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Indian Railways Plans 2018: New Coaches, Smart Stations, Electrification

Indian Railways Plans 2018: New Coaches, Smart Stations, Electrification
A view of the new Utkrisht coaches that have been used in the Kalka Mail. (Source – Twitter account of the Ministry of Railways)

India Ahead

Indian Railways Plans 2018: New Coaches, Smart Stations, Electrification

2018 marks 165 years of train services, regarded as the country’s lifeline.

Train passengers are beginning to get a feel of the Indian Railways plans 2018.  The process of phasing out old coaches from trains began on Tuesday, with the Kalka Mail leaving Howrah with the new Utkrisht rake.

The government is already working on plans to complete 100% electrification of broad gauge rail routes across the country to make trains faster, safer, and cheaper to run.

Several other projects to modernise train travel and rail freight transport are at various stages of completion.

Utkrisht Rakes In Indian Railways Plans 2018

Indian Railways has planned to develop 640 Utkrisht rakes to upgrade the mail or express trains in the next two years at an expense of Rs 400 crore.

The first lot of Utkrisht rakes rolled out as Kalka Mail from Howrah station on Tuesday.

Utkrisht rakes are being developed as ‘green rakes’ at Eastern Railway’s Liluah workshop. They have about 20 coaches and will cost Rs 60 lakh each.

Our aim is to develop 140 rakes by March 2019 after which we are planning to roll out 500 more by March 2020.

-Rajesh Agarwal, Member Rolling Stock, Railway Board.

There is a new colour scheme which has been adopted for the exterior of the rakes – beige and maroon. There are energy efficient LED tubelights, and panels of LED lights in the doorway and gangway in all the coaches.

Indian Railways Plans 2018: New Coaches, Smart Stations, Electrification

(Source- Official Twitter account of Indian Railways)

The unique feature of this Utkrisht Rake is the provision of Swachh Rail Toilet (SRT), which is a hybrid design of bio-toilet system. Toilets of these coaches have improved fittings, lower water consumption, no choking of the systems and complete sealing of odour.

(ReadNew Coloured Rail Coaches To Make Train Journeys More Pleasant)

India’s First World-Class Station

Indian Railways plans 2018 include redevelopment of the Habibganj railway station in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. It is set to become India’s first world-class station under the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model. It will be reconstructed similar to Germany’s Heidelberg railway station.

Indian Railways Plans 2018: New Coaches, Smart Stations, Electrification

(Source- official Twitter account of Indian Railways)

In the process of redevelopment of stations, the concourse areas where passengers can spend time while waiting for the train shall be developed. Along with a waiting lounge for passengers, there will be cafeterias and food plaza.

The railway station will have a glass dome-like structure at the entrance to the station. To decongest the platforms, there will be an exit underpass for de-boarding the trains. The station will also have LED lighting and treatment for the waste water.

 A total of Rs 450 crore is being spent for the redevelopment of the station.

(ReadTrain Travel Becomes Luxurious, IRCTC Begins Giving Out Saloon Coaches To Public)

Country’s First Roadrailer Train

Recently, the country’s first roadrailer train travelled from Tamil Nadu to Palwal in Haryana. The wagon of the train is made of special designs enabling it to run on road as well as on railways. The container consisted of eight truck wheels and four rail wheels, according to the report.

The central government had approved the train in March this year. Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Limited along with Indian Railways will manufacture these trains with 100 roadrailer units and 20 rail bogie adapters. The capacity of each wagon (also called RRU) is about 30 tons and upto 50 wagons can be operated for a trip.

The roadrailer trains are bi-modal transportation units (distance between each unit is 15cm) which will reduce the maintenance costs of roads, minimize sound and air pollution.  It can also provide door-to-door facility.

Running as a semi-trailer on road and as a wagon on rail, it was first tested in the Chennai Division of the Southern Railway in August as part of Indian Railways plans 2018.

The Indian Railways can earn Rs. 22 lakhs per trip through roadrailers.

(Read– High Speed Train Corridors Soon For Faster Overnight Inter-City Travel)

Electrification Of Railways

Indian Railways Plans 2018 received a boost in September with the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving its nod to 100 percent electrification of the rail network.

Once the project is completed by 2021-22, Indian Railways will become one of the largest electrified railway networks in the world after China.

The current arrangement worked to electrify around 78-80 per cent of the rail connection network through covering another 17,000 km under electrification in future.

But CCEA took this arrangement to total electrification by covering the remaining 13,675 route km except 3,479 km of metre gauge and 2,209 of broad gauge network. The cost is estimated at Rs 12,134.50 crore.

The electrification is expected to reduce the dependency of Indian Railways on Crude Oil imports, increase safety of the passengers and will also relieve railways from climate changes. It would also generate employment opportunities for the people during the construction process.

First Engine-less Train

From next year, the Ministry of Indian Railways will launch its first engine-less car train – Train 18 which will have the features of Metro Coaches for inter-city travel.

The new train will be launched on the track of the Delhi-Bhopal route with a speed of 160 kmph, the report stated. The new “Made in India” trains with automatic doors will replace the aged Shatabdi trains. It will have two types of AC coaches- executive and non-executive.

Indian Railways Plans 2018: New Coaches, Smart Stations, Electrification

(Source – Twitter account of the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai)

India’s Lifeline

As the authorities execute the Indian Railways plans 2018, the Google Art and Culture project is showcasing 165 years of train service in the country. The online initiative celebrates unsung heroes, extraordinary engineering, and the scenic railway tracks and destinations.

It will also be exhibited at 22 stations including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Guwahati and Howrah.

India saw its first passenger train on April 16, 1853. It covered a distance of 34 km from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Thane, carrying 400 people. The network of railway tracks today covers 151,000 km in the country.

The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Indian Railways under an online project called “The Railways: Lifeline of a Nation”. The two-year digitisation project was launched on 28 September at the National Rail Museum in New Delhi.

According to an official statement, through this project, people can explore the different aspects of the Indian Railways in detail with photographs, documentaries, texts, 360-degree videos and virtual tours. The exhibition also features the digital story-telling about the workforce.

A total of 20 partner institutions have contributed to the initiative to mark 165 years of Indian Railways.

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