Rajdhani Express coach derails at New Delhi Railway station

The guard coach (located at the end of the train) of Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express got derailed at the New Delhi Railway station early on Thursday. According to the Hindustan Times, a Northern Railway spokesperson said that no major injuries were caused due to the accident.

As per The Indian Express, Neeraj Sharma, spokesperson, Northern Railways, told news agency IANS, “ The Last coach of Jammu Rajdhani Express which was entering at platform no. 15 of New Delhi railway station derailed around 6.20 a.m.

However, this is not the first rail accident in this month. The Indian Express reported, on September 7, seven coaches of Jabalpur-bound Shaktipunj Express jumped the tracks near the Obra Dam station in eastern Uttar Pradesh ‘s Sonbhadra district at around 6:25 am. As per the officials, since the train was running at a speed of 40 km per hour, no casualties were reported.

Hours after this incident, the engine and power car of the Ranchi- Delhi Rajdhani Express, had derailed at the Shivaji Bridge, New Delhi. According to the Times of India, one person had been injured but it did not cause any casualty as the train was running at a slow pace.

According to the Hindustan Times, two wagons of a goods train derailed in Khandala, Maharashtra on September 7.

Sources:

The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Times of India

Ashwani Lohani appointed as the new Railway Board Chairman

After A.K. Mittal resigned from the post of Railway Board Chairman on Tuesday, August 22, the Narendra Modi government has named Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani as the new railway board chief.

Mittal resigned owing to the moral responsibility of Utkal Express derailment in Uttar Pradesh on August 19.
Of lately the Indian Railway board has been under criticism due to two train mishaps in five days- Utkal Express derailment (August 19, 2017) and Kaifiyat Express derailment (August 23, 2017). Therefore, Lohani has several challenges to face as the new railway board head.

Lohani belongs to the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineering cadre and had served as Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi Division; Director of National Rail Museum; and Chief Administrative Officer of Rail Alternate Fuel.

Lohani holds the Guinness Record for successfully running the world’s oldest working steam locomotive Fairy Queen Express. In addition to this, Lohani featured in Limca records for acquiring four engineering degree equivalents in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering and Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from Institution of Engineers, India.

Meanwhile, IAS officer Rajiv Bansal has taken Lohani’s post as the CMD of Air India.

Sources: NDTV, Hindu

Kalinga Utkal Express derailed; Four deaths confirmed

Six coaches of the Puri-Haridwar-Kalinga Utkal Express derailed on Saturday. The accident took place at khatauli in Muzaffarnagar. Till now four death have been confirmed and the number of injured persons is yet to be ascertained.

The Mishap occurred around 5.45pm. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said he will personally monitor and probe into the case and strict action will be taken against any lapse. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed all possible help.

The Indian Express quoted ADG Law and Order, Anand Kumar saying, “10 killed in Muzaffarnagar train derailment..More than 50 injured. ATS sent there as precautionary measure, no confirmation of terrorism angle.”

Sureah Prabhu announced ex-gratia of Rs 3.5 Lakh for the deceased and Rupees fifty thousand for the injured by the railways. Also Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep grief announcing a compensation of Rs 5 lakh and Rs. 50k for the deceased and injured respectively.

The rescue operations Is being carried out by NDRF team along with the ATS of Uttar Pradesh. The death toll is likely to increase along with the injured to go up to 150.

This incident came after a crude bomb found in Akal Takht express as it stopped at Amethi, Uttar Pradesh on August 10, 2017. It had a threat warning of Abu Dujana’s death revenge.

 

Sources: Times of India, Indian Express

Railway food not fit for human consumption: CAG

An annual audit report compiled by the Comptroller Auditor General of India (CAG) has declared the food served in the railways and stations across India as “unsuitable for human consumption”.

After numerous complaints from passengers over the years, it is finally official that there are serious hygiene issues in regards to contaminated food, unauthorised brands of water bottles and packaged food items that are way beyond shelf life.

The audit has put the entire blame on the Railway Ministry for its frequent and unnecessary change in policies that has created a state of uncertainty in the management of catering services, reports TOI.

Screen grab of complaints.
Screen grab of complaints.

The team inspected 74 stations and 80 trains and concluded that the standards of cleanliness and hygiene were way below par at all catering units; the inspection reveals that unfiltered tap water was used to prepare beverages, waste bins were not covered and cleaned and food was being kept in places infested with cockroaches and flies.

The CAG also cracked down on the scam of overcharging passengers for food and beverages. It observed that the caterers did not provide menu cards and food was also served below prescribed quantity.

The report also thrashed the Integral Coach Factory located in Perumbar stating that the policy of progressive switch over from gas burners to electric power equipment in pantry cars to avoid the occurrence of fire accidents in trains was not followed while manufacturing the pantry cars.

News Source: TOI, News18

Image source: Indian Railways 

Second in two months, train derailed near Kanpur

On Wednesday, 15 coaches of Sealdah-Ajmer Superfast Express derailed in Roora-Metha near Kanpur Dehat. The incident occurred at about 5:20 am, resulting two deaths and 50 injured passengers.

People in Uttar Pradesh were revived of their horrors from the accident as it came a month after Indore-Patna Express derailment. People were still recovering from the accident which resulted in the death of 120 passengers in November.

A series of tweets were posted by Railway Minister of India, Suresh Prabhu, who expressed his condolences and concern over the accident. He tweeted, “Personally monitoring the situation in wake of unfortunate derailment of Sealdah-Ajmer express near Kanpur”.

Handling the medical situation, he added via his personal twitter account, “Immediate medical help being provided to the injured. Mobilized resources, directed all concerned to ensure rescue and relief”.

While 42 of the injured have been admitted to a district hospital in Kanpur Rural, 12 of the seriously injured have been admitted to the Hallet Hospital.

The Kanpur train accident took place when the train was crossing a bridge overhead a dry canal in the area, Northern Central Railways PRO Amit Malviya said. According to reports by ANI, rail traffic between Etawah and Kanpur is affected.

 

Sources: Times of IndiaFirst Post

Image Source: Reuters

 

Railways to launch affordable yet luxurious Humsafar Express

The government’s efforts to revamp the existing railway governance bore its first fruit with the launch of Humsafar Express by the Indian Railways. The Humsafar Express is an AC III-tier train, with 16 coaches, 72 seats and two power cars that will run between Anand Vihar in Ghaziabad to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh at the speed of 110-130 Kmph.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, while discussing the railway budget proposed the train that will provide luxury that will be easy on the pockets of the middle-class public. The train is expected to be on the tracks from December 16 after Prabhu flags it through a video conference.

Every coach in the train will be equipped with vending machines, smoke detecting systems and CCTV cameras. With these facilities will come the surge in the ticket prices. While 50% of tickets will be sold at a higher base rate and the next 10% will be sold at a price with 10% increase. Apart from that, passengers will have to shell out extra money for pre-booked meals, reservation fees for tickets and taxes.

From September, the surge pricing system for tickets as adopted and levied on to trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani express. These special fares are due to the higher manufacturing costs of the trains, according to the Railway Ministry.

Sources – scroll.in, Livemint

Image source -PTI

Indian Railways cancel 26 trains due to dense fog conditions

In order to restore the punctuality, 26 trains have been cancelled by the Indian Railways in the northern areas of the country affected by heavy fog, resulting in extremely low visibility conditions. The decision came on Sunday and will be in effect from December 17 to January 15.

East Central Railway (ECR) zone is one of the most affected by this decision, due to cancellation of seven trains either originating/passing/departing from the zone for almost a month’s time period.

The list of cancelled trains include the likes of  Patna-Howrah Janshatabdi, Patna Rajdhani Express, Patna-Ranchi Janshatabdi, Sampoorna Kranti Express and Saharsa-Amritsar Express.

As per a report in The Financial Express, AK Rajak, the ECR chief public relations officer said, “The move will help us streamline the timing of express/mail trains, which have been running inordinately late in the past few weeks.”

Apparently, as the visibility dropped as low as 400 metres on Monday, almost 23 trains were rescheduled and more than 80 trains heading toward Delhi were delayed.

While flight operations cope easily with these weather conditions with latest technology such as thermal imaging and radar guidance systems, with the occasional delays in the flights, railways face huge troubles and these areas witness several accidents every year.

SOURCES : HT , Scroll

Image Source : PTI