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Apr 21 2016 (12:12) Silchar-Lumding BG route caught in a mesh – Loopholes found in Tunnels & Bridges (
IR Affairs
NFR/Northeast Frontier

News Entry# 265400   
  Past Edits
Apr 21 2016 (12:12PM)
Station Tag: Silchar/SCL added by JAI MAA TARA*^~/378817
Stations:  Silchar/SCL  
Posted by:  984 news posts
Lumding: The Silchar-Lumding broad-gauge railway route has been caught in a mesh of uncertainty as loopholes have been found in a few tunnels and bridges following incessant rain for the past few days.
Chief bridge engineer Alok Kumar Verma said in a report Lumding Divisional Railway The report about the sorry state of the bridges and tunnels within five months since the first broad-gauge passenger train
service was run along the route has raised many eyebrows.
In his report, Verma mentioned that operation of freight trains can continue at a maximum speed of 20kmph, provided the train clears the section – New Haflong and Ditokcherra stations – during the day. He said speed restriction should be 10kmph in 10 “vulnerable” spots.
The report also suggested that all slope stabilisation work carried out by the construction company in the section be stopped immediately till it provides a protection scheme that takes into account all necessary geotechnical and geological parameters. “At all bridges, the tunnel muck dumped on the stream bed during the construction of line and all sausage crates, except at the toe of earthwork at the abutments, shall be removed,” the report added.
Following the submission of the report last night, the movement of passenger trains between Lumding and Silchar was temporarily suspended today to check safety of assets.
The 55616 Silchar-Guwahati BG special passenger, which was scheduled to start at 5am, chugged out of Silchar railway station at 1pm, while Silchar-Sealdah Kanchanjunga Express, scheduled to depart at 9.45am, started from here at 1.15pm today.
The report of the commissioner of railway safety (CRS), Sudarshan Naik, which was submitted on July 9 last year to the Railway Board, had also raised similar apprehensions about the safety of the diversion section along the route.
Chief public relations officer Pranav Jyoti Sharma today said a team of engineers of NF Railway left for the site by a special train from Guwahati last night to assess the situation.
“The team carried out detailed inspection of the track, bridges, tunnels and formation at the New Halflong-Ditockcherra section. After satisfying themselves of the safety of the section for movement of passenger traffic, normal running of trains was resumed with effect from 1pm today,” he added.
On reasons behind the delay of train services today, he said, “Owing to its geological formation and geographical conditions, the Lumding-Silchar section has been traditionally very vulnerable to landslide and other distress during the rainy season. Even during metre-gauge days, rail traffic used to get disrupted during monsoon. After gauge conversion, however, ample measures have been taken by using better technology to ensure smooth movement of traffic,” he said.
On security concerns and speed limit along the route, Sharma said sectional speed had been enhanced from 50kmph to 70kmph in certain sections and 70kmph to 90kmph in others. “Watchmen have been posted at vulnerable locations for continuous monitoring of track conditions. It is the result of constant technical inputs that passenger traffic was resumed even when Barak Valley remains cut off by road from the rest of the country,” he added.
Ajoy Roy, convener of Silchar-Lumding Broad-gauge Rupayan Sangram Committee, which spearheaded a movement for the early completion of the project, today expressed concern over the security issues raised by the report.
“We had informed NF Railway authorities on numerous occasions about the low quality work that was done during the construction. The bridge engineer’s report has proved our earlier apprehensions right. We demand a high-level inquiry into the construction of the project,” Roy told.
Apr 21 2016 (12:11) Indian Railways to run Time-tabled Freight Trains (
IR Affairs

News Entry# 265399   
  Past Edits
Apr 21 2016 (12:11PM)
Station Tag: New Delhi/NDLS added by JAI MAA TARA*^~/378817
Stations:  New Delhi/NDLS  
Posted by:  984 news posts
New Delhi: After recording a dismal growth of 1% freight loading in FY16, Indian Railwayshas embarked on significant reforms in its freight policies in order to meet the budgeted incremental loading target of 50 million tonnes or 4.5% for FY17.
The transporter has already started identifying sections to run the first of its kind “time-tabled” freight trains on a pilot basis, starting May-June this year.
These time-tabled freight trains, which will reach their destinations in specified time, will initially be for parcel and container traffic on selected routes where there is an opportunity
of free passage for a few hours. The IR is looking at running such container trains on the Jaipur-Ahmedabad-Pipav Port and the Delhi-Mumbai routes.
The national carrier will also run time-tabled parcel trains on Delhi-Howrah-Guwahati routes and is also contemplating on transporting time-tabled coal-laden freight trains on the Delhi-Mughalsarai route.
“We believe running of time-tabled freight trains is very much possible. We are in the process of doing some major traffic analysis and are still identifying sections where these trains can be run. Besides, we will also ensure that our market share is retained in long as well as short-haul freight traffic. With this objective, we already have introduced a lot of freight rationalising and incentive schemes like: removing the existing 10% port congestion surcharge, reduced tariffs for the ‘merry-go-round’ scheme; due to which Singareni Collieries has committed to transport an additional 3-4 million tonnes of additional traffic,” said Mohammed Jamshed, Railway Board Member-Traffic.
“We have also opened the container segment to all traffic barring coal and certain specified minerals. Also, unloading of domestic container traffic to all railway good sheds where freight movement is less has been made possible. Our aim is to iron off the smallest of irritants which discourage customers to transport their goods with us,” he added.
The transporter in FY16 had set the highest incremental loading target of 85 million tonnes as part of its budget estimates, which had to be scaled down to 1,107 million tonnes in its revised estimates.
The transporter, according to data compiled by FE at the fiscal year-end of FY16, missed its revised freight loading target 0.27% as the tonnage of cement, foodgrain, domestic as well as EXIM containers declined.
IR also missed its revised freight revenue target for the full fiscal FY16 by 2.29%, but a senior official requesting anonymity said the data available right now is preliminary and when the final data comes out and adjustments are made, the transporter would have achieved all its targets with an operating ratio of 90%.
The transporter has pegged its freight loading to grow by 4.5% to 1,157 million tonnes in FY17, and is expecting its freight revenue to grow by 5.4%.
Apr 21 2016 (12:09) Rail Minister to meet Financiers on Railway Funding options at BSE (
IR Affairs

News Entry# 265398   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
Posted by:  984 news posts
Mumbai: Union Minister Suresh Prabhu will meet top officials of leading financial institutions and brokerages tomorrow to discuss ways to raise additional funds for the expansion plans of the railways.
The railways is looking at various funding raising options including the possibility of issuing rupee-denominated bonds in overseas markets, sources said.
Prabhu, who has been piloting efforts to modernise Indian railways, is scheduled to meet top officials of financial institutions and brokerages tomorrow in Mumbai.
the meeting, to be held at leading stock exchange BSE, the railways minister is expected to discuss various aspects of the railways and plans to meet the funding requirements for modernisation, sources said.
This would be the second time in eight months when Prabhu would be meeting representatives of financial entities.
According to sources, the Minister is looking to have periodic dialogue with the financial fraternity.
Indian railways is firming up a plan for infrastructure development with an ambitious target of pumping in more than Rs 8 lakh crore over the next four years.
The massive investment plan would involve high-speed rail connectivity, station redevelopment and capacity augmentation across the country.
Railways capital expenditure has increased from Rs 57,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 97,000 crore in 2015-16 and in the current fiscal it has been pegged at Rs 1.21 lakh crore.
Apr 21 2016 (12:06) Railways show record high Capital Expenditure of Rs.94000 Crore in 2015-16 (
IR Affairs

News Entry# 265397   
  Past Edits
Apr 21 2016 (12:06PM)
Station Tag: New Delhi/NDLS added by JAI MAA TARA*^~/378817
Stations:  New Delhi/NDLS  
Posted by:  984 news posts
New Delhi: Under pressure to step up capital expenditure to boost the economy, Indian Railways have finished the financial year 2015-16 with a record high capital expenditure (CAPEX) of Rs 94,000 crore, an increase of Rs 37,000 crore over the previous year 2014-15.
Indian Railways have set a target of Rs 1.5 lakh crore capital expenditure for the current fiscal.
Happy with the performance of the Ministry of Railways, the Prime Minister Narendra Mr.Modi is believed to have assured an enhanced Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of up to Rs 60,000 crore if it
continues the trend.
The Centre had earlier announced a GBS of Rs 40,000 crore for the railways in 2016-17, same as the year before.
However, in November last, the Ministry of Finance had slashed Rs 8,000 from the Rs 40,000 crore GBS, citing low spending by the Indian Railways in the first six months of the fiscal.
“This came as a wake-up call for the ministry. The Railway Minister Mr.Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu had been prodding the system but it proved more slothful than he had imagined.
It was then that he decided to crack the whip,” revealed a senior official at Rail Bhavan, preferring anonymity.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu called a meeting of the Railways top brass soon after the GBS was slashed and when the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) raised questions about the tardy progress of the work.
Ministry of Railways was an important sector in the Centre’s scheme of things to shore up public investment, create infrastructure and revive the economy.
“All the Board Members and other senior officers were present at the meeting.
When Prabhu asked them to step up the expenditure, one of the members said it may not be possible in the given economic scenario.
The minister told him that if he couldn’t do it, he would find someone else who will.
The minister was unyielding,” the railway ministry official disclosed.
There was continuous monitoring of projects and pressure on the officers to perform.
Weekly review meetings were held to find out where the members were spending money.
“Finally, they all had to fall in line. Once things started moving, they also started innovating,” he explained.
Moreover, some of the changes that Prabhu had earlier introduced, like delegating powers to general managers and changing financial allocation rules, started showing results.
Feb 29 2016 (01:12) Fare Hike inevitable – No Logic in not being Upfront in the Parliament (
Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 259551   
  Past Edits
Feb 29 2016 (1:12AM)
Station Tag: New Delhi/NDLS added by JAI MAA TARA**/378817
Stations:  New Delhi/NDLS  
Posted by:  984 news posts
Railways fare hike is inevitable, so why is Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu stalling?
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu’s decision to steer clear of announcing any hike in freight and passengers fares has revived an earlier debate – should such announcements be made outside of the rail budget?
This much is clear: Given the precarious state of rail finances, a decision to raise passenger and freight rates will come sooner than later. So what stopped the railways minister from biting the bullet on Thursday? Perhaps the decision was to avoid fuelling a volatile situation in
which the ruling BJP is being cornered over the controversy arised out of anti-national slogans raised by some JNU students and suiside of Rohith Vemula at HCU.
Congress-led UPA government has given us so many price hikes in the last ten years. Continuing the same tradition Modi government has taken the decision of hike in railway fare and freight charges by 14.2% in all the classes and 6.5% respectively including the Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC). The FAC for passenger fare is 4.2% whereas for freight charges it is 1.5%. The FAC changes with the fluctuations in oil prices and revised once in every six months. Previous government has revised the rates as per the FAC in October 2013.
Prabhu’s stewardship of the railways ministry has started a trend where revisions of fares not only come outside of the rail budget, but also indirectly.
Shortly after assuming office, the Narendra Modi government affected a 14.20% hike in passenger fares. In subsequent months, the fares have continued to come through various announcements, including a hike in platform tickets and minimum travel charges, a stiff raise in cancellation charges, the upward revision of tatkal charges, running special trains on tatkal rates and so on. According to the Congress, the principal Opposition party, the NDA has hiked passenger fares by as much as 18% in the last 20 months.
The increase was finalized by the UPA government in February and left the implementation decision on the next government. It even promised to revise it in case oil prices falls. BJP has taken the decision and rail fare hike will come into effect from June 25. Though the announcement was made on May 16 the day when election results were declared but the decision of hike was immediately put on hold that day.
Increasing freight charges will lead to increase in the price of all the essential commodities. As per analysts consumer price inflation will increase with the increase in passenger fare whereas wholesale price inflation will go up with freight hike. Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda announced the increase and added that he was forced to implement the orders. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the government’s decision and said that it is a ‘difficult but correct decision’.
The railways minister maintained that the budget presentation is an exercise in policy pronouncements, unlinked with operational decisions such as fare or freight hikes. But if the minister can announce proposals to serve milk and baby food for children, what stopped him from being upfront about fare hikes in his budget speech, an official asks.
Rail finances are in dire straits. This year’s operating ratio – paisa spent against every rupee earned which determines the financial health of the organisation – has been projected at 90%, but experts and Opposition leaders say the figure could actually touch 97% by the end of March. This year’s losses in revenue are estimated at a whopping Rs 17,000 crore.
Be sure about this – train passengers may have been spared from shelling out more now, but the increase will come. Possibly, after the election process gets over in the five states where polls are scheduled this year, in which the BJP is hoping to make large gains.
BJP called the decision necessary for the survival of railway and inevitable as the passenger segment railway has been bearing the loss of Rs 900 crore per month. With this increase railway will earn Rs 8,000 crore a year.
Few days back Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that India should be ready for ‘tough decisions’ which are required to improve the financial condition of the country. He was actually preparing the ground for this and many more such decisions in future.
All political parties are opposing the decision of hiking railway fares. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is saying that countrymen are feeling cheated as this decision is jut opposite to what BJP had promised during its election campaign. BJP vowed to bring down the prices. The AAP is also expecting increase in electricity tariff in Delhi from the month of August. It stated that an average electricity consumer in the capital is overcharged by the discoms.
Left parties have also condemned the price hike as said that the BJP is doing the same by pursuing the policies of the previous UPA government. Just like Congress Modi’s government has announced the hike before actual budget which is to be announced in the next month.
Former railway minister and RJD Chief Lalu Prasad also criticized Narendra Modi’s government for making this announcement. He was the railway minister for five years in UPA I. During his tenure fare was not hiked even once and railway generated surplus.
Instead of increasing the fare in one go, the government should have increased it at a regular intervals of time. Railway can be said a lifeline of the country. Any such decision to fill the gap of the fiscal deficit would surely produce a crushing effect. Burden on poor and middle-class person would increase to manifold. On the other hand it might be right from the government point of view. If we want modern and world class services we have to pay more for the same.
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