Thursday, 29 January 2015

Margao: The Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) has decided to install a solar plant at Ratnagiri as part of its recently-formulated 'energy policy'. The policy resolved to employ solar and wind aero-generators wherever possible.

The proposed 350 KW-capacity solar photo voltaic plant, which will be connected to the state grid, shall generate about 3.8 lakh units of energy per year - sufficient to meet entire energy requirement of Ratnagiri railway station and railway office, chief public relations officer of the KRCL Vaishali Patange told TOI.

The project will cost 3.6 crore and shall be completed within six months. The plant is expected to result in a saving of about 42 lakh per annum for the railways.

There are also plans to increase the generation capacity of the plant to 1 MW in future. The excess power generated shall be fed back to the state grid, she said.

"KRCL has already initiated a number of endeavours for energy conservation, like providing solar and wind system at select stations and level crossing gates, LED light fittings for tunnel lighting - a first in the country, replacing conventional tubelights by T5 type energy-efficient fittings, usage of energy savers, and completely phasing out incandescent light bulbs," Patange said.

"The Konkan region is endowed with rich natural scenic beauty and it is the mission of KRCL to develop eco-friendly railway transport infrastructure with due stress on conservation of the environment. Prime minister Narendra Modi and railways minister Suresh Prabhu have stressed on harnessing solar energy and promoting use of green energy. This has been duly reflected in the Konkan Railway's energy policy," Patange said.

In yet another step towards environment conservation and waste management, KRCL recently installed an organic waste composting machine at its residential colony at Seawoods, Navi Mumbai, which will enable it to manage by itself all the organic and green waste being produced in the colony. Depending upon the results, Konkan Railway plans to install the system at the major stations on its route and its residential colonies along its route, Patange added.

Source: Times of India
After initiating plans for a thorough revamp of its administrative set-up and financial health, Indian Railways has got cracking on environment management, with a focus on pollution control, efficiency in energy consumption, conservation of resources like water, proper use of land, and development and use of renewable energy.

The ministry has formed an exclusive directorate in the railway board to implement this plan. The ‘Environment Directorate’, headed by an advisor, is functioning directly under the Railway Board chairman. Within a week of its formation, the directorate has asked all zonal railways and production units to prepare their performance report cards on environmental issues.

The move comes after Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu last week sought inputs from energy experts to lower the transporter’s hefty fuel bill. “How can the Railways reduce the cost of its energy? Please offer some ideas to help me prepare the Budget as well. Please think about it,” Prabhu had said at an annual event.

As part of the plan, all railway zones and production units will monitor and report every month the trends in consumption of traction energy, both electrical and diesel, and conduct audits of energy and water consumption across major activity centres like workshops, depots, loco sheds, and railway stations.

The ministry has also asked all zonal railways to introduce a system of monitoring consumption of all types of energy and water, along with a trend analysis and benchmarking. All the zones and production units have been asked to give their reports within six months.

Electric traction accounts for 63 per cent of Indian Railways’ freight operations and 50 per cent of passenger services. Diesel traction accounts for 36 per cent of freight and 49 per cent of passenger operations. Indian Railways consumes about 13.8 billion units of electricity annually, close to two per cent of the country’s total power production.

The Railways’ locomotives also consume 2.6 billion litres of diesel annually. Its fuel bill — electricity traction cost apart from diesel — accounted for Rs 28,592 crore, or 22 per cent, of its total working expenses in 2013-14. Diesel accounted for around 70 per cent of the fuel bill.

The transporter has budgeted for an increase of Rs 20,000 in its working expenses — from Rs 1,22,867 crore last financial year to Rs 1,43,318 crore in the current year. A bulk of this additional expenditure was on account of fuel spending, which is expected to increase by Rs 6,500 crore over last year to Rs 35,181 crore in 2014-15.

Indian Railways’ expenditure on diesel had jumped 45 per cent from Rs 13,750 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 19,950 crore in 2013-14, despite a mere 2.7 per cent increase in volume. The reason: A 34 per cent jump in diesel prices driven by last year’s rise in crude oil rates. The situation has completely changed this year, with global crude oil prices declining over 50 per cent since June 2014 to less than $45 a barrel. Diesel prices for the Railways have come down from Rs 60.08 a litre in June to Rs 50.51 a litre now.


* After restructuring the railway board and financial review, the ministry is focusing on environment management

* The plan includes lowering fuel bill, benchmark energy consumption, and auditing energy use of zonal wings and production units

* An ‘Environment Directorate’ will monitor the implementation of the plan

* Electricity traction accounts for 63 per cent of the Railways’ freight and 50 per cent of ITS passenger operations; Diesel traction accounts for the rest

* The Railways’ fuel bill (diesel and electricity) is estimated to rise 25 per cent to Rs 35,000 crore this financial year

Source: Business Standard
SHANGHAI: China plans to spend a further 800 billion yuan ($128 billion) on building railway tracks this year after exceeding its 2014 investment target, financial news magazine Caixin reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources at the railways operator.

Caixin said the 2015 forecast was made by China Railway in a report it distributed at a national railway work conference.

It also said the 800 billion yuan target for this year could be adjusted based on investment demands, and could even surpass 2010's record investment of 842.65 billion yuan.

An official at China Railway's media department declined to comment on the forecast. The data was also not released on China Railway's website.

The government has signalled that it is keen to plough more cash into infrastructure both domestically and abroad as the economy slows, spurring the sector's stocks to their highest level since 2009.

On Jan. 16, the national planner approved $8.6 billion of railway projects in the northern and southwestern parts of China.

China Railway said on its website it spent 808.8 billion yuan in 2014 building 8,427 kilometres of new railway lines. The total rail network is now 112,000 kilometres long, while its high-speed rail network, already the world's longest, is now 16,000 kilometres long.

China Railway, formed after the Ministry of Railways was disbanded following a 2011 train crash, said it would focus its construction efforts this year on the central and western regions, and would vigorously promote local rail technology abroad.

Source: The Economic Times

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Integral Coach Factory (ICF) plans to produce 67 stainless steel state-of-the-art Linke Holfmann Busch (LHB) high speed coaches this year and follow it up with another 300 in 2015-16, a top company official has said.

The production unit of Indian Railways manufacturing passenger coaches had for the first time produced three variants of LHB EOG shells during 2013-14, its General Manager Ashok K Agarwal said.

ICF produced a total of 1,662 general coaches last fiscal, registering its largest production in a financial year, he said, adding that the organisation has produced more than 49,000 coaches since its inception.

Referring to the green initiatives of the unit, he said ICF has rolled out one rake of environment friendly CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit).

In a significant step towards adopting green fuel, the Railway Minister had launched this ICF built CNG train by flagging off the train on the Rewari-Rohtak section of Northern Railway on January 14 this year, he added.

Source: Business Standard
The inordinate delay on the part of the State government to release its share of cost appears to be the main reason for the delay in completing the 11-year-old Kalaburagi-Bidar new railway line, which would open up new vistas of development for this underdeveloped region as well as reduce the travelling time and distance between Bengaluru and New Delhi.

The Kalaburagi-Bidar new railway line was one of the earliest cost-sharing projects taken up in the State. The revised cost of the project was Rs. 845.15 crore.

The share of the State government was Rs. 422.075 crore and the share of the Railways was Rs. 422.075 crore.

The delay on the part of the State government to acquire the land required for construction of the new railway line, particularly in Kalaburagi district and the non-release of State’s share of funds is cited as the reasons for the delay in completing the project.

Sources in the South Central Railway told The Hindu in Kalaburagi on Sunday that while the Railways had already spent Rs. 404 crore out of the its share, the State government had so far released only Rs. 290 crore.

Another Rs. 132.075 crore had to be released by the government this year. Sources said that the work of the Kalaburagi-Bidar railway track was carried out on a fast track mode and the delay on the part of the State had held up the payment of dues to contractors.

The Ministry of Railways had provided a budgetary grant of Rs. 100 crore for the project for the year 2014-15 and the State government had released Rs. 60 crore to the project this year and “the entire amount of both the budgetary allocation and the State government’s share had been spent”.

Sources said that if there was no further delay in release of funds on the part of the State government and if the remaining funds required to complete the project are provided in the Railway Budget, the project, which was started way back in 2003, for laying a new railway line of 110.40 km in lenght, including a tunnel of 1.7 km near Margutti in Kalaburagi district, would be completed by December, 2016.

Source: The Hindu

Good Show by Palakkad Railway Division

The Palakkad railway division has achieved 94.5 per cent punctuality for mail and express trains and 96.4 per cent for passenger trains during the nine-month period from April last year.

The division was able to operate 415 special trains during this financial year, including 159 special trains in December.

Extra Coaches

As many as 167 extra coaches were provided this year to clear the rush of passengers, Divisional Railway Manager, Palakkad, Anand Prakash said after inspecting the Republic Day parade on Monday.

He said the total earnings from April to December went up by 23.6 per cent with the earnings touching Rs.953.14 crore as against Rs.771.16 crore during the same period in 2013.

A 30.18 per cent rise in revenue was recorded in transporting goods in the current year.

The revenue generated was Rs.412.69 crore as compared to Rs.317.01 crore in 2013-14. Passenger revenue went up by 19.13 per cent with the division collecting Rs.489.43 crore in this period.

Revenue through monthly ticket checking was an all-time high of Rs.51.56 lakh, the Divisional Railway Manager said.


Listing out the achievements in the other sectors, Mr. Prakash said work on installing two lifts each at the Palakkad Junction and Mangaluru Central stations was progressing.

Tender proceedings were on for installing two escalators each at the Mangaluru Central and Kannur stations and another one at Palakkad. Divisional Railway Manager, Thiruvananthapuram, Sunil Bajpai, in his address after inspecting the parade at the divisional headquarters, stressed on the need to follow “operational procedures and safe practices so as to keep away unusual occurrences”.

Source: The Hindu
For the first time in years, people using Dadar station saw the station's over bridges wide and pedestrian-friendly as it was originally meant to be.

It is good news for commuters and bad news for hawkers at Dadar station. The conversion of a part of the Central Railway construction department complex at Dadasaheb Phalke road in Dadar (East) into railway minister Suresh Prabhu's Public Grievance Office has spurred the railways into making Dadar station more presentable.

Last week, on the back of a commuter complaint to Prabhu about the unwanted presence of hawkers on the foot over bridges (FOBs) of the heavily-congested station, CR officials carried out a hawker eviction drive there. For the first time in years, people using Dadar station saw the station's over bridges wide and pedestrian-friendly as it was originally meant to be.

In an official statement, CR stated that "the railway minister instructed the Railway Protection Force and Central Railway Administration to clear and clean the foot over bridges at Dadar railway station on complaints received from railway passengers and rail users recently. In a concerted drive, Central Railway has cleaned the FOBs and cleared them free of hawkers. Suresh Prabhu instructed for similar action at other important stations over Indian Railways. Central Railway appeals to the rail users and passengers not to patronise the hawkers and help railways to keep the FOBs clean and clear of hawkers."

In fact, a visit by dna to Dadar station and its FOBs showed that the eviction drive was holding for the moment. "It is seldom that we see Dadar station free of hawkers for three days running but CR has managed it, all thanks to the fact that the railway minister's office is at Dadar," said Manish Chaturvedi, a Bhandup resident.

However, there are still doubts on whether the drive will be as successful when it is extended to other parts of the suburban network. "The hawker eviction drive has always been a sporadic effort which one sees when some dignitary is visiting a particular station. In fact, even the hawkers move out quietly as they know the disruption is temporary. In Dadar, it will hold because thanks to the public grievance office, officials and RPF know the chances of the railway minister coming there is high," agreed a senior CR official.

Source: DNA India