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Shakuntala Railways: India’s only private railway line.

Shakuntala Railway, the only privately-owned railway line in India offering passenger services, may soon be a part of history. Then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has cleared a proposal to take over the narrow gauge line and convert it into broad gauge at an estimated cost of Rs 1,500 crore.
Shakuntala Railway covers a 188-km stretch from Yavatmal to Achalpur in Amaravati district of Maharashtra. The Central Province Railway Company (CPRC), or the Shakuntala Railway, was founded in 1910 by Killick Nixon, a British firm, mainly to transport cotton from the area.
The route was used to ferry cotton from Vidarbha for exporting. But even after the nationalisation of other private sector railway lines, Shakuntala Railway continued to be privately-owned.
According to the contract with CPRC, if the Indian government fails to acquire the line in 2016, it will only be able to acquire it a decade later.
The Indian Railways pays an annual usage fee of Rs 2-3 crore for running two passenger trains and few goods trains on these tracks to CPRC.
Earlier, the railways was not keen on taking over the loss-making line. As per the contract, major expenses above Rs 10,000 must be borne by the company. According to the railways, the rent of using the line was adjusted from the cost of repairs and maintenance. All other lines owned by CPRC got nationalised. Interestingly, even now all the rail signals are from the British era, with a “Made in Liverpool” tag.
According to Indian Railways, on an average, five wagons are booked from Achalpur station to transport goods such as cotton, dry chilly, timber, handloom cloth, rosha oil, coffee seeds, mangoes, guavas and oranges from the area.
Information Compiled by Vignesh ( https://www.instagram.com/chwhaan/?hl=en)
Picture courtesy : Railfan Roopesh Kohad/ Google.

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रेलवे का स्लिपर क्लास

चार महीने पहले, लम्बी कतारोमे, धक्के खाते, आरक्षण कन्फर्म करवा के आखिर वो यात्रा की शुभ घड़ी आ ही गई थी की हम इलाहाबाद के कुम्भ स्नान का पुण्य अपने गांठ बांध लें।

गाड़ी पुणे स्टेशन से दोपहर सवा चार बजे छुटने वाली थी। तीर्थयात्रा जाना था, बड़े बूढ़े कहते है बारवास में सकून देखना चाहिए पैसे नही, तो कैब बुलवा ली और पहुंच गए स्टेशन। हालाँकि कुम्भ में शाहीस्नान के पर्व की तिथि तो नही थी पर पुणे स्टेशन की भीड़ देख कर ऐसा लग रहा था, जैसे सभी को हमारे साथ ही पूण्य अर्जित करने की सूझी है।

पौने चार बजे गाड़ी स्टेशनपर लगी, तो क्या जनरल डिब्बे और क्या आरक्षित शयनयान डिब्बे। भीड़ तो ऐसे उमड़ी की जैसे लंगर लगा हो। हम भी हो लिए, हमारे डिब्बे एस 4 की ओर। बड़ी जद्दोजहद के बाद डिब्बे में घूंसे, अपने बर्थ तक पहुँचे, तो हमारी दोनोंही लोअर बर्थ पर 6 – 6 लोग पहलेसे ही जमे थे। अब वार्तालाप देखिए, हमने कहा, “भाई यह हमारे रिजर्वेशन है, हमे बैठने दीजिए।” अपने पाँव मोड़ कर के, आगे पीछे खिसक के, सलाह मिली, “लीजिए, आप बैठ जाइए। रिजर्वेशन टिकट तो हमारे भी है, बस कन्फर्म नही हुए वेटिंग में है।” अब पूरी डिब्बे की भीड़ के सामने हम विलेन बने, ” ये सिट मुझे दे दे ठाकुर” वाली स्टाईल में गब्बर की तरह दिखाई दे रहे थे और सैंकड़ों जय, वीरू और बसंतियाँ हमे घूर रही थी। जाना तो सभी को इलाहाबाद, वाराणसी। खैर! अब शुरू हुआ एडजस्टमेंट वाला खेल। गाड़ी चल पड़ी तो थोड़े सरको, जरा खिसको, थोड़ा बैठो और सेट हो जाओ।

गाड़ी चले, 4 घंटे हो चुके थे। टिटी साहब का कोई अतापता नही था। हमें भरोसा था, बाबूजी आएंगे और बिना रिजर्वेशन वालोंसे हमारी जगह ख़ाली करवा देंगे। अब तो हमारी बेगम भी हमे अपनी आंखें दिखाने लग गई थी। शाम ढलते ढलते, वैसी ही भीड़भाड़ मे हमने अपना टिफिन निकाला और खाना खा लिए। रात के 10 बज गए, ” भाई, अब हम सोएंगे, बर्थ खाली कर दो” थोड़े लोग इधर उधर हो गए, जगह बनाई गई और श्रीमतीजी मिडल बर्थ पर और हम निचले बर्थ पर लेट गए। बड़ी मुश्किल से नींद आई, अचानक हमारे पैर किसी भारी वजन से दब गए। हड़बड़ाकर उठने हुए तो हमारे बगल में हमारी बर्थ पर एडजस्ट हुवा एक बन्दा दन से नीचे गिरा, उसको सम्भालते तब तक जो पैर पर का बोझा भी लुढक़ चुका था। बड़ाही हडक़म्प मच गया। क्योंकि जहाँ ये लोग गिरे वहाँ भी लोग हाथ पैर पसारे चित हुए पड़े थे। ” ऐ काका, शांती से सोते रहा, काहे उठत रहे?” इधर हम अपने दबे पैरों का दर्द सहते बोले, ” भैया, हमारा बर्थ …..” अरे चाचा, आप ही तो सोये है, तनिक टिक लिए तो कौन तकलीफ़ हो गई? रात का समय है, आँख लग गई, तो थोड़ा सा…., और वैसे भी सुबह होने को है। आप पूरी रात सोए हो, अब हम भी थोड़ा सो ले?”

हम सोच रहे, हमारा कहाँ चूक हो गया, शायद स्लिपर क्लास में रिजर्वेशन कराने में? वातानुकूलित डिब्बे में एडजस्ट वाला खेला नही होता।

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Pamban Bridge – The scenic beauty to be replaced soon.

Yes, the travel destination of many of us, the Pamban Bridge which connects Rameswaram to mainland India is soon going to be replaced by a new technology driven vertical lift bridge.

Before, we actually see in the video, how the new bridge is going to work, lets read about pamban bridge.

Pamban Bridge is a railway bridge which connects the town of Rameswaram  on Pamban Island to mainland India. Opened on 24 February 1914, it was India’s first sea bridge, and was the longest sea bridge in India until the opening of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in 2010.

Until 1988, the Pamban bridge was the only surface transport that connected Tamil Nadu’s island of Rameswaram to the mainland. In 2018, the bascule of this bridge was damaged. This damage ended the transportation on the bridge.

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In 1988, a road bridge was also constructed parallel to the rail bridge. This road bridge is also known as Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. The Pamban Road Bridge connects the National Highway (NH 49) with the Rameswaram island. It stands on the Palk Strait and between the shores of Mandapam (a place on the Indian mainland) and Pamban (one of the fishermen town in Rameswaram island).

The rail bridge is, for the most part, a conventional bridge resting on concrete piers, but has a double-leaf bascule section midway, which can be raised to let ships and barges pass through. As can be seen in the video.

However, the 104-year-old which has a total length of 2,058 m  bridge shall be soon replaced as the Railways plans to build the country’s first vertical-lift bridge that will make way for ships and steamers to pass through has already been approved by the Ministry.

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The more than two-kilometre-long bridge, which is likely to cost Rs 250 crore, will have a 63-metre stretch which will lift up while remaining parallel to the deck to allow access to the ships, the official said.

Here is the video which shows how the new bridge shall work.

 

It will be ready in the next four years, and along with the new railway link between Rameswaram in Pamban Island and Dhanuskodi, which is considered the starting point of Ram Setu, will help ferry thousands of pilgrims from the Hindu religious site to the mainland.

A cyclone had destroyed the rail link between the two sites in 1964 and since then, this is the first effort to restore the link, the official said.

“While this bridge has the ‘Scherzer’ rolling lift technology in which the bridge opens up horizontally, to let ships pass through, in the new one, a 63 metre section will lift vertically upwards remaining parallel to the deck. It will be done using sensors at each end,” said another official.

 

The new bridge will have 100 spans of 18.3m and one navigational span of 63m.

It will be three-metre higher than the existing bridge with navigational air clearance of 22 metre above sea level. Because of the vertical lift, full horizontal width of 63m will be available for navigation.

In comparison to existing manual operation and control, the new bridge will have electro mechanical controlled systems which will be interlocked with train control systems. Many other new technologies like stainless steel reinforcement, composite sleepers and long life painting system to name a few have been considered in planning of the bridge.

So, why wait, just don’t miss the opportunity to experience the joy of travelling on the train over a sea. As the new bridge is going to be taller and ” Samandar aur aapke beech ka fasla aur jyada ho jaynenga Yatriyon……”.

References and credit :

  1. Video Courtesy : Financial Express Youtube
  2. Content reference Financial express and Wikipedia.
  3. Picture courtesy : Google images

Pic 1 https://www.theweek.in/webworld/features/lifestyle/Discover-the-less-explored-pamban-island.html

Pic 2 : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/120752833737231048

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Who is making the railway stations beautiful ?

Isn’t it boring to stare at the blank walls of railway station while waiting for the trains, the starting of the journey itself sounds so dull and sad, but not anymore.

Satrangi Creations, as the name itself suggests, the group of enthusiastic artists have taken up the challenge to make the walls of railway stations painted with the famous tourist spots, portraits of our National legends and some beautiful graffiti.

Yes, now the walls won’t be just walls but are going to be a center of attraction. Beautiful artwork by the excellent artists portraying the legends of India, India’s top travel destinations and also some record breaking artwork done by the artists.

Without wasting time lets get to know about Satrangi Creations and the work the team has already done and also there upcoming projects.

Initiative of Mr. Nilesh Nagar has some beautiful outcomes, few glimpses of the walls are presented for you.

Nimach was the first Station  beautified by the team Satrangi.

Artwork at Nimach Railway Station

 

Nimach Station art work was sponsored by Central Reserve Police Force. Nimach is birth place of CRPF so Team Satrangi Creations has depicted CRPF’s valour and sacrifice on the walls of Station. Nimach became first railway Station in India to get brush of patriotism. Few school kids wanted to join us so we welcomed them and they worked with our artists shoulder to shoulder in general beautification work.

Director general CRPF, ADG & Senior Officers visited Station. ADG Madhya Pradesh state police too visited and appreciated team work of Satrangi Creations.

Artwork at Patalpani and Kalakund Railway Station

 

Team Satrangi Creations were given work to beautify Patalpani & Kalakund Railway Station under prestigious Railway heritage section project. It has meter gauge line which was laid by queen Ahilyabai Holkar in 1870. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and waterfalls makes this area awesome. Beautifying it with the theme of nature n wild life.

Honorable Minister of Railways Shri Piyush Goyal along with Chairman Railway Board will be inaugurating it on 25th December. It will be a big boost for tourism through railways.

 

Artwork at Indore Railway Station

 

Indore being financial capital of Madhya Pradesh and number one city in cleanliness Team Satrangi Creations put extra efforts to make it look more beautiful. And the station is being painted with heart at teams own cost. Work is in progress at Indore.

 

Artwork at Ratlam Railway Station

 

Ratlam Divisional head quarter sponsored by JK cement and Team Satrangi Creations. Huge appreciation came even hash tag of #JabWeMet Station floated in twitter and Facebook.

 

Longest Graffiti pictures from Mandsaur Railway Station

 

Team Satrangi Creations beautified Mandsaur Station on there own as after lot of efforts no one came forward to help. Team Satrangi Creations has made longest graffiti of 8145 Sq ft in India at any railway Station. Finally hard work paid off and they were awarded by Ministry Of Railways for this unique idea at Mandsaur in a function at Rail Bhawan, New Delhi. We stood 4th for Mandsaur in Nationwide ranking of beautification of railway Stations last year.

The origination of the idea : Project Satrangi Bharat

It all started in the mind of Shri Nilesh Nagar, Project Head & Art Director,  Satrangi Creations who was very upset with the conditions of the railway stations which he saw during his train journey. Being from Indore, Madhya Pradesh he didn’t liked the situation of walls and surrounding areas of the station.

He thought, “why not we do art work on walls so that people will at least think before spitting on it. Railway being public property is ours. Why only railway authorities have responsibilities to clean it & why they should clean our spit?” thought Shri Nagar

It was just an idea without a start on account of permission and resources. Soon with the help of TTE personnel common friend of Mr. Nagar, a meeting was fixed with Sr. DCM and DRM of Ratlam and a proposal was put forward .Impressed with the presentation & idea. DRM accepted the offer and gave permission for few stations to start with.

Initially, funds for the cause was main problem, we decided to look for sponsorship or CSR funding. Worked very hard, got rejected everywhere. However, It is truly said that when you stand for a noble cause people will join you and that is what happened. We came across an officer of CRPF, while in discussion we came to know that Nimach, Madhya Pradesh ( one of Stations given to us for art work) is the birth place of CRPF. Idea clicked, we decided to take sponsorship from CRPF. Somehow we got Appointment with their senior officers at New Delhi and went there with the proposal of portraying CRPF & it valour on the walls of Nimach railway Station.

They listened to us carefully and were enthusiastic that this can actually happen. They took us to their Additional Director General and then it all started. They agreed to sponsor us. The amount was nominal but it was enough for us to start with. They arranged our artists stay & food as well as paints for the art work. We arranged the artists & started working on Nimach railway Station walls. It took 25 days to complete the art work on Nimach railway station.

Lot of appreciation came and the journey started. We were working hard again to look for sponsorship for next Station. After struggling for so many days we didn’t got any but had some funds so we decided to go for Mandsaur Railway Station from our own funds. It had a big wall of 8144 Sq feet long. We did graffiti on it and it became longest graffiti made at any railway station in India. Huge appreciations and admiration came in.

We were told that after looking at our work JK Cement wanted to sponsor Ratlam Station under CSR funds. We were more than happy with this, our hard work was giving results. We started working on Ratlam and completed it soon.

In the mean time we were informed that there was a ranking of beautification of railway Stations and we are to be rewarded by Hon. Minister of Railways and Chairman Railway Board at Rail Bhawan for our efforts for Mandsor railway station. That pushed us for more hard work and becoming in top 3 position in the next year ranking.

We had no funds for further railway stations, struggled but results came. So somehow we started at Indore railway station on our own which is still ongoing. While working at Indore we got offer from Bhusawal Division to beautify their Stations. Nilesh went there and discussed, they had sponsor too for Jalgaon. We accepted the offer and started working on Bhusawal and Jalgaon both.

Ratlam Division is developing Patalpani & Kalakund railway track as heritage section which was made in 1870. Lush green area and water falls, wild life and adventure. They decided to get both the railway stations as well as tunnels get makeover with the art work. Looking at our long association with them and being witness of our hard work and dedication, they decided to give it to us. So here we r working on the prestigious railway heritage line project. To be inaugurated by Hon. Railway Minister and Chairman Railway Board on 25th December.

Best thing of the project is that we have picked up artists who have talent but don’t get exposure due to their circumstances and situations of being from poor & rural background. Due to our project they are not only getting exposure and experience but also livelihood. All of them are doing bachelor of fine arts or master of fine arts from different colleges in Madhya Pradesh. In this process they are becoming independent and get money to pay their college fee and not dependent on their respective families to pay for fee and other expenses.

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The Man behind the idea Mr. Nilesh Nagar.

 

Project Satrangi Bharat is not just a project it’s our unique idea, & idea is to beautify every corner of our country and make India truly Incredible.

So, the next time if you come across some beautiful artwork at the railway stations, do not forget to tag and share with Satrangi Creations a token of appreciation towards there beautiful contribution in beautification of our stations.

Information and pictures for this article are shared by Mr. Abhishek Sharma, web manager of Satrangi Creations.

Satrangi creations can be followed on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/satrangi_creations_india/

 

Do share in comments section your valuable feedback.

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Most powerful Loco of Indian Railways begins its services.

The services of India’s most powerful locomotive has began successfully. The inside pictures and the picture of the loco with its Pilot and assistant loco pilot are here for you. The locomotive has been allocated to Northern Railways.

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Some details about the locomotive are highlighted in this article.

The WAG – 12, series 600001, is first of the lot of 12000 horse power locomotive, which is being manufactured by the Alstom Company. The project is joint venture of Indian Railways and Alstom which involves manufacturing of around 500+ electric locomotives an also its maintenance for a specified time frame.

The production and assembling of the locomotive is being done at Alstom’s factory in Bihar’s Madhepura, India which is part of Make in India project which is worth 3.5 billion Euros.

The team of Alstom executives engineers and workers along with Indian railways staff has put a lot of effort and this super powerful loco is the outcome of there efforts. some pics of the team sharing moments of joy and happiness on successful trials.

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The WAG 12 locomotive would be used for the hauling of trains in Dedicated Freight Corridors. The electric locomotive can achieve a maximum speed of 120 kmph and has hauling power of up to 6,000 tonnes.

Inside cabin view :
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The locomotive is equipped with LED lamps and is made by keeping in mind the extreme heat and humidity conditions in India. Also, the company aims at reducing carbon emission and thus its manufacturing has been done with an intent to make it a Green Loco. Also, the locomotive has regenerative braking technology which shall help for lesser power consumption.

As can be seen from the pics, the loco is a dual model i.e. double section locomotive.

The Madhepura plant of Alstom and Indian Railways is spread over 250 acres and has a testing track for the locomotives as well. It has a production capacity of 120 locomotives per year and provides employment to around 10,000 people.

Also, against the colour of locomotive is dark blue which is very vibrant and attractive against the old colour scheme adopted by the Indian railways in WAG 9 which was green and in WAG 7 which was sky blue.

This pics are shot when the loco was parked and waiting for call of duty./

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The pics from the trip are contributed by Suvojit Mukherjeee ( Instagram –
https://instagram.com/mukherjeesuvojit?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=1se7lg48jjh1t )

Ref: Alstom website ( https://www.alstom.com)