Year End Review 2017 of Ministry of Railways

By Sarkaritel December 29, 2017 19:15

During 2016-17 consequential train accidents decreased from 107 to 104 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year. Track Renewal speeded up- 2148 km old rails have been replaced with new rails upto Nov’17.       

Ground-breaking ceremony of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (MAHSR) by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and Hon’ble Prime Minister of Japan held in September, 2017. 

Introduced First AC EMU consisting of 12-car (12 coaches) fitted with “Indigenous” 3-phase Propulsion system of Ms BHEL on Mumbai Suburban Section.

Mission Retro-Fitment to revamp passenger coaches launched to enhance the passenger experience. It will cover 45,000 Coaches.

14 Rajdhanis and 15 Shatabdi trains were identified to significantly improve passengers experience under “Project Swarn”

Host of Passenger Amenities and Digital Initiatives were taken during the year 2017.

All time record commissioning of Electric Traction of 2367 route kilometer was achieved.

Introduced and proliferated Global Positioning System (GPS) based ‘Fog Pass device’ which displays the name and distance of approaching signals and other critical signal landmarks in advance during train operation.

In order to improve the functioning of Railways, substantial financial and administrative powers covering a wide spectrum of working have been delegated by the Railway Board to General Managers (GM),Divisional Railway Managers (DRM) and field officials.



·         From 03rd Nov. 2017, Service started to provide information to passengers through Short Messaging Service (SMS) regarding status of delayed trains. Initially, all Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Tejas & Gatiman Trains covered. From 15th Dec, 2017, all Jan shatabdis, Duranto and Garib Rath trains have also been included. Now this service is available in around 250 trains.

·         Permitted m-Aadhar as one of the prescribed proofs of Identity for Rail Travel Purpose. 

·         Extension of Scheme of Alternate Train Accommodation System aka VIKALP for the benefit of Waitlisted Passengers with effect from 1st April, 2017 in all Mail/Express trains.

·         Initiatives for The Senior Citizens -Persons With Disabilities: Indian Railways launched Quota of 2 Berths for Divyangjans & Senior Citizens in AC 3 class. This is in addition to existing quota of 4 berths in SL class.

·         Online booking of Retiring Rooms has been commissioned at 497 railway stations of Indian Railways. With a view to ensure optimal utilization of available accommodation in Retiring Rooms and Dormitory, instructions have been issued to Western Railway for booking of Retiring Room as well as dormitory for minimum duration of 3 hrs except for night booking where the booking will be done mandatorily from 2100 hrs to 0900 hrs. This facility is presently available at Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat stations.

·         New Catering Policy in Railways launched. 33% Sub Quota for Women in Allotment of each Category of minor Catering Units at All Category of stations has been provided under this policy. Roped in Self Help Groups To Make Local Cuisines Available Through E-Catering Services of its PSU IRCTC. 

·         Initiated programme for 100% LED lighting at stations leading to improved illumination and passenger safety. Completed more than 3500 stations so far with a target to cover all Railway stations by March 2018.

·         Provision of mobile/laptop charging points at all railway platforms.

·         Provision of insect catchers at railway stations.

·        A new mobile app IRCTC Rail Connect launched. Aadhar linked user IDs have been allowed to book 12 e-tickets in one month as against 6 tickets for non Aadhar user IDs.

·         A new Integrated Mobile App ‘Rail SAARTHI’ launched which provides various services viz. Rail e-ticket booking, unreserved ticketing, complaint management, Clean my Coach, passenger enquiry etc.

·         Payment of ticket using UPI/BHIM App has been implemented at reservation counters as well as on e-ticketing website. 

·         Project Swarn – 14 Rajdhanis and 15 Shatabdi trains were identified to significantly improve passengers experience under “Project Swarn”.  To achieve the objectives under this Project, ‘staff behaviour’ was identified as an important parameter.  The frontline staff of these premier trains was trained in various aspects such as catering, linen management and cleanliness. 


·         A road map developed to increase speed of trains by overcoming the existing impediments on Principal routes of the railways on Golden Quadrilateral(GQ) along with diagonals (Delhi – Mumbai, Delhi – Howrah, Howrah- Chennai, Chennai – Mumbai, Delhi – Chennai and Howrah – Mumbai) due to fixed infrastructure, movable infrastructure, and operational practices. 

·         Projects for two routes viz. New Delhi- Mumbai Central (including Vadodara- Ahmedabad) and New Delhi- Howrah (including Kanpur- Lucknow) for raising of speed to 160/200kmph have been included in WP 2017-18 at Rs. 18,000 crores approximately. Speed Enhancement project entails works such as through fencing, removal of level crossings, train protection warning system (TPWS), mobile train radio communication (MTRC), automated and mechanized diagnostic systems etc. which will considerably enhance safety and reliability. The main outcome of the implementation of the projects is increase in the maximum speed of the trains to 160/200 kmph. This will reduce the travel time of premium Rajdhani type trains to 12 hours as against the present travel time of 17 hours for Howrah Rajdhani and 15 hours 35 minutes for Mumbai Rajdhani. 

·         Replacement of loco hauled commuter trains with MEMU/DEMU trains: MEMU trains have a potential for average speed increment of up to 20kmph in comparison to loco driven passenger trains. 

·         Ground-breaking ceremony of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (MAHSR) by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and Hon’ble Prime Minister of Japan was held in September, 2017. Managing Director and other Directors in the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), constituted for implementation of the MAHSR project, have been appointed.

·         Following Semi High Speed Studies are underway: 

o    Delhi-Chandigarh (244 km): Final report of feasibility cum implementation study of New Delhi-Chandigarh Corridor for raising the speed of passenger trains to 200 kmph by SNCF/France has been received. Report under scrutiny.

o    Nagpur – Secunderabad (575 km): A Protocol under co-operation MoU has been signed between Ministry of Railways and Russian Railways for carrying out feasibility cum implementation study. Work started in June 2016 and progressing as per schedule.

o    Chennai- Kazipet by German Railways- Joint declaration of intent has been signed between both the parties on 10/10/17 for raising the speed of passenger trains to 200kmph on the existing route on 50:50 cost sharing basis. The feasibility study shall be carried out after signing a separate agreement, which is under finalization.

o    Feasibility study for High Speed Rail on Mysuru-Bengaluru-Chennai through Government to Government (G2G) with the Government of Germany has commenced. 


·         During 2016-17 consequential train accidents decreased from 107 to 104 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.  In the current year from 1st April, 2017 to 30th November, 2017 consequential train accidents decreased from 85 to 49 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year.  

·         During the year from January to December 2017 to give thrust to safety related issues, Safety drives were launched on all zonal railways with a view to prevent accidents. 

·         Emphasis on night inspections and ambush checks regularly by officers and supervisors, review of fracture prone locations, frequent and intensive footplate inspection, etc. 

·         Focus on monitoring practices associated with booking, counselling, training, PME, performance evaluation etc. of crew in view of SPAD by Loco Pilots. 

·         A special safety drive regarding – “Working on running lines” and “Safety at work sites” for a period of fifteen days to check incidences of uncoupling in passenger train (Locomotive Getting Separated from Formation). 

·         Gate Mitras were deployed at all unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) on Broad Gauge instead of only identified UMLCs in order to enhance safety.  

·         Under Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) a provision of `20,000 crore has been made in 2017-18 out of ‘RRSK’ to fund essential works for ensuring safety. 

·         High Level Safety Review Committee (HLSRC): A High Level Safety Review Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission was constituted on 16.09.2011 to go into all technical and technology related aspects in connection with safe running of train services in the country. The Committee submitted its Report on 17.02.2012.  All the 106 recommendations of the Committee have since been deliberated upon and 87 recommendations have been found fully/partially acceptable and 19 have not been found acceptable to the Ministry of Railways.

·         Of the accepted recommendations, 65 have been fully/partially implemented. The remaining recommendations are at various stages of implementation. 

·         Target of Eliminating All Unmanned Level Crossing preponed to 2018. Till the time this is achieved, in the interim period, Indian Railways decided to deploy Gate Mitras. Gate Mitra is an initiative where a person will be deployed at a UMLC, and would alert road users about approaching trains. All UMLCs on Broad Gauge as on November 2017 were provided with Gate Mitras. 

·         Track Renewal speeded up: 2148 km old rails have been replaced with new rails upto Nov’17.Progress during corresponding period last year was 1624 km between April to Nov’16. 

·          Self-Propelled Ultrasonic Rail Testing (SPURTZ Car) is under procurement and trial of Ultrasonic Broken Rail Detection System is underway. Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) is under implementation on Suburban/High- density Routes. 

·          Decided to switch over to 100 % manufacture of Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches as these have numerous advantages over ICF coaches including higher speed and safety especially during derailment and collisions. Completely switch over to LHB coaches production from 2018-19. 


·          Comprehensively revised categories of various Railway Stations. In new scheme of station categorization, even the small stations, because of footfall criteria, to get the higher level of passenger amenities leading to better passenger satisfaction. 

·         Introduced and proliferated Global Positioning System (GPS) based ‘Fog Pass device’ which displays the name and distance of approaching signals and other critical signal landmarks in advance during train operationAt present total 7263 Fog Pass Devices have been procured and being used in NR, NER, NCR, ECR, NFR& NWR which are the most fog affected Railways. 

·         Major Transparency measures by RDSO: 

a) “New Online Vendor Registration System” has been launched by RDSO with effect from 8th Nov 2017– With the new online system implemented by RDSO since 8th Nov 2017, the Vendor can now deposit registration fee, submit documents, download technical drawings & specifications and interact with RDSO online.

 b) All RDSO controlled items have now been listed on RDSO website with specific timelines for Vendor Registration process for each individual item. RDSO will endeavour to complete the registration process for which the vendor applies within defined timelines. 

c) Innovation Challenge: An Innovation Challenge has been conducted to invite ideas and to augment the pace of Indian Railways operational improvements through innovative methods. Innovation Challenges attracted a huge response and a total of 4683 entries were received.  RDSO has been entrusted the task of conducting the screening and evaluation process.  The Innovation Challenge has been conducted in the following 06 areas:

(i)           Accessibility to trains from low level platforms

(ii)         Increasing capacity of coaches

(iii)       Digital capabilities at stations.

(iv)       Design of Wagons for efficient loading and transportation of new commodities.

(v)         New Idea/ Suggestion to improve the working of Indian Railways.

(vi)       Increasing Non-fare revenue of Indian Railways.


·         Online Tracking of Contractor’s Bill enabled on single website – IT enabled real-time Web based system has been developed for tracking bill payments. This system enables the registered vendor/contractor to track status of bills from the time they are submitted to the Railways till the final payment is made.

·         Implementation of 100% Digitization of Receipt Note.

·         Digital finalization of tenders – Total 54700 tender cases finalized this year digitally through Indian Railway E-Procurement portal

·         More than 1000 e-Reverse Auction tenders opened on Indian Railways web portal during last 1 year. 


·         India’s First Tejas Express Between Mumbai and Karmali inaugurated. 

·         More Than Three Decade Old Demand for an “Express” Train for People of Kirandul in Dantewada District of Chhattisgarh fulfilled. Extended Train No. 08152 Visakhapatnam – Jagdalpur Upto Kirandul. 

·         Prime Minister of India & Prime Minister of Bangladesh Jointly along with Chief Minister, West Bengal Flagged off New Cross-Border Train between India & Bangladesh, “Kolkata-Khulna Bandhan Express” from Kolkata. 

·         Introduced tri- weekly new Special Rajdhani between Delhi – Mumbai route from 16th October, 2017.

·         Introduced First AC EMU consisting of 12-car (12 coaches) fitted with “Indigenous” 3-phase Propulsion system of Ms BHEL on Mumbai Suburban Section. 

·         Introduced Third Mahamana Express to run between Varanasi and Vadodara on 22nd September 2017. 

·         Vistadome Tourist Coach with glass walls launched at Vishakhapatnam to run between   Visakhaptnam and Araku ValleyThe Vistadome coach has features like glass roof, LED lights, rotable seats, GPS based info system etc will offer to tourists to enjoy scenic beauty not only at destination but also along the journey.

·         Introduced Train No.22165/22166 Bhopal-Singrauli  Express (Bi-Weekly): 

·         Introduced Train No 22167/22168 Singrauli-H. Nizamuddin Express(Weekly) : 

·         Introduced Train No 18109/18110 Jammu Tawi-Rourkela Express (Daily) Upto Sambalpur:  

·         Introduced Train No 22913/22914 Bandra(T)-Patna Humsafar Express (Weekly) 

·         Introduced Train No 22921/22922 Bandra(T)-Gorakhpur Antyodaya Express (Weekly) 

·         Introduced Train No 22434/ 22433 Anand Vihar (T) To Ghazipur (Bi-weekly) via Kanpur, Allahabad: 

·         Introduced New DEMU Service between Baiyappanahalli-Whitefild-Baiyappanahalli. 

·         Introduced Train No 22163/64 Bhopal- Khajuraho Mahamana Intercity Express (Daily), 

·         Introduced Train No 22833/34 Bhubaneswar- Krishnarajapuram Humsafar Express  (Weekly) 

·         Introduced Train No 17323/17324 Hubballi – Varanasi – Hubballi Express (Weekly)


·         Introduced Train No 17325/17326 Hubballi – Mysuru – Hubballi Express (Daily) 

·         Introduced Train No 16791/16792 from Punalur to Palakkad.

·         Introduced Train No 22992/22991 Veraval – Bandra Terminus Super Fast Express

·         Introduced Train No 22994/22993 Mahuva – Bandra Terminus Super Fast Express

·         Introduced Train No 19030/19029 Mahuva – Bandra Terminus Super Fast Express

·         Introduced Train No 58653/58654 Ranchi-Barkichanpi Passenger upto Tori

·         Introduced Train No Train No 14715/14716 Sri Ganganagar – Tiruchirappalli Humsafar Express (Weekly) (via Krishnarajapuram, Pune, Ahmedabad) the fourth Humsafar clan of trains 

·         Introduced Train No Train No 22877/22878 Ernakulam – Howrah Antyodaya Express (Weekly) (via Salem, Katpadi, Visakhapatnam) first Antyodaya clan of trains. 

·         Extended Train No. 19653/19654 Ajmer Ratlam Express Extended up to Indore. 

·         Extended Frequency of Train No.22419/22420 Ghazipur City-Anand Vihar (T) Suhail Dev Express from tri-weekly to four days a week. 

·         Extended Frequency of Train No.19041/19042 Bandra (T)-Ghazipur City Express (weekly to bi-weekly). 

·         Extension of Train No.58429/58430/58431/58432 (Khurda Road- Bolagarh) passenger trains extended upto Nayagarh Town. 



·         The first Phase of the Station Redevelopment Program comprising 23 major Railway Stations of Indian Railways was launched.

·         Mission Retro-Fitment to revamp passenger coaches launched to enhance the passenger experience. It will cover 45,000 Coaches.

·         Significant Step taken towards Providing Rail Connectivity for Chardham Pilgrimage in the State of Uttarakhand through commencement of final location Survey.

·         Record Commissioning of sections on Electric Traction: During the calendar year 2017, all time record commissioning of Electric Traction of 2367 route kilometer was achieved. A target for electrification of 4,000 route kilometer has been set for achievement during financial year 2017-18. 

·         Major Strategic Decisions to speed up 100% Electrification work- 

a)  For Rail Electrification projects, Provision of “Deemed approval” has been made for various drawings/schematic/plan wherever approving authorities do not take decision within specified timelines.

b) In future, doubling, new line and gauge conversion projects for the sections shall be simultaneously assessed with electrification.

c) To avoid multiplicity of agencies involved in execution, it has been decided that “Henceforth, where electrification and doubling works have been sanctioned both works should be executed by the same agency.

d) It has been decided to go for large size contracts on EPC mode on case to case basis, preferably adopting EPC (turnkey) based contracting system or large composite item rate contract in package size of 300/500/1000/1500RKMs.

·         Opening of Major Routes On Electric TractionDuring the calendar year 2017, commissioning of missing links have resulted in better linkages and seamless connectivity on following routes:

o   Commissioning of Andal-Sitarampur section,

o   Commissioning of Indore-Mhow section.

o   Commissioning of Singapur Road – Lanjigarh – Titlagarh section

o   Commissioning of Lapanga – Sambalpur section.

o   Commissioning of Una Himachal – Amb Andura section.

o   Commissioning of Lalitpur – Udaipura section.

o   Commissioning of Walgaon – Narkher section.

o   Commissioning of Manpur-Tilaiya-Bakhtiyarpur section.

o   Commissioning of Ramanagaram-Mysore section. 

·         Energy Management: Dedicated transmission line network of railway-8000 Km network planned. Existing transmission line network from Dadri-Kanpur extended up to Allahabad. Work in progress for Allahabad-Mughalsarai transmission line network.

·         Electric Locomotive Factory at Madhepura in Bihar (Make in India project)- First phase of construction of factory has been completed. First prototype locomotive under assembly at the factory and expected to be rolled out by Feb.’18 as per time line. Manufacturing of High Horse Power Freight locomotives (9000 hp) for hauling longer and heavier trains with improved mobility. Manufacturing of High Horse Power Passenger locomotives (9000 hp) for improving average speed of coaching trains in this Locomotive Factory at Madhepura.

·         Technological Interventions for Crew Comfort inside locomotives:

(a)          Water Closets in Locomotives

(b)         Cab air conditioners

(c)          Improved Cab Ergonomics and layout

·         Distributed Power Wireless Control System (DPWCS) for hauling longer and heavier freight trains with two or more locos in between train configuration.

·         Technological Interventions for Safety – Crew Voice and Video recording system.

·         New Era of Green Technology (HOG power supply) with use of Hotel load converter on electric locomotives in WAP-7 locomotives and in WAP-5 locomotives.

By Sarkaritel December 29, 2017 19:15