ECR has been lifeline for the people in its expanse and played a pivotal role in rapid development of the area. The development of infrastructure has been the major thrust area to bring about a rapid growth rate in the region and prosperity to the people. To list a few example shall be good and fast connectivity with all parts of the country through introduction of trains, construction of new lines, doubling, gauge conversion, construction of new bridges, construction of road-over bridges, new workshop projects etc. Other than this qualitative and perceptible improvement in safety, cleanliness, catering, passenger amenities have been achieved to a large extent.
ECR is unique in the sense that both Goods loading and Passenger traffic assume great importance in view of the huge coal loading in the coal bearing of Dhanbad division of Jharkhand state and densely populated area of Bihar. The rapid growth in both the sectors has necessitated strengthening of infrastructure of Railways.
ECR is marching along steadily in terms of total earning and very soon achieve more than Rs 10,000 crores in gross earnings. With the objective of providing safe and efficient passenger and freight transportation solutions to the people, East Central Railway plays a pivotal role in fulfilling the transportation needs of its customers. With the increase of 3.30%, this Railway has carried 2781.49 lakh passengers in the financial year 2012-13, registering a growth of 88.7 lakh originating passengers over the corresponding period of the previous year. This was possible by running regular express trains and passenger trains per day, besides special trains etc.
Freight Loading and Earning
The essence of rail operations on Indian Railways happens to be the freight traffic generated and it is a remarkable achievement that East Central Railway has in every way remained amongst the top most performers in this aspect. ECR is certain to become a member of 100MT club on Indian Railways in freight Traffic.
There is a significant increase in goods earning due to longer lead of loading. In the financial year 2011-12, goods earning was 6352.13 crores, which has been increased by 30.25% to 8273.71 crores in financial year 2012-13. By dint of robust earnings performance, it is expected that East Central Railway would be able to contain the Operating Ratio to 96.1% for the year 2012-13 (April to September) despite excess expenditure incurred on fuel and operational cost
A tremendous jumbo in loading of POL, RMSP, Food Grains and Cement was registered in the financial year 2012-13 with respect to financial year 2011-12, which was to the tune of 8.17%, 40.52%, 76.16% and 10.32% respectively.
On ECR, the infrastructure works are being done on massive scale in all the fields like new lines construction, guage conversion works, Doubling of tracks, mega bridges, new loco factories, rail wheel factory, super-speciality hospital etc.
Construction wing of East Central Railway has made all out efforts in improving the Railway infrastructure keeping ,view thefuture needs.
There are 22 new lines works of with track length of about 2000 km in different parts of ECR are in different stages of construction. Systematic planned guage conversion of metre guage to broad guage is being carried on particularly on Nepal border in north Bihar sanctioned by Ministry of Railway and Ministry of Defence.This includes the guage conversion of 69 km from Jaynagar to Bardibas which is in Nepal. There are 4 major guage conversion works covering about 686 kms of track length. Further, there are 12 works of Doubling of track covering a length of 283 kms.
Mega Bridges: Life Line of Bihar
River Ganges bisects State of Bihar into Northern and Southern parts. Similarly the ‘Mithilanchal area of North Bihar gets further divided into Eastern and Western parts by River Kosi. On the entire length of river Ganga falling in the State of Bihar, there are three bridges one at Naugachhia, one at Mokama and the third being ‘Mahatma Gandhi Setu’ at Patna. ‘Rajendrapul’ at Mokama is a Rail-cum-Road Bridge. The inadequate number of bridges has become one of the reasons for hindering the development of the most populous state of India. Not only with the construction of bridges on these rivers unification Bihar will be completed but also it will lead to social, economical and industrial development of the area.
Rail cum Road Bridge, Patna
At present there is no rail link to connect North and South Bihar near Patna. The nearest Rail link across river Ganga is available at Mokama (Rajendra Bridge), which is 93 km away from Patna. This rail link is already saturated and has become a major bottleneck for increasing the number of trains between North and South Bihar. North Bihar and Nepal has now become the important trade centre for consumable goods. Construction of Rail-cum-Road Bridge will remove the bottle-neck and both parts of Bihar will be connected by more no. of trains. Trade centers of North Bihar will also be connected with the rest part of Bihar.
The work of Ganga Rail Bridge at Patna was included in 1997-98 budget at a cost of Rs.600 crores and revised anticipated cost is Rs.2921 crore.at In which Rs. 1240 crore (43.4%) share with State Government and Rs. 1681 crore (56.6%)share with Railway.
Rail-cum-Road Bridge, Munger
No road bridge across River Ganges is available between Mokama and Bhagalpur for a distance of about 206 Kms. The only rail link available across river Ganga in Bihar is Rajendra Bridge at Mokama. Similar is the situation for Road Bridge also. Rail-cum-Road Bridge at Munger has a revised cost of Rs. 2663 crore, in which Rs. 1116 crore share with State Government and Rs. 1247 crore share with Railway. Road of the bridge is connecting NH 31 of North Bihar to NH 80 of South Bihar. Rail link of the bridge is connecting Jamalpur station of Sahebganj loop (Maldah Division) of Eastern Railway to Sahebpurkamal station (Barauni-Katihar section) of East Central Railway. The bridge is 3190 m long with 27 spans.
In the year 1887, a meter gauge rail link between Nirmali and Bhaptiahi (Saraigarh) was provided by the Bengal North West Railway. Due to severe Ino-Nepal earthquake in 1934 this rail link washed away in heavy flood owing to meandering nature of river Kosi, no attempt was made to restore this link for a long period.
The Kosi Rail Bridge project included in the budget in the year 2003-04 at an estimated cost of Rs. 323 Crore. After the construction of Kosi Rail Bridge, the distance between Nirmali and Saraigarh will get reduced to 20.5 KM from present 299 KM. It will provide an alternative BG route of length 610 km between Gorakhpur and Katihar against the existing route of 505 KM via Chapra and Barauni, which at present is a highly saturated corridor.
This project gained exceptional significance as the East West Corridor from Muzaffarpur to Purnia (NH 57) of NHAI shares the same location for crossing River. The bridge is 1780m long with 39 spans.
New Sone Railway Bridge
The existing Railway Bridge across River Sone (3.06 km long) is situated on heavily dense route of Grand Chord line of Howrah-New Delhi route. This bridge was constructed during the year 1898. Due to introduction of clause of MBG-1987 loading, the existing bridge became the major constraint and necessitated the construction of new alternate bridge.
Besides above, the density of the traffic on this route has gone up considerably with the next third line between Dehri-On-Sone and Mughalsarai came into effect. Even after construction of 3rd line between Dehri-On-Sone & Mughalsarai, fully capacity of line could not have been utilized due to the constraint of the above bridge.
New Factories and Workshops
Greenfield Electric Locomotive Factory,Madhepura
GELF, Madhepura is poised to be set up under PPP (Public-Private Partnership) arrangement with the estimated cost of 1293 Crore. It shall be a Joint Venture between Ministry of Railways with equity share of 26% and a leading international Electric Locomotive manufacturer, who will also bring in state-of-the-art technology. The Electric locomotive availability and Energy Efficiency standards will also be comparable to world’s standard. This GELF, Madhepura is expected to turn out 800 number of 12000HP ,8 Axle, Bo-Bo Electric Locomotive , based on IGBT technology , in span of 10 years to cater the need for hauling Goods traffic on dedicated Freight Corridor, rail link exclusively for goods trains
Rail Wheel Plant, Bela
With the rapid strides that the Indian Economy was taking, freight transportation started leapfrogging. Indian Railways envisaged a 51.5% increase in freight transportation by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan, over the 10th five year plan. The logical corollary of the above was an increase in the requirement of wheel sets for the freight stock. Since RWF, Yelahanka was not in position to fully bridge the gap between demand and supply, Indian Railways decided to set up its second Rail Wheel Plant at Bela, in Saran District of Bihar.
The work was sanctioned at a total cost of Rs 1417.2Cr in the year 2006-07 for a Rail Wheel Plant having an installed capacity of one Lakh Freight Wheels per annum.
The Plant has an engineering marvel in itself. It has been constructed on an area of 168 acres.
Rail Wheel Plant will manufacture cast steel wheels by scraps (mainly condemned wheel-sets, axles, rails, light melting scrap etc. rejected as unfit for use by the various units of Railway).
The unique feature of the Plant will be management through extensive use of business application of Information Technology. All activities including, Manufacturing, Quality control, Asset management, HR, Finance, Payroll, Inventory management, Employee Self Service, portal based access etc. will be directly supported over IT backbone facilitated by different ERP modules through in house level-III Data-centre. IP telephony and Integrated Video surveillance system is also being implemented first time in a production unit of Indian Railway.
Carriage Repair Workshop, Harnaut
The newly constructed carriage repair shop of East Central Railway set up at Harnaut at a revised cost of Rs. 328.3 crore with a POH capacity of 50 coaches per month was taken over by East Central Railway in June, 2012 from its executing agency, i.e. Workshop Project Organization, Patna. Four coaches have been overhauled and given for commercial service. Manpower and material procurement are being organized to step up the output.
Super- Specialty Central Hospital,Patna
A five-storied building at a prime location at Patna houses the new Super-specialty hospital fitted with state of art technology equipments. It shall go a long way in providing specialized treatment to railway employees, their dependents and common people who were going to bigger cities for specialized treatment.
It has progressed at a good pace with necessary medical facilities already provided. Recently Children ward, Intensive Care Unit with world-class equipments have been started. Very soon modular OT and Cath Lab (for heart related ailments) are planned to be commissioned with the latter on PPP mode.
Cataract surgery with phacomulsification hasrecently started at Central Hospital, Patna also. East Central Railway is the only new zone in Indian Railways to have this facility.
It has been quite an eventful innings so far and East Central Railway is looking towards future with confidence and hope. This vast public utility organization has the unenviable task of fulfilling the aspirations of various sections of the society, besides meeting its obligations as a commercial organization. Recognizing the need to fine tune its strategies and achieve maximum customer satisfaction through reliable and quality service, East Central Railway will usher in a new era of growth and connectivity.