In another statement Monday, the railway ministry said that on an average, 375 coaches are being converted into isolation units each day and the work is being carried out at 133 locations.
The prototype is now awaiting ICMR clearance to go into production, the Railways said.
According to sources, the proposal to offer the empty coaches and cabins to be used as isolation wards was discussed in a meeting of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal with Chairman Railway Board V.K Yadav, General Managers of all zones and Divisional Railway Managers over video conferencing on Wednesday.
For those with tickets for travel during the lockdown period, refund has already been initiated, the Railways said. The national transporter on March 22 announced that all its passenger trains would discontinue services till March 31.
Apart from this, all passengers who book tickets in these three trains will get full refund. At present, IRCTC operates private trains on two very busy routes in the name of Tejas Express. These include the route from Delhi to Lucknow and Ahmedabad to Mumbai.
On March 21, all railway operations were suspended in wake of the coronavirus outbreak .
Rail Land Development Authority, a statutory authority, under the Ministry of Railways, for development of vacant railway land for commercial use said it is in talks with Flipkart, the country's biggest online retailer and will soon come out with an expression of interest.
To avoid the rush in ticket counters due to cancellations of all passenger trains across the country due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Railways has relaxed its refund rules.
"These modified 20,000 coaches can accommodate up to 3.2 lakh possible beds for isolation needs. Work on modification of 5,000 coaches, which are to be converted initially into quarantine/isolation coaches has already started. "These 5,000 coaches would be having a capacity to accommodate up to 80,000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation," railways said.
The national transporter, used by more than 23 million passengers every day (on an average), is critical to India's virus containment plan. The Ministry of Railways has already taken a number of steps in view of the coronavirus outbreak that has now been declared a global pandemic.
Indian Railways has revealed how it is working to finish the Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project — its toughest mountain railway construction project job since Independence.Watch: Indian Railways working to finish its toughest mountain project
The project, which was declared a national project in 2002 with full central funding to speed up the work, missed several deadlines — in 2007, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019. It was halted in 2008 after concerns were raised about its safety and alignment.
Having undertaken production of personal protective equipment (PPE) type overalls, the national transporter is looking to make 1000 such pieces for railway doctors and paramedics at its workshops, every day.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has provided food to more than 23,000 poor and needy people under its jurisdiction during last 10-days in the wake of nationwide lockdown, an official said.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has deployed drones to keep a vigil and ensure the security of its assets, infrastructure and vital installations during the nationwide lockdown which is in force to contain the spread of COVID-19.
All train services in the country barring goods trains have been barred from operating till March 31st.
Railways has converted 2,500 coaches into isolation wards, achieving half of its target of delivering 5000 such coaches in the first phase as part of its efforts to supplement the government's measures to fight coronavirus.
The Indian Railways has decided to release full salaries of contractual employees even as all its passenger services remain suspended till March 31.
While no decision has yet been taken on when the passenger services, which were suspended in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, will be resumed, officials said it is likely to be done in a phased manner after the green signal from the government.
The Indian Railways operates 13,500 passenger and mail or long-distance trains every day. All services, including suburban trains, have been discontinued till this month-end, the railways ministry said in an order on Sunday.
The statement comes amidst railway zones preparing action plans to resume services from April 15 after passenger trains remained suspended for 21 days during the lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Railways on Thursday cancelled 84 more trains, which will not operate between March 20 and March 31 in view of the novel coronavirus and low occupancy, officials said.
A Saturday morning communication from the ministry of railways relaxed the refund rules for counter-generated tickets between March 21 to June 30, to prevent people from rushing to railway stations to cancel them. The journey period was extended up to June 30, as per a communication on Saturday evening.
The move could help online retail giants such as Amazon and Flipkart with their shipment operations that have been disrupted by the lockdown.
The source also said while the railways was taking a huge revenue blow, the cancellation of trains was necessitated so that people not undertake unnecessary travel. Railways has also issued a set of guidelines for its catering staff, stating no employee having fever, cough, runny nose or difficulty in breathing "should be deployed in the business of food handling.
The railways increased passenger fares – so far heavily subsidised – in December. The shortfall in the passenger segment is typically made up by higher freight charges, which have led to the share of goods carried by the railways dip over the years. Yadav indicated freight rates may not be lowered.
Reduced accidents, latest safety features in train coaches and better infrastructure are some of the achievements of the Indian Railways, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The 17 Zones of the Indian railways will initially start with converting 5,000 coaches into isolation units. The ministry had last week asked its rolling stock production units to start manufacturing medical equipment in preparedness of the outbreak.
As the number of COVID-19 cases in India has breached the 1000-mark, all Northern Railway workshops have geared up to curb the spread of the deadly virus by increasing the manufacturing of essential equipment and medical facilities. According to a press release, as much as 16 LHB coaches have already been converted into isolation coaches, and 20 converted coaches, i.e., two rakes will be ready by March 31, while two ICF coaches will also be converted into isolation coaches by Tuesday. Furthermore, one rake of 10 coaches will be converted into an isolation facility within a week's time.Covid-19 outbreak: Northern Railway prepares to combat Coronavirus
As of now the facilities could be availed by present and retired railway staffers only.
Indian Railways has decided to run parcel vans to keep up uninterrupted flow of essential commodities in the country during the ongoing lockdown to contain COVID-19 outbreak.
In view of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is converting coaches at the Coach Maintenance Depot in Kamakhya and Guwahati into isolation wards.
The finance ministry has clarified that the Coronavirus can be classified as a natural calamity and the Force Majeure clause may be invoked. As per the finance ministry, a ‘force majeure’ means extraordinary events or circumstances beyond human control such as an event described as an Act of God (like a natural calamity).
The Indian Railways, which runs 13,523 trains daily, has suspended all passenger services till April 14 and its rakes are lying idle. Sources said the proposal to offer the empty coaches and cabins to be used as ICUs was discussed in a meeting of Railway Minister with Railway Board chairman, general managers of all zones and divisional railway managers over videoconferencing.
Indian Railways is building dedicated freight corridors to enable the government to run freight trains as per a time schedule. Currently, freight trains do not get priority over passenger trains. Once completed, at least 70% of the freight trains will be transferred on the DFCCIL network which will help in timely movement of cargo.
While all passenger trains services of the Indian Railways remain non-operational amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, freight trains are running to ensure supplies that supplies of essential commodities particularly, are not interrupted.
As nationwide lockdown enters the second day, railways, with its widest network in the country, plays a key role in keeping the emergency supply chain alive. Watch how the world's biggest rail network is helping India fight Covid19 pandemic.India lockdown: Here's how railways helping support emergency lifeline
The ministry of railways, in consultation with production units and zonal railway workshops, has decided to use the manufacturing facilities of its production units to manufacture essential items which can be utilised for treatment of people affected by the pandemic.
Despite the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian Railways said it was ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential commodities across the country. A total of 474 rakes were loaded for essential commodities like food grains, salt, edible oil, sugar, milk, fruits and vegetables, onion, coal and petroleum products.
"It has been brought to notice that some passengers who were in retiring rooms and booked to travel by train after a day or two are facing problems as all trains are now cancelled and they have nowhere to go. Railway Board has decided that in all such cases the stay may be extended in supersession of the rule that limits the number of days a passenger can stay in a retiring room," the order said.
The Indian Railways has already announced the suspension of train services of over 3,700 passenger locomotives and long-distance mail and express trains, which were scheduled to start their journeys on Sunday due to call of 'Janata Curfew'.
The Indian Railway Catering and Toursim Corporation (IRCTC) has also decided to close all food plazas, refreshment rooms, Jan Aahars and cell kitchens until further notice. "These instructions shall come into force from March 22. For the purpose of license fee this period will be covered under force majeure," the order stated.
Deccan Queen, which has been running between Mumbai and Pune since 1930, is the country's first superfast train, first long-distance electric-hauled train, first vestibuled train, first train to have a "ladies only" car and the first train to feature a dining car. The Central Railway has also sought customers' opinions on the preferred external livery design.
No concessional tickets for all categories of passengers except students, four categories of Divyangjan and 11 categories of patients shall be issued for unreserved and reserved segments, the railway ministry said.
"Concessional booking of all tickets except for patients, students and the Divyangjan category for the unreserved and reserved segments is being suspended form 00:00 hrs of 20th March till further advisory," an order from the railways said.
The Central Railway has cancelled 30 more outstation trains till April 1 ,mainly due to low occupancy, as people have been advised to avoid non-essential travel during the coronavirus pandemic, a Central Railway spokesperson said.
Platform tickets at over 200 railway stations have been increased from Rs. 10 to Rs. 50 to keep people from crowding at stations in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, located at Asansol in West Bengal, earned an entry in Limca Book of Records for producing 402 electrical locomotives in FY 2018-19, the highest production in the world. The factory — the biggest in the world — broke its own record of manufacturing 350 locomotives in 2017-18.
The central and western railways increased the price of platform tickets to Rs 50 from Rs 10 at a number of stations with effect from Tuesday. The west-central railway increased prices of platform tickets in its Jabalpur and Bhopal divisions to Rs 50.
These special trains will be operated on north-bound routes from Mumbai and Pune. Four weekly special trains each will be operated on Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Patna, LTT- Varanasi, LTT-Mau and Pune-Danapur route. 10 extra trains will be run between Pune and Balharshah. These trains will run between March 5 and 15. Ticket bookings will open on February 29.
Central Railway and Western Railway have advised passengers to bring their own blankets. They are also cleaning all coach fittings such as grab handles, door handles, door latches, entry door handles, seat guard, snack trays, window glass, window grill, bottle holders, and upper berth climbing stair that are frequently touched by passengers.
The station redevelopment initiative has excited Indian conglomerates and foreign pension funds alike.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the ministry is implementing two Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) namely, Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1,856 Km) and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (1,504 km).
The Indian Railways has installed a squat machine at the Anand Vihar station and 30 squats in 180 seconds in front of the machine will generate a free platform ticket, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal posted a video clip of young man doing squats on TwitterIndian Railways has installed a squat machine at Anand Vihar station in Delhi
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is developing the eastern and western freight corridors with a cumulative length of over 3,000 km. “E-commerce players are extremely interested in carrying their consignment through rail because it’s cheaper,” Anurag Sachan, MD, DFCCIL, said.
The railways said that in addition to the dos and don’ts posted across stations, its staff have been asked to increase the frequency of cleaning at the platforms and the waiting rooms. The Northern Railway on Friday said the final test report of the two passengers was yet to arrive.
"Under the station redevelopment programme, our target is to redevelop stations without investing any money from the government. It has to be redeveloped into world class standards. We have finalised a few bids. Some bids have been invited. I am happy to inform you that the list includes New Delhi and Mumbai railway stations," Railway Board chairman said.
"The committee has been formed under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, which includes representative from Ministry of Railways also, to work out the modalities of 'Kisan Rail'," the ministry informed Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
The Railways has proposed to sanction road-over-bridges and road-under-bridges in places where the MLCs will be eliminated. In its road map document, the railways has stated that RUBs with water drainage system will be preferred as they are shorter in route and can be implemented faster.
Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal assured that 100% electrification of Indian Railways to be done by the year 2024. “By the year 2024, we expect the entire Indian Railways to be run on 100% electricity.Indian Railways to run 100% on electricity by 2024: Piyush Goyal
The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), in response to the RTI application filed by Kota-based activist Sujeet Swami, said that in the three-year period from January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2020, there were over nine-and-a-half crore passengers whose wait-listed tickets were not cancelled. Such passengers brought the Indian Railways revenue of over Rs 4,335 crore.
Considering the submissions of the Eastern Railways, CCI noted that it does not have any discretion in rakes allotment as acceptance of rakes by Bangladesh Railways is governed by bilateral agreement between the governments of the two countries and in order to give equal opportunity to all stakeholders, Eastern Railways follows a rotational policy for loading of stone boulders to Bangladesh subject to the rake availability.
Rail passengers from Kerala are elated to find the ethnic Malyalam dishes back in the railway's menu. Kerala's traditional food items such as appam, eggcurry, puttu and kadala curry have replaced north indian delicacies that received a backlash from the Malyalis. IRCTC has presented alist of delicacies to be served by its local vendors in Kerala.
The system has been commissioned through the Centre for Railway Information System, under the technical guidance of Space Applications Centre at ISRO. RTIS provides real-time positional information of locomotives to the Railways. It facilitates automatic acquisition of train movement data, including that of arrival, departure and run-through timings, at the stations en route.
The haulage charges on Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd network will be 50 per cent lower compared to the freight tariff in the Indian Railways (IRs), DFCCIL MD Anurag Sachan told media during a two-day construction site visit of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) here.
Yadav said the railways is working with a holistic approach to modernise its infrastructure to make its network feasible for running high speed and semi-high speed trains.
An agreement in principle to start a Tejas Express train between Delhi-Haridwar-Dehradun has been given on a request by the Uttarakhand chief minister, an official release here on Friday quoted Railway Minister Piyush Goyal as saying.
The authority owns some of the prime land across Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It plans to unlock value from 74 commercial sites, including six hectares in posh Mumbai areas such as Bandra, Mahalaxmi and near the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Kurla in phases.
A reply to an RTI query, filed by Madhya Pradesh-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur, revealed that in the first quarter (April-June) of financial year 2019-20, the railways earned a revenue of Rs 13,398.92 crore from passenger fare. This dipped to Rs 13,243.81 crore in the July-September quarter and went down further to Rs 12844.37 crore in the third quarter (October to December).
The train was inaugurated and dedicated to the nation on February 15 last year and it started its commercial run from New Delhi to Varanasi two days later (February 17, 2019). The Vande Bharat Express covers the distance between New Delhi and Varanasi in eight hours and runs on all days of the week, except Monday and Thursday.
The train staff had "temporarily put the photos of Shri Mahakaal" on an upper berth during the inaugural run on Sunday to perform pooja, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said in a statement. AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi questioned the move and tweeted a photo of the Preamble of the Constitution, tagging the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The IR will now have just one cadre which could end the long history of rivalry among the eight services.
Yadav said the government has not yet considered imposing a limit on ticket prices of trains run by private operators, given there is no such limit in the aviation sector.
The Railways has floated a request for proposal, seeking bids to redevelop Amritsar, Nagpur, Gwalior and Sabarmati railway stations at an estimated cost of Rs 1,296 crore. The government is set to invite bids to redevelop 50 stations through the IRSDC, entailing an investment of around Rs 50,000 crore in 2020-21.
A restructured Railways should provide all the necessary tools and flexibility to achieve ‘vision 2030’.
Indian Railways announced a hike in ticket price across its network and changes in ticket price can be seen from Jan 01. Indian Railways took the step to provide better services and amenities to its passengers. The Railway Ministry issued an order in which it said that while suburban fares remain unchanged, ordinary non-AC, non-suburban fares hiked by 1 paisa per km of journey.Indian Railways hikes ticket prices, commuters give mixed reactions
"Consequent upon grant of organized group A status ( OGAS) to RPF in the light of Cabinet decision arising from honourable court's orders, it is hereby informed that RPF will be known as Indian Railway Protection Force Service," the order stated.
“We will transfer 50 more people from the board,” an official in the know of the matter told ET. These officials will be moved to other divisions. “Around 200 senior officers will also be moved out from Northern Railways,” the official said. The downsizing is likely to happen across all 18 zones of the Indian Railways, the official said.
The landmark railway line, connecting the northeastern region with Bangladesh, will be ready by the end of 2021, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
Path has been cleared to engage private operators to end Railways' long monopoly in running passenger trains.
He said while there is no increase in fares in suburban services. In case of non-suburban services, a nominal increase of one paisa per km has been done and in case of non-AC and AC classes in Mail amd Express trains, the fare has been increased by two paisa per km and 4 paisa per km respectively.
The railway ministry has prepared a plan to allow private players to run 500 trains, manage 750 stations by 2025.
Indian Railways has also constructed cold storage facilities for perishables items at various locations. And depending on demand more such facilities will come up in different locations.
The move to provide more private passenger trains and increase solar capacity for the Indian Railways in the budget is focused on giving opportunities to the private sector as well as promote domestic manufacturing.
Commenting on the cleanliness parameters of the national transporter, the survey stated that for railways which covers over 8,700 stations and carries around 230 lakh passengers daily with clientele of varied socio-economic backgrounds, cleanliness was a continuous process.
Analysts are positive IRCTC will bounce back quickly once the cloud of uncertainty lifts.
Railways minister Piyush Goyal attended the India-Brazil Business Forum where he promised complete electrification of Indian Railways by 2024. The minister also said India will love to partner with Brazil on a rapid engagement on the railways side and hoped that investments will also grow in the sectors of clean energy, startups, railways etc.
“By the year 2024, we expect the entire Indian Railways, which is about 125,000 km of track length and nearly 68,000 km of route length, to be 100% run on electricity,” Goyal said at the India-Brazil Business Forum here. It will be the first railway in the world to be run fully on electricity. We are very conscious of our responsibility to the environment, he added.
Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service