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Shiv Ganga doing MPS thru a Jn - on every RailFan's bucket list

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Today (02:56) ‘Mysuru is among top three railway divisions in India’ (www.thehindu.com)
SWR/South Western
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News Entry# 388976  Blog Entry# 4404702   
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Mysuru has been ranked among the top three railway divisions in the country. During the Independence Day celebrations here on Thursday, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Aparna Garg said the performance indicators were based on data till July 31. She added that the division was playing a pivotal role in powering growth and socio-economic development in the region.
Referring to various infrastructure works undertaken by South Western Railway, Ms. Garg said the emphasis was on improving the line capacity and 227 km of track doubling was completed last year, of which 71 km was in Mysuru division, the highest in any single division.
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said this year, an additional 266 km of track doubling on the main routes is planned for commissioning to further strengthen the network. Of these, 18 km of line doubling between Tumakuru and Gubbi has been completed and nearly 23 km in the Tolahunse-Davangere-Harihar section is targeted for completion this year, Ms. Garg said.
Safety at level crossing gates is a priority for the Railways and 277 level crossing gates were eliminated through the construction of road underpasses, subways and road overbridges during 2018-19 across South Western Railway. In Mysuru division, 81 level crossing gates were eliminated, she said.
With regard to passenger amenities, the DRM said Mysuru division has been working to enhance the passenger experience at Mysuru City Railway Station by widening the entry road, improving parking area, introducing lanes for different streams of traffic, and creating clean and open spaces in the circulating area.
Ms. Garg said as part of Digital India, the Railways has introduced Wi-Fi across railway stations in the country, and out of 85 stations in Mysuru division, 82 have been covered. The remaining three stations will have Wi-Fi hotspots by the end of August, she added.
  
अवध एक्सप्रेस के जनरल कोच में बदमाशों ने जमकर कहर बरपाया। बदमाशों ने यात्रियों को चाकू दिखाते हुए लूटपाट की। विरोध करने वाले यात्रियों को जमकर पीटा। यात्रियों के मुताविक बदमाश पेठा बेचने के बहाने कोच में चढ़े थे। विज्ञापनट्रेन के टूंडला स्टेशन पहुंचने पर यात्री चलती ट्रेन से कूदकर फरार हो गये। ट्रेन के टूंडला पहुंचने पर यात्रियों ने पुलिस को सूचना दी, लेकिन पुलिस ने रिपोर्ट दर्ज करने के बजाय उन्हें चलता कर दिया।बांद्रा से चलकर गोरखपुर जाने वाली अवध एक्सप्रेस शनिवार रात्रि आगरा फोर्ट स्टेशन से चली तभी ट्रेन के जनरल कोच में कुछ लोग पेठा बेचने के बहाने चढ़ गये। रात्रि 10.45 बजे करीब ट्रेन छलेसर रेलवे स्टेशन से निकली तभी पेठा बेच रहे युवक अपने असली रंग में आ गये।बदमाशों ने यात्रियों से मारपीट करते हुए लूटपाट शुरू कर दी। ट्रेन में जिस यात्री ने भी विरोध किया बदमाशों ने उसे जमकर पीटा तथा चाकू दिखाते हुए...
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जान से मारने की धमकी दी।रेलयात्रियों के मुताबिक बदमाशों की संख्या छह से अधिक थी। बदमाश रेलयात्री जलालुद्दीन निवासी असरजगंज से करीब दो हजार रुपए, आशुतोष सिंह निवासी जोगबनी बिहार से 25 सौ रुपये व कांति देवी निवासी गोपालगंज से 29 सौ रुपये, नन्हेमल निवासी छपरा बिहार से दो हजार रुपये, सलीम बेग निवासी अररिया बिहार से 15 सौ रुपये, सलमा बेगम निवासी आरा बिहार से कानों के कुंडल लूट ले गए। विरोध करने पर विवेक नारायण निवासी लखनऊ सहित कई यात्रियों को मारपीट कर उन्हें घायल कर दिया। ट्रेन टूंडला स्टेशन पहुंचती उससे पूर्व ही बदमाश चलती ट्रेन से उतरकर भाग गए। ट्रेन रात्रि 10.30 बजे टूंडला स्टेशन के प्लेटफार्म नंबर पांच पर आकर रुकी। यात्रियों ने स्टेशन पर मौजूद जीआरपी सिपाहियों को घटना की जानकारी दी।पुलिस ने यात्रियों की बात सुनते हुए उन्हे समझाते हुए टरका दिया। जीआपी प्रभारी विजय कुमार ने बताया कि लूट के शिकार यात्रियों ने उन्हें कोई जानकारी नहीं दी है। अगर ट्रेन में वारदात हुई है तो इसकी जांच करायी जाएगी।
  
Today (02:42) Last narrow gauge line in Central India to chug into history (www.livemint.com)
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News Entry# 388974  Blog Entry# 4404700   
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Nagpur: The old world magic and excitement of travelling leisurely by trains on narrow gauge railway lines, is fast becoming a thing of the past world over, including India.
Now, the last surviving narrow gauge line, running 106 km between Itwari-Nagbhid near Nagpur on the South East Central Railway (SECR), will also become a part of world rail history, within a year or so.
Probably, Bollywood contributed a lot to popularise the romance of the narrow gauge trains, featuring them in several memorable film songs.
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of the classic numbers people still remember are: "Jiya O, Jiya Kucch Bol Do" ("Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai", 1961, Shimla-Kalka Railway), "Mere Sapnon Ki Rani" ("Aradhana", 1969, Darjeeling Mountain Railway), "Gadi Bula Rahi Hai" ("Dost", 1974), "Chhaiyya, Chhaiyya" ("Dil Se", 1998, Nilgiri Mountain Railways), among many others.
Nagpur to Nagbhid, which was the original route of the narrow gauge railway line, essentially served as the lifeline of the people in the erstwhile Central Province of British India.
The line itself was born out of an emergency during the Great Indian Famine of 1876-1878, when the Bengal-Nagpur Railway announced its construction, later known as Satpura Railway network, to save the lives of people dying of hunger in the remote and inaccessible parts of central India.
The 4 hour 45 minute long Itwari-Nagbhid train journey remains thrilling as the trains chug through dense forests, tribal hamlets, mountains with an occasional tunnel, plains and river bridges; in the olden days hauled by steam engines, and later by diesel engines, connecting Nagpur and Chandrapur districts in eastern Maharashtra.
Now, this last remaining section (Itwari-Nagbhid narrow line gauge of 2.5 feet or 76.2 cms) is currently being converted to broad gauge jointly by the Indian Railways and the Maharashtra Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (MRIDC), Mumbai.
"This project will cost around ₹1,400 crore with the Indian Railways and MRIDC - the executing authority - sharing the amount equally (50 per cent each)," a SECR spokesperson told IANS.
Presently, there are 15 major stations en route including Itwari, Bhandwadi, Umred, Bhiwapur, Kanatempa, Bamhani, Mangli, and Kuhi.
Local villagers and farmers commuting for employment or trade to Nagpur had to take the road route which was more expensive and time-consuming in the absence of poor rail connectivity.
The conversion proposal was first announced in 2014 at a cost of ₹350 crore, which has now increased to ₹1,400 crore owing to various delays and the Centre's decision to combine it with the electrification project of this route.
Other erstwhile narrow gauge lines in the region included Nagpur-Chhindwara, Chhindwara-Nainpur, Nainpur-Mandla Fort and Balaghat-Nainpur-Jabalpur sections which ended between October-November 2015.
A total of 53 trains were operated on the narrow gauge lines which have now been either converted or nearing completion of conversion into broad gauge with high-speed express trains ferrying thousands of passengers daily.
A majority of the narrow gauge lines in Central India are very old and were constructed in the 19th-20th century, mainly to tackle the famine by supplying foodgrains, carry farm and forest produce and provide employment to locals, said a MRIDC official.
At that time, over 1,000 kms of the narrow gauge lines criss-crossed the country's landscape, but that has now come down to just the final 106 km, the official said.
Later, they contributed to the national economy by way of carrying products from the different mines located in the region to far away manufacturing or marketing centres.
According to the Indian Railways, in 2017, a little over 2,000 km of narrow gauge railway lines were still operational in the country, providing rail connectivity to some of the remotest regions, but accounting for barely 2% of the railway network.
These include four world famous heritage operational lines which are also known as hill/mountain railways, located in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Haryana-Himachal Pradesh.
The Matheran Hill Railway runs between Neral-Matheran (in Raigad, adjacent to Mumbai, Asia's only "automobile-free" hill station), the Nilgiri Mountain Railway links Coonnoor and Ooty, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway connects Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, and the Kalka-Shimla Railway joins the two towns in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
While Matheran Hill Railway figures on the UNESCO's tentative world heritage list, the other three have been designated as "UNESCO World Heritage Sites" over the past few years.
  
Today (02:40) Rail users unite to demand gatekeepers, resumption of express trains (www.thehindu.com)
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News Entry# 388973  Blog Entry# 4404699   
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Eight rail users associations in the delta region have joined hands and formed a federation to raise their demands in one voice for deployment of full-time gatekeepers on the newly converted broad gauge line from Tiruvarur to Karaikudi via Pattukottai and early resumption of express trains to Chennai from Karaikudi via Aranthangi, Pattukottai and Tiruvarur.
Christened the Federation of Tiruvarur – Pattukottai - Karaikudi Broad Gauge Line Rail Users Associations, the body was formed a month ago to unitedly put forth the twin demands to the railway administration aggrieved over the delay in restoration of express trains on the newly converted BG stretch due to non-deployment of gatekeepers at manned level crossings.
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Federation comprises the Tiruvarur District Rail Users Committee, Tiruthuraipoondi Rail Users Association, Muthupet Rail Users Association, Adiramapattinam Rail Users Association, Pattukottai Taluk Railway Passengers Welfare Association, Pattukottai Rail Users Association, Peravurani Taluk Rail Users Association and Aranthangi Division Rail Users Association.
Although broad gauge conversion project in the nearly 150-km Tiruvarur – Tiruthuraipoondi – Pattukottai – Aranthangi- Karaikudi section was completed in phases after long delay in execution of works and statutory clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Bengaluru, was obtained, express train services are yet to restart till date due to delay in deployment of gate-keepers for the manned level crossings, lament rail users.
The mandatory clearance from the Commissioner of Railway Safety for operation of train services in the Pattukottai – Karaikudi BG stretch came in March last, while the nod for the remaining Tiruvarur –Tiruthuraipoondi – Pattukottai section came in March endr.
The Diesel Electric Multiple Service (DEMU) train service with three cars and without toilets is being operated at present from Karaikudi to Tiruvarur and back daily, barring Sundays, and does not serves any purpose for regular commuters as the travel time taken is nearly seven hours, says Pattukottai-based N. Jayaraman, president of the Federation.
The mobile gatekeeper system put in place in the absence of deployment of full-time gatekeepers at the manned gates is the main cause for the long time duration taken from Tiruvarur to Karaikudi and back. The DEMU train halts a few distance away from the manned gate and the mobile gatekeepers on board alight and close the gate for the train to pass. After crossing the gate, the train halts again and the mobile gatekeeper opens the gate and boards the train again.
Mr. Jayaraman says the Tiruvarur – Pattukottai – Karaikudi section has 72 manned gates for which full-time gatekeepers are yet to be posted by the railway administration despite repeated demand from the rail users association since completion of the project.
If the gauge conversion project took a long time for completion, delay in resumption of express trains due to non-deployment of gatekeepers is causing concern to travellers residing in this part of the region, rues Mr. Jayaraman.
Travellers from Pattukottai, Peravurani, Adiramapattinam, Aranthangi and Tiruthuraipoondi have been deprived of rail services to Chennai for seven years now forcing them to travel by bus, says G. Moorthy, secretary, Pattukottai Rail Passengers Association.
At present, passengers have to go all the way to Thanjavur or Mannargudi to board trains causing huge inconvenience to them especially senior citizens and pregnant women, adds Mr. Moorthy.
The railway administration could have planned better having known in advance as to when the gauge conversion project in the entire stretch was expected to conclude and acted accordingly in deploying gatekeepers, feel rail users in the delta region.
Despite creating necessary assets by pumping in crores of rupees, the BG stretch is neither being properly utilised nor meeting the social obligation of operating express rail services, says Mr. Jayaraman.
Aggrieved over the delay in resumption of express train services, the Federation members have planned to unitedly bring the issue to the notice of the railway administration by holding a gate meeting in front of the office of the Divisional Railway Manager at Tiruchi on August 20.
The meeting will be held in a peaceful way to put forth the twin demands of immediate deployment of full-time gatekeepers at manned gates along the Tiruvarur - Pattukottai-Karaikudi stretch and operation of express train either in the night or day from Karaikudi to Chennai and back via Aranthangi, Pattukottai, Tiruthuraipoondi and Tiruvarur, says Mr. Jayaraman.
  
Today (02:34) Landslide On Rourkela-Ranchi Route; Four Trains Halted (www.pragativadi.com)
SER/South Eastern
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News Entry# 388972  Blog Entry# 4404698   
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Rourkela: As many as four trains running on Rourkela-Ranchi route have been halted following a landslide on the railway track near Bano station in Jharkhand-Odisha border today.
According to reports, a part of a hill near Bano station caved in due to heavy downpour since this evening triggering a massive landslide near the railway station.
Sources said a huge pile of debris has blocked the railway track near the station disrupting train services on the route.
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Express trains- Hatia-Puri Tapaswini Express and Dhanbad-Alleppy Bokaro Express- and passengers train have been stranded due to the landslide.
As per latest reports, the railway personnel have started cleaning the debris from the railway tracks to restore train services on the Rourkela-Hatia-Ranchi route.
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