Indian Railways achieved all- round progress during the year with firm focus on safety and passenger services by leveraging the latest in technology and marshalling the inherent strength of a highly dedicated workforce. Some of the significant achievements of the year are highlighted below:
New Initiatives in Track Maintenance
- Highest ever rail renewal of 4405 km was carried out in 2017-18 and 5,000 km has been planned during the current year with outlay of 11,450 crores. 2812 km has been completed during the current year so far.
- Exclusive RRSK fund amounting to Rs 1 lakh crore for safety related works including Track Renewal for a period of 5 years, with Annual Budgetary Outlay of Rs 20,000 crores has been created in 2017.
- Trial of Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System for detection of Rail/Weld breakage has been started on NR and NCR on 25 km track length each. After successful completion of trials, the system will be utilized over Indian Railway for timely detection of Rail/Weld fractures.
- GPS based trackers have been provided to Keymen and Patrolmen to get real time information of any untoward incidents/emergencies to avert derailments.
- Trials for VHF based Approaching Train Warning System to pre-warn the Trackmen working on running line, for any approaching train have been completed on five Zonal Railways and instructions have been issued for providing the system on Golden Quadrilateral and its diagonal routes over Indian Railways. This will help in ensuring personal safety of Track Maintainers while working on track.
Improved Sleepers And Fittings
- Improvement in Concrete Sleeper: In order to strengthen track structure, a wider and heavier sleeper has been developed in 2014 which is fit for 25 t axle load at 100 kmph. After successful field trial over five Zonal Railways wider and heavier sleeper has been adopted and approved for full use from FY 2019-20. This is done in a record time of 3 years from drawing board to insertion in field for trial against normal period of 8-10 years.
- Web base system for track crossing permission – A web based system for granting permission of track crossing related to various public utilities i.e. water/sewerage/gas pipeline, OFC Cable etc. has been developed and made operational on Indian Railways since 01.04.2015. This system provides submission of online application and knowing status of the same till permission is granted. This avoids the frequent visits of the user to the Railway Offices for knowing the status of application.
- To expedite clearance of track crossing cases, power to accord sanction is delegated to DRM for all the cases.
- Land Data Management– A web based application called Land Management Module integrated with Track Management System (TMS) of Indian Railways has been developed, for maintaining centralized land data i.e. details of acquisition/area/usages and land plans of Land Bank of Indian Railways in digitized form. Indian Railways has already completed most of the work related to digitization of land record.
- Indian Railways have also digitized details of vacant land plots measuring more than one acre .
Major Works and On-going Projects:
- 970 km Gauge Conversion completed in NE region in last 4 years. Thus, all MG sections converted to BG and there is no MG operation in entire North East Region.
- 15 km of New Line/Gauge Conversion/Doubling commissioned per year during the period 2014-15 to 2017-18 as against on average of 110 km commissioning per year in NE Region in period from 2009 to 2014.
- 15 New lines projects of 1,397 km length having a total cost of Rs. 47,695 crore are in different stages of Planning/Sanction/Execution which fall partly or fully in the NE states.
- 6 Doubling projects of 482 km length having a total cost of Rs. 9,305 crore are in different stages of Planning/Sanction/Execution which fall partly or fully in the states of NE Region.
Connectivity to North Eastern States:
- The Seven Sister States of North Eastern India (Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh) have been connected by Rail Network.
- Meghalaya came on the rail map with the flagging off the first ever train from Guwahati to Mendipathar in Meghalaya on 29.11.2014 by Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
- Tripura has been put on broad gauge railway map. On July 31, 2016, the then Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu flagged off the Agartala-New Delhi ‘Tripura Sundari Express’.
- The Agartala-New Delhi Rajdhani Express was launched on October 28, 2017. It trudges the longest route (2,422 km) for any Rajdhani Express in service.
- Jiribam, the first railway station in Manipur was connected by broad gauge line. Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiflagged off the first passenger train service to Jiribam on May 27, 2016. The passenger train service to Bhairabi in Mizoram was also flagged off by him.
- Lumding – Silchar Broad Gauge section inaugurated after Gauge Conversion on November 20th, 2015, giving seamless BG connectivity to Barak Valley of Assam.
Marvels of Railway Engineering:
- Jiribam – Tupul – Imphal New line Project : India’s tallest bridgewith pier height of 141 m is being constructed on Irang River at Noney in Tamenglong district, Manipur as part of the Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new line project. Its height will be almost equal to two QutubMinars combined. There will be six tall bridges having pier height more than 70m in the Bhairabi-Sairang new line Project (51.3 km).
- Mega Projects (Commissioning of Bogibeel Bridge): It is longest Rail-cum-Road Bridge of India.(4.94 Km long Bridge) Across River Brahmaputra near Dibrugarh in the State of Assam Dedicated to the Nationby Honourable Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi Ji on 25th December, 2018. This Project was sanctioned in 1997-98 at a cost of Rs.1000 crore and the work was commenced in April, 2002 by Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, the then Prime Minister of India.
Improved Passenger Services
- Humsafar Trains: Humsafar trains having additional amenities in the coaches have recently been introduced for providing comfortable Air-Conditioned III Tier travel. So far 29 Humsafar rakes (9 rakes in 2016-17, 10 rakes in 2017-18, 10 rakes in 2018-19 upto 30.11.18) have been turned out by the Production Units.
- Antodaya trains: Long distance fully unreserved train, LHB general second class coaches with vestibules, cushioned luggage racks, additional hand hold in doorway area for the comfort of standing passengers, provision of J hooks near longitudinal luggage racks for hanging carry bags, enhanced number of mobile charging points, Fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangement, more pleasing colour scheme for interior and exteriors, provision of MU cable in each coach for running train service with loco at both ends. So far, 15 Antyodaya rakes (3 rakes in 2016-17, 10 rakes in 2017-18 and 3 rakes in 2018-19 upto 30.11.18) have been turned out by Production Units.
- Deen Dayalu Coaches: Main additional features of Deendayalu coaches are -Cushioned luggage racks, Additional hand hold in doorway area, provision of J hooks for hanging carry bags, Toilet occupation indication display board, Enhanced mobile charging facility, Fire extinguishers with anti-theft arrangement, Water level indicator, Pleasing Interiors, Improved exterior colour scheme with anti-graffiti coating, polymerized floor coating in toilets. So far more than 1100 Deen Dayalu coaches have been turned out by Production Units.
- Tejas trains: One Mumbai CST-Karmali Tejas train is plying between Mumbai CSTM to Karmali/Goa has been started on 24.05.2017. Two more Tejas rakes have been turned out of the PUs in the current year. These Ultra modern trains with speed potential of 200 kmph have following major distinguished features:
- Vistadome Coaches: These coaches are provided with enhanced viewing area including on roof to enable tourists to enjoy panoramic view while travelling. The feature has been well received. Total of four such coaches are in service on scenic sections.
First Model rake named as New Delhi-Varanasi Mahamana Express was started in Jan’16. Bhopal MLR Workshop has turned out more than 120 model rake coaches. ICF has also turned out 24 Model rake coaches. A total of four such rakes are in service on date.
- Automatic Coach Washing Plants : These not only clean exterior of coaches more effectively and efficiently, they also reduce the direct water requirement by avoiding wastage. In addition these also come with water recycling facility thereby further reducing the requirement. Based on the location feasibility, initially 122 locations have been identified for provision of ACWP. 10 plants have been installed and LOA has been issued for 7 more locations. Zonal Railways are tendering for provision at 31 locations. COFMOW has opened a tender on 17-10-18 for 21 more locations, likely to be finalised by end of December 2018. COFMOW has also floated a tender for Rate Contract for additional 80 locations.
- Bio-Toilets: As a part of “Swachh Bharat Mission”, IR is proliferating bio-toilets on all its coaching stock so that no human waste is discharged from coaches on to the track. During 2017-18, against the target of 40000, 57429 bio-toilets have been provided in 15017 coaches, as compared to 10159, 15442 and 34134 bio-toilets in 3374, 3961 and 8788 coaches in last three years.The work is targeted to be completed next year with provision of bio-toilets in balance approx 13000 coaches.
- Bio-Vacuum Toilet: Vacuum flushing system toilets substantially reduce the requirement of water for flushing, while ensuring effective/ proper flushing of faecal matter from the pans. Bio-vacuum toilets have been provided in one train “Tejas” running between Mumbai & Goa. Vacuum toilets are being provided on all newly manufactured Tejas and Humsafar coaches from 2018-19 onwards. Procurement of another 2000 bio-vac toilets is under process. Railways have been instructed to provide Bio-vacuum toilets in coaches of all premium trains to begin with, to ensure proliferation of vacuum toilets at an accelerated pace. PUs shall be providing these in all new production w.e.f 2019-20.
- Electric Locomotive Factory, Madhepura in Bihar (A make in India Project): As a first step of attracting private investment and FDI in Indian Railways, contract for setting up Electric Locomotive Factory at Madhepura/Bihar to manufacture 800 nos High Horsepower Electric Locomotive (12000 hp capacity) was signed between Madhepura Electric Locomotive Private Limited (MELPL), joint venture of Ministry of Railways and Alstom Manufacturing India Limited. First phase of the factory has been completed. First locomotive has been rolled out from the factory and is undergoing tests & trials. Further four locomotives are targeted to be supplied in 2018-19.
- Diesel Locomotive Factory, Marhowra in Bihar (A make in India Project): Contract for setting up Diesel Locomotive Factory at Marhowra/Bihar to manufacture 1000 nos High Horsepower Diesel Locomotive (4500/6000 hp capacity) was signed between GE Diesel Locomotive Private Limited (GEDLPL), joint venture of Ministry of Railways and GE Global Sourcing India Limited. Construction of the factory is ongoing as per schedule. Two Prototype locomotives (4500 hp) were handed over to Indian Railways in February, 2018 by the company. After tests/trials these locomotives have been accepted for commercial service. 50 locomotives have been supplied and out of 50 locomotives 19 are in commercial service. Total 98 locomotives are targeted to be supplied in 2018-19.
- Electric Locomotives: New Era of Green Technology- HOG power supply: All Passenger (WAP7) locos turned out by CLW during 2017-18 are fitted with Hotel Load Converters. The main benefits of this system are supply of pollution free and cheaper power from OHE as compared to End on Generation (EOG) system besides other advantages like reduction of carbon emission, noise level and consumption of fossil fuels helping in protecting the environment. There is a saving of around Rs. 1.5 lacs per day per pair of rake by using HOG supply. 47 locos have been provided with HOG during the first nine months of 2018-19 (up to October, 18) as compared to 43 during last year.
- WAP-5 locomotive in push-pull mode: Operation of Twin WAP5 loco in push-pull mode has been planned which has faster acceleration, faster braking and substantially lowered coupler forces. One pair of WAP-5 loco and rake has been modified and Confirmatory Oscillograph Car Runs (CoCR) Trial has been carried out by RDSO from Delhi (NZM) to Mumbai (Bandra Terminal) from 07.10.18 to 13.10.18. During the trials, a saving of 83 minutes running time was recorded.
- All railway stations (more than 8000) have been fitted with 100% LED luminaries.
- 99% of service buildings provided with 100% LED lights over IR.
- This will save 240 Million Units of electricity per annum amounting to Rs.180 Crores reduction in annual electricity bill of IR.
- So far, 574 no of escalators and 407 no of lifts have been provided covering 215 stations and 180 stations respectively.
- So far,19 MW of Solar plants have already been installed (68.19 MW rooftop + 3 MW land based at MCF Raebareli).So far, 36.5 MW Wind power plants has been installed.
Important Milestones for the current year
- Indian Railways has been consistently trying to improve the illumination levels at various stations. Various policies have been issued from time to time to improve the illumination levels. The last major decision taken in this regard was to switch over to 100% LED on all Railway Stations.
- As per the direction of Minister of Railways, Indian Railways has switched over to 100% LED lights stations as on 30.03.2018; a day before the targeted date. This has improved the illumination levels considerably. This was done as Phase-I of the project for improvement in illumination, wherein the existing lights were replaced by LED lights on one is to one basis.
- PAT: Indian Railway is continuing on its path towards achieving higher energy efficiency & shall achieve the targets set for it under Govt. of India’s Perform Achieve & Trade (PAT) cycle-II and in the next cycle and shall strive for maximizing its gains through earning of more & more energy saving certificates (ESCerts).
- Railway is also working on plans to install solar panels on vacant Railway Lands along the tracks and other land parcels for generating power to meet its Traction energy requirement. This would be done First time in the World.
- Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) along with diagonals carry approximately 58% of freight traffic and 52% of coaching traffic with a share of only 16% of the network (~10000km) taken up for initial emphasis. Major impediments to mobility have been identified viz. ~70% of the routes having sectional speed of less than 130kmph. 2736 level crossings, averaging one LC at every 3-4km. 730 locations speed restrictions (Average one SR at every ~15-20km). ~10% (~900) turnouts of speed of less than 30kmph.
- A road map has been developed to overcome the existing impediments in a systematic manner. All but 28 unmanned LCs removed on IR.A speed policy framework has been developed to address this issue of the mismatch between speed potential of rolling stock and fixed infrastructure. It has been decided to upgrade 10000km of Golden Quadrilaterals and diagonals for 160 kmph speed and remaining routes for 130 kmph speed.
- Some of the important elements of the policy are :
- Replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with Mainline Electric Multiple Units (MEMU trains: MEMU trains have a potential for average speed increment of up to 20kmph in comparison to loco driven passenger trains.
- Busy Ghaziabad- Allahabad – Mughalsarai route has been made free from conventional trains by replacement by MEMU. For replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with MEMU trains on six routes, total 1048 MEMU coaches and 136 DEMU coaches are required. IR has planned to ramp up the production of MEMU rakes to 1232 coaches in next three years (approximately three times existing level) for ensuring full implementation.
- Total 124 pair passenger services have been replaced by MEMU/DEMU services on Indian Railways. The travel time has been reduced by 5-20 minutes in these services. Delhi- Mumbai, Delhi- Howrah and Mumbai- Chennai will be completed in Yr 2018-19. All routes will be made free from conventional commuter trains by Yr 2021.
- Right Powering of freight trains: Over the years Horse Power to trailing load ratio has deteriorated due to longer trailing loads. This has adversely affected average speed of freight trains. New policy introduced for right powering arrangement for freight trains with a horse power to trailing load ratio of 1.5-2.0 to bring it at par with international standards.
- For eight major railways out of the requirement of 663 additional locomotives, 300 locomotives have been provided.
- Introduction of Twin Pipe Air Brake System on freight trains: Twin piped braking system saves on an average ~90 seconds in every event of braking, which becomes significant over a long distance. All new wagons are being manufactured with twin pipe system. Retro fitment of all 1.7lac wagons has been sanctioned. Approximately 11000 wagons have been retrofitted.
- Procedural Improvements: Policy circular 6 which governs increasing speed of trains has been rationalized. It will enable faster realization of gains from new technology and various speed raising initiatives.
- Decision has been taken to stop the manufacture of conventional ICF coaches and replace them with LHB coaches with speed potential of 160kmph. Successful trial of T-18 by ICF has been done and the same is in the process of commissioning.
- Standardization of coaching rakes enables first-in-first-out/ reduces rescheduling/ avoid out of path running of trains. In the new time table 960 rakes out of 2732 rakes have been standardized.
Transformation of Indian Railways
- Large scale process and cultural reforms are being introduced in order to steadily transform Indian Railways into a more vibrant and efficient organization and make it an engine of economic growth and development of the country.
- Empowerment of General Managers (GMs), Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) and frontline staff and comprehensive delegation of powers have been done so as to fast track decision making, Deliverance and overall working of Railways.
- Model Schedule of Powers has also been issued from Railway Board in October 2017 (revised version in July 2018) for the first time to bring uniformity in delegations across zones.
- The enhanced delegations and empowerment will improve safety, give faster access to work and breakdown sites, improve station and passenger interfaces, ease of procurement by user departments, improve upkeep of equipment, improve cleanliness and hygiene at stations and in trains and enhance training and capacity building of staff.
- Stress on integrity and ethics – Prime thrust of Indian Railways is on transparency in its functioning and on impeccable integrity of its employees at all levels. In this aspect, a policy of zero tolerance against corruption is being followed.
- Mission Satya Nishtha has been launched on 27 July 2018 across IR to inculcate the culture of honesty and transparency.
- Workshop on Leadership and Emotional Intelligence for GMs and DRMs has been organized at NAIR to further align the top management of the Railways with the Transformation initiatives (Workshop for GMs held on 10 & 11 Nov’ 2018, for DRMs on 17 & 18 Dec 2018 and 8 & 9 Dec 2018). This is being further proliferated to the level of Principal Heads of Departments.
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