With more customised trains such as Antyodaya Express, Uday Express and Tejas Express on the anvil for passengers over the next 12 years, the Indian Railways has started introduction of ‘mega blocks’ for maintenance as per the new time table to be in effect starting Independence Day.
In a release on Tuesday, the transporter said its publication Trains at a Glance to be released on Wednesday has taken into account a new Antyodaya Express (a train having unreserved and general coaches only), two Tejas Express trains (semi-high speed fully air-conditioned) and two Uday Express trains(air-conditioned chair car double-decker train).
The new time table has also made provisions for the maintenance of fixed infrastructure such as track structure, signalling gears, overhead equipment and planned blocks of 2.5-3 hours on corridors have also been factored in. The duration of corridor blocks will be about 292 hours more in a year from now compared with last year. In addition, mega blocks of 4-5 hours (mostly on Sundays) have also been introduced to carry out major works including civil, over head traction , signal and telecommunication.
The decision to introduce such blocks for maintenance was taken by railway minister Piyush Goyal in the wake of several accidents which happened due to lack of maintenance.
The railways has also shifted terminating stations of 23 trains in order to avoid unnecessary criss-cross movement of trains. These include 12 trains in the Northern Railway, five in the North Central Railway, four trains in the South Central Railway, and one each in the East Central Railway and the North Western Railway.
The transporter has also shifted 20 trains to adjacent terminals to simplify operations at terminals by avoiding reversals, thus easing congestion on the tracks. The changes will be effective starting Wednesday.
As per a review by the railways, it was found that rakes of trains that were having lie-overs at the terminals can be utilised for providing new services, extending existing services and increase the frequency of some trains.
“Accordingly, 24 new trains, 66 extensions of trains and 4 increases in frequency of trains which have already been started using the lie-over rakes have been incorporated in the new time table,” the railway statement said.