Some Important facts about Indian Railways

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Govt. may have to foot bill for rail safety fund

Somesh Jha NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 23, 2017 00:30 IST
UPDATED: OCTOBER 22, 2017 22:08 IST

Safe journey: The public utility is willing to spend unlimited funds on safety

As earnings fall, Railways knocks on Finance Ministry’s door

The Ministry of Railways may ask the Finance Ministry to fund its share of the railway safety fund this year as the public utility is staring at an earnings shortfall of at least ₹10,000 crore in 2017-18, sources said.

With earnings deficit, the Ministry of Railways may find it difficult to contribute its share towards the newly- constituted Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Rosh (RRSK) – a dedicated fund for critical safety-related works, a Ministry official said on the condition of anonymity.

Earnings shortfall

The Indian Railways’ income stood at ₹80,519 crore till September compared with ₹76,405 crore till September last year. However, the actual income was 8.45% lower than the targeted earnings till September this year. The Railways had set a target of earning ₹1.88 lakh crore in 2017-18 against ₹1.65 lakh crore in 2016-17.

“We are looking at an earnings deficit of at least ₹10,000 crore by the end of this financial year. We may demand Finance Ministry to fund the entire amount towards RRSK for current financial year in the pre-budget meeting next month,” the Ministry official said. The Finance Ministry is scheduled to meet the officials of the Ministry of Railway on November 10 for pre-budget discussions to finalise the revised estimates for 2017-18 and budget estimates for 2018-19.

Safety fund

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the setting up a special safety fund with a corpus of more than ₹1 lakh crore over a period of five years in Budget 2017-18. According to the plan, while the Finance Ministry would contribute ₹15,000 crore annually towards the fund, the Ministry of Railways would fund the balance ₹5,000 crore every year.

In the first six months of the current financial year, the Indian Railways had utilised a quarter of the safety fund as it had spent ₹5,031 crore from the RRSK. Although the Railways’ passenger and goods earnings had increased 4.5% and 8.4% respectively till September this year compared with the last year, its sundry earnings had declined sharply by 35.7% during this period.

Income from non-fare revenues, including land lease, advertising, PSU dividends and catering department, form part of the sundry earnings.

Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal had said in an interview to The Hindu last month that the utility was willing to spend unlimited funds on safety which would be a top priority for him. “In my working, there is no budget for safety. Whatever (fund) is required we will spend,” Mr. Goyal had said.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry advised the Ministry of Railways to prioritise deploying RRSK funds on areas that reduce chances of human error and ensure training of safety staff.

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Logic behind Rly seats booking

Why IRCTC does not allow you to choose seats?

Would you believe that the technical reason behind this is PHYSICS.

Booking a seat in a train is far more different than booking a seat in a theatre.
Theatre is a hall, whereas train is a moving object. So safety concern is very high in trains.

Indian railways ticket booking software is designed in such a way that it will book tickets in a manner that will distribute the load evenly in a train.

An example to make things more clear : Imagine there are sleeper class coaches in a train numbered S1, S2 S3… S10, and in every coach there are 72 seats.

So when some one first books a ticket, software will assign a seat in the middle coach like S5, middle seat numbered between 30-40, and preferably lower berths (Railways first fills the lower berths than upper one so as to achieve low centre of gravity.)

And the software books seats in such a way that all coaches have uniform passenger distribution and seats are filled starting from the middle seats (36) to seats near the gates i.e 1-2 or 71-72 in order from lower berth to upper.

Railways just want to ensure a proper balance that each coach should have for equal load distribution.

That is why when you book a ticket at the last, you are always allotted an upper berth and a seat numbered around 2-3 or 70, except when you are not taking a seat of someone who has cancelled his/her seat.

What if the railways book tickets randomly ? A train is a moving object which moves around at a speed of around 100km/hr on rails.

So there are a lot of forces and mechanics acting on the train.

Just imagine if S1, S2, S3 are completely full and S5, S6 are completely empty and others are partially full. When the train takes a turn, some coaches face maximum centrifugal force and some minimum, and this creates a high chance of derailment of the train.

This is a very technical aspect, and when brakes are applied there will be different braking forces acting at each of the coaches because of the huge differences in weight of coach, so stability of train becomes an issue again.

Good information worth sharing, as often passengers blame the Railways citing inconvenient seats/ berths allotted to them.

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क्या आप जानते हैं..क्या होता है जंक्शन, टर्मिनस और सेन्ट्रल में अंतर ?

?भारतीय रेल एशिया का सबसे बड़ा रेल नेटवर्क है और विश्व का चौथा। पूरे देश में रेलवे पटरी 92,081 किलोमीटर में फैली हुई है, जो 66,687 किलोमीटर को कवर करती है। हर साल यहां अरबों की संख्या में लोग रेलवे से सफर करते हैं। आंकड़ों के मुताबिक 2015-16 में केवल 8 अरब (8.107 बिलियन) से ज्यादा लोगों ने ट्रेन से सफर किया था। लेकिन क्या कभी आपने सोचा है कि सफर के दौरान जो जंक्शन, टर्मिनस और सेन्ट्रल स्टेशन आते हैं उसका क्या मतलब होता है, शायद आपका जवाब हो नहीं।

?चलिए आज हम आपको बताते हैं इनके क्या मायने होते हैं।
?जानिए इनके बारे में…
?पूरे देश में 8,000-8,500 तक रेलवे स्टेशन बने हैं, जहां से करीब 22 मिलियन लोग हर दिन सफर करते हैं।
?इन रेलवे स्टेशन को मूलरूप से चार भागों में बांटा गया है।


?क्या होता है टर्मिनस या फिर टर्मिनल?
?टर्मिनस या फिर टर्मिनल, जिसका मतलब होता है ऐसा स्टेशन, जहां से ट्रेन आगे नहीं जाती है। यानी कि जिस दिशा से ट्रेन उस स्टेशन पर पहुंचती है, दूसरी जगह जाने के लिए उसे उसी दिशा में वापस आकर फिर से गुजरनी पड़ती है।

?छत्रपति शिवाजी टर्मिनस (सीएसटी)
?लोकमान्य तिलक टर्मिनस (एलटीटी)
?कोचीन हार्बर टर्मिनस
?रीवा टर्मिनस

?इस तरह से भारत में कुल 27 टर्मिनस स्टेशन हैं।
?सेंट्रल उस रेलवे स्टेशन को कहा जाता है, जिसमें अनेक स्टेशन का समावेश होता है। यह शहर का बहुत ही व्यस्त स्टेशन भी होता है, कई जगहों पर पुराने स्टेशन को भी सेंट्रल कहा जाता है। भारत में कुल 5 सेन्ट्रल स्टेशन हैं।

?मुंबई सेन्ट्रल (बीसीटी)
?चेन्नई सेन्ट्रल (एमएएस)
?त्रिवेंन्द्रम सेन्ट्रल (टीवीसी)
?मैंग्लोर सेन्ट्रल (एमएक्यू)
?कानपुर सेन्ट्रल (सीएनबी)

?जंक्शन उस रेलवे स्टेशन को कहते हैं, जहां ट्रेनों की आवाजाही के लिए कम से कम 3 अलग-अलग रूट हों। यानी की ट्रेन कम से कम एक साथ दो रूट से आ भी सकती है और जा भी सकती है, इसे जंक्शन कहते हैं।
?मथुरा जंक्शन (7 रूट)
?सलीम जंक्शन (6 रूट)
?विजयवाड़ा जंक्शन (5 रूट)
?बरेली जंक्शन (5 रूट)
?कटनी जंक्शन {5 रुट}
?जबालपुर जंक्शन (3रूट)

?स्टेशन उस जगह को कहते है जहां ट्रेन आने जाने वाले यात्रियों और समानों के लिये रुकती है। भारत में कुल आठ से साढ़े आठ हजार स्टेशन हैं।

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Change in the Name of Passenger Holding Confirmed Reservation

1. Save as otherwise, a berth or a seat reserved in the name of a person shall be used only by the person and shall not be transferable to any other person.

2. Chief Reservation Supervisor of important stations are authorized by Railway Administration to permit the change of name of a passenger having a seat or berth reserved in his name in the following circumstances namely :

(a) Where the passenger is a Government Servant, proceeding on duty and appropriate authority, makes a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of trains

(b) Where the passenger makes a request in writing 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the train that the reservation made in his name may be transferred to another member of his family, meaning, Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Son, Daughter, Husband and Wife.

(c) Where the passengers are students of a recognized educational institution and the Head of the institution makes a request in writing 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, that the reservation made in the name of any student be transferred to any other student of the same institute.

(d) Where the passengers are members of a marriage party and any person deemed to be Head of such party makes a request in writing 48 hours before the scheduled departure of the train that the reservation made in the name of any member of the marriage party be transferred to any other person.

(e) Where the passengers are a group of cadets of National Cadet Corps and any officer who is the head of the group, makes a request in writing at least 24 hours before the departure of the train that the reservation made in the name of any cadet be transferred to any other cadet.

Such request will be granted only once. Regarding item no. (c), (d) and (e), such request for change in excess of 10% of the total strength of group shall not be granted.

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Railway looking for Global Technology for IR Operations

Minister of Railways Inaugurates Two Day Global Technology Conference

Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated the two day Global Technology Conference for Leveraging World Class Technology (International Conference on Development & Adaptation of Advance Technology for Railways) here today.

Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital and other Railway Board Members, DG Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO) and GM Northern Railway Shri R. K. Kulshreshta and senior officials were also present on the occasion.

Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO) is the nodal organization for this Conference, supported by Ministry of Railways and by Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers (IRSE) and Institution of Railway Signal & Telecommunication Engineers (IRSTE). The Conference is focusing on critical areas of Indian Railways – Reliability, Safety and Customer Service.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that Railways are evolving and getting modernised all over the world. Indian Railways also need to evolve as per the technological advancement across the world. Earlier, the budget of Railways was not as per the need of Railways, in past 3 years, Railways investments have been stepped up. The Railways investment shall be increased in coming decade. The need for technological advancement is an imperative. Railways investment shall lead to spin off benefits to other sectors. India is a big market for the Global suppliers of technology at the same time it is important to understand that Make in India is one part and Develop in India is another. The focus is to co develop technology in India. India will then become the hub of technology. Railways is looking for co operation from the Global suppliers of technology and would welcome their solution if they are feasible and cost effective in Indian context.

In keeping with the unremitting agenda of the Indian Railways to augment the pace of its operational improvements through enhancing its pace of modernized technological adaptations, the Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) of the Indian Railways is holding a two-day Global Technology Conference on 3rd & 4th May 2017 at New Delhi. The Technical Engineering Institutes of the Indian Railways viz. Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers (IRSE) and the Institution of Signal and Telecommunications Engineers (IRSTE) are the nodal bodies liaising and organizing this Conference.

With four lead thrust areas viz. Safety, Reliability, capacity enhancement and customer service, the Global Technological Conference envisages bringing in new perspectives and insights in planning for future rail transportation growth in the country and for assessing contemporary global technologies relevant to adoption on IR. The Conference is featuring technical sessions, technical presentations, and table-top exhibits, besides wide opportunities for several industries networking too.

Besides the knowledge takeaways, it is envisaged that the Conference would enable the emergence of a multi-disciplinary logistics interface and eco-systems that would enable the Indian Railways to deliver new levels of value along with modernization. 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 Indian Railways (IR) for identification of appropriate cutting edge technologies and systems available worldwide for adaptation and deployment on IR and Public Sector Units of the IR.

The broad themes of the Conference are:
1. Enhanced Safety
2. Reduced In-service failures and automated Health monitoring & Inspection
3. Capacity Enhancement and Congestion reduction
4. Enhanced Customer Service

The RDSO has launched a dedicated conference website www.gtcir.infor disseminating information and facilitating registration of participants. The brief details are also available on a conference booklet on this website.

The Conference topics relating to the above themes on which on Indian and Foreign speakers shall be presenting are given below. More than 50 speakers are slated to hold presentations on the under-mentioned technical topics:-

  • Rail Fracture Detection System and Residual Stress Measurement of Rails
  • Automated System of NDT of Rails
  • Latest Technology for Track Formation Rehabilitation
  • Improved AT & FB Welding Techniques
  • Track Monitoring System
  • Bridge Health Monitoring
  • Latest Methodology of Bridge Inspection (Under-Water Inspection of Bridges)
  • Online monitoring of OHE
  • Permanent Magnet Traction Motors
  • SiC Device based Traction Converters
  • Latest technology for improving Housekeeping on Trains and
  • Adoption of latest Methodology of Rolling Stock Testing
  • On Board & Wayside Condition Monitoring of Rolling Stock
  • Use of Tilting Trains and Modern Coaches
  • Latest Design Wagons
  • Fog Vision System
  • DPWCS-For Interoperability, Operational flexibility and Push-Pull operation of trains
  • Latest tools and trends in use of Data Analytics for Enhancing Safety
  • IoT for enhancement of Reliability and Safety
  • Improvement in Reliability of Signalling System
  • Continuous Automatic Train Control with Moving Block
  • Centralized Traffic Control
  • Wi-Fi on Trains, including Infotainment
  • Latest technology for Passenger Guidance at Stations and Trains
  • Latest technology for enhancing Security on Trains and at Stations
  • Train protection and warning system
  • Energy efficiency in Traction system

Brief Details are also available on the dedicated conference website:


(PBI Release ID :161484)

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A legend hangs up his boots On the last day of this month . Finally, Elattuvalapil Sreedharan has been allowed to retire, at the age of 79. A man who built the Calcutta Metro, Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro. But he is best remembered for re-building in just 46 days the Pamban bridge which in 1963 was blown away by a cyclone into the sea.

Here is a man who is honest to the core, brooked no nonsense and set an example for others. A true leader who walked his talk. He truly deserves the Bharat Ratna. Now he is going to Kerala to fulfill the dreams of Mallus “The Kochin Metro ”

India has much gratitude for this great engineer. He is known as the The “metro man of India”. He is quite a sensational project manager, who almost always gets the project completed on time or before schedule. He fought all the delays caused by bureaucratic red tape, corruption and lack of funds.

Sreedharan’s willpower has moved mountains. He is not just a dreamer but also a builder, but most of all, one who has dedicated his achievements to every Indian. He stands out as a legend in Indian Engineering history. His major projects being the Delhi Metro and the Konkan Railways.

This 75+ year-old Managing Director of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation only desires the progress of his country. He wanted Delhi to have a world-class metro rail project to change the meaning of urban transport in India. And he did it.

The Konkan Railway project came to him in his retirement. It was a challenging task—-760 km of rail tracks from Mumbai to Kochi through the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This project was found as not feasible, by the British engineers in pre-independence era. But for Sreedharan nothing was impossible.

Environmentalists protested, politicians said it cannot be done and the project ran short of money.
Sreedharan raised public bonds to finance it, taking everyone ahead.

Kiran Bedi explains why Sreedharan is worthy of the title: “He is not in his 40s or 50s, but he is in his 70s, a time when we normally retire. Sreedharan has given the best metro concept for the railway of the country with integrity, vision, with commitment and with remarkable professional skills. There is no other person better than him in this category.”

Sreedharan insists he does not have any special skills to get the best out of people. “I always found that people cooperate if you work for a good cause,” he says.

Sreedharan studied in an ordinary school & college and later on took his civil engineering degree from a govt engineering college. But he went on to become the boss for hundreds of IIM, IIT graduates!

People still wonder what really makes him tick at 80 while a young man in his 20’s struggles to begin his day at 6 or 7 in the morning. Sreedharan’s day starts at 4 am, meditation and Bhagwad Gita.

He reaches office at 9:30 am and gets straight to work. In the evening, he usually takes a long walk with his wife Radha and allots time to his family of four children. He used to set up reverse clocks to show impending deadlines to his project members during Delhi Metro construction phase.

The message of the Gita: To act, without desire for the fruits of the action gave him the courage to act.

A plate placed in his Kerala office read as: ‘Whatever to be done, I do. But in reality I do not do anything’.

India says thank you sir.
Government of India may or may not award him the Bharat Ratna. But for the countless millions that have travelled on the Pamban bridge, Kolkata Metro, Konkan Railways & Delhi Metro and for the knowledgeable public he is already a Bharat Ratna – a real gem of the rarest variety.

Let’s all recommend his name to Govt for award of Bharat Ratna. Please share this message. Each one to at least one.


Changes in Indian Railway/IRCTC Passenger Reservation System


  1. Passengers will get refund amount of 50% on cancellation of tatkal tickets.
  2. There has been slight change made by the Indian Railways for booking tatkal tickets. From July 1, tatkal window for AC coach will be open between 10 am to 11 am and for sleeper coach the timing will be from 11 am to 12 pm.
  3. From *July 1 the Waiting list system will come to an end and tickets will be issued only for confirmed and RAC passengers accommodation. The provisions for the waiting list will be ended.
  4. By next month the number of coaches in Rajdhani and Shatabdi will be increased.
  5. From July 1, Rajdhani and Shatabdi will move ahead with paper less tickets. Only mobile tickets will be valid on these trains.
  6. The Indian Railways officials website IRCTC, will also start booking tickets on various language.
  7. Premium trains will come to an end from July 1.
  8. The passengers can also get 50 percent return after cancelling Suvidha train tickets.
  9. The passengers will also get *‘wake up call destination’ facility in the trains from July 1.

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The little box at Rail Bhavan

V Ravi Shankar

THANK you, Indian Railways! It was May 28 this year, I had been detailed to attend a meeting in New Delhi at a very short notice. Having been brought up on a culture of “speaking” to somebody for any and everything, I was apprehensive when I did not get the reserved ticket. I was travelling from Hardwar to New Delhi. Since my unit operated the Passenger Reservation System (PRS), while proceeding, I ‘spoke’ to the operator, who in turn ‘spoke’ to the person concerned at Hardwar and confirmed the ticket.

The meeting over, I realised I had to return! It was a problem once I reached Delhi. There was not a single person I knew on my return journey and I had to reach the duty station on a Monday morning. My days of “knowing” the right persons had long been over (I had been posted to Delhi once, where I prided myself at “knowing” someone who could help).

That’s when someone told me about the Head Office (HO) quota. It is a small box kept outside the Rail Bhavan, where the CISF guard is posted. I was told it is religiously taken out and screened. Anyone who feels that it is impossible to get a confirmed ticket, makes a fervent plea, vide this little box. Invariably, the quota is allotted.

I had a hearty laugh. Maybe it is akin to “presidential pardon”, I thought! How can — in a country where for everything you need to “know”/speak to the right person — a simple application suffice? What the hell! I thought of giving it a try. As it is, my ticket was waitlisted at No. 9 on AC-1, and I knew it stood little chance of confirmation.

With great trepidation, I wrote out the application, and as luck would have it, I reached late that day. The box had already been taken out. My train was the day after. The next day, like a drowning man would clutch at a straw, I went and dropped it first thing in the morning.

Thereafter, on the hour, every hour, I kept checking the Internet. The ticket gradually came down from nine to four, to finally steady at two. When I had given up all hope, just before the chart was to be prepared, imagine my joy when I saw “HO, CNF” against my PNR status.

I was beyond myself with glee and would recommend the little “box” to anyone in Delhi who feels that his ticket needs to be confirmed. No talking, no pleading…just a simple application with a xerox of the ticket into the little box should take care of it. Thank you, Indian Railways! You are great.

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Rail safety system averts Churchgate repeat at CST

A local train exceeding speed limit was stopped by the automatic application of emergency brakes at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Wednesday. An Auxiliary Warning System (AWS) installed at the station triggered the emergency brakes on the Kasara-CST fast local, averting an incident similar to that in June when a local train crashed into the buffers at the Churchgate station.

The train stopped at the middle of the platform and the passengers and motorman Babu Nanu were safe. “The permissible speed at CST is 10 kmph. Motormen cannot exceed this speed at the station. However, motorman Nanu drove the 10.35 Kasara fast local, which was late by 5 minutes, probably at 15kmph at CST,” said a Central Railway official.

“We installed the AWS after a local train overshot at the Churchgate station. If the speed is more than 10 kmph, AWS gets activated automatically and emergency brakes are applied. Before the AWS activates the brakes, it alerts the driver through a sound. In this situation, the driver probably could not understand the sound and emergency brakes were automatically applied,” said the official.

“I was in the train immediately after the motorman’s coach. I could not understand what went wrong. Suddenly, the train halted in the middle of CST and I alighted. The driver mentioned that nothing was serious,” said a commuter Bharati Dubey. Confirming the incident, Public Relations Officer, CR, AK Singh said, “Our AWS was working.”

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