Troubled by Indian Railways and their penchant for being royally late in winters? Troubled by the valuable time lost in waiting for the trains? To address this issues, Railways is planning a massive overhaul, where a simple fix will completely change the way Indian Railways has been running for the past two decades.
According to Railways Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal, the number of coaches that are present in a train will soon go under standardization, which will not only ensure that the number of coaches in every train is UNIFORM, but will also ensure a regular availability of the trains, instead of waiting for the same train again and again, resulting in forced delays, mishaps etc.
To quote him, “We have formed a committee to suggest standard number of coaches for all trains. We should keep it 22 or less. Once we have standard numbers, we can run more trains and bring back the good rail experience.”
But how is this simple fix concerned with a revolutionary overhauling of the Railways? This is because the winter season has always been a major problem for the Railways sector, with adverse conditions, such as fogs, tampered tracks etc. forcing endless delays, denting the efficiency and bringing a bad name to the Indian Railways.
At present, the number of coaches in a train range from 12 to 28, depending on the following factors:-
• Number of trains on the route
• Category of the trains, whether luxury, or passenger, or goods service
• Intensity of the train rush
• Number of train commuters, Length of the Platforms
• Train Origin stations, Halts and Final Stations
So how does standardizing the number of coaches help fix this problem and make sure the trains run on time, in all seasons, and at all possible timings?
Here is the statement of a Railway official, who explained this reform in detail: – “…….. When the number of coaches will be standardized, the Railways will be able to press any train – which is ready, has arrived at the station and undergone maintenance – into operation, instead of waiting for the same train to get ready”. This would help the Railways run trains on time.”
Standardization of railway coaches hits more than one target with a single arrow. If successfully implemented within a year or two, the standardization of railway coaches will give the following benefits:-
• No more forced delays, which saves crores of rupees otherwise wasted
• A significant save in the energy bills of the Railways
• Avoidance of peak hour traffic at prime destinations in India
• Higher revenues through increase in freight earnings
Also, the Indian Railways announced that it shall transfer the research function from Lucknow-based research organization Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) to the newly formed National Railway and Transportation University.
To quote Shri Goyal, “………..RDSO has several pending applications and with a lot of work in their hand, they are unable to focus on research. We are planning to shift the rail research to newly formed university as it will have all stakeholders—railways, industry and academia—together which would result in better solutions.”
On a serious note, after Suresh Prabhu had revolutionized the services provided by Indian Railways, with his simple, but highly effective reforms, and his personal attention provided to every genuine request for improvement on social media, Piyush Goyal is now going one step ahead, with the revolutionary overhauling of Indian Railways. We seriously hope that Mr. Goyal continues to bless the Railways with such simple, but bold and effective reforms. It takes courage to make the change, and on a personal note, I’m really glad to see the Honb. Minister of Railways ready to make that change.