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Trains in the News    Stations in the News   
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Today (13:59)  Closed railway food outlets irk passengers (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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SR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 320417     
   Past Edits
Oct 21 2017 (13:59)
Station Tag: Chennai Central/MAS added by ERODE WAP7 30573^~/1136519
Stations:  Chennai Central/MAS  
 
 
CHENNAI: Passengers at Chennai Central — one of the country's biggest railway stations — are facing a problem. Southern Railway has closed down the railway-run catering outlet Jan Aahar, which used to provide food at subsidised rates.
As a result, the station, which has a daily footfall of three lakh, does not have a major food plaza now and passengers are forced to rely on minor units that charge much more than Jan Aahar.
A similar situation awaits passengers at Chennai Egmore station, where the vegetarian refreshment room (VRR) has remained closed for
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one and a half years due to a contractual dispute. However, unlike at Central, passengers at Egmore station can depend on a plaza where food from branded outlets is offered, though at a slightly higher price.
While Jan Aahar at Central was closed more than two months ago and handed over to Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) due to a policy change, the refreshment room at Egmore station was shut in June 2016 because the contractor defaulted on payment and was blacklisted by the Chennai division.There are a few minor units on both the concourse and on a few platforms at Central, but they are unable to handle the huge rush of passengers. Complaints have piled up with Southern Railway, as both outlets were known to provide decent quality food at subsidised rates. The masala dosa counter at Jan Aahar was a hit with even suburban commuters at neighbouring Moore Market Complex (MMC) station, with some sauntering over to Central for a bite. The counter also sold bottled water that came in handy forpassengers about to board a train. Asenior railway official said IRCTC would refurbish the interiors of Jan Aahar as per the demands of the new contractors."Since IRCTC is used to identifying contractors who sell at market price, they are taking a bit more time. A new contractor will be in place by November-end," the official said. At Egmore, a stop-gap arrangement has been made by officials. A trolley which sold water bottles and fruits at the Tambaram-end of the station on platforms 3 and 4 has now been moved near the main concourse area for the benefit of passengers.
Sources say passengers at Chennai Central have been deprived of a major food plaza due to 'poor coordination' between Southern Railway and IRCTC which delayed the project. The contractor walked out of the project in February this year.
Railway sources say they have identified a spot behind the Punjab National Bank (PNB) ATM kiosk, between Central and MMC stations, for the new food plaza. The place currently is used as an unofficial garbage dumping place and also a loading and unloading point for railway parcels.
  
Today (13:56)  ‘Best Innovation’ award for SCR (www.thehindu.com)
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SCR/South Central  -  

News Entry# 320416     
   Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
 
 
South Central Railway bagged ‘Best Innovation Award’ accorded by the Ministry of Railways, in the category of suggestion scheme of Best Innovations for the year 2016-17.
SCR won the award for its innovative contribution in train operations with the idea of “Automatic Single Car Test Rig” developed by Carriage Work Shop, Lallaguda. This award comprises a cash prize of ₹3 lakh.
Mr. Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, complimented Carriage Work Shop, Lallaguda for the achievement. The second best innovation award was given to Railway Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO), Lucknow, and the third
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best innovation award was given to Eastern Railway.
  
Today (13:55)  Railway Board orders review of all rail bridges (www.thehindubusinessline.com)
News Entry# 320415     
   Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
 
 
NEW DELHI, OCT 21:
The Railway Board has ordered a review of all rail bridges in the country that need repair after it was found that out of the 275 such bridges only 23 had speed restrictions on them.
The board had earlier sought details of the condition of bridges and found that the trains would pass on the 252 dilapidated bridges at its usual speed posing a safety hazard.
“CBEs
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(chief bridge engineers) should specifically review the position in respect of all bridges assigned with ORN–1 and ORN–2 rating in their respective railways and firm up the action plan for their rehabilitation on priority,” the board’s order said.
The railways has three ratings for its bridges, overall rating number (ORN), 1, 2, and 3. The bridges with ORN–1 rating require immediate building/rehabilitation, ORN–2 ratings are required to be rebuilt on the programmed basis while ORN–3 bridges require special repairs.
“It seems that proper time bound planning has not been done by the Railways for rehabilitation of these bridges which creates a doubt whether correct condition rating appropriate to the actual condition of the bridge has been assigned or not,” said the last month’s order from the board.
“It is also felt that there has been a lack of due diligence at Division/Headquarter level while revising/ conforming the rating given by ADEN (Assistant Divisional Engineer ),” it said.
The board also said that it has observed that in most cases, no speed restriction has been imposed and special inspection schedule has also not been prescribed by the chief bridge engineers (CBE).
The Railway Board had sought details of the bridges and it was observed that a large number of bridges needing rehabilitation existed on some zonal railways for long.
The Central Railways has 61 such bridges, East Central Railways has 63, South Central Railways has 41 and Western Railways has 42 bridges pending rebuilding.
Pulling up the zonal railways for failing to follow procedure, the board has said that there are many bridges where speed restrictions have been imposed on condition basis even when they have not been categorised under ORN–1 or ORN–2 categories.
A 2015 CAG report had found that delays in sanctioning of bridgeworks and completion of sanctioned bridgeworks resulted in operation of train services with speed restriction resulting in extra operational costs.
  
Today (13:53)  Thanjavur commuters seek one more railway station (www.thehindu.com)
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New Facilities/TechnologySR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 320414     
   Past Edits
Oct 21 2017 (13:53)
Station Tag: Thanjavur Junction/TJ added by ERODE WAP7 30573^~/1136519
Stations:  Thanjavur Junction/TJ  
 
 
Considering the need to cater to the demands of an ever-increasing population and reach out to those living in the peripherals of the town, commuters have called upon the Southern Railway to establish a new railway station between Thanjavur Junction and Alakkudi station on the Tiruchi side.
“Thanjavur was declared a municipality in 1866 and upgraded as a corporation in 2014 covering an area of 36 square kilometre. It has more than three lakh people. Residential areas, commercial establishments and educational institutions have sprung up on the western parts of Thanjavur town in the recent decades.
They
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include Tamil University, SASTRA University, new Collectorate complex, RTO Office, SP Office besides the existing facilities that include the massive Thanjavur Medical College Hospital that are frequented by thousands of people every day. All of them have to travel at least seven km to reach Thanjavur Junction. If a new railway station is established between Thanjavur and Alakkudi at Reddipalayam or Manojipatti, it will be a huge advantage for the people,” says K. Padmanabhan, former president of the District Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The present Thanjavur Junction is already cramped though it has five platforms and two entrances one each on the southern and northern side. The junction caters to more than 60 services including goods train movement every day besides witnessing a footfall of around 10,000 daily. To top it all, the Junction garners revenue of ₹15 crore a year through sale of tickets and freight bookings. “Vriddhachalam has two stations, Tiruchi three and Coimbatore has four stations within the city limits. Here we need one more station between Thanjavur and Alakkudi”, argues T. Saravanan, secretary, Papanasam Train Passengers Association.
In future, there is a possibility of the Railways introducing Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit service after the completion of the ongoing track doubling and electrification works between Tiruchi and Thanjavur Junctions. The plan is to complete electrification work itself by March next. In this situation a new station nearer to Thanjavur will be a boon to the commuters, points out A. Giri, advisor, Thanjavur District Rail Users Association.
  
Today (13:50)  Destination boards leave train passengers confused (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Other NewsSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 320413   Blog Entry# 2565558     
   Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
 
 
Hubballi: While boarding a train, be careful. You may get onto the wrong train. There have been many such instances, though unreported, as South Western Railway (SWR) runs trains with boards of 4-8 train numbers and destinations. Railway staff too are confused about such destination boards but don't speak openly about it.
Vimala Kulkarni, a banker, said she was recently boarding train number 56906 Hubballi-Vijayapura to go to Gadag. "I reached the platform 5 minutes before the scheduled departure. I was stunned to see six train numbers and three different destinations! As I had an unreserved ticket, my train number was not mentioned on it. The train was on Platform 5 but there was no railway staff around to check with and
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there were no announcements on the public address system. I asked some co-passengers and boarded the train," she said.
Pratap Khoparde, a frequent traveller between Hubballi and Gadag, said he once entered the Hubballi station and saw 'Bijapur' on the train board. I thought it would go to Gadag and boarded it. When the train crossed Hubballi Outer signal, I found it was on the Bengaluru route! I got down at Kundagol and travelled to Gadag via Laxmeshwar by paying almost 10 times the fare." he said.
He added that some frequent passengers have filed complaints about this to the divisional railway manager four years ago, but got the reply that nothing could be done.
Santosh Nargund, trustee, Rashtrotthan Sankalp Trust, Hubballi, said these multi-destinations boards started in SWR 10 years ago. "Earlier, there used to be up and down destinations and train numbers and people used to board their train without any confusion. If we go to meter gauge trains, staff used to change boards on all coaches at destination stations on the platform," Nargund, the son of a railway employee, recalled.
Prabhu Ullagaddi, a techie from Kurtakoti village, recalled that he had bought a ticket for an ordinary train for Hole-Alur at Hubballi station. "I went to the platform and found 'Bijapur' on a train coach. After Annigeri, a TTE checked my ticket and said I was travelling on an express train. I argued that 'Express' was not mentioned on the board. He did not accept my contention and collected the fine. Since then, I decided not to travel by train," he added.
He suggested the railways incorporate digital or LED boards on all coaches.
The chief mechanical engineer said boards can be changed only at workshops when rakes come for technical maintenance after running for about 3,500kms. It's difficult to change boards after each trip of the rake. During the meter gauge era, our staff used to change them at the platform itself. This is not possible as the height of broad gauge coaches is high. The proposal of electronic board has been deferred as we found it's not feasible technically. If we install e-displays inside coaches, they are sustainable. But they are not sustainable outside due to sunlight, rain and wind. So, as of now, no solution is available for these multi-destination boards.
E Vijaya | chief public relations officer, SWR, Hubballi
* I was deployed on Hampi Express for a day last year. I rushed to Gadag station where I found Hampi Express had already arrived. I boarded and started checking tickets and found passengers travelling towards Bagalkot and Vijayapura. As the train had already left, I looked outside and it was moving towards Vijayapura. I realized I had boarded Golgumbaz Express which was running late by 5 hours.

  
Its high time for IR to come up with a solution for this RSA problem.
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