India should go for high-speed trains for faster growth: China

BEIJING: India should opt for bullet trains together with raising speed of trains on existing tracks to boost economic growth by improving connectivity, a combination that worked for China as well, a top railway official said here today.

With over a billion population and a large territorial area, India and China share the same conditions and up- gradation of railway infrastructure will result in faster economic development, Zhao Guotang, Deputy Chief Engineer of the China Railway said.

As China went through massive development phase in the last decades becoming the second largest economy, China faced the same dilemma as India whether to increase the speed of its tracks or go for the construction of bullet trains, he told an Indian media and think tank delegation at a briefing.

Asked what would be his recommendation for India, he said a combination of both may be good but bullet trains could enable people to travel faster which in turn will have huge impact on economy, he said.

India has stepped up cooperation with China to modernize its railways with agreements in a number of area including speed raising of the tracks, (Chennai-Mysore sector via Bangalore), training of 100 railway personnel in heavy haulage, setting up of railway university and modernizing railway stations.

Besides this, China is currently conducting feasibility study for a high speed railway in the over 2000 km long New Delhi-Chennai corridor, while Japan is doing the same for Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor.

Zhao said China currently operates hundreds of bullet trains in 40 high speed lines spanning 16,000 kms.

On the 1,300 km long Beijing-Shanghai line alone, China railway operates 180 bullet trains on normal days and 240 on Sundays, which means a train every five minutes or so.

As China pitches for exporting its high speed technology abroad, Zhao made a strong case for India to opt for Chinese technology claiming that it was far advanced than that of Japanese because China entered the filed far latter and its technology is more contemporary.

China also has highly trained frontline staff who could deliver the projects with wider savings of time and resources.

“It is true in the beginning of our High Speed Rail (HSR) development, we had lot of cooperation with Japan and we learned something from them. We have late starter advantage. It is a big step compared with the Japanese technology,” he said.

“In one word the front tier of China’s HSR have a rich management experience and they will surely play a decisive role in the construction in India’s HSR,” he said.

Source Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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Delhi University Students Harness Wind Energy Produced by Metro Trains

NEW DELHI: A group of Delhi University students has discovered an innovative way of harnessing wind energy churned out by Metro trains to generate electricity.

The project, undertaken by Kalindi College, has also got the backing of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which allowed the students to install a turbine on trial basis at one of the underground metro stations.

“While standing at a metro station one day, the students realised that the wind energy produced in the tunnel by these fast moving trains gets wasted, and they decided to find out how it can be harnessed,” said Dr Punita Verma, Principal Investigator of the project.

The team, involving ten students of Physics and Computer Science departments, proposed setting up a turbine at an underground metro station to check if it can be successful in harnessing the wind.

DMRC officials found the project interesting and gave the nod to install a turbine at Chandni Chowk metro station. “Without obstructing the operation, safety and security of Metro services, it was decided to put up turbine along the underground tracks at the mouth of tunnel where the maximum wind velocity available is 6.5 m/s.

“In the first phase, we installed a three-blade turbine and later a five-blade light rotor turbine with a cut-in speed of less than 1.5m/s. We connected it to a battery and measured the power it generates. We also discovered that different stations have different construction and the same turbines cannot be used at all the metro stations,” Ms Verma said.

The project, which has was started by a different group of students in 2013, has received a grant of Rs. 15 lakh from the university.

While the first phase involved the research work, the DMRC engineers were later roped in to test the feasibility, who have asked the team to develop the concept further.

“We are now working on different designs of the turbines whose size, shape and orientation will be customised according to the wind velocity and frequency of trains at different stations. Once the design is approved by DMRC, turbine firms will be approached to make these turbines,” Ms Verma said.

Source – NDTV

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Railway to setup Medical Colleges for the wards of Railway Employees

LOKSABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 1321

ANSWERED ON 01.12.2014

SETTING UP OF MEDICAL COLLEGES BY RAILWAYS

1321 . Ering Shri Ninong

Will the Minister of RAILWAYS be pleased to state:-

(a) the details of medical colleges proposed to be set up by the Railways in the country including North-East, and the present status of each of these projects, location-wise;

(b) whether the Railways have allotted the requisite land for setting up of these medical colleges;

(c) if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor;

(d) the details of funds allocated/released/utilized for the purpose so far, project-wise; and

(e) the steps taken/being taken by the Railways to set up these medical colleges in a time bound manner?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS (SHRI MANOJ SINHA)

(a) to (e): A statement is laid on the Table of the House.

STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) To (e) OF UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1321 BY SHRI NINONG ERING TO BE ANSWERED IN LOK SABHA ON 01.12.2014 REGARDING SETTING UP OF MEDICAL COLLEGES BY RAILWAYS.

(a)& (e) The then Hon’ble MR in the budget 2009-10 had announced that Medical Colleges were planned to be established attached to existing railway hospitals through Public Private Partnership (PPP), to give higher education facilities to new generation of railway children at 18 locations i.e. at Chennai, Hyderabad, Bilaspur, Lucknow, Barasat, Bhubaneswar, Mysore, Kharagpur, Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Jodhpur, Garden-Reach, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, B.R. Singh Hospital (Kolkata), Bhopal, Jammu and Trivandrum.

To implement the pronouncement, 05 locations viz., Chennai, Guwahati, Kharagpur, Lucknow and Hyderabad were identified for Phase-I.

As per Medical Council of India (MCI) Rules, Public Private Partnership (PPP) Medical College with Government (Railway) Hospital is not permitted. This Ministry have, therefore, dropped the proposal of setting up of Medical Colleges.

(b) & (c) Do not arise.

(d) M/s Rail India Technical & Economic Services(RITES) was appointed and was awarded the work (worth Rs. 187 lakhs + Service tax) of consultancy and preparing bid documents for selection of a private partner for Phase-I. M/s RITES have submitted preliminary reports of feasibility studies of Chennai, Secunderabad and Kharagpur. Till date, Rs. 29.41 lakhs have been paid to M/s RITES.

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Green Power: Railways to set up 26 MW windmill

NEW DELHI: Railways, one of the biggest consumers of energy, is moving towards harnessing green power with a 26 MW windmill proposed to be built in Rajasthan.

The project, the biggest renewable energy initiative by the national transporter, is to be set up in Jaisalmer at a cost of Rs 150 crore and targeted to be completed in about nine months.
“We.. have to explore new and renewable sources of energ for our energy basket,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here today while announcing the project.

He was speaking while launching the windmill farm meant for generating electricity for the captive consumption of railways. It is being set-up by Railway Renewable Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL), a joint venture of Railways and it’s subsidiary RITES. The contract for this project was awarded by REMCL to INOX Wind Limited.

Prabhu said there is a need to change the energy mix so that long term dependence on fossil fuel can be reduced.

Earlier, railways had established its first windmill plant of 10.5 MW capacity at a cost of about Rs 65 crore in Tamil Nadu in 2009. It has generated over 120 million units of electricity since its commission.

“We should harness solar energy also in a big way and design our stations and buildings in such a way that their local electricity needs can be met through solar system.
“In fact, all such new structures should have inherent provision for harnessing solar energy for their day-to-day needs,” the Railway Minister said, while noting that deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat can be a good source of exploiting the solar energy.

He also pushed for a sustained effort to intensify energy conservation measures.

The electricity generated from such windmill plants will be purchased by Railways at CERC determined rates. The current tariff from windmill has been estimated to be Rs 6 per unit as against the average tariff of Rs 6.57 per unit.

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Shri.E.Sreedharan panel to vet all railway contracts

All tenders to be approved by the railway minister or railway board would be examined by the E Sreedharan panel, which was set up to suggest ways to infuse transparency in the functioning of the transport behemoth.

The panel has asked railways to submit the details of all tenders under finalization or at the invitation stage, which are to be cleared by the minister or board.

The move is aimed at studying the existing tendering process so that the one-man committee can suggest ways to streamline procurement and tendering process as part of the government’s push for reforming the transporter.

The move has created panic among a section of officials as they fear probe if the panel found any aberration or abuse of official position to favour a particular company or individual.

A senior official in the railways board secretariat said, “Most of the departments have submitted the details.”

In recent past, investigative agencies found cases of “tailor-made” specifications in the tendering process to favour a private company, he said. Irregularities in booking of wagons and coaches due to opaque procedures have also come to light.

Soon after taking over, railway minister Suresh Prabhu asked former Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief E Sreedharan to advise on ways to infuse transparency in systems and procedures.

He was asked to suggest “proper system and procedure to ensure proper accountability and transparency” at the level of General Manager (GM) and other functionaries for taking all commercial decisions.

The panel was appointed amid indication of massive reforms being worked out in the railways to attract private and foreign investment for the mega projects and infuse transparency and openness after Prabhu took over. There was a realization that widespread corruption and manipulation had discouraged private players to invest in rail infrastructure.

Prabhu had indicated that decisions on tender have to be taken at the level of GMs of railway zones. Helping railways put in place systems for delegation of such responsibilities to GMs is one of the terms of reference of the newly-formed committee.

Source:TOI

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Kapurthala factory rolls out 17 high-speed rail coaches

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 22
The Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, has rolled out a high-speed rake of 17 coaches that will reportedly be a part of Gatiman Express soon. The train will run at a speed of 160 km per hour between New Delhi and Agra, reducing the travel time between the cities from three hours to 1 hour 45 minutes.

Rail_Coach-01

Officials said though they had rolled out same-speed rakes for Shatabdi too, the latest ones would have additional features, including automatic sliding doors between compartments and a GPS-enabled public address system.

The cost of each coach is Rs 2.5 crore, a budget allocation for which had been made by the Union Government for running high speed trains.

Public Relations Officer Virender Vij said the factory had handed over 17 coaches to the Railway Board, which included 12 AC chair cars, three executive chair cars and two power-generating cars.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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Double Decker train to run between Delhi and Lucknow from November- TOI

LUCKNOW: The much awaited double-decker train will run between Lucknow and Delhi from the second week of November. Research Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO) will begin the final safety trial run of the train between Lucknow Junction and Anand Vihar terminal on Friday (October 17) and Saturday (October 18).

RDSO might give the report within 15 days and if not by first week of November, the train is expected to run from the second week of November. “It will be five days a week and ply from Lucknow Junction,” said divisional railway manager (DRM), Lucknow, North Eastern Railway (NER) Anoop Kumar.

The train will run from North Eastern Railway (NER) since route clearance has come for Lucknow Junction-Anand Vihar route. “We will shift Garib rath to NR to make way for double-decker,” said senior divisional commercial manager (DCM), Lucknow, NER, MK Singh. Double-decker will be a day train and might run around 15 to 20 minutes ahead of Gomti express. Since NER wants to run it as a brand, the train might get a special name as well.

Northern Railways (NR) has chalked out the train’s route. “Train will run from Lucknow via Moradabad and the entire route that it will take comes under Northern Railway,” said senior divisional commercial manager, Lucknow, northern railways, Ashwini Srivastava.

The train which is stationed at Gomtinagar station for the last five months will be shifted to Lucknow Junction’s washing line for maintenance before the trial run.

The train has 12 coaches and every coach has the seating capacity of 110. Before it is made to run between Lucknow and Anand Vihar and handed over to RDSO for the trial run, the train will have thermocol sheets pasted on its body and one of its coaches will be loaded with sand bags (to make its weight equivalent to that of a loaded coach).

RDSO will then put cameras inside and outside the train and officers who will be present on-board the train will watch every movement of the train. Since double-decker train is wider and higher than the regular train, thermocol sheets are put to test if its body is getting rubbed against the platform or other structures en route. The train will be made to run either at 100 kmph speed or the speed at which the railways plan to run it. “At the platforms, it will follow the speed restrictions,” said an RDSO officer.

“Railways will have to give us the time for the trial considering the schedule of other trains on the route,” said the officer.

On hold for five months

The train meant to run on the 500-km Lucknow-New Delhi route was stationed at Gomtinagar station for about five months. Railways needed clearance for two bridges on the Lucknow-New Delhi route. RDSO, in 2014, finished trial run of double-decker trains for Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bangalore but at Lucknow — where the train was designed at Research Designs and Standards Organisation — the train was gathering dust. While NER gave the route clearance, the same was awaited from the Northern Railway.

Not for every route

Double-decker needs route-specific clearance. A regular coach is given clearance once after which it can ply on any route. Double-decker, due to its height, oscillates while moving and has to be given clearance for every route before it gets to run. Its lower window is at the level of the platform. “In certain cases, platform can touch the body of the train so trial ensures that the route allows the train a smooth run,” says an RDSO official.

Double the capacity

In a double-decker coach, the entry and toilet areas of the coaches are at the same level as the platform. It is the seating area which has been horizontally divided into two levels, bringing the ground floor to the level of the platform. The coach is higher and slightly narrower than a regular rail coach. The coaches are crash-worthy, which means they can keep passengers safe in case of a collision, derailment or any other train accident.

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Next gen rly e-ticketing system launched

New Delhi, August 13
The long and irritating experiences of booking train ticket through the IRCTC website seems to be a thing of past now as the Railways today launched the next generation e-ticketing system enhancing the booking capacity to 7,200 tickets per minute and making the whole process much faster and easier.

“It was a rail budget commitment which was fulfilled today,” Railway Minister Sadanand Gowda said after launching the next generation e-ticketing system. The new system developed by Centre for Railway information Systems (CRIS) at an estimated cost of Rs 180 crore would allow booking of 7,200 tickets per minute against 2,000 tickets in the old system.

With the launch of the system, now 1.2 lakh users can book e-tickets simultaneously against the earlier capacity of 40,000 concurrent users at a time.

Gowda said: “The Budget was presented two months and five days ago in Parliament, and today we are launching it.”

Besides e-ticketing, Gowda launched a series of IT-enabled initiatives for rail users including train enquiry mobile application and Go-India smart card.

An online system to enable faster booking of wagons and making payment without going to counters was also launched. — PTI

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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5,000 more ticket vending machines

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
The Railways is planning to install over 5,000 more automatic ticket vending machines across the country while providing Wi-Fi facility at “A1” and “A” category stations and in 50 rakes of important trains in Rajdhani/ Shatabdi/ Duranto category.

In a reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said while automatic ticket vending machines operated by smart card were already functional, it was proposed to add another 5,000 such machines across all zonal railways.

Of these, 2,000 will be coin operated and 3,000 by smart cart. The procurement will start from this financial year.

The railways proposes Wi-Fi facility at “A1” & “A” category stations and in 50 rakes of important trains in Rajdhani/ Shatabdi/ Duranto category. This is in addition to Wi-Fi facility in three rakes of Howrah-New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express as a pilot project.

The provision of Wi-Fi in 50 rakes is estimated to cost Rs 55 crore.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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Railways to spend Rs 73k cr on two freight corridors


Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 31
Indian Railways will spend over Rs 73,000 crore on two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) under construction from Dankuni to Ludhiana (Eastern DFC) and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Terminal (JNPT) to Dadri (Western DFC).

Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, in a reply, said two DFCs — Eastern (1,839 km-long Dankuni-Ludhiana section) and Western (1,499 km-long JNPT-Dadri section) — had been sanctioned.

In Eastern DFC, construction work is underway on the Mughalsarai-Sonnagar section. Civil contract has been awarded on the 343-km Khurja-Kanpur section and work has started.

In Western DFC, civil contract has been awarded on the 625-km Rewari-Palanpur section and work has started. Construction of 25 major bridges between Vaitarana and Bharuch has been completed.

The estimated completion cost of construction of the two, excluding land and the Sonnagar-Dankuni section — to be implemented through public private partnership (PPP) — is Rs 73,392 crore (Rs 26,674 crore for Eastern DFC and Rs 46,718 crore for Western DFC). The cost of land is estimated at Rs 8,067 crore (Rs 3,684 crore for Eastern DFC and Rs 4,383 crore for Western DFC).

Western DFC is being funded by loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which has extended 77 per cent (Rs 38,772 crore) of the project cost.

World Bank is funding the 1,183 km section from Ludhiana to Mughalsarai of Eastern DFC. It has extended Rs 13,625 crore in loan, which is 66% of the project cost.

Further, the 122 km stretch of the Mughalsarai-Sonnagar section in Eastern DFC is funded by Gross Budgetary Support and the cost is Rs 3,679 crore. The 534 km stretch of the Sonnagar-Dankuni section of Eastern DFC is to be implemented through PPP.

The balance excluding debt is funded through budgetary support from the government. Land for DFC projects is being acquired under the Railway Amendment Act (RAA), 2008. Of the 10,667 hectares to be acquired for the project, award under 20F of the RAA 2008 declared up to June 2014 is 9,641 hectares (5,600 hectares for Western DFC and 4,041 hectares for Eastern DFC).

Western DFC is targeted to be commissioned in 2018 and Eastern DFC in 2019, excluding the Sonnagar-Dankuni section.

The project implementation schedule, timelines and milestones have been drawn up and are being monitored on a regular basis. For better coordination, state-level coordination committees with respective state governments have been formed to avoid delay in land acquisition and other related issues.

The big plan

  • The government has sanctioned two Dedicated Freight Corridors — 1,839 km-long Dankuni-Ludhiana Eastern DFC and 1,499 km-long Jawaharlal Nehru Port Terminal-Dadri Western DFC
  • The construction cost of the two is estimated at Rs 73,392 crore (Rs 26,674 cr for Eastern DFC and Rs 46,718 cr for Western DFC)
  • Western DFC is set to be commissioned in 2018 and Eastern DFC in 2019, excluding the Sonnagar-Dankuni section.

Source Link: http://www.tribuneindia.com

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