This is to exhibit its heritage assets like bridges, steam locomotives, buildings, artefacts and museums over the latter’s platform. The agreement will help the Railways digitize its assets which can then be accessed online for free. The Railways also plans to launch a dedicated rail heritage website as well, although it does not provide a timeline for it.
These will offer all delicacies to railway buffs. These restaurants will be placed strategically at railway properties of historic significance. The idea is to generate revenue besides preserving the heritage of the Indian Railways. The vintage hotels-cum-restaurants would be built in the coaches of a train set amid the ambience of an old station.
Though the train would be pulled by conventional diesel-run engines, the solar energy will be used for internal electricity gadgets. The Indian Railways has been focusing on alternate sources of fuels with trials already on to use CNG, biodiesel, and natural gas among others.
As per the plan, newly designed lightweight blankets made of soft fabric will replace the existing ones and these will be washed after every use. Currently, blankets are washed once or twice a month. NIFT has designed the fabric of the blanket, a mix of wool and cotton, which can withstand daily wash. It is not only the blanket but the entire bedroll has been redesigned with a new colour combination by the NIFT. So the bed sheet and pillow cover are all going to sport a new look.
According to railways, the running of 124 passenger trains and about 500 freight trains has been affected since the launch of the Jat agitation on February 15. The financial loss so far due to the cancellation of passenger trains and disruption of freight service is about Rs 200 crore. Also, the agitation has affected train services in the Northern and North-West zones.
The World Bank would be the anchor investor in the new Railway Development Fund, which would be used to fund modernisation of Indian railways, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu has said. He also said the World Bank leadership has realized that based on the performance in the past one year, Indian Railways is in the “right direction”. However, Prabhu did not divulge the size of the fund, but indicated that it would be the largest ever provided by the World Bank to the Indian Railways.
Indian Railways is bringing in ‘Key Result Area’ concept to evaluate the performance of its staff and officers. Key Result Area is defined as something for which a person is completely responsible and on which individual performance is measured. Railways was also in the process of bringing in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) form of contracting agreement for awarding railway project contracts.
Indian Railways is contemplating on replacing the 162-year-old paper system with digital SMS system by which every customer who books tickets at the ticket counter will receive the tickets by SMS. Railways is planning to opt for premium commercial bulk SMSes feature which will come with advertisements.
General Electric has won a Rs 17,250 crore order to supply Indian Railways 1,000 diesel locomotives over 11 years. The company will invest $200 million to build local manufacturing and service facilities. The company said it would build a diesel locomotive manufacturing facility in Marhowra, Bihar and two maintenance sheds in Punjab and Gujarat. This is a major support to #MakeInIndia initiative of Indian PM.