First Rail-cum-Road-Vehicle on trial

Lucknow A first of its kind Rail-cum-Road-Vehicle (RCRV) that can run at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour both on railway track and roads is almost ready.
Being developed by a Lucknow-based automotive unit, the test run of the vehicles was performed on Wednesday under the guidance of engineers from Diesel Locomotive Modernisation Works (DMW), Patiala, an unit of the Indian Railway.

The DMW had commissioned Raaj Automotive to develop four such vehicles.

Developed on a truck chassis, the fully air-conditioned vehicle will be used by the Railways as a running laboratory.

“Besides being equipped with instruments to check the vibration of tracks when the train moves on the bridge, the vehicle will be of immense help needed for extension of tracks,” said Alok Aggarwal, proprietor of Raaj Automotive, an authorised vendor of Indian Railways.

The most significant utility of RCRV will be during accidental hazards. “If a technical snag or any other emergency forces a train to get stranded in an isolated spot, through this vehicle, relief can be rushed in minimum time through road and rail route,” said Aggarwal. With its hauling capacity of 600 tons with coach brake and 150 tons without coach brake, the vehicle is capable of pushing or pulling the coach.

Also, the vehicle can be used as a fire tender or ambulance in an emergency. “A 40 litre water tank which can eject water with the same pressure as commercial fire tenders is attached with the vehicle,” said Aggarwal.

The RCRV, which runs on diesel, also houses a generator, inverter, wash basin, revolving chair, intercom system, tube lights, switch board andfans — giving its interior a luxurious look.

The exterior look of the vehicle is truck-like.

“The steel wheels through which it can move on tracks are fitted through a hydraulic system and can be pressed into service through a small button,” said Aggarwal.

Costing around Rs 30 lakh, vehicles would be sent to DMW, Patiala, after the final clearance. “We have suggested some minor technical changes into the design and after they are incorporated, the final clearance will be given,” said Rajinder Singh, senior section engineer, DMW, who was in Lucknow for the inspection.

Sanjeev Garg, secretary, DMW Patiala, said the Railways has given orders for around 30 such vehicles to different vendors across India. “It’s a wonderful device and will be of immense help to the Railways,” he said.