Indian Railways Current Affairs

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Railways to launch Operation Swarn to revamp Rajdhani, Shatabdi Trains 

Concerned over the complaints received from the public over the premium trains of Indian Railways like Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express, Railways have decided to launch “Operation Swarn (‘gold’)“. The operation is aimed at improving the services in these premium trains. The Railways have decided to launch this operation after it received complaints from passengers regarding the sanitation, food quality and delay in train arrivals etc.

Salient Highlights

Under the operation, in the first phase, Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express and Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express will be upgraded. More trains will be identified for upgradation in a phased manner

Under the initiative, Indian Railways will work towards improving 10 aspects, namely, punctuality, cleanliness, linen, coach interiors, toilets, catering, staff behaviour, security, entertainment, housekeeping and regular feedback.Under the operation, a sum of Rs 50 lakh would be allotted to Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on various routes for the purpose of revamping.

Under the operation, a sum of Rs 50 lakh would be allotted to Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on various routes for the purpose of revamping.

Indian railways will constitute two committees to monitor the revamping work under ‘Operation Swarn’.

Indian railways will constitute two committees to monitor the revamping work under ‘Operation Swarn’.

The upgraded trains will also have improved coach interiors, better furnishing and new comfortable seats.

In future, these premium trains will also be upgraded with services like Wi-Fi, infotainment screens, coffee vending machines etc.

Premium Trains

Among the premium trains in India Rajdhani and Shatabdi are the well known. They are transporting people who were able to afford more fare for a somewhat luxurious travel. But after years of service, these trains have begun to lose their sheen.

In May 2017, first high-speed premium train Tejas Express between Mumbai and Karnali in Goa was launched. The train has a lot of facilities like LCD screen on every seat, improved interiors, coffee vending machines, automatic doors, fire repression system, bio-vacuum toilets, attendant call buttons, reading LED lights and free Wi-Fi connectivity.

The railways have also launched a new series of fully air-conditioned express trains like Humsafar, Mahamana and Gatimaan for overnight travel. The Humsafar Express has features like CCTV cameras, coffee vending machines, fire and smoke detection systems, new interiors with comfortable seats. The Mahamana Express has ladders for climbing to upper berths, snack tables for side berths, windows with powered Venetian blinds and roller blinds, LED lights as berth indicators, LED reading lights, fire extinguishers and electrically operated chimney in the pantry car, among others.


Ministry of Railways launches Mission Retro-Fitment

Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu has launched Mission Retro-Fitment to enhance the passenger experience by upgrading the existing fleet of coaches.

Salient Highlights

Mission Retro-Fitment is an ambitious program of the ministry or railways to upgrade the level of furnishing & amenities in the coaches of Indian Railways.

The refurbished coaches will have better furnishing, aesthetics & amenities and better safety features which are aimed at providing a safe and comfortable travel to the railway passengers.

Under Mission Retro-Fitment, 40,000 coaches will be refurbished and retrofitted in the next five years. The mission aims to induct about 40,000 coaches with upgraded interiors by 2022-23. The mission will be one of the largest retro fitment projects in the world.

The mission will be carried out without affecting the traffic operation. It is estimated that cost of refurbishing per coach to be approximately Rs 30 lakhs.


The refurbished coaches will have the following features:

World Class Ambience: The refurbished coaches will have panels with LED lights, modular toilets with plumbing, Branded fittings, powered Venetian blinds, anti-Graffiti coating etc.

Enhanced Passenger Safety: Fire and smoke detection system, rounded edges for preventing injury, double acting compartment door in AC coaches.

Environment-Friendly features such as Bio-toilets.

Usage of better materials such as polycarbonate ABS, advanced composites, Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic, stainless steel, etc.

Improved Passenger Convenience: Passenger address & Passenger information System, Braille Signage, Ergonomic design etc.



Habibganj Railway Station to become India’s First Private Railway Station

Habibganj railway station in the suburbs of Bhopal will become country’s first railway station to be redeveloped in a public-private partnership (PPP) mode. On June 9, station redevelopment work in the railway station will be launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The idea is to develop Habibganj railway station as a as a world-class transit hub equipped with all amenities.

Salient Highlights

The operation and maintenance of the railway station has been given to Bhopal-based Bansal Group for a period of eight years. The group has managed to win the bid in 2016. Bansal Group plans to completely overhaul the station and develop four commercial land parcels to make Habibganj a commercial hub with shops, offices and hotels, all in a span of three years.

The environment-friendly railway station will be powered by solar energy. The station will have facilities for disabled, in addition, to lifts, escalators and travelators, underpasses. In case of emergency, the station will be redesigned in such a way that the the premises can be evacuated in four minutes and passengers can reach designated points of safety in six minutes.

Bansal Group will be responsible for all the facilities at the station like food stalls, retiring rooms, power, platform maintenance, parking etc. However, the company will not be responsible for core operations such as train and parcel movement, signalling and ticketing.

IRSDC will oversee the Habibganj project. IRSDC is formed by railway unit Ircon International Ltd (IRCON) and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) to undertake station redevelopment projects.


The idea to set up world-class railway stations was mooted by former railways minister Mamata Banerjee in 2009-10. It was only in 2015, the project was revived by the railway minister Suresh prabhu. The Habibganj project is a part of the Indian Railways’ ambitious plan to re-develop 400 A1 and A category railway stations. 

Indian Railways’ ambition to redevelop 400 stations into world-class facilities is completely based upon its idea of land monetization. It aims to modernize and upgrade passenger amenities at stations by raising money through commercial development of railway land. Avenues such as land monetization, catering and parking will be utilized to boost overall revenue.