1,917 research outputs found

    How Can Indian Railways Service the Steel Sector Better?

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    The focus of this paper is on how Indian Railways can service the steel sector better. The steel sector is a core sector, with railways playing a critical role in its logistics. The paper examines the changing industry structure and brings to light the increased need for transportation, as compared to normal planning processes. Traditionally, crude and finished steel making was done in the same location by big producers having integrated plants. Now the industry has a large number of producers who primarily focus on crude steel making or finished steel making, necessitating the need for transporting crude steel to the finished steel makers. Even within finished steel making, there could be levels of value addition where the output of one finished steel maker could become the input for another. This has implications for the transporters including Indian Railways in formulating their strategies. Further, based on the growth projections of the steel sector and a possible increased share of rail transport, Indian Railways need to strategize for a six fold increase in traffic. This could be upto 1 billion tons of originating traffic by 2019-20. The papers examines the current issues in rail transport for the steel sector and proposes strategies for the way forward under the dimensions of infrastructure, technology and systems.

    Mathematical Modeling for Demurrage Reduction in Coal Transportation for an Indian Thermal Power Plant

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    Competitive pressures on power plants have seen them attempting to reduce their operating expenses for profitable operations. In India, the plants use wagons of the Indian Railways to transport coal from the mines (in case of domestic coal) or from the ports (in case of imported coal). Once these loaded railway wagons have reached the power plant, they need to be unloaded and released within a stipulated time frame. If there is any delay beyond the stipulated time, the power plant has to pay penalty cost to the Indian Railways. In this paper, we describe an analysis of the underlying causes behind these delays. We use correlation analysis, queuing theory and simulation to mathematically model the coal arrival process in the company. The recommendation suggested by the study is currently under implementation.

    DOES AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AFFECT PRODUCTIVITY IN THE INDIAN RAILWAYS?

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    Our objective in this paper is to shed some empirical light on a claim often made by critics of affirmative action policies: that increasing the representation of members of marginalized communities in jobs – and especially in relatively skilled positions – comes at a cost of reduced efficiency. We undertake a systematic empirical analysis of productivity in the Indian Railways in order to determine whether increasing proportions of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in railway employment – largely a consequence of India's affirmative action policies – have actually reduced productive efficiency in the railway system. We find no evidence that higher percentages of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the railway labour force have reduced productivity. Indeed, some of our results suggest that the opposite is true, providing tentative support for the claim that greater labour force diversity boosts productivity.affirmative action; labour force; productivity; Indian railways

    Literature Review Report on -“An Analytical Study on Working Conditions of Loco-Pilots (Railway Drivers) in India”

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    The work of Indian railways’ drivers is considered as extremely stressful. It is working in an environment over which they have no control whatsoever and is an atmosphere that wrecks their schedules, disrupts their home life, makes social activities and regular breaks very hard to plan. This paper deals with the working conditions of Indian railways’ drivers and the factors that lead to a fatigue and stress, causing high probability of accident. This review of literature deals with the working conditions of an Indian railways’ drivers which is having very high importance on their total wellbeing and hence their productivity and entire growth and safety of an Indian railway. Keywords: Railway driver, working conditions, fatigue and stress

    Public Expenditure Accountability of the Indian Railways

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    The Indian Railways (IR) is one of the chief logistics agents of the Government of India (GOI). Considering the significant GOI funding into IR, public expenditure accountability (PEA) becomes an issue of importance. This paper looks into different aspects of the expenditure and financial management of IR. The paper is divided into three portions. The first portion looks at the railway-government interface. The main areas of focus here include a brief examination of The Indian Railways Act, the financial interface between the GOI and IR (consisting of budgetary support, market sourced financing and dividend payments), evaluating the need for a separate railway budget, political interference in the activities of IR and the interaction of IR with state governments. The second portion of the paper deals with the internal financial management of IR. In this section, there is an effort to evaluate the revenue generation by IR along with suggestions for enhancing its potential. This is followed by a look at the issue of subsidies to IR. Investment decisions of IR and the Special Railway Safety Fund (SRSF) along with the issue of excess manpower and cost reduction are other topics included in this section. The paper ends with a roadmap to corporatisation as a possible solution to the problems IR is faced with. The main areas dealt with are financial issues, pensions, the need for customer focus, the importance of focus on core competencies and a need to revamp IRs administrative structure and attitude.

    Tracking Freight Railcars in Indian Railways: Technology Options and Stakeholder Interests

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    This teaching case discusses the challenges faced by the Indian Railways in contemplating the implementation of a new technology for tracking individual freight railcars (wagons). After exploring multiple ‘technological options’, the Indian Railways decided to undertake a pilot project based on time-tested Automatic Equipment Identification system using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. However, a number of other technological options are now available, which include EPC Gen2 based RFID systems, Global Positioning System (GPS) solutions, Optical Character Recognition based systems, and manual hand-held data collection devices integrated with the current Freight Operations System. Each of these systems has its own advantages and limitations. Although Indian Railways officials are going ahead with the pilot project, they are uncertain as to the appropriate technological choice, given the wide range of available technology options. Further, they are faced with competing interests from different stakeholder groups (departments), who favor different technologies

    ‘Turnaround’ of Indian Railways: Increasing the Axle Loading

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    Axle loading had contributed significantly to the ‘turnaround’ of the Indian Railways (IR) in the two years 2004-06. As the Minister of Railways (MR) stated, “A one ton extra loading per wagon implied additional revenue of Rs 500 crore per annum for IR.” The axle loading initiative was a significant step by IR, though sustainability was a concern. This paper focuses on the key driving events, process issues, impact and implications, and sustainability of the initiative of taking the load per wagon from its carrying capacity (CC) to CC+8. Axle loading for a wagon had traditionally been 20.32 tons, except for the mainline versions of steam locomotives. In the early 1980s, the then Chairman of the Railway Board took initiative of increasing axle loading on an experimental basis which after his tenure, could not be sustained on the grounds of safety. In the late 90s, there were initiatives of regularizing the two ton slack normally permitted for excess loading for certain commodities which were usually on a short haul. The railway minister, during inspections in 2004, noticed significant overloading of many wagons in the iron ore and coal routes. This set him thinking on the axle loading initiative. When one of the Zonal Railways (ZR) proposed an increase of up to ten tons per four axled wagon, various directorates in the Railway Board (RB) gave their views, many of which opposed the initiative. The minister, through the RB, directed a variety of processes to bring about inter-departmental alignment, and the initiative was taken forward in a step by step manner over the two years over a large part of IR. The safety and research institutions of IR also had to be taken along. The initiative is still treated as an ‘experiment,’ with many issues that need resolution and strategizing.

    Strategies for Improving Indian Railways’ Market Share of Port Based Coal Traffic: A Diagnostic Study

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    India is a vast country. After its independence in 1947, it steadily lost its position in international trade. With the beginning of economic liberalization in 1991, it has taken new initiatives in integrating itself with the world economy. Import restrictions have been removed for many commodities. One of the major impacts of liberalization has been on infrastructure: railways, roadways, ports and airports. Significant changes have also taken place in the composition of imported and exported commodities. Due to these changes, new challenges are being faced on the infrastructure front. One of the challenges is to rectify the mismatch of available infrastructure at ports where a modal change of commodities that are either imported or exported takes place. This paper examines such issues with a specific focus on improving infrastructure required for integration of railways and ports. This is achieved by focusing on coal which is a commodity that (i) brings significant revenues to Indian Railways, and (ii) is witnessing increasing imports. In this diagnostic study, we discuss the problems faced by Indian Railways and identify ways to increase its market share of coal movement between ports and the hinterland.
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