IRCTC Tech News : First Solar Powered DEMU Coaches Launched

IRCTC TECH NEWS

FIRST SOLAR POWERED DEMU COACHES LAUNCHED

Updated : 15.07.2017
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 14 July, 2017 dedicated to the nation the first 1600 HP DEMU train with Solar Powered Coaches with a unique facility of Battery Bank, Railway announced through a press release. The entire electrical need of the coaches for Lighting, Fans and Information Display System will be met from the Solar Energy produced from the solar panels fitted in the roofs of coaches. While this train has been manufactured by the Coach Factory of Indian Railways namely Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai, its Solar panels and Solar systems have been developed and fitted by Indian Railways Organisation of Alternative Fuel (IROAF) Delhi. This first rake has been commissioned and based at Shakurbasti DEMU shed in Delhi of Northern Railway. Twenty-four more coaches will be fitted with this system within the next 6 months. The first rake will be put in the commercial service over the suburban railway system of Delhi division of Northern Railway.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that “Indian Railways has taken a path breaking leap towards making Indian Railways’ trains greener and more environment friendly. Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has also been emphasising on use of green energy and Environment friendly measures. Indian Railways is committed for environment conservation and use of cleaner fuels. Indian Railways is trying to increase use of non-conventional sources of energy. More solar powered trains may be inducted in future.” Indian Railways has already made a target of 1000 MW Solar Plants in next five-years. Indian Railways is also taking several others environment friendly measures like Tea Plantation, Bio-toilet, Water-Recycling, Waste Disposal, using Bio-fuel CNG and LNG, Wind Energy etc.

Normally, DEMU trains provide power for its passenger comfort systems – lights and fans - from a diesel driven generator fitted on its Driving Power Car (DPC). IROAF has developed this system with a smart MPPT inverter which optimises power generation on a moving train to cater to full load even during the night. The unique feature of Battery Bank through storage battery ensures sufficient electricity when the sunlight is not available. The system helps in reducing Diesel consumption of the DPC and hence reduces carbon signature of these commuter trains by reducing CO2 generation by 9 Tonnes per coach per year.

A solar power DEMU train with six trailer coaches will save about 21,000 Litres of Diesel and thereby bring cost saving of Rs.12 Lac every year. Savings for a 10 coach rake with 8 trailer coaches will increase proportionately. These benefits will continue for entire 25 years life time of the rake. This will help in making DEMU commuter services better, more economical and environment friendly.

Solar hotel load (Lighting and Fan) system fitted on each coach is of 4.5 KWp capacity consisting of 16 Solar Panels of 300Wp each. This is adequate to power the fans and lights of the coach. The system is capable of developing up to 20 kWh per day (average) throughout the year. Surplus power generated during peak hours is stored in a 120 AH battery system. The system uses a data acquisition system and interfaces with existing hotel load power system of DEMU train. It will help in generating useful data for research for adapting the system for future rollout on all trains of IR. The system costs about Rs. 9 lakhs per coach at prototype stage.

Northern Railway launched the first DEMU service on Indian Railways in 1994. Today, NR has 3 DEMU sheds having highest DEMU holding on Indian Railways. Shakurbasti DEMU shed of Northern Railway has been a pioneer in the field of green powered DEMUs - CNG and Solar powered. The very first CNG fitted DEMUs were run by Shakurbasti. Now the first Solar panel powered DEMU train will also be maintained and operated by DEMU shed, Shakurbasti of Northern Railway. This pioneering effort makes a transition towards clean energy and reduction in the carbon emission.

BAR-CODED FLAP GATES at RAILWAY STATIONS

Updated : 10.07.2017
Indian Railways to install bar-coded flap gates at stations
Indian Railways will go the Metro way and install automatic flap gates with bar code scanners at stations to facilitate faster ticket checking and ease the pressure on ticket examiners and collectors, a famous Newspaper reported. 

To begin with, the access control system, already operational in Kolkata and Delhi Metro services, will be implemented at non-metropolitan stations where traffic rush is very less. 

CRIS, the software arm of the Railways, is on the job to make the new flap gate system operational at Brar Square station in Delhi Division as a pilot project. The access control system at Brar Square will be functional in the next three months, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project. 

If successful, the system will enable the Railways to deal with the shortage of train ticket examiners and ticket collectors. According to the system design, an encrypted QR code will be printed on unreserved tickets for the designated station where passengers need to enter or exit through these gates after validating their tickets. 

RAILWAYS to have ATMs at MAJOR STATIONS across INDIA

Updated : 10.01.2017

Eyeing about Rs 2,000 crore annually from non-tariff sources, Railways is all set to reach out to big names from the advertising world for spaces in trains, level crossings and areas along tracks besides offering major platforms for installing over 2000 ATMs. 

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will launch the non-fare revenue policy, a first in Railways, offering various schemes for revenue-yielding activities including train branding, rail radio schemes and the mega offer of setting up about 2400 ATMs at platforms of major stations across the country early next week."Currently Railways earns less than 5 per cent of its total revenue through non-tariff sources. Our aim is to raise it substantially through concrete offers," said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the firming up the non fare revenue policy.
ATMs at Major Railway Stations by Indian Railway
ATMs at Major Railway Stations

ATMs will be on end platforms or prominent spaces in the circulating area of the station, he said, adding stations will be offered via transparent e-auction process for a long-term 10-year contract.

The policy envisages that in addition to the existing identified sites, Railways shall allow advertising at areas hitherto unused such as area along tracks, road over bridges and level-crossing gates.

The policy will offer out-of-home advertising policy and allow monetisation of railway assets by means of advertising, the official said.Besides, big LED screens will come up at station buildings, platforms, foot over bridges (leading to station area) for advertising under Rail Display Network as part of the new policy.Rail Display Network will initially cover 25 stations including Old Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur and later on extended to other major stations.

TRAIN CAPTAIN FOR LIVE TRAIN COMPLAINTS

Updated : 07.01.2017

Southern Railway introduced a new passenger centric concept called Train Captain to serve passengers in moving trains. So now passengers can register their complaints and inconvenience while traveling, to a single person from the staring point to the end of the journey called train captain. 

Traveling on overnight express trains from Chennai to Southern Tamil Nadu district and Kerala can often be inconvenient as passengers without reservation occupy reserved coaches. Compounding the situation, Travelling Ticket Examiners(TTEs) remain absent on many occasions.
Train Captain in moving Trains
Train Captain

To set this right, the commercial department will soon introduce a system under which a ,captain, ( a senior TTE) will traverse the entire length of the train for the full journey. It will be introduced on six important trains in the zones on January 15. The captain will also be in charge of the team of TTEs.

Sources in the commercial department said this solution was necessitated after a recent incident on a Kerala - bound Suvidha train where a woman passenger's seat was encroached upon by a group of men who did not have reserved tickets. They were also found to be consuming alcohol and creating nuisance. Repeated calls by the woman passenger, who boarded the train at Katpadi, to the helpline numbers did not yield a solution as the hostile co passengers were sitting nearby even after the security personnel intervened. There was no TTE. The passengers was furious as she had to pay  a higher price for tickets on the Suvidha train where the facilities weren't up to the mark. 

Now, passengers will be able to contact the captain in case of such incidents, a senior official in the department said, a famous News Paper reported. 

POINT OF SALE MACHINES AT RAILWAY STATIONS

Updated : 16.12.2016

Point of Sale Machines Installed at all MMTS Stations
South Central Railway announced that in order to issue reserved tickets through credit/debit cards, Point of Sale (PoS) machines have been installed at all MMTS stations in the Twin Cities including Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Begumpet and Kacheguda stations.

Further these machines will also be installed at all important stations of South Central Railway in the next couple of days. All types of credit/debit cards including RuPay cards will be accepted for purchase of reserved tickets at these booking counters.

SCR has taken the initiatives of installing 109 Point of Sale Machines at its booking counters across the zone for people to buy tickets using all types of credit/debit and Rupay Cards, without an additional charge of the transactions.

Also Read: Cards Payment Special Discounts by Indian Railway

In the Twin cities, the facility has been activated at 30 locations including several Railway stations, apart from passenger reservation booking counters. Also, these PoS machines were installed at 31 locations in Vijayawada Division, 17 in Guntakal, 10 in Nanded, 3 in Guntur, 13 in Secunderabad excluding the MMTS stations and 5 in Hyderabad divisions, a famous Newspaper reported. 
Updated : 05.8.2016

MAGLEV TRAINS IN INDIAN RAILWAY

The government of India has issued a global tender to invite expressions of interest by 6 September from those interested in introducing the Maglev or magnetic levitation technology in India, a famous Newspaper reported. This will be a major steps taken by Modi Government after the Bullet Trains. 

Magnetic levitation, as the name suggests, means employing the principle of magnetic repulsion to make trains float on a designated path to create a friction less and efficient mode of transportation.
The government proposes to undertake the Maglev project on a public private partnership (PPP) mode. A senior official of the Ministry of Railways says four routes have been identified for the Maglev trains.

Four Routes
  • Bengaluru - Chennai 
  • Hyderabad - Chennai
  • New Delhi - Chandigarh 
  • Nagpur - Mumbai 
Details  
The global tender deals with issues relating to the designing, building, commissioning, operating, running and maintaining the Maglev technology.
The Indian Government shall provide land for the 200 to 500 kilometer long project while the company that will eventually bag the contract will be expected to design the Maglev train and build an elevated track for running the train; all this only after it successfully gives a demonstration of the Maglev systems over a distance of 10 to 15 km. When commissioned, the Maglev trains can be expected to run at a speed of 400 to 500 km per hour. 

Other Countries using this technology

  • Only a small number of countries have used the Maglev systems, namely Germany, China, Japan, South Korea and the US
  • In China, the Maglev trains run between Shanghai city and its airport, covering a distance of about 38 km.
  • Only three countries -- China, Japan and South Korea -- are currently running the Maglev trains on a commercial basis.
Although more countries have the requisite technology, they did not find it economically feasible, partly on account of high consumption of power required to run the Maglev trains.


Highlights
  • Government proposes to undertake the Maglev project on a PPP mode.
  • Government shall provide land for the 200-500 kilometer-long project.
  • Maglev trains can run at a speed of 400 to 500 km per hour.
Updated : 25.7.2016

RAIL RADIO SERVICES IN TRAINS

On 1000 trains Rail Radio services to be launched 

Indian Railway Passengers can soon tune in to popular FM radio stations while travelling on trains, with the Indian Railway firming up plans to roll out a Rail Radio service for 'onboard infotainment' which would also come in handy in emergency situations and disasters. The state-run public transporter plans to introduce the facility on about 1000 Mail and Express trains, including premier services. Passengers will not only be treated to popular songs and music over the public address (PA) system in coaches, but also be updated on train related information on hourly basis. The system will be used to issue alerts in case of an emergency, according to the plan, a famous Newspaper reported.
Rail Radio Services
Rail Radio Services


Besides jokes, astrology and other trivia, the history of Indian Railway and its major activities will also be part of the Rail Radio service. We are in the process of finalizing arrangements with a few leading FM radio stations to provide entertainment as well as information to passengers on board about 1000 Mail and Express trains including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto, said a senior Railway Ministry official. 

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had in his 2016 - 2017 budget speech proposed to invite FM radio stations for providing train borne entertainment through public address systems on trains. Currently only Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains are equipped with PA system. "Once Rail Radio service is operationalised, all these premier trains will be linked with the system," he said. As per the plan, studios will be set up at Railway Board and all zonal headquarters to operationalise Rail Radio service.

Rail Radio service will be helpful during emergency situations like accidents or a natural calamity, the official said. "It will be easier to reach out to passengers during emergency through PA system from the headquarters," said the official, adding "there will be a slot for educating and creating awareness among passengers on disaster management." With a view to enhancing passenger comfort, a move has been initiated by the Railways to introduce new amenities including ergonomic seating, improved asthetics, water level indicators and easily accessible dustbins in coaches.

The public sector giant also plans to make available the bilingual onboard magazine Rail Bandhu in all Mail and Express trains. Currently the magazine is available only in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains. There is also a plan to publish Rail Bandhu in regional languages, the official said. 

In Short

  • Railways plans to introduce the facility on about 1000 Mail and Express trains, including premier services.
  • As per the plan, studios will be set up at Railway Board and all zonal headquarters to operationalise Rail Radio service.
  • Passengers will also be updated on train-related information on hourly basis.

Updated : 18.7.2016

HIGH SPEED RAIL PROJECT 

High Speed Rail Project : Kuala Lumpur - Singapore

Malaysia’s transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said the tender for the High-Speed Rail (HSR) project which will link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore will be called within a year, reported Malaysian media on Saturday (Jul 16).
According to the Star Online, the minister told reporters at an event yesterday that he was looking forward to the signing of the memorandum on Tuesday. “Once the signing is done, the authorities will prepare the tender documents. The tender will be called within a year’s time.
“Many international companies have shown interest in the project and we welcome that. This is a very important and prestigious project because it is the first in Asean,” the Star quoted him as saying. Liow added that the project would bring economic development to Malaysia and Singapore.
Plans for the HSR were first announced in 2013 by Prime Ministers from both countries at a leaders’ retreat, with the Singapore terminus located at Jurong East and the Kuala Lumpur one at the upcoming Bandar Malaysia project. The proposed 350km-long line will take 90 minutes to traverse.  There will be two tracks with stops at stations in Malaysia such as Seremban, Ayer Keroh, Muar, Batu Pahat and Iskandar Puteri.



Updated : 12.7.2016

BATTERY CAR SERVICE AT RAILWAY STATIONS 

All major Railway Stations across India will soon have battery-operated cars (BoC) to facilitate movement of passengers, mainly disabled, ailing and elderly, on platforms. Passengers, however will have  to pay for the services as the railways will appoint private firms to run these services on a regularly. 

Travelers can also hire wheelchairs, porters or 'Sahayaks, or helpers and book pick up and drop facility through a mobile application to be launched soon.

Each station will have a dedicated mobile number to facilitate booking of BoCs. The facility will also be made available through IRCTC's e-ticketing website and 139 helpline, a famous News Paper reported.

Updated 30.06.2016

 'TALK-BACK' SYSTEM IN LADIES COACHES

Western Railway plans to provide Talk Back system in ladies coaches for alerting Guards of train during the emergency situations. This communication system is similar to the ones used in the Metro rail. The passenger talk back facilities at the doorway of each ladies compartment will allow two way communications.  It will be placed in an accessible height. At the press of a button a communication channel can be opened with the train's guard. Work on the system will begin in a few months on the estimates are approved. Officials added.
 
Talk - Back System in Ladies Compartments
Talk - Back System in Trains
Central Railway had an emergency alarm system which at the press of a panic button alerted the guard and motorman about a threat in the compartment. However there were several instances of people pressing the button for no reason, affecting train punctuality as its crews have rushed to attend to the coach just to find that somebody had played a prank. Central Railway had second thoughts about the system as it didn't get a positive feedback from the train crew and the Railway Protection Force. But Talk-Back system is more reassuring for a commuter in distress and is unlikely to be misused.

WORKING OF THE TALK-BACK SYSTEM

  • The talk-back system will be placed at the doors of the ladies compartments.
  • It will allow passengers in distress to communicate with the guard.
  • The guard can assess the threat and take a call on halting the train, taking it to the next station, and alerting security personnel.

Eyeing about Rs 2,000 crore annually from non-tariff sources, Railways is all set to reach out to big names from the advertising world for spaces in trains, level crossings and areas along tracks besides offering major platforms for installing over 2000 ATMs.

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