Indian Railways Thread

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Rahul M » 15 Mar 2012 01:48

vina ji, remember what I said about trivedi earlier ? ;)

p.s the discussion was with theo sahab. looks like I had a crystal ball. :shock:
viewtopic.php?p=1205222#p1205222

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 15 Mar 2012 02:07

Rahul_M,

You were right but still... ...All the way, including the roll back and firing for being his own man. Sigh!

Its hard to believe that Bengal has to endure another 4 years of this woman. At least with AMMA you get the initial 2 year grace period. But not with this variety apparently.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby krisna » 15 Mar 2012 08:03

Mamata Didi
Jaya Amma
Mayavati behenji.
Sheila aunty.

They are appropriate for their roles. :mrgreen:
Amma just like momma protecting her turf and children.
Sheila aunty free for all to loot. :wink:
mayavati and mamata petulant and scr*w others. unsure of themselves. :(( :((

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Marut » 15 Mar 2012 15:21

Gunjur,

Many Railway ministers went on to become PM, DyPM or such powerful Central ministers. The ones who held the portfolio after Jaffer Sharief are also heavyweight PM hopefuls (yes including Mamata!) By that count, Jaffer Sharief is a lightweight. Of course he was quite powerful in Karnataka, never questioned that.

Your point about Karnataka relative lack of rail connectivity and the presence of MoS from KT reinforces my point of how Railways is seen as a means to shower benefits & largesse on your constituency and garner goodwill to be encashed at the ballot box. Hence the relative lack of calmouring among TN, AP or even MH politicos for the Rail ministry as compared to Industries, IT/Telecom, Agri, etc. where the impact is more visible vis-a-vis their home states.

Tin foil=making theories wearing a tin foil hat!

It is not my case that politicos from South/West can't get or don't want Railways at all, just that they prefer other portfolios more from work done:rewards ratio pov.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 15 Mar 2012 15:39

in WB politics the contest has been who is more purer and lefter. a king of leap frog came with CPIM which TMC won this time.

I doubt any form of heavy or light industry from outside the region would be keen to rush there. which is a pity, because WB being in doldrums badly affects all surrounding states incl all NE states. if WB==gujarat all these would get pulled up as well.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby member_20617 » 15 Mar 2012 15:50

For once we had a right Railway Minister, Dinesh Trivedi.

But Mamta Banerjee is putting her party before the country!

Don’t we Indians deserve better railways?

Just an idea:
Can Congress retain DT by asking him to join their party?

I know Congress needs Trinamool Party’s support but this is possible.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby csaurabh » 15 Mar 2012 22:02

WB is in a real swamp at the moment and will likely remain so for a while. Mamata is a total nut job. Her authoritarianism puts G-dynasty to shame.
In the declining years of commie rule they realized how damaging their policies had been and were changing their outlook more on the lines of the PRC ( communist in name, but capitalist in intent ), and that's why they invited Tata, creating the image of Salt lake city as investor friendly, software company etc. Of course then Mamata came in and upset all that. Ironically, in a few years we may be hoping for the good old commie days.

Let's hope Trivedi continues to remain in govt and let MMS show Mamata the middle finger. They have support from SP/BSP anyway.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Thomas Kolarek » 15 Mar 2012 22:49

Mamata is cent percent right on Railways budget, politics apart.
Govt. is for Poor People, not for internet intellectuals or Administrative lecturers. She speaks common people voice, she is asking to lower fares for 2nd and 3rd class which is used by poor and lower middle class people, what is wrong in that ?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby rajkumar » 16 Mar 2012 01:08

Thomas Kolarek wrote:Mamata is cent percent right on Railways budget, politics apart.
Govt. is for Poor People, not for internet intellectuals or Administrative lecturers. She speaks common people voice, she is asking to lower fares for 2nd and 3rd class which is used by poor and lower middle class people, what is wrong in that ?


How about bankrupting Indian Railways in the process. Anyway if she is so poor friendly then why doesn't she practice what she preaches. Why did she hike electricity rates in WB? Aren't their poor people in WB.

We should take this up in the States Thread maybe

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Thomas Kolarek » 16 Mar 2012 02:37

No one said Mamata is poor, I said Govt. is for Poor people. Which country runs Railways for profit ? Every where its subsidized, open-book or suspense is the difference. We shouldn't think like western countries, we have so much of populations to uplift, we need Mamata's likes to speak for them occasionally at-least.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 16 Mar 2012 08:48

Sir, railways need massive funds to replace 1000s of old bridges and culverts that will collapse without warning someday taking a train with it. as it is, they negate the effect of stronger trains and better tracks (concrete sleepers and automatic alignment machines) by forcing trains to slow down often. this is just one area.

improvement and cleaning up the mess that are the ancient railways stations is another.

replacing 1000s of ancient dirty beat up coaches both passenger and goods is another.

the GOI can nowhere near pump in the billions needed for this. the IR also needs to generate some of these funds on a continuous basis. it cannot be by selling off plots of land they hold in urban areas because thats only a one time gain. it has to be some sustainable streams like passenger tickets, hotel JVs, platform tickets, parking , reduction of hiring, fleet rationalization, reduced opex on fuel , lighter coaches and so on.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby putnanja » 16 Mar 2012 10:20

Thomas Kolarek wrote:No one said Mamata is poor, I said Govt. is for Poor people. Which country runs Railways for profit ? Every where its subsidized, open-book or suspense is the difference. We shouldn't think like western countries, we have so much of populations to uplift, we need Mamata's likes to speak for them occasionally at-least.


Where will the money to replace coaches, engines, tracks, bridges etc come from? How much can the government subsidize? Where will the money come from? The government is spending on NREGA, railways, fuel subsidies, fertilizer subsidy etc. How much can they tax the middle class ? Middle class too wants the income tax ceiling raised. You can't tax the middle class, or not provide subsidy to poor, and how much can you tax the rich who are a miniscule percent of population?

Even with the current raise, the government is still providing 4000 crores subsidy.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Rahul M » 16 Mar 2012 19:19

thomas, no one here is arguing for a railways run on a profit motive. but social service should be in tune with the state of your coffers, otherwise it becomes a case of killing the golden egg laying goose.

right now rail has no money for better infrastructure, improving safety or introducing modern technology. who do you think suffers ? it's the very same common man you are arguing for. do you think he cares about paying Rs 30/- extra if that meant better service ?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Hitesh » 16 Mar 2012 20:15

Thomas Kolarek wrote:No one said Mamata is poor, I said Govt. is for Poor people. Which country runs Railways for profit ? Every where its subsidized, open-book or suspense is the difference. We shouldn't think like western countries, we have so much of populations to uplift, we need Mamata's likes to speak for them occasionally at-least.


Are you a commie? Your post sounds like commie talk to me. Guess what? communism failed. Even China has junked communism out keeping only the name to justify the CCP's existence.

You sound as like money grows on trees.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Prasad » 16 Mar 2012 20:30

If the finmin isnt going to up the railway subsidy and fares aren't hiked, how long can the railways run on a deficit? The railways isnt only about running costs like salary, fuel, power etc. Its also about long term commitment like bridges, tracks, new projects, rolling stock for newer trains etc. How the heck are they going to afford all this, cater to greater number of people who're all clamouring that the railways isnt catering to them right now, greater population of passengers. Fluff?

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 16 Mar 2012 21:19

Easy on attacking people as commies. It is a popular view amongst travelers for no fare increases, status of IR be damned. The truth is IR needs to break even. This can only happen with freight increasing. Which is where the freight corridors come in. also note that 80% of revenue increase was by increasing fares 20%. gives a sense of the proportions.

IR can never fund capital expense like bridges, renew stations, replace coaches, etc from operating income. GOI is going to have to provide on order of 200 Billion per annum over next 30 years to have any hope of modernizing the system. That is what it is going to take. Something like Rs 5-10 Trillion over next 30 years

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Rahul M » 16 Mar 2012 21:27

>> it is a popular view amongst travelers for no fare increases, status of IR be damned.

not true. there is widespread public support for raising fares. at least it's so in WB.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Dipanker » 16 Mar 2012 22:13

The fare increase is marginal, almost negligible for the poor. The increase is targeted more towards AC travelers who can certainly afford to pay.

Beside any hike in freight cost ultimately gets passed down to the consumer, or to the same poor people. In case of accidents due to poor maintenance of infrastructure, the same poor people again pay.


Marginal increase in passenger fares: The increase will be by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class; 3 paise per km for mail/express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC 3 tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2 tier and 30 paise per km for AC I.


Railway budget highlights

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 17 Mar 2012 10:43

As I said no fare increase is very 'popular'. People may reluctantly agree to an increase but that does not make it a popular move.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 17 Mar 2012 11:34

every city on rail network of >5L souls needs IR to hand over the station to be razed and rebuilt under pvt ownership . just scraping off the fossilized human excreta and urine salt deposits would take months of hard work. IR will need to subsidize these owners and also let them commercialize the place restaurants/food courts/malls/hotel rooms and make profits on it. a place with 1000s of footfalls a day can make money if offerings designed for the economic level of the clients is put on table. its the mismatched places that lose money like say a DLF emporia mall in a low income town.

we also need to explore widespread pvtly run trains on IR network apart from just the luxury tourist trains. if airspace controlled by AAI cant have multiple airlines why should IR rule the roost based on public money?

pvt trains might lure the rich back to rails for inter city routes. atleast one could sleep peacefully without keeping an eye out for urine smells or roaches.

anyone seeing the GOVT BUILT and RUN stations in China would hang their heads in shame at the IR stations :D
one may smirk complacently about misallocation of capital, but infact it is efficient allocation of capital if a widely used system like IR ror china rail serves its clients better...its not some billion$ spaceport being built.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=224115 :oops:

as Theo says, $10b of govt capex is needed/annum to reach anywhere near as good (iirc PRC has been something like $90b/annum on HSR+railway for a while now and the spending shows in above pics) .. wake up folks, WAP7 and IRs current coach tech is like a Mig21FL in todays playground....the game has taken quantum leaps and we are still on the bottom rung.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Rahul M » 17 Mar 2012 12:19

Theo saar, it may not be popular but there is widespread understanding of the need. star ananda, a pro TMC channel conducted numerous interviews of passengers at rail stations and couldn't find a single person speaking against the fare increase. all the newspapers have praised the rail budget in unison.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Thomas Kolarek » 17 Mar 2012 18:42

Pls. no personal brandish to prove your point, communi, capitali or Religionist - those are convenient politicians terms invented to side track issues. Poor people are so busy trying to meet their day-to-day ends, and has no time to complain or whine about ever increasing prices and people not complaining in TV (what sort of argument is that ?). Even if they do, they knew they have no leverage as politicians grind their beliefs/truths to personal gains.
Tell me how does corporate companies cut down their costs and still run efficiently without shooting up their services/products price, I believe the answer in running IR efficiently just lies there.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Prasad » 17 Mar 2012 19:02

The problem arises because the IR isn't an independent corporate entity that can make decisions to ensure its prime goal - make money. The IR's prime goal is to provide affordable transportation to the masses even at a loss to IR, since the finmin will give it some money. But long term that wont work since you have to make capital investment to keep up with the times in a lot of areas - infra of all types! Where do you get capital for an entity as large and diverse as the IR without trying to make more money from the users? The IR folllows a policy of subsidising passenger fare using freight, which does indirectly affect the common man in the form of prices of goods they buy. So eventually irrespective of where the money comes from, IR's own coffers, finmin it will come frmo the common man eventually. So i'll have to say that those who can't afford it may have to pony up some more or just try other means of transport!

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 17 Mar 2012 20:53

>> he IR's prime goal is to provide affordable transportation to the masses even at a loss to IR, since the finmin will give it some money

IR is also used for two other purposes by the political class.
[a] setting up new divisons and rail factories in their region to bolster employment and get votes
[b] patronage politics in the supply contracts to IR, which are huge given its size across the country

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 18 Mar 2012 05:47

Rahul saab,

I would take such media reports with a pinch of salt. Media is not above making stuff up to push a story. When I was at Thirunelvelzi recently the big discussion was over the Guage conversion and the increase in price of platform tickets. Couple of demonstrations had been taken to Collectors office as well. When the train to Madurai was converted to an Express from Mail (IR tactic to increase revenue with a nominal speed up of 20 minutes) passengers staged a sit-in. There is definite resistance.

Maybe something like an independent fare regulator, similar to electricity may work better than this annual tamasha. Keep IR break even with GOI spending on capital improvements.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Rahul M » 18 Mar 2012 08:45

the channel in question is a hardcore pro-mamata one, so much so that the last govt had unofficially imposed a black out on it a number of times by pressuring the cable operators. they have no reason to make things up. trust me to know which is which in WB media. :P

not to mention that not a single person I talked to, from any walk in life had a bad word to say about the fare increase.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 18 Mar 2012 10:52

Take a look at the hundreds of opinions here. And this is the internet using crowd.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/poll ... 265876.cms

I havn't had a chance to touch base with my native place but esp. in lower strata there is minimal support for a fare increase of any kind.

Lets keep in mind Mamata was elected by the majority in Bengal for exactly these sorts of policies. I find it hard to believe there is now suddenly 100% support for a fare increase amongst that crowd.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Rahul M » 18 Mar 2012 10:55

the comments are overwhelmingly in support of the fare hike.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 18 Mar 2012 11:42

Yes saab! and there is a difference between overwhelming support and 100% support no. If it gets passed and implemented the opposition will get louder and stronger. UPA will then pay for it at the next elections. If support is not unanimous even amongst the internet crowd can you image how starkly different it might be lower down. I'm talking of the NREGA crowd. For which 40% of TN population has registered itself.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Theo_Fidel » 18 Mar 2012 23:24

BTW a first proposal for a tariff regulatory authority has been made. This can be a long term solution. Hopefully there is a mechanism for public input.

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels ... likely-352

Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi mooted in his Railway Budget for 2012-13 that rail fares and cargo rates be linked to fuel costs. But, Mr Trivedi has not elaborated any roadmap for adopting the new mechanism.
Mr Trivedi also proposes to set up an independent railway tariff regulatory authority that will fix tariffs both for cargo movement and passenger fares.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby krisna » 19 Mar 2012 02:38

India’s railway minister quits
India’s railway minister quit on Sunday after he raised fares on the vast but creaking network, underscoring the government’s inability to take unpopular policy steps and adding to speculation the unsteady ruling coalition will fall apart.

Dinesh Trivedi’s decision to resign, and the fare rollback that is likely to come, follows a pattern in recent months of India’s leaders announcing economic reform but being too weak to enforce it.

“I’m a loyal soldier of the party,” Mr Trivedi said of his decision to resign. “I’m worried about (passenger) safety. I did what I did because of the safety.”

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Yogi_G » 19 Mar 2012 13:25

krisna wrote:India’s railway minister quits
India’s railway minister quit on Sunday after he raised fares on the vast but creaking network, underscoring the government’s inability to take unpopular policy steps and adding to speculation the unsteady ruling coalition will fall apart.

Dinesh Trivedi’s decision to resign, and the fare rollback that is likely to come, follows a pattern in recent months of India’s leaders announcing economic reform but being too weak to enforce it.

“I’m a loyal soldier of the party,” Mr Trivedi said of his decision to resign. “I’m worried about (passenger) safety. I did what I did because of the safety.”


This lends credence to the theory that the current parliamentary system with coalition based politics being the norm makes it impossible for reforms to happen in the interests of the larger national good.

I travelled to Bangalore over the weekend and in the AC coaches only one bedsheet was provided as against the earlier 2 apart from the comforter/quilt/rug. The staff employee coolly said that we can raise complaint if we wish to.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Sachin » 19 Mar 2012 17:25

Yogi_G wrote:I travelled to Bangalore over the weekend and in the AC coaches only one bedsheet was provided as against the earlier 2 apart from the comforter/quilt/rug. The staff employee coolly said that we can raise complaint if we wish to.

We cannot blame the railways here, because you see their first priority is helping the poor people travel. The attendant etc. are too pro-poor and would have higher priorities in helping the poor people ;). In fact I feel classes like 2 A/C, 3 A/C etc. should be scrapped as it is a "bourgeouis" mode of travel. Let us all have the old wooden bench 3rd Class coaches back.

I have been an ardent rail fain for nearly 20 years now. Guess it is time to slowly switch over :roll:. If we have come to a case where even a marginal increase in rail fare cannot be done (that too in a time span of 8 years or so), then we are slowly getting into a mess. We (the nation) would soon have a dinosaur in our hands, which cannot cope up with any new things happening in the world. We would have an obsolete railway, running using obsolete locos and coaches, relying on an obsolete signalling system.

Slowly but steadily there would be increase in people using their four wheelers for commuting. Better roads from NHAI would also reduce the stress and the time duration. Some one can also think about a decently priced motel chains on these routes. Because the middle class would soon think about travelling on their four wheeler at a much more luxurious mode (better than the ill maintained, rat infested unclean A/C or non A/C coach of the railways who are purely focusing on the so called poor people). And for longer journeys, air flights becomes the next option.

The railways should learn from the private auto rickshaw drivers and bigger still; private bus operators in Kerala. Any fuel price hike, these folks go hammer and tongs on the ruling government and demand a price hike in the fares. And more likely it is done. The idea of poor people will now go starving with a meagre hike, would not work with them.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby SRoy » 19 Mar 2012 19:31

^^

That's why I suggested segregation makes sense. Increase fares and give us world class stations and trains.

MB can keep cattle wagons.

Of course they get to share the same infra like tracks and signaling.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Hitesh » 19 Mar 2012 19:36

Thomas Kolarek wrote:Pls. no personal brandish to prove your point, communi, capitali or Religionist - those are convenient politicians terms invented to side track issues. Poor people are so busy trying to meet their day-to-day ends, and has no time to complain or whine about ever increasing prices and people not complaining in TV (what sort of argument is that ?). Even if they do, they knew they have no leverage as politicians grind their beliefs/truths to personal gains.
Tell me how does corporate companies cut down their costs and still run efficiently without shooting up their services/products price, I believe the answer in running IR efficiently just lies there.


I am sorry but this is so retarded. You need to take Economics 101 class again. The corporate companies are able to cut down their costs because they can. When they cannot, they increase the products' price. If they cannot do either one of them, they go down under.

In this case, IR cannot cut down their costs because they ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO SO such as cutting employees' wages or cutting back non-essential services that produce no or little revenue. So the only option left is to increase the fares.

By the way, the fares have fallen in the past 10 years due to inflation. Read this very good article here: http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/ ... ine-years/

And going by your standards, IR would go under without massive subsidies by GoI, something that GoI cannot afford in the face of huge deficits. And on top of that, you want food security bill which would even run up the deficit much higher.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Thomas Kolarek » 20 Mar 2012 03:25

so economic sense is jack up the price, regardless. Even if you don't like a corporates decision to increase the price, you have liberty to choose an cheaper one, here you don't have a choice and everyone just has an opinion justifying. I can understand its hard to understand poor people's perspective through computer forums and its just easy to tell them to walk off instead of using IR (a public transportation system), that's sort of attitude always sucks and is exactly the reason why so many people were never alleviated from poverty. God Bless India !

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 20 Mar 2012 07:49

rats the size of cats are there in blr central railway station. feeding along the platforms. perhaps IR can let loose a few CATS on the premises. they will find plenty of rats to pounce on.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Bade » 20 Mar 2012 08:41

Looks like the only way to keep the rising middle class happy at the same time as the poor, is to have greenfield infrastructure built to connect distant cities. If it could be done more than a century ago, it can be repeated but for an entirely different level of technology and associated infrastructure.

If medium distance air travel is working out to be not economical (which pvt or public airlines is making a profit anyway), what choices do we have to improve other modes of transport other than high speed trains with expensive dedicated corridors.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Singha » 20 Mar 2012 09:47

indeed. but good inter city buses of the multi-axle Merc/Volvo kind can also steadily keep to 110-120 range and eat up the miles. good enough for say upto 700km - a 9hr journey if you include a couple stops in between and some bottlenecks. we need more 4 laning and dedicated expways like the one being planned via kolar between Blore and Chennai.

for longer distances upto 2000km , good rail is the only option left after the failure of airlines to be economically viable and rising costs.

Private trains are the soln and private stations too maybe (or atleast pvtly run platforms in big stations). will be opposed strongly by vested interests of all stripes though. or as a interim measure, import/build some 400 LHB Rajdhani std trains quickly and run them on all the express routes and intercity routes on rajdhani fares. why should all roads lead to dilli I ask? allocate some 50 to each zone - people will pay....the intercity ones can be chair cars while exp ones can be sleepers. SCRAP the overpacked 3AC class in them - can be uniformly 2AC and 1AC.

if IR is strongly opposed maybe greenfield stations china style and pvt trains will satisfy rising aspirations of customers.

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Re: Indian Railways Thread

Postby Bade » 20 Mar 2012 10:02

For anything that requires more than 6-8 hours of sitting in a car or a bus, even if given the best of expressways on par with the rest of the world, the better option is train or air travel. With the kind of mobility and internal migration that is happening in India across all sectors and skill levels, we need more options at different price points.


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