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Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

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Karthik S
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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karthik S » 05 Oct 2017 12:18

Suraj wrote:As sudhan said, Spain has a large HSR network - Alta Velocidad Espanola, Spanish High Speed. I've traveled on it quite a bit - Barcelona-Madrid-Cordoba-Seville-Madrid-Valencia-Madrid , using the RENFE rail pass. I got to travel on all three major train systems they run - their own Talgo 350, the French Alstom TGV set and the Siemens Velaros : AVE trainsets.


Suraj, did you feel any difference in terms of comfort, vibration/stability and cabin noise among the different HSR trainsets you've travelled on.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 05 Oct 2017 12:29

From what I remember I rate them as Velaros > Talgo 350 > TGV . However this is probably also a function of age - the Alstom TGV trainsets were visibly older. Velaros run only on the showpiece Madrid-Barcelona line, as far as I can remember. The Alstom TGV sets run on the less high profile routes further south to Seville. From what I remember, we rode the Velaros from Barcelona-Madrid, Talgos to Cordoba and to Valencia, and the Alstom TGVs from Seville back to Madrid.

AVE in general does not compare to Shinkansen in terms of comfort and stability, probably because not all of it is dedicated HSR lines, but even the main Madrid-Barcelona dedicated HSR line didn't feel as smooth as Tokaido Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka. AVE has nice service though, and if you have the rail pass you can buy up to first class very cheap (under $20 from what I remember), which means catered meals, sparkly wine and RENFE lounge access.

They have a nice youtube video though:

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karthik S » 05 Oct 2017 12:58

Cool, thanks.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Deans » 06 Oct 2017 11:00

In June 2016, I had submitted a paper to a Govt friendly think tank on Pakistan. A brief summary was published in Swarajya.
One of the recommendations I had made was to revive the Bilaspur-Mandi-Leh railway project. The Rail ministry had earlier shelved it as in their view is would be a slightly negative return on investment. I had strongly argued for is - and the quicker completion of the Udhampur-Srinagar line, for the following reasons:
1. Exponentially increase tourism to HP & Leh (and Kashmir, in conjunction with the Jammu-Srinagar line) doing what the Chinese have done with
tourism in Tibet - increase the numbers 100 fold after railways to Tibet started. Massive job generation associated with that.
The single biggest barrier to tourism in Kashmir, is limited air capacity, as every airport in the State is an IAF base.
2. Line extensions : to Chushul and from Leh to Kargil, will greatly ease transport of troops and material. e.g. Pathankot-Leh in 24 hours, throughout the year.
3. Cost of 21000 crore is a fourth of bullet train and a better showcase of Japanese technology (for constructing lines in earthquake prone &
mountainous areas).

I was delighted to see that In Dec 2016, the Rail ministry decided to revive the project. The justification was fairly similar to my paper ! The survey office was inaugurated in Leh, by Suresh Prabhu, to complete survey work, before starting the actual project.

This low key unreported project could be the real game changer for railways in my view.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby arvin » 06 Oct 2017 14:06

Thanks deans for the info.

So from I understand from web is survey would be completed by march 2019. Land acquisition is also running in parallel with camp office starting in leh.
Actual construction would start after march 2019.

Taking konkan and kashmir railway construction as reference for time taken, 10 years would be fine??. Hope they make it double line. Inspite of opening 20 years back, Konkan railway is still single line for some stretches between manglore and ratnagiri.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 06 Oct 2017 20:12

Great work, Deans!

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby JTull » 07 Oct 2017 13:02

With Piyush Goyal in charge, I'd like to see a dashboard reporting status of all projects, esp in NE and DFCC.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Deans » 07 Oct 2017 21:04

arvin wrote:Thanks deans for the info.

So from I understand from web is survey would be completed by march 2019. Land acquisition is also running in parallel with camp office starting in leh. Actual construction would start after march 2019.

Taking konkan and kashmir railway construction as reference for time taken, 10 years would be fine??. Hope they make it double line. Inspite of opening 20 years back, Konkan railway is still single line for some stretches between manglore and ratnagiri.


You are correct. Also, the army has belatedly included it in a list of strategic rail projects, so there will be an additional push to get it done.
A copy of my paper had gone to Gen VK Singh, and I was pleasantly surprised to get a reply from him in 3 days ( I am a non military person writing
to a minister for the first time).
The line can be further extended to Batalik and Chushul ( Batalik-Khalatse-Leh-Karu-Chushul). The ground along this route is fairly flat so
construction will be simpler than the rest of the line.

Another relatively simple extension to the Jammu-Srinagar line is Anantnag-Pahalgam, which will give a boost to the Amarnath yatra among other
things.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karthik S » 07 Oct 2017 23:58

Chandigarh-Delhi semi-high-speed rail network tenders early next year.


http://www.newsonprojects.com/story.asp?news_code=28718

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby JohnTitor » 08 Oct 2017 09:56

Deans aware, which think tank did you write to if I may ask?

Might it be The Vivekananda international foundation?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Deans » 08 Oct 2017 10:10

JohnTitor wrote:Deans aware, which think tank did you write to if I may ask?

Might it be The Vivekananda international foundation?


India policy foundation (RSS's think tank on foreign policy). It was separately reviewed by national security thinkers like G Parthasarthy &
Gen VK Singh, which resulted in it getting picked up by others in govt.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby JohnTitor » 08 Oct 2017 12:00

Hearty Congratulations. It is an achievement for your paper to not only be read by the government but implemented.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Singha » 10 Oct 2017 23:31

shinkansen toilet. hope our junta are kind to these kit

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karthik S » 12 Oct 2017 10:27



Alstom plant in Madhepura.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vipins » 13 Oct 2017 01:40

‘T-20’ for Indian Railways! Travel in self-propelled ‘Make in India’ train sets on Delhi-Mumbai route at 160 kmph
Train 20 will be able to attain a maximum speed of 160 kmph, making it a semi-high speed train. The aluminium-bodied self-propelled train set will be energy efficient, says ICF. The train set will have under-slung 3 phase propulsion system, automatic doors and a test speed of 176 kmph. Two types of coaches – air-conditioned chair car and sleeper-type – will be manufactured. The sleeper type coaches will include AC – 1st class, AC-2 tier and AC-3 tier.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby chetak » 13 Oct 2017 13:52

Piyush Goel is still working as an agent of Power Companies?


Piyush Goel is still working as an agent of Power Companies?

Smart people, like Mr. Goyal, carry old baggage into their new roles?

Doing so on the whims of an ex-Power Minister is a financial hara-kiri

The price it pays for it is over Rs. one lakh crore in Capital investment

The old baggage of Minister is affecting his decision-making in his present avatar

The Railway Ministry would be well advised to spend its money and management time on productive and fruitful ideas

Isn’t it surprising how even seemingly smart people carry their old baggage into their new roles? The Electrical Department of Indian Railways now controls Diesel Traction through its Chief Electrical Engineers in Zonal Railway Head Quarters and the Member Traction in the Railway Board. In spite of this total ownership, it is bent upon eliminating diesel locomotives from the Indian Railways’ network, a behaviour typical of a celluloid stepmother, who, in spite of being the owner of the household treats the stepchild with hatred and disdain.

Likewise, the old baggage of Piyush Goyal is affecting his decision-making in his present avatar. As the Power Minister, he had offered to electrify the entire Indian Railway network through the Power Finance Corporation. This was no charity or a forward-looking thought of the man. He was just being a good salesman.

India has surplus electricity. It may appear surprising, but the reality is that there is surplus power if only paying consumers are considered, thefts disregarded. Piyush Goyal had found a good customer in Indian Railway, which pays on time and in full. It was a good business proposition to lend money to Indian Railway for electrification so that the inefficient power plants, which were shutting down like ninepins, could be kept alive.

Fortunately, the Finance of Indian Railway saw through the game of the Power Minister and declined the offer. A parallel can be drawn in the bilateral loan of Japan to India to build the High-Speed Rail for over one lakh crore Rupees, where the main purpose is to keep alive the stagnating Japanese industry and not the avowed technology boon to India.

Now, the same Power Minister is the Minister for Railways. Not only is he carrying the old baggage, but he also now controls the levers of Indian Railway’s Finance or of its Finance managers. He has ordered complete electrification of the Indian Railway network, over 35,000 kilometres of rail track over next four years. This is not only a complete disregard for technology and manufacturing systems, but also for business common sense.

At present, there are nearly 5,500 diesel locomotives in India. When the entire network is electrified, most of them will have to be scrapped, for that is the very purpose of electrification - reduce diesel bill. Even assuming that about 1,500 diesel locomotives are retained in service for applications in shunting, disaster management and exigencies, nearly 4,000 perfectly working units will be simply thrown away, a loss of nearly Rs. 30,000 crore of a national asset.

To replace these diesel locomotives a similar number of electric locomotives will need to be inducted. Now, the production capacity of the whole world put together cannot supply 4,000 electric locomotives to India in next four years.

India is not the only market, there are other buyers too. Indian manufacturing units, viz. CLW, DLW, BHEL, DMW etc. cannot gear up to deliver one thousand electric locomotives over the next four years either. People, who think otherwise, have no idea of production systems and logistics.

Financially speaking, the proposal is an unmitigated disaster: Rs. 35,000 crore for electrification of 35,000 kilometers, Rs. 60,000 crore for additional 4,000 electric locomotives at Rs. 15 crore each - nearly one lakh crores over the next four years!

I am not adding the cost of maintaining infrastructures such as new or modified loco sheds, additional manpower for newly electrified tracks, cost of training and redeployment. Add to it the logistical nightmare of procurement of maintenance spares and there stocking.

The diesel bill of Indian Railways is about Rs. 16,000 crore. The cost to the economy is only half of that since nearly half of the purchase price of diesel goes back to the government as taxes. So, considering that Indian Railway saves about three-fourths of the real cost, i.e. Rs. 6,000 crore out of Rs. 8,000 crore to the economy, the price it pays for it is over one lakh crore Rupees in Capital investment.

Now, the outgo on the interest of one lakh crore alone would be more than the saving that is promised, let alone the repayment of Capital! Add to it the cost of sunk Capital of Rs. 30,000 crore in diesel locos being trashed.

Indian Railways is not short of working Capital, or revenue, as it boasts of a sub-hundred operating ratio. What is scarce is Capital for new investments. New investments should be done in areas that give a maximum return, such as a new North-South corridor like the Dedicated Freight Corridors, or track improvement works, that can improve safety and average speeds at the same time, thus improving throughput substantially. There are many such areas crying for investment.

It is not that a train hauled by a diesel locomotive loses money. If that were the case, the American Railroad companies would have folded up long ago. The Railway Ministry would be well advised to spend its money and management time on productive and fruitful ideas. Throwing away diesel locos and electrifying the network just because it was an old departmental agenda of Electrical Engineers of Indian Railway or doing so on the whims of an ex-Power Minister is a financial harakiri that Indian Railway will never be able to recover from.

- Written by a Senior Railway Official who do not want to be named.



Also see Rent Seekers Of Rail Bhavan: If Modi Wants To Transform Railways, He Must Tame Its Bureaucracy First



Untamed bureaucracy: Three ministers in three years

Despite being aware that railways is Modi’s priority, the ensnaring ways of rail bureaucracy and its entrenched systems of patronage continued unabated. To slay the demon of departmentalism, the government created a new management paradigm which eliminated battles of traction. Modi even commented on the fight between diesel and electric traction in Rail Vikas Shivir in November last year.

It was a brilliant move which was to be followed by more acts of such reorganisation, and it did calm the battle which raged like unceasing fires in coal mines.

However, following the General Electricals (GE) fracas, the ugly battle of traction reared its head again. This article, written by an unnamed railway officer and published by a rail tabloid, blamed Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Railways, and one particular department for pursuing an ‘agenda’.

This raises a disturbing question - if the battle of traction was settled, who stands to gain by rekindling this fratricidal war? Is the problem only limited to traction?

The ugly underbelly of railway procurement: Modi and Goyal should tread cautiously as they upset the Lutyens’ equivalent of Railways

The country has repeatedly been jolted by rail breakages and fractures. The Khatauli derailment exposed the rotten and imploding systems. Though this was caused by the failure of a signal joint, we were introduced to ‘rail welding’. We also have seen several near-miss accidents when rails have broken.

Not many know that SAIL’s Bhilai plant is the only supplier for rails for the Indian Railways. It is a fact that rail manufacturing is highly sensitive to process quality, but, is it also not a fact that the Bhilai plant, that makes the rails are breaking literally every day? There have been incidents in the past when certain batches of rails were more brittle and prone to breakage.

Even worse is, the Bhilai plant is equipped to meet only a small part of the rail requirement of Indian Railways, which leads to high pending replacements.

Goyal was constrained to pull up railway bureaucracy by insisting on a very simple question - why can’t there be more sources and why shouldn’t new rails be diverted first to ensure safety of revenue tracks?

Summary action taken, even at the railway board member-level, general manager and the divisional railway manager-level, meant that senior officers are now forced to exorcise the ghosts they knew always existed and confront them. ‘Adjustment’ with entrenched forces is no longer an option.

So, for the first time a startling fact has tumbled out - rail welds, something very critical to rail integrity is essentially a single source item and the so called competitors depend on the dominant player.

The entrenched incumbents exercise immense patronage, at the working level which ensures that the new entrants never get their samples proven. However, no-nonsense instructions issued by the ministry on ‘no-gift’ culture (even during festival season), would start cleaning up the haze and make manipulations difficult.

Similar vice-like control has been existing for copper conductors, where people have gamed the system by making specifications in a manner which allows very few participants to survive and sustain. The government wisely assigned the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate this issue well before, they decided to completely electrify the Indian railways network and prevented charges of possible corruption in the decision to electrify.

This piece on Indian Railways vs General Electrics briefly mentioned a startling fact about the dramatic drop in prices in Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) (a factory in Modi’s constituency, saw almost halving of cost of some equipment after change of government). More than a crore was saved from each locomotive’s cost after NDA-2 came to power, saving more than Rs 300 crore a year, but this was never highlighted as an achievement by this government.

It is anybody’s guess as to why the political executive could not take credit. Suresh Prabhu was never informed. Spirited officers, freed from pressures from ‘above’, drove down the prices.

AC-AC system saw a drop from Rs 3 crore to below 2.5 crore; for traction motors, prices dropped from nearly Rs 2 crore to Rs 1.2 crore! A traction alternator saw a drop of Rs 40 lakh from Rs 1.2 crore. Difference between prices of some equipment between IR’s own factory at Chittaranjan and Varanasi should have woken up rail managers but they chose to stay silent for a decade!

It is strongly rumoured that such dramatic drop in prices would have led to very uncomfortable questions like who protected the entrenched monopolies? This gaming had lasted for almost a decade. The government’s decision to go for a CBI probe into the copper conductor case made people very apprehensive as they now faced a central government which could no longer be ‘managed’ and which was not scared of taking such manipulation head on.

Earlier, there was settled belief that ‘adjustments’ could be made up to very top, but with ministries off bound from the agents, the apple cart has been upset. Political affiliation of some of these agents might be an interesting study. Excessive imports by some departments is also an issue that needs to be addressed.

But why should the war of traction be rekindled after the government deftly settled the issue and moved to merger of departments? This strongly hints at the nexus of big vendors who are trying to ride on the back of the GE issue, who seem to be interested to make a fast buck before DLW shuts diesel locomotive production as GE wouldn’t procure such overpriced components as DLW did.

Culture of Black Box: Bleeding Railways in perpetuity as classic rent seeking case

Certain vendors successfully connived with railway bureaucracy to push and proliferate closed proprietary systems. Their claim was that open tender procurement washes all sins. By clever manipulation of the specifications and restrictive qualifying criteria, shifting goal posts, the system was gamed big time.

The philosophy of closed proprietary systems goes against the grain of wisdom gathered by aviation, marine, space, automotive sectors. This philosophy was first adopted by the Signaling Department and lapped up by Mechanical Department. Under this, core systems were termed as ‘Black Box’ and accepted as such. Thus, Signaling Systems tend to be islands and forever dependent on the OEMs for testing, commissioning, troubleshooting and repairs.

Author of this partisan and provocative piece, wondered for the fate of 5,500 diesel locomotives, questioning motives of Piyush Goyal in pushing for complete electrification of Indian Railways. He conveniently overlooks near complete dependence of India’s diesel locomotive fleet on a closed, unlisted, family-run company making profits which would make likes of GE blush. He better be advised that this fleet is more threatened by complete reliance on closed proprietary products while draining systems knowledge from the railway engineers.

It is shocking that despite investing heavily in training and creation of Centre of Excellence at electric locomotive factory at Chittaranjan, new electric locomotives are also coming with closed controls, deepening dependence on OEMs in perpetuity.

Today, two locomotives having different makes of electronics controls can not communicate with each other and get connected. So, apart from being expensive in acquisition and maintenance, these have adversely affected the railways’ ability to use the locomotives with freedom. The disease has spread to Electrical Multiple Units-where interoperability is even a more serious concern. Patrons continue to patronise, cosy in the knowledge that no one would question such technical details. Options were always available, but railways chose to continue on the path with complete disregard to interoperability.

Writing for the Times of India, one commentator provocatively questioned the decision to electrify Indian Railways by asking, what is New Delhi smoking? Can he please answer what was New Delhi smoking when it locked-in an entire fleet of locomotives into closed proprietary systems and shut down attempts to open the controls and competition?

It appears that Goyal has seen through this game. He is the first political executive to call out specification manipulation as key threat to transparency, innovation and Make in India. His threat of action for data manipulation has rattled the rail babus and the privileged rent-seekers who lived off monopolies blessed by rail bhavan mandarins. His team of young researchers and analysts are appearing formidable to the babus who sat pretty in rail bhavan.

This author had argued for bringing Ashwini Lohani back into the system (here and here)- glad that government finally listened. This no-nonsense Chairman, has struck at the feudal protocols and the practice of employing field staff at their residences. His messianic zeal to eliminate internal corruption has already being quoted widely. It will increase the morale of all levels of railwaymen who would get courage of speaking up against such whole sale manipulation of data and specifications.

One can hope that this team gets longer time to shine light on the dark corners. Dropping prices show that the Railway’s rent seekers are shaken up. Sacrificing political executive may silence public criticism, but cannot set things in order, for that, it is imperative to tame rail bhavan. As MRV argued, shut down departments, slash more than 50 per cent of rail bhavan and see how productivity and transparency multiplies while costs tumble down.
Last edited by chetak on 13 Oct 2017 14:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby prahaar » 13 Oct 2017 14:18

The consolidation of traction was not done by Piyush Goyal, the senior railway official is factually incorrect about that. We remember the discussion in the past pages where the plan of eventual all electric traction was visible (during Suresh Prabhu tenure).

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ind ... 640432.cms

I am referring to the following excerpt:
Isn’t it surprising how even seemingly smart people carry their old baggage into their new roles? The Electrical Department of Indian Railways now controls Diesel Traction through its Chief Electrical Engineers in Zonal Railway Head Quarters and the Member Traction in the Railway Board. In spite of this total ownership, it is bent upon eliminating diesel locomotives from the Indian Railways’ network, a behaviour typical of a celluloid stepmother, who, in spite of being the owner of the household treats the stepchild with hatred and disdain.


The larger question about whether it is more economical to switch all diesel to electric is something that should be debated and critiqued thoroughly. In the long term (couple of decades), we could as well see a significant convergence regarding the source of power (not unlike the substantial packetization of communication), across railways and road transport.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby arvin » 13 Oct 2017 14:23

^^^Some of what the official writes makes sense. Just two months into new job better not to try such radical ideas. Even Namo waited 2 years before he did DeMo. Better to be on safe side and not try radical ideas like Overnite Diesel DeMo.
Since contract is signed better to honour it. If indeed engines are surplus after 10 years we can always try to sell it off to African nations. Since these engines are essentially generators powering 3 phase AC motors can they be used in remote defence locations for generating power?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby chetak » 13 Oct 2017 14:24

prahaar wrote:The consolidation of traction was not done by Piyush Goyal, the senior railway official is factually incorrect about that. We remember the discussion in the past pages where the plan of eventual all electric traction was visible (during Suresh Prabhu tenure).

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ind ... 640432.cms

I am referring to the following excerpt:
Isn’t it surprising how even seemingly smart people carry their old baggage into their new roles? The Electrical Department of Indian Railways now controls Diesel Traction through its Chief Electrical Engineers in Zonal Railway Head Quarters and the Member Traction in the Railway Board. In spite of this total ownership, it is bent upon eliminating diesel locomotives from the Indian Railways’ network, a behaviour typical of a celluloid stepmother, who, in spite of being the owner of the household treats the stepchild with hatred and disdain.


The larger question about whether it is more economical to switch all diesel to electric is something that should be debated and critiqued thoroughly. In the long term (couple of decades), we could as well see a significant convergence regarding the source of power (not unlike the substantial packetization of communication), across railways and road transport.


It really does not matter in the long term because.........

1) we will all be dead anyway.

2) Traction will move towards electric anyway, not just India but worldwide. This is a no brainer.

3) Forcing the pace towards electric traction without any viable plan to utilize/repurpose/retire diesel assets may precipitate a situation that is fraught with serious economic consequences.

The US has already started to ship shale oil to India, this is apart from the fact where India herself, possessing huge shale deposits is in a position to exploit the same, if push came to shove. The diesel asset may just have acquired an increased longevity where it can be fully exploited till end of life.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby schinnas » 13 Oct 2017 14:41

Moving all traction to electric is long overdue and Godspeed to that initiative.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby JayS » 13 Oct 2017 14:59

^^ Re article posted by Chetak:

Full electrification is obviously way forward. I never really understood why IR decided to buy so many new diesel engines. I asked the question why we set up new GE plan for diesel engine when it makes all the sense to push for electrification..? I did not get any answer. May be the decision was from the 2014-15 era when Power situation was yet to be turned around. Recently someone in GOI also asked the same question it seems and we saw in an article, doubt on diesel loco order being expressed. If we have surplus electricity, it makes all the sense to use if for IR and cut on the huge diesel bill, which also reduces import bill.

BTW, Is there any compulsion not to run diesel engines on Electrified tracks..?? Why the author assume that with electrification IR will *have* to scrap all diesel engines and go for electric locos..? The diesels locos which are in good condition can be used until we have decent number of electric locos to be used everywhere. IR can always strike balance between the phasing out of diesel loco and induction of electric locos, no?? Having an option to run either electric or diesel loco gives better options to IR for resource planning. Yes, initial investment on electrification can be debated. But it seems its too far fetched to conclude that PG did it because he is carrying old baggage. There has always been plans for big spends on IR infra. For all we know PG merely was declaring a decision, process for which was long in working.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby chetak » 13 Oct 2017 16:09

what we need is first and foremost a profit making railways with realistic ticket prices and freight rates, not one with cosmetic changes in packaged food delivery to captive passengers who are served by catering employees who augment their daily income by cheating and stealing from passengers and some dopy railway minister attending to passenger SMS to get toilets cleaned.

second, if this is what PG intended, then it is the Indian equivalent of the han CPEC scam.

India has surplus electricity. It may appear surprising, but the reality is that there is surplus power if only paying consumers are considered, thefts disregarded. Piyush Goyal had found a good customer in Indian Railway, which pays on time and in full. It was a good business proposition to lend money to Indian Railway for electrification so that the inefficient power plants, which were shutting down like ninepins, could be kept alive.

Fortunately, the Finance of Indian Railway saw through the game of the Power Minister and declined the offer. A parallel can be drawn in the bilateral loan of Japan to India to build the High-Speed Rail for over one lakh crore Rupees, where the main purpose is to keep alive the stagnating Japanese industry and not the avowed technology boon to India.


we are currently adequately served by a mix of diesel and electric traction assets, based on electrified and non-electrified tracks presently in use. If luloo or mamta become railway ministers, all calculations will go for a toss and we will encounter populist headwinds that will take decades to recover from.

Diesel will eventually get phased out with electric gradually dominating and then be taking over completely. The desired changeover will not happen for decades.

It does not matter whose grandfather is PM or the power min or even the railway min. It will all happen in the fullness of time. Coal and petroleum derivatives will still be burned to produce power.

Surplus power just does not mean that all generated power is clean with only nukes and solar or even wind being the only sources. Also, apart from being operationally versatile and an asset that can be deployed on any kind of track, diesel traction is economically competitive at current rates of coal, solar or even hydro related generation considering the infrastructure and capital costs and this advantage is likely to continue for some time to come even if petroleum prices go up. Imported coal prices have already risen sharply.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby JayS » 13 Oct 2017 16:24

^^ But to draw any conclusions, we need more data. What is the differential in the operational costs if we keep using diesel engines vs replace them electric locos somewhat earlier..? Would the tangible and intangible benefits of that compensate upfront investment on electrification and opportunity cost with diesel loco replacement earlier than needed..?

Noob question, for IR, which one is cheaper in Op cost - diesel or Electricity..? My guess is Electricity should be significantly cheaper.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Zynda » 13 Oct 2017 17:17

^^Your guess seems to be correct. Per this article, electric locomotives have less cost compared to diesel.

Economics of Electric Vs Diesel Traction – Fuel and Line Haul Cost

I will post only a few excerpts.

line haul cost is the another indices calculating the cost of hauling 1000GTKM of traffic. This cost includes Maintenance and Operating cost of traction, Cost of maintenance of traction distribution equipment, Interest and depreciation or to say all that cost which is accounted and budgeted for hauling the load. For passenger and freight traffic, this unit cost is worked out seperately and the same for the last 20 years is as follows


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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby prahaar » 13 Oct 2017 23:45

chetak wrote:It really does not matter in the long term because.........

1) we will all be dead anyway.

2) Traction will move towards electric anyway, not just India but worldwide. This is a no brainer.

3) Forcing the pace towards electric traction without any viable plan to utilize/repurpose/retire diesel assets may precipitate a situation that is fraught with serious economic consequences.

The US has already started to ship shale oil to India, this is apart from the fact where India herself, possessing huge shale deposits is in a position to exploit the same, if push came to shove. The diesel asset may just have acquired an increased longevity where it can be fully exploited till end of life.


1. 20 years is not too long term for a green field locomotive manufacturing plant.

2. With increased focus on electrification, current diesel can continue to work until new electric locomotive stock is available. As you mention, these things will not happen in a jiffy. No one is recommending decommissioning all current diesel locomotives until replacement is available.

3. The shale oil consumption could be used for power generation as well, Estonia is one such example. I do not see the reason to continue producing more diesel locomotives.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby hanumadu » 15 Oct 2017 05:08

Not related to India but ....

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Zynda » 15 Oct 2017 17:39

Per NDTV, the Chinese have not been responding to IR Min's queries regarding Chennai-Mysore high-speed line. GoI thinks the above silence could be due to Doklam stand-off consequences. Screw them...Germany was also interested in developing Mysore-Chennai high-speed line. They may be more expensive compared to Chinese but at least with Germany, we know we will be getting quality products. Further, there would be definitely need for OEM support post deployment of track lines & train sets and this kind of attitude from Chinese doesn't inspire confidence. I still don't understand why GoI tries to engage with Chinese on these kind of major infra projects knowing that Chinese have a penchant for adventurism which will raise tensions.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby chetak » 15 Oct 2017 17:51

Zynda wrote:Per NDTV, the Chinese have not been responding to IR Min's queries regarding Chennai-Mysore high-speed line. GoI thinks the above silence could be due to Doklam stand-off consequences. Screw them...Germany was also interested in developing Mysore-Chennai high-speed line. They may be more expensive compared to Chinese but at least with Germany, we know we will be getting quality products. Further, there would be definitely need for OEM support post deployment of track lines & train sets and this kind of attitude from Chinese doesn't inspire confidence. I still don't understand why GoI tries to engage with Chinese on these kind of major infra projects knowing that Chinese have a penchant for adventurism which will raise tensions.


Its runditv, saar.

Its quite likely mischevious reporting. I don't think that this govt is chasing after the hans, given the considerable balance of trade position already existing. There is no need for a high speed line given all the pre existing modes of communication on this particular route. Maybe a DFC connecting industrial centers in KAR with the ports is more the need.

reopening the HAL airport will ease the time constraints for chennai bound low cost flights.

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Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Peregrine » 15 Oct 2017 20:54

Question : Has India awarded any High Speed Train Project to China? If not then India should withdraw and may be ask the Japanese and Other Nation's Companies to Negotiate for these Corridors. Grateful if One of the Gurus could post a list of International Railway Manufactures in respect of the other Eight Corridors. Many thanks in advance.

Doklam fallout? 'Lack of response' from Chinese railways delays high-speed train project in south India

NEW DELHI: An ambitious high-speed train project in south India has been delayed after Chinese railways did not respond, railway officials have said, suggesting that the "lack of response" may be due to the Doklam standoff. Chinese railways had completed feasibility study for the project a year ago.

An internal brief of the Mobility Directorate on the status of nine high-speed projects of the railways, accessed by PTI, shows that the Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore corridor, a 492 km stretch, lies in limbo because the Chinese railways has failed to respond to the ministry's communiques.

"The Chinese company submitted the final report in November 2016 and after that the Chinese team has suggested for a face to face interaction. No date has been fixed from their side," said the note prepared by the Mobility Directorate.

On the reason for the delay, the brief states -- "lack of response" from Chinese railways.

The brief also states that the feasibility study by the China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co Ltd (CREEC) was submitted to the Railway Board in November 2016 and after that the Chinese company had sought meetings with officials of the Board.

However, officials say that the Board has been unable to get in touch with officials of CREEC despite repeated communications sent to them via mails in the last six months.

"We have even tried to get in touch with them through their embassy here, but we are yet to hear from them," said an official.

The ministry officials said that it was the standoff between the two countries in Bhutan's Doklam area+ between June 16 and August 28 this year that seems to have derailed the project.

"The study began in 2014 and they submitted the report in 2016. The entire cost was borne by them. In fact they have shown so much interest in collaborating with us for other projects as well, so we think that it was the standoff that must have raised doubts," said a senior rail official.

An email to the Chinese embassy by the PTI on the issue did not elicit any response.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam+ since June 16 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese army. Bhutan and China have a dispute over Doklam.

The brief, prepared by the department in charge of all the high speed corridors, also states that except the Chinese roadblock, work on the eight other projects was on track. So the Indian Railways should "Drop" the Chinese and pass on the Project to "Others"

China had in fact not only pitched for the Mumbai-Ahemdabad high speed network,+ which was finally bagged by Japan, but also for the bullet project in the Mumbai-Delhi sector, which is yet to be finalised.

China is also training railway engineers in heavy hauling and it is with Chinese collaboration that India is setting up its first railway university .

The Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore corridor is one of nine such high speed corridors being developed by the ministry. The aim was to increase the speed from the present 80 kmph to 160 kmph.

While the Delhi-Agra route was made operational in 2016 with the country's fastest train Gatimaan Express running between the two cities, the work on rest seven of eight of 8 is going at a fast pace, the brief indicated.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karthik S » 15 Oct 2017 21:54

Chennai Bangalore HSR feasibility study is to be done by the Germans. IIRC, Delhi Chennai was being done by the Chinese. But we should stick with the Japanese and the Germans. Not sure if French can give us low interest loans now.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Peregrine » 15 Oct 2017 23:01

Karthik S wrote:Chennai Bangalore HSR feasibility study is to be done by the Germans. IIRC, Delhi Chennai was being done by the Chinese. But we should stick with the Japanese and the Germans. Not sure if French can give us low interest loans now.
Karthik S

Have found that the Chinese are "connected" on Three High Speed Rail Corridors

HIGH SPEED RAIL CORPORATION OF INDIA LIMITED

Projects
CONTRACT AWARDED FOR THE CONSULTANCY OF FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR DIAMOND QUADRILATERAL NETWORK OF HIGH SPEED RAIL CORRIDORS
a) Delhi-Mumbai (Package-I)

Feasibility Study Contract awarded to a Consortium of M/s The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute Group Corporation (CHINA) and Lahmeyer International (India) Pvt. Ltd, India

b) Mumbai-Chennai (Package-II)

Feasibility Study Contract awarded to a Consortium of M/s SYSTRA (FRANCE) - RITES- Ernest &Young LLP.

c) Delhi-Kolkata (Package-III)

Feasibility Study Contract awarded to a Consortium of M/s INECO (SPAIN) - M/s TYPSA- M/s Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Private Limited

DELHI-CHANDIGARH-AMRITSAR :
Pre-Feasibility study of this High Speed Rail Corridor is in progress. Interim Report-II has been submitted by the consultant M/s Systra of France in Sep 2015.

DELHI-CHENNAI:
Delhi-Nagpur section of this corridor is being taken up as Phase I under Government to Government cooperation. Planning study report for this High Speed Rail Corridor by China Railway SIYUAN Survey and Design Group Co. Ltd has been completed. Project Feasibility Study is yet to be taken up by SIYUAN. High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd is the counterpart agency.

CHENNAI-BANGALURU-MYSORE :
Feasibility Study for Speed raising on this section in cooperation with China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group is in progress. China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group has submitted Interim Report in June 2015. High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd is the counterpart agency.

MUMBAI-AHMEDABAD :
Rail Vikas Nigam limited/High Speed Rail Corporation of India limited have been assigned the implementation of High speed rail projects. Mumbai-Ahmedabad is the first corridor which has been undertaken for implementation.

FEASIBILITY STUDY OF MUMBAI - AHMEDABAD HIGH SPEED CORRIDOR:
An MOU has been signed between JICA and Ministry of Railways on 07.10.2013 for conducting a joint feasibility study for Mumbai - Ahmedabad high speed rail system. Railway Board has decided to associate High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd (HSRC) in this study. JICA has submitted its Final Report of Feasibility Study of this corridor to Ministry of Railways in July 2015.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karthik S » 15 Oct 2017 23:29

hsrc site is not updated properly. Look at the Mum-Ah'bad section for instance.
BTW Mumbai Delhi doesn't' make sense, as Mumbai-Ah'bad is part of the Mumbai-Delhi line.

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Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Peregrine » 16 Oct 2017 00:31

Karthik S wrote:hsrc site is not updated properly. Look at the Mum-Ah'bad section for instance.
BTW Mumbai Delhi doesn't' make sense, as Mumbai-Ah'bad is part of the Mumbai-Delhi line.
Karthik Ji :
Of my scant knowledge of the Indian Railway Routes I feel the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani follows the following Route :

NEW DELHI - KOTA JN - NAGDA JN - RATLAM - VADODARA JN – SURAT – BORIVALI - MUMBAI CENTRAL.

As such the Mumbai - New Delhi Route Bullet Trains might not go via Ahmedabad

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Kakkaji » 16 Oct 2017 20:17

Peregrine wrote:NEW DELHI - KOTA JN - NAGDA JN - RATLAM - VADODARA JN – SURAT – BORIVALI - MUMBAI CENTRAL.

As such the Mumbai - New Delhi Route Bullet Trains might not go via Ahmedabad

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The two lines will connect at Vadodara, so the Mumbai-Delhi HSR should only need additional build from Vadodara to Delhi.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Peregrine » 16 Oct 2017 20:40

Peregrine wrote:NEW DELHI - KOTA JN - NAGDA JN - RATLAM - VADODARA JN – SURAT – BORIVALI - MUMBAI CENTRAL.

As such the Mumbai - New Delhi Route Bullet Trains might not go via Ahmedabad

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Kakkaji wrote:The two lines will connect at Vadodara, so the Mumbai-Delhi HSR should only need additional build from Vadodara to Delhi.
Kakkaji Ji :

Many thanks indeed!

So now in view of the Chinese Dithering it would be best to give the Bombay - Delhi Sector to the Japanese!

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Gagan » 17 Oct 2017 01:00

WRT Amarnath Yatra.
They can extend the current railway line in the valley with a line going north from Srinagar to Sonmarg to Baltal.
Baltal, near Zoji-La pass is where the road branches off to the right to go to the yatra base camp.


From Baltal, they can dig under the Zoji-La and take the line upto Kargil. They are building two tunnels, one near sonemarg, and another under the Zoji-La, near Baltal for the road network.

The entire national highway from Jammu to Srinagar is being 4 laned, and will be at par with any highway system in the world

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby chetak » 20 Oct 2017 10:08

Booking train ticket on IRCTC? Railways restricts card payment to these six banks

September 22, 2017 News

Booking train ticket on IRCTC? Railways restricts card payment to these six banks
Currently, the IRCTC website allows card-based payments only for cardholders of Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Bank, Central Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.

A squabble between banks and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) over fees has resulted in the latter disallowing a number of lenders from using its payment gateway for debit cards. Bankers FE spoke to explained that IRCTC had stopped them from operating on the website because they were unwilling to share a portion of the convenience fees earned on customer transactions.


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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Aditya_V » 20 Oct 2017 20:28

Regarding Electrification, it is a much better trend and will bring in efciencies and reduce imports. Taking cost of IR diesel when oil prices are low is ridiculous. Railways uses about 2.8 Billion liters of Diesel every year, Reducing that to about 800 million liters is definitely a good move.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby chetak » 20 Oct 2017 21:20

Aditya_V wrote:Regarding Electrification, it is a much better trend and will bring in efciencies and reduce imports. Taking cost of IR diesel when oil prices are low is ridiculous. Railways uses about 2.8 Billion liters of Diesel every year, Reducing that to about 800 million liters is definitely a good move.


Don't the IR and the Forces pay full retail price for diesel and petrol??

The cost of IR diesel is not offset in any way and what with the taxes, the pump prices are like oil was priced really high.

Beyond a point, the GoI will not be able to pass on the oil price increases to the consumer but they will have to take a hit on the taxation front.

People are really fed up with this unethical gouging of petroleum taxes from consumers, both from the center and the states.
Last edited by chetak on 20 Oct 2017 21:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Dumal » 20 Oct 2017 21:23

chetak wrote:
Booking train ticket on IRCTC? Railways restricts card payment to these six banks

September 22, 2017 News

Booking train ticket on IRCTC? Railways restricts card payment to these six banks
Currently, the IRCTC website allows card-based payments only for cardholders of Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Bank, Central Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.

A squabble between banks and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) over fees has resulted in the latter disallowing a number of lenders from using its payment gateway for debit cards. Bankers FE spoke to explained that IRCTC had stopped them from operating on the website because they were unwilling to share a portion of the convenience fees earned on customer transactions.



The article does not make much sense... for one, they say six and list seven. I am lazy to go check on IRCTC itself... But I think they only mean the payment gateway operators being these named ones. Beyond that one can use any visa, mc, rupay etc.


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