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Indian Railway News

Started by sajiv, Jul 02, 2008, 02:26 AM

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CHENNAI: For a railway commuter without a season pass, purchasing a ticket for suburban train travel has never been easy.

Several railway stations have ticket counters only on one side of the tracks, forcing commuters to take the long foot overbridge or the risk of crossing the tracks to reach the ticket counters. In some stations, the foot overbridge is quite far from the ticket counters. Though Southern Railway has introduced computerised ticketing and has installed Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) in a number of railway stations, long crowds are commonly seen at ticket counters.
Senior citizens' plight

R. Radha, a resident of Pudur near Ambattur, said a number of residential colonies had come up on the northern side of Ambattur Railway Station. "Senior citizens here find it really hard to take the foot over bridge to reach the ticket counter on the other side." "And by the time we manage to buy a ticket and reach the platform, we miss the train," she added.

The Chennai Beach-Tambaram section has a few railway stations with ticket counters on both sides, but the western section of Chennai Central-Arakkonam has ticketing facilities only on one side.
Commuters questioned

Residents of Jamalia, Otteri and Perambur said a counter on the southern side of the Perambur Railway Station would be of immense help. S. Kumar, a resident of Jamalia, said sometimes, commuters were stopped by Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel or officials. "We would have to explain that we came to the other side only to buy a ticket. My friends have even had to pay a penalty because officials thought they were travelling without a ticket."

In a few railway stations, counters are either closed or are operated only for a limited period. The Villivakkam Railway Station has only one full-time ticket counter.

A counter was constructed on the northern side of the railway station about five years ago, was closed in 2006. After numerous representations to the officials, the ticket counter is now kept open only during rush hour. In the case of Perambur Loco Railway Station, a newly constructed ticket counter remains closed.

Southern Railway Divisional Railway Manager Subodh Kumar Kulshrestha told The Hindu that poor patronage from commuters was the reason. The Department did not want to post clerks in counters with low demand as they were already facing a shortage of clerks, he added.


Rail ticket booking shifts to old system

Technical snag affects computerised queue-less system in Kozhikode,Call to open more ticket counters,Only two out of six counters function on a regular basis

Kozhikode: The queue-less counter system for reserving and cancelling seats and berths on trains at the Kozhikode railway station has not been functioning for a week now due to a faulty digital display system.Passengers now have no choice but to return to the traditional system of queuing up in front of counters. Though chairs are in place officials find it difficult to manage the crowd. Sometimes, people attempt to jump queues leading noisy situations.

It took two months for the Railways to rectify the defect when the system went out of order a year ago. The computerised queue-less system was the first of its kind when introduced in the State.Passengers could approach the enquiry counter at the reservation block to obtain priority numbers on the filled-in reservation/cancellation forms.

After obtaining the number, they could wait in the hall. The priority number would be displayed on the digital display screen.The passenger would get two more chances at an interval of 10 transactions if he misses the first call. "It was convenient for senior citizens, B. Rajalekshmi, a resident of Karaparamba says.There are six counters for reservation and cancellation. Counter number six is meant for enquires. Only counters two and three function regularly. Counter four is also occasionally opened. The rest are spare counters. "The rush would have been avoided if the railways could open the spare counters when the system goes out of order," says K. Usman, a trader.

A railway official said tenders had been called for repairing the display unit. The decisions are made at the Palakkad Railway Divisional Office. The Railways had installed a touch screen and passenger inquiry operating system at the reservation hall. Sometimes the passenger enquiry operating system also develops problems, sources said.


SCB clears Hyderabad Metro Rail proposal

The Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) Limited received a shot in the arm when the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) cleared its proposal to develop vacant lands of up to 32.72 acres at Hasmathpet on equal sharing basis.

Last month HMR had written to SCB seeking the Hasmathpet land and another 16 acres at Turkapally to take up property development. It promised half the built up space or apartment units to SCB while the rest could be utilised by HMR to accommodate property owners affected by the elevated rail project.

HMR also sought another three acres from the defence authorities -- both from the SCB and the Defence Estates Office -- to build an overhead station with parking and circulating space.

Encroachments: Presenting the case for developing the land, HMR officials have stated further encroachments could be prevented on the identified lands as most vacant defence lands have been prone to such activities. However, in its last meeting held earlier this month, SCB agreed for development of Hasmathpet site only.

It also sought revision in plan for utilising the Picket garden for the metro station. HMR agreed to the changes and submitted a revised plan moving the station away from the park which also meant only 1.14 acres of defence land had to be parted with.

Right of way: SCB also cleared proposals for allowing right of way for the project on its roads as two corridors -- Jubilee Bus Station to Falaknuma and Nagole to Shilparamam -- pass through its area.

Officials on both sides stated that modalities for the property development plan was yet to be worked out but more floor space index could be obtained since it was outside the Defence Ministry's jurisdiction.

Hasmathpet land was purchased by the Secunderabad Cantonment Board way back in 1930 outside its area for garbage dumping and it had to be stopped few years ago after the Pollution Control Board raised objections on the site amidst residential area. Land sharks have been making efforts to grab the vacant land ever since.

SCB employees, in the meantime, had formed a cooperative housing society, thwarted attempts to encroach it and also have been pleading for allotment of sites on a nominal rate ever since. Their plea was rejected on the grounds that it was defence land but SCB officials later explained it was not so.

Group housing: SCB has now proposed to the Defence Ministry to allow HMR to develop group housing schemes allotting 50 per cent of built up area to SCB towards land cost share. If cleared, apartments on subsidised rates can be allotted to Cantonment employees and also ex-servicemen. Balance built up area can be disposed off in open auction, it observed.


Railways offer computer courses

PALAKKAD: The Railways are offering short-term computer courses for the benefit of students, working people and others at the divisional office at Olavakode, Palakkad, in MS Word and Oracle, developing user-friendly software and web designing. The classes will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on working days. A nominal fee will be charged.

Those interested may contact K.K. Sudhakaran, Senior Divisional Electronic Data Processing Manager, in person or on ph: 0491-2555512.


Changes in train services

CHENNAI: Owing to remodelling work at Coimbatore yard, following changes will be effected in the pattern of train services running between Chennai Central and Coimbatore.

Diversion: All mail/express trains presently running via. Coimbatore will not touch Coimbatore from November 25 to December 12 and they will be diverted via. Irugur - Podanur route with stoppage at Podanur.

Partially cancelled: Train No. 2679 Chennai Central - Coimbatore Intercity Express will run up to Erode instead of Coimbatore on November 26, 29 and December 2, 5, 8 and 11; train no.2970 Jaipur - Coimbatore Jaipur (weekly) Express (via. Chennai Central) will run up to Erode on November 27 and December 4 and 11; train no.2969 Coimbatore - Jaipur (weekly) Express (via. Chennai Central) will leave from Erode on November 28 and December 5 and 12; the Coimbatore portion of train nos.2671/2672 Chennai Central - Mettupalayam - Chennai Central Nilgiri Expresses will be terminated at/leave from Coimbatore North from November 25 to December 12.

The following trains are fully cancelled:

Train No 2681 Chennai Central - Coimbatore (weekly) Express scheduled to leave Central on November 29, December 6 and 13; train no 2682 Coimbatore - Chennai Central (weekly) Express scheduled to leave Coimbatore on November 28, December 5 and 12.

There will be no change in the arrival and departure of the following Mail/Express trains:

Train Nos. 2673/2674 Chennai Central - Coimbatore Cheran Expresses; train nos.2675/2676 Chennai Central - Coimbatore Kovai Expresses; train No.2680 Coimbatore - Chennai Central Intercity Express; train nos.1013/1014 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus -Coimbatore Expresses; train nos.6609/6610 Nagercoil - Coimbatore Expresses; train nos.2083/2084 Mayiladuturai - Coimbatore Jan Shatabdi Expresses; and train Nos 2647/2648 Coimbatore - H. Nizamuddin Kongu Expresses; and train No 6614/6613 Coimbatore - Rajkot (weekly) Expresses.

Source: The Hindu


Special trains

KOCHI: The Railways will run twice-weekly Garib Rath special trains during the Sabarimala season between Yeshwantpur and Kochuveli. Train no. 0677 will leave Yeshwantpur on Sundays and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and arrive in Kochuveli at 12.40 p.m. the next day till January 27. The return train will leave Kochuveli on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and arrive in Yeshwantpur at 11.30 a.m. the next day till January 28.


Railways to extend special trains

BHUBANESWAR: Indian Railways has decided to extend services of special trains running between Bhubaneswar and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT), Mumbai and Puri and Howrah for another one month keeping in view of demands from passengers.

The Bhubaneswar-Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Mumbai-Bhubaneswar weekly superfast special train was extended to run up to December 29 from Bhubaneswar and up to December 31 from LTT towards Bhubaneswar, East Coast Railway (ECoR) said in a statement here on Tuesday.

Bhubaneswar- Lokmanya Tilak Terminus -Bhubaneswar special train leaves Bhubaneswar at 7.20 am on every Mondays and arrive LTT next day at 1.35 pm.

Similarly in the return direction, this train leaves LTT at 00.15a.m on Wednesdays (Tuesday midnight) and arrive Bhubaneswar at 7.10 a.m. on the next days.

Stoppages: This special train has stoppages at Cuttack, Talcher Road, Angul, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Raigarh, Champa, Bilaspur, Raipur, Durg, Gondia, Nagpur, Badnera, Akola, Bhusabal, Manmad, Nasik Road, Igatpuri and Kalyan between Bhubaneswar and LTT.

The train comprises of one AC-2 tier, one AC-3 tier, eight sleeper class bogies, three general second-class coaches, two guard cum luggage vans and one pantry car.

The Puri-Howrah-Puri weekly special trains have been extended to run up to December 30 from Puri on every Tuesday and up to December 31 from Howrah towards Bhubaneswar.Special Trains between Puri and Howrah have stoppages at Sakhigopal, Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jajpur Keonjhar Road, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kharagpur between Puri and Howrah.


It's red light for facilities at Tirupur Railway Station

Tirupur: Tale of woes continues to haunt the thousands of railway passengers transiting through Tirupur everyday, as basic amenities in the railway station remain far from satisfactory.

Lack of adequate number of counters to issue reservation as well as daily tickets, stinking toilets on Platform No:1, insufficient number of bathrooms and toilets on Platform No:2 and unclean platform floors, are some of the problems that the passengers have to confront if they happen to move through Tirupur station.

K. Selvaraj, coordinator, Rail Passengers Welfare Association, told The Hindu that considering the growing passenger volume, the authorities should establish two more reservation counters in addition to the two functioning now.

The passengers by and large feel that for a station which issues about 1,000 reservation tickets every day, additional facilities should be set up without any delay.

"Similarly, at least two more counters with one on each platform, should be introduced to issue daily tickets," Mr. Selvaraj said.

At present, there is only one counter in each of the two platforms for issuing a total of about 3,000 daily tickets a day.

Besides, these counters are also issuing about 1,500 platform tickets and numerous season tickets resulting in long queues of people.

Railway sources said that to ease the load, an additional counter had been opened during peak hours (6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight) on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

But travellers are of the opinion that the action is "inadequate" considering the fact that the traffic volume through the station has always been more or less uniform throughout the week.

Regarding the complaints on insufficient number of toilets, official sources said that the problem would be solved soon once the construction of the sanitary complex underway near the R.M.S. office was completed.

The railway officials, however, expressed helplessness on the grievances of the passengers pertaining to unclean floors citing "insufficient staff strength."

"Even after laying of granite floorings, only two sweepers have been allocated for the station to look after the entire stretch of two platforms, totalling 1,400 metre, making the cleaning process difficult," an official pointed out.


Special trains to Tuticorin, Nagercoil

CHENNAI: Southern Railway will run special trains to Tuticorin, Nagercoil, Rameswaram and Coimbatore to clear the extra rush of passengers.

No.0681 will leave Egmore at 11.45 p.m. on Nov ember 22, 27, and 29 and reach Tuticorin at 12.30 p.m. the next day.

No.0682 will leave Tuticorin at 9.15 p.m. on Nov ember 23, 28 and 30 and reach Egmore at 8.50 a.m. the next day.

No.0615 will leave Egmore at 6.40 p.m. on November 25 and reach at 8.15 a.m. the next day. No.0616 will leave Nagercoil at 1.30 p.m. on November 26 and reach Egmore at 4.15 a.m. the next day.

No.0649 will leave Egmore at 4.30 p.m. on December 1 and reach Rameswaram, through Madurai, at 4.30 a.m. the next day.

No.0601 will leave Chennai Central at 10.20 p.m. on November 21 and 23 and reach Coimbatore at 7 a.m. the next day. No.0602 will leave Coimbatore at 11.45 p.m. on November 23 and arrive at Central at 8.30 a.m. the next day. Reservation will begin on November 20, says a railway release.


Sabarimala special trains

HYDERABAD: The South Central Railway is running special trains to Sabarimala between December 1 and January 18 from Hyderabad, Kakinada, Nizamabad, Vijayawada, Machilipatnam, Sirpur Khagaznagar to Kollam. Reservation will begin from Thursday.Hyderabad-Kollam tri-weekly specials will leave Hyderabad at 1.30 p.m. on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and reach Kollam at 9.30 p.m. the next day. The return trains will leave Kollam the next day at 11 p.m.

Weekly specials: The weekly specials will leave Hyderabad at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and reach Kollam at 12.05 p.m. next day. The return specials will leave Kollam at 1.45 a.m. on Mondays and arrive Hyderabad at 8.50 a.m. the next day. A special service will leave Hyderabad at 6 p.m. on January 16 and reach Kollam at 12.05 p.m. the second day. The return train will depart Kollam on January 18 at 1.45 a.m. and arrive Hyderabad at 8.50 a.m. the next day. They will halt at Guntur, Gudur and Renigunta. Kakinada Town-Kollam tri-weekly specials will leave Kakinada at 3.50 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and reach Kollam at 9.30 p.m. the next day. In the return direction, Kollam- Kakinada Town services leave Kollam the next day at 11 p.m. and arrive Kakinada Town at 3 a.m. the second day. They will halt at Vijayawada, Gudur and Renigunta.

Kakinada Town-Kollam weekly specials will leave Kakinada at 8 p.m. on Saturdays and reach Kollam at 12.05 p.m. the second day. In return, Kollam- Kakinada Town train will leave Kollam at 1.45 a.m. on Fridays and will arrive Kakinada Town at 6 a.m. the next day. These trains will halt at Vijayawada, Tenali, Gudur and Renigunta.

Vijayawada-Kollam weekly specials will leave Vijayawada at 7.30 p.m. on Mondays and arrive Kollam at 9.30 p.m. the next day. In return direction, Kollam- Vijayawada trains will leave Kollam at 11 p.m. on Tuesdays and arrive Vijayawada at 10.15 p.m. the next day. These trains will halt at Guntur, Gudur and Renigunta.izamabad - Kollam weekly special trains (12 services) will depart the station at 4.15 p.m. on Fridays and arrive Kollam at 12.05 p.m. the second day. In return direction, Kollam- Nizamabad services will depart Kollam at 1.45 a.m. on Sundays and arrive Nizamabad at 10 a.m. the second day. These trains will stop at Kacheguda, Dhone and Dharmavaram.

Machilipatnam-Kollam specials will depart the station at 10 p.m. on Thursdays and arrive Kollam at 12.05 p.m. the second day. In return direction, Kollam- Machilipatnam services will depart Kollam at 1.45 a.m. on Saturdays and arrive Machilipatnam at 4.15 a.m. the next day. They will halt at Vijayawada, Gudur and Renigunta. Sirpur Kagaznagar-Kollam specials will depart the station at 6 p.m. Dec. 25, 2008 and January 1, 2009 and will reach Kollam at 12.05 p.m. the second day. In return, Kollam-Sirpur Kagaznagar specials will depart Kollam on Dec. 27, 2008 and January 3, 2009 at 1.45 a.m. and arrive Sirpur Kagaznagar at 9.15 a.m. the next day. They will halt at Vijayawada, Gudur and Renigunta.

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