In an unfortunate accident today, Dehradun-Varanasi Express, train, derailed from tracks, causing the death of 27 and injuring 100. The accident occurred at Bachharwan station near Rae Bareli at around 9.10 AM in the Lucknow-Rae Bareli section of Lucknow Division of Northern Railways today.
While the train was entering Bachharwan station, the loco pilot of the train overshot the signal and entered into the sand hump, causing derailment of train engine and two coaches. Injured passengers have been admitted to nearby hospitals. The accident site is about 30 kilometres from Rae Bareli. The Division Railway Manager of Lucknow Division along with branch officer and doctors proceeded for the accident site immediately after the accident to ensure speedy rescue and relief operation. Accident Relief Medical train and Accident Relief Train were immediately rushed to the accident site.
The Minister of Railway Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, caught up in his Parliamentary duties has directed Chairman, Railway Board, A.K.Mital, and concerned Members of the Railway Board and General Manager Northern Railway to rush to the accident site. The Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha also visited the accident site. Suresh Prabhu has expressed his profound grief over the loss of innocent lives and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2/- lakh to the next kin of the dead, Rs. 50,000/- each to grievously injured passengers and Rs. 20,000 to those who sustained simple injuries.
An inquiry has been ordered by Railways under Commissioner Railway Safety, Northern Circle, to ascertain the cause of the accident.
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New Delhi, August 03, 2017: Reportedly, the aviation sector is said to grow in 2019-2020 as the Indian Railways prices continue surging. Recently in a blueprint laid out by Indian Railway, it was mentioned that the number of passengers traveling by air would exceed AC-class passengers in 2019-20.
Indian railways and domestic airlines carried about 145 million and 97.8 million passengers respectively between December 2015 and November 2016. With a projected 20% growth in air passengers and 5% growth in rail AC-class passengers between December 2015-November 2016 and 2019-20, it is estimated that air passengers will outnumber rail AC-class passengers soon.
As the Indian railways surged the price on the base fares of Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Dhuranto trains last year giving leverage to the aviation sector. The base fare of these railways was raised on the basis of selling capacity as recommended on Railway Board formula, the base fares would increase by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of train berths sold.
While the railway’s fares went remarkably high, Air India announced that the last minute fares won’t be raised making the last minute booking before take-offs at par with AC rail fare. All the airlines have followed similar fare patterns and therefore reducing airfares, the shift of 2AC and 1AC rail passengers to Airlines have increased remarkably since. Leading to this alarming state of affairs for Indian Railways, 3AC still remain unaffected because even the Tatkal bookings are lower than the last minute air fares.
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The two factors by which Indian Railways can still gain traction and recovery by 2020 are through augmenting capacity and pricing. Although Indian railway has been leveraging its track capacity at a rate of 7km per day since 2015, it cannot be augmented to a level that can stop the growing aviation sector from mangling the rail AC passenger segment by 2019-20. Hence, Indian railways can hardly do anything till 2020 when both dedicated freight corridors are commissioned, relieving sizeable capacity for railways.
Pricing and travel time, are two most important factors that can affect the passenger segment of Indian railways. Talking about pricing, the railway pricing is not as simplistic as it is made out to be. The costing of air carriers are significantly more than 1AC/2AC rail and considering that more than half air tickets are sold within two weeks the departure, despite the flexi-rates, there is a huge difference between the railways and air fares. However, the air fare for tickets that were booked at least two weeks before the travel day may be in the range of 1AC/2AC rail fares. Taking the price factor in regard Indian Railways are doing well and should have no concerns on this front.
While travel time is of the essence to the passengers and not the authorities, and the only alternative to combat the huge difference of time saved in airlines compared to railways, should not be bullet trains. While major routes like Delhi-Bombay have access to electric tracks and serve under “A” category of railways, they still need to up the speed of express trains which run at the maximum speed of 160kmph/130kmph. The speed of these trains can be increased up to 110kmph which 80% of the maximum speed, there will be a lot of time that could be saved benefiting the 6PM-8AM trains which do not enter the slab of productive hours.
Indian railways can tweak their options to gain the leverage over the aviation sector, which is said to overtake in 2019-2020.
-Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup
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Agartala, Jan 19, 2017: The railways will launch a train for religious tourists on February 17 that will originate in Guwahati and cover shrines in West Bengal and Odisha, it was announced on Wednesday.
The Aastha Circuit Tourist Train will be jointly operated by the Northeast Frontier Railway and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp.
It will “take travellers to a mix of popular pilgrimage destinations across the eastern part of the country at affordable rates”, a railway official said.
New Delhi, Jan 1, 2016: Railways is going to launch a new train this year named “Tejas” and it is going to be an extraordinary production of railways. Tejas is going to offer revamped version of Indian railways with awestricken facilities and features.
What will be new:
1.Tejas’s coaches will be equipped with 22 new features.
2.LCD screens for each passenger along with headphones sockets will be provided. The LCD screens will also be used for announcing passenger- related information and safety instructions.
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3.Renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor will be in control of the food provided to the passengers, thus ensuring quality catering service.
4.Tejas train will also be equipped with many modern facilities, some of which are the first for Indian Railways. Besides palatable cuisine and Wi-Fi facility, there will be toilet engagement boards on the train whose interior colour scheme will match the exterior to give Tejas passengers the feel of world class travel.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu gave some statements regarding the introduction of Tejas, “What we are doing today are all structural fundamental initiatives which will create infrastructure. We are launching ERP which will create new efficiency standards, new opportunities in addition to the accounting reforms which we have started this year. 2015 was the beginning, 2016 was taking the next step. 2017 will be the year of consolidation and 2018 will be the year of seeing huge benefits, the real year when the benefits will start coming out.”
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2017 will be the year when railways will take a new avatar with saplings sprouting from the seeds sown previously. Prabhu said, “When you plant a seed, you do not see the tree for three years. But suddenly you see sprouts, then the tree comes out and it grows fast. Exactly that is going to happen in railways.”