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Trains in the News    Stations in the News    show all languages
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Yesterday (11:24PM)  McDonalds, Nirulas meals in Indian Railways soon (www.hindustantimes.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210976     
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Posted by: rdb**  94430 news posts  
Train passengers will now have a choice of a la carte meals from known brands like Haldirams, McDonalds and Nirulas.The Indian Railways on Friday issued policy guidelines permitting 'Ready to Eat' meals from branded firms as an add-on option in all mail and express trains that provide for pantry car service.Ready to Eat meals will include pre-cooked and frozen food packaged to provide for shelf life of not less than three months.No additional license fee is proposed to be charged from these firms since the license fee has already been fixed and realised from contractors operating the pantry cars, a ministry circular says. The North Western Railway zone has been authorised to short-list reputed firms. "Expression of Interest bids will shortly be floated", an official said.
In order to participate, firms must have an annual turnover of over Rs 50 lakh
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for each of the last three years and must comply with international technical standards besides possessing minimum three years experience in the packaged food industry.
  
Yesterday (10:58PM)  Feasibility report on Bullet train being prepared (www.ptinews.com)
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Other News

News Entry# 210975     
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Posted by: SRG**  512 news posts  
Feasibility report on Bullet train being prepared
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Ahmedabad, Jan 31 (PTI) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said the feasibility report on high-speed bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai was being prepared with the assistance of a Japan government's company.
A feasibility report on the high-speed bullet train is being prepared with the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Prabhu told reporters on the sidelines on flagging off of two new trains from Ahmedabad.
  
Yesterday (10:19PM)  Last year’s 14% hike, 0% improvement irk travellers (indianexpress.com)
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Commentary/Human InterestCR/Central  -  

News Entry# 210974     
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Posted by: rdb**  94430 news posts  
Railway fare hikes do not impress train travellers, in Pune in particular and the suggestion of another hike on the cards has raised eyebrows. The steep 14 per cent hike after the BJP stormed to power at the Centre did not add to the infrastructure of railway stations or comfort of travellers as promised, according to railway passengers in Pune. The hike was intended to make railway travel easier and comfortable. Instead they have to put up with dismal facilities at the railway station and on trains.
Several promises made to Pune commuters are yet to see the light of day. Commuters are visibly upset at another fare hike staring at them. An expert panel has recommended a railway fare hike.
In a recent meeting of Members of Parliament (MPs), several demands
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of commuters from Pune and surrounding areas came up. Commuter groups and activists submitted a list of demands and sought an increase in facilities and infrastructure in proportion to the increase in fare.
A month after it swept the general elections the new BJP government “swallowed the bitter pill” and increased railway fares by 14 per cent, promising to translate it into increased infrastructure and world class services. None of that seems to have happened in Pune Division of the railway department in the last seven months.
Harsha Shah of the Railway Pravasi Group said, “There’s isn’t an iota of progress in infrastructure, and facilities at the station. We have been hearing all kinds of promises for years but the administration keeps citing paucity of funds. The steep hike has considerably increased revenue. Several “indirect” fare hikes such as premium tatkal scheme added to the revenue. With increase in revenue, facilities should have increased. But there’s zero progress on this front. Pune Railway Station has been presenting the same sorry picture for years. Promise of additional escalators and FoBs remain on paper. We hear that another fare hike will be announced. If these hikes don’t result in visible improvement in infrastructure, then commuters will oppose it.”
Several MPs who met Central Railway General Manager S K Sood raised similar questions and handed over a list of demands. Sood promised to forward the list to the railway board. “Like every year, we were told the Central Railway will take efforts to address the issues raised by the MPs. We hope the government brings changes in policy and the Division gets new projects,” said an MP.
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Yesterday (10:06PM)  On board Shatabdi Express, chai pe BJP charcha: Cups have Modi, Shah photos (indianexpress.com)
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Politics

News Entry# 210973     
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Posted by: rdb**  94430 news posts  
Passengers who reached for a cup of tea on the Shatabdi Express to Amritsar on Thursday would have found two familiar faces staring at them — along with an interesting appeal.
On these thick paper cups, many of which were found lying on the floor after the train pulled up in Amritsar at around 11pm, were photos of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
There was also a toll free number and a few lines in Hindi that started like this: “Bhajpa ke sadasya banein saath aayein, desh banayein (Become a member of BJP come along, build the nation)”.
Behind these cups lies the story of a railway caterer with links to a New Delhi-based “NGO started in November 2014” that
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issued the ads, and an alleged mix-up in the supply of the cups.
With a catering staffer in Amritsar confirming that these cups were used in trains over the past week, a senior railways official told The Indian Express that he “was going through the rules” to decide on the “action to be taken”.
Apart from the appeal and the photos, the ads say that they have been printed on behalf of “Sankalp Foundation” which describes itself on its website (sankalpfoundation.co.in) as a “charitable trust without any object of profit making”.
The only two faces displayed on this website are that of Rajeev Mittal, its “senior vice president” and Satya Bhushan Jain, its “vice president” — the designations have been reversed on the cups. Mittal is also a director of R K Associates and Hoteliers Pvt Ltd (RKAHPL), which provides catering services to the railways.
When contacted, Mittal said, “I have only one vendor and he mixed this up. The cups that got used in trains were actually meant for political rallies. In the past, such cups were used in the rallies of Amit Shahji. I had asked the vendor to strictly ensure that these cups were not used in the trains. The cups that were to be used in trains were to advertise the Swachh Bharat campaign.”
Jain, meanwhile, said that the cups with the BJP appeal were to be used in universities and bus stands. Denying that he was linked to the BJP, he said, “I support whoever does good. If the Congress does good, I will support it.”
Jain confirmed that his NGO had no links to the other Sankalp Foundation (sankalpfoundation.org) that is active mainly in the education sector.
When contacted, Naresh Chander Goel, Divisional Railway Manager (Ferozepur Division), said, “No one has taken any permission from us to use these cups. Trains cannot be used for promoting any political activity.”
Goel later added, “I have warned him (Rajeev Mittal) not to use these cups in trains. He has claimed that the cups were used in the trains by mistake. I have warned him that a fine may be imposed.”
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Yesterday (9:01PM)  Prabhu hopes to raise 70K cr for railways through innovative JVs (paper.hindustantimes.com)
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IR Affairs

News Entry# 210970     
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Posted by: Saurabh*^  1484 news posts  
Railways minister Suresh Prabhu’s budgetary speech month is likely to contain proposals for raising approximately ` 70,000 crore through an innovative financing model involving the firming up of joint ventures between the Railways and public sector undertakings including SAIL, Coal India and the MMDC.
“The Railways need to look beyond central budgetary support to mobilise funds for capacity enhancement works. An institutional mechanism for the setting up of a Special Purpose Vehicles to raise resources outside the budgetary allocations is being set up”, new Chairman Railway Board AK Mital told HT.
“The PSUs — which include three oil companies — have offered equity worth ` 20,000 crore to begin with. Once this fund corpus is created, it will be possible for the Railways to raise loans for capacity augmentation works”, Mital said.
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Several state governments have responded positively to Prabhu’s proposal to set up joint ventures on rail connectivity projects. “A new model on rail financing is emerging”, Mital said.
An experts committee headed by former Banking Secretary DK Mittal has hinted at the option of generating ad revenue by re-naming certain trains and stations as the ‘Coke Rajdhani’ or the ‘Pepsi Nizamuddin’, for example.
“A Railways Task Force has been set up to work on implementation modules on the Mittal Committee recommendations.”, a ministry official said.
  
Yesterday (9:01PM)  Suresh Prabhu Flags off Trains Remotely Through Telepresence Service of Railtel, A Railway's PSU (www.orissadiary.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210969     
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Posted by: rdb**  94430 news posts  
New Delhi: It was an inauguration with a twist when Hon’ble Minister for Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, flagged off four Express trains from Bengaluru yesterday remotely through Telepresence Service of RailTel, a PSU of Railways. All the four flag offs were done remotely from concourse area of Bangalore City Railway station itself. Hon’ble Minister flagged off the trains starting from Kamakya (Guwahati) in North East Frontier Railway, Patna in East Central Railway, Tata Nagar in South Eastern Railway and Bangalore in South Western Railway over the Tele presence (TP) service provided by RailTel, the ICT arm of Indian Railways. Telepresence offers a more engaging video conference with cutting edge technology, so that the parties involved feel the immersive presence of participants at different locations. The service is designed to improve collaboration, save executive time, reduce costs and carbon footprint with no capital investment and obsolescence risk says...
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Shri A. Seshagiri Rao, Director, Network, Planning and Marketing of RailTel. RailTel has a PAN India MPLS Network and the TP runs over the network. - See more at: click here
  
Yesterday (9:01PM)  Chennai Central-Ahmedabad bi-weekly express train to be launched on Feb 1 (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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New/Special TrainsWR/Western  -  

News Entry# 210968     
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Posted by: rdb**  94430 news posts  
CHENNAI: Railways will introduce a new bi-weekly express train between Chennai and Ahmedabad from Sunday. The train was announced in the Railway Budget 2014-15.
Chennai Central - Ahmedabad bi-weekly express train service will begin on February 1 while Ahmedabad - Chennai Central express will be introduced on February 4.
No. 19419 Chennai Central - Ahmedabad bi-weekly express train will leave Chennai Central at 8pm on Thursdays and Sundays and reach Ahmedabad at 5.35am on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
In the return direction, No.19420 Ahmedabad - Chennai Central bi-weekly express train will leave Ahmedabad at 9.40am on Wednesdays and Saturdays and reach Chennai Central at 5.05pm on Thursdays and Sundays.
The composition
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of the trains will be 1 AC 2-tier, three AC 3-tier, five sleeper class, six general second class and two luggage-cum-brake van coaches.
The trains will stop at Arakkonam, Renigunta, Koduru, Razampeta, Cuddapah, Yerraguntla, Tadipatri, Gooty, Guntakal, Adoni, Mantralayam Road, Raichur, Yadgir, Wadi, Solapur, Pune, Panvel, Vasai Road, Boisar, Vapi, Surat, Vadodara, Anand and Nadiad.
The Ahmedabad - Chennai Central bi-weekly express train will stop at Perambur also.
Reservations for the Chennai Central - Ahmedabad service started on Saturday.
  
Yesterday (8:59PM)  McDonalds, Haldirams meals in trains soon (paper.hindustantimes.com)
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New Facilities/TechnologyNR/Northern  -  

News Entry# 210967     
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Jan 31 2015 (8:59PM)
Station Tag: New Delhi/NDLS added by Saurabh*^/15807

Posted by: Saurabh*^  1484 news posts  
NEW DELHI: Train passengers will now have a choice of a la carte meals from known brands like Haldirams, McDonalds and Nirulas. The Railways on Friday issued policy guidelines permitting ‘Ready to Eat’ meals from branded firms as an add on option in all mail and express trains that provide for pantry car service. Ready to Eat meals will include pre-cooked and frozen food packaged to provide for shelf life of not less than three months. No additional license fee is proposed to be charged from these firms since the license fee has already been fixed and realised from contractors operating the pantry cars, a ministry circular says. The North Western Railway zone has been authorised to shortlist reputed firms.
  
Yesterday (8:41PM)  Suresh Prabhu pitches for greater investments in Railways (www.financialexpress.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210966     
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Posted by: rdb**  94430 news posts  
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu here today pitched for greater investments in railways and said development in the sector will help the country grow.
The minister was here to flag off two new trains – Ahmedabad-Chennai bi-weekly express and Ahmedabad-Darbhanga Jansadharan express. He also launched Wi-fi facility at the city railway station.
“It is a matter of pleasure for the country that our economy is on the path of improvement and progress. With this, responsibility of Railways has also increased. We need to work on many levels,” said Prabhu.
He said that Railways’ financial health is not good and there is an urgent need of increased investments in the areas of modernisation, safety and security of passengers.
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“We have decided to increase investment in Railways… We have also decided to connect with various states for this (investment). Railways will fulfil the needs for Gujarat’s development as well. I will discuss with the Chief Minister on how to work on larger scale for improvement,” he said.
Prabhu later met with Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
The minister also claimed that Railways was priority of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and the sector can contribute to his mantra of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas’ (participation of all for development of all).
“Development of Railways is on the priority list of our Prime Minister. If railways develop, economy will also be strengthened… and GDP (of the country) will also rise by 2-3 per cent. Though our GDP is growing today, with much efficient railways system it will grow rapidly,” he said.
The minister said further development in the sector will also create jobs for youths.
Prabhu appealed to people to join Modi’s flagship ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and said the mission is associated with country’s identity.
  
Yesterday (8:39PM)  Feasibility report on Bullet train being prepared, says Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu (www.financialexpress.com)
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Commentary/Human Interest

News Entry# 210965     
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Posted by: rdb**  94430 news posts  
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said the feasibility report on high-speed bullet train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai was being prepared with the assistance of a Japan government’s company.
A feasibility report on the high-speed bullet train is being prepared with the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Prabhu told reporters on the sidelines on flagging off of two new trains from Ahmedabad.
“A company in the Japan government along with Indian Railway is assisting in that (making the feasibility report). There will be no budgetary provision (for the study) in the upcoming Railway budget as feasibility report will be finished after next budget,” he added.
Prabhu also stressed on development of integrated transport system within cities to cope with rising number of migration from
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rural to urban cities.
“Population in cities has been increasing. Considering this, we have to see that the transport system in cities are in an integrated manner. And now integrated transport planning is a necessary thing for us, which will include inter-city transport facility and an internal system within the city,” Prabhu said.
Citing example of Ahmedabad’s BRTS (Bus rapid transit system), he said, “If we will make an integrated system (road and railways), they can be complimentary to each other. I will meet the Chief Minister and request to make an integrated transport plan,” he added.
When asked about Ministry’s plan on port connectivity, Prabhu said, “There is an intense need to develop ports and they cannot be developed until and unless there is a rail connectivity. Therefore, we have decided to take necessary steps for connecting ports and if there is a need of private investment or if a state government will come for that, we will definitely support,” he said.
To a query on Gujarat’s share in the upcoming budget, he said the ministry will decide after consultation with the state government.
He said Railways has taken an initiative with the state government to work together where the state undertakes its priorities.
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