Thrissur Railway Passengers' Association, TRPA is the confluence of all the stake holders who are interested in the development of Railway facilities in and around Thrissur. Naturally, all the people who avail Railway facilities from Thrissur and other neighbouring stations are automatically the members of this association. Due to the historic reasons, commuters from Thrissur towards Ernakulam, Kozhikode and Palakkad sides form the active group. TRPA always stands for meeting the public demands and this process is well supported by Railway Men, Political Leaders and the Media in Thrissur. The tireless efforts by TRPA in achieving the long standing basic requirements of Thrissur are well recognised and appreciated by one and all. TRPA is committed to continue its service to the society at large, cutting across all divisions. "Our prime focus is on the sustainable improvement of rail service in the country to world class levels with special emphasis on Thrissur"

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Cry for a train to Coimbatore

(Malayala Manorama Metro Kochi dt 29-8-2013)

Bangaluru train

(The Hindu dt 4-9-2013)
(Madhyamam dt 2-9-2013)
(Malayala Manorama dt 2-9-2013)
(Malayala Manorama dt 29-8-2013)

Monday 26 August 2013

Punalur train

(Malayala Manorama dt 15-9-2013)
(Mathrubhumi Kochi dt 5-9-2013)
(Madhyamam dt 4-9-2013)
(Mathrubhumi dt 27-8-2013)

Tuesday 20 August 2013

More facilities needed

(Mathrubhumi Nagaram dt 22-8-2013)
(Mathrubhumi Nagaram dt 21-8-2013)

Friday 16 August 2013

Need of the hour for Keralam

(The Hindu dt 2-9-2013)

Pending works prevent suburban services in Palakkad rly division

Shyam P V TNN

Thiruvananthapuram: The Thiruvananthapuram railway division is exploring the possibility of suburban services from Thiruvananthapuram to Chengannur and Haripad while the incomplete electrification and track doubling works stand in the way of introducing such services in Palakkad division. 
    According to railway authorities, both the divisions had 2.6 lakh passengers per day. The electrification of the Shoranur-Kozhikode and the Kozhikode-Mangalore sectors in the Palakkad division has been going on for decades. Similar is the case with track doubling in the division. 
    Even as passenger associations seek suburban services in at least 
the Coimbatore-Palakkad-Shoranur-Ernakulam sector, the Palakkad divisional authorities are sceptical about the cost involved. “The project will cost at least Rs 20 crore/ km, which will be a huge financial burden for railways or the state government, whoever commits the fund, considering the passenger turnout in Kerala,” a senior officer said. 
    He said it should also be seen how suburban servicescouldbeoperated without a dedicated rail corridor. “In cities where suburban services are in place, they have dedicated lines to run them. If suburban services are introduced in the present track without improving the automatic signalling system and completing electrification-doubling works, it could affect the entire net
work,” he said. 
    The division utilises its tracks up to 200% during peak hours. Officials said suburban services would be profitable only if operated in office hours but the state had no commuter pattern like in Mumbai. 
    “Mumbai andChennaisuburban services have a commuter pattern of people moving from residences to business centres in the morning hours and coming back in the evening. This is not the case with Kerala. Also, the tracks in the state are already packed with express trains during peak hours,” additional divisional railway manager (Palakkad) Mohan A Menon said. “We are, however, open to suburban services but importance is now being given to completetheelectrification anddoubling works,” he said.
(Times of India dt 24-8-2013)

Cabinet nod for viability study

The State Cabinet gave its green signal for a feasibility study on suburban train services between Thiruvananthapuram and Chengannur as well as Thiruvananthapuram and Harippad on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the project was proposed to be taken up as a joint venture between the Indian Railways and the State Government.
A special purpose vehicle (company) would be formed with participation of the government and the Railways for implementation.
The feasibility study would be entrusted to the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation, a joint venture of the Railways and the Maharashtra government operating suburban services in Mumbai.
The Chief Minister said that platforms and other facilities would have to be upgraded and automatic signalling system introduced to facilitate running of Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU) continuously during peak hours.

The MEMUs would stop at 25 stations along the route.

Mr. Chandy said that double lines of the existing railway network would be sufficient for the services. Services would be scheduled in such a way as not to affect the passenger and express train services along the routes. However, the timing of goods trains would have to be altered.
He said that as per rough calculations, the cost of the project would be about Rs.20 crore a km.
This was lower than that for other projects such as the proposed north-south high speed railway corridor. The Cabinet had taken the decision based on preliminary report submitted by Biju Prabhakar who had visited Mumbai to study the suburban system there and hold discussions with Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation.
The Chief Minister said that he had met Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge along with K. Sudhakaran and M.I. Shanavas, MPS, in Delhi and submitted a memorandum listing the State’s demands for railway development, including formation of a railway zone in the State.
The Railways were complaining of delays in land acquisition in the State and difficulties in getting earth for filling and quarrying.
(The Hindu dt 22-8-2013)
(Malayala Manorama Metro, Kochi dt 21-8-2013)
The State government has come in for criticism for showing “undue haste” in taking up a proposal of Railways to set up a suburban railway corridor. The critics say the State does not have the luxury to take up the proposal now as the infrastructure needs of its railway network remain largely unaddressed.
It was Divisional Railway Manager Rajesh Agrawal who submitted the proposal to the government aiming at hassle-free transportation for commuters.
But the projects sidelined in the State are many — doubling of the Ernakulam- Kottayam- Alappuzha- Kayamkulam stretch, electrification of the line up to Mangalore, development of the Kochuveli terminal and a coaching depot at Nemom, full-fledged MEMU operations. Mr. Agrawal has mooted the suburban service as similar to those in Mumbai and other metros to avoid congestion on the road network.

With the promise of no land acquisition, the government set the ball rolling, trying to rope in Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation for a feasibility study for the suburban service. Railway sources said clearance of the Railway Board was mandatory for the proposal as in the case of any railway projects. Moreover, massive investment is needed for the works. Transport planners and railway officials wonder how suburban trains can be operated on saturated railway lines at a time when the operating wing is struggling to squeeze in newly sanctioned trains for the State.
“Railways cannot even operate MEMU services for short-distance commuters. As the maintenance shed in Kollam has not become operational, the MEMUs are being taken to Palakkad for trip maintenance after five days and to Erode and Avadi for ‘IOH.’ It is surprising that instead of addressing the pressing needs, the suburban service is being pushed through,” a top Railway official said. “It is a vision document of Mr. Agrawal and there is no doubt about that. It should be viewed with the realities,” added another railway official. The project to put Sabarimala on the railway map and better facilities at railway stations had all been sidelined.
Squeezing in suburban trains into the saturated lines along with mail and express trains will be at the cost of safety and it will be not relentless mobility as envisaged by Mr. Agrawal, the official said. “What is the need for air-conditioned MEMU service,” he wondered.
Automatic signalling will be needed for the service and this means massive investment. Track circuiting on a stretch will need crores — circuiting for an intermediate block section alone costs Rs. 2.5 crore. Interlocking the level crossings, introducing separate coaches, raising of the platforms to level with the height of suburban trains and strengthening of the railway lines to ensure that the heavy cars of the suburban trains pass through marshy and water-logged areas are the challenges.
“The State has jumped into the proposal submitted by Mr. Agarwal without seeking the advice of experts like Metroman and Planning Board Member E. Sreedharan and without looking into the immediate needs,” a transport planner said.
(S. Anilradhakrishnan, The Hindu dt 20-8-2013)
(Malayala Manorama dt 19-8-2013)
This is the need of the hour for Keralam. Anybody listening?
(Malayala Manorama dt 17-8-2013)

Doubling & Electrification in Malabar

Good news. A major milestone in the history of Railways in Keralam is being achieved.
(Malayala Manorama dt 17-8-2013)

Saturday 10 August 2013

Guruvayur - Punalur Express

(Madhyamam dt 12-8-2013)
(Mathrubhumi dt 12-8-2013)
(Malayala Manorama dt 12-8-2013)
(Desabhimani dt 12-8-2013)
(The Hindu, Kochi dt 12-8-2013)
Finally Guruvayur is getting connected with Kottayam & Chengannur. Advantage Sabarimala pilgrims. The new express is a boon for commuters from Thrissur as well. Kudos to Railways.
(Mathrubhumi dt 11-8-2013)

Sunday 4 August 2013

Jan Shatabdi tickets issue resolved.

(Mathrubhumi dt 9-8-2013)
(Malayala Manorama dt 5-8-2013)
(Malayala Manorama Kannur dt 5-8-2013)

Train timings from Thrissur wef 1-7-2013

(Mathrubhumi dt 17-8-2013)
Click on the image for better viewing.
(Malayala Manorama dt 5-8-2013)

IRCTC promises smoother ride on website next year

Experts, Users Say Co Needs A DNA Change

S Unnikrishnan TNN 

Mumbai: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) plans a revamp of its online rail ticket booking website and will relaunch it early next year. The new site promises to be much faster. The company says this will bring relief to the millions of users for whom booking a ticket on the site is a frustrating, even nightmarish, experience. 
    The problems that IRCTC users face are a throwback to the early 2000s when the internet was still in its infancy. Several users cannot even get past logging on to their accounts. Even if they do, “every next step is a hit and miss”, says Anoop Nair, a Bangalore-based techie. “You can get stuck at any stage, from filling in names to selecting the berth. More frustrating, you can get logged out without warning any time.” 
    Even if a user manages to reach the end of the process, 
more often than not the tickets would have been sold out. Worse, there are times when the money is deducted from the user’s bank account or credit card but the ticket is not issued. “It is criminal for the government to allow this to continue,” says Navi Mumbai’s K Srikanth who has faced three failed booking attempts so far. 
    The IRCTC points to the yawning gap between available tickets and buyers as the root cause of the problem. The site sells more than half of the eight lakh railway tickets available in a day, and experiences up to four lakh hits in a minute during the daily morning rush for tatkal tickets, said Vasu MS, additional general manager, software. The current capacity is to book just 2,000 tickets a minute. The new site, to be built at an investment of more than Rs 100 crore, will be able to make 7,200 transactions a minute (see box). 
    Meanwhile, some tweaks such as separating search and booking functions, and an e-wallet system that will cut banks’ sites out of the booking process are being made to make the current site faster, Vasu said. 

    Experts are skeptical, though, about how all this will translate into better user experience, saying the IRCTC is an anachronism that lacks the agility required of a technology company. 
    IRCTC is one of a clutch of companies that report to the railway board, each owning different chunks of railway property, such as data, communication infrastructure, etc. Sibling rivalries often make it difficult for these companies to work in tandem, said people who have worked with the companies. 
    IRCTC is hobbled by industrial era regulations, for instance, in hiring talent and upgrading skill sets, said Sundar Lakshmanan of Ideophone that offers commute solutions. He said the IRCTC tender process to farm out 
work to the lowest bidders prevents it from working with large technology companies that can leverage elastic public cloud hosting platforms. Such a platform would allow scaling of resources such as servers and bandwidth real-time, based on traffic, cost-effectively. The IRCTC has taken years to address the problems with its website, despite the high growth rate in e-bookings, which have more than doubled. 
    Anand Chitipothu, an independent IT professional and expert in high traffic websites, said IRCTC should be more open to working with IT experts to better its e-ticketing capabilities. Rail ministry must unshackle IRCTC from rail board’s control and give it a corporate makeover if it has to serve rail passengers well, experts said.

(Times of India dt 5-8-2013)