USBRL KASHMIR RAIL LINK PROJECT 2002-2020 – The Gap in the missing Link Katra – Banihal

With the partition of 1947 India has lost the direct access to the Kashmir Region.

1994, the Railway Minister declared the need for a rail line to Baramulla, well beyond even Srinagar.

This Jammu–Baramulla Railway Line had been planned to connect the Kashmir Valley in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir with Jammu railway station and hence to the rest of India`s rail grid. The 356 km rail route, once fully completed, will start from Jammu and will end at Baramulla in the Kashmir Valley.

The Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) is the biggest project undertaken by the Indian Railways in the Himalayan Region since Independence. In 2002 it had been declared as a national project, funded entirely by the Central Government. The Government also stated that an unbroken rail link is imperative.

In 2005, the 53 km long Jammu-Udhampur section finally opened, 21 years after its beginning. The line, which cuts through the Shivalik Hills, has 20 major tunnels and 158 bridges. Its longest tunnel is 2.5 km in length and its highest bridge is 77 m (253 ft).

The isolated 119 km Kashmir Valley Railway became completely operational in October 2009. It connects Baramulla in the western part of the Valley via Srinagar to Qazigund at the other end.

In June 2013, the rail service commenced through the longest Indian Railway Tunnel of that time, the Pir Panjal Summit Tunnel at 1670 m above sea level between Banihal and Quazigund. The 8.4 m wide tunnel is also of military strategic importance, since it can be used as military road for army vehicles when needed in a military conflict.

In July 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the much-awaited 25 km Udhampur Katra train service, that will benefit millions of devotees, who visit the Vaishno Devi Shrine every year. The devotees will directly be able to travel to Katra in 8 hours by a luxury semi-high speed train to reach the base camp of the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine.

Katra-Banihal is the only missing link between Jammu and Baramulla, which passes through the Reasi District, the most challenging stretch of geologically unstable and unpredictable terrain with poor infrastructure and access besides the harshest and steepest Himalayan faces.

On this challenging route, two deep river gorges have to be crossed in an earthquake prone zone:

  • With the Anji Khat Bridge at a height of 189 m above the river and with an arch span of 265 m
  • and with the Chenab River Bridge at a height of 359 m above the river and with an arch span of 467 m and with an overall length of 1.3 km.

The present alignment of the route from Udhampur via Katra to Quazigund goes back to a survey of Mr. J.S. Mundrey and his company “Consultants Combine Private Limited” in the years between 1994 and 1996; see J.S. Mundery (Rail Consult India) et Navin Chandra: “A TOUGH ROUTE CHOICE PROVEN RIGHT”, RAIL BUSINESS Vol. 10, January 2019. RITES had proposed a shorter direct route from Udhampur to Banihal, however with steeper ruling gradients of 1 in 40 and tight curvatures up to 6 Degree. J.S. Mundrey, who had personal experience in building the scenic mountainous Visakhapatnam  – Koraput Line, opted for a more easy to operate railroad via Katra with curvatures not tighter than 2.75 Degree and ruling gradients not steeper than 1 in 100.

111 km of the Katra – Banihal rail track will have to pass 27 tunnels of a summarised length of 97 km, the longest becoming the Sumber Tunnel T-49 with 12.75 km, longer than the 11.21 km long Pir Panjal summit tunnel between Banihal and Quazigund.

Once it had been envisaged to open the Katra- Banihal section in August 2007. The difficulties and imponderability’s to carve a railroad through this hostile terrain under Indian specific conditions had been underestimated and own strength overestimated.

Between Dream and Reality there had and there is still a big gap. There is also the almost insurmountable gap 359 m above the Chenab River between the two bridge steel arch elements, which are since November 2017 in limbo. There had been also a hurdle about the Anji Khat Bridge. It had been decided recently to bridge the gorge by a cable stayed suspension bridge, the first kind of this in India.

The worksite of the Chenab River Bridge is in a remote area with only poor road access, without infrastructure, electricity and water, and in a seismological fragile zone. Since no longer steel elements than 12 m can be transported over the poor supply roads – the rail link to Katra is not ready since there is still no bridge over the Anji Khat gorge – , the steel girder, box and desk bridge elements have to be engineered at site in 4 workshops.

Legal cases, strikes and financial disputes between the main contractor Konkan Railway Corporation (KRCL) and the bridge engineering formed CBPU with AFCONS, and now the COVID-19 crisis, have prevented, that this steel arch bridge, to be screwed together with high tension bolts out of shorter elements free pending over the gorge, could be assembled in a continuous and uninterrupted workflow. The Stop-And-Go procedure is deadly for such engineering.

The longer chosen alignment route for less steeper ruling gradients via Katra and through the Reasi District has now to be threaded through this Chenab River Bridge needle eye.

The Chenab River Bridge should become a marvel and landmark in India comparable with the Gustave Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Not only there is a height relation, there is also a structural steel design and engineering relation with Gustave Eiffel of the 19th century, who engineered in 1882 – 1886 the steel arch Garabit Railway Bridge in the Massif Central of France, an earthquake prone zone. This bridge has become the grandmother of many steel arch deck bridges around the globe.

As Mr. J.S. Mundrey reports in his book BULLOK CART TO BULLET TRAIN, Chapter 27, Mr. Birdsall of the well known Bridge Design Consultants “Steinman Boynton Gronquist & Birdsall” suggested for the Chenab River gorge a fixed Steel Arch Bridge; similar to the 1977 constructed New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia, Appalachian Mountains, USA, latter with a Central Arch Span of 518 m, which also goes back to the structural steel elements of the Gustave Eiffel 1884 Garabit Railway Bridge in France. The German Bridge Engineering Consultant LEONHARDT, ANDRÄ and PARTNER had prepared the structural engineering design for the Chenab River Bridge.

The whole ambitious project of national importance, to link Kashmir by Rail to the Indian continent over the longer Katra-Reasi route, will stand or fall with the successful closure of the Chenab River Gorge Bridge Gap.

Further valuable technical information the reader will find in the excellent publication series: HIM PRABHAT, USBRL Technical News Magazine, Issues V-XII, of Northern Railway Construction Organization, CAO-USBRL. Several images, if not other mentioned, are taken from HIM PRABHAT Issues.

The publications testify to the enormous personal efforts of everyone involved.

To learn more, download the PDF file: USBRL KASHMIR RAIL LINK PROJECT 2002-2020


An Overview in Pictures on advisable Rolling Stocks for Light Rail and Regional Rapid Transit – the Future of Mobility in India with Urban Rail

By Dr. F.A. Wingler, April 2020

 Urban Rail” is a technical collective term encompassing Metro Rail, Commuter Rail, Light Metro and Light Rail Transit (“Metro-Lite”).

The paper gives an overview in pictures on advisable Rolling Stocks for Light Rail and Regional Rapid Transit for the Future of Mobility in India.

With a massive drive, India is on the way to provide MOBILITY as a SERVICE, MaaS, and to mitigate its often chaotic Urban Transport Environments. Investing in METRO-RAIL alone – although deployed in India in a large scale – does not solve the transport and traffic problems in congested areas.

India is proceeding to integrate Metro-Rail, Commuter Rail and Governmental Indian Railways within multimodal urban, suburban, interurban and regional public transport schemes by Hubs with LIGHT-METRO, LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT, METRO-LITE and REGIONAL RAPID (Semi-High Speed) TRANSITS, RRTS.

Other affiliated transport modes to be connected and integrated are Rubber Tyred Bus Rapid Transit, BRT or METRO-NEO, WATER-METRO and Aerial METRO ROPEWAY.


 With Light Rail Transit/Metro-Lite there is in India the aspect of INTEROPERABILITY of Light Rail Transit/Metro-Lite with Metro Rail sharing track, lines and infrastructure as TRAM-METRO-TRAIN within a comprehensive Urban Rail Concept.

Light Rail Transit/Metro-Lite, Metro-on-Tyre/Metro-Neo are not only more cost efficient than Metro Rail, those urban, suburban, interurban and regional public transport technologies cover wider areas and are easier to be interlinked with on-demand PARA TRANSIT MODES.

 Rolling stocks for Regional Rapid Transits differentiate in principle from conventional High Speed Train rolling stocks in designs of doors for rapid embarkation and disembarkation and in designs of interior.

 There will be a POST CORONA AERA/PERIODE OF TIME – “POST COVIC-19 LIFE”with a paradigm shift to other more cost efficient transport modes serving wider urban and suburban areas, other than capital investment intensive Metro Rail, latter serving only certain corridors.


Urban, suburban, interurban and regional public TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES improving the Economy and the Living Standards of the Population in India – Improving Public Transport in India; by Dr. F.A. Wingler, January 2020

Dr. E. Sreedharan: “It is a social Need to improve Urban Mobility”.

 Traffic congestion has increased dramatically in India. Congestion and the associated slow Urban Mobility can have a huge adverse impact on both the quality of life and the economy. It is indisputable that cities are the engines of economic growth. To realise the full potential of its economy and demography, India must not only look to increase its rate of urbanisation but also enhance the quality of life in existing cities. Today, Indian cities are characterised by increasing levels of congestion, pollution, road fatalities and inequity in access.

It is national policy/strategy/planning to ease the often chaotic traffic in Indian Cities by deploying modern world class standard modes of urban, suburban, interurban and regional public transport. Aim is to improve the Economy and the Living Standards of the People/Population by developing Urban Transport Infrastructure for MOBILITY as a SERVICE (MaaS) boosting socio-economic development for building a strong and prosperous Indian Nation. The government looks to make sustainable urban transport a priority.

In a move to recognise and act upon urban mobility issues, in 2006 the Federal Government of India introduced the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP), setting the policy framework for providing sustainable mobility for the future. In 2015 the Indian Government unveiled its new plan to upgrade 100 cities into ‘smart cities’ and to ‘renew’ 500 cities. Managing the Urbanization Process is likely to be the single biggest challenge, that will confront Policymakers in India over the next decade.

The fast paced implementation of METRO RAIL in several mega cities has become a main constituent within the governmental transport and traffic policy for urban development.

The rapid success with Metro Rail is owed to the fact, that India has imported the technology from abroad.   

Delhi Metro is a Pioneer in METRO RAIL EXPANSION and a Symbol of the Progress, that India has made in the last decade. The leading eminent personality behind this success story is Mr. E. Sreedharan.

With METRO RAIL, the INDIAN URBAN MOBILITY PROBLEMS AND CONSTRAINTS have not yet been solved. The deployment of METRO RAIL is only one step. Other Mobility Measurements with technologies other than Metro Rail have to follow for Transport orientated Developments (TOD). This is nowadays well understood amongst Indian transport experts.

METRO RAIL is investment cost intensive and serves mostly only certain corridors. To make METRO RAIL viable operating economically, it needs affiliated supplements, complements and accessories. FEEDER SYSTEMS and multimodal CONNECTIVTY HUBS link METRO RAIL with the other modes of transport: Railway, Commuter Rail, Light Rail Transits, Bus Rapid Transit, Water Metro, Ropeway and On-Demand Para-Transits, that cover wider areas. “METROLITE”, “METRO ON TYRES”, “METRO NEO”, “WATER METRO”, aerial “ROPEWAY(“URBAN MOBILITY BY CABLE”), “AUTOMATED PEOPLE MOVER, APM” with “PODCARS”, “PERSONAL RAPID TRANSIT, PRT” with “METRINO”/”SKYTRAN” and “FEEDER/SHUTTLE SERVICES” are the new envisaged affiliated and more cost effective modes and solutions for smaller towns, emerging suburbs  and for planed new townships, commuter towns, subdivisions, emerging smart communities, special economic zones (SEZ), techno parks and business centres.

In Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai Commuter Rail with local trains play a significant role for Urban Mobility. Commuter Rail has a far higher transport capacity and runs faster than Metro Rail. Bangalore plans to increase the Commuter Rail Network by 148 km with 57 Stations.

The problems in providing affordable transport for the mass of low income population (Public Transport for All) and with the Freight and Goods Transport in Urban Environment are still unsolved.

Intermediate Para-Transit Services (IPT) are cheap and flexible and not fixed to certain routes. IPT is mostly the backbone of public transport in cities with low income population around the world. Intermediate Para-Transit Services have to be incorporated into the strategic planning for Indian cities.

To read more about feasible transport technologies boosting the socio-economic development,


MATHERAN TRANSPORT, PART V; Challenge to make Matheran Transport Monsoon proof; preventive Measurements to secure Road and Railtrack from Destructions caused by heavy Monsoon Rainfall

On August 19th 2019 heavy Monsoon Rainfall with over 400 mm has severely damaged the 2 feet Narrow Gauge Railtrack at 21 spots. The patch repair works since 2005/06 proved again to be not stable against the impact of heavy monsoon.

Now again about 20 Crore INR are asked to bring the vulnerable track into operation.

It is the Challenge to make Matheran Transport Monsoon proof! Preventive Measurements to secure Road and Railtrack from Destructions caused by the impact of heavy Monsoon Rainfall are:

  • A comprehensive Surface Water Management with a dens Network of Catch/Berm/Interception Drains above the Routes,
  • Preventive Removal of loose Rocks and Gravel endangering the Routes,
  • Rock- and Slope-Stabilisation with Rock Bolt-Anchors,
  • Well anchored Retaining Walls,
  • Solid Protection Galleries,
  • Use of Hill/Slope-Side Bridges at vulnerable Spots and Corners.

In order to secure the long term existence of the scenic and heritage Neral-Matheran Railway, massive investments would have to be made to upgrade the tracks in order to make the route resistant to the rigors of Mother Nature in the rainy seasons. Technically, it is possible to upgrade the rail track so that it can withstand the influence of heavy rain falls in the long run. If the required investment does not happen and the current patch repairs remain the rule, the toy train has no future.

The plan with battery operated cart and rickshaw transport will not work economically. The energy to lift the heavy loads up from the height of Aman Lodge up to Matheran Market has to be stored in the batteries. After one run they will be empty and need to be charged, which will take longer than one run.  The present manual coolie practice will remain cheaper and more economical. It gives also income to local people. However their work should be made easier by flattening the steep gradient at the hairpin curvature between Aman Lodge and Way Side Inn.

To boost tourism, the Maharashtra State Government has approved the development project with clay paver blocks for covering the unpaved roads and pathways. When giving Matheran a “MAKEOVER” by laying clay paver blocks on the cart roads one has to consider, that the terrain near Beatrice Cliff is not stable. The section, which went adrift and slit down during the 2005 monsoon rainfall, the so-called 2005 Maharashtra 9 floods, is still yielding and flowing.

To prevent further hill slip, the whole area has to by catch-drained to prevent the water soaking into the ground and causing further earth slips. This has to be well understood.

The next monsoon is already on the way to come.

To read more: Download MATHERAN TRANSPORT, PART Vc 


Matheran, a hillstation in India, Maharashtra, is the only location in India, where no tar roads and no motorized vehicles are allowed. The only road access from Neral with a height of 39.31 m above sea level ends at a height of 758 m 2 km outside the town Matheran at DASTURI. All goods and delivery products have to be transhipped from arriving lorries and good carriers on coolie load carriers, hand pulled carts or pack horses and carried over an unfortified, dilapidated stony cart road, which turns in rainy season into a slurry or mud way to Matheran Market at a height of 804 m above sea level. The supply route Dasturi-Matheran is the life artery of Matheran. Visitors walk on the last miles, ride on a horse, use a hand pulled rickshaw or travel on a 2 ft Narrow Gauge Baby Shuttle-Train. The Shuttle train operates with two Diesel Locos in push-pull-mode and produce a lot of smoky combustion emission. This rail service is highly vulnerable by heavy monsoon.

Amritsar in Punjab is planning to install between the railway station and the Golden Temple a shuttle service for visitors with an ecological friendly automated Pod-Car People Mover (APM). The author proposes for the last miles connectivity at Matheran a similar eco-friendly and monsoon proof electric operated Pod Car shuttle service for passengers as well for delivery goods/freight. To read more, download :

From the 1832 Horse pulled Tramway to 21th Century Light Rail Transit/Light Metro Rail – a short History of the Evolution in Pictures

Light Rail Transit (LRT) or Light Metro Rail (LMR) Systems operates with Light Rail Vehicles (LRV). Those Light Rail Vehicles run in urban region on Streets on reserved or unreserved rail tracks as City Trams, elevated as Right-of-Way Trams or Underground as Metros, and they can run also suburban and interurban on dedicated or reserved rail tracks or on main railway lines as Commuter Rail. The invest costs for LRT/LMR are less than for Metro Rail, the diversity is higher and the adjustment to local conditions and environment is less complicated.

Whereas Metro Rail serves only certain corridors, LRT/LRM can be installed with dense and branched networks to serve wider areas.

In India the new buzzword for LRT/LMR is “METROLIGHT” or “METROLITE”.

The Indian Central Government proposes to run light urban metro rail ‘Metrolight’ or Metrolite” in smaller towns of various states. These transits will operate in places, where the density of people is not so high and a lower ridership is expected. The Light Rail Vehicles will have three coaches, and the speed will be not much more than 25 kmph. The Metrolight will run along the ground as well as above on elevated structures. Metrolight will also work as a metro feeder system. Its cost is less compared to the metro rail installations. In addition to less capital cost, the operation and maintenance cost of Metrolight would also be less making the system more viable.

Seeing the success of metro rail in India, several other cities with a lower projection of ridership are also aspiring for a rail-based mass rapid transit system, which could be fulfilled by the light urban rail transit called ‘Metrolight’ or “Metrolite” with lower capacity at much less cost.

To implement the ‘Metrolite’ system in smaller cities, the Central Indian Government will provide financial assistance to the states.

To learn more, download the PDF file


The transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century marked the birth of mono-rail guided transport technology in India and Germany.

The Kundala Valley Railway in India, a road borne railway system, was built in 1902 and operated between Munnar and Top Station in the Kannan Devan Hills of Kerala. It operated with mono-rail guided bullock-cart vehicles rolling on one side with steel wheels on a mono-rail and balanced on the other side by a larger cart-wheel on a cart road, built to transport tea and other goods. This mono-rail was based on the Ewing System.

The second Ewing System in India had been the Patiala State Monorail Tramway (PSMT):

It had been hauled by a steam engine, and it was running from 1907 to 1927 in south-east Punjab. A steam locomotive and a coach of PSMT have been restored and are exhibited in the Indian National Rail Museum, New Delhi, in running condition.

1901 had been the opening year of the Wuppertal suspended Mono-Rail for public urban transport in Germany. Since that time it rolls now over 100 years with electric powered two-flange steel wheels on an elevated right-of-way steel mono-rail supported by a girder construction, floating over roads and river.

In the 21st century, centre Mono-Rail guided People Movers have entered global level as Road Buses and Automated People Movers (APM), latter running with inflated rubber tires on right-of-way roll-ways. They might also come to India as innovative automated people movers in the smart cities and technology parks meeting the demands of Mobility as a Service (MaaS).
To learn more, download:


The author worked as a technical advisor for the Indian handbook project by the authors M.M. Agarwal, S. Chandra and K. Migliani METRO RAIL FOR URBAN MOBILITY IN INDIA (2020)., first edition, 2020,  Prabha & Co. Delhi 110092, India, ISBN: 81-906656-6-14.

To gain for this book project an overview on the World of Transport Technologies and as well on international and Indian Activities, Initiatives, Developments and Trends for URBAN MOBILITY AS A SERVICE (MaaS), in December 2019, the author launched a collection of current publications, summarized in individual METRO NEWS LETTERS. The individual METRO NEWSLETTERS have been gathered in PDF portfolios, which are free for download.

Urban, suburban and interurban public transport in megapolis area has many technical facets.

The portfolios feature global and Indian activities and initiatives as well as recent developments and technological trends for URBAN MOBILITY AS A SERVICE, including Metro Rail, Metro Monorail on Concrete Straddle Beam (ALWEG), light Monorail on Steel-Beam Guideways (INTAMIN), Commuter Rail, Regional Rapid Transit, Light Rail Vehicle and Transit, Light Metro Rail, combined Tram-Train, connection of Metro Rail with Railway, Metro Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, Metro Ropeway/Train, Suspended People Movers (SAFEGE), Rubber Tired People Movers on Guide/Roll Ways, linear Induction Motor propelled Light Metro, last Mile autonomous People Mover, automated on-Demand PodCar People Mover, low speed Maglev and Rope pulled Hovercraft People Mover, Water Metro and environment friendly Propulsion Technologies with Overhead Electricity Feeding,  Batteries, Hydrogen Fuel Cells (HydRail) and Natural Gas.

The portfolios cover publications on Connectivity – the Integration of different public transport modes into seamless urban, suburban and interurban public Transport Concepts -, on multimodal Hubs, autonomous and guided Technology, on the use of Digitalization, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and of Artificial Intelligence (AI), on modern Information Systems as well on seamless Ticket and Payment start-to-end Concepts and Technologies.

Urban Mobility spurs economic development and expansion. Urban Mobility as a Service, MaaS, is leading to a rapid change in the economy and quality of life in modern megapolis environment and is shaping Mobility in smart cities, in India and around the globe.

Samples for successful INTEGRATED MULTIMODAL URBAN MOBILITY SOLUTIONS FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT, IT, are the integrated and multimodal public urban, suburban and interurban transport solutions in Istanbul (Turkey), Helsinki (Finland), Berlin (Germany), Stockholm (Sweden), Mexico (Mexico), Madrid (Spain), Toronto (Canada) and Portland (USA).

METRO RAIL IN INDIA, meeting the demand for Urban Mobility, is a success story for its fast paced legislation, planning, financing, construction and operation; and in the last 14 years has significantly improved URBAN MOBILITY and changed the public transportin several Indian cities.

The Kolkata Metro was for 18 years the only Underground Metro Rail in India, opening for commercial services from 1984.

Only after 18 years, Delhi was the second city to get Metro Rail. The construction started in 1998, and the first elevated section (Shahdara – Tis Hazari) on the Red Line opened on 24th December 2002, while the first underground section (Vishwa Vidyalaya – Kashmere Gate) of Yellow Line opened on 20th December 2004. Within only 15 years the network expanded to 343 km serving 250 stations. The system has a mix of underground, at-grade, and elevated stations using both broad-gauge and standard-gauge. Delhi Metro operates with 8 lines over 2,700 trips daily, starting at around 05:00 and ending at 23:30 hrs.

Delhi Metro is a Pioneer in METRO RAIL EXPANSION and a Symbol of the Progress, that India has made in the last decade.

Metro Rail and Metro Monorail run currently in 11 Indian megacities, and are proposed, approved, under planning or under construction in 22 more cities. As of March 2019, India has 639 km of operational metro lines and 496 stations. A further 500 km of lines are under construction.

For the construction of underground sections latest state-of-the-art tunnel boring machines are used, which significantly accelerates the construction.

Mumbai operates 19 km of elevated Straddle Beam Mono Rail. Kochi has a Water Metro, and for Shimla, Darjeeling, Dharamsalam, Tsomgo Lake in Tsomgo, East Sikkim and Varanasi Gondola Aerial Ropeway Metro is envisaged. In 12 tourist places shorter scenic Ropeways are already in operation. Further Ropeway locations for local public transport under evaluation include Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, Maharashtra; Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu; Langolceiraoching-Marjing Ching, and Sendra to Thanga, Chaoba Ching, Loktak in Manipur; Bermpark-Bhawani Island in Andhra Pradesh; Vasco da Gama to Dona Paula in Goa; and in Kochi. For Urban Mobility in Chandigarh, an area with less town-dweller than in the Indian mega cities, a light Monorail of Swiss INTAMIN Technology, running on a right-of-way Steel Beam Guide-Way, is in discussion. For smaller Cities in India with less ridership-demand “METROLIGHT” or “METROLITE” as a cheaper solution than Metro Rail is in discussion. Amritsar is thinking to install an autonomous on-Demand PodCar People Mover between Railway Station and the Golden Temple.

Bus Rapid Transits (BRT) have gained popularity worldwide as a cost-effective alternative to far more expensive urban rail investments. High-quality bus-based systems also better serve the low-density settlement patterns of many suburban markets and small-to-medium size cities due to the inherent flexibility advantages of rubber-tyre systems – the same vehicle that provides speedy line-haul services on a dedicated bus-lane or reserved bus-way can morph into a feeder vehicle, collecting and distributing customers on local streets. Electric Hybrid Buses with mixed electric catenary feeding and Hydrogen Fuel Cells electricity generation combined with short time super-capacitor storage technology will become the Next Generation Urban Transport People Movers.

LIGHT RAIL TRANSITS (LRT) with LIGHT RAIL VEHICLES (LRV) are worldwide on the agenda technologies for urban and suburban public transport. LRT is a relatively affordable way to bring rail transit to many cities around the globe – also in India – filling the niche between Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit

The Future of URBAN MOBILITY as a SERVICE (MaaS)  has already started in India with integrated and multimodal Transport (IT) Technologies linked through multimodal Hubs and shaped by Digitalization, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (IT), Big Data and  Building Information Modelling (BIM).


To learn more, download the series of PDF files.

METRO – 10 


With the 26 km Matara-Beliatta Railway Extension, Sri Lanka got the first time a modern world-class standard and high quality rail-track and a high capacity railway-station infrastructure.

In January 2019 the work on the Infrastructure had been still going on. However, the rail-track had been ready for one public maiden and test-run with the China build S 12 DEMU.

The technical and design features of the Matara-Beliatta Line should be used as shining teaching sample for reengineering, modernizing and refurbishing the other ailing, unsound and unhealthy rail-tracks and as well the other poor quality railway-station infrastructures within the Railway Enhancement and Colombo Suburban Railway Projects as a service to the socio-economical development of the country.

For the approx. one billion US Dollar investments in the less populated south area with less public transport demand, there is no chance of a return for the massive capital investment.



By Dr. F.A. Wingler, February 2019

The Challenge in Introducing Speeds of 160 kmph for Passenger Trains on IR is to meet the Demands for Initial and Inherent Quality of Track, to develop advanced Policy and Strategy in Infrastructure Management and modern best Practices of Permanent Work Procedures and mechanised Track-Maintenances. Policy and Strategy should be governed by Overall Life Cycle Costs Considerations. 160 kmph tracks have to be kept sound and healthy with high Track Quality Index (TGI) Values. Indian Railways should take lessons from recent Semi-High Speed (SHS) and High-Speed (HS) Train Crashes occurred in other Countries.

Prerequisites for 160 kmph are:

  • Well bearing and drained formation.
  • Long rolled rails of high steel-alloy quality.
  • High performance turnouts with condition monitoring sensors.
  • High standard robotic rail flash-but welding or digital controlled AT welding under supervision of well trained and skilled gangs.
  • Under sleeper pads for concrete sleepers and a fit-and-forget replacement rail-fastening system for the current Mark III ERC fastening.
  • Well planned, condition based and predictive modern mechanised maintenance practises and procedures executed with appropriated tools and heavy duty & high performance on-track machinery.
  • Regular preventive and target rail-grinding.
  • Deployment of automatic train protection/control.

The following Paper had been submitted to the  to the International Technical Seminar of I.P.W.E. (India), held on 22nd and 23rd Feb. 2019 at Hyderabad, with the topic: “Challenges in Introducing Speeds of 160 kmph for Passenger Trains on IR”.