The first solar train set for a trial run in Jodhpur ,India

  • The Indian Railways is all set for the trial of its solar train as it has aimed to materialise its intended plan of harnessing the solar energy which is to run, in the city of  Jodhpur.

    North Western Railways PRO Gopal Sharma said that the top coaches in the train had been installed with Solar panels. The energy that these panels derived from the sun, will be used to generate internal electricity for lights, and power the fans both the non-AC and AC coaches in the train while the train would be powered by conventional diesel-run engines. For the running of the train, 12 solar panels will be fitted to the top of the coaches to generate 36000 watts of power. He also added that the trial run of the solar train will commence by the end of May this year.

    Gopal Sharma further said that the train will serve as a passenger train, and the route will be disclosed later and that this solar panel powered train will be an alternative energy source.

    When Sharma was asked about the benefits the Railways intend to get through the use of the solar panels; he said that it can only be ascertained untill after the trial run.

    The Indian Railways have been concentrating on other means for the source of fuels with trials already on to utilise natural gas, biodiesel and CNG among others.

    In recent times, India has been under many scanners contributing to the reason why India is listed among the most polluted countries across the globe. The government is trying to make this initiative a way to reduce pollution in India. Studies have it that, CO2 emission will be reduced by 200 tonnes if India can consume solar energy. Also, if the run train trial using solar energy becomes successful,  diesel consumption will be reduced by about 90,000 litres every year in the country. This act will both help to carry out the intended green initiative to making India a very clean environment for all and also help to reduce total dependence on fossil fuels and also serve as an alternative to fossil fuels which is on the verge of depletion.

    Indian Railways has decided to source for 1000 MW  solar power and build one hundred and thirty- two wind farms for the next 5 years as part of its go green initiative

    The CNG is being utilised in the local trains of the Delhi Division on Rohtak-Rewari section. The concept of using both diesel and  CNG as fuel has also been a great help in saving money and fuel.

    The use of this solar power is expected to help significantly in the reduction of the consumption of diesel and expected to be cost-effective.


Reinventing the Indian Railways | Suresh Prabhu | TEDxGateway

Shri Suresh Prabhu talks about how he is aiming to reinvent the Indian railways by providing better solution to today’s problems.

Suresh Prabu is an Indian Politician & current Railway Minister of India. Armed with education ,ability, understanding, high integrity, zero corruption. He currently represents Haryana in Upper House of Indian Parliament, and is a 4th time member of the Lok Sabha from Rajapur Constituency of Maharashtra. He has also been Industry Minister , Minister of Fertilizers and Chemicals, Union Minister for Power (GOI) He is also a believer in people’s participation in the working of the Ministries under him, especially through the involvement of NGOs and people’s groups.Suresh Prabhu is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.He is Presently pursuing 2 PhD programs in climate change and economics in Germany and Mumbai.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Rail Budget 2016: clean coaches via SMS, CCTVs to rein in touts, Baby food

Railway minister Mr. Prabhu in a bid to change the image about the national transporter has desired to improve the amenities for passengers. He proposed the cancellation of tickets by calling enquiry number 139 to reduce time loss for passengers while queuing up at counters. Also, he proposed CCTV cameras installation at the ticket booking counters, which is seen as a step towards reducing, in particular, the menace of touts engagement in the booking of bulk Tatkal tickets.

Also, Mr. Prabhu unveiled the clean my coach services by passengers through SMS to enhance trains sanitation. He also unveiled ways to bring two mobile apps for offering suggestions, to redress grievances, ticketing issues, and complaints. To provide on-time information on coming halt, the Railways plans to unveil digital displays GPS-based very soon inside the coaches. He has also proposed smart coaches with entertainment screens and automatic doors for advertisements.

The Railway Minister has planned to invite the FM radio stations to provide their services on selected trains. Also, he said passengers will be opportunity to buy insurance travel for rail journeys, and there will be a facility on an hourly basis for retiring rooms booking.

The Railway 2016 Budget was additionally flavored with a powerful dose of passenger conveniences, including toilets, and e-cancellation of tickets. Also,  in the Konkan Railway, Sarathi Seva to help disabled the old installation of the 30,000 bio-toilets, providing compact structures with bio-toilets for senior citizens at all stages of key stations. He also proposed “Janani Sewa” for the provision of baby milk, hot water and food for children. He said the Railways had got help via Corporate Social Responsibility funds and MPLAD.

The railway minister said the Railways fulfilled its social rights towards women travellers, senior citizens and Divyang. He said for the Divyang, the Railways introduces one-time registration to avail concessions while booking online for wheelchairs, booking for tickets online, and Braille-approved new coaches.

Mr.Prabhu said lower berths increase quota will be provided for the women travellers and senior citizens. Also, he said, the Railways will increase the quota per coach by 50% for the senior citizen in the coming financial year, which will result in additional one hundred and twenty lower berths per train. Mr Prabhu added that the railways has added more lifts and escalators and laid aside the middle bays in coaches for the security of the women.

India Rail Budget 2016

Suresh Prabhu The Railway minister to expand rail network and  speed up trains, Fares not affected as state polls approach; big freight push

Suresh Prabhu, the railway minister, steered Rail Budget 2016-17 on Feb 27 with promises of a financial turnaround, a qualitative improvement in passenger amenities, reforms in the Railway Board’s functioning and raising the speed of trains in the course of change. Not falling for the bait of increasing the rates of passenger freight and fares in a year with four states heading for Assembly elections, the railway minister Mr. Prabhu made the promise of expanding the rail network massively and moving international standards to run trains.

The railway minister enumerated seven goals aside the (2030) National Rail Plan for the multi-modal transport system in India, to get back the freight share lost to the road sector. He doubled the speed of goods trains, ensuring zero accidents, adding 25 km/h  to the speed of mail over the next five years and express trains.

Mr. Suresh also said very soon; he will ask Parliament to set up a Tariff Authority and Rail Development, which will propose passenger fares and freight rates among other things. Accepting the report of the Bibek Debroy Committee’s partially, Mr. Suresh proposed the long-anticipated restructuring of the Railway Board, with its chairman well empowered to set up cross-functional directorates and to work on corporate lines.

Showing in the current fiscal, a cash surplus of Rs 8,720 crores, the railway minister secured the operating ratio, at 92 per cent, i.e., expenditure against earnings. He proposed a plan expenditure of Rs 1.21 lakh crores against Rs 1 lakh crores the revised budget estimate of last year. To mop up revenue, he also set a target (2016-17) of  Rs 1,84,820 crores. Laced with many terms of Hindi, Mr. Prabhu gave the slogan of “Let’s do something new together” (Chalo milkar kuch naya karen),  which seems to show the stamp of  Narendra Modi The Prime Minister. It captured the new idea of partnering with PSU firms, private players, and state governments, to take up new projects. “The Three Pillars of the plan for us is Nav Sanrachna (new structures), Nav Maanak (new norms) and Nav Arjan (new revenues),” said Mr. Suresh in his seventy-five-minute speech delivered at his special “bullet” speed.

Mr. Suresh proposed Antyodaya Express, a new train, Seeking an image makeover to fascinate the Narendra Modi government to the poor, to run at super fast speed, meant for unreserved passengers. He also unveiled unreserved DeenDayalu coaches with a higher number of mobile charging points and potable water. Also, there will be Humsafar (totally 3rd AC) new trains with Uday, optional meal facilities, which will be double-decker service (overnight), and Utkrisht for the busiest routes, a double-decker AC Yatri Express.

The railway minister laid an enthusiastic target to provide assured berths by 2020 on demand, while saying two DFCs (dedicated freight corridors) [Ludhiyana to Dankuni and Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port ] would be achieved by 2019, to throw open more tracks to run additional passenger trains. Mr. Suresh also proposed three more dedicated freight corridors on the Bhubaneswar-Mumbai, Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam, and New Delhi-Chennai routes to gain back the lost traffic freight.

Budget 2016 – Lower berths quota increase


Railway Minister Suresh Babu to increase the quota of lower berths for senior citizens, pregnant women and women passengers aged above 45, the Railway Board has directed to increase the quota to 4 each berth in every sleeper class coach.

As per the new rule “two senior citizen women will be allotted lower berth seats together in a train.” The increase, however, will not be applicable in the AC three tier and AC two tier coaches where the quota earmarked for them will remain at two for the lower.

Also, the Board has authorized the travelling ticket examiners in the trains to allot vacant lower berths to senior citizens, pregnant women and physically handicapped persons on priority basis.

Railway Budget of India (2016-17) Summary

  • No hike in passenger fares.
  • Action has been initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year.
  • Eliminate all unmanned level crossings by 2020.
  • Swacch Bharat: 17000 biotoilets and additional toilets in 475 stations before the close of this financial year.
  • Increased quota for senior citizens and women travellers this year.
  • Wifi at 100 stations this year and 400 stations next year.
  • Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets/min to 7,200/min. Supporting 1.2 lakh concurrent users now, as opposed to 40,000 earlier.
  • All major stations to be brought under CCTV surveillance in a phased manner.
  • Deen Dayal coaches for long distance trains for unreserved passengers.
  • These coaches will include potable water and higher number of mobile charging points.
  • IRCTC to manage catering service in phased manner.
  • Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers.
  • Cleaning of toilets by requests through SMS.
  • Children’s menu, baby foods, baby boards to be made available for travelling mothers
  • GPS-based digital display in coaches for showing upcoming stations.
  • Will open cancellation facility through 139 helpline number.
  • Introduce bar-coded tickets on pilot basis to tackle menace of ticketless travel.
  • On new projects to be implemented this year:
  • Overnight double-decker trains to be introduced on business travel routes.
  • 1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km proposed for the next year.
  • Broad Gauge Lumding-Silchar section in Assam, connecting Barak Valley with rest of country.
  • North-East India, especially Mizoram and Manipur, to be connected through broad gauge soon.
  • Special purpose vehicle for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai high speed corridor registered this month.

PNR Status Prediction Trainman App

There are lot of Android apps around the Indian Railways. In fact, the Travel & Local section is filled with train apps. Here are some of the interesting and useful apps for Indian railway passengers.

 TrainMan – This apps does a good prediction of your PNR status using Machine Learning. Most of the times the predictions are good. This app takes away the pain of constantly checking the PNR too. They just send notifications.

trainman_1trainman_4 trainman_2 trainman_3








Salient Features:

  • Find trains between stations, fetch seat / berth availability and get confirmation chances for waiting list tickets for both general and tatkal quota, even before booking. Option to fetch berth availability automatically.
  • Information about premium trains such as rajdhani, shatabdi and duronto, superfast and express trains, passenger trains including DEMU and MEMU.
  • Check current pnr status & get prediction for wait-listed tickets.
  • Train route – Check train timetable with all arrival and departure info. Also get to know about the average delay of any train at all its stations.
  • Live train running status which shows information that whether train is currently running timely or late.
  • Live station status – Know all trains arriving/departing at any station in next 4 hours.
  • Check fare for all the travel classes
  • Trip Manager: Automatically fetches PNR numbers from your SMS sent by IRCTC and saves it to trip list.
  • Historical trends: Shows final charting status of similar historical PNRs
  • Detailed description about various types of waiting list (WL) such as GNWL, RLWL, PQWL, CKWL (tatkal waiting list) and RAC.
  • General tricks and tips before ticket booking and irctc tatkal ticket booking tips.


SECR’s ‘green initiative’ gains momentum

SECR (South East Central Railway) planned to construct an energy efficient building which is multi-storey to serve as the Chief Administrative Officer’s office. The official stated that the estimated cost of the proposed construction is  `23.16 lakhs. However, The South East Central Railway headquarters is already being converted into a ‘green building’.It is also officially stated that there is a proposed move to embrace the use of solar power in South East Central Railway office buildings primarily as a renewal source of electrical energy.

As a major project, the rooftop of the Office of General Manager’s Building is to be used to provide solar panels and to take this initial step for converting the South East Central Railway (SECR) Zonal Headquarters into a ‘green building’. The South East Central Railway Raipur division has also installed at level-crossings in the remote pockets of the division a solar panel so as to Continue its effort to elevate the utilization of renewable energy, According to PRO (Public Relation Officer) Raipur Division Ratan Basak, the Railways has equipped initially up to nine cottages of manned level crossing with solar panels and its expansion will be carried out  soon. He added that many offices of Railways and administrative buildings of the division are already fitted with solar panels.

Rattan stated further that the power consumption has been lowered by 60% due to the solar panels electricity generation at these level crossings.

The power induced by these solar panels is used for phone recharging, lighting,  and other purposes. For the installation of solar panels at a level crossing, the estimated cost is about `20000 lakhs, and it generates about 150 units of electricity. These solar panels will last for many years, say 15 to 20 years with minimum maintenance.  The South East Central Railway Raipur Division has also achieved energy conservation targets by allocating in 70 days LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs. Impressively, the target was to assign the distribution of 60,000 LED bulbs on October 14 among the staff and officers of the division within one year. However, the division has completed the target in 70 days instead of the proposed one year as a result of the excellent response of the employees.

The SECR Raipur division in conjunction with EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited) and Union Ministry of Power had started the distribution of  LED bulbs among employees of Railway on October 14.

The LED bulbs were distributed by Rahul Gautam the Raipur Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) in the presence of Vivek Khare the Additional Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM), Ved Prakash, the representative of EESL and other officials at the Divisional Railway Manager Office.

Enumerating the advantages of utilizing LED light bulbs, Ved Prakash the representative of EESL said LED light saves the electricity consumption of about 80% electricity and is also an economical friendly option.

Rahul Gautam the Raipur Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) has urged his employees to use LED bulbs at the office and home since it is eco-friendly and it saves electricity consumption of 80%. The Raipur Railway Division (DRM) is offering the LED bulb at `100 for the employees,

According to sources, until the end of October, the Raipur Railway Division (DRM) sold 60,000 targeted number of  LED bulbs in which employee of the Division can buy from the LED bulb counter at the Raipur Railway Division by tendering the Identity Card. The bulbs have about three year warranty.  The strive is being made by the Railways in conjunction with EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited) and Union Ministry of Power.

Hawker Policy

Indian Railways are often known to be the lifeline of the nation. It does not only transports goods and passengers,  but also links the whole country into a standard string. Virtually all  Indians are connected directly or indirectly to the Indian Railways.

It directly provides a means of living to many people and also offer jobs to over 13 lakh employees in the country.   Many unlicensed and licensed hawkers earn their livelihood due to the existence of  Indian Railways. These sellers still want to have more access to the railway bases. On the other hand,  there are associations of the passenger which many times without number raises the demand for controlling of illegal hawking in  Indian Railways.

However, it was allege that these hawkers are repeatedly seen occupying spaces in railways stations and coaches, selling prohibited items like tobacco and on foot over bridges which limits movement of bonafide passengers and becomes a  safety hazard.

Therefore, there is an urgent need for an administration which takes into consideration  the stakeholder interest. The administration needs to implement social justice to the hawkers, and this should not lead to operational bottlenecks at the same time.  So as to help the Indian  Railways in outlining of a  policy on Hawking, suggestions are welcomed from all  the stakeholders in  Indian  Railways, which will be integrated to address the interests of all in a useful manner. It is   requested  that you send your suggestions,  latest by 31st

March 2016 to