Chairman and CEO/Railway Board inaugurates Iconic Week Celebrations of ‘Azadi Ki Rail Gadi aur Stations’

Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, Shri Vinay Kumar Tripathi inaugurated the Iconic Week Celebrations of the ‘Azadi Ki Rail Gadi aur Stations’ today in Rail Bhawan. Highlighting the importance of 75 identified stations/27 trains in the freedom struggle, Indian Railways will organize week long celebrations from 18th July-23rd July.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Vinay Kumar Tripathi said, “As a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the event ‘Azadi Ki Rail Gadi aur Stations will be held during this week called as Iconic Week, under the overall spirit of Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan, which will showcase the convergence of the values and glories of the freedom struggle of the past with the aspirations and dreams of a young, new and iconic India. This week will culminate with the Milestone function on 23rd July 2022.”

The events of this Iconic Week celebration are focussed both on the Railway Stations and Trains having historical importance. For this, 75 Railway Stations have been identified as Freedom Stations and 27 Trains for Spot Lighting. In all these 75 Stations across 24 states, besides lighting up and decorations, events such as Nukkad Natak in local language, light and sound shows, display of video films/ patriotic songs, etc would be held, with a view to increase the outreach of Janbhagidari. Photo Exhibition and Selfie Point in the backdrop of ‘Azadi Ki Rail Gadi’ would be set up and remain in these Station premises during the entire iconic week event. On the day of the Milestone Function in Delhi on 23rd July 22, family members of Freedom Fighters from the respective local area will be invited to the Stations to share their story.  

Under the programme Spot Lighting of Trains, 27 identified trains will be flagged off by Freedom Fighter’s family from the originating stations. These trains will be appropriately decorated and historical facts about the trains would be depicted for the benefit of our citizens, particularly the younger generation.

The Iconic Week Celebration will be very impactful across the country and more vibrant around the Freedom Stations & Spotlight Trains to kindle the patriotic spirit in the minds of travelling public and people at large.



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Railway Protection Force (RPF) signs MoU with Association for Voluntary Action (AVA) for a trafficking free nation

Railway Protection Force (RPF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Association for Voluntary Action (AVA) for a trafficking free nation.

With a view to work together with a common goal of making the nation trafficking free, Shri Sanjay Chander, DG/RPF had initiated detailed deliberations with Ms Rajni Sibal, CEO of Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) in presence of Shri Kailash Satyarthi on 8th April 2022. The deliberations were taken forward with signing of MoU today wherein both RPF and AVA (also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan) pledged to work together to share information, build capacity of RPF personnel and railway employees to work against Human Trafficking, increase sensitization and create awareness and also help each other in identification and detection of cases of Human Trafficking. A joint action by both stakeholders under the framework of MoU will definitely enhance the scale, reach and effectiveness of “Operation AAHT” (Action against Human Trafficking) launched by RPF across the nation.

Railway Protection Force is entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway property, passenger area and passengers. It has been discharging responsibility as mandated by the Standardized Operating Procedure for rescue of children issued by Ministry of Railways and working with other stakeholders to rescue more than 50,000 children since 2018 under “Operation Nanhe Farishte”. It has recently launched “Operation AAHT” to take stringent action against human trafficking through rail and has been rescuing victims of Human Trafficking from the clutches of traffickers. In course of its action against traffickers, it has rescued more than 1400 minors including 298 minor girls from the clutches of traffickers. RPF has also set up Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) at more than 740 locations across India instructed to take action against Human Trafficking in coordination of other agencies in this field.

Association of Voluntary Action also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan, associated with Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation was founded in 1979 under the leadership of Nobel laureate Mr. Kailash Satyarthi with the mission to eliminate all forms of violence against children and to create a world where all children are free, safe and healthy and receive quality education. AVA aims to achieve this mission by collaborative actions, strengthening national & global policies, building capacity of duty bearers, identifying and replicating best practices in the implementation of the policy or regulatory framework relating to child protection. It is a crucial stakeholder with a large network of dedicated field agents and volunteers spread across the nation. The BBA has been sharing information against child trafficking with police/RPF and assisting in arrest of traffickers/rescue of victims and has gathered domain knowledge and expertise in the field of action against child trafficking.

The Indian Railways is the primary transporter for the nation and therefore is a major route for human traffickers for transportation. The RPF personnel deployed at railway stations and trains are strategically positioned to intercept the trafficking before the victim reaches the destination and the exploitation starts. With its strategic positioning and its pan India reach, RPF can supplement the nation’s efforts to curb Human Trafficking.




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Railway Minister reviews COVID Preparedness in all Railway Zones/Divisions

In context of recent surge in COVID cases across the country, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways, directed the senior officials of various Railway zones and divisions to facilitate use of Railway hospitals and health infrastructure for general public. Shri V K Tripathi, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Railway Board, Board Members and senior officials of the Ministry of Railways along with General Managers (GMs) & Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) of all Zonal Railways/PUs joined the meeting virtually.

In the review meeting, Shri Vaishnaw examined the following aspects related to COVID Preparedness:

  • Railway Hospital Infrastructure
  • Paediatric Ward functioning
  • Vaccination- Vaccination of Children and staff of Railways including provisioning of booster dose to frontline workers of Railways
  • Availability of medicines, oxygen supply, zeolite stock and other necessary medical support and functioning of ventilators, Liquid Medical Oxygen Tanks, and other equipment which is critical in COVID treatment
  • Commissioning of Oxygen Plants (out of total sanctioned oxygen plants, 78 have already been commissioned and 17 are yet to be commissioned)
  • Creating awareness:

  • Increasing the frequency of announcements at Railway stations about masking up, sanitisation of hands and other precautionary measures
  • Discouraging entry of people without mask at Railway stations
  • Running drives to promote wearing of mask and other precautionary measures
  • To review the running of special trains for/to in case of emergency and/or sudden surge in number of passengers/migrants at Railway stations during current situation of COVID


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Central Railway has taken several initiatives, strengthened infrastructure and executed various measures for making the journey of its customers and passengers comfortable.

The focus this year was more on improving the infrastructure works in general and fight against Covid-19 & enhancing the passenger amenities in particular.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the services resumed gradually and presently all suburban services are running on Mumbai Division and long-distance trains have been restored almost to pre-covid level.


• Central Railway First time achieves 7 million tonnes loading in a month. Best ever monthly loading of 7.2 million tonnes achieved surpassing previous best of 6.96 million tonnes achieved in March 2021

• So far, 770 trips of Kisan Rail ran from January to December in 2021 and a total of 900 trips of Kisan Rail have been operated since inception.


• Infrastructure upgradation on Neral –Matheran Light Railway

• More FOBs, Lifts, Escalators

• More AC local services

• Deccan Queen express new LHB rake.

• The Electrification of sections Jejuri – Shenoli (158 RKM), Kurduwadi – Latur (190 RKM), Mohol – Dudhani (91 RKM) & Lonand – Phaltan (26 RKM) are targeted to be completed in New Year.

Some of the highlights of Central Railway during the year 2021 are:


• Extension of 44 Andheri services to/from Goregaon (All Andheri services extended to and from Goregaon)

• Increase in morning peak hour services on 4th corridor

• Introduction of 12 AC EMU services on harbour line


• MEMU services on Chalisgaon – Dhule section

• 12 rakes (6 trains) converted to LHB rake in the year 2021.

• Attached 166 additional coaches (AC-3 Tier, Sleeper and General Second class) to various trains for 1054 Trips.

• Ran 1742 special trains on various occasions like summer holidays, festival holidays etc.

• Speeding up of CSMT-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express and provision of additional halt at Gwalior; Also made as a daily train from 19.1.2021

• UTS Mobile App– linked with State Government portal for issuing Universal pass thereby confirming the person who has received both doses of vaccine and 14 days have lapsed since the second dose administered for issue of season tickets/journey tickets.

• New theme-based colour schemed signages at CSMT

• New home platform at Kopar and Ambarnath stations

• Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) – 13 FOBs were provided during the year 2021

• FOBs on Central Railway are 319.

• Escalators on Central Railway are 125.

• Escalators- 5 twin escalators in Mumbai Division

• Lifts on Central Railway – 86.

• Wi-Fi – Now, the Wi-Fi facility covers 379 stations on Central Railway.

• New toilets at GTB Nagar and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus

• Braille tactile map at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus

• Vistadome coach in Mumbai-Pune Deccan Express and Pune-Mumbai Deccan Queen

• Hadapsar Terminal at Pune started

• Executive waiting lounge at CSMT.

• Yatri App for general information at stations

• Digital cloak room at CSMT

• Restaurant of Wheels at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus commissioned. The other locations identified at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kalyan, Neral, Lonavala and Igatpuri on Mumbai division and Nagpur, Akurdi, Baramati, Chinchwad & Miraj stations on other divisions of Central Railway

• So far, 4687 CCTV provided at stations including 3450 in Mumbai Division till now.

• CCTV cameras installed in 200 ladies’ coaches of 37 suburban rakes

• Smart Saheli App for suburban women commuters

• Meri Saheli App for long distance women passengers travelling alone

• Railway Flood Relief Team with motorized inflatable boats at strategic locations

• New Road Over Bridge constructed at Kalyan

• Launching of girders for Hancock Road Over Bridge

• Augmentation of waterways by micro-tunneling method at Masjid and Sandhurst Road.

• Dudhani – Hotgi electrification (commissioned on 22.6.2021)

• Washimbe – Bhalwani electrification (26.33 KM commissioned on 27.10.2021)

• Dhalgaon – Kurduwadi electrification (136 TKM)

• Shenoli – Miraj electrification (101 TKM)

• Takari – Kirloskarwadi doubling (commissioned on 9.7.2021),

• Ambale – Rajewadi section doubling (CRS inspection completed on 20.6.2021)

• Jalgaon – Bhadli 11.51 km of Bhusaval-Jalgaon 3rd line

• Four Central Railway women hockey players Ms. Vandana Kataria, Ms. Monika Malik, Ms. Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam and Ms. Rajini Etimarpu represented Indian Hockey Team in Tokyo Olympics and secured 4th place. Out of which Ms. Monica Malik and Ms. Vandana Kataria have been conferred with Arjuna Award this year.

• Starting of Medical Oxygen plants at Solapur, Pune, Nagpur, Bhusaval and Kalyan.

• Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) implemented at Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial Railway Hospital, Byculla.

• Vaccination of more than 90% staff

• An Online International Human Resource Summit organized by Pune Division of Central Railway on 19.3.2021.


• First ever on Indian Railways, all women gang started examining freight train rake at Carriage and Wagon Depot, Kalyan

• Shri Mayur Shelke, Pointsman, Vangani became a sensation for saving a six-year-old child who fell on track by endangering his life in front of a speeding train.

• A ramp constructed in 48 hours at Kalamboli yard for loading tankers on wagons. 16 oxygen special trains were operated from Mumbai.

• Automatic coach washing plant at Wadibunder.

• Electronic Interlocking for operation of trains at Lonavala, Badnera, Dockyard Road, Gaigaon, Sewri and Alandi stations

• Matunga Workshop rolls out 100th LHB coach after maintenance

• CSMT becomes first railway station in Maharashtra to get IGBC Gold certification. Solapur railway station also got IGBC Gold certification.

• Herbal garden at CSMT

• Central Railway develops prototype coach for loading of automobiles with improved features and side entry.

• Railway Hospital Kalyan gets certificate of merit in Hospitals sector from NECA.



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Officials from Railway Zones across the country asked to share with the Board their best practices and policy suggestions for National Optimisation


Indian Railways must continue to optimise and reduce the costs and further improve all productivities to make this year an exceptional year in spite ofCovid. This was said by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. while reviewing the working of all the Railway zones.

The Minister encouraged the officials from across the Railway zones to share with the Board   their best practices and policy suggestions for National Optimisation. These suggestions could be about anything that can contribute to better passenger services, safety, revenue generation,freight & business development, increasing the speed or anything.

The Minister asked the Railway Board to study the best practices of zones at earliest. Great practices or ideas that are being implemented at one place can be then replicated at other places and national optimisation can be achieved.

Shri Goyal added that Energy expenses on running of trains should further be rationalised.

The Minister said that record capex allocation in the historic budget is an opportunity for capacity expansion and creating the foundation of future ready Railways.

Shri Piyush Goyal said freight operations of Railways have helped in contributing to the economic and industrial activities of the country in a big way and therefore loading and freight momentum must continue be maintained.

He added that Infrastructure projects under various stages of completion must be monitored on a daily basis and all timelines should be adhered to.

Shri Piyush Goyal said that Covid precautions must continue to be adhered to by Railways.

It may be noted that this year, Railways witnessed a “record” budgetary allocation of ₹1.10 lakh crore in the Budget, with total capital expenditure outlay of ₹2.15 lakh crore for the coming financial year. The total capital expenditure outlay includes, “highest ever” ₹1.07 lakh crore from gross budgetary support, ₹7,500 crore from internal resources and over ₹1 lakh crore from external budgetary resources.

The thrust of Annual Plan 2021-22 is on infrastructure development, throughput enhancement, development of terminal facilities, augmentation of speed of trains, signalling systems, improvement of passengers/users’ amenities, safety works of road over/underbridges.