Will be remembered for commendable achievements despite toughest challenges of Covid 19 pandemic
This year 2020 has been a “Year of Victories over toughest challenges ” for Western Railway. Faced with daunting and unprecedented Covid related challenges, Western Railway has not only been able to keep the national supply chain running and move affected people back home in most adverse circumstances, but also been able to usher in an unprecedented growth in development of infrastructure, innovation, capacity expansion of network, freight diversification and transparency matters.
Despite toughest challenges of Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2020 will be remembered over Western Railway for some of the finest achievements in various fields, including highest electrification, world record for running Double stack container freight trains under High Rise OHE having contact wire height of 7.57 meter, winning 3 National awards for energy conservation & a new record for winning the Kaul Gold Cup – A symbol of supremacy in sports field over Indian Rlys, for 29th time in a row. According to a Press Release issued by Sumit Thakur- Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, WR has used covid-19 CHALLENGE as an OPPORTUNITY to lay the foundation for future developments and next level of travelling experience for passengers. In line with the Prime Minister’s mantra “Reform, Perform & Transform”, Western Railway has worked towards ushering in transformational changes across in all the areas of its operations and management.
During this Calender year, WR has taken lead in transportation of essential commodities to various parts of the country, through its about 800 parcel special trains with highest 21% share in parcel loading over Indian Railways.
Thakur stated that Alok Kansal took charge as General Manager of Western Rly on 14th January, 2020 and under his guidance, WR has continued to march on the path of progress during the entire year, inspite of toughest challenges of Covid-19 pandemic.
*Running of SHRAMIK Specials : Trains of Hope in Adversity* The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown had put both their lives and livelihoods of millions of migrants on hold. A great many number of them urgently wanted to get back to their homes and villages. Taking notice of this need, the Ministry of Home Affairs ordered the Ministry of Railways to arrange an emergency unique train service in coordination with respective state governments.
Accordingly, Western Rly successfully operated 1234 Shramik special trains to various destinations all over the country. WR’s contribution in the total number of Shramik special trains over Indian Rlys has been 25 %. More than 26 lakh food packets were distributed to the migrant labourers who travelled in these trains. This unique social initiative was widely appreciated by all & the concerned teams of WR were felicitated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Gujarat for the same.
*Covid challenge as an opportunity to complete critical infrastructural and maintenance projects* Thakur stated that during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown period, Western Railway workforce rose to the challenge and once again demonstrated that they can perform under adverse and crisis situations. Western Railway took advantage of the opportunity of availability of traffic blocks due to reduced train operations during lockdown period and completed various critical and long pending major bridge & track works. These works had a significant bearing on safety and operational efficiency.
Some of these works were pending for several years as sufficient traffic blocks could not be made available under normal working conditions due to high density of traffic. Over WR 20 FOBs, 16 ROBs & 64 RUBs/Subways have been constructed during this year. Similarly, 10 lifts and 9 escalators have also been commissioned over WR during this calendar year. 14 new foot over bridges and one sky walk have been constructed in the current financial year on the Mumbai suburban section. 11 speed restrictions on Western Railway have been lifted this year, while speed in 10 sections have been increased.
With a view to increase mobility, the sectional speed on the Mumbai-Delhi section has been increased to 130 km per hour and work is being done to upgrade it to 160 km. Safety has increased significantly with the abolition of the 28-year-old permanent speed restriction in Bandra-Khar section.
*12 Constructions Projects Commissioned during 2020*
To enhance connectivity and speed various sections totalling 156.68 kms have been commissioned in 2020. These projects includes 9 Doubling, 2 Gauge Conversions and 1 New Line. Many of these doubling projects have been commissioned on Highly Utilized Network routes on WR.
*World record for running Double Stack Container freight trains under High Rise OHE having contact wire height of 7.57m*
On 10th June’2020 WR created world record by running first Electric goods train (Double Stack Container) from Palanpur to Botad under High Rise OHE having contact wire height of 7.57m, which is highest in the world. With this, electric traction was introduced on Rajkot and Bhavnagar divisions of WR, which were non-electrified divisions. WR got the distinction of being first among all Zonal Railways by successfully running double stack containers in electrified territory under the prestigious National Mission of 100% Electrification on Indian Railways.
*National Level Award for project of Push-Pull Operation*
The Vadodara-based electric loco shed has achieved a remarkable achievement by winning the National Level Silver Award announced by the Quality Council of India for its push pull operation project.
*WR Achieved Highest Electrification on IR & got 3 National Awards for Energy conservation*
Western Railway is pursuing various energy conservation measures to promote clean & green energy. As a result of these efforts, Western Railway received three National Energy Conservation Awards in the ‘Transport’ and ‘Building – Government Offices’ category for 2020 by the “Bureau of Energy Efficiency” Department of the Ministry of Power.
WR got the first prize in the transport category and the Divisional Railway Manager offices of Bhavnagar and Rajkot have got the first and third awards respectively in the building category. 8.67 MWp capacity rooftop solar plants have been provided at various railway stations, office & service buildings. These plants have generated 5.47 million units of green energy resulting in a net saving of Rs.2.25 crores per annum.
Energy-efficient LED lights have been installed at all the stations, service buildings & residential quarters resulting in saving of about Rs. 12 crores per annum. Western Railway is operating 67 regular train pairs with Head-On Generation and stopped the use of Diesel Generator Set for power supply to coaches, thus achieving a net saving of about Rs.50 Crores. Introduction of three-phase technology and improvement in driving techniques has helped in 15% improvement in SEC, a net saving of about Rs.15 crores per annum.
*The Dabhoi – Kevadiya Rly line is all set to provide rail connectivity to the world’s highest STATUE OF UNITY*
The ambitious rail project of Dabhoi – Kevadiya railway line to provide rail connectivity to the National Memorial Statue of Unity in Kevadiya is planned to be completed soon. The new Kevadiya railway station will provide rail connectivity to tourists from all over the world to reach the Statue of Unity, the world’s highest statue of Iron Man Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, located in Kevadia.
*WR’s control over Trespassing*
Several measures are being taken by Western Railway to control the problem of crossing tracks. This has resulted in significant reduction in the number of cases of injury due to persons crossing tracks in Mumbai suburban section of WR. Messages from Celebrities are broadcasted to dissuade people from trespassing. Western Railway has launched a unique campaign called “Yamraj” to stop trespassing, which aims to instill a sense of psychological fear among the trespassers.
*WR’s lead in transportation of essentials through about 800 parcel special trains with highest 21% share in parcel loading over Indian Rlys*
In spite of the stoppage of passenger trains, WR carried out its social obligation towards the nation by ensuring the transportation of essential materials to various regions of the country through regular operation of parcel special trains and freight trains. More than 58 million tonnes of goods have been loaded on WR, which is just 2 percent behind last year’s loading.
Similarly, during the current financial year, a total revenue of more than Rs.100 crore has been earned. It is a matter of pride that WR’s contribution is 21% in total parcel loading and revenue of Indian Railways. WR created a record in by running 141 milk special trains from Palanpur to Hind Terminal carrying more than 10 crore litres of milk. Notable achievement has also been achieved by almost doubling the speed of goods trains on Western Railway. The Kisan Rail run by WR too helps the farmers to transport their produce faster and economically. Till date WR has operated 11 Kisan Rail trains.
Multi Discplinary Business Development Units (BDU) constituted to augment freight trafficMulti-disciplinary Business Development Units have also been set up at Headquarters and all the 6 divisions of WR for tapping potential traffic and providing customized facilities in transporting the freight. These BDUs have regular meetings with potential freight customers to explore new markets and highlight the economical benefits of transporting commodities by train. Various incentives and concessions are also being provided to freight customers. It is noteworthy to mention that due to sustained efforts of BDU, the parcel special trains have crossed international borders with onions and fabric.
A variety of new freight traffic has been achieved by Western Railway, including onion sacks sent in special trains from Gujarat to Bangladesh and apart from fabric, dye and chemical colour for different parts of the country. Transportation of new materials such as industrial salt, rock phosphate, galvanized boxes and tiles is mainly involved. WR has also witnessed a resurgence of coal loading.
*Automatic Coach Washing Plant at Vadodara & Bhuj
Automatic coach washing plants have been installed at Vadodara & Bhuj to save time, water & man power. At these modern washing plants, washing process of a train is being fully completed in only 10 minutes.
*Jagjivan Ram Hospital of WR –A Dedicated Covid Hopital*
Jagjivan Ram Hospital of WR at Mumbai Central, was declared a dedicated Covid hospital by Ministry of Railways. JRH took up this tough challenge and converted to a fully Covid hospital. The hospital infrastructure was modified according to the changing needs as per Covid protocol.
Apart from this, proper arrangements for treatment of Covid-19 patients were also made in hospitals of some divisions of WR. Successful treatment of about 4 thousand railway and non-railway Covid-19 patients was ensured, with excellent recovery rate during the last nine months in all these hospitals. PPE kits, above 1.63 lakh face masks and more than 52 thousand litres of sanitizers were made in-house by various divisions and workshops of WR to continue the fight against Covid-19, adopting the concept of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
*Suburban Services & Special Trains over WR*
Special suburban services were resumed by Western Railway on the request of the Government of Maharashtra from 15 June, 2020. Gradually, with the services being made available to various categories of essential staff, it has now been increased to 1201 from 2nd November, 2020, which is about 90 per cent of the total services pre lockdown.
Keeping in mind the festive season, WR is running various festival special trains for different regions of the country, while many long distance mail / express and Rajdhani type trains are being run as special trains. A total of 116 trains are currently being operated by Western Railway, including 82 regular special trains and 34 festival special trains.
*Digitalization over WR*
Significant progress has been made on Western Railway towards digitalization. The Head office and all divisions of WR have been connected with e-office and WR is the pioneer in implementation of e-office over Indian Railways. Optimum efforts are being made to promote digital payments at various levels, which has resulted in increased transparency and speedy delivery.
Apart from these, Wi-Fi facility has been provided at 298 stations in the last financial year on Western Railway and 17 stations in the current financial year. WR is the leading Zonal Railway to complete the e Service Record and Employee Master Data for HRMS-Human Resource Management System. E Pass and office order modules have also been implemented on WR.
*W.Rly’s Boost To Passenger Security With Several Technological Upgradations & Initiatives*
Western Railway has taken a giant leap forward in the utilization of technologies to ensure full proof safety and security of its passengers. Various advancement such as use of drone technology, Biometric Token Machines, QR Code based e-Pass system, Segways at platforms, etc. are some of the initiatives adopted by Railway Protection Force.
In the most recent development, a QR Code based E-Patrolling & Beat Management System was also launched by the RPF of Mumbai Central Division to cover all the railway stations and major sensitive spots. This system is a first of its kind in the entire Indian Railways. in order to curb the incidents of cyber-crimes, a specialised Cyber Cell has been set up at Zonal level to assist all the divisions with expertise in cyber investigations crime detection.
‘Meri Saheli’ campaign has been implemented in 4 trains of WR for safety and security of women commuters, right from the starting station to their destination. 2600 CCTV cameras with artificial intelligence, advanced video analytics capabilities and machine learning are also being set up between Churchgate and Virar stations of Mumbai Central Division. RPF has detected 21 cases till now in 2020 including heinous crimes such as theft, robbery and molestation by using CCTV footage. The futuristic CCTV system installed not only will enable the RPF to prevent and detect crimes but also to identify, avert and attend contingencies like fire, overcrowding, littering etc proactively.
*Connecting beautification with cleanliness*
Connecting beautification with cleanliness, many of the stations over WR have been decorated with attractive artworks and paintings and major stations have been redeveloped and beautified. Under the “Salaam Rakshak” project, the walls of various stations of Western Railway have been beautified. A short awareness film on cleanliness has been produced by Western Railway, “Aadat Badalo, Bharat Badalo”, which inspires us to implement positive behavior change in our daily lives.
*Western Railway Women’s Welfare Organization (WRWWO) Helping the Needy*
Western Railway Women’s Welfare Organization has been playing an important role in the field of employee welfare and social service through its various activities. The organization has always assisted the employees and their families in difficult times. Under the Digital Empowerment of Nari Shakti of Western Railway family, a number of webinars were organized by the President of the organization Tanuja Kansal, wherein she interacted with the women employees of all the Divisions and Headquarters. 38 employees were honoured by WRWWO to applaud and encourage the efforts of the employees who rendered their invaluable services during the lockdown.
The organization provided steel thermos to 250 paramedical staff of Jagjivan Ram Hospital and umbrellas were provided to 432 track maintainers. Apart from these, the organization also arranged deep freezers for RPF barracks. WRWWO presented water purifiers, induction plates with utensils and water dispensers with provision of hot / cold water at Jagjivan Ram Hospital for the convenience of patients and paramedical staff. Apart from these, the organization donated ambulances, sewing machines, washing machines and other useful equipment.