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Achievements and Initiatives of Ministry of Railways

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Year-end Review- 2014 .

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The year 2014 has been significant for the in achieving goals and targets with regard to the following: .

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The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi along with Railway Minister inaugurated the commencement of Expansion Project of Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), a production unit of Indian at Varanasi on 25th December 2014. Some of the features of the expansion plan are; a new block shop, loco frame shop and loco assembly shop, new plant shop having advanced paint booths, induction of high productivity machines and generation of 250 kw Green Power by roof mounted grid connected solar power plant. The project will herald the Make in India campaign in the holy city, Varanasi. .

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The Railway Minister inaugurated the Musical Fountain, Toy Train and Renovated Exhibits at National Railway Museum in New Delhi on 24th December 2014. National Rail Museum has added this new attractions for the visitors by introducing 1:8 scale toy train, chugging on miniature track of about half a km length. This is first of its kind in India. Other attractions for the visitors will be the musical fountain. To enhance the experience of the visitors, a new pathway has been laid in throughout the museum. Signages and landscaping has been done in sync with the restored exhibits. Railway Ministry is also in process of formulating a Solar Policy in this regard. Railway Minister directed for a separate section at the Museum which will exhibit the futuristic vision of Indian Railway Minister released this book titled Indian Railways More Miles...More Smiles edited by retired Indian railway official Shri J L Singh and published by the Indian Railways. Railway Minister also inaugurated a documentary film Imprint of Indian Railways over Indian Cinema. The film depicts the 100 years old association of Indian Railways & the Indian cinema. .

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The Railway Minister inaugurated the Mobile Ticketing System for Mumbai Suburban tickets at Dadar station in Mumbai on 27.12.2014. Initially this system is launched at Dadar station only. It will be implemented at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Kurla, Thane and Kalyan soon and thereafter at other stations in a phased manner. One can download the free application for Android/Windows to avail this facility. Application for iPhone and Blackberry will be available soon. User has to open the application and sign up by giving name, mobile number and Mumbai city upon which one time password will be sent through SMS. On entering the OTP, the user is registered and R-wallet with zero balance is created. At the journey originating station, one will have to go to a Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM) and select Print Mobile Ticket option, enter your mobile number and booking ID to get printed ticket. .

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The Minister of Railways commissioned 30 kW Solar Plant at roof top of Rail Bhawan at New Delhi, on 23rd December 2014. Indian Railways is planning to harness solar energy in a big way which will be a step forward in mitigating the challenges currently being experienced by our environment. Railways to expedite provision of solar plants at other Railway buildings also preferably in public private partner model. .

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Gwalior-Gonda Sushasan Express (weekly) was flagged off on 25th December 2014. This train will travel through various important destinations which are connected with the life of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. .

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An education train Gyanodaya Express a tour package for the students of Delhi University to visit North east states, was flagged off from Delhi on 18th November 2014. During his recent visit to North Eastern region, the Honble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has announced Rs. 28000 crore for new rail projects, Rs. 5000 crore to provide 2G mobile coverage for comprehensive telecom development, setting up of six agricultural colleges in the region, among other initiatives. This tour is in line with the philosophy of the Prime Minister to emphasis on developing of North Eastern states. .

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The Railway Minister flagged off a new Shatabdi Express between New Delhi and Bhatida from New Delhi Railway station on 18th December 2014. It is envisaged that the Railways role in bringing enhanced inter-city connectivity and thereby greater mobility through this new Shatabdi services between New Delhi-Bhatinda would mark another turning point to the hinterland of Punjab and to the developing cities in the vicinity. .

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In a significant move to make Unmanned Level Crossings (UMLCs) safer for road users thereby avoiding accidents thereat, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has directed the Railway Board to explore the use of Geo-spatial technologies for this purpose. Under such technologies which combine Global Positioning System(GPS), Geographic Information System(GIS) and Remote Sensing, an alert message will be flashed automatically in the mobile phones of all the road users carrying GPS enabled mobile phones and who are in the vicinity of an Unmanned Level Crossing, about the approaching train. .

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In order to improve the railway recruitment system, the Railway Minister has directed Railway Board to undertake entire recruitment exercise including recruitment On Line and to examine for implementation of this project in a time-bound manner with adequate checks and balances. .

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The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1st April 2014 to 30th November 2014 were Rs. 100622 crore compared to Rs. 89341.26 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 12.63 per cent. .

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Indian Railways carried 713.11 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during 1st April to 30th November 2014. The freight carried shows an increase of 35.53 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 677.58 million tonnes actually carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 5.24 per cent. .

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The Railway Minister inaugurated the Wi-Fi Broadband Services at New Delhi Railway Station 8th December 2014. The Wi-Fi project on Indian Railways is being executed by RailTel, a Public Sector Undertaking of the The RailWire powered Wi-Fi gives maximum speed of 1 mbps. Wi-Fi facility is available to the users free of cost initially for a period of 30 minutes by registering on the Wi-Fi network through their mobile. .

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The Railway Ministry organized an Investors Meet to discuss various issues pertaining to Private Investment in rail sector especially PPP and FDI issues on 5th December 2014. Participants at the Investors Meet included representatives from Chambers of Commerce, Railway PSUs, PSUs of Ministry of Heavy Industry, Investment Consultants, Investment Bankers, Infrastructure sector, Construction Sector, Port Sector, Rolling stock manufacturers, Raw material Manufacturers etc. .

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A High Level Committee headed by Shri D.K. Mittal, IAS, (Retd) former Secretary to Govt. of India, was constituted on 5th December 2014 to identify factors, issues and avenues for improving financial health of Indian Railways. The Committee will study the existing revenue structure and avenues for realizing revenue in Indian Railways and to examine the efficacy and sufficiency of the existing revenue structure and avenue for raising revenues in Indian Railways. The Mittal Committee submitted its report to the Railway Minister on 30th December 2014. .

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On the direction of the Railway Minister, the Railway Board has issued a set of guidelines to all Zonal Railways for inviting tenders for engaging professional/reputed agencies for the purpose of outsourcing of cleanliness at 50 major railways station of A1 & A categories on Indian Railways. The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has been emphasizing on sustained cleanliness activities on Indian Railways. .

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The Railway Minister issued directions for formulation of Integrated Policy on Cleanliness at the station, platforms and coaches. This policy will ensure better and effective coordination among number of departments involved for providing cleanliness. This Integrated policy on Cleanliness would clearly lay down the parameters and benchmarks for cleanliness. The Policy would clearly lay down structures/procedures for garbage collection, garbage sorting and garbage disposal. .

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With a view to generate additional revenue, the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu directed RITES, a public sector undertaking of Ministry of Railway, on 1st December 2014 to quickly study and prepare a Concept Note, indicating ways and means for leveraging of space in coaches, wagons, trains, railway stations etc. for advertisements, publicity and other purposes. It is felt that Indian Railways have a lot of idle space in coaches, wagons, trains, railway stations etc which could be used for this purpose. TITES has since submitted a report. Now, a six-member task force headed by Member Traffic Railway Board has been set up to examine and implement this project. .

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The Railway Minister directed the Railway Board on 1st December 2014 to put in place Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) regarding quick evacuation of the injured persons from the railway track so that human lives are saved. The Railway Minister also desired for putting place a system-drive frame work to ensure compliance of SOPs by all concerned. .

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A task force headed by Member Engineering, Railway Board was constituted under the direction of Railway Minister to suggest the framework wherein appropriate power in taking financial and tendering related decision to various fields/functionaries. The task force will also suggest an appropriate technology based systemic framework to provide for internal checks and balance. .

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Yet another important event in the history of Railways, a new route from Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Guwahati in Assam got connected by rail, with. The Honble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi flagged off first ever train on this new railway line on 29th November 2014. With this, one more north eastern state, namely Meghalayay gets connected through rail network. .

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To further boost the development of rail link in North Eastern region, the Honble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation for a new rail route from Bhairabi to Sairang in Mizoram on 29th November 2014. It will take rail connectivity to Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram..

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Soon after taking over charge of Minister of Railways, the new Railway Minister has expressed his keen concern about expediting the implementation of various railway projects with full efficiency and transparency in the working. The very first decision the Railway Minister took is that, no tendering process will be dealt with at the level of Railway Minister and instead the powers will be delegated to the operating levels so that proper efficiency in decision making is ensured. For this purpose, the Minister appointed a one man Committee under the chairmanship of Mr. E. Sreedharan Ex MD/DMRC and Ex Member Engineering Railway Board to suggest a proper system and procedures to ensure accountability and transparency at the General Managers and other functionaries level for taking all commercial decisions including that of tendering. The Committee would also suggest the system and procedure and a manual of instructions to be followed to implement Railway Ministers decision speedily. The interim report of the committee was submitted to the Railway Minister on 27th November 2014. .

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At the Indo-French Seminar on Rail Sector, which was held on 24th November 2014, the Indian Railways sought cooperation of France in high speed train operations and also in areas of safety, customer service and station development and multimodal stations. .

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Indian Railways and Republic of Korea signed a MoU on Technical Cooperation In the Rail Sector on 17th November 2014. The MoU would enable technical assistance and cooperation between the Railways of the two countries on areas such as High Speed Rail, Modernisation of Rolling Stock, Railway Operations, Modernisation of Signalling, Construction & Maintenance technologies and in development of Logistics Parks/Terminals. .

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In keeping with its objective to resort to more eco-friendly sources of energy and a measure to strengthen mechanisms to cater to energy demands, Northern Railway on 28th October 2014 commenced the project for providing a Solar Power Plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Katra Railway Station. Earlier, while inaugurating the opening of Udhampur-Katra new Railway Line of Udhampur- Srinagar- Baramulla Rail Link Project (USBRL) Project on 4th July 2014, Honble Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his desire for providing a Solar Power Plant at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station as a green energy initiative to be a part of National Solar Mission. .

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The Indian Railways successfully implemented Wi-Fi facility in Bangalore City Railway station for providing high speed internet to the passengers on 28th October 2014. RailWire - the retail Broadband distribution model of RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, a PSU of the Ministry of Railways, is the powering engine for distributing internet bandwidth through WiFi. The facility at Bangalore has been taken up as a pilot project. .

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In a move to further enhance safety of road users, and Ministry of Road Transport & Highways signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on policy related to constructions of Road Over Bridges and Road Under Bridges on National Highway corridors on 10th November 2014. .

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As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, announced by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Indian Railways launched a massive special cleanliness campaign since 2nd October, Gandhi Jayanti Diwas involving Shramdaan and awareness activities throughout the country. Entire fraternity of more than 13 lakh Railwaymen/women including officers are being urged regularly to be a part of this campaign, either in the Shramdaan relating to cleanliness activity or in spreading awareness on cleanliness. .

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Railways made special arrangements for clearing of anticipated passenger rush during the ensuing Puja rush period and specifically during the festive of Chhat between 24th to 27th October, 2014. To cater to the rush of passengers during Puja, Diwali and Chhat festivals, Northern Railway planned 2485 train trips as compared to 1938 train trips during the same period of last year. Similarly regular trains were augmented resulting in 6070 additional coach trips as compared to 5263 additional coaches trips in 2013 i.e. 15% increase. .

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The detailed sectoral policy guidelines for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Railways have been finalised. Earlier, a Committee was constituted by the to draft sectoral guidelines and to identify potential areas/projects, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The Committee interacted with industry/Chamber of Commerce/Potential Investors and submitted its report within three weeks. .

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The Ministry of Railways started trial of e-catering service in trains. Its PSU, Indian Railways Catering &Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), was entrusted with the job of implementation of this service. IRCTC on a trial basis has started e-catering services on a few trains on Delhi Amritsar section since 25th September 2014. This is a service where a passenger is able to place an order for a meal, to be served at his seat in the train enroute, through a phone call or an SMS. Formal launching of e-catering service will be decided on the success of the above trial. .

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With a view to promote rail tourism in the country and to provide reasonably priced tourism package to tourists, especially the pilgrims in the country, India Railways finalised six pilgrim special tourist train packages in the first phase, which kick started from 25th October 2014. Railways proposes to run tourist trains in various Pilgrim Circuits like Devi Circuit, Jyotirling Circuit, Jain Circuit, Christian Circuit, Muslim/Sufi Circuit, Sikh Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Famous Temple Circuit etc. The six packages starting from 25th October 2014, aim at implementing the budget announcement. .

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Ministry of Railways have constituted a committee on 22.09.2014 with a tenure of one year for Mobilization of resources for major Railway projects and Re-structuring of Railways, Ministry & Railway Board under the chairmanship of Dr. Bibek Debroy. .

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A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and an Action Plan were signed between the Government of India and Peoples Republic of China in enhancing Technical Cooperation in Railway Sector, at delegation level talks between the two countries on 18th September 2014. The potential cooperation areas mentioned in the MoU are; i) Training in heavy haul freight transportation, ii) Raising of speed of trains on existing routes, iii) Station redevelopment, iv) High speed rail and v) Setting up of Railway University. .

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At present, Indian Railways is running premium special trains on 21 popular routes. Further the following additional premium special trains have been planned to run on seven new routes. These are: Mumbai-Chennai, Pune-Karmali, Hyderabad-Mumbai. Hyderabad-Bangalore, Hyderabad-Chennai, Jaipur-Bandra Terminus and Jaipur-Ernakulam. These trains which have been operated under dynamic fare system earned approximately 40 per cent additional revenue as compared to trains operated on normal fares. .

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In another landmark engineering marvel, Indian Railways completed Udhampur-Katra Broad gauge line in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister dedicated this line to the nation at a programme on 4th July. This line has brought Jammu & Kashmir Valley nearer to the rest of the nation . Four train services up to Katra commenced from July 2014. These are: New Delhi- Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Express, Pathankot-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra DMU and two DMUs between Jammu Tawi-Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra. .

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Indian Railways geared up its machinery to provide all possible help to the travelling public in the wake of unprecedented flood in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Railways arranged transport of relief material free of charge by coaching trains to Jammu Tawi and Udhampur from any station of India. The relief material included items like food, Medicines, Clothes, Building materials, Untensils etc. meant for free distribution among the flood effected population of Jammu and Kashmir. Railways made about 4 lakh Rail Neer drinking water bottles available for flood affected people of J&K. .

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With focus on improving safety, Railway Board held a series of meetings to review recommendations on various technical and technology related aspects of the High Level Safety Review Committee constituted by Ministry of Railways under the chairmanship of Dr. Anil Kakodkar. The exercise aimed at examining the recommendations in regard to their feasibility and implementation. Automatic Block Signalling; Automatic Signalling on 150 Route Km is targeted for commissioning during 2014-15. .

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Continuing with its emphasis on increasing the speed of passenger trains, successful trial of semi high speed trains with 160 kmph has been conducted between New Delhi-Agra. Now the clearance from Commissioner Railway Safety is awaiting before the commercial operation of this Gatiman train is started. The other identified sector for 160 kmph are; Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Kanpur, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Mysore-Bengaluru-Chennai; Mumbai-Goa, Mumbai-Ahmedabad; Chennai- Hyderabad and Nagpur-Secunderabad. These routes are also under various stages of study and examination. .

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Ministry of Railways took steps for introduction of High Speed Bullet Trains in the country on Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor. It is the part of the Ministrys ambitious plan to have Diamond Quadrilateral network of High Speed Rail connecting major metros and growth centres of the country. A detailed presentation was also shown to Railway Minister. Interim reports- no. 1 and No. 2 of JICA about Mumbai-Ahemdabad have been received by the railway Board. A provision of Rs. 100 crore has been made in this Budget for high Speed project to RVNL/HSRC (High Speed Rail corridor) for taking further steps. The issue also came up during the recent visit of the Prime Minister to Japan. Japan expressed its readiness to provide financial, technical, operational support to introduce bullet train in India. One new route between New Delhi and Chennai has been identified for introducing bullet train and China has been entrusted with the task of undertaking feasibility study of this line. .

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In a move to provide more hassle-free services to railway users, Indian Railways launched new IT initiatives/applications developed by its autonomous organisation, Central Railway Information Centre (CRIS). Some of the salient features are; Next Generation e-ticketing (NGeT); NGet system which can book 7200 online tickets instead of 2000 tickets per minute and now to attend 2,00,000 enquiries instead of 50000 per minute, launched. .

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Freight E-Demand system; In Freight train movement, the need for an on-line system for Registration and Demand for rakes and wagons has been finally met with the launch of the e-Demand module of the Freight Operations Information System (FOIS). With the release of this module, customers can sit in the convenience of their homes or offices and register their freight demands. Freight E-Diversion system; .

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Indian Railways added another milestone by launching yet another innovative scheme called the SMS Gateway, which will enable passengers to get SMS alerts on the status of reserved tickets. The SMS Gateway project will be used to send SMS alerts to passengers in case of status change in the PRS tickets, as compared to the initial booking status (For example W/L to RAC, RAC to CNF, W/L to CNF). SMS alerts prior to chart preparation will be sent once a day, in case of status change only, beginning from 5 days before the journey date. .

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. A new scheme called the Yatri Ticket Sewa Kendra (YTSK) Scheme has been launched in August 2014. Under this scheme, agents of Indian Railways can operate ticketing terminals at various locations in the cities and towns for issuing reserved tickets and unreserved tickets. The scheme is aimed at expanding the reach of the ticketing systems of Indian Railways and evokes the principles of PPP and provides for revenue sharing between the private operators and Indian Railways. .

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A new Rail Neer plant at Ambernath (Mumbai) of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a Public Sector Undertaking of Ministry of Railways, was inaugurated for commercial production. The production capacity of this plant will be 2 lakh liters per day, raising the total production (of the four plants) to 6.1 lakh litres of Packaged Drinking Water (PDW) daily. Till now, existing three Rail Neer plants used to cater to the Northern, Eastern and Southern parts of our country. .

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Transportation of coal is an important activity of Indian Railways and is very crucial for the countrys power supply system. Railways along with Power and Coal ministries held special joint meeting to put three critical coal connectivity projects on fast track and formed Multi Disciplinary Project Monitoring Unit for better coordination. The three rail connectivity projects for coal movement are: i) Tori-Shivpur(44kms), Shivpur-Kathautia(53kms) railway line in North Karanpura in Jharkand. ii) Jhasuguda-Barpalli-Sardega railway line (53 kms) in Ib valley, Odisha. iii) Bhupdevpur-Korichapan-Dharamjaigarh(180 kms) in Mand-Raigarh coalfield, Chhattisgarh. .

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Electrification of 591 route kilometres of railway track has been undertaken which include 150 Rkm between Vellore -Villupuram, 100 Rkm between Pathankot Jammu Tawai, 81 Kms between Manmad-Puntamba-Shirdi, 88 Kms between Barabanki-Gonda, 88 Kms between Chhapra-Siwan-Thawe and 84 Kms between Kurja-Meerut. .

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In a move to further improve energy efficiency on Indian Railways, a web based Electrical Energy Management System, RAILSAVER, developed by Centre of Railway Informatics System (CRIS), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Railways, inaugurated. The portal RAILSAVER will provide a perfect IT based platform for energy consumption data which will pave the way for systematic collection, assimilation, interpretation and analysis of data in evolving future strategies for conceiving, implementing and further intensifying energy conservation efforts on Indian Railways. This portal will further facilitate in saving energy upto 15% by the year 2020 through improved energy efficiency measures as laid down in Railways vision document. .

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Solar Power Panels of total 2.1 MW capacity installed and commissioned at Rail Coach Factory, Rae Bareli. At present, this factory is functioning completely on solar power. Action has been initiated for installing Solar Power project at Katra station to be completed by December 2014. A Solar Plant was also commissioned at the roof of the Rail Bhawan Building on 23rd December 2014. .

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Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India and Czech Railways (Ceske Drahy) of the Czech Republic and Association of Czech Railway Industry (ACRI) of the Czech Republic on Technical Cooperation in the field of railway sector on 19.8. 2014. .

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Indian Railways also strengthened its monitoring mechanism for improving catering in trains and stations. In a recent move, 13 catering agencies were penalized with Rs. 1 lakh each for their negligence in serving quality food to passengers in the trains. In order to provide value to passengers in the different regions, popular items from the north, south, east, and western parts of the country will be introduced in the Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and Duronto trains. .

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In order to clear extra rush of passenger during this peak summer season, 8778 trips of special trains were made run. Also 25452 extra coaches were attached on temporary basis. 40 extra coaches are attached on permanent basis. .

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Railway Ministry is taking steps for further streamlining the transportation of milk through rail. New design milk wagons have been finalized. A total of 60 Rail Milk Tankers are already proposed for procurement over the next 3 years. Out of these an order for 30 new railway milk tankers has already been placed by M/s RITES on behalf of National Dairy Development Board and Amul. .

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To keep pace with the modern means of internet media, Indian Railways launched its three social media platforms namely Facebook, Twitter and You Tube with the URL @railminindia. Railway Budget was for the first time live streamed on social media platforms. .

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Railway sportspersons as a part of Indian contingent at recently concluded Commonwealth Games-2014, (CWG) at Glasgow, Scotland, again brought glory to the nation by bagging 9 medals out of total 64 medals won by India. Indian Railways felicitated these sportspersons by announcing cash awards to each of them. .

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On the occasion of Independence Day, 2014, the Honble President of India has awarded Presidents Police Medal for Distinguished Service and Police Medal for Meritorious service to 14 RPF/RPSF officers and staff. .

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Indian Railways has developed special designed Salt wagons. These new wagons have been designed with FRP lining and sliding roof for transportation of salt. The lower tare weight will permit higher loads therefore greater revenues. .

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First Published: Tue, December 30 2014. 00:20 IST