Chennai: With 10 days left for New Year, it is time to look back at the highs and lows of a stellar year for Southern Railway.
News Today brings you a brief glimpse of major coaches, station improvements, passenger facilities and safety precautions initiated by Southern Railway in 2018.
High in revenue
* For the current financial year up to September 2018, Southern Railway earned Rs 4,434 crores about 14.94 per cent higher than the previous year.
* In April to August 2018, Southern Railway loaded 14.85 million tonnes of freight, registering a growth of 35 per cent compared to last year’s loading of 11.01 million tonnes.
* Southern Railway saved about Rs 51 crore by employing Head on Generation (HOG) system on 16 trains to reduce the diesel consumption.
FOBs in city
* Early in October, Southern Railway planned to widen foot-over-bridges at the Chennai Egmore, Mambalam and Tambaram railway stations. A new foot-over-bridge at the Guindy railway station was also sanctioned at a cost of Rs 8 crore.
* A total of 1,268 special trains were operated between April to November 2018 of which 172 trains were Suvidha special trains and 1096 trains were special fare trains.
* The Railway Board decided to earmark the reserved accommodation in trains for female passengers.
* Southern Railway launched Rail Partner App, a direct communication medium between passengers and Railways, offering various information and assistance to passengers.
* QR codes based ticketing system was launched in October at
suburban stations across Chennai. Passengers can scan them to book tickets through the UTS mobile app.
* Battery-operated vehicles costing Rs 3.69 lakh was allotted at the Tambaram railway station.
Safety & mishaps
* In July, five passengers died after hitting a concrete fence that borders platform three at the St Thomas Mount Station in Chennai. The incident drew widespread criticism from commuters across Chennai against railways.
* In October, Southern Railway declared that it has become unmanned level crossing free zone.
* Southern Railway RPF had taken the initiative to work along with NGOs to keep railway stations safer for children. They conducted campaigns and awareness programmes. In 2018 up to September, RPF rescued 1,020 children.
Keeping a check
* RPF conducted several surprise ticket checking drives. Till November, about 259 touts were apprehended by special RPF teams of which 60 touts were convicted at various magistrate courts. A fine of Rs 3.9 lakh was collected from them. Also, illegal E-tickets and PRS counter tickets valuing to an amount of Rs 57.65 lakh were recovered.
* Every day, about 316 Mail/Express/Passenger/Suburban trains were escorted by 529 RPF officials. About 130 EMU trains of the Chennai suburban sections were escorted by RPF.
* To improve the safety of women passengers, about four ladies special trains in Chennai Division were being escorted by ‘Sakthi Padai’.
ICF rolls out better tech
* Integral Coach Factory (ICF) rolled out Train 18 this October. It created a record when it travelled at a speed of 180 kmph between the Delhi-Rajdhani route, making it the fastest running train in the history of Indian Railways.
* A major technical feat achieved by ICF was the introduction of the under slung propulsion system. This helped engineers to replace the massive sized power cars with passenger carrying coaches. Now the technology has been employed in Self Propelled Inspection Cars (SPIC), LHB coaches, Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU).