- Presently there are 9 undertakings under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways.
- The first Indian Rail was run on April 16, 1853 from Bombay to Thane (34 km long route).
- Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. was incorporated on September 27, 1999 as a government company with the objective of upgrading and managing rail catering and hospitality.
- Indian Railways is divided into 17 Zones out of which Northern Railway (New Delhi) Zone has the highest km route.
- During 1996-97, 6 New Railway Zones were established at Hazipur, Jabalpur, Allahabad, Jaipur, Bhubaneshwar and Bengaluru.
- Indian Railways has three types of gauge—Broad Gauge (1676 mm), Meter Gauge (1000 mm) and Narrow Gauge (762 mm and 610 mm).
- Indian Railways is the second largest rail network in the world under a single management. Better resource management through increased wagon load, faster turnaround time and a \more rational pricing policy led to a perceptible improvement in the performance of the Railways. Out of freight and passenger traffic, the freight segment accounts for about 70 per cent of revenue. Within the freight seg-ment, bulk traffic accounts for nearly 84 per cent of revenue-earning freight traffic (in physical terms), of which about 44 per cent is coal.
- Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh is now being accessible by train. Itanagar has become the Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh is now being accessible by train. Itanagar has become the second capital in the eight north eastern states, after Guwahati, to appear on the rail-way map of the country. The passenger train will travel bet-ween Naharlagun and Dekargaon in Assam, a journey of 181 kilo-meters.
The construction of the 22-km long broad gauge line from Harmuti in Assam to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh cost 406 crore. There are 46 minor bridges and 11 major bridges on the line.
|Bangalore City Railway Station Becomes the First Station in India to have Wi-Fi Facility
|Bangalore City railway station has become the first station in the country to have Wi-Fi facility for providing high speed internet to passengers.
Wi-Fi facility will available to the passengers on their mobile phones free of charges initially for a period of 30 minutes. For usage beyond 30 minutes, the user may purchase scratch cards, which will be made available at the Wi-Fi Help Desk.
- Fully air conditioned double decker trains are being introduced between Delhi (Sarai-Rohilla)—Jaipur; Ahmedabad-Mumbai; Chennai Central- Bengaluru; Bhopal (Habibganj)–Indore.
- Rail Link Between Udhampur and Katra
Indian Railways has created a 26 kms long Katra-Udhampur rail line with an estimated cost of 1,132.75 crores. It comprises 15.5 km long Katra-Chak Rakhwal and 9.4 km long Chak Rakhwal-Udhampur sections and connects two districts of Reasi and Udhampur in the State.
- Railways launched Royal Rajasthan on Wheels
After having a success story of ‘Palace on Wheels’—the first tourist super luxury train, the Railway Ministry, in close coordination with the Rajasthan government, has decided to launch a second super luxury train in December 2008.
The new tourist train named as ‘Royal Rajasthan on Wheels’ will be operated jointly by Indian Railways and Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC).
As per official declaration, the new super delux luxury train will be more luxurious than Palace on Wheels and it will go to Bikaner instead of Sawai Madhopur.
Luxury Tourist Trains
- Palace on Wheels (1982).
- Deccan Odyssey (2001).
- Golden Chariot (2008).
- Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (2009).
- Maharaja’s Express (2010).
- Following the opening of railway lines from Anantnag to Mazhom (66 km) and Mazhom to Baramulla (35 km), the newly constructed 18 km-long rail line between Anantnag and Quazigund, the last stretch of railway line in the Kashmir Valley, was commissioned in October 2009, making the entire 119 km-long rail line from Baramulla to Quazigund operational.
Committees Constituted for Rail Security
|Shahnawaz Committee 1954
Kunjaru Committee 1962
Wanchoo Committee 1968
Seekari Committee 1978
Khanna Committee 1998
- Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. was set up in January 2003, as an effort to create new institutional mechanisms for implementing railway projects through a blend of budgetary support and non-budgetary initiatives. It is implementing a part of National Rail Vikas Yojana.
- New Rail Coach manufacturing unit at Kolar in Karnataka. The unit will be established with an estimated cost of 1461 crore (Excluding the cost of Land). The annual production capacity will be 500 coaches per year. The ministry of railway will finance 50% cost of the while the State government will provide the required land free of cost as well as meet the remainingg 50 % of the project completion cost with escalation. Over 1100 acres land will be provided by the State Govern-ment.
- Indian railways is the world’s Second largest rail network under a single management.
- Year 2007 was declared as the ‘Year of Cleanliness’.
- The Railway Ministry has granted permission to the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), the largest travel agent’s body to sell railways tickets for long distance journeys. The ministry is also evaluating the possibility of permitting other travel agents associations to sell the tickets.
- Aadarsh Station Scheme was introduced in 2009. Aadarsh Stations are provided with basic facilities such as drinking water, functioning toilets, catering ser-vices, waiting rooms and dormi-tories especially for lady passen-gers and better signage.
- Railways has introduced Bio-Toilets in passenger coaches. Eight trains are running with 436 Bio-toilets.
- Indian Railways has targeted eliminations of direct discharge passenger coach toilet systems by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan (2021-22).
- Railway Ticket upgradation scheme has been launched by Indian Railways for optimum utilisation of passenger capacity from January 26, 2006.
- The government has decided to have the fourth rail coach manu-facturing factory, the first to be built on a Public-Private Partner-ship (PPP) model, in a little over three years from now. To be located in Palakkad, Kerala, it would use Japanese technology for the first time in India to roll out lighter coaches, consuming less fuel.
- Bio-toilets in all Trains in 6 years
By 2019, all the passenger coaches of Indian Trains will be fitted with ecofriendly bio-toilets. The Railway Board hopes to complete installation of bio-toilets in all 40,000-plus coaches of the Indian Railways.
- The longest train route in India is set to begin on November 26, 2011. Vivek Express will cover 4278 km (2658 miles), linking North-East India with South India, taking 82 hours, 40 minutes (3 days, 10 hours, 40 minutes).
- Gatiman, the fastest train in India runs between Hazrat Nizamuddin to Agra Cantt. at a speed of 160 kms/hour. It covers 188 kms in just 100 minutes. The train started on April 5, 2016.
Infrastructure Debt Fund Constituted
|With the aim to raise funds for infrastructure sector in the country, four financial institutions—ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Citi Financial and LIC have formed the country’s first $ 2 billion (about 10,000 crore) Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF). The newly constituted fund with an equity of 300 crore has become operational since April 1, 2012. ICICI Bank, the sponsor of the joint venture, holds 31% equity in IDF followed by Bank of Baroda with 30%, Citi Financial 29% and LIC 10%. Besides, 300 crore equity capital, which will be treated as Tier I capital, the company will also raise 300 crore long-term debt.
The new company finances only PPP (Public Private Partnership) model projects which have completed at least one year of operation. The fund seeks to raise debt capital from domestic and foreign resources in the form of long-term pension, insurance funds and sovereign wealth funds.
Four Infrastructure Funds have been registered with SEBI and two of them were launched in the month of February 2013.
- Three special trains were announ-ced in Rail Budget 2016-17. Fully airconditioned AC III ex-press train—“Hamsafar”; ‘Tejas’ with a speed of 130 km per hour and “Uday” overnight excellent double Decker. Besides Then Antyoday expressfully unreser-ved express train on busy routes will also started.
- India has one of the largest road networks in the world, aggregat-ing to 4·87 million kilometres. The country’s road network con-sists of Expressways, National Highways, State Highways, Major District Roads, Other Dis-trict Roads and Village Roads.
- The road network comprises 103,933 km of National High-ways, 161487 km of State High-ways and other 5207044 lakh km roads.
- 19,330 km (24%) of National Highways are still of single lane/ Intermediate lane; 40,658 km (52%) are of double lane and 19,128 km (24%) are of four lane/six lane/eight lane.
- About 22 per cent of the total length of National Highways (NHs) is single lane/intermediate lane, about 53 per cent is two lane standard, and the balance 25 per cent is four lane standard or more.
- The govt. has embarked upon a massive National Highway Deve-lopment Project (NHDP) in the
country. NHDP is the largest highway project ever taken in the country. The NHDP is being implemented mainly the NHAI in phases I to VII.
- National Highways comprise only about 2 per cent of the total length of roads and carry about 40 per cent of the total traffic across the length and breadth of the country.
- Out of the total length of National Highways, 24 per cent is single lane/intermediate lane, 52 per cent is 2-lane standard and the balance of 24 per cent is 4-lane standard or more.
- Road Transport has about 87 per cent share in passenger transport of the country.
- Maharashtra ranks first in the length of roadways among various states of the country.
- The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is a major airport operator managing 125 airports across the country and also entrusted with the sovereign function of providing air traffic services in India. To enhance airport infra-structure in India, modernization of existing airport infrastructure in metro and non-metro cities and construction of greenfield airports were contemplated. The Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012–17) envisages an invest-ment of 65,000 crore at Indian airports, of which a contribution of about 50,000 crore is expec-ted from the private sector.
- ‘Pawan Hans’ is a Helicopter Service which was constituted in 1985 with the name ‘Helicopter Corporation of India’.
- Private sector provides air taxi service which was introduced in 1990.
- The government of India decided on March 1, 2007 to merge the two national carriers, i.e., Indian Airlines Limited and Air India Ltd. into a new 100% Govern-ment of India-owned company, named as National Aviation Company of India Ltd. (NACIL).
- With effect from November 2010, the name of the company has been changed from National Aviation Company of India Ltd. to Air India Ltd.
- India’s Tata group and Singa-pore Airlines jointly have cons-tituted a public limited company on November 5, 2013 with the name “Tata SIA Airlines Limi-ted” with the aim of promoting air services on domestic as well as on international routes.
- Air traffic in India continues to register significantly higher rates of growth averaging 18·5 per cent in the last seven years.
- There are 15 scheduled operator’s permit holders including two regional ones and two in the cargo category, with 419 aircraft endorsed on their permit.
- The number of non-scheduled operator’s permit holders in different categories, namely pass-engers, cargo and charter, has gone upto 118 with 332 aircraft endorsed on their permit.
- The development of airports at Delhi and Mumbai has been taken up under PPP mode.
- Development of Kolkata and Chennai international airports has been taken up by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at the approved cost of 1942 crore and 1808 crore respectively. The work is in progress.
- Bengaluru and Hyderabad inter-national airports have been deve-loped on PPP mode as greenfield airports. These two airports have been put in operation.
- Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. proposes to construct a heliport in New Delhi to provide connectivity to tourists and the business community.
Satellite Cargo Ports Planned at Surat, Wardha, Aurangabad
|With the aim to reduce depen-dence on roads and to reduce the costs, JNPT, country’s largest container port, will be setting up satellite ports at Wardha, Aurangabad and Surat under the strategy of motivating Cargo Move-ment.
Wardha and Aurangabad (both in Maharashtra) will have dry ports from where the cargo will be moved by railway, while at Surat there will be a water port.
- A New Ennore Sea-Port near Chennai has been established with the assistance of Asian Development Bank.
- Ennor Port, officially, renamed ‘Kamarajar Port’ Ltd. after free-dom fighter and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Kamaraj.
This is the second port to be renamed by the Shipping Ministry headed by G.K. Vasan after freedom fighters in recent times, the first one being V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust in Tuticorin, in February 2011.
- Shipping plays an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy. 95 per cent of the country’s trade volume (68 per cent in terms of value) is moved by sea.
- Gopalpur set to be an all-Weather Port
Gopalpur port off Ganjam coast in Odisha is now all set to start operation as an all-weather port. Gopalpur Port Ltd. (GPL) has already notified the opening of the port for commercial traffic after experts from Indian Insti-tute of Technology (IIT), Chennai, nodal agency appointed by Odisha government to clarify its operational readiness, gave a go ahead signal.
- Two new major ports will be established in Sagar, West Ben-gal and in Andhra Pradesh to add 100 million tonnes capacity.
- A new outer harbour will be developed in V.O. Chidambaranar Port at Thoothukkudi (T.N.) through PPP as an estimated cost of 7,500 crore.
- India has 13 major ports and 200 non-major ones. Of the non-major ports, about 66 are hand-ling traffic. Mundra Port is the largest private port of India, located in the Gulf of Kutch (Guj-arat). Besides this Krishnapa-tnam (Andhra Pradesh), Ganga-varm (Andhra Pradesh), Karikal (Tamil Nadu), Pipavav (Gujarat) are other private sector ports of India.
- India has one of the largest merchant shipping fleet among the developing countries and ranks 16th amongst the countries with the largest cargo carrying fleet with 10·11 million Gross Tonn age (GT) as on August 31, 2010 and average age of the fleet being 18·03 years.
- Odisha government has signed a concenssion agreement with Navyuga Engg. Company to set up a port with a capacity of 25 mtpa, at an investment of 6500 crore in Puri district.
- Shipping plays an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy. Approximately, 95 per cent of the country’s trade by volume (70 per cent in terms of value) in moved by sea. India has the largest merchant shipp-ing fleet among the developing countries and ranks 17th amongst the countries with the largest cargo carrying fleet with 7·07 million GT and the average of the fleet being 17 years.