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, 30 July 2012

Thursday, 19 July 2012

IBS

Finally tenders have been invited for Intermediate Block Signal at Nellayi & Chowara.
(Mathrubhumi dt 19-7-2012)

Forth platform woes

(Mathrubhumi dt 19-7-2012)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Detention of train averted

(Mathrubhumi dt 18-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 18-7-2012)
(Deshabhimani dt 18-7-2012)
(Madhyamam dt 18-7-2012)
(Mangalam dt 18-7-2012)
(Rashtradeepika dt 17-7-2012)

Urgent needs of Keralam

(Malayala Manorama dt 16-7-2012)

Cycling cities


Cities across the world are rediscovering bicycles. Pushed by increasing fuel costs, the compulsion to reduce commuting time, environmental concerns, and the need to make cities livable, many are back on better wheels. At the heart of this turnaround story is the widely popular Velib bicycle sharing system in Paris. Its success has been infectious: Montreal, Bogota, Hanghzou and many other cities have embraced cycling. Velib completed its fifth anniversary recently and its impressive journey offers an opportunity to reflect on the state of Indian cities. Public cycle sharing systems have been in existence in Europe since 1965, but its scale, design and convenience make the Paris system stand apart. As a result, more than 300,000 trips are made every day using cycles with an average speed of 15 km an hour — better than the speed of crawling cars on choked Indian roads. The world today, as the mayor of a French city observed, is divided into two: cities that have bicycle networks and others who want it. Where does that leave Indian cities? They belong to a third category: directionless.
Despite a high user base, Indian cities have no plans for cycles. For example, Delhiites make 2.8 million trips a day by cycling, which is almost equal to the number of trips made by car. But the city hardly has any safe cycle-lanes. Chennai, which has about 1.4 million cycles, is no better. Given the fact that the average trip length in Indian cities is within 5 km, bicycles are the best suited for such commutes. It is disheartening to see urban planners overlook this advantage. Worse, their policies have literally pushed cycles off the road, forcing the poor who use them the most to spend more and more on transportation. The larger benefit from promoting cycling lies in reducing energy consumption and pollution levels. Every car that is off the road saves 5.1 metric tonnes of CO2 a year and a five per cent increase in cycle trips across the world would cumulatively save 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. Realising the urgent need to promote non-motorised transport, many Asian cities are actively promoting them — Changwon in South Korea offers financial incentives to bolster cycle use; Hangzhou in China has a vast network integrated with the bus system; and Yogyakarta in Indonesia has introduced an accident insurance scheme to encourage cycle users. Indian cities should take a leaf out of these impressive examples closer home, start delineating dedicated lanes, and ensure safe riding. A people friendly, green, low-carbon city is no more a choice, but an imperative destination. Cycling more would get our cities there.
(The Hindu dt 9-7-2012)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Chugging along on the wheels of change


As a retired professor of History and Senior Scholar in the Department of History, University of Manitoba, Canada, Ian Kerr has chosen to delve deep into the history, evolution, and the development of the Railways in India. Though essentially a British legacy, the Indian Railways came into its own after Independence, mapping a new course for itself and becoming the country’s lifeline as well as a massive public sector monolith, providing employment to about 15 lakh people.
The research that has gone into the book is courtesy the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, and the photographs come from the Indian Railway Fan Club.
When the British came to rule India and found travel and communications so difficult, they decided to lay the foundations of what promised to be one of the world’s largest railway networks. For the British, it was essentially to connect the major cities, the ports, to make administration easier, and to reach the hill stations for their summer vacations. So those were the routes or destinations that got connected.
Construction of railroads in India began in 1850. Experiment and load testing trains came over, and finally, on Saturday, April 16, 1853, the first train was run officially in the country, transporting a large group of dignitaries along the 21 mile track that connected Bombay (now Mumbai) with Thana (Thane). The launch was marked by a 21-gun salute for the departure of the first train. After prolonged debates and discussions, the British opted to go in for the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and the East Indian Railway to build a rail network. In 1853, Governor General Lord Dalhousie laid out a comprehensive plan for the development of the trunk lines.
His objectives were clear and simple: Maximise political and commercial advantages along specific routes, and construction of subordinate lines. The construction was to be taken up by private companies “formed in and directed from England,” under the general control of the Government of India.
The Great Indian Mutiny of 1857 posed a serious challenge, but was overcome the very next year for the works to continue. The British presence in railroad construction was “crucial but small” — roughly 500 people in 1861. They could find skilled labour in India, and people who were better suited and adaptable to the weather conditions and the terrain they had to work in. Technology transfer held the key. Soon the construction work got into the difficult stretches — the ghat sections. Work on the Bhore Ghat Incline was an accomplishment by itself, taking almost 8 years of arduous work. Then came the equally challenging mountain railways to Ooty and Shimla. Construction of tunnels and long bridges was a necessity in India, and easily executed too, with the experience the workers gained in every project.
National asset
With Independence, the purpose and the drive of the Indian Railways changed. Though the British were more in favour of letting private companies manage and run the railway systems in different regions of the subcontinent, Independent India decided that the Indian Railways was a “national asset” as Jawaharlal Nehru called it, and decided to keep it in the public sector. The railways then became an engine of change and development, in much larger measure than under the British. The goal was clear, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, it was the railways that should link the country and unite it.
Construction of new lines began in a major way and the development of public sector iron and steel plants helped this process. All this led to job creation across the country and a full-fledged development of the hinterland wherever a new railway line was built.
In more recent decades, the development of Konkan Railways can be cited as an illustration of the development agenda. Despite the high costs, the Government of India, with the help of the States in the region, decided to go ahead with the construction of this massive rail link along the western coast that would provide a direct connection from Kerala and Karnataka to Goa and Maharashtra. Unfortunately, the full benefits of this project have not yet been realised.
Given the huge costs involved in the development of Railways, the Centre came up with a cost-sharing formula with the States. Roughly it was a 2:1 ration, which some States even bettered to ensure early completion of projects. All new lines, suburban sectors, and the Metro railways have all been built under this understanding.
What has somewhat vitiated this huge development seems to be the politics. Regional parties came to occupy a critical role in the era of coalition politics and governance and they demanded and got key portfolios, including the Railways. This meant that priorities changed depending on who was the Railway Minister at the time. Zonal Railways were sanctioned and operationalised to satisfy the aspirations and promises of these parties and ministers. The larger picture and a nationalistic approach to the development and management of Indian Railways may have been lost in this process. But whatever happens, the Railways will remain the lifeline of India. Despite the growth of Civil Aviation and the mushrooming of airlines, the demand for passenger trains has only increased and people are still unable to get tickets in the trains of their choice unless they book well in advance. It is perhaps in the movement of goods and commodities that the Railways has not been able to meet the challenge of the surface or road transport, which has become cheaper, quicker, and easier.

Engines of change — The Railroads That Made India: Ian J. Kerr. Orient Blackswan, 3-6-752, Himayatnagar, Hyderabad-500029 Rs.545/-

(The Hindu dt 17-7-2012)

Thiruvananthapuram railway division scores high on time management

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A focused move from the Southern Railway Thiruvananthapuram division to improve punctuality of running trains has started giving good results. 
According to highly placed railway officials, 99% trains are now reaching the Central station and other destinations on time. They also pointed out that this punctuality rate was the best in the country. 
Divisional railway manager (DRM) Rajesh Aggrawal told TOI that the exercise which began in October 2011 was initiated after realizing the declining standard in maintaining the timetable in the state. 
"By reducing boarding time at railway stations and increasing speed between stations ensured trains reaching destinations on time," he said. 
"With just single lines between Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam through Kottayam and Alappuzha we were virtually helpless to improve matters. The punctuality rate at that time was below 80% and trains used to reach destinations very late. Since track doubling works were progressing at a slow pace due to land acquisition issues, we had to consider other alternatives. After discussions with the operating department, the division zeroed in on increasing the speed of trains and reducing boarding time and it has brought good results," Aggrawal said. 
Currently, only major stations like Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kollam have a five-minute stop, while trains which stop at minor stations will not be stationed there for more than one minute. 
In between stations the speed has been increased up to 80 km/hr against the previous average of 60 km/hr. 
Adding that infrastructure bottlenecks continue to be an impediment, the DRM stated that a major emphasis is being considered for clear and smooth passage of trains. 
"For this we are coordinating with Palakkad division and all efforts would be made on the part of the Kerala railway administration to speed up track doubling works. At the moment we are planning augmentation of coaches on passenger trains so as to increase capacity," he said.
(, TNN | Jul 15, 2012, 01.59PM IST, Times of India)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Platform No.4 in Thrissur

(Madhyamam dt 15-7-2012)
(The Hindu dt 15-7-2012)
(Mathrubhumi dt 15-7-2012)
(Mathrubhumi dt 12-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 15-7-2012)
(Mangalam dt 15-7-2012)
(Deshabhimani dt 15-7-2012)
(Mangalam dt 12-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 12-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 11-7-2012)
(Mangalam dt 11-7-2012)
(Deshabhimani dt 11-7-2012)
(Mathrubhumi dt 11-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 11-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama Metro dt 10-7-2012)

Monday, 9 July 2012

Kerala gets its first train with bio-toilets


The Train Will Connect The State With Bangalore; First-Of-Its Kind In Southern Railway

George Adimathra TNN 

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala will have the first train in Southern Railway which have bio-toilets fitted on all its compartments. The new rake which arrived at Kochuveli terminus in Thiruvananthapuram last week, will be one of the trains running between the state and Bangalore as Kochuveli-Bangalore express, once, the now triweekly, becomes a daily service. 
Senior divisional mechanical engineer, Venugopal told TOI that the effort was not part of any trial exercise and it 
would be the first environment friendly train in Kerala and Southern Railways. 
“The bio-toilets employ anaerobic bacteria provided by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), to deal with the faecal waste produced on board the 
train. While existing toilets in trains just flush the human waste on to the tracks, this train has a tank fitted underneath all the toilets, which will collect the waste. 
“The bacteria in the tank will break down the waste and the residue would be just waste 
water. The technology has been under trial for many years and has been approved. This will be one among the few trains in India which will boast of bio-toilets,” Venugopal said. 
The official said that a layer of cow dung would be put inside the container to facilitate the fast growth of bacteria. 
“If properly maintained we would not require a re-shot of bacteria for 18 months. The mechanical department would also conduct regular sample testing of waste water to ensure pollution levels. 
 “While some trains running 
in SR has employed bio-toilets on trial basis, this is the first time a full rake is getting fitted by the green toilets in the zone. It is part of Indian Railways effort to stop the decade old procedure of flushing waste on tracks,” Venugopal further said. 
The 16315/16316 Kochuveli-Bangalore-Kochuveli express was supposed to become a daily service from July 1. However it was stalled, after railway passengers protested the change of timings. Currently, a decision regarding this is pending before the railway board.

(Times of India dt 9-7-2012)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

High-speed rail corridor may go up to Udupi

Kochi: The proposed Rs 1.20 lakh crore Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod highspeed rail corridor is likely to be extended to Udupi.
Karnataka government has written to Kerala officials in charge of the project suggesting such an extension.
“They have also expressed willingness to fund the stretch of the high-speed rail corridor passing through their state,” highspeed rail corporation (HSRC) CMD T Balakrishnan told TOI. “They see a lot of potential in attracting passengers to pilgrim centres like Mookambika Temple. Anyway we are planning to extend it to Mangalore, which is a proper terminus than Kasaragod,” Balakrishnan said.
HSRC said the distance of the rail corridor between Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod will be 521 km while itwillbe564km if the project is extended to Mangalore. The distance estimate for Udupi is yet to be worked
out. The high speed train, with a speed of 300 km/hour, will reach Kasaragod from Thiruvananthapuram in 2.42 hours. A journey from Thiruvananthapuram to Mangalore will only take in 2.53 hours. 
Balakrishnan said the corridor will cover 11 districts and bypass only Wayanad, Palakkad and Idukki. He claimed that the project could break even within six to seven years.
“Japanese agency JICA has shown interest to provide loan for the project and this continues to be the first option. JICA loan will have a moratorium of 10 years and repayment period of about 40 years. We are also keeping our options open on availing loan from ADB and World Bank,’’ he said.

(T Ramavarman TNN, Times of India dt 7-7-2012)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Modernisation bringing results

(Malayala Manorama dt 8-7-2012)
(Mathrubhumi dt 8-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 4-7-2012)
(Mathrubhumi dt 7-7-2012)
(Malayala Manorama dt 7-7-2012)