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Today (3:32AM)  Winter special trains (www.thehindubusinessline.com)
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News Entry# 205214     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
Railways will operate winter special trains on Konkan Railway route to clear the extra rush of passengers. A press release by Konkan Railway Corporation said here that train no. 02065 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Ernakulam will operate on Mondays (December 22, 29 and January 5), and train no. 02066 Ernakulam- Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on Tuesdays (December 23, 30 and January 6). It said that train no. 02057 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Tirunelveli will operate on Thursdays (December 25 and January 1, 8), and train no. 02058 Tirunelveli- Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on Saturdays (December 27 and January 3, 10). Train no. 02059 Pune-Ernakulam will operate on Thursdays (December 25 and January 1, 8), and train no. 02060 Ernakulam-Pune on Saturdays (December 27, and January 3, 10), the release added.
  
Today (3:26AM)  No CR services from Sat night to Sunday morning (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 205212     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
Mumbai: Central Railway commuters will have to wind up work earlier on Saturday, as the authorities have planned to curtail suburban services at 10.30pm to undertake test-charging of the 25KV alternating current (AC) system. The shutdown will be till 6.30am on Sunday.
CR will run the last trains with EMU rakes from CST and Kalyan at 10.30pm. But special trains with diesel engines and mail/express coaches will depart from CST at 12.10am and 12.40am for Karjat and Kasara, to facilitate movement of late night commuters. These trains will halt at all suburban stations. A special train with a diesel locomotive will leave from Kalyan early on Sunday morning.
CR said services are expected to stabilize only after 9am on Sunday.
An official said,
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"The AC system has been activated up to LTT, while the CSTM-Thane section on the Main line still operates on the DC system. Test-charging will help up know if the trains are fit to run on the AC system. We will use an AC compatible locomotive and electrical multiple unit (EMU) rakes to check it." Once the Main line system has switched to AC, CR will begin work on the traction switchover on the Harbour line.
Western Railway has already switched over to the AC system. CR had activated AC traction between Kalyan-LTT in January. It had hoped to complete the switchover up to CST by May 2014, but it was revised to the end of the financial year.
The railway board conceded that it will take at least six more months to complete this transition.
The official said that CR will save around Rs124 crore per annum due to the switchover. CR has earmarked Rs1,160 crore for the conversion project, of which Rs796 crore will be spent on work in the suburban section. With the DC system, 75 sub-stations are needed to supply power to suburban trains, while for the AC system, only 11 will be needed.
  
Today (3:26AM)  40 new Bombardier rakes too ‘tall’ to run on CR in Mumbai (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 205211     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
MUMBAI: A design gone wrong spells bad news for Central Railway commuters. The much-touted Bombardier rakes that were supposes to replace the worn- out old rakes will not be able to operate as they are taller, posing problems once the system switches from direct current to alternating current traction.
Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) had ordered 72 of these new-age electrical multiple units (EMUs) in 2011 at a cost of Rs 3,041 crore. Forty were to operate on CR's suburban system and 32 on WR's.
A senior CR official, "The maximum height of the coach should be 4.27 metres for the rakes to operate on CR. The BT rakes' height is around 4.29 metres. It will not be possible to operate them on CR."
  
Today (3:26AM)  Northern Rlys fined for not giving seats against RAC tickets (www.business-standard.com)
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News Entry# 205210     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
A consumer forum here has directed Northern Railways to pay Rs 15,000 to a man for not providing him seats during a journey in 2011 despite his wait-listed tickets being converted to Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) ones.
New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked the Northern Railways to pay Rs 15,000 to one Avdesh Kumar while holding it "deficient in services".     
In its order, the forum also rejected Northern Railways' contention that it had forwarded Kumar's plea to East Central Railway Zone, while terming it an effort of "wishing away its responsibility."
"Railways cannot wish away its responsibility by alleging that complaint against ticket examiner(TTE) was forwarded to East Central Railway Zone because under Railways
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Act, 1989, the Railway is one entity and for administrative convenience, it has been divided into 9 zones," the forum said.
"Keeping in view, the long journey from Muzaffarpur to North Delhi, Kumar and his family suffered standing journey with all inconveniences despite having a right to comfortable sitting journey against RAC tickets.
"Mental agony, difficulties and inconvenience undergone by complainant can be imagined and holding the OP (railways) deficient in services, we award him compensation of Rs 15,000 inclusive of litigation expenses," it said.
Kumar had told the forum that he was travelling with his family in June 2011 from Muzaffarpur to North Delhi in Katihar Amritsar Express and the allotted tickets, which were wait listed, were converted to RAC.
However, berths were not provided to them despite repeatedly asking about the position of the tickets.
In its reply, however, the Railway authority raised the technical plea of its territorial jurisdiction and stated that Kumar should have checked the status of the chart.
The forum, however, noted that the railways nowhere denied that wait listed ticket was converted to RAC and it was completely silent about the reason for not providing the seat.
  
Today (3:12AM)  AIIMS-P to help rly hosp better services (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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News Entry# 205209     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
Patna: East Central Railway (ECR) is likely to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AIIMS Patna soon to improve further the functioning of its super specialty hospital located at Karbigahiya end. A new cardiac unit will become functional at this super specialty hospital. ECR CPRO Arvind Rajak said ECR GM Madhuresh Kumar took the initiative to upgrade this super specialty hospital with a separate cardiac catheterization unit to cater to the needs of railway employees and their dependents. However, this facility will also be available for select patients of AIIMS Patna, he said adding that it has agreed to the railways' proposal to work together for providing a separate cardiac unit service at this hospital. Railways will sign an MoU to this effect for a period of five years. Railway Board has already given its approval for setting up a catheterization unit at AIIMS Patna. This facility will be...
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provided to patients on the third floor of the hospital. It will be a most sophisticated and advanced unit. AIIMS Patna and railways doctors will work together to provide quality treatment to cardiac patients here, Rajak said. The railways is also going to start a haemodialysis unit at this super specialty hospital from December 20. This facility will be available to railway employees and their dependents only, the CPRO said. Railways would introduce a separate nephrology unit after a long wait, he said. "This super specialty hospital has been set up with an aim to providing better medical facilities to railway employees and their dependents. It has been developed with the latest and modern equipment. The hospital is providing both indoor and outdoor treatment to patients," Rajak said and added an emergency unit has been working round the clock at the hospital under the care of specialists.
  
Today (2:50AM)  Railways may drop concessional travel passes (www.hindustantimes.com)
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News Entry# 205208     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
Aiming to bring in fiscal discipline, the railways are exploring possibilities of cutting revenue losses that come by way of providing free or concessional travel.
Over the last five years, India’s public transporter has incurred a loss of approximately rs 5,000 crore towards providing for free or concessional travel to a total of 53 categories of persons that includes disabled, senior citizens, sportsmen, students, media persons and medical professionals.
The revenue loss on account of free/concessional travel in the last fiscal is estimated at rs 1,300 crore.
 “Kick-starting big and long pending projects has been the focus of our committee, although we have looked at various small measures that affect the rail economy adversely”, said a member of the DK Mittal-headed high level
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committee that was recently set up by railways minister Suresh Prabhu to suggest ways to improve the organisation’s financial health.
The nine-member committee is scheduled to submit its report on Saturday.
Sources said the task of pruning of the list of free/concessional travelers was unlikely to be taken up in a hurry because of the political repercussions that such an exercise will entail. “The exercise is still relevant, as we need to have a scientific estimation of the ‘social responsibility costs’ borne by the railways”, officials said.
Former Railway Board member RC Acharya regarded the matter as a “non-issue”, saying that addressing the freight versus passenger tariff distortions would be more relevant towards cutting revenue losses. Rail expert Raghu Dayal, however, said that the public transporter had “stretched its social responsibilities far too long and far too much” and that it was time for the railways to do some course correction.
  
Today (2:39AM)  Railways arrange train travel to Chennai for female students stranded due to cancelled flights (netindian.in)
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News Entry# 205207     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
The Railways today attached an extra 3-Tier Ac coach in the Delhi-Chennai Rajdhani Express to enable a group of 45 female students who were stranded in the capital after their Spice Jet flights to Chennai from here were cancelled yesterday evening.   An official press release said the Railways also provided the students safe accommodation at the New Delhi Raiway Station and at Hotel Ginger at the station. " As an extra measure, the Indian Railways attached an extra 3 Tier AC Coach in the Chennai Rajdhani today i.e. 17.12.2014, to ensure that these students travel to Chennai safely," the release added.
  
Today (2:37AM)  France betting big on Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail link: Envoy (twocircles.net)
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News Entry# 205206     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
Kolkata : Calling for enhanced cooperation between the Indian and the French railways, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier Wednesday exuded confidence of his country's partnership in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail link.
The French envoy asserted the negotiations for the $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project for 126 Rafale fighters were on fast track and expected them to be finalised soon.
"The feasibility study is going on in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project. We are good at bullet trains and recently I had a talk with Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu where we discussed about how we can extend our cooperation in railways including in the fields of technology and other expertise," Richier, on a three-day visit to the city, told mediapersons.
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The railways ministry earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the French National Railway (SNCF) to jointly carry out "operations and development" feasibility of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed link which will be India's maiden high-speed rail project.
"The SNCF is involved in the feasibility study and I hope there is enhanced cooperation between the railways of the two countries. I will also be writing to the SNCF chairman to bring him to India," said Richier.
Talking about the Rafale fighter jets deal, Richer said the complexities involved have been delaying the talks but asserted the stakeholders from both countries have fast-tracked the negotiations.
"After we won the right for the deal in 2012 there has been some delay due to the complexities that involve transfer of technology and other aspects.
"It has been almost three years since and many people think that it got stuck. But now both the countries are pushing for the deal and negotiations have been fast tracked," said Richier.
French company Dassault Aviation won the right in 2012 to enter exclusive negotiations with India to supply 126 Rafale fighters jets.
  
Today (2:37AM)  Suresh Prabhu for technologies to avert mishaps (www.asianage.com)
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News Entry# 205205     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
In the wake of unabated cases of people getting run over by trains at unmanned level crossings, railway minister Suresh Prabhu has sought an action plan involving multiple agencies for use of technologies to avert such mishaps. The minister has set deadlines for various agencies to submit their respective solutions to deal with accidents at unmanned level crossings. The Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has been asked by the minister to develop “a suitable device for providing audio-visual warning to road users”. “The RDSO should particularly concentrate on devising a reliable power supply system which are theft proof,” Mr Prabhu has stated in his directions to the RDSO giving it six months time to come up with the solution.
Furthermore, the minister has directed officials to approach prominent scientific and technical research institutions for developing innovative technological solutions for preventing
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accidents at unmanned level crossings. Also, the minister has sought geographical mapping of accident data at unmanned level crossings to bring out “pre-ponderance of such accidents” on diesel/electrical territory to branch lines vis a vis main line along with day and night incidences”.
The minister has set a deadline for this exercise to be completed by December 31 this year.
Additionally, Mr Prabhu has sought identification of unmanned level crossings situated in thickly populated areas, sparsely populated areas and remote locations by January 31, 2015.
  
Today (2:37AM)  Ministry of Tourism proposes dedicated tourist coaches with Indian Railways (www.hospitalitybizindia.com)
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News Entry# 205204     
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita**  24833 news posts  
As part of facilitating smooth travel for both domestic and international tourists, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), Government of India, has proposed at least one dedicated tourist coach with major trains terminating or passing through important tourist destinations. This was informed by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, in Delhi. He said that these coaches will have additional facilities compared to normal trains. He said that complete information about the traveller will be collected before the start of the journey in such coaches.
To a query regarding the issues related to tourist safety, Dr Sharma said that safety and security of travellers is as important as cleanliness, and there is a proposal before the government to introduce “RFID Cards” for travellers. “What we are
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planning is end-to-end tourism encompassing cleanliness, safety and security and high level of hospitality for tourists,” he said. Without revealing the details, the Minister said that the government will announce major initiative to improve the image of India towards the end of this month. The Minister agreed that the recent incidents of sexual abuse involving travellers have brought “bad publicity” for the country, and the government is committed to improve the safety and security systems.
As part of introducing Indian culture, heritage and destinations to youth in the country, MoT is also working with the Ministry of Human Resource Development for ‘Bharat Ko Jaano’ programme, the Minister said.
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