Railway News 3rd Nov to 5th Dec

A) Railways to double loading by 2024

The Indian Railways plan to double its freight earnings by 2024. For this, Railway Board has written to all General Managers to increase loading from existing 1200-1300MT to 2100MT by 2024. To achieve this target, Railway Board has listed various infrastructure works that are needed to be completed.

They include doubling of tracks on the 11,000 km high-density network (HDN) and 23,000-km highly utilised network (HUN), and tripling and quadrupling of 3,000 route km on the high-density network.

 Upgrade of the speeding on the Golden Quadrilateral to 130 kmph by December next year, and the entire HDN and HUN by 2024, upgrade of the speed of New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Kolkata freight trains to 160 kmph by 2024, identifying all signifying work by March 2024, commissioning the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridors by June 2022, and completing at least 146 railway electrification projects by December 2024 are among the other steps.

B) Railways merger plan — new officers could come via a common exam, Old to remain in their own departments.

The much-awaited merger of railway officers as part of the Narendra Modi government’s decision to merge the eight services into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS) could be partial in nature, It has been learnt recently.

According to sources in the government, while the cabinet decision was to merge eight existing services of the Railways, it has now been decided that the existing officers would continue to work in their departments, with each department having its own career progression and promotions based on seniority, while the newly hired officers could be recruited into a common IRMS.

C) Covid-19: Indian Railways equips AC coaches with enhanced safety features

Indian Railways has modifies the coaches for fighting the pandemic of Novel Corona-Virus. It has taken several measures in some selected trains as below:-

  • Hands-free amenities including foot-operated water tap, soap dispenser, lavatory door (outside), latches in lavatory door, flush valve, and forearm-operated handle on the compartment door
  • Copper coated handrails and latches as copper has anti-microbial properties, which degrades the virus on the surface within a few hours
  • There is a provision of Plasma Air Purifier in the AC duct and to make the coach coronavirus and particulate matter resistant, sterilization of air and surfaces is done using ionised air
  • Coating done by Titanium Dioxide which is eco-friendly and kills bacteria, mold, viruses, fungal growth as well as enhances indoor air quality.

D) Railways could discontinue pantry cars, could soon replace with AC coach

Railways is planning to discontunie the pantry cars and in turn will replace it with AC coaches. This will bring additional revenue of 1500 cr.

The food can be supplied through base kitchens at railway stations like the IRCTC already does. All these decisions are under constant review to as per the evolving Covid 19 situation.

E) After Blockbuster IRCTC IPO, Railways plans new IPO of RVNL, Railtel, IRCON, IRFC

The government has planned some major moves to revamp and monetise its vast web of railway infrastructure and state-owned companies in the sector.

After the public listing of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the government has plans to partially put a number of railway companies such as Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC), Railtel and now IRCON International Ltd on the block. 

F) Few takers for solar power tender of railways, bid deadline extended

Solar Power project developers have given a lukewarm response to a tender for setting up 1 gigawatt of solar power plants on Railway land.

Railway Energy Management Co Ltd (REMCL), a joint venture company of Indian Railway (49 per cent) and RITES Ltd (51 per cent) has been created by the Railway ministry to handle solar projects that will be set up in vacant land.

In April this year, REMCL had floated a tender for setting up 1 GW land-based solar PV power plant in vacant railway land under tariff-based competitive bidding.

Initially, the last date for putting in initial bids was June 30, but it was extended a few times, the latest being till November 25, 2020.

Bidders have been asked to quote a tariff they would charge for generating electricity using solar energy at projects of over 50 MW each.

REMCL was incorporated to manage energy management portfolio of Indian Railways which includes the procurement of economical power through open access and harnessing green energy.

It has identified land in West Bengal (125 MW), Chhattisgarh (205 MW), Gujarat (226 MW), Odisha (59 MW), Madhya Pradesh (58 MW), Rajasthan (68 MW), Uttar Pradesh (20 MW), Haryana (19 MW), Assam (14 MW), Maharashtra (92 MW), Karnataka (20 MW), Jharkhand (13 MW), Telangana (7 MW) and Andhra Pradesh (18 MW).

G) RailTel to drive Indian Railways hospital management info system

Indian Railways has entrusted RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RailTel) for implementation of Hospital Management Information System (HMIS), an integrated clinical information system, for its 125 health facilities and 650 polyclinics across the nation for improved hospital administration and patient healthcare.

The features of the software extend from customizing clinical data according to the departments and laboratories, a multi-hospital feature that provides cross consultation, seamless interface with medical and other equipment. The patients will have the benefit of accessing all their medical records on their mobile device.

H) Hubli to be the World’s longest plateform

The Indian Railways is all set to build the world’s longest railway platform at the Hubbali railway junction in Karnataka.

Currently, the length of the platform is 550 meters. Earlier it was planned to be expanded to a length of 1,400 meters. The South-Western Railway (SWR) has now decided to stretch the length to 1,505 meters now. This expansion will cost Rs 90 crore. The construction will be completed in Jan 2021.

As of now, the 1,366 metre-long platform at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh is the longest railway platform in the world.

In September 2020, the union government had renamed the Hubballi railway station after Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji.

I) Exam for Railway posts

Good news for Railways jobs aspirants! The Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) has released the dates for Railways recruitment exams for jobs advertised earlier. RRB will be conducting the exams for recruitment to the Railways (non-technical popular category) category, Isolated & Ministerial categories and Railways Level 1 from December 15 onwards.

Under the Isolated & Ministerial categories, the Railways will be recruiting for 1,663 posts, for NTPC it has 35,208 vacancies and in Level 1 it has 1,03,769 vacancies — which add up to 1,40,640 vacancies in total.

J) GMR, L&T, BHEL among 13 players shortlisted for operating private trains

Indian Railways is privatizing 150 trains for which many players have shown great interest.

At least 13 players – including GMR, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, Bharat Heavy Electricals and Welspun Enterprises – have been shortlisted by the Indian Railways for operating private trains in 12 clusters.

The operators would be selected after the requests for proposals (RFP) are submitted with a revenue share quote. The requests for qualification (RFQ) for 12 clusters were published on July this year. The applications were opened on October 7.

Other companies that are in the fray include PNC Infratech, Cube Highways and Infrastructure, Megha Engineering & Infrastructures, IRB Infrastructure Developers, a consortium of Gateway Rail Freight and Gateway Distriparks, a consortium of Malempati Power and Techno Infra Developers, a consortium of Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A, CAF India and CAF Investment Projects, S.A and a consortium of RK Associates & Hoteliers and Omaxe.

k) UP’s Dandupur railway station to be renamed as Maa Barahi Devi Dham

The Dandupur railway station situated between Pratapgarh and Badshahpur on Lucknow-Varanasi rail section will now be named Maa Barahi Devi Dham.

The Union government has given its consent after which Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath gave his nod to the renaming of the railway station.

There has been a long-standing demand to change the name of Dandupur railway station in Raniganj tehsil of Pratapgarh.

Many express and passenger trains, including Kashi-Vishwanath Express, Rae Bareli-Jaunpur Express, Lucknow-Varanasi Intercity, and other trains have a halt at Dandupur railway station.

There is a temple of Maa Barahi Devi in Parasrampur village, six kilometres from the railway station and an annual fair is organised there that is visited by a large number of devotees.

L) Indian Railways to ferry 100 tonnes of tomato from Karnataka to Bihar

In an effort to maximise freight earnings in COVID-19 times, the South Western Railway (SWR) would soon ferry 100 tonnes of tomato from Kolar in Karnataka to Danapur near Patna in Bihar, an official said on Saturday.

As Kolar district is a major producer of tomatoes, the zonal division is working with the farmers and their APMC (Agriculture Producers Marketing Committee) to get the vegetable delivered at the station for loading in the wagons.

M) Indian Railways To Use Laser Technology To Carry Out Ground Survey For Delhi-Varanasi Bullet Train Project

The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) will be employing the latest technology, laser enabled equipment mounted on a helicopter, to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the proposed Delhi-Varanasi High Speed Rail corridor.

NHSRCL, which is executing the first bullet train project of the country between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, will be adopting Light Detection and Ranging Survey (LiDAR) technique for conducting ground survey for the preparation of DPR for the Delhi-Varanasi High Speed Rail Corridor.

N) Indian Railways gets its 50th high-speed freight locomotive from Alstom

Indian Railways has recently got the 12000HP 50th 12WAGB electric locomotive from Alstom.

The locomotives will be used for hauling freight trains can run at a top speed of 120kmph and to be deployed on all the major routes and Dedicated Freight Corridors(DFCs). The locomotive will be used for the faster movement of goods, especially coal and iron ore.

Planned to be deployed for operations on major freight routes, including the Built as part of the largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) project in the Railway sector, these 800 fully electric super powered double-section locomotives will transform the heavy freight transportation landscape of India.

These 800 e-locos are being manufactured at India’s largest integrated greenfield manufacturing facility in Madhepura, Bihar. This project has created over 10,000 jobs, primarily in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. This joint venture by Ministry of Railways (Indian Railways) and Alstom is one of the strongest realizations of Make-in-India vision with a strong impetus on indigenous manufacturing with over 87% localization.

Question No- Currently the World’s longest Railway plateform is

A) New delhi Railway Station

B) Kharagpur

C) Gorakhpur

D) Hubli

Question No-2 REMCL( railway Energy Management Co Ltd) is a Railway PSU for providing solar capacity on railway vacant land is a joint venture between:

a) Indian Railway and Ministry of Power

b) Indian railways and Ministry of Environment

c) Indian Railway and RITES Ltd

d) Indian Railways and Ministry of renewable energy