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Old October 8th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #41
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Is Mumbai's suburban rail network the world's most dangerous one?
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Old October 8th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #42
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Old October 8th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #43
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Now Indian Railways are planning to make Indian railway attractive to attaract more NRI tourists.. Read More .., Economic Times

But 1 think I dont understand that our government is making NRI comfortable, but what about our regular travellers ...... When they will be comfortable.. or atleast Safe ...
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Old October 12th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #44
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Srinagar to Central Kashmir New Train Inaugurated

These Trains have some features like "The driver's cab has heating and defogging unit keeping in view the cold climate", "Snow cutting type cattle guard has been attached at the driver's end of the train for snow clearance from tracks during winter", "executive chair-car type seating arrangement with fire resistant grade upholstery and reclining mechanism"...etc

Photo:AP, Source : The Hindu

On Track




Flagg Off

Manmohan Singh flags off Kashmir's first-ever train, as Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav joins him, in Srinagar on Saturday.

More Pics of the New DEMU of Kashmir Valley :-

More pics are available @ Rediff..









Some more good Pics are here....!!! See the Gallery posted in Mathrubhumi
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Old October 12th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #45
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It must have been a huge piece of work to bring the train by road through the mountains as the line is not connected to any network yet.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 07:55 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satsk3 View Post
These Trains have some features like "The driver's cab has heating and defogging unit keeping in view the cold climate", "Snow cutting type cattle guard has been attached at the driver's end of the train for snow clearance from tracks during winter", "executive chair-car type seating arrangement with fire resistant grade upholstery and reclining mechanism"...etc

Photo:AP, Source : The Hindu

On Track




Flagg Off

Manmohan Singh flags off Kashmir's first-ever train, as Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav joins him, in Srinagar on Saturday.

More Pics of the New DEMU of Kashmir Valley :-

More pics are available @ Rediff..









Some more good Pics are here....!!! See the Gallery posted in Mathrubhumi
beautiful pics
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Old October 13th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #47
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Mumbai Metro line 3 on trouble run

But now here is something problematic in mumbai railways. Even as the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the nodal agency for the Mumbai Metro Rail project, struggles to decide on a model for implementation of the third corridor, obstacles in executing this underground route are gradually beginning to surface. While Line 2 awaits Centre’s nod, third corridor faces issues like locating plot for car shed and environmental concerns.

Read More : exchange
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Old October 14th, 2008, 02:52 PM   #48
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interesting trains.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #49
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Nice trains
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #50
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Glad to see continued investment in the railways!
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Old October 17th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #51
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First train service for troubled Kashmir
11 October 2008
Agence France Presse

India's prime minister Saturday launched Kashmir's first train service, the fruit of an eight-year project that overcame tough terrain and rebel strife, on a visit overshadowed by violence.

Security was tight as Manmohan Singh flagged off the first train to travel along a new 117-kilometre (73-mile) line which it is hoped will help transform the volatile region.

"Our intention is that the future of Kashmir should be socially, economically and politically bright," he said in a pre-launch message.

Singh launched the service from Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar, where two Muslims were killed Friday in police shootings on anti-India demonstrators protesting his visit to the revolt-hit region.

Thousands of police and paramilitary soldiers patrolled Srinagar's streets as shops, schools and offices shut down after separatists and trade unions called a two-day strike to protest the prime minister's visit.

The track links Baramulla town in the north with Qazigund in the south and should eventually be integrated into India's massive national rail network. For the moment, only a 66-kilometre stretch is ready to be used.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and federal railways minister Lalu Prasad Yadav were also present during the tightly-guarded ceremony.

Officials said the new Kashmir trains would be guarded against possible attacks by anti-Indian rebels.

"We have set up a separate railway police force wing to guard the railway assets and passengers," police chief Kuldeep Khuda said.

The 20-billion-rupee (470-million-dollar) rail project was started in 2000 and involved thousands of engineers and labourers who had to contend with tough Himalayan weather -- especially in winter -- and rugged terrain.

They also had to work under high security, given the near-constant threat of attack by rebels who have been waging an armed struggle against Indian rule since 1989.

Work was halted temporarily after an Indian railways engineer and his brother were killed by suspected militants in June 2004.

In April 2007, a policeman was killed in an attack on a group of engineers inspecting the project.

The track will have nine stations and a pair of air-conditioned trains with large windows to provide a view of Kashmir's celebrated mountain scenery.

The main beneficiaries are expected to be those in remote areas who previously faced long journeys to larger towns and cities.

"It is a dream come true for us," said villager Mushtaq Ahmed from Baramulla. "I have never seen a train in my life. I will try to be the first from my village to board one."

The journey from Qazigund to Srinagar is a three-hour bus ride, but will take just 45 minutes by train.

"It is a god-sent gift to people like me," said Idrees Ahmed, a student who makes the trip every day to a Srinagar college.

In the second phase, the valley will be linked to the rest of India through Udhampur in Kashmir's south. Currently the only way to reach Kashmir is by a mountainous highway.

The launch came as a top Pakistani security officer arrived in New Delhi for anti-terrorism talks on a visit some officials said was linked to growing security concerns in Kashmir and elsewhere in the country, which has suffered a spate of bombings.

Pakistan's National Security Advisor Mahmud Ali Durrani will meet his Indian counterpart M. K. Narayanan for talks in New Delhi on Monday, the foreign ministry said.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:27 PM   #52
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Boosting ties, Japan offers India record loan for railway
22 October 2008
Agence France Presse

Japan on Wednesday offered a record 4.5 billion dollars in loans to India to build a major railway as the Asian powers agreed to step up both economic and military ties.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso hastened to deny that the cooperation was aimed at countering China, where both leaders head Thursday for a summit of Asian and European leaders.

Under the agreement signed in Tokyo, Japan will provide an initial 450 billion yen (4.5 billion dollars) in low-interest loans to build the freight railway between New Delhi and Mumbai.

The 1,468-kilometre (912-mile) railway between India's two largest cities will also include economic sectors around the tracks. It is aimed at improving a creaky infrastructure seen as a key bottleneck holding back India's economy.

The two leaders pledged to step up military cooperation, including to help the "war on terror" and disaster relief.

"This reflects our shared desire to contribute to peace, prosperity and stability in Asia and the world," Singh told a joint news conference with Aso.

Japan last year held joint naval exercises with India and the United States, despite Tokyo's post-World War II constitution which bars the country from ever using force.

Aso, a conservative who took office last month, has in the past advocated building ties with fellow democracy India to offset frequent tension in Japan's relationship with China which is scarred by wartime memories.

But both Aso and Singh denied reporters' suggestions that they were focused on China.

"Economic partership and security cooperation between India and Japan are not at the cost of any third country, least of all China," Singh said.

Aso also said the agreement was "not targeted at any third party."

The Japanese leader said he and Singh both wanted "steady progress in bilateral relations between Japan and India, which share common basic values."

The railway loan is the largest ever extended by Japan for a single project overseas, topping the 260 billion yen it provided to India to build the New Delhi metro.

Despite warming political ties, India and Japan both trade far more with China.

Singh earlier told a luncheon with Japanese business leaders that investment from Asia's largest economy "is much less than its full potential."

"We welcome Japanese investment in our effort to build a new dynamic India," Singh said.

Both Aso and Singh are both taking part in the Beijing summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting, where the global financial crisis is set to take centre-stage.

Singh told the business luncheon that India wanted a role in moves to increase surveillance of the global financial system.

"Developing countries like India are also affected by the crisis and have to be part of the solution," said Singh, an Oxford-educated economist who opened up India's economy as finance minister.

The central Reserve Bank of India on Monday cut its lending rate for the first time since 2004 and Singh conceded this week that the country would face a "temporary slowdown" from "the ripple effects" of the crisis.

Singh, however, told the Japanese audience that India would return to the recent growth level of nine percent a year once the global crisis eased.

"Fundamentals of the Indian economy have been and continue to be strong," Singh said.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 03:21 AM   #53
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On the Right Track
Sudhir Kumar found a way to upgrade Indian Railways and make it pay.
But politically, this train may be leaving.

27 October 2008
Forbes Asia

Sudhir Kumar found how to upgrade Indian Railways and make it pay. But politically, this train may be leaving.

Reforming the Indian Railways is a mammoth job but not, perhaps, what one might expect from the familiar image of hot, crammed cars, indolent staff and teeming metropolitan train stations.

Sudhir Kumar, the man given the operational task, was basically told he could fiddle with nearly everything except the system's 17 million daily second-class passengers and the 2.5 million employees (1.4 million active, 1.1 million pensioners). Politically, they were untouchable for even Lalu Prasad Yadav, the brash rail minister who appointed Kumar in 2004.

Putting that hurdle--the world's largest ridership and nearly its largest nonmilitary payroll--aside, Kumar still had plenty to deal with: 268,000 pieces of rolling stock, 7,000 stations and 63,300 kilometers of track. By addressing those variables, and getting better effort out of his protected staff, Kumar, 52, has managed to make real if arguably tenuous gains.

It turned out, he says, that reforms elsewhere in the Indian economy were actually making matters worse for IR. Privatizations in basic industries were undoing an arrangement by which freight shippers simply passed along uncompetitive rail rates to the government. With that escape hatch closed, these steel, cement and petroleum customers began shopping around for truck, barge and pipeline alternatives. New private airlines, meantime, were taking away IR's first-class (air-conditioned car) passengers.

So the rail giant's books looked grim. It was hanging on with a mere $85 million in cash on earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation of $560 million and had defaulted on a dividend payment to the government of India. (Today those numbers have soared to $4.9 billion on Ebitda of $6 billion.) An expert group declared Indian Railways was "on the verge of a financial crisis. . . . On a pure operating level, [it] is in a terminal debt trap."

Yet as Kumar analyzed the apparent gap between rises in IR's costs and throughput over the previous quarter century--immersing himself in thousands of pages of reports--he found the long-term situation was not so hopeless once he factored out embedded inflation. Shocked, he asked a finance professor at the premier business school in Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Management, to double-check him. Long and short of it was, if IR could get back the market share it was losing while at the same time boosting its return from capital assets, Kumar could return the operation to a sound footing even without touching the mass fares or laying off staff. Minister Lalu gave his blessing and backing.

One solution: faster, heavier and longer trains. He increased the number of coaches, both for goods and passenger trains, from 16 to 24. The 28% increase in cost per train kilometer was easily offset by the 78% increase in revenues. Smarter deployment also reduced the turnaround time for freight wagons from seven days to five by making the goods shed operate round the clock; examining the wagons after three trips (instead of after each trip) and electrifying all feeder lines, saved time on switching the locomotives from diesel to electric and vice versa. As a result IR could load 800 trains per day, up from 550, earning an additional $3.5 billion annually. Believing the tracks would bear up, Kumar also made the trains heavier and increased the load they could carry from 54 tons per wagon to 68 tons.

All of that required getting staff to work more efficiently, or in some cases overcoming inertia with new managers. Total productivity is now rising at 8% a year, by Kumar's count, versus 2.5% in the 1990s. His biggest challenge, however, was in recapturing the lost market share for transporting freight. In 1991 IR transported 67% of the nation's iron and steel and 59% of cement. By 2003 those numbers had dropped to 36% and 40%, respectively. "[It] had priced itself out of the market. . . . If you define yourself as someone in the business of transportation, that's a fiercely competitive industry and you have to question old assumptions of monopoly," says Kumar.

In addition to the physical enhancement, he went about reducing rates, offering discounts and reclassifying shipments in order to achieve more favorable, targeted pricing. Commodities like steel and cement that had faced steep charges got a break; charges on iron ore and limestone went up. "In the steel [transport] business we had been losing market share every year," says Kumar. "Whenever there was a deficit in the Indian Railways, they always increased freight rate on steel and cement." In the past year export prices of iron ore were up 400%, says Kumar, and he hiked up his transportation charges by 500%. "They earned 600 billion rupees [from the hike in export prices], and we earned 100 billion rupees[$2.5 billion] of it," he says.

He got some business but not enough. In 2006 he called a meeting with the steel magnates of the country to ask them what else he had to do get their business. They wanted railway stations at the factories, they said. He offered to cover half the costs. He also eased the tonnage minimums and allowed the companies to unload their cargo at multiple stops.

But Kumar still wasn't happy. He wanted the contract to carry Reliance Petroleum's crude oil, but the billionaire controlling owner Mukesh Ambani told him that the railways were just too expensive and he was using the pipelines of his competitors at a 10% discount on IR's price. Kumar realized that the railways had traditionally overpriced petroleum freight rates and quickly offered Ambani a 20% discount on his cost. IR now transports Reliance's crude (but only while the company builds its own pipelines) as well as a couple of million ton of annual by-product of petroleum coke.

Meantime, he had to watch his political flank. "Politicians are not sensitive to how you price iron ore versus steel," he says. "But they are sensitive about passenger fares." He recalls when he showed Lalu his first budget, highlighting initial gains, all he was told was "I don't get anything from this." So for trips under 250km (90% of the travel in India) the average fare was reduced by roughly 3 rupees per passenger. An amount so meager might seem pointless, but in rural India even a 2-to-3-rupee decrease on a 6-rupee ticket was a huge saving and made them devoted followers of the minister. Kumar's longer trains also had roughly 73 million more passengers cramming into them annually.

Higher-end passengers, by contrast, were a market target. In 2005 Air Deccan, the largest low-cost airline at the time, offered a Delhi-Hyderabad round trip for 3,000 rupees, lower than the 5,000 rupee fare for ac first class in the railways. "[Then owner GR] Gopinath was eating into my high-end passengers," says Kumar. "I told him I have the might of the Indian government behind me, and I can bleed you dry." He sure did. Kumar launched a new ac train on that route with round-trip fares of 1,600 rupees, and Air Deccan, which had been running at losses, was sold to another airline. "That's a Tata's Nano car [experience] at the price of a motorbike, AC travel at non-AC prices," boasts Kumar, who now maintains the fare exceeds his marginal cost. "If money is the concern, then today I'm the best value for the price."

Kumar has used railways of the U.S., Japanese and even Chinese (in most respects, the world's largest) as benchmarks. He has tried to instill his reforms through management-training programs with New York University's Stern School of Business and the French business school, INSEAD. He even has a five-year contract with the Malaysian Central Bank run non-profit, International Center for Leadership in Finance, to train 210 IR managers per year on how to come up with a road map for the organization. More tangibly, senior managers got cell phones, even though as government employees most of them weren't eligible for one; authorized cab pickups and drop-offs between home and work; and allowances to let them hire domestic help.

Incentives are layered at every level of the organization. When the railways made its first $2 billion profit in 2005, the minister increased the standard employee bonus from 59 days' pay to 65 days (now 73). A few months later, on the festival of Holi, each employee got 500 rupees as a token of thanks. At the bottom of the pyramid the 300,000 employees who check the tracks and the level crossings were all assigned winter gear such as appropriate shoes and gloves, accessories that they are often too poor to buy on their own. Kumar also ensured that all 100,000 or so of the running staff who would normally cook their food at the station after every shift were now getting a free meal at the canteens.

All the upgrades have cost money. Already 47% of Indian Railways' operating expenses go toward salary, double the global industry standard of 20% to 25%. Kumar waves off criticism. "This is helping create a commitment and loyalty [among the staff] to the railways. This cost [of the training and the perks] is peanuts when you think of the kind of loyalty you are building up."

Physical plant certainly is more than peanuts. IR now finances $1.75 billion in domestic and international bonds, up from $1 billion in 2004.

Will the progress so far continue?

"If you can measure results so quickly, you don't want to measure them," says Anat Lechner, a professor at nyu's Stern School of Business who has worked with IR managers. Change "is not about showing profitability, it's not the right approach; profitability is the Band-Aid." More important, says Lechner, is "shifting the value system in congruence with the new vision."

An international rail consultant familiar with IR and major counterparts agrees. "There is great danger that [this] change will stall and die," he says. "It's possible that the changes that have been made [will] remain, but there are no incentives to come up with new innovations." Old habits and structures die hard, and if the current Indian government falls in elections expected next year, there's no guarantee a Lalu-like overlord will provide political cover for an executive like Kumar, who will leave with Lalu.

Sighs the consultant, "In India people are mortally scared of ministers."
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 07:23 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Boosting ties, Japan offers India record loan for railway
22 October 2008
Agence France Presse

Under the agreement signed in Tokyo, Japan will provide an initial 450 billion yen (4.5 billion dollars) in low-interest loans to build the freight railway between New Delhi and Mumbai.
Too bad it's only freight...
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 12:05 PM   #55
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Thane - Panvel Direct Trains

Cross posting from Mumbai Railway Discussions: Projects and Updates

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Originally Posted by bhargavsura View Post


Source: Hindustan Times
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Old November 4th, 2008, 06:35 AM   #56
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Trains @ Greenery

Photos by: - Vivek




Photos by: - Arzan Kotval

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Old November 4th, 2008, 06:47 AM   #57
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X-Posting from "India > Infrastructure & Transportation > Railways and Transportation > India - railway pictures only " by Suncity

photos copyright stormcatcher

1


2


3


4


5
Vivekananda Setu, Kolkata.
photo copyright myself


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Last edited by satsk3; November 16th, 2008 at 12:48 PM.
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Old November 5th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #58
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More skywalks on the cards
3 November 2008
The Times of India

MUMBAI: City residents might soon be able to walk along skywalks not only at railway stations but also between stations when they want to cross the tracks at some spots.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority(MMRDA) is planning to have skywalks at spots between stations to enable people to cross the railway tracks in a safe manner and move over busy streets, said MMRDA officials.

"This is in addition to the 50 already planned at railway stations in the Mumbai region with an outlay of Rs 600 crore,'' said the officials.

The MMRDA commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said they are planning to conduct surveys to locate these spots.

"We are planning skywalks between stations as there is a demand from people for safe ways of crossing over from the east to west, this plan is however at a preliminary stage,'' he said. "Seventeen of the skywalks will be built by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation(MSRDC), the rest will be constructed by the MMRDA,'' added joint project director, Dilip Kawathkar.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #59
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DEMU N' Snow

X-Posting from "India > Infrastructure & Transportation > Railways and Transportation > India - railway pictures only "

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arul Murugan View Post
DEMU crawling in Snowing Kashmir with protection



Pic Courtsey: Dinakaran Daily
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Old November 16th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #60
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Science Express

Originally posted by kolkatausa @ "India > Infrastructure & Transportation > Railways and Transportation > India - railway pictures only

Science Express at Howrah Railway Station









cc:lightstalkers.org
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