Tag Archives: RVNL

Fresh Funds to Give Leg-up to Amenities at Central Stn

Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), the engineering PSU of Indian Railways, will pump in its CSR funds to upgrade the passenger amenities at Chennai Central station, Southern Railway General Manager Ashok K Agarwal said here on Wednesday.

This is one of the Railway Ministry’s directive to improve the passenger amenities across important railway stations in the country during the Passenger Facilitation Fortnight from May 26 to June 9. Agarwal was addressing the media along with Railway Board Member (Electrical) Navin Tandon and Chennai Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Anupam Sharma at the Chennai Central.

Tandon said that the Railways planned to add 1,000 MW of solar and 170 MW of wind power in the next three to five years across the country. Spare railway land lying unused as well as Level Crossings (LC) would also be used to generate 200 MW, he said. “Stations and railway buildings will have rooftop solar panels. We are already generating 15 MW by this method,” he added. Inaugurating the first unreserved coach having 18 mobile charging points at Central, Tandon said that more such coaches would be rolled out in future.

Responding to a query about the lack of pharmacy at Chennai Central, Sharma said that they were exploring the possibility of opening State-run ‘Amma Pharmacy’ at the station. He also said that railway would conduct health camps at 10 locations — Guduvanchery, Avadi, Puttur, Katpad i, Tondiarpet, Tambaram, Thirumailai, Ambur, Tindivanam, Sulurpet — for the benefit of the people and railway staff.


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Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Railway research gets fastracked

Ministry of Railways is set to tie up with various universities and Indian Institute of Technology to create a Centre for Railway Research. As part of the proposal, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with University of Mumbai on Saturday.

“This is a first of its kind tie-up. And an agreement will be signed with more universities and IITs for a specific purpose,” said Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railway.

The aim is to make these educational arenas a centre for excellence. This Centre for Railway Research with University of Mumbai will help railways to further study heavy haul technology, vehicle dynamics, high speed technologies, track research and energy efficient traction power supply systems among other things.

Another MoU was signed between Railway Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and Dighi Port, a private sector firm in Raigad district for laying a 33.7-km long rail line. A special purpose vehicle with 26% ownership with RVNL, 11% with Maharashtra Maritime Board and balance with Dighi Port will be created connecting the port with the nearest railhead at Roha on Konkan Railway.

Planned to be ready in the next two years, with an investment of around Rs800 crore, there will be 11 bridges and five tunnels along the 33.7-km line.

Prabhu even shared that Ministry of Railway will be entering into an agreement with Maharashtra government, a state specific pact, to reach further into the hinterland.

“In the next few days, we will create a company with the state government which will develop rail lines in different parts of the state. This agreement will be limited to Maharashtra,” said Prabhu. These tracks are likely to be laid in Gadchiroli district, between Kolhapur and Vaibhavwadi in Konkan, between Karad-Chiplun, etc.

Mumbai’s first air-conditioned local is likely to be there in Mumbai by September. “It should be here before the October heat of Mumbai,” said Prabhu on Saturday.

There is a possibility of Central Railway getting nod from Commissioner for Railway Safety for conversion of Direct Current to Alternating Current of its suburban railway network.

DNA Indian

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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Bullet train project to cost Rs 1 lakh cr

India will have to spend approximately Rs 1 lakh crore for its first bullet train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, preparatory work for which has gained speed.

In its latest interim report submitted last week, Japan has factored in the cost escalation through the years that it will take to finish the project. The amount, around Rs 98,000 crore, could rise a bit more.

Based on estimates from the Japanese team working on the feasibility study for the proposed 550-km corridor, Railways has circulated a 21-page inter-ministerial concept note detailing the way it intends to go about  implementing the project.

From an earlier estimate of around Rs 62,000 crore, the concept note’s figures seem to have jumped to Rs 70,000 crore at 2014 prices. The interim report estimates 40,000 people will use the corridor daily by 2023. After the commissioning of the works, it will take around eight years for the first bullet train to hit the tracks.

The project estimate got a reality check after Finance Ministry, in its response to the concept note, highlighted that the estimate of Rs 70,000 crore did not factor in costescalation and tax to be paid to the government.

The Ministry has now asked Railways for a copy of Japan’s interim report to study it further. Railways, in turn, has asked the Japanese team to give detailed estimates based on multiple technological options available to see if using any particular technologywould lead to a significant variation in prices. The final report is expected in June.

The note says “discussions indicate” Japan International Cooperation Agency might agree to fund 85 per cent of the project in which construction and procurement costalone is around Rs 49,504 crore. Other major expenditure heads are Consulting ServiceCost (Rs 2,190 crore); land acquisition (Rs 10,248 crore); a contingency fund (Rs 3,334 crore) and the implementing agency’s management fee (Rs 4,700 crore).

The project may also bleed India’s coffers as its rate of return is projected to be only around 3-4 per cent. Railways considers a project economically viable if it has a rate of return of at least 14 per cent. But Railways said the bullet train’s “economic rate of return”—its contribution to the economy by the virtue of saving manhours and connecting two major cities—would be upwards of 11 per cent.

The concept note is a precursor to handing over the the job of the project’s implementation to Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and its subsidiary, High Speed RailCorporation (HSRC). Railways has argued that the job be given to RVNL as opposed to creating a new entity for this project.

The Cabinet will decide if the job can be given to RVNL on a nomination basis; a cabinet note will be moved after evaluating response from other ministries. RVNL would require a fresh mandate from the Cabinet since its original mandate was to take up “viable and bankable” projects along the Golden Quadrilateral.

A section of the ministry has also been in favour of assessing multiple available options before zeroing in on an agency. An earlier Rail budget had said a High Speed Rail Authority would be created for this. Another Rail PSU, IRCON had last year sent a letter to Railway Ministry seeking to be considered for the job. The HSRC’s formation did not have the vetting of the Railway Ministry’s Finance directorate, but sources said Railways has internally resolved that issue.

Indian Express

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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Rail Vikas Nigam to hold 10% in new ports infra entity

Government-owned Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) is to take 10 per cent equity in the new public sector unit (PSU) to be formed to enhance port connectivity through the railways.

As already reported in this newspaper, all 12 major port trusts intend to jointly form the proposed company to be called Port Infrastructure Vikas Nigam Ltd (PIVNL). The PSU will be formed with equity stakes from all 12 major ports and RVNL, with a 90:10 shareholding pattern. The initial authorised share capital will be around Rs 100 crore, divided into a million equity shares of Rs 1,000 each.

The company will construct, operate and maintain rail and road infrastructure to facilitate connectivity for transportation of goods from ports in India or abroad. The special purpose vehicle is to be formed within a month of Cabinet approval. A draft note for the Cabinet was sent to, and been examined, by the ministries of finance, railways, law & justice and the Planning Commission.

RVNL is under the railways ministry. It was formed to undertake and implement railway projects. It has so far completed 11 port connectivity projects and has six pending. PIVNL has the specific objective of increasing the efficacy of the rail evacuation systems at major ports. End-to-end connectivity to the hinterland is an important factor in the efficiency and growth of a port. On that front, significant work remains to be done, a ministry official says.

In 2013-14, nearly 28 per cent of the total cargo handled by major ports was transported by Indian Railways, to and from the hinterland. A seven-year-old World Bank study says the optimal share of transporting goods through rail should be at least six percentage points higher. Non-major ports handle 60-90 per cent of their cargo volumes through the rail network.

Business standard

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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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High-speed train: Expert team for 10-coach rake

Given the high gradient and curvature on the Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai railway route, a team of experts from the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) and the High Speed Rail Corporation (HSRC) has decided to get rakes of only 8-10 coaches, down from 20-22 coaches, for the proposed high-speed train.

Railway authorities have no option but to get smaller rakes with in-built system to negotiate the curves and take care of the gradient.

Still, the train is most likely to run at a maximum speed of 135-140 km that is substantially higher than the present 100 kmph.

 The conclusion was drawn after a two-day feasibility inspection by the officials of RVNL and HSRC and members of a Chinese delegation. Mukul Jain, director (operations), RVNL; Vinay Singh, CEO, HSRC; Alok Tiwari, chief project manager, RVNL, Bangalore; Pradeep Gaur, chief project manager, Chennai, and others were part of the team.

Members of the team concluded that the gradient is not as difficult to be taken care of as the curvature, especially between Mysore and Bangalore that is way too difficult a stretch compared to the Bangalore-Chennai one.

According to officials, the feasibility study is in the initial stage and the team is gathering inputs by noting down the physical aspects, the likely hindrances, etc. This is being done to overcome the numerous curves between Bangalore and Mysore that was upgraded from meter gauge to broad gauge recently. The Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai track is unlike the Delhi-Agra or Mumbai-Ahmedabad route given the unruly terrain of the Deccan Plateau.

The team will give its inputs to the Ministry of Railways, after which a team of experts, including officials of RVNL and HSRC, will visit China. Only after tabulating all the inputs will a concrete plan on executing the high-speed rail be chalked out.  A senior official in RVNL said that the team had to keep in mind the limited resources of the railways while coming up with a solution.

In September, the Indian railways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China to increase the speed in its existing rail network, modernise stations and enhance mutual co-operation in this sector. The railways had identified Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai section for increasing the speed up to 160 km per hour with China’s help.

As per the action plan on the proposed high-speed train, China will conduct design and survey for the specified sections besides imparting training to the railway personnel on speed-raising.

Deccan Herald

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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Low-cost high-speed trains on track

IN a recent seminar organised by the Railways in Delhi, as many as 51 speakers talked about high-speed train systems; how to build, run, maintain them; and the amazing technologies they had to offer in the area of traction, signalling, rolling stock, and of course, safety.

Making use of the occasion, the Rail Minister also announced the creation of a High Speed Rail Corporation as a subsidiary of the RVNL (Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd) to take up such projects, if and when the finances are available.

Understandably, low-cost solution also implies speeds lower than that of the world-renowned bullet trains, namely Shinkansen of Japan, TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) of Europe, and CHS (Chinese High Speed) of China, which all run at speeds higher than 250 kmph, with some of them reaching 350 kpmh on short stretches.

What the Railways is aiming at is hiking its existing maximum speeds of some of its premier trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi, etc. from 130 kmph to a level of only 160-200 kpmh, which could result in 10 to 25 per cent reduction in transit time depending on how much of the track would be upgraded to run such trains at 160-200 kpmh.

Upgrading the entire 64,000 km of its network being out of the question, only a few sections with a potential for high passenger volumes have been identified. These are Ahmedabad-Mumbai, Howrah-Haldia, New Delhi-Agra-Jhansi-Bhopal, Delhi-Lucknow, Chennai-Begaluru-Mysore, Delhi-Amritsar, and Delhi-Chandigarh.

Among these, Ahmedabad-Mumbai already has 22 trains while Delhi-Amritsar runs 32 trains each day, most of them fully packed!

The cost of upgrading the track, rolling stock, locomotives and signalling to run trains on existing alignments would be very much lower than the price tag of Rs 150 crore per km for the viaducts alone for the 250 kmph plus variety.

Incidentally, the Japanese Shinkansens trains popularly called Bullet trains [on account of the profile of the nose of the driving cab resembling a bullet] introduced nearly half-a-century ago are closer to commuter than long-distance service.

For instance, the 500-km Tokyo-Osaka section carries more than 160 million passengers a year with over a dozen 14 car trains every hour, covering the distance in less than three hours and making daily commute a distinct possibility.

TGVs in Europe also connect major cities, most of which are now only less than three hours away, or provide overnight service between various European capitals, offering stiff competition to the airlines in city center to city center transit time.

So far about half-a-dozen studies carried out for an Indian rollout have been for the high speed viz. 250 kpmh plus variety built as elevated track on a viaduct. Very few of them have considered financial viability based not only on the projected volumes, but also the paying capacity of the passengers for the relatively higher tariff to sustain it as a profitable investment and not degenerate into a basket case, as has been the fate of Reliance’s Delhi Airport Metro line.

On the other hand the proposed low-cost high-speed corridors could also be viewed as a socially desirable investment, which would help to slow down the spiralling growth and even help to decongest Metros such as Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai by spurring the development of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities around them.

In the process it would also help to save on the nation’s fuel bill, reduce air pollution with a more fuel efficient mode of rail transport, reduce road congestion and connected accidents. In addition, reduction of commuter fatigue is perhaps one of the single factors that is making the high- speed services of Japan, Europe and China increasingly popular.

Choice of a section could degenerate into a political one-upmanship among various states and Metros, but its success would ultimately depend on the business model developed and its financial viability, which could even attract private investment in a PPP venture, a concept being vigorously encouraged by the Planning Commission.

Ultimately success would depend on techno-economic rather than political considerations, a concept which our worthy ‘netas’ are unfortunately seldom comfortable with.

The writer is a former member (mechanical) of the Railway Board

The Tribune


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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Fund crunch hits railway projects

The railway projects, proposed to be taken up in the state on public private partnership (PPP) mode, may not take off as the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) has ruled out undertaking these projects unless the state government is willing to fund them.

Chief project manager of RVNL Alok Tiwari said, “Private investors are not coming forward to invest (in these projects) due to lack of a proper business model.”

“Not even a single investor came forward when we called for expression of interest for Tumkur-Rayadurga new line. The railways is not in a position to fund the proposed projects. Therefore, it is up to the state government to decide on undertaking these projects,” he observed.

The Railway Board had proposed to undertake Talguppa-Honnavar; Bijapur-Shahabad; Tumkur-Rayadurga; Dharwad-Belgaum and Torangal-Ranjitpur projects on PPP mode in 2010-11 after the state government requested the Railway Ministry to sanction some projects on priority to improve the rail connectivity in the state.

As these railway projects are expected to contribute to the development of the areas, the state government offered to provide the land required for the projects free of cost, besides partial funding.

The Railway Board entrusted these projects to RVNL, a special purpose vehicle established by the railways for undertaking projects on PPP mode. The railways also entrusted Hospet-Vasco doubling project to RVNL. The RVNL had also got the feasibility done through some private consultants for undertaking these projects.

As investments are not forthcoming, the railways undertook Tumkur-Rayadurga project with 50 per cent funding from the state government and decided to wait till they find a private investor to undertake the remaining projects.

RVNL had to undertake Hospet-Vasco line, one of the busiest routes in the state, with loans from ADB.

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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Uncategorized


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