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Information given by Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Honorable Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic & Information Technology, in a written reply to various questions in Lok Sabha today

1.59524 km length of Broad Gauge rail line electrified

·50 Vande Bharat services have been introduced

·Automatic Block Signaling has been provided at 3946 Route km, till June 2023

·Wi-Fi facility has been provided at 6108 stations

 As o­n 01.08.2023, total 59,524 km length of Broad Gauge (BG) rail line has been electrified.

Electrification offers benefits like:

i.Reduced operating cost.

ii.Haulage of heavier freight trains and longer passenger trains due to higher haulage capacity of Electric Locomotives; leading to increased throughput. 

iii.Increased sectional capacity by eliminating detention o­n account of traction change.

iv.Environment friendly mode of transport.

v.Reduced dependence o­n imported crude oil thereby saving precious foreign currency.

The completion of Electrification project(s) depends o­n various factors like forest clearances by officials of forest department, shifting of infringing utilities, statutory clearances from various authorities, geological and topographical conditions of area, law & order situation in the area of project(s) site, number of working months in a year for particular project site due to climatic conditions etc. All these factors affect the completion time of the project(s). As such the confirmed time frame for completion of project(s) cannot be ascertained at this stage.

Speeding up of trains is a constant endeavour and a continuous process o­n Indian Railways (IR). o­ne of the objectives of rationalization of time table, undertaken by IR in a scientific manner with the assistance of IIT-Bombay, has been speeding up trains services by converting passenger trains to Express services and Express services to Superfast services. Conversion of trains operating with conventional coaches with MEMUs is also aimed at providing faster services to the passengers. Further, Indian Railways are introducing Vande Bharat trains, which have higher speed potential. Till 3rd August, 2023, 50 Vande Bharat services have been introduced o­n the IR network.

Steps taken to increase the speed of the trains are:

(i) Sectional speed have been raised to 130 kmph over 10,400 route km covering the Golden Quadrilateral & diagonal routes and other important B routes of IR network.

(ii) Works for raising of sectional speed to 160 kmph o­n existing New Delhi-Mumbai (incl. Vadodara-Ahmedabad) and New Delhi-Howrah (incl Kanpur-Lucknow) routes have been sanctioned costing Rs.6806 Cr. and Rs. 6685 Cr. respectively.

Indian Railways continuously intends to modernize the existing signaling system as under:

(i) Provision of Electrical/Electronic Interlocking System with centralized operation of points and signals in place of old mechanical signaling. These systems have been provided at 6443 stations as o­n 30.06.2023.

(ii) Complete Track Circuiting of stations to enhance safety for verification of track occupancy by electrical means has been provided at 6381 stations upto 30.06.23.

(iii) Interlocking of Level Crossing Gates (LC) has been provided at 11102 Level Crossing Gates upto 30.06.2023 for enhancing safety at LC Gate.

(iv) Axle counters for automatic clearance of Block Section, BPAC (Block Proving Axle Counter) are provided to ensure complete arrival of train without manual intervention before granting line clear to receive next train and to reduce human element. These systems have been provided o­n 6412 Block Sections up to 30.06.2023.

(v) Automatic Block Signaling (ABS) has been provided at 3946 Route Km upto 30.06.2023.

RailTel maintains OFC, which provides backbone network for the control communication circuits (for control) and various other requirements such as FOIS etc. for Indian Railways. Wi-Fi facility has been provided at 6108 stations.

2.Measures taken by Indian Railways to improve safety in train operations

The following measures have been taken by the Indian Railways to improve safety in train operations:

1.Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) has been introduced in 2017-18 for replacement/renewal/upgradation of critical safety assets, with a corpus of `1 lakh crore for five years. From 2017-18 till 2021-22, a Gross expenditure of Rs. 1.08 lakh crore was incurred o­n RRSK works.

2.Electrical/Electronic Interlocking Systems with centralized operation of points and signals have been provided at 6427 stations upto 31.05.2023 to eliminate accident due to human failure.

3.Interlocking of Level Crossing (LC) Gates has been provided at 11093 level Crossing Gates up to 31.05.2023 for enhancing safety at LC gates.

4.Complete Track Circuiting of stations to enhance safety for verification of track occupancy by electrical means has been provided at 6377 stations upto 31.05.2023.

5.Detailed instructions o­n issues related with safety of Signalling e.g. mandatory correspondence check, alteration work protocol, preparation of completion drawing, etc. have been issued.

6.System of disconnection and reconnection for S&T equipment as per protocol has been re-emphasized.

7.All locomotives are equipped with Vigilance Control Devices (VCD) to ensure alertness of Loco Pilots.

8.Retro-reflective sigma boards are provided o­n the mast which is located two OHE masts prior to the signals in electrified territories to warn the crew about the signal ahead when visibility is low due to foggy weather.

9.A GPS based Fog Safety Device (FSD) is provided to loco pilots in fog affected areas which enables loco pilots to know the distance of the approaching landmarks like signals, level crossing gates etc.

10.Modern track structure consisting of 60kg, 90 Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) rails, Prestressed Concrete Sleeper (PSC) Normal/Wide base sleepers with elastic fastening, fanshaped layout turnout o­n PSC sleepers, Steel Channel/H-beam Sleepers o­n girder bridges is used while carrying out primary track renewals.

11.Mechanisation of track laying activity through use of track machines like PQRS, TRT, T-28 etc to reduce human errors.

12.Maximizing supply of 130m/260m long rail panels for increasing progress of rail renewal and avoiding welding of joints, thereby ensuring safety.

13.Laying of longer rails, minimizing the use of Alumino Thermic Welding and adoption of better welding technology for rails i.e. Flash Butt Welding.

14.Monitoring of track geometry by OMS (Oscillation Monitoring System) and TRC (Track Recording Cars).

15.Patrolling of railway tracks to look out for weld/rail fractures.

16.The use of Thick Web Switches and Weldable CMS Crossing in turnout renewal works.

17.Inspections at regular intervals are carried out to monitor and educate staff for observance of safe practices.

18.Web based o­nline monitoring system of track assets viz. Track database and decision support system has been adopted to decide rationalized maintenance requirement and optimize inputs.

19.Detailed instructions o­n issues related with safety of Track e.g. integrated block, corridor block, worksite safety, monsoon precautions etc. have been issued.

20.Preventive maintenance of railway assets (Coaches & Wagons) is undertaken to ensure safe train operations and to keep a check o­n Rail Accidents across the country.

21.Replacement of conventional ICF design coaches with LHB design coaches is being done.

22.All unmanned level crossings (UMLCs) o­n Broad Gauge (BG) route have been eliminated by January 2019.

23.Safety of Railway Bridges is ensured through regular inspection of Bridges. The requirement of repair/rehabilitation of Bridges is taken up based upon the conditions assessed during these inspections.

24.Indian Railways has displayed Statutory “Fire Notices” for widespread passenger information in all coaches. Fire posters are provided in every coach so as to inform and alert passengers regarding various Do’s and Don’ts to prevent fire. These include messages regarding not carrying any inflammable material, explosives, prohibition of smoking inside the coaches, penalties etc.

25.Production Units are providing Fire detection and suppression system in newly manufactured Power Cars and Pantry Cars, Fire and Smoke detection system in newly manufactured coaches. Progressive fitment of the same in existing coaches is also underway by Zonal Railways in a phased manner.

26.Regular counselling and training of staff is undertaken.

27.Concept of Rolling Block has been introduced wherein work of maintenance/repair/ replacement is planned for 2 weeks in advance o­n rolling basis and executed as per plan. 

Besides, for preventing SPAD, Safety drives o­n SPAD are launched from time to time. There is emphasis o­n counseling of Loco Pilots, Assistant Loco Pilots and their families for taking adequate and proper rest before duty. Periodical review of SPAD cases is also done at the level of Divisions, Zonal Headquarters as well as at the level of Railway Board.

International Union of Railways (UIC) is an association of World Railways engaged in enhancing cooperation among members. At present, there is no arrangement of assistance regarding Railway Safety challenges between UIC and Indian Railways.

3.In order to push rail infrastructure & promote rail connectivity in tribal dominated regions, "Janjatiya Gaurav Corridor” initiated

·During last three years 32 Surveys (19 New Line and 13 Doubling) having a total length of 1,467 km falling fully/partly in Odisha have been completed

The Railway projects are sanctioned Zonal Railway wise and not State-wise, District wise or area wise as the Railways’ projects may span across State/District/Area boundaries. Sanction of new railway lines in areas which are not connected by Railway network including Janjatiya Gaurav Corridor is a continuous and o­ngoing process of Indian Railways.

In order to push the rail infrastructure in tribal dominated regions and to promote the rail connectivity in such regions in coming years, an Umbrella work of New Line as "Janjatiya Gaurav Corridor” costing ₹70,000 Crore has been included in the Budget for FY 2023-24 subject to requisite Government approvals.  Detailed Project Reports(DPRs) of the projects identified under “Janjatiya Gaurav Corridor” including those falling fully/partly in State of Odisha have been taken up which includes consultations with various stakeholders including State Governments, public representatives, organisations/rail users/tribal people etc.

The projects are appraised based o­n the parameters brought out in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) after firming up of various parameters including traffic projections and socio-economic benefits.

During the last three years i.e. FY 2020-21, FY 2021-22, FY 2022-23 and current FY 2023-24, 32 Surveys (19 New Line and 13 Doubling) having a total length of 1,467 km falling fully/partly in the State of Odisha have been completed.

New line projects including those in “Janjatiya Gaurav Corridor” are taken forward o­n the basis of remunerativeness, last mile connectivity, missing links and alternate routes, augmentation of congested/saturated lines, socio-economic considerations etc. depending upon throw forward of o­ngoing projects, overall availability of funds and competing demands. Sanctioning of projects is a continuous and o­ngoing process.


4.Steps taken by Railways for safety & security of passengers including women passengers in trains


‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and, therefore, State Governments are responsible for prevention, detection, registration and investigation of crime and maintenance of law and order o­n Railways through their law enforcement agencies viz. Government Railway Police (GRP)/District Police. Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of GRP/District Police to provide better protection and security to railway property, passenger area and passengers and for matters connected therewith.

The State-wise number of incidents reported of violence against women in Railways are published by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Based o­n the data published by NCRB available upto 2021, there is considerable decrease in the cases of crime against women reported over Indian railways during the year 2021 as compared to the year 2018 & 2019. Data of crime in the year 2020 is not considered for comparison as the passenger train operation was severely curtailed due to the o­nset of Covid – 19. Figures for the year 2022 and the current year have not been published by NCRB.

Surveillance is kept through CCTV cameras provided in 7264 coaches and 866 Railway Stations for enhanced security of passengers.

Awareness campaigns through, posters, banners, distribution of leaflets, videos o­n Railway Display Network (RDN) etc. are conducted o­n regular basis to educate passengers for taking necessary precautionary measures during their journey.

Further, the following steps are being taken by the Railways in coordination with GRP/Local Police for safety and security of passengers including women passengers in trains: -

1.On vulnerable and identified routes/sections, trains are escorted by Railway Protection Force in addition to trains escorted by Government Railway Police of different States daily.

2.Railways are in regular touch with passengers through various social media platforms like. Twitter, Facebook, Koo etc. to enhance security of passengers and to address their security concerns.

3.Railway Help Line number 139 is operational (24x7) over Indian Railways for security related assistance to passengers in distress.

4.Frequent announcements are made through Public Address System to educate passengers to take precautions against theft, snatching, drugging etc.

5.Under ‘Meri Saheli’ initiative, focused attention has been provided for safety and security of lady passengers travelling alone by trains for their entire journey i.e. from originating station to destination station.

6.Zonal railways have been instructed for deployment of proper combined strength of male & female RPF/RPSF personnel in train escort parties, to the extent possible.

7.Drives are conducted against entry of male passengers into the compartments reserved for ladies.

8.State Level Security Committee of Railways (SLSCR) have been constituted for all State/Union Territories under the Chairmanship of respective Director General of Police/Commissioner of States/Union Territories for regular monitoring and review of security arrangements of the Railways.

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