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Monday, January 4, 2016

Mock run of new 'Make in India' railway coaches successful

BHOPAL: Successful final mock run of Indian Railways' first model rake of luxury 'Make in India' railway coaches was carried out on Monday. These passenger coaches have been designed by Bhopal's coach rehabilitation workshop (CRWS), Nishatpura.

During mock run, team 30 officials was present including from Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala.

Deputy chief mechanical engineer (CME) of CRWS M Vishwalal informed the model rake would be sent to Jabalpur on Tuesday night around 10 pm where general manager (GM) West Central Railway (WCR) Ramesh Chandra would inspect the rake. Thereafter, it would be sent to New Delhi.

According to railway sources, the new model luxury rake of 24 coaches may be rolled out in one of WCR trains. Sources added that it could be in train no 12121 Madhya Pradesh Sampark Kranti Express that runs between Jabalpur and Hazrat Nizamuddin.

On Monday, the model luxury rake departed from Bhopal railway station at 9.30 am and reached Ganj Basoda station around 11.15 am from where it left around 12.30 pm, reaching Habibganj station at 2 pm.
The national transporter may soon roll out these coaches in trains.

Previously, trial run of 24 coaches was conducted between Bhopal and Bina railway stations on November 20 at a speed of 120 km per hour.

What sets apart these new coaches are jerk-less seats and beautiful interiors. Also, from the usual green or red seats, the new colour is purple that instantly gives a high-class look and feel.

Besides, the coaches are spacious and have bigger side berths, LED reading lights, snacks table and bio-toilets system installed in them. Also, every compartment has separate mobile and laptop charging points.

Indian Railways launched the ambitious pilot project in 2011 to revamp interiors of rail coaches of all reserved classes in a bid to create a 'homely' atmosphere during rail journeys.

Railways entrusted West Central Railway (WCR) zone to design model coaches for bringing about this massive changes in trains.

As per plans, 111 coaches are to be manufactured by CRWS of which 87 would be non AC, 17 would be for AC 3 tier, 5 for AC 2 tier and one each for AC 1 and chair car. While AC coaches have been built at the cost of Rs 70 lakh, sleeper coaches cost Rs 49 lakh.

CRWS will then launch phase two of luxury coaches. It also has plans of manufacturing executive class chair car coaches for Shatabdi Express after successful testing of the model rake.

Luxury on wheels:

· Seats equipped with jerk-less springs
· LED reading lights, snacks table in side berths


· Spacious seats, wider side berths

· Multi mobile charging points

· Fire extinguishers on both side of coach

· Water bottle holder next to every seat

· Green toilet system with soap case and dustbin

· Fire-proof seats made of poly vinyl material

· Floor of the coach painted like carpet

· Middle berths have side support and railing instead of chains

Indian Railways makeover for Rajdhanis interior decor

New Delhi, Jan 3 (PTI) White bedsheets and pillow covers in trains are set to become a thing of the past as Railways is introducing multi-colour bedrolls designed by NIFT.
Besides bedrolls, curtains of AC coaches are also being redesigned.”
It has been decided that the interiors of the coaches are changed including replacing the white colour bedrolls with multi-coloured ones.
The newly-designed bedrolls will be introduced in one of the Rajdhani trains shortly,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The bedroll consists of two bedsheets, one pillow, a blanket and a hand towel.
According to the new plan, barring hand towel, everything will be coloured.”
NIFT was given the responsibility to design new coloured patterns for train travellers and it has sent an array of designs out of which we have selected two type of colours,” the official said.
Besides bedrolls, the colour of curtains will be also matching with the colour of bedsheets.
The official said there will be new multi-coloured blankets now instead of regular blankets supplied in AC coaches.
Railways provides about 3 lakh bedrolls daily for AC travellers.
The supply of multi-coloured bedrolls will cost Railways about 30 per cent more than what it spends now.
It is a common complaint that the set of linen supplied to passengers are unhygienic, dirty and smelly.
Addressing the issue, Railways has undertaken steps to set up a state-of-the-art mechanised laundry at many stations.
Continuing with new steps, Railways is also redesigning the seating arrangements in trains to improve the aesthetic look of the coach.

Dense fog engulfs Delhi; Indian Railways cancels three trains

Dense fog engulfed Delhi on Monday morning leading to cancellation of three trains as visibility slumped below 300 metres.
The minimum temperature was recorded at eight degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average, an official from the India Meteorological Department said.
The Indian Railways said: “Three trains were cancelled while another three had to be rescheduled due to the poor visibility caused by fog. A total of 19 trains were running late.”
The day will be partly cloudy with the maximum temperature likely to hover around 23 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.
According to the weather office, the humidity at 8.30 a.m. was recorded at 41 percent.
Sunday’s maximum temperature settled at 22.8 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season’s average while the minimum temperature was recorded at eight degrees Celsius, one degree above the season’s average.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Centre Seeks to Boost Rail Network in Odisha, Says Union Minister

BHUBANESWAR:  Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha on Sunday said Indian Railways is trying its best to increase rail network in Odisha.
“It is our priority and the special interest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invest more in States like Odisha,” Sinha told reporters after a review meeting with top officials of East Coast Railways (ECoR) here.
Sinha said he reviewed project works completed last year, ongoing project works to be completed this year and the future action plan for infrastructure development to provide better railway service in the State in coming days.
The Union Minister said priority is being given to areas not having railway connectivity and efforts will be made to ensure timely execution of the new projects sanctioned by the Ministry.
The ECoR has been asked to prepare a roadmap for next 25 years keeping in mind the rapid industrial progress of the State and the focus will be on rail connectivity to ports, he said and added that instruction has been issued for expediting work of Talcher-Bimalagarh new line.
Sinha told ECoR officials that funds will not be a constraint for the ongoing and newly sanctioned projects.
Replying to a question on alleged negligence towards Odisha by the Railways, Sinha said Odisha has got more allocations in the last two Railway budgets which was much higher than the expectation of the State Government.
Asked about the State Government’s demand of new trains, Sinha said he will examine the proposals positively. The Minister further directed the ECoR officials to focus on passenger amenities.
Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was present at the review meeting, said the meeting had a detailed discussion on the expenditure performance of the last two Railway budgets and the expenditure for the ensuing budget.
“During my earlier visit to the State, I had a meeting with some industrial organisations and senior citizens who had given good proposals on development of railway infrastructure in Odisha. We have discussed those proposals in the meeting,” Pradhan said.
Efforts are on by the Railway Ministry to incorporate these proposals in the forthcoming Railway Budget. Pradhan said he is confident that the State will get its desired share in next Railway Budget.
Pradhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate IOCL’s 15 MMTPA state-of-the-art refinery at Paradip in January next year.
The two Union Ministers later left for Jatni to attend the centenary celebration of ECoR Mixed Higher Secondary School.

Google's Project Loon coming to India soon

The telecom wing of the Indian Railway, RailTel, had signed an agreement with the subsidiary of Google India to provide Wi-Fi facilities at 400 stations across the country.
Google is also working with Indian Railways and Railtel to launch RailWire Wifi, providing free WiFi in train stations. Speaking at the "Google for India" event, he also elaborated on their plans for Railwire, which aims to equip 500 railway stations across India with a Wi-Fi network.
Pichai also said Google plans to hire professionals for Bangalore and Hyderabad operations. Google will up hiring in Bengaluru.Google will help women from three lakh villages across India to get online in three years.
Google program will train two million new Android developers over the next three years by working with more than 30 universities across the country in partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation.
Pichai's announcements were part of the assurance Google held out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the search engine giant's headquarters at Mountain View, Santa Clara county, California, in September.
The event of Google For India by Sundar Pichai was very successful and his maiden India trip after becoming GoogleCEO is going to be super excited as he will interact with DU students in the Shri Ram College of Commerce, DU. During his keynote, Pichai shared that by 2016, India will have more Android users than the U.S. Pichai gave examples of products such as MapMaker, Youtube offline, streamline search etc, which were developed for India and are now widely used globally. Community-based mapping, said Pichai, has been one of the biggest takeaways for Google's most ambitious projects, from India. India has always been key for Google and we continue to work towards evolving our product offerings for the unique needs of our users.
"In 2016, more than 100 stations will be covered".
Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.
Additionally, there were plenty of software technologies showcased that basically allowed Google to optimise their current services for Indian users.

See Rajasthan the regal way on Desert Circuit

The IRCTC, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, has introduced a special train that offers a feel of the sights and sounds of Rajasthan, a land rich with majestic forts and tales of valour. Desert Circuit, one of the two special trains launched by the Indian in December to boost desert and heritage tourism in the country, commenced its inaugural five-day Delhi-Jaisalmer-Jaipur-journey last weekend.
Starting from Delhi's Safdajung Railway Station, it takes you to Jaisalmer where you are taken to Sand Dunes, Gadisagar Lake, Patwon Ki Haveli and Jaisalmer Fort, a Unesco World Heritage Site, till Day 3.
In Jaipur, tourists are taken to City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal, before heading to Chokhi Dhani on fourth day. On last day, people are taken to Amer Fort, another Unesco World Heritage Site near before returning to Delhi in the evening.
All one is required is to board this semi-luxury train and stop worrying about luggage, lodging, meals, transportation to various sites , guides and scheduling. All these things are taken care of by senior IRCTC officials accompanying you.
"We intended to provide people a safe, reliable and comfortable journey in the desert circuit. There was no proper train which could cater till Jaisalmer. That's why we have taken this Desert Circuit train so that we can cover the desert circuit, especially Jaisalmer and Jaipur, and other places," Jitender Kumar, deputy general manager, IRCTC, told IANS.
"The train has first a/c, second a/c and third a/c accomodation. The cost has been kept very nominal. In this sector, there are trains for high-end clients and for commoners as well but there was no train for the medium income category people. That's why we commenced this semi luxury train Desert Circuit," he added.
As most of the people who undertook the inaugural trip on the Desert Circuit train looked having fun during off-train excursions, some of them opted to share their experiences and suggestions with IANS.
"I feel whatever is required to enjoy a train journey like hotel accommodation, transport and on-board services was overall good. Sightseseeing was a great experience. I wish they had arranged for a better hotel in Jaisalmer where meals-plus-hotels require attention. Semi-luxury wise it felt good," said Subodh Kumar, a passenger.
"Onboard service are satisfactory but off-train services need a bit of improvement. Staff was quite friendly. Sand dunes experience felt quite good. I wish more place are included in the itinerary," he added.
"I will talk about first a/c, where the package is approximately Rs.36,000 per person for four or five days. If you are putting passengers of first a/c in these kind of hotels then there is 100 percent chances of complaints. So, for those clients, you have to look for four-star category hotels if not five-star," said Rajeev Verma, a passenger from Royal Indian Trains Travel Company.
"They should put Jodhpur instead of Jaipur and, if possible, include Bikaner in it. But at the same time, it depends on adjusting as per other trains' traffic on those routes as well. Also, better planning is required to cover more sites without wasting time in hotels," he added.
"I found the package that is being provided is quite good in this semi-luxury train. This package as a product is properly balanced. It is not fair to compare semi-luxury with high-end luxury," said Jaswinder Singh, a passenger from Mac Journeys India, a travel agency.
"We need to understand the hotels we used had limited inventory, the moment the strength of passengers get increased from 25 like it was in this inaugral trip, there maybe a possibility of better hotels," Singh added.
The Desert Circuit package prices are Rs.36,900, Rs.33,900, Rs.32,900 (first a/c single, double and triple occupancy respectively) and for child with bed (5-11 years) Rs.25,000.
It is Rs.28,025, Rs.25,025, Rs. 24,525 (second a/c) and for child Rs.19,500.
For third a/c, it is Rs.24,125, Rs. 21,125, Rs. 20,625 respectively and for child Rs.17,000.
The IRCTC is also giving discount of 10 percent for everyone, 12 percent for senior citizens and 12 percent for group booking.

3 Injured as Chalukya Express Derails

HUBBALLI:  Passengers on board Chalukya Express (Puducherry-Dadar) had a miraculous escape after three coaches of the train along with the engine derailed soon after the train left Hubballi junction.
The incident occurred around 3.35 pm on Monday when the train was passing by the Unkal railway station. Three persons, who sustained minor injuries were admitted to the Railway Hospital.
A railway official said the mishap occurred when the train was supposed to take the main line as already two trains were waiting at Unkal station. But the train derailed and jumped onto the track on the left side where a train was already waiting.
The loco pilot managed to apply brakes and halt the train before it could collide with another train. The train was running at a speed of 70 kmph when the incident occurred.
“It is a miracle that we  escaped unhurt. I heard a loud thud and saw the train jump off the track and still moving. If the train was not controlled, it could have collided with the train waiting on the other track,” said a passenger. Soon after the derailment, passengers with the help of railway officials shifted the injured out of the coaches, said a eye witness.
Five major trains, including the Hubballi-Nizamuddin were cancelled and the passengers from Chalukya Express were accommodated in railway facilities in Hubballi.
Committee Formed: SWR General Manager P K Saxena has announced that the incident will be probed by a committee headed by Commissioner of Railway Safety.