Forum Super Search
Posting Date From:
Posting Date To:
Train Type:
ONLY with Pic/Vid:
Sort by: Date:     Word Count:     Popularity:     
Public:    Pvt: Monitor:    RailFan Club:    

Full Site Search
Wed Aug 23, 2017 21:40:15 ISTHomeTrainsΣChainsAtlasPNRForumGalleryNewsFAQTripsLoginFeedback
Wed Aug 23, 2017 21:40:15 IST

Blog Entry# 1969793  
Posted: Aug 22 2016 (16:33)

6 Responses
Last Response: Aug 25 2016 (11:38)
Rail News
Other News
Aug 22 2016 (15:44)   India's tortoise trains

Jayashree   37362 news posts
Entry# 1969793   News Entry# 277849         Tags   Past Edits
At 7.05 in the morning when locomotive driver Pralhad Thakare switches on his engine at Murtizapur Junction, 600 kilometres northeast of Mumbai, he gets a token.
The token is a kind of fill-in for signals and a train communication system, which are non-existent on the 113-kilometre route between Murtizapur and Yavatmal. It also symbolises the authority and obligation for Thakare and his train guard to stop at 15 stations, issue tickets to passengers and navigate the Shakuntala Express over half-a-dozen 100-year-old bridges, through plains and hills at speeds ranging between 5 and 20 kilometres an hour.
token has to be returned at the Murtizapur station after completion of the return journey at midnight. A similar arrangement exists when he pilots the train from Murtizapur to Achalpur, touching a dozen stations along the 76-kilometre stretch.
The two narrow-gauge sections with no infrastructure at 25 stations -- no buildings, no ticket counters and no communication systems -- constitute India's only private railway.
Built by the British company Killick-Nixon to transport cotton for export to Lancashire, the Murtizapur-Yavatmal line was opened in 1903, followed a decade later by the Murtizapur-Achalpur route. In 1910 the lines were transferred to Central Province Railways Company (CPRC) which has owned them ever since. The Central Railway division of state-owned Indian Railways also has run two passenger trains on the lines under contract with the CPRC for many decades.
Under the contract, Central Railway was supposed to pass on 55% of its revenues from the two sections to CPRC. The latter in return was supposed to take care of the maintenance of the tracks, trains and buildings. But Central Railway has not paid anything since 2002, alleging that the company failed to fulfil its part of the deal.
This year Central Railway declined to renew its contract and it is also demanding US$2.8 million from the company, saying the sum represents the money it has spent on repairs. And last month Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced plans to spend $225.4 million to replace the narrow-gauge tracks with broad-gauge lines.
"The contract has not been renewed so far," said Narendra Patil, chief public relations officer for Central Railway, adding that management would still have to make a final decision.
But CPRC maintains that the contract remains in force and that Central Railway should either make a one-time payment of $2.25 million or clear its outstanding obligations.
Indian Railways also operates some scheduled services on the Murtizapur-Yavatmal route through a contract arrangement with the line's private owner. Photos: Narendra Kaushik "Everything is still under our company. The pending dues add up to over $9.2 million. If the narrow gauge is replaced with broad gauge, revenue from the two sections and our share will also grow," says Shivanand Rama Hemmady, director, company secretary and compliance officer with CPRC at Mumbai.
Hemmady told Asia Focus that besides the tracks, his company originally owned the trains, steam engines, station buildings and staff quarters. "But I do not know whether they are still using the same old coaches," he added.
Thakare said the steam engines were replaced with diesel locomotives in 1995. Even so, the speed of the train has only gone down since then.
"Earlier, the Shakuntala Express would cover the journey of 113 kilometres in four hours and run at 30km/h. Now it takes eight hours and 10 minutes," says Ravish Kumar, a guard who doubles as a ticket clerk on the train. "Its maximum speed is 20km/h. It chugs on bridges at 5 and 10km/h for a 23km stretch that has been posted as a caution zone. A daily-wage worker can earn his livelihood for the day in that time. Why should he waste all those hours on the train?"
Kumar puts the average daily earnings of the Shakuntala Express at the equivalent of 258 baht. "On return trip from Yavatmal to Murtizapur, we never get more than a handful of passengers," he said. The average daily earnings from the Murtizapur-Achalpur section are equivalent to 1,035 baht.
Hemmady does not believe that Indian Railways will follow through with plans for broad-gauge tracks on the two sections. "They are losing $900,000 every year on the two tracks. Why should they go broad gauge? But if they are going to do it, it will be good for us. We have a contract with Central Railway for income," he says.
Bhavana Gawali, the Indian lawmaker representing the Yavatmal-Washim parliamentary seat, is enthusiastic about the planned upgrade. "It will be good if train speed on the two sections is increased," she says. "Our poor farmers will benefit from it. The Maharashtra (state) government has announced the establishment of a textile park here."
The majority of the farmers in the region grow cotton and soybeans and many have committed suicide in recent years because of distress, the failure of monsoons and heavy debts.
The train is the preferred mode of transport for poor people in the region, since tickets cost the equivalent of 13 baht compared with 77 baht for a bus. However, the bus covers the journey from Yavatmal to Murtizapur in less than three hours.
The CPRC website says the company provides a "one-stop solution" for transport services through railways in India. But currently it operates with around half a dozen employees.
Before 1925, the company owned many other sections including Dhond-Baramati, Pulgaon-Arvi, Pachora-Jamner and Darwha-Pusad (all in Maharashtra) and ran trains in collaboration with Great India Peninsular Railway (GIPR), a company incorporated by an act of the British Parliament.
GIPR was merged into Indian Railways in 1925 and in 1951 the latter took over all other private sections except Murtizapur-Achalpur and Murtizapur-Yavatmal when Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru nationalised the rail service.
Last year, however, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved up to 100% foreign investment in Indian rail businesses, a move many see as a precursor tor privatisation.

1 posts - Mon Aug 22, 2016

Aug 22 2016 (16:47)
Jayashree   13236 blog posts   105805 correct pred (78% accurate)
Re# 1969793-2            Tags   Past Edits

Aug 22 2016 (17:24)
vishal~   774 blog posts
Re# 1969793-3            Tags   Past Edits
most neglected route

Aug 24 2016 (21:16)
manojpune   193 blog posts
Re# 1969793-4            Tags   Past Edits
The document talks of Murtizapur to Yavatmal (113 kms, 8 hrs) while the link you have provided is Murtizapur to Achalpur, so again, not able to find the authenticity of information mentioned in the news item. Who writes all such non existing information?

Aug 25 2016 (11:36)
Mr Wayne😎©®🍺~   2613 blog posts   127 correct pred (74% accurate)
Re# 1969793-5            Tags   Past Edits
BE-BSB express
BSB-DDN express
DDN-BDTS express
ANVT-KOAA express
Magadh Express
are somewhat vvvvvip trains
Posted thru RailCal

Aug 25 2016 (11:38)
Atharva49^~   38066 blog posts   2681 correct pred (68% accurate)
Re# 1969793-6            Tags   Past Edits
Magadh Express How.............?

ARP (Advanced Reservation Period) Calculator

Reservations Open Today @ 8am for:
Trains with ARP 10 Dep on: Sat Sep 2
Trains with ARP 15 Dep on: Thu Sep 7
Trains with ARP 30 Dep on: Fri Sep 22
Trains with ARP 120 Dep on: Thu Dec 21


Rail News

New Trains

Site Announcements

  • Entry# 2175399
    Feb 23 2017 (01:22PM)

    There has recently been a lot of frustration among RFs when their Station Pics, Loco Pics, Train Pics get rejected because the "number is not showing", "shed is not visible", the loco/train is at a distance, Train Board is too small, "better pic available", etc. . To address this issue, effective tomorrow, ALL...
  • Entry# 2165159
    Feb 15 2017 (09:53AM)

    A minor update, but may impact many members: Hereafter, FMs will be able to delete invalid Red Flags on Imaginary trains. Red Flags can be removed by FMs, only against specific complaints filed against the blog. This does not give all members the right to complain against EVERY single red flag they...
  • Entry# 2155798
    Feb 08 2017 (11:40AM)

    -@all members: As of recently, there has been a trend whereby minor name updates of Trains/Stations - whether such and such regional name should be there or not, whether the train should be called "Abc Express" or "Abc Superfast Express", etc. are threatening to take over the majority of Timeline entries. Also,...
  • Entry# 2147631
    Feb 01 2017 (11:05AM)

    A new experimental feature is being introduced called BotD - "Blog of the Day". The rules are: . 1. Replies are not eligible - only the Top Blog. 2. ONLY Blogs posted today (the day of the vote) are eligible. 3. Every member has ONE vote. In the course of the day, you may keep...
  • Entry# 2136570
    Jan 23 2017 (12:25AM)

    Several new features have been introduced recently to the Forum, and we are forever striving to make Member experience here more productive and satisfying. With the recent introduction and success of the new FM System, it has been observed that small groups of highly involved and enthusiastic members are far more...
  • Entry# 2134907
    Jan 21 2017 (02:46PM)

    It has been over 2 weeks since the appointment of the current batch of FMs and 750 Complaints have been handled so far. It gives me immense pleasure in congratulating them for running the team diligently, professionally, competently and above all, without a shred of controversy or bias. The FM position...
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Bottom

Go to Mobile site
Disclaimer: This website has NO affiliation with the Government-run site of Indian Railways. This site does NOT claim 100% accuracy of fast-changing Rail Information. YOU are responsible for independently confirming the validity of information through other sources.