Thrissur Railway Passengers' Association, TRPA is the confluence of all the stake holders who are interested in the development of Railway facilities in and around Thrissur. Naturally, all the people who avail Railway facilities from Thrissur and other neighbouring stations are automatically the members of this association. Due to the historic reasons, commuters from Thrissur towards Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Palakkad sides form the active group. TRPA always stands for meeting the public demands and this process is well supported by Railway Men, Political Leaders and the Media in Thrissur. The tireless efforts by TRPA in achieving the long standing basic requirements of Thrissur are well recognised and appreciated by one and all. TRPA is committed to continue its service to the society at large, cutting across all divisions. "Our prime focus is on the sustainable improvement of rail service in the country to world class levels with special emphasis on Thrissur"

Monday, 10 December 2012

Direct train between Ekm & Nilambur

New Train Will Be Launched By Clubbing 2 Existing Passenger Services Malappuram: The railways is planning to introduce a new direct train between Ernakulam and Nilambur by clubbing the Ernakulam-Shoranur passenger train and the Shoranur-Nilambur passenger train. At the Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee meeting held at Shoranur recently, the divisional railway authorities have decided to recommend a new train to the Southern Railway authorities. The details of the new train is likely to be included in the revised time table to be announced by the Southern Railway soon. There is a long pending demand for a second train from Nilambur to southern districts of the state, after the launching of Rajyarani Express connecting Thiruvananthapuram and Nilambur. At present the Shoranur-Nilambur passenger train leaves Shoranur at 12pm and reaches Nilambur at 1.50pm. The train starts its return journey from Nilambur at 2.30pm and reaches Shoranur at 4.15pm. After this the same train runs as Shoranur-Ernakulam passenger. The passenger train leaves Shoranur at 5pm and reaches Ernakulam at 8pm. The return journey starts at 7.30am the next day and reaches Shoranur at 11am. Now the Palakkad divisional authority has recommended running the passenger train as a direct train from Ernakulam to Nilambur, without halting at Shoranur. At present the passengers are not getting the benefit of the direct train as the train halts at Shoranur for daily maintenance works. The recommendation put forth is to carry out maintenance work of the train at Ernakulam. Slots are available at the maintenance shed there, as special sheds were opened recently at Palakkad and Kollam for the MEMU trains. (TP Nijish, Times of India dt 11-12-2012)

Reservation facility extended at Punkunnam

(Mathrubhumi dt 10-12-2012)

Non availability of land for doubling

(The Hindu dt 10-12-2012)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

State yet to plan rly budget proposals

Thiruvananthapuram: The failure to prepare proposals in advance, prioritize the needs of the state and effectively lobby for the cause will cost Kerala this time too in the upcoming railway budget. Though the state government has assured passengers of more trains, it has not even started the ground work to submit proposals to the rail ministry. “While other states are busy preparing proposals, Kerala has not even convened a meeting to discuss its rail needs. Lobbying wins more trains, infrastructure facilities and it seems that the state and its MPs are not interested. Authorities keep on promising more trains though track utilization is over 100%. What we need is additional tracks and automatic signalling systems; only then can new trains be introduced. Nobody speaks up for us,” said former Union minister of state for railways O Rajagopal. Thrissur Railway Passengers’ Association general secretary P Krishnakumar said the government should focus more on passenger and infrastructure facilities than division bifurcation and coach factories. “A proper survey must be carried out to ascertain passengers’ needs before approaching the ministry. Rail traffic and passengers inflow are increasing. The only way to address the issue is more MEMU services,” he said. A senior officer of Trivandrum division said a meeting will be convened next week to discuss budget proposals. “Unless the state lobbies effectively, we won’t get what we need,” he said. Meanwhile, Rajagopal said: “If the state maintains constant interaction with the railways, most issues can be solved. In Kerala, railway budget preparation is an annual exercise and it is discussed only when the budget document is ready for printing,” he said. (Shyam PV, Times of India dt 7-12-2012)

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Why certain zones are prone to railway accidents

So what caused the 11 railway accidents involving express trains in 2010 alone, and why has there been a sudden spurt in accidents during recent years? A paper published this year in Physica A, a reputed international journal, has in a very scientific way identified the reasons behind these. Aside from clearly establishing the well-known cause — the disproportionate increase in railway traffic compared with infrastructure — it has also identified zones that are insufficient to handle the congestion and reasons for this. The paper is based on statistical analyses of data drawn from the Indian Railways website, and is authored by Saptarshi Ghosh, Avishek Banerjee and Niloy Ganguly of Complex Network Research Group (CNeRG) in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. The authors have identified two main reasons for the 2010 accidents. First, railway traffic has grown disproportionately to railway infrastructure, particularly railroads and routes. Second, there are serious flaws in the scheduling of trains on some routes. So much so that the Railway system would not be able to handle the traffic on certain routes if all trains were to run as per schedule. Hence, the Railways resort to making trains wait at signals, leading to long delays in trains’ run-time. This is alarming, as the system intentionally introduces the possibility of human error and/or system failure leading to accidents. The 11 accidents were due to derailments or collisions between express trains or some sort of failure of the railway system itself. Incidentally, eight of the 11 accidents took place in a zone which they call the Indo Gangetic Plain (IGP) — a north-eastern belt. This is no coincidence, as the statistical analysis by the authors clearly identifies the reason. They find that the Indo-Gangetic Plain hosts some of the most traffic-intensive segments of rail routes — seven out of the 20 that they consider high-traffic. Comparing data gathered from 1992 to 2010 from “trains at a glance,” they conclude that this is because the infrastructure such as railway lines and tracks have not grown over the years, whereas the number of trains has increased manifold. They identify the most risk-prone ‘trunk segment’ as the Delhi-Tundla-Kanpur one and identify the Vishakhapatnam-Vijayawada trunk segment from the southern zone as the “safe standard” based on the empirical evidence that it has not had any accident so far. How sound is the rationale behind keeping the south zone route as a safe standard? Is it not better to keep an absolute value on safety? In an email to The Hindu, Niloy Ganguly noted: “It will definitely be better to use an absolute standard, but we do not know of any such standard for IR…. Note that there have been derailments/collisions even in South India in 2012. Hence, some segments in South India also seem to be nearing the risky zone. This means that the condition of IGP is even worse than what we had estimated in our paper (since the safe standard itself is no longer very safe).” Another parameter is the headway, or time lapse between two trains as they cross the same point. The possibility of two trains coming dangerously close to one another increases as the headway reduces. They found two segments clearly coming out as risk-prone segments — the Delhi-Kanpur segment and the Ahmedabad-Surat segment. The Vishakhapatnam-Vijayawada segment has a much higher headway and is therefore safer, relatively speaking. Of the two lower headway segments, the Ahmedabad-Surat segment has trains with low headway running throughout the day, whereas in the case of the Delhi-Kanpur segment, trains get bunched up in the early hours. Runtime delays of trains on these segments were also studied. While 20 per cent of the trains on the Delhi-Kanpur segment were delayed by more than one hour, only about three per cent of the trains on the Vishakhapatnam-Vijayawada segment were delayed to that extent. The delays reflect the high degree of congestion and frequent waiting of trains at the signals, and hence a possibility of an accident. They also analysed traffic congestion at a fine-grained level by undertaking a simulation of the traffic flow according to the IR schedule. The authors modelled the “block system” followed by Indian railways. A railway track is divided into block sections (of about 4-8 km) such that when one train is occupying a block, no other train is allowed to enter that block on the same track. Signals or stations at the end of the block control the traffic. From the simulation, it became apparent that there would be more than two or three trains in one block quite frequently in the Indo-Gangetic Plain if all trains were to run as per schedule and not stopped by signals. Now, while some blocks have three tracks, most of the IR blocks have only two tracks and so can accommodate at most two trains. So this indicates that the infrastructure is not sufficient to handle the traffic and this is only being managed by stopping trains and delaying them beyond the scheduled time. (SHUBASHREE DESIKAN, The Hindu dt 29-11-2012)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Alternate proposal to connect Guruvayur towards North


A cost effective & feasible proposal to connect Guruvayur towards North. (Malayala Manorama dt 17-11-2012)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Ekm-Thrissur Memu service yet to take off


KOCHI: The mainline electrical multiple units (Memu) service on Ernakulam-Thrissur route, announced following much demand, is yet to take off. Railways attributes the delay to shortage of rakes required for operating the eight-car (coaches) Memu service. The service, originally scheduled to run by September last year, is expected to benefit around 5,000 daily commuters on the route. "Though the service was included in the railway timetable published in July, the service is yet to commence. The service should also be extended to Palakkad. There are over 3,000 season ticket holders travelling daily from Thrissur alone," Thrissur Rail Passengers Association general secretary P Krishnakumar said. All-Kerala Railway Users' Association president Paul Manvettom said, "The railways had stated that the service would be launched during Onam last year but nothing has happened so far." Sources said two rakes meant for Ernakulam-Thrissur and Kollam-Nagercoil Memu had arrived at the Southern Railway headquarters in Chennai. However, a senior railways official here said there was no need for any infrastructure upgrades for operating Memu services. "The infrastructure required for operating Memu services is electrified lines and we already have it. We have not received any information about rakes from the headquarters. We can launch the service once the rake arrives," he said. Railway sources said the division's rake maintenance facility in Kollam is awaiting commissioning. "The maintenance of the rake of Ernakulam-Kollam Memu service is now being done at our Palakkad facility. Once our Kollam facility is ready, we don't have any other issues in operating Memu services," the official said. (Times of India dt 16.11.2012)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Additional tracks-Need of the hour


(Deepika dt 9-11-2012)
(Madhyamam dt 9-11-2012)
(Mathrubhumi dt 8-11-2012)
(Mangalam dt 8-11-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 5-11-2012)

Information on emergencies


(Mathrubhumi dt 5-11-2012)

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Now, 6,500 trains can be tracked real time

NEW DELHI: Now, railway passengers can track trains on real-time basis. Railways has launched online application RailRadar, which is an interactive map onGoogle that can facilitate passengers to track movements of all trains running across the country. The passengers can locate the trains on real-time basis on both internet and their cellphones. RailRadar, developed by a Railway PSU Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) in collaboration with RailYatri, is a live tracker of all passenger trains traffic in real time. The interactive map will help users to find the exact geographical location of about 6,500 trains on a Google map on real-time basis, an official said. The system enables a colour-coded method as trains highlighted in blue indicate those that are running on time, while the red markers indicate trains that are delayed or running behind schedule. An official said if you click on a particular train, the map will show the exact route of the train including all the stoppages and the current location of the train on real-time basis. RailRadar can be accessed through the railway website, trainenquiry.com. To know the current status of the train, a passenger can enter a train name or number and the system will inform whether the train is delayed or running on time. The interactive map zooms in and out to get train and station detail. Users can search for a particular station or train to get specific details of trains around the station or running status of a train, location, its route and stoppages. RailRadar gives an overview on train on time and delay status. In case of an accident or unplanned activity, the site would be able to provide users with an overview of situation and train status across the country. "The live tracker is shown on an interactive map which permits users to watch the movements of trains running across the country," a railway official said, adding that the move is first for any major railway system in the world. (Times of India dt 11-10-2012)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Better patronage for B’lore train during afternoon hrs

Kochi: Ticket booking patterns of the Kochuveli-Bangalore Express seem to support the view of the rail passenger associations that it will have better patronage if started in the afternoon and not during night hours as the railways proposed. The triweekly service used to have a waiting list almost on all days when it was leaving Kochuveli at 4.05pm and reaching Bangalore at 8.35am the next day. However, many seats remained vacant when railways last month introduced a special train on three days a week leaving Kochuveli at 09.20pm, as per the information collected by Thrissur Railway Passengers’ Association general secretary P Krishnakumar. An additional daily train connecting Kerala and Bangalore, where a large number of Keralites work and study, has been a long pending demand. It was announced in this year’s rail budget that the tri-weekly Kochuveli-Bangalore Express would be made a daily service. Its original timing was convenient for the passengers as they needed to spend only the night hours in the train. Similarly, the train was slotted to leave Bangalore at 5.15pm and reach Kochuveli at 09.25am the next day. However, as per the revised train time table that came into force on July 1, the train was slotted to leave Kochuveli at 9.20pm and reach Bangalore at 12.45pm. In the return leg, it was scheduled to leave Bangalore at 2.15pm and reach Kochuveli at 6.05am. Following a series of public protests, the Railways introduced a special tri-weekly train on the route last month on the planned timings. And, despite the heavy demand on the Kerala-Bangalore route, the train had 100 to 493 vacant seats in the sleeper class while the service leaving Kochuveli at 4.05pm had a waiting list of 24 to 205, Krishnakumar said. (T Ramavarman TNN, Times of India dt 4-10-2012)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Rail ministry to decide on Harbour Terminus revival

Kochi: Construction of the railway bridge - parallel to the existing one at Venduruthy - is almost over, but revival of the Cochin Harbour Terminus station will have to wait till the railway ministry gives its clearance. “The bridge, meant for passenger train movement between Harbour Terminus station and South station, will be declared ready for operation after the railway safety wing certifies it,” railway area manager (Ernakulam) P L Ashok Kumar told TOI. Tracks will be laid on the bridge after the state agency, constructing it, hands it over to the railways formally. However, the decision to start passenger services to Harbour Terminus has to be taken atthe rail ministry level itself, he said, adding that goods trains are using the old Venduruthy Bridge. There has been no passenger servicethroughtheHarbour Terminus for over a decade after a dredger hit the Venduruthy Bridge in 2004. Only one or two passenger trains used to halt at the station. But, the station, which became operational in 1943, was once the hub of state’s economic activities.Tea,coffee, coir, cotton and other export consignments came here by wagons from different locations in the state to be sent to distant destinations from the adjacent Cochin harbour. Revival of Harbour station would help de-congest the South station. “We can then move some passenger trains there for stabling. At present, these trains occupy the tracks at the South station for long hours. Once the ministry clears the proposal, we will spruce up the Harbour Terminus,” Ashok Kumar said. One of the constraints in operationalizing the Harbour Terminus station fully is that the Indian Navy may not give sanction to railways to electrify the line. Navy has been objecting it because the line between South railway station and Harbour Terminus passes through the approach path of the aircraft that use the defence airport. Railways will have to use diesel engines, till the defence ministry gives its clearance. Ashok Kumar also disclosed that work on the track doubling between Ernakulam North station and Thammanam ‘C’ cabin area on the Kottayam route was likely to begin next month. This will remove a major bottleneck on the Kottayam route, he said. (T. Ramavarman, Times of India dt 22-9-2012)

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Book rail tickets on mobiles

Even without a debit or credit card or net banking facility, customers can now book their railway tickets online, thanks to the introduction of the IMPS (Interbank Mobile Payment System) by the IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited).IMPS now allows inter-bank payments through mobile phones. A customer won’t require a computer to purchase train tickets. The charge for using the IMPS facility has been pegged at Rs. 5 for a transaction of up to Rs. 5000, and Rs. 10 thereafter. According to the IRCTC, by providing an additional payment option, it would be able to make the functioning of its website smoother. Booking via the IMPS will be possible for only those who have registered their mobile numbers with their respective bank accounts, as they would be required to furnish their unique MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) and the M-PIN (Mobile PIN). Things will become much smoother in the near future when a customer will be able to book his/her tickets through mobile SMSs without having to access the internet or using a debit or credit card. (K. Balchand, The Hindu dt 15-9-2012)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Getting a nation on track


Anu Kumar tells the story of two unsung Britishers in the 19th century, whose efforts kicked off the railways in India.
Imagining a world linked by a network of railway lines was well nigh impossible in the 19th century, but in 1850, an engineer called Rowland Macdonald Stephenson believed it entirely feasible. He wrote of a railway line that would run from London to Calcutta, reducing journey time to 10 days, with only two halts in between: One on the French side of the English Channel and the other at Dardanelles, the narrow strait off north-western Turkey. Not only that, Stephenson wrote of a railroad connecting Persia (Iran) through Afghanistan to Baluchistan, and still another that ran along Nepal, following the Eastern Himalayas, down the course of the Brahmaputra, to China and farther on.
Stephenson’s railway dreams began in 1841, when, as a 33-year-old engineer looking for prospects, he left London for Calcutta. Calcutta was the centre of the East India Company’s operations and to young men with initiative it held a world of opportunity.
There were some who went to work in the native courts, others sought employment in the EIC, and then there were those with dreams and little finance, who, despite the backwardness of a new country, saw its potential as an arena for investment, for construction and manufacturing, and to support their arguments, they wrote that such moves would benefit a country like India.
Among these men were railway promoters such as the one Stephenson became, and his contemporary, John Chapman. If the “Orientalists” discovered India for the west, the railway adventurers created it anew. Both were men shaped by the Industrial Revolution. By the 1840s though, railways in Britain had lost much of its way. In an age of laissez faire capitalism, companies had come up chaotically; lines were made haphazardly, people displaced. It’s a story that has hardly been told.
The line from Calcutta
Once in Calcutta, Stephenson noticed that coal from Raniganj coalfields, near the present Bengal-Bihar border was transported to Calcutta in expensive slow-sailing country boats. The river Damodar had a circuitous route and was unpredictable in seasons of heavy rainfall. Stephenson instantly realised the possibilities of a railway line that could shorten costs and distance. He was supported by Indian merchant princes such as Dwarkanath Tagore and Mutty Ram Seal, yet his initial proposals were dismissed as wild. Not just the East India Company, its court of directors in London and the Board of Control of the British Parliament were equally dismissive.
An undaunted Stephenson made a trial survey of the Ganga plain in 1844 with three assistants. That same year, he set up the East Indian Railway company to negotiate with the three government bodies that were always trying to scale down each other’s terms, especially with regard to the guarantee. The latter would become a permanent feature of early rail construction of India, where shareholders were assured a minimum return on their capital by the government.
Not really convinced about the efficacy of the railways, the EIC engaged its own engineer Frederick Walter Simms, to tour the country in 1846, in just the manner Stephenson had. Simms’ report confirmed the railways were possible in India but being understandably circumspect about its ultimate prospects, he suggested that an “experimental” line be built first: one running from Allahabad to Kanpur or from Calcutta to Barrackpore. This was in keeping with the current view, still largely sceptical about the railways in India.
Stephenson for his part remained certain that railways in India would in time prove a commercial success. Already native merchants travelled extensively with their goods, many had gomashtas(agents) in the main cities of Bombay and Calcutta. Pilgrim traffic too would sustain the railways and lastly, if India had good infrastructure, such as the railways would ensure, it could produce almost anything. His arguments paid off. In 1847, an agreement was signed for the EIR to build its line from Calcutta to Ranigunj. It would soon stretch on towards Delhi via Mirzapore.
All the equipment and building materials including chairs, fish-plates, pins, bolts and even iron for building bridges were shipped from England to Calcutta via the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, for the Suez Canal would open only in 1869. A lot of the ironwork for construction was stolen during the revolt of 1857. There were other hazards when a cholera epidemic in late 1859 claimed the lives of hundreds of labourers and their British supervisors.
His Indian railway dream fulfilled in large measure, Stephenson moved on to China. In 1864, he was commissioned by Jardine, Matheson and Company, a trading body that had made its fortune from the opium trade, to plan a railway network for China. On his advice, a railway line in Beijing was constructed, for he honestly believed the Chinese refusal stemmed from ignorance about the railways. This line was destroyed and a second line built in 1876 met a similar fate. The Chinese government eventually gave in; they granted concessions to build railways in the late 1890s to a company cofounded by Jardine, Matheson and Company.
Little is known of Stephenson’s personal life. His railway dream sent him to various places just as it would his contemporary, John Chapman, the man behind the Great Indian Peninsular Railways. The GIPR’s line from Bombay to Thane would be India’s first railroad in April 1853. Chapman was as multi-faceted as Stephenson, but unlike Stephenson, he also had radical political views. Chapman’s fascination with the railways followed his inventive work first on the Hansom cab, and then the airplane, all in the 1840s.
The Hansom cab, a ubiquitous feature of London’s streets, was first an awkwardly designed vehicle. Chapman’s inventiveness led to his substituting smaller wheels for the old ones that had made the vehicle stand too high. The driver’s seat placed higher and behind the passenger carriage allowed him to monitor passengers.
These cabs were a success but in 1841, he left following disagreements, a feature that was to recur often in his life.
Chapman moved on to the concept of a steam-driven “aerial carriage” designed by William Henson and a colleague. Chapman devised a whirling arm instrument to test the movement of air past solid objects. The three of them developed another model, with wider wings and also running on steam, but this never took off, literally, thus scaring away investors.
All this happened in the early 1840s, nearly six decades before the Wright Brothers made their maiden flight at Kitty Hawk in 1901. By then, Chapman was already drawing up plans for a railway line that would stretch 2,100 km from Bombay to a port on India’s east coast, crossing the rich cotton-growing regions along the way. Chapman himself undertook these surveys in difficult terrain. Following the EIC’s readiness to negotiate, Chapman and a few others set up the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, as a joint-stock company. Chapman, though, was soon forced out of the GIPR. He wanted a suitable position and salary but was dismissed, receiving meagre compensation for his work. In 1854, aged 53, he died from the cholera he had somehow contracted.
Chapman was ahead of his time. On the one hand he spoke for British interests that would benefit from railway construction projects, and on the other, he was against Britain’s “right to rule” over several million Indians. At a time, when shipping was considered a more promising venture, and railways in the Oriental world was deemed too risky, Stephenson’s and Chapman’s efforts paid off. Their own lives remain undocumented and unsung, but in a matter of decades, the Indian railway system was to become one of the largest in the world.
(The Hindu, Sunday Magazine dt 9-9-2012)

Friday, 7 September 2012

Incomplete 4th Platform

(Mathrubhumi Nagaram dt 6-9-2012)

55th DRUCC Meeting

(The Hindu dt 6-9-2012)
(Mathrubhumi dt 6-9-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 6-9-2012)
(Madhyamam dt 6-9-2012)
(Mangalam dt 6-9-2012)
(Deshabhimani dt 6-9-2012)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

TRPA welcomes DRM to 55th DRUCC meeting

TRPA President Shri.D.Ananthasubramanian welcoming DRM Er.Rajesh Agrawal to the 55th DRUCC meeting held in Thrissur on 5-9-2012. Sr.DCM Shri.A.Sundar is also seen.
(Malayala Manorama dt 5-9-2012)
(Deshabhimani dt 4-9-2012)
(Deepika dt 4-9-2012)

Friday, 31 August 2012

New train to B’lore to run as a special

Kochi: The Railways has adopted a new strategy to tide over the protests against inconvenient timings of the proposed additional train between Kochuveli and Bangalore by making it a special train. 
However, the new train, which will run for four days a week from Friday for a month, will leave Kochuveli at 9.20pm and will reach Bangalore at 12.45pm the next day. 

The Railways, in a press release, said the new train would leave Kochuveli on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 
 In its return trips, the train will leave Bangalore at 2.15pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 
Earlier, there were widespread protests against the timetable of the new train from passengers who wanted it to reach Bangalore in the morning hours and to leave Bangalore in the night.

(Times of India dt 1-9-2012)

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Booking of e-tickets in IRCTC to get easier

Mumbai: Booking your ticket may get easier and faster through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website. It has plans to come up with a Rolling Deposit Scheme where user can book tickets against the amount deposited with IRCTC. 
Pradeep Kundu, Joint General Manager, Public Relations, IRCTC said, “Under the scheme, a user can deposit money in advance with IRCTC and use RDS as a payment option amongst the other payment options available on IRCTC website for paying money at the time of booking tickets.” 
It is proposed to have a onetime registration fee of Rs. 200 – 250 and minimum deposit of around Rs. 1,500 – 2,000, The top-up of RDS account balance can be done by using any of the available Payment Gateways and a user can transfer the money from his Bank Account to IRCTC Bank account and book tickets using that RDS account. Users can manage his account online and also top up online. 
IRCTC claims that RDS account system will be more efficient and advantageous compared to the transaction carried out through Payment Gateways of banks. 
Kundu said, “As of now, after selecting the payment option, the customer is redirected to the Pay
ment Gateway where he enters the credit card details. Subsequently he is redirected to either VBV (Verified by Visa) service or Master Secure service where he has to enter the transaction password and validate. This entire process consumes substantial amount of transaction time.” 
Moreover, in the payment gateway system very often one enters wrong password and therefore, has to revalidate it. After which when the customer is finally redirected back to IRCTC site the session may time out and as a result his ticket is not booked. 
 Kundu said, “The same can be saved by the user by using the RDS account since the entire transaction is internal and there is no dependency on a third party Payment Gateway.” 
In the RDS system, user's dependency on bank is reduced.

(Manthan K Mehta TNN, Times of India dt 31-8-2012)

Monday, 6 August 2012

A hi-tech solution to cut railway station queues


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Southern Railway (SR) divisional office here is planning to set up automatic ticket vending machines at the Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station soon. The move is expected to cut the long queues in front of ticket counters at the station.
The machines, which employ technology similar to ATMs, will help passengers book tickets using prepaid 'smart cards'. Print outs of the tickets can also be taken on the spot.
Tickets can be procured for daily commutes within the state. Passengers will also be able to book tickets two to three days prior to their journey.
"It was decided to introduce the vending machines after we noticed lengthy queues at the ticket counters here, especially during morning and evening peak hours. The easy-to-use touch screen interface will help passengers choose the destination, class and number of seats. The smart card can be recharged just like pre-paid mobile cards," said a senior commercial department official.
According to the official, after Thiruvananthapuram Central, the facility would be introduced at Ernakulam and Thrissur railway stations.
"In the initial stage, we will post an official with a smart card near the machine to help the passengers. Once the public familiarizes with the system, the smart cards will be made available for all. Southern Railway is planning to launch the facility within two months, which at the moment is only employed at its Chennai suburban system," the official said.
He added that if found successful, the facility would be made available at all stations in the state.
(George Adimathra, TNN | Aug 7, 2012, 02.08AM IST. Times of India dt 7-8-2012)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Kerala government is yet to begin work on railway budget proposals

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As railway divisions across the country begin preliminary discussions to furnish proposals for the next railway budget, the state government which can play a major role in getting things on track has not done anything yet. 
The divisional railway manager offices ofThiruvananthapuram and Palakkad stated that preliminary discussions in view of railway budget proposal submissions had already commenced. "Rail infrastructure development is the need of the hour and not additional trains. If the government makes suggestions few weeks before the final submission, as it normally does, Kerala will fare badly in the coming year too," said railway passengers association general secretary P Krishnakumar. 
"The state government's lethargy in land acquisition process is the main factor that prevents infrastructure development," said divisional railway manager offices of Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad. "August-September is the right time for the government to jointly work with respective divisional authorities to include its proposals in the railway budget. But such a practice has not been followed for the past many years and this is one major factor that ruins Kerala's prospect for a people-friendly railway budget," said Krishnakumar. "Doubling Ernakulam-Kayamkulam sector via Kottayam and Alappuzha, electrification of Shornur-Mangalore stretch, construction of Guruvayur-Thirunnavaya line, gauge conversion of Palakkad-Pollachi section and Punalur-Shengotta section, track doubling of Shornur-Karakkad section, introduction of automatic signaling system and laying two additional tracks exclusively for suburban service from Mangalore to Nagercoil are few of the projects that need immediate completion," Krishnakumar said. 
"Last week, during a meeting of state MPs, railway was not even mentioned. Their proposal will weigh more than what RPAs submit. But MPs take action barely one week before the budget. This is why neighboring states score better than Kerala in the budget," said Mathew Paul, general secretary, all-Kerala RPA.
(George Adimathra, TNN | Aug 6, 2012, 05.15AM IST. Times of India dt 6-8-2012)