“Accident relief trains in all divisions by 2017”

Self Propelled Accident Relief Train (SPART) units that can be rapidly deployed at accident sites will be in place at all 59 Indian Railway divisions across the country by 2016-17, Keshav Chandra, Member (Mechanical), Railway Board said on Monday. Addressing newspersons after flagging off the High Speed SPART developed by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) here, Mr. Chandra said already SPART units were available at 26 divisions and the plan was to introduce them in each of the remaining divisions in a time-bound manner.

“These SPART units with advanced medical facilities, surgery theatres and drug storage would be over and above the conventional accident relief trains with eight to ten coaches that have to be fitted with locos to be taken to an accident site,” he said. The HS-SPART that rolled off the ICF is to be stationed in Bilaspur Division under the South East Central Railway. This is the first high-speed version of the SPART series of vehicles (powered by German Voith hydraulic transmission) with a capacity to reach operating speeds up to 120 kph — which is comparable to the Rajdhani — whereas earlier versions clocked only about 105 kph section speeds.

The HS-SPART has a fully equipped medical van flanked by a supervisor van and a tool van with power pack. The medical van consists of a doctor’s room, 12-bed ward, autoclave cubicle, operation theatre and a 12-bed post operative ward. It also has a kitchen to cook basic foods for distribution during relief operations.

Mr. Chandra, who also flagged off the ICF’s first 1600 HP DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) with indigenously developed three-phase AC transmission, said production units would be increasing outturns of these DEMUs to meet the rising requirements of inter-city traffic.

Abhay K. Khanna, ICF General Manager, said the HS-SPART was conceived by the high level committee on disaster management and the Railway Board had mandated the ICF with the delivery of 41 SPART cars, he said.