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Today (8:11AM)  Railroad model layout to be relocated (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 256411     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
The miniature railroad museum – the first of its kind in the country – will be shifted from the city station to the premises of the Mysuru Rail Museum. The railroad model layout, located on platform number 1, depicts the entire Mysuru Railway Division complete with its geographical terrain and major architectural monuments. It also features working models of locomotives and rolling stock, hillocks, important bridges and tourist attractions in Mysuru and provides a bird’s eye view of the entire division.
Though inaugurated in 2012, the exhibition was rarely open to the public due to shortage of staff to oversee it. As a result, the museum remains virtually unknown to the residents of the city. Confirming the proposed shifting of the railwoad
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museum to the main museum, Rajkumar Lal, Divisional Railway Manager, told The Hindu that the shifting will commence in a few days’ time. “A railway station is not the place for a miniature model museum as passengers will be in a hurry to catch trains and reach their destinations,” he said.
Mr. Lal said that the Ministry of Culture has released Rs. 80 lakh for the expansion of the main museum and this amount will be utilised to shift the railroad model. “With the funds available, there is scope to showcase the entire railway operation, including the working of locomotives, signalling system, track switching … we are preparing a conceptual plan and will implement it soon,” Mr. Lal said.
  
Today (8:09AM)  Rail museum expansion plan goes off-track (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 256410     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
Though an expression of interest was floated in 2013, there were no takers for the project
Financial crunch coupled with the current focus on passenger amenities and completion of last mile projects has derailed the ambitious plan of expanding the Rail Museum at Mysuru for the second time in recent years.Though an expression of interest (EoI) for its expansion was floated in 2013, there were no takers for it. The concept was mooted almost 10 years ago and there was slight progress in the initial stages as railway land was earmarked for the purpose. Last year, the authorities acquired antique furniture and shifted a few meter gauge wagons to the museum.But the core of the expansion plan — construction of an amphitheatre
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and introduction of a sound-and-light show complete with the signature sound of the steam locomotive—has been put in the backburner. There is no further progress in the project as it is now reckoned to be a non-priority issue.Divisional Railway Manager, Rajkumar Lal, said the amount required for the project – about Rs.2.5 crore to Rs.3 crore – has not been released.“The project has been approved by the Railway Ministry … funding is for priority areas and hence the expansion will be delayed,” he said.
“However, the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, had evinced interest in the concept as it pertained to rail heritage of the country and had sanctioned Rs.80 lakh,” Mr. Lal said. The amount will be utilised for shifting the rail model layout located on platform number 1, Mr. Lal said.
Established in 1979, the Mysuru Rail Museum is the second such exhibition in the country after Delhi’s National Rail Museum.
The Mysuru Rail Museum features locomotives, signalling system, metre and narrow gauge coaches, mechanical and electrical equipment of the vintage era used by the railways.
Among its prized exhibits is the ‘Maharani’s Saloon’ built in 1899 at a cost of Rs. 29,508. This carriage has a pantry with an ancient grinding stone. Maharani’s Saloon’s counterpart — Maharaja’s Saloon — is on display at the National Rail Museum, Delhi.
The earlier plan to strip a coach and convert it into a restaurant on the lines of the rail coach restaurant in Bhopal too did not take off.
  
Today (8:07AM)  Palanganatham bridge, the height of poor planning (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 256409     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
Rs. 30 crore down the drain and still future bleak for the bridge which has become more of a hindrance
The issue over construction of a road overbridge (RoB) at Palanganatham, intended to connect Madakulam on one side and two arms at the other side connecting TVS Nagar and Jaihindpuram, appears to have created a consensus among the public, a rare act not often seen in many issues.Ask anyone in the locality about the bridge and they invariably opine how public money had been wasted on an ill-planned project, under construction since 2010, costing more than Rs. 30 crore till now, and its future looking uncertain.While the stretch connecting Madakulam to TVS Nagar has been completed, construction work on the arm connecting
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Jaihindpuram has been temporarily stopped due to legal issues. Though a few people use the completed stretch, it has not been declared open officially.
Good for walkers
Interestingly, the completed stretch has become a preferred destination for walkers in the mornings and evenings. “That is the only purpose the bridge serves. In the evenings, one can also see young couples chatting peacefully for long hours,” said S. Solaimalai (59), who is residing nearby. “The place was better off without the bridge. It is so badly planned that there will be no option for vehicles, particularly government buses, coming from TVS Nagar side to reach Tirupparankundram Road. There is no space to take a ‘U’ turn after getting off the bridge on the Madakulam side,” said a man running a workshop nearby.
Residents say the easiest solution could have been to just make the subway wider, which is now usable only by light motor vehicles as it is very narrow. “As the subway has a blind curve, accidents have become a routine affair. It also gets flooded during rain and becomes unusable for days together,” said K. Manikandan (38), a taxi driver.
Mr. Solaimalai added that even the completed stretch of the bridge witnessed accidents. “A few months ago, a motorcycle rider fell off the bridge and died as the parapet wall was not completed then,” he said, adding that absence of streetlights has made it risky to take the bridge at night.
Legal quagmire
Construction of the Jaihindpuram arm of the bridge, meanwhile, has got into legal quagmire as it involves partial or complete eviction of at least 55 houses. D. Lakshmanan (62), one of the residents who will lose a fraction of his 800 square feet property, said that while he had accepted the compensation, many had approached the court. The delay in the work has meant that even the paved road in the Jaihindpuram stretch that existed before has been damaged and rendered unusable.
“This stretch used to witness heavy traffic before the construction began. My business has also taken a huge blow now due to the delay,” said S. Narayanan (56), who is running a teashop.
He added that with a Tasmac outlet at the end of the road, which is almost deserted, the place had become a haven for antisocial elements at night.
M. Kannan, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillor of Ward 91, however, denied the allegations that the bridge was ill-planned. “Had it been fully completed, people would have realised the benefits.” He said that efforts were made during the previous DMK regime. “Even the underground drainage and pipelines were shifted for the project. However, the present government has not shown interest as the project is the brainchild of the DMK,” he claimed.
When contacted, a senior official from Tamil Nadu Highways Department, which is executing the project with assistance from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), acknowledged that the project may not get completed in the near future.
Contract expired
While denying the opinion that the project did not benefit the public, he said that the idea was to remove the railway level-crossing, which was achieved. “The contract with the builder has expired owing to delay caused by the legal hurdle. A new tender has to be issued once the legal issues are sorted out, which is not expected to happen any time soon,” he said.
“The bridge serves no purpose. My business, like that of many other shops in the stretch, has taken a blow as the road in the unfinished stretch is almost deserted”
S. Narayanan
Teashop owner
“Inordinate delay by the present government has rendered the project useless. The government has not shown interest as it is DMK’s brainchild”
M. Kannan,
Councillor (DMK)
  
Today (8:06AM)  Track-doubling work may be expedited (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 256408     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
The restoration of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) post for Kerala by Railways is expected to speed up the much-delayed track-doubling works through Kottayam and Alappuzha.
Much has to be done to complete the doubling process through both districts. March this year was fixed as the revised deadline for completing doubling through Kottayam.
Railway officials are sceptical about adhering to the deadline and state that it might take another two years unless the Railways and the State government undertook a joint proactive effort.
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numerous hassles the process is facing include inordinate delay in land acquisition, litigation over compensation and sourcing/transporting of mud to work sites. This has in turn more than doubled the project cost from Rs 530 crore estimated in 2005.
Faced with problems in sourcing mud from private lands, Railway is excavating it from land under its custody. This alone may not be enough to complete track doubling.
Land acquisition
“With the State Government not readying land acquisition rules, we have no other option but to opt for direct purchase of many plots of lands through negotiations. This requires prompt disbursal of funds and the CAO can do much to coordinate with Railway higher ups in sourcing funds.
In the absence of CAO, everything has to be routed through Southern Railway’s head office in Chennai,” an official associated with doubling works said.
“We are making every effort to complete maximum works during the November-May working season when there is no rain.
“Priority has been accorded to complete track doubling in the 12-km-long Piravom Road-Kurupunthara stretch by March end.
“Twin tracks have been laid afresh at Vaikom Road, Kurupunthara and Thiruvalla railway stations. The older pair of tracks are being relaid to lessen their gradient,” he said.
Compensation
Most of the doubling works is complete, except for a km-long portion near Kurupunthara where three plots have not been acquired over the quantum of compensation. The Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) would inspect the 12-km corridor by March end and issue safety certificate only if the whole corridor is doubled.
“Only ten per cent of land required in 24-km-long Kurupunthara-Chingavanom stretch has been acquired, though Railway had allotted Rs 105 crore.
“Efforts are under way for direct purchase of land so that the stretch can be doubled by end 2017,” he said.
Inordinate delay in land acquisition is a problem in the 26-km-long Chingavanom-Thiruvalla-Chengannur stretch too.
The problem is acute in between Chingavanom and Changanassery where there are eight overbridges. Delay by KWA in shifting pipelines from the old bridge to the new one despite Railway depositing the expenses has held up work on a bridge near Changanassery.
Efforts are on to complete track doubling in Changanassery-Chengannur corridor by March, the officials said.
Alappuzha sector
Track doubling in Alappuzha district has been confined to the 18-km-long Haripad-Ambalappuzha corridor.
“Only 25 per cent works are over here, mainly due to delay in acquiring land and court cases.
“Next in line is doubling of Ambalappuzha–Alappuzha–Cherthala–Thuravur line. An estimate has been sent to Railway Board and we are awaiting its sanction. With the State inking an MoU with Railways on pooling funds for Railway development, the doubling process may pick up steam,” he said
Sourcing mud is another problem in Alappuzha and tipper lorries have to fetch it from Kottayam and Kollam districts.
  
Today (8:04AM)  ಉಪನಗರ ರೈಲು ವಿಸ್ತರಣೆಗೆ ಆಗ್ರಹ (www.prajavani.net)
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News Entry# 256407     
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Feb 08 2016 (8:04AM)
Station Tag: Whitefield/WFD added by knkprasad956*/287013

Posted by: knkprasad956*  397 news posts   Ph:+919449002288
ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು: ನಗರದ ವಾಹನ ಸಂಚಾರ ದಟ್ಟಣೆ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಮಾಡುವ ಸಲುವಾಗಿ ಉಪ ನಗರ ರೈಲು ಸಂಚಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಆದ್ಯತೆ ನೀಡುವಂತೆ ಆಗ್ರಹಿಸಿ ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು ಉಪ ನಗರ ರೈಲು ಪ್ರಯಾಣಿಕರ ಸಂಘ ವೈಟ್‌ಫೀಲ್ಡ್‌ ರೈಲು ನಿಲ್ದಾಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಭಾನುವಾರ ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನೆ ನಡೆಸಿದರು.
ಉಪನಗರ ರೈಲುಗಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಆಗ್ರಹಿಸಿ ಕಳೆದ 8–10 ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ರೈಲ್ವೆ ಇಲಾಖೆ ಮತ್ತು ರಾಜ್ಯ ಸರ್ಕಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಮನವಿ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದರೂ ಸ್ಪಂದಿಸುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ಅವರು ಆಕ್ರೋಶ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸಿದರು.
2011ರಲ್ಲಿ ‘ರೈಟ್ಸ್’ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಪಡಿ
ಸಿದ್ದ ವಿಸ್ತೃತ ಯೋಜನಾ ವರದಿಯನ್ನು ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರ್ಕಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಕಳುಹಿಸಲಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆ ಪ್ರಸ್ತಾವಕ್ಕೆ ಈವರೆಗೆ ಒಪ್ಪಿಗೆ ದೊರೆತಿಲ್ಲ.
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ಕೇಂದ್ರ ಸರ್ಕಾರ ಅನುಮೋದನೆ ನೀಡಿ, ಯೋಜನೆಯ ತ್ವರಿತ ಅನುಷ್ಠಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಕ್ರಮ ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ಆಗ್ರಹಿಸಿದರು.
ಪ್ರಸ್ತುತ ಬಂಗಾರಪೇಟೆ, ರಾಮನಗರ ತುಮಕೂರು, ಚಿಕ್ಕಬಳ್ಳಾಪುರ, ದೊಡ್ಡ ಬಳ್ಳಾಪುರ ಮತ್ತು ಹೊಸೂರು ನಗರಗಳಿಗೆ ಉಪನಗರ ರೈಲುಗಳು ಇದ್ದರೂ ಸರಿಯಾದ ಸಮಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬಚಾರ ಕಲ್ಪಿಸಬೇಕು ಎಂದರು.
ಸಂಘದ ಅಧ್ಯಕ್ಷ ಸತೀಂದ್ರ ಚೋಪ್ರಾ, ಉಪಾಧ್ಯಕ್ಷ ಕೃಷ್ಣಪ್ರಸಾದ್‌, ಕಾರ್ಯದರ್ಶಿ ತಿಮ್ಮದಾಸ್‌ ಪ್ರಕಾಶ್‌ ಅವರು ಪ್ರತಿಭಟನೆಯ ನಂತರ ವೈಟ್‌ಫೀಲ್ಡ್‌ ರೈಲು ನಿಲ್ದಾಣದ ಸ್ಟೇಷನ್‌ ಮಾಸ್ಟರ್‌ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಮನವಿ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಿದರುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ.
ಅಸ್ತಿತ್ವದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಮಾರ್ಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಮತ್ತು ಇತರೆ ನಗರಗಳಿಗೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ರೈಲುಗಳ ಸಂ
  
Today (8:04AM)  SCR reschedules trains (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSCR/South Central  -  

News Entry# 256406     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
The South Central Railway (SCR) has announced the following rescheduling of trains. Train No. 12791 Secunderabad-Danapur Express will be restored to regular run with effect from February 11. Train No. 12715 H.S. Nanded-Amritsar Sachkhand Express will be restored to regular run with effect from February 8.
Due to launching of RCC boxes for bridge repair works between Kaukuntla – Wanaparti road stations in Secunderabad – Dhone section of Hyderabad division on February 9, reschedule of trains is as follows: Train No. 57426 Guntakal – Kacheguda passenger scheduled to depart Guntakal at 5.45 a.m. will depart at 9.30 a.m.
Train
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No. 57425 Kacheguda - Guntakal passenger scheduled to depart Kacheguda at 9.40 a.m. will depart at 12:30 p.m. Train No. 57473 Kacheguda – Bodhan passenger scheduled to depart Kacheguda at 4.10 p.m. will depart at 7 p.m., an official spokesman informed in a press release.
  
Today (8:04AM)  ‘Cost escalation of rail projects taxing the exchequer’ (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSWR/South Western  -  

News Entry# 256405     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
Minister for Information, Public Relations and Infrastructure Roshan Baig has said that the cost escalation of projects, whose cost is shared by the State government and the Railways, due to the delay in their execution by the Railways is taxing the State exchequer. The issue has been taken up with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, he told presspersons here on Sunday.
Mr. Baig said that he had raised the issue with the Railway Minister during the latter’s visit to Bengaluru to participate in the Invest Karnataka 2016 programme. He also expressed the difficulty being faced by the State government to meet the increased cost of those projects.
Mr.
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Baig said that it would be burdensome for the government which provided the land required for the rail projects for free to bear the increase in the cost of the project. The Railways should own up the responsibility for the delay and bear the extra cost of the project, he said.
Mr. Baig said he would accompany Chief Minister Siddaramaiah during his next visit to New Delhi, and they would inform the Railway Minister about the difficulties faced by the government in meeting the increased cost of rail projects.
To a question, he said that the proposal to have a hi-speed train from Bengaluru to Mysuru had been revived after the French Ambassador said recently in Bengaluru that a semi hi-speed train could be run between the two cities on the lines of the one proposed between Delhi and Chandigarh.
The project had suffered a setback after a Chinese team which visited the rail infrastructure available between Bengaluru and Mysuru said that a hi-speed train between the two cities was not possible.
Mr. Baig said that the State government would consider the proposal to handover the acquisition of land required for the proposed Gadag-Wadi new rail line to the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB). The government had earlier decided to ask the KIADB to acquire the land for the project from Gadag to Yelburga. The land acquisition from Wadi to Yelburga was to be handed over to the Revenue Department under the Land Acquisition Act. He agreed to the fact that land acquisition by the Revenue Department as per the provisions of the Act would be a lengthy process.
It would lead to a delay and land acquisition through KIADB on consent basis would ensure speedy acquisition of land, the Minister said.
He said that the tenders for completing the unfinished work at the proposed airport at Kalaburagi had been floated by the Public Works Department and the last date for submitting the proposal was February 9.
The airport is expected to be ready by six months after the finalisation of the tenders and handing over the work.
Proposal to have a hi-speed train from Bengaluru to Mysuru may be revived
  
Today (8:02AM)  Commuter rail campaign gets a hunger strike boost (www.deccanherald.com)
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News Entry# 256404     
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Feb 08 2016 (8:02AM)
Station Tag: Whitefield/WFD added by knkprasad956*/287013

Posted by: knkprasad956*  397 news posts   Ph:+919449002288
Intensifying the City’s collective demand for a full-fledged suburban train system, members of the Bengaluru Sub Urban Train Passengers’ Association converged for a hunger strike near the Whitefield railway station here on Sunday.
In solidarity with the travellers’ forum, long-time commuter rail campaigners participated in the day-long strike. It was a clear indication that the movement was gathering in strength and purpose, just weeks before the railway
budget.
Sunday’s
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strike was an outpouring of passengers’ woes. “Having seen the road traffic, we travel from our homes to various parts of Bengaluru for work using the trains. But the trains are not sufficient and remain overcrowded and choked,” said the Association’s memorandum to the chief minister, railway minister and the divisional railway manager, South Western Railway.
The message to the officials was clear: Introduce regular suburban trains as recommended in the RITES report. Trains are the only option to decongest the City and ease commuter comfort since the existing public transport systems are grossly inadequate.
But embedded in the memorandum was also a warning that Sunday’s strike would be further intensified if the government continued with its inaction. The memorandum was formally submitted to the Whitefield station manager, who promised to forward it to the higher railway officials.
In Multiple routes
Urban rail experts and campaigners have been vociferous in their demands to get the service launched in multiple routes leading to the City centre. Dedicated trains between the City and its suburbs at short intervals had to be part of the system since regular commuters could not depend on the long-distance trains.
The infrastructure at the stations and terminals had to be upgraded, a task that can be accomplished only with multi-agency funding and participation. Last week’s remark by the railway minister have kindled hopes that the project might finally be included in the upcoming railway budget.
DH News Service
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Today (8:02AM)  TN has not got its due share of development: Railway Minister (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 256403     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
Tamil Nadu has not got its due share in railway projects over the years resulting in backlog of development and the Centre was committed to correct it, Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday. Page 6
  
Today (8:01AM)  Joint venture stressed (www.thehindu.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestSR/Southern  -  

News Entry# 256402     
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Posted by: rdb**  115249 news posts  
The Kanyakumari District Rail Users’ Association (KDRUA) urged the State government to go for joint venture with the Union Railway Ministry, as it would help speedy implementation of pending railway projects in the State.
In an e-mail appeal to the Chief Minister’s Cell, P. Edward Jeni said that except for Tamil Nadu, a few other States in the country were getting umpteen railway projects. The Railway Ministry established joint venture projects with the neighbouring Kerala and Andhra Pradesh for speedy implementation. Recently, the ministry signed a MoU with Odhisha and Maharashtra.
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