000 km in a year.

Often under attack for trains running late, the railways intends to decongest high density routes to ensure safe and timely running of trains.

Currently , around 16% of the track is catering to 60% of the traffic which has resulted in choking of major trunk routes such as Delhi-Howrah, Delhi-Mumbai and MumbaiHowrah.

In the current year, railways plans to open a major portion of western dedicated freight corridor -Ateli to Phulera (around 400 km) -which will further free existing tracks for passenger trains.

The current railways dispensation is optimistic of meeting the ambitious targets as the BJP government’s decision to not announce projects in rail budgets after taking over in May 2014 helped the top brass prioritise works and ensure a sustained flow of funds for projects and focused attention on early completion.

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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


Rlys Breaks 5-Yr Jinx With Passenger Sector Growth.

In a shot in the arm for the national transporter, the Indian Railways has achieved a positive growth for the 2016-17 fiscal with over 70 million more passengers travelling in trains than last year, breaking a five-year jinx of negative growth in the passenger sector. Since 2012, booking of passenger tickets had witnessed a decline due to various reasons.

Railway Board Member (Traffic) Md Jamshed said that with concerted efforts, Railways has managed to buck the trend and achieved a positive growth for the year 2016-17. Citing the reason for the turnaround, Jamshed said Railways began several initiatives in the 2016-17 fiscal to carry more passengers by pressing 87 new train services, including Humsafar Express and Antodaya trains.

Jamshed said about 31,438 special trips were run to cater to extra rush, holiday travellers and election/paramilitary movements. Many train services were extended and frequencies of certain trains were also increased to cater to the demand of passengers, he explained.

Besides, 586 additional coaches were added in regular trains, generating an extra capacity of 43,420 berths by the last fiscal ending March 31, 2017. The 2016-17 fiscal also saw seeding up of 350 trains and 74 trains were made superfast service.

Another significant achievement of the last fiscal is that railways detected 9.75 lakh cases of ticket-less travel which is 6 per cent higher over the previous year. As a result of increased number of passengers bookings, railways earned Rs 1,906 crore more than the previous year in passenger sector.

Indian railways passengers will continue to get benefits of service charge exemption on train tickets booked online till June 30. The exemption facility effective till March 31 this year has been extended further to June 30 after the national transporter received instructions from the Ministry of Information and Technology advising the public transporter to extend the incentives at least till June 30. The service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket.

In order to help passengers and incentivise payments made through digital modes for booking of reserved tickets, service charge on online booking of train tickets was withdrawn for the tickets booked from November 23, 2016 to March 31, 2017. The Government had waived the service charges after demonetisation in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking.

Approximately, an amount of Rs 184 crore has not been realised from passengers on account of service charge and service tax thereon on reserved tickets booked online from November 23, 2016 to February 28, 2017, according to railways data.–passenger-sector-growth.html

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Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Uncategorized