Planners are exploring the possibility of having an access control system, similar to the Metro network’s, to prevent fare-evaders from entering Mumbai suburban train stations.
In the suburban system, a ticketless traveller is only caught if asked by a ticket-checker. Also, ticket-checking is random and not round-the-clock.
World Bank officials recently met railway officials to brainstorm about having the system. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has appointed Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) as consultants to design an integrated ticketing system that will have a common smart card for all modes of transport in the city.
A Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) official said, “The consultants will carry out study of 12 stations, selected on the basis of high, medium and low footfalls during peak hours. The access control concept is challenging but can be implemented here.” Metropolitan commissioner Sanjay Khadare said, “The consultant will look for ways to implement the access…
Aiming at about Rs 2,000 crore earnings in a year, the railways today unveiled non-fare revenue (NFR) policy, allowing trains, level-crossings and areas along the tracks to be used for advertising.
The NFR policy envisages various schemes for revenue-yielding activities including train branding, rail radio scheme and using platforms for installing ATMs and renting out less-crowded platforms for wedding or teaching purposes across the country.
Long-term sustainability is not possible with revenue from just freight and passenger fare. “We have to explore non-fare revenue,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here after launching the policy.
The non-fare revenue policy comprises out-of-home advertising policy, train branding policy, ATM policy, content-on-demand and rail radio policy.
Prabhu said, “It is a new revenue stream and part of the Rail Budget proposal. We have set up a new non-fare directorate for it. Since April, our earnings from NFR has gone up by 41 per cent but we want to increase it more.”
The policy will offer branding of trains allowing internal and external advertisement and product sampling on trains on a long-term basis to big players allowing marketing flexibility thereby leading to higher realisation of earnings.
Advertisement through vinyl-wrapping of train exterior, including windows of AC coaches, and inside the coaches shall be allowed as per the policy.
There will be distribution of sample products free of cost for gauging passenger reaction to the product. However, no sale of products will be allowed in trains.
UNESCO World Heritage Structures, Spectacular Architectures, Colonial Landmarks, Stunning Art Works, Beautiful Gardens, Haunted Hill Top Station, Largest Station Complex of India, Oldest Operational Station, …. Each Station has its own story. Must visit places for a curious traveler.
1. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Maharashtra
Without a doubt CST is Mumbai city’s busiest railway station. But the metropolitan city’s transport hub is also a UNESCO World Heritage structure and one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in India. Gargoyles jut out of the high walls of this 19th-century masterpiece; they often spout water from their mouths during the monsoon. A high-arched ceiling painted with golden stars covers the ticket counter, while statues and carvings of peacocks, tigers, and other wildlife cover walls and crevices. An octagonal ribbed dome atop the structure is its crowning glory. Known as Victoria Terminus until 1996, CST is an arterial city station, one which took almost a decade to build.
2. Charbagh Railway Station, Uttar Pradesh
The city of nawabs welcomes passengers in style at the splendid red-and-white Charbagh Railway Station. Built in 1914, the sprawling structure blends Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, and overlooks a huge garden located outside its front entrance. It was here, under the station’s cupola-studded structure, that Jawaharlal Nehru is said to have first met Mahatma Gandhi in 1916. In aerial views, the structure with its small and large domes resembles a chessboard laid out with pieces.
3. Sawai Madhopur Railway Station, Rajasthan
When passengers alight at Sawai Madhopur station, gateway to Rajasthan’s Ranthambore National Park, they’re struck by the bright murals that adorn its walls. There is a giant painting of a banyan tree that covers the entire ceiling of a central hall. It is modelled after a real tree inside the national park, one of the largest in India. A number of forest dwellers inhabit its branches. Paintings of tigers, flocks of birds, and sloth bears cover platform walls and pillars of the small station, offering a colourful peek into life in the jungle. Painted by the artists from the Ranthambore School of Art, the spectacular murals capture the hearts of all who visit this National Tourism Award-winning station.
4. Barog Railway Station, Himachal Pradesh
This little railway station on the Kalka Shimla Railway, part of a UNESCO World Heritage list, has a colourful history. Built in 1903 by a Colonel Barog, it has Scottish-style gabled roofs and is surrounded by stunning mountain views. The station lies at the mouth of a tunnel which the army man had also commissioned. He went about it in an unusual way, starting excavations at both ends with the intention of meeting in the middle. A miscalculation prevented that from happening, and the disappointed colonel shot himself inside the incomplete tunnel and was buried near it. Not surprisingly, tales of ghosts have haunted the station ever since. A new tunnel was later completed with the help of a local holy man called Baba Bhalku. Today, the station and the tunnel are popular stops on this heritage route.
5. Royapuram Railway Station, Tamil Nadu
The very first train to run in South India rolled out of Chennai’s Royapuram station in the monsoon of 1856 and travelled to the town of Arcot in Vellore district. Royapuram was southern India’s first station, in what was then known as the Madras Presidency. The original structure still stands today, making it the oldest functional railway station in the country. The simple red-and white colonial building with grand Corinthian pillars is a heritage structure. The station underwent extensive restoration in 2005.
6. Howrah Junction, West Bengal
With a mind boggling 23 platforms, this is one of the busiest stations in India. A melee of bookshops, tea stalls, and fastfood stands provide succour to passengers. This is one of the oldest stations in India, and the first train from Howrah ran on 15 August 1854, to Hooghly. It was the proverbial feather in the cap for British engineers, representing a new era in the colonial dream of expansion. Located on the banks of the Hooghly River, with the Howrah bridge leading up to its cherry-red facade, the station has starred in many a poster shot promoting the state. Its architecture is a mix of Romanesque and traditional Bengali styles, very much in sync with its surroundings.
Total 274 passenger trains Start/End/Pass through Howrah Railway Station. Total 1219 Stations are directly connected to Howrah Railway Station via these 274 passenger trains. Its twenty-three platforms handle over six hundred trains each day, serving more than a million passengers, making it the one of the busiest railway platforms in India . It is served by two zones of the Indian Railways: Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway.
With 40 lakh people opting for passenger insurance since its launch early this month, Railways is now planning to roll out insurance for baggage, mobiles and laptops in the insurance cover.
There are also plans to expand the existing passenger insurance to include station and ticketing areas so that passengers get the cover in case of any untoward incident on station premises.
“As of now the insurance covers passenger from boarding to alighting from train. We are planning to extend it on station and ticketing areas also. There is potential to extend it to baggage and other valuables like mobile and laptop,” said IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director A K Manocha.
According to IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation), there is immense potential to expand the insurance cover and this would bring down the premium amount. IRCTC along with three private companies provide the insurance cover.
Gearing up to provide confirmed seat on demand, railways is expanding its network to cater to the growing demand of passengers.
“We want to make network in such a way that people should get reservation on demand by 2020. It is not possible in a day,” Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said here today.
Currently, the waitlisted passengers’ list is long as there is a wide gap between the availability of berths and number of passengers. Besides railways is facing heavy congestion in main trunk routes as 12,000 trains are run on 66,000 km route daily across the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function, Sinha said there is a huge gap between passenger requirement and the existing infrastructure.
“Railway traffic has increased 20 times since Independence and infrastructure has increased by 2.25 times.
There is a big gap between passengers and infrastructure,” he said.