Forget plastic money and Net payment, you can soon use BHIM to book your train ticket.

Soon, rail passengers will be able to purchase both reserved and unreserved tickets at counters using Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) mobile application based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Aiming to encourage cashless payments, railways has extended the facility of paying ticket fares through BHIM mobile app, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation for retail payment system. At present, passengers are allowed to pay the ticket fare through credit and debit cards for purchasing reserved and unreserved tickets at counters.

The UPI system will power the multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application and provide several banking features, including money transfer.

On the procedure involved in making payments through BHIM app, railway sources said passengers who have signed up for UPI payments with their banks will get a 20-digit alpha numeric Virtual Payment Address (VPA).

“While purchasing train tickets at counters, you need to provide your VPA address to the ticket clerk. As soon as the clerk keys your VPA in the reservation portal, you will get an alert to your registered mobile phone for approval. After you approve the payment, the money will get deducted from your bank account. The booking clerk also will receive an alert in his system. The entire payment process will be over in seconds,” the official explained. You need not mention the bank account at any point of time, the sources said.

The pilot project will be introduced for three months and passengers who hold accounts in ICICI and SBI bank will be able to use the provision. Later, railways plans to include more private and nationalised banks that support UPI payment method.

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an IT wing of railways, had already made changes in IRCTC portal, to accept payment through UPI/BHIM application for online tickets. “The zonal railways had been directed to introduce the payment option at reserved and unreserved ticket counters at the earliest,” the sources added.

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Posted by on December 22, 2017 in Uncategorized



Tourists Throng Indian Railway Station Decorated With Ancient Art Form.

The Madhubani Railway station, one of the oldest train stations in India, has become a tourist hotspot after hundreds of local artists painted frescos in the famous Madhubani style, free of cost in an attempt to promote and preserve the ancient art form.

The railway station in Madhubani in India’s eastern state of Bihar has been converted into an amazing exhibition of artwork with famous Madhubani paintings adorning the walls. The Madhubani style is one of the most intricate art movements of ancient India preserved to date by the world-famous artisans of Madhubani. More than two hundred local artists made these paintings free of cost for Indian Railways.

The Madhubani railway station has become a center of attraction, as many tourists now visit the city just to see the decorated walls.

Indian Railways is now planning to put up similar frescos at other railway stations across the country.

“Our plan to beautify and bring past glory to the historical railway stations has become successful. We will soon decorate the walls of the Darbhanga and Sitamarhi railway stations with Madhubani paintings,” R K Jain, the manager of the Samastipur railway division, told Sputnik.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Three-tier monitoring for bullet train project.

A three-tier system will monitor the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, the deadline for which has been pushed forward by a year to 2022.

A high-level meeting on Thursday decided that Niti Aayog vice-chairman and a special advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan would together be the overall top authority to take stock of the progress.

The MD of the National High Speed Rail Corporation, Achal Khare, will head a working group that will have representatives of ministries concerned and the two states as well as those from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the funding body.
This apart, a technical expert committee also headed by Khare will work to seamlessly coordinate the various processes and weed out bottlenecks.

Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani will review the overall progress every three months or even earlier, if necessary, it was decided in the meeting, sources said.
At Thursday’s high-level meeting, the Japanese ambassador, Lohani, officials of the NITI Aayog, ministries, National High Speed Rail Corporation, JICA and representatives from Gujarat and Maharashtra were present.

The government decided to advance the deadline of the rollout of the 508-km bullet train corridor to August 2022 to coincide with 75 years of Independence.

“It is my wish that when India celebrates 75 years of Independence in 2022-23, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and I together travel in this train,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in September while starting off the project in Ahmedabad jointly with Abe.

The Railways estimates a high ridership for the train. It has calculated that 40,000 passengers will shift from other modes of transport like trains, buses, airlines and personal vehicles.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Uncategorized



‘Mahila Vahini’ a team of Railway Protection Force’s (RPF) women staffers  protecting, guiding women commuters on local trains.

For the past seven years, a team of Railway Protection Force’s (RPF) women staffers have ensured that women commuters can travel safely in Mumbai’s local trains. The team, called ‘Mahila Vahini’, catch chain snatchers, mobile robbers and rescue minor girls from stations.

This team was formed by former Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee in 2010 for the safety of women commuters. It consists of approximately 50 women staffers of RPF who are deployed at each railway stations on the central line between Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to Khopoli. 30-year-old Mamta Chaudhary, subordinate of ‘Mahila Vahini’ has accepted all challenges in the job which she has come across.

Chaudhary recollects the number of mobile robbers which she caught red handed at railway platforms during peak hours.“We take help of two male RPF staffers who are present with us while chasing the mobile robbers at railway stations,” added Chaudhary. In 2016, at least eight cases of chain snatching has been registered at Kurla Government Railway Police (GRP) and a single case of robbery has been registered in the city.

“The modus operandi include them taking advantage of crowded stations during peak hours and skilfully snatching the mobile phone from the commuters standing at the foot board,” added Chaudhary. At least two women staffers of this team are deployed at every railway stations on the central line. There are more deployments at sensitive stations of Kurla and Dadar.

Chaudhary who has been a part of this team for the past three years has witnessed a series of incidents where minor girls were rescued by them. In 2014, another team named as ‘Mahila Shakti’ was formed in order to escort the coaches of a ladies special trains and ladies compartment on the central line.

There are two ladies special trains which are run daily each on the harbour and main line. On the harbour line, The first train leaves at 8:19am from Panvel station and reaches CSMT at 9:30am. The other leaves at 6:08pm from CSMT and reaches Panvel at 7:30pm. On the main line, the first ladies special train leaves at 8:01am from Kalyan station and reaches CSMT at 9:29am. The other train leaves at 6:08pm from CSMT and reaches Kalyan at 7:37pm.

“This team was formed especially to escort ladies compartment of the local train on the central line. Our work is to prosecute illegal hawkers who sell goods inside the local trains and monitor movement of drug addicts who cause nuisance on railway platforms and board the ladies coach,” added Chaudhary.

Like any other railway staffer, this team is also facing a staff crunch as the current number of staffers are inadequate for deployment at all railway stations. “A proposal has been sent to the Railway Board in this regards and we are awaiting for an approval,” said another staffer from the team.

Chaudhary who has a team of women RPF constables under her has been strong enough to face the challenges on the job. “I never felt I couldn’t do justice to my job as I am a woman. I have accepted challenges and faced life as it came,” added Chaudhary.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Kudumbashree has begun imparting training to its members who are deployed in major railway stations.

The Kudumbashree has begun imparting training to its members who are deployed in major railway stations in the state in a bid to raise their service standards on a par with that of Kochi Metro.The Kudumbashree women members are currently engaged in managing parking facilities in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Thrissur railway stations. They are also entrusted with the maintanence of air conditioned waiting rooms in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam and Thrissur railway stations.

A total of 230 Kudumbashree women will be given training by the Metro Facility Management Centre . A decision to start the training programme was taken during discussion between top officers of Kudumbashree and  Railways.  The Kudumbashree members are already rendering vital service in Kochi Metro. It is also the first metro service in the world to be managed by women. The Kudumbashree members are engaged in issuing tickets, handling customer care jobs, gardening and managing parking facilities in Kochi Metro. The Kudumbashree members will be divided into two zones.

The women in each zone will be divided into two batches and will be given training over a four-day period. The training for members in Ernakulam, Kottayam and Thrissur districts were held from October 30 to November 2.

The Kudumbashree members from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha will be imparted training from November 8 to 11.The Kudumbashree women have been functioning in the railway sector for the past two years. Training methods, which have been devised to improve their professional quality, will be implemented. The training is intended to equip the women to understand the customers and their needs better and provide services accordingly, a release from Kudumbashree said.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Gold Standard Shatabdi trains unveiled: Here’s how Indian Railways wants to set new standards of passenger comfort with Swarn Project.

Under the all-new Operation ‘Swarn’, Indian Railways has introduced the first train ever to be upgraded to ‘Gold standards’. The New Delhi-Kathgodam Shatabdi Express has been upgraded by the Northern Railways on at least 10 parameters at the cost of Rs 50 lakh. Three dimensions; aesthetics, hygiene and entertainment have been kept in mind. The icing on the cake for railway passengers is that all these new features come with no revision in fares!

While the exterior has been given a vinyl wrapping which is graffiti proof, the interiors have been upgraded with better aesthetics and passenger comfort measures such as attendant calling facilities and reading lights. A new infotainment ‘Magic Box’ facility allows you to enjoy HD streaming of movies on your personal devices. Seeking to address a big pain point of passengers, the toilets have been made modular and will be cleaned every two hours during the train journey! Not only that, the train’s toilets now come equipped with a central locking system. This means that passengers will be able to use the toilets only 5 minutes after the train starts running. According to Railways, one long-standing complaint of passengers is that toilets are dirty as soon as the train starts. “We realised that a lot of unauthorised people, who will not be travelling on the train, use toilets once the train comes on the platform. To avoid misuse, the toilets will be kept locked and only opened once the train leaves from the station,” a senior railway official told FE Online.

We take a look at some noteworthy changes that have been made on the Shatabdi Express under Operation ‘Swarn’:

1. Interiors with vinyl graffiti-proof wrappings in the doorways, gangways and luggage rack panels

2. Compartment aisle marked with fluorescent strips. Attendant calling facility and reading lights.

3. New anti-abrasion permanent coating for polished look of flooring

4. ‘Magic Box’ infotainment system: Enjoy HD streaming of movies, cartoon movies, Mann Ki Baat and e-magazines through Wifi hotspot on your smartphones, tablets and laptops!

5. An anti-graffiti vinyl coating on the exterior.

New Delhi Kathgodam, Shatabdi Express, Swarn Project, Indian Railways, Kathgodam Shatabdi, Swarn Shatabdi, Delhi Kathgodam Shatabdi

6. Toilets have been upgraded with dustbins, odour control system and a scrapper matting to avoid dirty water from spilling over to the main train area. As mentioned above, the toilets boast of a central locking system and will also be cleaned every two hours, with passengers being asked by staff to check after every cleaning.

7. The coaches boast of automatic odour and hygiene control systems. The Executive class coaches will come equipped with disposable head-rest covers.

8. All coaches have integrated braille signages for the convenience of visually challenged passengers.

9. The capacity of the food shelves has also been enhanced to maintain better hygiene. There are plans to improve catering services as well

10. Eventually, Northern Railways plans to provide CCTV and GPS-based passenger information system in all coaches.

Northern Railways plans to upgrade all the Rajdhani Express trains and Shatabdi trains under it to ‘Gold Standard’ by June 2018.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Uncategorized



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