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May 12 (21:48) Goa: SC quashes Railways’ nod for Mollem doubletracking (
IR Affairs
SWR/South Western

News Entry# 486020  Blog Entry# 5343041   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
Posted by: RFIR~ 518 news posts
The Supreme Court on Monday set aside the Nation Board of
Wildlife’s (NBWL) clearance for the double-tracking of the railway line from Castlerock, Karnataka, to Kulem, Goa.
In its report to the SC last month, its central empowered committee (CEC) rejected all justifications presented by Railways for the project, and termed the project “inefficient”, “unjustified” and “potentially destructive”.
Even as the court cancelled the
permission granted to Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL), the infrastructure arm of Indian Railways, it permitted the body to do a fresh assessment of the environmental impact and submit its report to the NBWL, which it said would be considered as per law.
hreat to the biodiversity hotspot, difficult terrain of the ghat section, and Railways’ failure to utilise most of the existing capacity of the single track.
The CEC also raised doubts about capacity enhancement of the double-track when it is proposed to be built parallel to the
existing “equally inefficient track again with a steep 1:37 gradient”.At present, five engines — three in front and two at the rear — are required to propel each train up the ghat section. Due to the
existence of sharp curves and gradients in the section, trains run with severe constraints, including speed restrictions (30kmph
for goods trains and 40 kmph for passenger ones), thereby increasing the running time of the train by six to ten times the
normal course.
“Since the proposed new line to be laid will be parallel to the existing line, it will naturally be following the same existing
gradient (1:37, considered to be one of the toughest ghat sections in Indian Railways), and will also be subjected to similar
5/12/22, 9:44 PM Goa: SC quashes Railways’ nod for Mollem double-tracking - Times of India
click here 3/5
existing severe restrictions as the first line on the movement of trains up and down the ghat. The second line, therefore, can
increase the efficiency in the ghat section only to the extent of the availability of an additional line, and is not likely to add
either to the turn-around time of each train or loco or to the speed of the train,” the CEC report reads.
The CEC had also pointed out irregularities on the part of the NBWL’s standing committee in granting approval.
The CEC asked why NBWL chose not to obtain the recommendation of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for the Castlerock–Kulem railway line as it had done for the Karnataka part, thereby “bypassing” the guidelines issued by the Union environment ministry.

The CEC also effectively dismissed the biodiversity and environmental assessment report between Kulem and Castlerock prepared by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Referring to NTCA observations that the report “lacks in critical assessment, particularly of project impacts, and merely reiterates the project proponent’s views,” the CEC stated that while the recommendations and mitigation measures were “fairly generic in nature”, certain suggestions were “impractical and theoretical.”

On April 7, the SC passed its judgement accepting the recommendations of the CEC to utilise the existing 220 KV power line alignment in Goa, instead of cutting down fresh forest cover to lay a new 400 KV line for the Goa-Tamnar transmission project cutting through the Mollem wildlife sanctuary. After completing the hearing on the matter pertaining to South West Railways’ doubling project, the case was reserved for judgement, and it was pronounced on Monday.

In its report, the CEC also suggested that a cumulative cost-benefit analysis be done of the track-doubling project (and also the widening of NH-4A) “in the interest of sustainable development”.
On the question of capacity, the CEC observed that on average, not even 20% of the existing capacity of the single line was being used for movement of goods to MPT, and that on average, about 92% of the goods being transported from Goa to Karnataka on this line is coal.

Also pointing to Railway’s response that the revised policy of the Union government does not support import of coal, and that the new policy encourages the use of indigenously mined coal, the CEC observed: “The change in policy combined with empty rakes reaching Goa from Karnataka only goes to confirm the huge existing capacity available in the present single-track itself for transport of goods from Karnataka to Mormugao Port and back.”

The CEC also said that there was a “strong case” for the use of ports along the east coast as an alternative to MPT. “The capacity addition of the railway line to ports on the east coast does not involve the destruction of the fragile ecosystem as in the case of a railway line passing through the ecologically-sensitive Western Ghats,” the report stated.

“Keeping in view the operationalisation of Konkan Railway, the proposed four-laning of NH-4A and augmentation of air connectivity to Goa by having a new airport, doubling the section of the most inefficient rail line between Castlerock–Goa cannot be justified from an operational, economic or ecological angle,” the CEC said.

RVNL, in its submissions had pointed out that on account of sharp curves and gradients in the ghat section, while all trains running down the ghat are required to mandatorily stop at every station enroute “to ensure that proper braking force is available and not to roll down”, trains going up the ghat are attached with multiple-unit locos for passenger trains and TLC (tripled loco consist) for goods trains”.

RVNL further explained to the CEC that owing to the additional loco requirement for up-ghat trains, these locos, after reaching Castlerock, are required to be sent back down-ghat to haul the next up-train. This loco-balancing in the ghat section, RVNL told CEC, was occupying most of the available path for trains, resulting in underutilisation of the line capacity.

This is what led the CEC to question the rationale of Railways in building the second line along the same alignment.

“The same arrangement and mechanism will need to be repeated in the proposed new line also thereby knowingly, there being no alternative, ensuring that this section of the new proposed second rail track passing through the wildlife sanctuary and the national park (Mollem) will continue to be one of the most inefficient railway track… In the present day context, while planning for an extensive nationwide network of rail lines, any plan for doubling the existing most inefficient rail track between Castlerock and Kulem with a parallel equally inefficient track again with a steep 1:37 gradient along the existing alignment is not understood,” CEC said.

1 Posts

May 12 (22:53)
Vicky~   8282 blog posts
Re# 5343041-2            Tags   Past Edits
In terms of passenger rakes the Ghat was definitely underutilized. In terms of freights the traffic had definetly improved post covid including LHB parcel trains and of course Boxn rakes. Recently I saw SWR bring in some kind of minerals in tarpaulin covered rakes down the ghats to Goa too.
Utilisation of the route in terms of freights i think it's utilised to the full extent of the single line.
But regarding efficiency i doubt that this route is inefficient the claims of CEC are total batshit crazy as this is
one of the most profitable routes for SWR and not all freight rakes are brought to Goa empty and the locos are not moved down the ghats empty too. They are moved down the ghats with downhill trains and sometimes empty.
Regarding coal i agree in future we should definitely reduce our dependency on imported coal.
Also why don't the stupid CEC ask KR to run their trains all the way down till QLM and VSG if they think Goa is better off served with KR. And not all routes to Goa are better via KR. Routes from WB, Odisha, Telangana, AP, Karnataka, Chennai, and NE are shorter via Braganza Ghats only one SWR train runs via KR and even for running that there is huge politics played between KR and SWR. And National Highway bullshit. Rail connectivity always wins hands down over the buses in terms of safety and comfort. Looks too me like CEC is highly influenced by the bus lobby and some vested interests on how they say most of the things.

May 12 (22:59)
Vicky~   8282 blog posts
Re# 5343041-3            Tags   Past Edits
And how foolish are they to say that doubling does not improve the efficiency. In my travels i have always encountered one or two crossings in the Ghats itself and then one freight awaiting my train to arrive at either QLM or CLR. And those awaiting for crossings itself wastes fuel and time. And many times I have seen even passenger trains made to wait for crossing in the Ghats thus delaying an on-time train.
Even a child can make out the fact that having two lines running in opposite directions reduces train delays thus saving fuel and time which is efficiency in my opinion.

May 12 (23:06)
Vicky~   8282 blog posts
Re# 5343041-4            Tags   Past Edits
Also to our clueless milords.
Running trains at 30/40kph is inefficient then how efficient will be running Goa to HWH train via KR ??
Even that will have to pass another Ghat section in Maharashtra where similar graded Ghats exists.
Then they should even strike down Bhor Ghats and Kasara Ghats as inefficient too as they have same 1 in 37 ruling
gradient and need 5 locomotives too for moving freight trains.

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May 12 (21:39) Maveli Express awarded the best maintained train in Southern Railway (
IR Affairs

News Entry# 486018  Blog Entry# 5343032   
  Past Edits
May 12 2022 (21:39)
Station Tag: Thiruvananthapuram Central (Trivandrum)/TVC added by Rail Fanning/718429

May 12 2022 (21:39)
Station Tag: Mangaluru Central (Mangalore)/MAQ added by Rail Fanning/718429

May 12 2022 (21:39)
Train Tag: Maveli Express/16604 added by Rail Fanning/718429

May 12 2022 (21:39)
Train Tag: Maveli Express/16603 added by Rail Fanning/718429
Posted by: RFIR~ 518 news posts
Mangaluru – Thiruvananthapuram Maveli Express got the recognition based on impeccable cleanliness of coaches, maintaining high safety standards during maintenance, and conforming to all specified passenger amenities
The Palakkad Railway Division on Wednesday celebrated 67th Railway Week at its headquarters in Palakkad where 206 individual awards and 12 group awards were presented for their outstanding performance by Divisional Railway Manager Trilok Kothari.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kothari said the IMS-certified Mangaluru – Thiruvananthapuram Maveli Express maintained by Mangaluru Central Coaching Depot was awarded the best-maintained Train in Southern Railway based on impeccable
cleanliness of coaches, maintaining high safety standards during maintenance, and conforming to all specified passenger amenities.The new pit line at Mangaluru Central Station, Mr. Kothari said was in final stages of construction. In a few days, the Division would start stabling train rakes at the new line that could cater to 24 coaches. Completion of the new pit line would help taking up construction of Platforms 4 and 5 in the Station, he added.
The DRM said the Division earned Rs. 926.91 crore earned during 2021-22 thereby surpassing the target of Rs. 687.78 crore by 33.69%. It carried 235.65 lakh passengers during the year, thus surpassing the target of 110 lakh, by more than 114%.
Work for extension of existing 8 coach pit line at Palakkad to 12 coach pit line for maintenance of MEMU rake has already started. Along with this, one more pit line for 8 coach MEMU rake would be constructed. This helps the Division in replacing short distance passenger trains with MEMU rakes, thereby reducing travelling time and providing better comfort to passengers.
Cultural programmes were staged by staff members of Palakkad Division after the award distribution. Additional DRMs R. Raghuraman and Sakkeer Hussain, Southern Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation President Diyadeva Kothari and others were present.

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May 03 (15:16) Train journey time from Mangaluru and Karwar to Bengaluru will reduce from June 1 (
Other News
SWR/South Western

News Entry# 485038  Blog Entry# 5332516   
  Past Edits
May 03 2022 (15:16)
Train Tag: Panchaganga Express/16596 added by Rail Fanning/718429

May 03 2022 (15:16)
Train Tag: Kannur - KSR Bengaluru Express (Via Kunigal)/16512 added by Rail Fanning/718429
Posted by: RFIR~ 518 news posts
The journey time of Kannur-Bengaluru Express has been reduced by 20 minutes and Karwar-Bengaluru Express by 45 minutes
Those travelling between the coast and State capital Bengaluru have a reason to cheer. South Western Railway (SWR) has decided to advance the arrival timing of Karwar-Bengaluru train by 45 minutes and Kannur-Bengaluru train by 20 minutes.
The reduction in travel time was made possible by the recent track renewal between Hassan and Shravanabelagola, as a consequence of which the speed of trains on the Hassan-Bengaluru section has gone up.Train No. 16512 Kannur-Bengaluru overnight express
via Mangaluru Central reaches Bengaluru at 6.50 am every day. From June 1, the train would reach Bengaluru at 6.30 am. En route, it will depart Hassan at 2.55 am, Channarayapatna at 3.21 am, Shravanabelagola at 3.31 am, Balagangadharanagar at 3.58 am, Kunigal at 4.29 am and Yeshwantpur at 6.04 am.
Train No. 16511 used to leave Bengaluru at 9.30 pm. From June 1, the train would depart from Bengaluru city station at 9.35 pm, Yeshwantpur at 9.47 pm, Kunigal at 10.45 pm, Balagangadharanagar at 11.11 pm, Shravanabelagola at 11.36 pm, Channarayapatna at 11.46 pm and Hassan at 12.40 am.
Karwar-Bengaluru Panchaganga Express (16596) reaches KSR Bengaluru city railway station at 8 am. From June 1, the train would reach at 7.15. En route, the train will depart Hassan at 3.53 am, Channarayapatna at 4.19 am, Kunigal at 5.16 am (experimental stoppage for three months) and Yeshwantpur at 6.45 am.
Bengaluru-Karwar Panchaganga Express (16595) will depart from KSR Bengaluru city railway station at 6.50 pm instead of 6.45 pm, Yeshwantpur at 7.02 pm, Kunigal at 7.46 pm, Channarayapatna at 8.51 pm and Hassan at 9.38 pm.
There is no change in the arrival timing of both the services at Mangaluru and Karwar.
Kannur-Bengaluru Express leaves Mangaluru Central at 8.10 pm. Panchaganga Express leaves Karwar at 6 pm. From June 1, the journey between Mangaluru and Bengaluru will take 10.20 hours and from Karwar to Bengaluru will take 13.15 hours.

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Apr 11 (21:59) Rope in int’l experts to curb elephant deaths: HC judges (
Other News

News Entry# 483101  Blog Entry# 5288078   
  Past Edits
Apr 11 2022 (21:59)
Station Tag: Walayar/WRA added by Rail Fanning/718429

Apr 11 2022 (21:59)
Station Tag: Palakkad Junction (Palghat)/PGT added by Rail Fanning/718429
Posted by: RFIR~ 518 news posts
Three Madras high court judges, who inspected the railway lines between Ettimadai and Walayar stations on Sunday, advised railway and forest department officials to rope in international experts to prevent elephant deaths on tracks.
Justices N Sathish Kumar, R Subramanian and G K Ilanthiraiyan inspected lines A and B on a locomotive from the Podanur railway station.
The locomotive was stopped at Navakkarai, where three elephants were mowed down by a train in November. The judges inspected the solar lamps installed along the tracks. They also inspected the honeybee alarm system at Walayar
railway station in Kerala, bush clearance work along tracks, ramps on tracks at elephant crossing points and the proposed sites to construct watchtowers.
Justice Kumar later met additional divisional railway manager of Palakkad division R Raghuraman at the Walayar railway station. The judge urged him to protect wild animals, especially elephants. “There are only 30,000 elephants in the country. More than 100 elephants die every year in Tamil Nadu. In the interest of our future generations, let’s make sure that books aren’t the only places to find them. The railway and forest department should rope in experts from other countries to prevent elephant deaths on tracks,” he said.
Additional chief secretary, environment, climate change and forests, the special secretary (forests) Supriya Sahu discussed the possibility of reducing speed of trains between Ettimadai and Walayar with railway officials.
But such a move may disrupt the train timetable, said Raghuraman. “Trains are operated at a speed limit of 45kmph between 9pm and 6am, and 65kmph during the day. Loco pilots would struggle to operate trains if speed is below 45kmph. Yes, double locomotives can be used. But it will take at least 30 minutes each to attach a double locomotive at Walayar and detach it at Podanur,” he said.
More than 80 trains, including goods trains, pass through the stretch a day, said additional principal chief conservator of forests M V Nagarathinam. “The railway can operate goods trains on Podanur-Pollachi-Palakkad route to reduce traffic on track A.”
Diverting goods trains through Pollachi route is not practical, said Raghuraman. “Goods trains are our bread and butter. Foodgrains, fertilisers and cement reach Kerala from up north. The Thiruvananthapuram railway division and Palakkad railway division are fed by goods trains, which earn us 70% of the revenue. If we divert the trains through Pollachi route, we have to cover an additional 50km, and it is not possible.”
When the judges suggested constructing an elevated rail corridor through the reserve forest, Raghuraman said it would cost 12 crore per kilometre and take a long time to complete. “Moreover, we need the forest department’s permission to construct such corridors,” he said.
The department is ready to grant permission, replied Nagarathinam.
The three judges, with HC judges V Bharathidasan, R Pongiappan and M Dhandapani, earlier visited the elephant corridor on Mettupalayam-Coonoor Road. Coimbatore collector G S Sameeran, additional advocate general J Ravindran, special government pleaders T Seenivasan and A Selvendran, principal chief conservator of forests and chief wildlife warden Syed Muzammil Abbas, conservator of forests S Ramasubramanian and forest and railway department officials accompanied the judges.
Apr 11 (21:50) Jharkhand: JMM & BJP out to take credit for train launch (
New/Special Trains

News Entry# 483100  Blog Entry# 5288063   
  Past Edits
Apr 11 2022 (21:50)
Station Tag: Ranchi Junction/RNC added by Rail Fanning/718429
Stations:  Ranchi Junction/RNC  
Posted by: RFIR~ 518 news posts
Ranchi-Godda Express train service, which was launched as an extension of existing Ranchi Dumka train service, is the topic of rivalry
A race has begun between Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and BJP for the credit of Ranchi-Godda Express train service, which was launched as an extension of existing Ranchi Dumka train service.
Godda MP Nishikant Dubey, who was present at a function held in Godda Railway station on Saturday, accused the ruling party of taking undue credit for the launch. Dubey took to Facebook to express his reservations
over the issue.In another social media post, he also accused Congress MLA from Poreyahat Pradeep Yadav of misconduct with the Railway officials during the function.
In a video post on Facebook and twitter, he also accused the state government of playing politics over the matter. Dubey said, “What can better explain the mentality of a state government which is unable to deliver the goods during the past three years? We fought hard for the resumption of the extended train service, but rivals are out to take the credit for the same. Sadly, we were denied the due credit."
A host of dignitaries, including Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who attended the event from New Delhi and state transport minister Champai Soren were present at the virtual launch of the train service,
Godda MP, Nishikant Dubey, local BJP MLA Amit Mandal and Poreyaat MLA Pradeep Yadav were also present at the event.
Dubey and Mandal, who were supposed to sit at the dais, preferred to sit with their party workers at different places.
Authorities made elaborate security arrangement at the railway station to prevent any untoward incident between BJP and JMM.
All hell broke loose when railway officials invited BJP district president Rajiv Mehta to speak at the function. Soon Pradeep Yadav lost his cool and expressed his dismay over the fact that BJP president was called to address the function while Congress and JMM leaders were overlooked.
Transport minister Champai Soren also expressed his ire over the fact. He said that the state government is ready to extend support for extension of train service up to Mahgama.

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