Central Railway Achieves Milestones in 2023: Elevates Passenger Services, Freight Operations, and Safety Standards

Central Railway and its Mumbai Division proudly unveil a series of noteworthy accomplishments and o­ngoing initiatives in the year 2023. These endeavours underline their dedication to passenger services, freight operations, safety, infrastructure development, digitization, green energy, station development, and innovative solutions to enhance passenger experience and ensure safety across the network.

Image Credit (representational): Central Railway

More Details:

Central Railway’s remarkable initiatives, achievements and progress details in the Year 2023 are given below.

Passenger Services:

In the realm of passenger services, Central Railway witnessed a remarkable surge carrying 103 Crore passengers in the current financial year, marking an increase from the previous year’s 94 Crore passengers up to Nov ’23. The average daily runs of Mail/Express trains reached 371, along with 145 DEMU/MEMU passenger trains in operation.

Key highlights include the successful operation of five pairs of Vande Bharat trains with an average current occupancy of 103%, and the running of 1211 special trains, totaling 6304 trips, a substantial increase compared to the previous year. Moreover, 41 coaches were permanently augmented to meet the growing demand.

Image Credit (representational): MoR

Strict actions against ticketless travellers led to the apprehension of 32.34 lakh ticketless passengers, resulting in a penalty recovery of Rs. 213 Crores. Additionally, the Non-Fare Revenue surged to Rs. 77.20 Crores in the current financial year, showcasing sustained growth and efficient revenue management strategies.

Freight Operations:

Central Railway excelled in freight operations, achieving an originating freight loading of 60.2 MT, marking a 10% increase over the previous year. The Freight Revenue earned amounted to Rs. 5964 Crores, marking a 15% surge from the last financial year.

In line with the ‘Make In India’ policy, a government maintenance depot commenced operations in Nagpur, specifically dedicated to maintaining the high-speed freight locomotive, WAG12. Currently, 126 locomotives are under maintenance.

Central Railway also took progressive steps toward enhancing cargo terminal infrastructure by planning the commissioning of five Gati Shakti Cargo Terminals during the current financial year at strategic locations, namely JSW Vasind and Kalmeshwar, JNPT Sindi, Fuelco Musra, and Alfa terminal Malavli.

Image Credit (representational): Central Railway

Achievements and Recognitions:

  • The Central Railway bagged four prestigious ‘Ati Vishistha Rail Seva Puraskar’ shields in categories such as Personnel, Environment, Cleanliness, Medical Healthcare, and Material Management. Additionally, seven officers and staff members were honoured with the ‘Ati Vishistha Rail Seva Puraskar’ for their outstanding contributions.

Safety Measures:

  • Central Railway intensified its safety measures by executing protection work to prevent boulders falling o­n tracks in the Karjat – Lonavala Ghat section. Notably, there were no incidents of traffic disruption reported during the monsoon in the current year.
  • The track renewal efforts resulted in the completion of 252 KMs of track renewal, significantly reducing rail fractures from 175 in Apr-Nov ’21-22 to 52 in 23-24. To prevent SPAD incidents, innovative solutions like the RS Flap valve simulator and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) were deployed for real-time monitoring and training of crew members.

Image Credit (representational): Central Railway

Mobility Improvement Works:

  • In an endeavour to enhance mobility, Central Railway successfully raised the speed to 130 Kmph in 697 RKM in FY 2023-24. This included sections like Itarsi – Ballarshah, Igatpuri – Sewagram, and Pune – Daund, where trains with LHB rakes are now operating at 130 Kmph speed.
  • Furthermore, the electrification of Broad Gauge routes except the new line of Ashti- New Loni section of 40 Kms is nearing completion, aiming to minimise traction changes.

Infrastructure Developments:

  • Central Railway demonstrated its commitment to infrastructure development by commissioning a record-high 257 Track Kms in 2022-23, and 165 Track Kms until Nov 2023.
  • Plans are underway to commission an additional 304 Track Kms by March’ 24. 567 Kms of New line is  sanctioned o­n Central Railway out of which 107 Kms commissioned up to Nov’ 23 and further 91 Kms is planned to be completed by March’ 24.

Green Energy and Digitization:

  • As part of its sustainability initiatives, Central Railway has installed 8.2 MW of Rooftop Solar Energy and aims to further install 10 MW in the near future. Additionally, significant strides have been made in harnessing wind power energy, resulting in 56.4 MW for traction purposes.
  • In terms of digitization, Central Railway has witnessed a high adoption rate of the UTS App, and Hand Held Terminals (HHT) have been provided to Travelling Ticket Examiners of all trains. The innovative Digi-cloak (Digital Clock room) at CSMT and other stations revolutionises luggage handling for passengers.

Passenger Safety and Amenities:

  • Prioritising passenger safety, Central Railway equipped 512 EMU ladies coaches with Emergency Talk Back Systems and installed CCTV in 421 EMU ladies coaches. The ‘Meri Saheli’ scheme was introduced for the security of solo lady passengers o­n long-distance trains.

Image Credit (representational): Southern Railway
  • Enhanced passenger amenities were deployed, with the provision of 149 lifts, 179 escalators, and 387 Wi-Fi facilities at various stations. Notably, 98 modern LHB rakes with o­nboard housekeeping staff (OBHS) were operational across 88 pairs of trains, ensuring cleanliness and comfort for travellers.
  • To support the vision of ‘One Station O­ne Product’ by the Government of India, Central Railway has opened 79 stalls at 74 stations, promoting indigenous products and benefiting 1164 beneficiaries.

Enhanced Safety and Infrastructure Initiatives in Mumbai Division:

Trespassing Prevention Measures:

  • Continuing its efforts to deter trespassing incidents, Mumbai Division has introduced four new escalators at Diva, incorporating extended Skywalks to the Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) and blocking platforms’ ends while removing ramps. This initiative aims to enhance safety and prevent unauthorised access.
  • Across 37 stations, platform end ramps have been successfully removed, with plans in place to complete this action at an additional 58 stations by March 2024. Moreover, 204 locations have been identified for the construction of boundary walls/fencing, with 25 locations completed thus far.
  • Efforts to eliminate unauthorised entry points have led to the closure of 12 such points, with 79 identified in total. Additionally, a sanctioned plan for constructing 46 Kms of boundary walls at various locations has seen completion for 3.5 Kms.

De-congestion of Platforms:

  • Significant initiatives have been undertaken for platform de-congestion in Mumbai Division. At Dadar, the widening of PF No. 8 has been completed, and plans for dual discharge for PF No. 10/11 are underway.
  • Kalyan saw the dismantling of service buildings at Platform No. 4/5, while Thane is set for the widening of Platform No. 5/6 and dismantling of FOB.
  • The strategic relocation of vending stalls from platforms, the shifting of Mail/Express trains to other platforms, and the adoption of staggered office timings by approximately 400 Railway Employees are measures aimed at easing platform congestion

Enhanced Safety Measures:

  • In efforts to prevent Signal Passing at Danger (SPAD), Mumbai Division has implemented sophisticated safety measures. Alongside the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), audio alert units have been installed in 72 EMU rakes to assist Motormen by announcing the red aspect of incoming signals when passing the yellow signal.
  • Additionally, Signal Location Announcement System (SILAS) in 10 rakes provides real-time information to Motormen about upcoming signals in three languages, enhancing safety without the use of screens to prevent distractions.
  • Development is underway for a Virtual Reality-Based training module, enhancing crew training by making it interactive and benchmark-focused. Relocation plans for 40 critical signals facing visibility issues have been outlined in accordance with Railway Board guidelines.

Image Credit (representational): Central Railway

Enhanced Passenger Facilities:

  • In a bid to improve passenger facilities, Mumbai Division is developing mobile app and subscription-based “Woloo” toilet stands for women. These units, equipped with WiFi, central air conditioning, access control software for enhanced security, sanitary napkin dispensers, and retail stores for women-centric products, are being established at six stations.
  • Moreover, 58 clinics/hospitals have entered into MoUs to provide emergency first aid treatment at 36 stations, while a toilet block at Ghatkopar station has been upgraded under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, allowing passengers to use the facility free of charge.

Innovative Initiatives:

  • The division has pioneered several innovative projects, including the conceptualization, design, and fabrication of a vacuum track cleaner made from scrap materials. This device, boasting powerful suction, is instrumental in effectively cleaning tracks.
  • Additionally, the in-house development and implementation of a waterproof point machine in the Mumbai area aims to reduce failures during monsoon seasons. Furthermore, to enhance safety and address passenger concerns effectively, body cameras have been provided to 50 ticket checking staff.

Future Plans:

Enhancement of Mobility:

  • Central Railway’s “Mission Zero CRO” has been initiated to curtail Cattle Run Over incidents. This mission involves counselling villagers and implementing measures such as constructing boundary walls to minimise such occurrences.
  • To combat delays due to Cattle Run Over and trespassing, Central Railway has successfully built 32 kilometres of boundary walls/safety fencing this financial year, with an additional 29 kilometres planned for completion by March 2024. A further 395 kilometres have been sanctioned for construction, aiming to prevent such incidents in the future.
  • To reduce delays caused by Alarm Chain Pulling (ACP), an action plan has been devised and is currently being implemented by Central Railway after 1324 train delays were reported this financial year.

Station Development Initiatives:

Major upgrade works are underway at significant stations such as CSMT, Nagpur, and Ajni, with investments totaling Rs. 2450 Cr., Rs. 488 Cr., and Rs. 298 Cr., respectively. Additionally, 76 stations are undergoing transformation into “Amrit Stations,” focused o­n enhancing facilities, with a total investment of Rs. 1749 Cr., aiming for improved passenger experiences.

Image Credit (representational): Southern Railway

Enhanced Passenger Safety Measures:

In a bid to fortify passenger safety, Central Railway is installing CCTV cameras equipped with face recognition video analytics at various stations. Moreover, the installation of panic switches at two locations o­n each platform across 117 stations of Central Railway is in the pipeline to bolster passenger safety mechanisms.

Central Railway remains committed to further enhancing passenger safety, improving infrastructure, embracing digitization, promoting green energy, and providing exemplary services. The installation of CCTV cameras with face recognition capabilities, the introduction of panic switches at stations, and continuous initiatives to prevent trespassing are among the forthcoming strategies.

These remarkable accomplishments and o­ngoing initiatives by Central Railway and its Mumbai Division reflect an unwavering commitment to serving passengers efficiently, ensuring safety, and fostering technological advancements for a more sustainable and secure railway network.

This comprehensive update underscores Central Railway’s commitment to excellence and continuous improvement in providing efficient and enhanced rail services.

Source: Central Railway- Press Release | Featured Image Credit (representational): Southern Railway