Suburban rly coaches to be made in Trichy

Southern Railway plans to manufacture coaches for suburban trains atitsGolden Rock Workshop in Trichy. A feasibility report to produce Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) and Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMU) at the workshop,one of the three maintenance workshops in the railway zone, will be prepared and sent to the Railway Board for approval.

The move follows a suggestion by Parliamentary committee on railways president TRBaalu,who held a review meeting to assess railway projects in Southern Railway. In a statement T R Baalu said “Southern Railway general manager Rakesh Misra has promised to prepare a report and forward it tothe railway board.”

Golden Rock workshop was founded to carry out periodic overhaul of metre gauge wagons and coaches. It started periodic overhaul of board gauge coaches of express trains after metre gauge was phased out.The work shop became the first choice of the railways when it wanted to identify a workshop to make steam locomotives for Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

“The unit is capable of doing production work if adequate machinery is included because it has well-trained workers,” said a railway officer.

Thereis a shortage of rakes for suburban trains and railways are not able to introduce new suburban services promised for Chennai in the budget. Railway board has also given a contractto private companies to manufacture EMUs using a design prepared at the Integral Coach Factory. However, ICF workers have been opposing the move to hand over designs.

There is pressure on railways to manufacture coaches at maintenance workshops owned by different zones. In Southern Railway, coaches are maintained at Golden Rock at Trichy, Carriage Works and Loco Works at Perambur.

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Ride to Matheran on steam engine powered by diesel

From June, railway enthusiasts will again have a chance to witness a “steam engine” hissing its way up the hills of Matheran. The engine was last seen in Matheran’s hills in November 2011.

It was pulled out of operation after embers from the coal-fired steam engine sparked fire on dry grass along the route. After the forest department and locals objected to the plying of the coal-fired train, the Central Railway (CR) has now found a solution to the problem. “Instead of coal, the newly modified steam locomotive will be fired by diesel,” said CR’s divisonal railway manager, Mumbai, Mukesh Nigam.

The modification of the B-794 steam locomotive is being carried out at Golden Rock Workshop, Tiruchirapalli, in South Eastern Railway at an approximate cost of Rs 20 lakh. “The steam engine has its own charm and there were many requests to run the services through such locomotives,” Nigam added.

Despite the modification, it will have the authentic sounds of the steam whistle. The engine will also get a fresh coat of corrosion-free glossy paint.

The refurbished locomotive is scheduled to arrive in the last week of May. The trial will be carried out for a few days after which the locomotive will be pressed into service in June. The train will be run only as a chartered service. It will be able to pull three coaches. The tariff is yet to be finalized. An official said, “Due to huge demand, we decided to re-introduce the service.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Ride-to-Matheran-on-steam-engine-powered-by-diesel/articleshow/20116120.cms

Golden Rock Workshop takes e-auction route to sell scrap

In a bid to ensure transparency, the Stores Department of the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here has introduced an e-auction system for selling railway scrap materials.

The new system provides a common platform for scrap purchasers all over the country to offer their bids online in a fair and transparent manner.

A valid class III digital signature certificate; payment of online registration fee of Rs.10,000 and payment of 10 per cent of the bid lot; possession of SBI account with online banking facility are among the prerequisites laid down for the buyers for taking part in the bidding process under the e-auction system.

E- auction has been hosted in the e-procurement site http://www.ireps.gov.in and is maintained by the Centre for Railway Information Systems. The new system provides user name and password for the registered purchasers who can log on to the site and make their bidding. It also provides for e-payment gateway for online payment of Earnest Money Deposit.

The new system will ensure better competition and reduce scope for cartelisation, say workshop authorities. It would fetch more revenue for the railways as the competition would be wide open and simplify work for the officials. For the purchasers, the system would ensure transparency as the bidder can view the amount quoted by his competitor. The traditional system of auctioning would continue till such period the new system is well established, authorities said. Auction of scrap materials takes place once or twice every month in the workshop, a senior official said adding that the workshop had been selling scrap materials to the tune of Rs.120.50 crore per annum.

Engine blocks, plate off-cuts, used brake blocks, released cylinder liners, bazaar scrap and over-aged rails and sleepers are the scrap materials sold time to time by the workshop.

The first e-auction conducted on Friday fetched Rs.27.54 lakh for the workshop which is engaged in myriad activities including periodic overhaul of diesel locomotives and manufacture of container wagons and steam engines.

The new system was inaugurated by the Controller of Stores, Southern Railway, B.K.Sinha in the presence of Chief Workshop Manager P.Mahesh and senior officials.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article3441003.ece

Southern Railway to chug along green way

CHENNAI: Travelling by train could soon be a green way with Southern Railway planning to replace polluting diesel with much more environment-friendly and indigenously produced bio-diesel in its diesel locomotives.

As a first step towards making the operation of trains environment-friendly and cost-effective, Southern Railway has signed a MoU with Indian Railways Organisation for Alternate Fuels (IROAF) to set up a mega bio-diesel plant at the Loco Works in Perambur.

The plant, with a capacity of one lakh litres per day, is expected to meet the bio-diesel requirements of Southern Railway, South Central Railway and South Western Railway.

The railways is going ahead with electrification of tracks but several pockets in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are yet to be electrified and hence require diesel locomotives to operate trains. With the cost of diesel high, the railways has cosen bio-diesel as an alternative fuel.

Currently, about 600 kilo litres of diesel are used per day to operate trains on the southern trunk route from Chennai Egmore to Tiruchi, Madurai, Kanyakumari and also to Tuticorin.

“Many popular trains from Chennai Egmore are operated with diesel locomotives. The mega plant will be able to produce bio-diesel to fuel these trains as well as the diesel locomotives used for shunting,” said Southern Railway chief mechanical engineer V Carmelus.

The plant is expected to start production by 2010 and “will be able to meet the requirement of the green fuel for railways in the coming years,” he added.

According to a study conducted by the Golden Rock Workshop in Tiruchi, the green fuel has many advantages it reduces wear and tear of engine components, enhances the life of fuel-injection equipment, cuts the use of lube oil and reduces exhaust gas temperature.

The Loco Works in Perambur already runs a pilot plant and produces around 250 litres of bio diesel, used for a couple of locomotives and also for automobiles used by the factory.

As early as 2002, experimenting with bio-diesel began as part of a mission to find an alternative fuel. After trials, the New-Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express was run successfully on a five per cent blend of bio-diesel.

In 2003, Southern Railway started its experiments with trial production in a five-litre plant by procuring raw oil of Pongammia Pinnata (Karanja) at the Loco Works. Four automobiles were put on bio-diesel; one of them was fully run on bio-diesel while others used a 20 % blend of the green fuel.

In July 2004, a pilot plant of 100 litres was installed. The Loco Works uses cooking oil collected from star hotels as raw material to produce bio diesel. Currently, Southern Railway uses bio-diesel to run a broad gauge locomotive, a Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU), two metre gauge locomotives and industrial machinery like fork lifts, bulldozer, tipper trucks, cranes and others. Nilgriri Mountain Railway is also run using bio diesel.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Chennai/S-Rly-to-chug-along-the-green-way-signs-MoU-to-set-up-1-lakh-litre-per-day-bio-diesel-plant/articleshow/4694254.cms