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Smiles through miles…
For the first time executives of Railways addressed a seminar in Chennai, welcoming people to partner in the growth of the various facets of railways.

The Indian rail system is often criticised for its poor addition to length, post independence. Under the realms of poor performance, this mode had to give way to other faster means like roadways and airways.

Accounting for 6 per cent of the total employment in the country, railways transports 23 million people through 12,000 passenger trains and carry 3 million tonnes of freight every day. Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways, had recently announced that the Centre is planning to invest Rs 8.5 lakh crore in the next five years. Railways plan to expand operations: daily passenger capacity to 30 million; annual freight carrying capacity to 1.5 billion tonnes from the present million tonnes by 2020 and track length by 30 per cent.


Passenger revenue more than freight

Southern Railway formed in 1951 through the merger of the three state railways, Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, the South Indian Railway, and the Mysore State Railway, today covers a large area of India’s southern peninsula. This is the only zone where passenger revenue contributes more than the freight revenue. The passenger earnings for 2014-15 year was Rs 1587 crore, a 14.5 per cent increase over the previous year.  On the freight front, it earned Rs 722 crore, a growth of 3.3 per cent over last year.

Vashishta Johri, General Manager, Southern Railways, pointed to rail transportation being six times more energy efficient and four times more economical than road transportation. The social costs due to environment damage or degradation are significantly lower.  


Cleanliness shield

With higher funds to the tune of Rs 1350 crore allocated, Southern Railway has taken ahead capacity expansion, like doubling/gauge conversion and newlines. With several initiatives to modernise, it has introduced the Unreserved Ticketing System(UTS) on mobile that facilitates booking of local train tickets through a mobile app.. Vashishta proudly pointed to Southern Railway bagging the cleanliness shield for its excellent services in maintaining overall cleanliness among all 16 zonal railways this year.

As an innovative measure Southern Railway has introduced state-of-the-art catering concept in association with Atchayam Business Solutions Pvt Ltd. ‘Atchayam food box’ installed, offers branded pre-cooked and heated items in sealed containers through automatic vending machines.


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