Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

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hanumadu
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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby hanumadu » 19 Dec 2015 00:17

Construction of the first segment of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka started in April 1959 and the first line started on Oct 1, 1964. 5.5 years. Seeing how focused NM is on these matters, I am hopeful it will be completed on time. Land acquisition will be the biggest hurdle. Construction wont be. Money is not.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Prasad » 19 Dec 2015 00:20

SEC of HSR is quite low and with the latest N700 series, they're amongst the lowest around. However, I've been unable to find anything similar for IR. Any leads?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Picklu » 19 Dec 2015 00:40

hanumadu wrote:^^^See Suraj's point about unlocking demand.


Unlocking demand may not change the overall ridership significantly.
The NICE road in Bangalore is extremely under utilized due to heavy toll.
Flipkart with its deep discounts and free delivery is under heavy loss and still cannibalizing mall revenue.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Picklu » 19 Dec 2015 00:45

hanumadu wrote:Construction of the first segment of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen between Tokyo and Osaka started in April 1959 and the first line started on Oct 1, 1964. 5.5 years. Seeing how focused NM is on these matters, I am hopeful it will be completed on time. Land acquisition will be the biggest hurdle. Construction wont be. Money is not.


They had a fixed deadline due to 64 Tokyo Olympics. The Indian construction part, I am not so hopeful, but will keep my fingers crossed.

Aapke muh me ghee shakkar as well as twin towers.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Bade » 19 Dec 2015 01:04

Some of the expertise in building elevated metro lines should translate, no ? We have built close to 20% of Abad-Mumbai distance for various metros. Jaipur and Kochi at blistering pace so far. Companies like L&T have the expertise to do all this.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 19 Dec 2015 01:09

Picklu wrote:Unlocking demand may not change the overall ridership significantly.
The NICE road in Bangalore is extremely under utilized due to heavy toll.
Flipkart with its deep discounts and free delivery is under heavy loss and still cannibalizing mall revenue.

Flipkart is not an analogous example. The NICE road is what happens when you take too long to build and are compelled to price it high to repay the costs, which in turn makes it unpopular. That's what will happen if this line takes too long to build and is compelled to price itself high to pay back the loan, which would increase the likelihood of failure.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby SSundar » 19 Dec 2015 03:24

One thing on the ticket prices - there is absolutely no requirement that every passenger on the HSR will need to pay the same price. Consider the airline model. The First and Business class pay most of the cost of flying the plane. The Economy class is incremental revenue aka gravy on top of that.

In the HSR context, Economy tickets on HSR could be sold at a decent premium above standard second class tickets on regular trains. That would boost the ridership on HSR by cannibalizing from highways and regular rail. At lower ticket price points, highly transformative economic-demographic trends start occurring. For example, it suddenly becomes feasible for someone to live in Surat and work in Mumbai city center, commuting daily. The wealth Mumbai produces is distributed directly to larger distances. This directly increases real estate activity in Surat.

This is an economic reality in other countries. People live in parts of New Jersey and commute for work to New York City, easing the real estate pressure on NYC. Not long ago, doing business with Hangzhou and Ningbo in China was tedious because of the 4-5 hour road trips one had to take after landing in Shanghai. First, China built the Hangzhou Bay Bridge to cut down the distance drastically. Then, they built HSR to reduce the travel time to less than 50%. Hangzhou and Ningbo are home to some of China's best electronics and software companies.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby arshyam » 19 Dec 2015 06:26

Picklu wrote:
e. project cost and schedule over run

Here is one IIM study showing that Railways projects are having 164% cost overrun and when taking into consideration the delay and price increase, 385% of capital waste.

Saar, I find it a bit disingenuous on your part quoting this study in the present tense, considering this was published Nov 24, 1990 :eek:. Has India stood still in the last 25 years?

In any case, the answer to your dated source is in the same report, the next page (page 48):

Code: Select all

TABLE 3 : SECTOR-WISE DISTRIBUTION OF OUTLAYS, EXPENDITURE AND
`THROW-FORWARD'1/ IN PUBLIC SECTOR PROJECTS UNDER IMPLEMENTATION
===============================================================================
              No.of      Anticipated     Outlay for      Expend-           Throw      Ratio of
              Projects   cost             1986-87         iture incurred    forward    throw forward to
Sector                   ------------- ---------------till 3/'86                        outlay
                          (Rs.crs)  (%)    (Rs.crs)   (%)  (Rs.crs)           (Rs.crs)
                                                           
Railways   73         6349      9.1     600        6.6    1437              4311       7.2

The railways have so many projects and so little budget that it is forced to allocated money piece meal every year. This is further constrained by political predilections. Given such a situation, it is only natural that costs balloon. The HSR project will not be short of funds given that it is fully funded by the 0.1% loan, the only condition being that the money will be released in tranches as construction progresses. But there is no reason to think that IR's problems (which again are due to its peanut buttering approach to funding) will adversely impact this project.

Since this project is an SPV, it will be more appropriate to compare this with the Delhi metro type of process. Considering that the DMRC has stuck to its schedule with minimal cost overrun, if at all, I don't see why execution should be a problem for the HSR SPV.

My only real concern is land acquisition, it surely will be a challenge given the built up area in this corridor. But since it spans only 2 states, both ruled by the BJP and the project being of a flagship nature, I am hoping it will be expedited with no major issues.

Picklu wrote:Here is another KPMG report published in 2013 showing 141% of cost over run for Railways in recent times and 90% of the projects having schedule overrun.

So I am very much doubtful that it will be within budget and timeline and hence even 3 lakh daily ridership will cut it financially.

Your second study is more recent and relevant, and calls out the land issue. Let's take a quick look at it.

KPMG report wrote:35 | Study on Project Schedule and Cost Overruns
(Railways)
Reasons for schedule overrun across sectors
Land (high)
Regulatory approval (high)
Design/scope change (high)
Relationship with other projects (moderate)
Skilled resource availability (moderate)

Here, apart from land, regulatory approvals won't be an issue given the high profile nature of the project. Design change is also not likely, given that its not frozen yet (costs add up when changing a frozen design). Being a standalone project, other projects may not be that much of an issue. I think, however, skilled resource will initially be a problem since we haven't built any HSR in India. Maybe some of the knowledge from building metro viaducts and IR lines will be transferable, but I am not sure. So, initially, some greater involvement from the Japanese side will happen till critical mass of skilled engineers and labour is built up.

KPMG report wrote:36 | Reasons for cost overrun across sectors
(Railways)
Design change (high)
Inadequate DPR (high)
Material price escalations (high)
Location and connection of project site (moderate)
Scope creep (moderate)

In this section, only material price costs will be important, IMHO. Given the importance of this project, and the detailed study done by the Japanese for years, there probably won't be any surprises in the design/DPR areas.

Note: In this KPMG report as well, the data mentioned is for 'Railways', which we can assume means the Indian Railways. It didn't have a section for metro rail projects, which would have been a better indicator of challenges given the funding and management similarities. It refers to metro rail only as an emerging trend, so the above data should be interpreted as IR specific only. And IR has been continuing to fund its projects piecemeal since the earlier report, and in that aspect, has indeed stood still :|. Sigh.

Suraj wrote:Yes, that's the sort of thing that makes me concerned about the viability of this project. Building this means our steel and cement production has to ramp up beforehand, since I'm guessing this will be mostly ballast-less track like the Beijing-Shanghai HSR. There are thousands of piers and slipformed sections to be made and placed, and that's assuming land acquisition is done expeditiously.

Our cement industry anyway needs a bigger throughput once Gadkari's plan to use cement concrete in road construction is implemented. The HSR could be another catalyst to drive investment. But according to the chart below, there is some buffer to increase output by ~100 million tonnes per annum:

Image
Image Source: IBEF

Having said that, will we go for full ballast-less track? From Wiki, the Shinkansen apparently uses ballast-less track only on viaducts and tunnels, and uses regular tracks elsewhere. Whereas the Taiwan HSR uses ballast-less track throughout. Ballast-less track is somewhat less noisy and maintenance prone, but takes longer to construct and more expensive. The noise is also addressed by better track bed and using long welded rails (it's the joints that really create the most noise). Hopefully vsunder saar or someone with more knowledge about this space could comment.

SSundar wrote:One thing on the ticket prices - there is absolutely no requirement that every passenger on the HSR will need to pay the same price. Consider the airline model. The First and Business class pay most of the cost of flying the plane. The Economy class is incremental revenue aka gravy on top of that.

Good point. We have all been considering a single fare to make our calculations. Can I request the number crunchers to consider this aspect? It might make things look better.

SSundar wrote:For example, it suddenly becomes feasible for someone to live in Surat and work in Mumbai city center, commuting daily. The wealth Mumbai produces is distributed directly to larger distances. This directly increases real estate activity in Surat.

Saar, thanks for triggering a light bulb in my brain. Of course there will be many commuter trains, not just trains end to end. WR has been running the Flying Ranee between Surat and Mumbai Central for ages (since when it's earlier avatar called BB&CI existed in the British era). This is a regular commuter train taking almost 5 hours to complete the journey (dep Surat 04:45, arr BCT 10:10; return dep BCT 17:55, arr ST 22:35) and is a natural contender to be replaced by HSR. Imagine being able to complete this journey in 1:15 (distance 250 km) - a lot more people will relocate from the Mumbai area to places like Navsari, Valsad, Vapi, etc. That means more than a single train to service this commuter traffic, which means more ridership in the system. True, costs play a role, but the time savings are too significant to ignore this option. "Leave home at 7 from Surat, be at work in Mumbai by 9" is a phenomenal productivity increase. There is also a similar train called Gujarat Queen that runs in the opposite direction; from Valsad to Ahmedabad in the mornings via Surat and Vadodara, but I am not sure of its commuter profile. Maybe Disha-ji might know? It too seems to be a candidate for replacement.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 19 Dec 2015 06:55

Excellent post arshyam. Nice discussion going on here folks. Keep at it and report anyone trying to derail it rather than take it on yourself - action will be taken by moderators based on reports.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby ldev » 19 Dec 2015 07:32

Is the loan going to be a yen loan? If so the foreign exchange risk should be included in the amortization calculation. Based on Disha's calculation of daily revenues of about Rs 80 crores, the annual cashflow required for the loan amortization is about 9% of annual ticket fares. Since long term exchange rates are a function of the inflation differential between 2 countries, a yen denominated loan's rupee liability will increase in the same proportion as inflation in India and ticket fares for the HSR assuming that fares increase in line with general inflation. Hence the ratio of loan amortization to revenues will remain the same over the life of the repayment. Maybe somebody has figures from other HSR operations for a cash flow needed for loan amortization/revenue ratio.

The loan is to be repaid over 50 years with an initial 15 year grace period. Just for reference, in the 1973-74 time period, 100 yen bought Rs 3, today 100 yen buys about Rs 55-57. That has been the rupee depreciation against the yen over a roughly 40 year period. This loan is for 65 years.

However the entire objective of the HSR is to kick start India's economy into a higher level so that productivity starts outpacing inflation and thereby the rupee does not depreciate against developed country currencies and as such the burden of loan amortization actually decreases with the passage of years.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Picklu » 19 Dec 2015 07:55

arshyam wrote:Saar, I find it a bit disingenuous on your part quoting this study in the present tense, considering this was published Nov 24, 1990 :eek:. Has India stood still in the last 25 years?

.........

And IR has been continuing to fund its projects piecemeal since the earlier report, and in that aspect, has indeed stood still :|. Sigh.


I was in two minds about linking the first one as dated but the result with the latest 2013 one is very similar. See the reports do not compare the technology (which has changed no doubt) but the project management aspect and that has not changed a lot (due to similar archaic laws and govt control in railways).

If you see the KPMG report it mentions that a large number of projects do not have date of completion as part of the plan itself. Today in TOI there is a report based on CAG report and the same is mentioned again. Things really need to change in the implementation aspect. However what vsundar sir mentioned in this thread multiple times, there seems to be blishtering pace in sections where work is currently going on and no bottleneck with either land acquisition, court case or approvals/clearance like environment, defence etc. Suresh Prabhu's health remains a concern though.

arshyam wrote:We have all been considering a single fare to make our calculations. Can I request the number crunchers to consider this aspect? It might make things look better.


This I have mentioned in the previous post itself where I have linked the IIMA & RITES case study.
The expert consultants recommendations are:

Rs 4.5/Km (75% of the seats capacity - economy class) = 534 * 4.5 = Rs 2403
Rs 7/Km (25% of the seats capacity - upper class) = 534 * 7 = Rs 3738

Will do the rest later. PT meeting beckons. :oops:

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 19 Dec 2015 10:47

@Arshyam: It is those companies that are making the DFC and in particular the western DFC that will be best equipped to build the HSR. First L&T is building the western DFC from Rewari to Iqbalgarh along with Sojitz corporation and I have posted a PDF document above that Sojitz has issued. Sojitz is a Japanese company and so L&T will have experience with Japanese construction methods and style. Many technologies are being used here that will be used in the HSR. The track bed and blanketing is being done to a higher standard than IR and this will be the case on HSR. Use of long sections of rails than what IR does, for HSR they will use even longer sections than the ones on DFC. Use of track laying machines and mechanized track laying systems a first in india.
The only point is the temperature fluctuations for Indian summers etc for such long segments 400m even will be something new for HSR( I am not sure HSR exists in such hot places) and allowance will probably be made for such thermal stresses in the track. So I think both the Japanese and Indian companies are not working in a complete vacuum, DFC is high school and from here HSR is going to college. There will be new logistic issues to tackle as to how to get these long segments of rails from ports to the construction sites, because initially IR will have to transport them.

All the rails on the western DFC are being imported from Japan, though the concrete sleepers are being made on site( for example at Bhagega on western DFC). This may be the model perhaps they will use. Mitsui corp is handling the Sachin-Vaitarna section(186km) and so that will be something that will prove useful for the HSR, since that is where the HSR will pass.

Environmental issues will crop up. The Vaitarna section saw no progress for years as there were mangroves at Dahanu rd. and finally just this year the court allowed DFC corp to remove 560 mangroves, provided DFC planted 10 mangroves for each one removed. Part of the line will be very tight. There is a line tripling survey finished between Vadodara to Vasai rd. and then the DFC also runs close to the current alignment, so that is a putative 5 railway lines,
plus two more for the HSR, 7 tracks in all, that is a very heavily inhabited corridor, just watch some of the videos of that sector. 7 tracks is a good sized number and it will be a very tight fit watching videos. Once you start buying farm land etc hoho will start. Already it has constrained Khurja-Ludhiana of eastern DFC to a single track, so do not underestimate land acquisition problems.

I have written a post above on what Is saw on eastern DFC on Nov 5th on LKO Shatabdi from Delhi to Kanpur.
There is a lot of work going on, but when the trackbed hits a small village, no demolishing has taken place, and so I surmise litigation is taking place. Basically the trackbed exists on both sides of the village and there is the village. So that will happen in HSR too.

TGV uses rails of density 60kg/m which is the same as used by IR on Class A routes.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby prahaar » 19 Dec 2015 11:27

Gujarat queen consists of students, office goers, and weekend commuters. This train has a schedule which divides the commuters in multiple overlapping zones.Valsad-Surat-Ankleshwar, Surat-Vadodara-VV nagar, Vadodara-VVNagar-Ahmedabad. And we all seem to be missing the so called intercity trains and MEMU. The longest MEMU route in India is on this stretch, IIRC.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby hanumadu » 19 Dec 2015 11:37

vsunder wrote:The only point is the temperature fluctuations for Indian summers etc for such long segments 400m even will be something new for HSR


How do they transport such long segments. Do they bend them?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 19 Dec 2015 11:48

hanumadu wrote:
vsunder wrote:The only point is the temperature fluctuations for Indian summers etc for such long segments 400m even will be something new for HSR


How do they transport such long segments. Do they bend them?


No they are transported on flat cars. Above(in old thread) you will find a powerpoint presentation by some IR fellow of Central Railway as to how they are trying to solve such problems, I had posted it. Already Jindal Steel is making 260m rail segments for Eastern DFC. As I said Western DFC rails are coming from Japanese steel plants. So it is not that many of these issues will be a novelty. As I said DFC is the high school training ground. HSR will use longer segments. The article linked below states that a special rake took these 260m rails from the factory to the work site.

http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 429_1.html

The article also states that this plant is capable of manufacturing head hardened rails for bullet trains.
Though given what has happened on western DFC, the Japanese will go for rails from Japan.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby hanumadu » 19 Dec 2015 12:03

^^


The above video show how they are transported and laid track side. But the only ships that are longer than 400m seem to be the oil tankers. Don't see how 400m rails can be transported from Japan. They can't be transported by road either. The only way seems to be get them on long flat cars right at the place of manufacture which is connected to the railways and transport them using the railway system itself.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby chaanakya » 19 Dec 2015 12:31

SSundar wrote:One thing on the ticket prices - there is absolutely no requirement that every passenger on the HSR will need to pay the same price. Consider the airline model. The First and Business class pay most of the cost of flying the plane. The Economy class is incremental revenue aka gravy on top of that. .

Railways is trying with variable fares in the so called Premium trains. I think they go with seats to spare even on the routes where there is high demand otherwise. Of course , services are as usual nothing to show for extra premium they charge.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 19 Dec 2015 16:40

Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corporation is supplying the rails for the Western Dedicated Freight corridor
for the section from Rewari to Iqbalgarh(640km). The rails are being of course shipped from Japan all 126,000 tonnes by September 2016.

http://www.nssmc.com/en/news/20140627_100.html

As is well known there was no interest from bidders for the Iqbalgarh to Vadodara section and Vadodara to Sachin section and beyond till the GE of 2014. But now IRCON and Mitsui are doing Sachin(Surat) to Vaitarna and hopefully the other two chunks can be wrapped up too.

Regarding terrain, the major issue for the HSR are plenty of rivers and major bridges. There is the Narmada and Tapti, and on the section from Sachin to Vaitarna for DFC, 54 major bridges have to be constructed. I have posted video links in the earlier thread of some of them being constructed, one near Navsari. So about the same will be true for HSR. The gradient is not much. Ahmedabad is 54m above MSL and Mumbai, 10-15m above MSL. Compare this with Chennai-Bangalore on current alignment where the climb to the Deccan Plateau takes place essentially between Kuppam and Jolarpet. There are places one cannot see the down track from the up track. Here Kuppam is at 688m and Jolarpet is 404m above MSL and the distance between them 40km. None of these issues will arise in the proposed HSR. Japan Railways also operates on 25KV and so that is also not an issue. The wider gauge of IR, I somehow feel is in favor, should not a wider wheelbase improve stability, even John Mitchell in his delightful book "the Wheels of Ind" has commented on this in the 1920's.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karan M » 19 Dec 2015 19:31

How will we maintain or replace those rails if its all from Japan? Does any plan exist to locally develop the capability for the long term?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 19 Dec 2015 20:16

Tracks for Chennai Metro come from Brazil. The raw material for the rails is from the Tata plant at Scunthorpe UK, bilayat.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Picklu » 19 Dec 2015 22:49

Picklu wrote:

arshyam wrote:We have all been considering a single fare to make our calculations. Can I request the number crunchers to consider this aspect? It might make things look better.


This I have mentioned in the previous post itself where I have linked the IIMA & RITES case study.
The expert consultants recommendations are:

Rs 4.5/Km (75% of the seats capacity - economy class) = 534 * 4.5 = Rs 2403
Rs 7/Km (25% of the seats capacity - upper class) = 534 * 7 = Rs 3738

Will do the rest later. PT meeting beckons. :oops:


Ok, back. Not sure if anyone is still interested. However here it goes anyway.

First of all, it would be prudent to take note of current situation as posted by Chanakyaa as well as what we see in the airlines. Even in high demand sectors, premium fare seats are not fully occupied in IR. Full service flights have way lower occupancy rate compared to low frill or budget airlines.

So, any increase in price would be negeted by lower occupancy. Plus passenger density have to be lower in higher class for better erogonomics and operational expense for premium services would be additional. So, it might not give any advantage revenue wise. It would be near impossible to figure out the optimum balance between economy and primium given the current information.

so, let me follow the available info in the net itself and try to arrive at the avg price for end to end passenger. That avg price then can be split between economy and primium class. But frankly speaking, just following the budget airlines scenario, the best option would be to have a single class having the avg fare. Anyone preferring over and above can go via full service airlines/chartered flight.

I found 4 mentions of the fare in 4 different sources on the net

a. The 2010 pre-feasibility RITES study
b. The 2013 IIMA study
c. 2013 Ministry of Railway study
d. The comment section of the business standart article

c mentions the avg ticket price at the beginning of the operation to be Rs 3700 & d mentions Rs 2500. No other breakup.

b and a are more intersting. Both mentions 75% seats for economy class and 25% for premium. a mentions Rs 7 per km for economy and Rs 9 for premium @ 2021 while b mentions Rs 4.5 km and Rs 7 respectively. So, for b, the avg price for 534 km works out to be Rs 2736 and for a, Rs 3003.

More interestingly, a also provides fare revision policy which is 4% yearly increase and 5% over and above that every 5th year.

I am more inclined towards Disha's calculation that the price should be 75% of the airfare to make it competitive without selling cheap. So, I would go with a notional price closer to Rs 2625 as of today and extrapolate the same to arrive at the price when the operations start assuming the airfare keeps up with the trend of this 4% yearly and another 5% every 5 year periodic increment.

Now, if we assume that the SPV(and hence the loan) gets operationalised on 2016 itself and service starts on 2026, then the loan would continue till 2080. Assuming the notional Avg price to be Rs 2500 for 2016, the projected avg price at the start of operation on 2026 would be Rs 4080, Rs 5212 at the end of 15 years moratorium on 2031 when the debt servicing (principle + interest) have to start and it would reach a whooping Rs 58k on 2080.

so, the yearly revenue figures and min passenger volumes for financial viability have to be recalculated. But that is for some other day.

Again, there might be silly mistakes (0 eaten or added here and there), so all gurus are requested to go through the above calculation.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 19 Dec 2015 22:55

Picklu wrote:First of all, it would be prudent to take note of current situation as posted by Chanakyaa as well as what we see in the airlines. Even in high demand sectors, premium fare seats are not fully occupied in IR. Full service flights have way lower occupancy rate compared to low frill or budget airlines.

So, any increase in price would be negeted by lower occupancy. Plus passenger density have to be lower in higher class for better erogonomics and operational expense for premium services would be additional. So, it might not give any advantage revenue wise. It would be near impossible to figure out the optimum balance between economy and primium given the current information.

IMHO, airline frequency and convenience are not analogous to HSR. In Japan HSR is typically first preference due to greater convenience for similar travel time. The uptake of KTX in Korea also shows how rapidly HSR cannibalizes other means of travel, including conventional rail. I see nothing about India that's unique as a result of which it would be any different here.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Picklu » 19 Dec 2015 23:06

Btw, does anyone know whether it would be broad guage or standard? All recommendations are for BG btw.

However Shinkansen is not BG. This may need additional design & testing etc causing over run.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Picklu » 19 Dec 2015 23:10

Suraj wrote:
Picklu wrote:First of all, it would be prudent to take note of current situation as posted by Chanakyaa as well as what we see in the airlines. Even in high demand sectors, premium fare seats are not fully occupied in IR. Full service flights have way lower occupancy rate compared to low frill or budget airlines.

So, any increase in price would be negeted by lower occupancy. Plus passenger density have to be lower in higher class for better erogonomics and operational expense for premium services would be additional. So, it might not give any advantage revenue wise. It would be near impossible to figure out the optimum balance between economy and primium given the current information.

IMHO, airline frequency and convenience are not analogous to HSR. In Japan HSR is typically first preference due to greater convenience for similar travel time. The uptake of KTX in Korea also shows how rapidly HSR cannibalizes other means of travel, including conventional rail. I see nothing about India that's unique as a result of which it would be any different here.


HSR will cannibalize air traffic but would it be better off economically having a separate class?
With higher fare comes lot of additional expenses as well. So, exactly how much the avg ticket price would go up in effect than what has been calculated ball park?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 20 Dec 2015 00:33

Picklu wrote:HSR will cannibalize air traffic but would it be better off economically having a separate class?
With higher fare comes lot of additional expenses as well. So, exactly how much the avg ticket price would go up in effect than what has been calculated ball park?

It's not nearly a question of class. Sure, class based prices have tradeoffs, e.g. a higher priced class also accomodates fewer people due to more space per seat etc. What's also a factor is yield management driven ticket pricing - fares increase as you get closer to travel date. I believe Shinkansen also has that to a limited extent (even though tickets there are costly in general), but Kashi will know more about that than me.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Kashi » 20 Dec 2015 09:24

^^ Tokaido Shinkansen rarely offers discounts if any. No need for them to do so as they enjoy a healthy occupancy rate despite steep prices. But then it connects City centres to city centres (some of them near about) and the airlines simply cannot match that.

Which is they have no concept of peak/off-peak fares. There are occasional promotions involving Kodama/Hikari services, but they are few and far in between.

Of course Sanyo Shinkansen (running Westwards from Osaka) and the other Shinkansen services offer promotional and discount fares from time to time.

There are few Green cars which are sort of "first-class cabins" with roomier seats (4 to a row, a pair on the either side of the aisle) and the tickets are higher priced. However, the overwhelming majority of seats on a typical Shinkansen consists of the "cattle class", which are comfortable enough that most people do not even think of the Green cars.

Tohoku Shinkansen has recently introduced a more luxurious Gran class

https://www.japan-rail-pass.com/japan-b ... /granclass

Again, no idea if this model can be completely replicated with us in India, but given the speed with which tatkal or even premium tatkal tickets are snapped up on busy routes, there should be enough demand.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 20 Dec 2015 09:33

Thanks. I know from firsthand experience that European HSR, e.g. RENFE AVE, has yield management, and that prices go up as you get closer to travel date.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 20 Dec 2015 10:15

There are few Green cars which are sort of "first-class cabins" with roomier seats (4 to a row, a pair on the either side of the aisle) and the tickets are higher priced. However, the overwhelming majority of seats on

That is another difference between BG of Indian Railways. Shatabdi coaches are 3+2 with an aisle, 5 to a row. As I said before BG is what the HSR should be built with. More stability with a larger wheelbase and more carrying capacity per coach. As per testing etc. let them test with BG, after all when locos are made for IR like EMD did or Alco did or Alstom will and Hitachi did, they were all tested for the larger gauge. They have to test the railbed etc. so they will test, in fact they will realize BG is better. The argument of using standard gauge, for Metros is correct, you have to build piers and so with standard gauge the piers can be narrower( and thus cost less in terms of pouring concrete) and journeys are shorter so people can afford to be crushed. But for HSR, the roomier the better and you can carry more passengers. There are no piers, most of the track is at grade.

Many of the technologies that are standard on HSR have already been adopted on DFC regarding signalling etc. For example on DFC, trains will not have caboose, guard etc etc. All rakes will be fitted with EOTT( End of Train telemetry), thus the loco pilot monitors the pressure of the brake line at the rear from his cab etc. using Wilma. This in particular does away with manufacturing cabooses and also maintaining them and eventually also cuts down on manpower like employing a guard.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-of-train_device

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Kashi » 20 Dec 2015 11:24

vsunder wrote:That is another difference between BG of Indian Railways. Shatabdi coaches are 3+2 with an aisle, 5 to a row.


That's only for the green cars, the standard cars are 2+3 to a row with ample leg room and there are 16 cars in a train.

vsunder wrote:As I said before BG is what the HSR should be built with. More stability with a larger wheelbase and more carrying capacity per coach. As per testing etc. let them test with BG, after all when locos are made for IR like EMD did or Alco did or Alstom will and Hitachi did, they were all tested for the larger gauge. They have to test the railbed etc. so they will test, in fact they will realize BG is better. The argument of using standard gauge, for Metros is correct, you have to build piers and so with standard gauge the piers can be narrower( and thus cost less in terms of pouring concrete) and journeys are shorter so people can afford to be crushed. But for HSR, the roomier the better and you can carry more passengers. There are no piers, most of the track is at grade.

Many of the technologies that are standard on HSR have already been adopted on DFC regarding signalling etc. For example on DFC, trains will not have caboose, guard etc etc. All rakes will be fitted with EOTT( End of Train telemetry), thus the loco pilot monitors the pressure of the brake line at the rear from his cab etc. using Wilma. This in particular does away with manufacturing cabooses and also maintaining them and eventually also cuts down on manpower like employing a guard.


Shinkansen gauge is slightly wider than the standard gauge- 1,435 mm. It's not far off from the Indian gauge-1,676 mm. The trains carry 16 cars to a train with a capacity of over a 1300 passengers. The technology is calibrated for this and should be followed to avoid increased costs.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 20 Dec 2015 11:25

I find it totally hilarious that all these ex IR guys are crawling out of the woodwork saying they can build HSR or semi-HSR. First let them do the simple task of finding "disappearing rakes", or if this were a real Sherlock Holmes thriller. "The Case of the 4 disappearing rakes". Four, kilometer long freight rakes loaded with time sensitive containers which needed to be loaded onto ships at Mundhra port, simply vanished. That means, gayab, nobody knew where they went, neither CONCORS, who passed the buck to IR, who passed it back to IR. The containers missed the ships that left without the containers, causing grief to the shippers. Man, this is capital maybe load all those Agnis onto such rakes, even the Strategic Forces Command will not know where the "atim bums" are, leave alone Cheen and TSP who will be scratching their heads. Such an organization is going to build semi high speed rail. Anyhow, this article says it better. The vanishing rakes were found after two weeks so dont start conspiracy theories like Malaysian airlines. :rotfl:

http://www.railnews.co.in/concors-four- ... two-weeks/

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Suraj » 20 Dec 2015 12:40

More than one HSR system has been built and runs on bogies of different widths. The Russians run Siemens Velaro HSR trainsets on their gauge. Even the Japanese have adapted their Hitachi-built locomotives in the past for our BG system. In fact, every single western locomotive we've imported had that thing to deal with - GE, GM/EMD, ABB, Hitachi have all done so, and they'll all have standard procedures to address regauging . I don't think it's technically difficult to do. The coaches built upon the bogies are much wider than the gauge anyway. IMHO, the major effort lies elsewhere; they will have to Indianize the design, and other factors like more powerful A/Cs and ambient dust handling systems will probably cost more than any effort needed to regauge the train.

I'd be very surprised if the early trainsets did not show up in the news with stories like "A/C breaks down on HSR #1213 to Ahmedabad due to dust ingestion. Hundreds swelter in heat" or "HSR schedules thrown out of gear by overheating brakes on HSR #1213 causing emergency halt" . These things will happen early on as they struggle to iron out teething troubles.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Singha » 20 Dec 2015 20:59

even school buses in blr have gps and a android/apple app for every parent to track their position overlaid on a map.
you also get SMS when it reaches the school, leaves the school and when it has reached 1km from the stop.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Karthik S » 21 Dec 2015 00:29

http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 374_1.html

The Rs 90,000-crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project has hit a hurdle as the Maharashtra government has categorically ruled out providing land in the tony commercial district of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) for the proposed terminal. Instead, the government has asked the rail ministry to consider its own plots, currently vacant in Dadar, Kurla or Bandra terminus.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a recent communication to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu has conveyed the government’s inability to spare land, citing that the state undertaking Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) does not have adequate land....


They go underground like the 32nd street Penn Station in Manhattan. BKC is probably the best place for the terminal station to come up in Mumbai, given the presence of many financial institutions there and the GIFT cbd coming up in Ahmadabad.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby SSundar » 21 Dec 2015 07:28

^^^ If the Railways already have land in the Kurla or Bandra terminus, why do they need new land?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Arunkumar » 21 Dec 2015 08:00

In a way phadnavis is right. Railways do own large tracts of land. They should be able to come up with some thing. However using this oppertunity prabhu can nudge MMRDA to bring another project out of moth ball. In the 1980s when BKC was planned, someone had the foresight to allocate space for railway line between Bandra and Kurla thru BKC. That however never saw the light of the day.
Landsharks may be eyeing that land parcel now. Hope it is revived now.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 21 Dec 2015 13:17

I was very happy to pick up the third edition (2015) of "The Great Indian Railway Atlas" by Samit Roychaudhury when I visited the Indian Railways Museum in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi in early November. Roychoudhary has been bringing out this Atlas at 5 year intervals starting from the first edition in 2005. The Atlas costs Rs 700/- and is well worth the cost. Some features

1. The Atlas has 103 pages. 2. A complete list of all stations on IR 3. Metro maps of all Metros being constructed in India, operational and non operational, inc. Kochi Metro, Lucknow Metro etc 4. Maps of the DFC alignment, both Eastern and Western 5. All important sidings to Cement and Steel plants, Collieries and Ordnance factories 6. Maps of defunct alignments 7. Routes that are being electrified, doubled, tripled, re-gauged etc are displayed 8. Also displayed are routes which are being surveyed for electrification, for doubling, tripling, re-gauging and also new routes that are being surveyed. For example the survey details of a route from Rishikesh all the way to Karnaprayag is displayed. 9. Zonal and Divisional cut-off points are displayed, as to where JHS division begins and where ALD division ends. 10. Location of stations that have accident relief trains 11. All halts, and all minor stations along a route and all block signal cabins along a route are displayed. 12. Diesel and Electric Loco sheds are marked as is the lone steam loco shed at Rewari housing heritage steam locos. 13. Ghat sections and scenic routes are marked as is the location of rail museums across the country.

In short a gold mine of information for IR afficionados esp. those who have traveled along many of these routes and in their mind's eye can picture the terrain and the stations with funny names and name changes. These name changes are also listed. So one knows that Mcdonald's choultry is Magudanchavadi 12. The intricate system of lines around major stations have further cut-outs, like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi etc. Unfortunately Roychoudhury seems not to have updated his website which only displays the second edition of 2010. Here:


http://indianrailstuff.com/gira2.html

Do not be caught without this Atlas either with your pants down or up if you are interested in this behemoth called IR. The paper is glossy paper and the book is well made and bound, a slick book.
Last edited by vsunder on 21 Dec 2015 14:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby Sachin » 21 Dec 2015 13:39

vsunder wrote:I was very happy to pick up the third edition (2015) of "The Great Indian Railway Atlas" by Samit Roychaudhury when I visited the Indian Railways Museum in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi in early November.

I have a copy of the Indian Railway Atlas, but not the 2015 one. This one has a colour print, where as the previous editions were more of "black & white". To be honest, I found the black and white one more "easy on the eyes". The railway atlas would be in my bag, any time I make a train journey. It is surprising that IR itself does not have such a map in place.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby vsunder » 22 Dec 2015 10:31

How the Itarsi RRI fire was handled:

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/spe ... 699050.ece

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby durairaaj » 25 Dec 2015 19:53

Want to record my experience with railways yesterday.
I must admit the stations are much cleaner than before. I see many janitors in uniform cleaning the places in continual basis.
As it entered the trains had cleaner lavatories, though cant say the same after 3 hours into the travel. I must admit the railways are improvingin providing the service. I hope they extend the commuter train service to small towns especially during the office hours. This will alleviate the pollution from intercity buses within the cities as well as decongest the tier 2 towns.

Only remorse is had to pay 3 times the cost of tatkal fare for travel in Suvidha train.
Best Wishes for Minister Suresh Prabhu to keep his work going towards quadrupling and electrifying Indian Railways.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread (Dec 2015)

Postby SSundar » 25 Dec 2015 21:09

One hopes that IR is soon able to get rid of license-quota systems such as tatkal. These are artifacts of severe supply constraints and possibly the lack of a fully real time reservation and capacity management system. As an "IT Superpower", the latter should be an easily solvable problem. The former is a really bad one. The entire IR organization needs to get much better at demand analysis and infuse agile decision making to move trains around to meet the demand.


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