Infrastructure at rail workshop in Mysore being ramped up

The infrastructure at the Central Railway Workshop in Mysore city is being ramped up for undertaking the periodic overhauling and maintenance of Linke Holfmann Busch (LHB) coaches that constitute the rakes of the Shatabdi and the Rajdhani trains.

This is part of the capacity building of the railway workshops across the country as the Indian Railways plans to substitute the conventional Integral Coach Factory-designed coaches with the German technology-based LHB coaches for most Indian trains in the long run.

“The Mysore workshop has been upgraded to handle the LHB coaches and 29 such coaches have been overhauled here since October 2012. The workshop’s installed capacity at present is to take up maintenance of eight LHB coaches a month or 96 coaches a year. This is in addition to the periodic overhauling and maintenance of 70 ICF-designed coaches a month, of which 10 will be AC coaches. The workshop also takes up intermediate overhauling of 40 coaches a month,” Mr. U. Subba Rao, chief workshop manager, said.

Though the LHB coaches are expensive (One LHB coach costs about Rs. 1.8 crore while an for an ICF coach costs Rs. 65 lakh), they are found to be more efficient and capable of higher speeds ranging from 160 kmph to 200 kmph and reckoned to be safer while providing greater ride comfort.

The LHB coaches at present are air-conditioned, the Railways has designed non-AC LHB coaches as well and they will supplant the conventional ICF coaches in future, according to Mr. Subba Rao.

V. Suresh, senior section engineer, Bogie Repair Shop, said there were nearly 100 LHB coaches operating out of the Bangalore Railway Division but as Bangalore does not have a railway workshop, infrastructure had been put in place at the Central Workshop at Ashokapuram here for coach maintenance.

“The load will be shared between the Mysore and the Hubli workshops, and we have presented a proposal for capacity upgrading,” Mr. Rao added.


The staff here have designed a hydraulic press, reckoned to be the most important machinery for coach maintenance. While a few testing equipment have been procured, there are other requirements such as a surface traverser for shifting coaches, which costs around Rs. 3.5 crore, he said. A proposal has been submitted for the construction of a new building at a cost of Rs. 5 crore.

Conventional ICF coaches require periodic overhauling once every 18 months against once in 72 months for LHB coaches. The workshop staff have been sent for training at Lower Parel in Mumbai and at the Jagadhri workshop in Haryana where they have been working on LHB coaches for almost 10 years, according to Mr. Rao.

The Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala, Punjab, manufactured 460 LHB coaches last year and the ICF at Perambur, Tamil Nadu, was scaling up the LHB production. The new factory established at Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, was exclusively meant for the production of LHB coaches, Mr. Rao added.

Indian Railways to manufacture stainless steel coaches

TOI reported that the railways have decided to manufacture low cost stainless steel coaches to improve the riding comforts of passengers. The Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala in Punjab has recently rolled out 28 such coaches, which would be first introduced on the Amritsar to Jaynagar route for the Shaheed Express train.

According to sources, these newly designed coaches are similar in looks to the LHB German coaches which are being currently used in the Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains across the country. The salient features of these coaches are that they have superior aesthetics, better riding comforts and low maintenance cost as well.

A Railway Board official said that the newly designed coaches are all set to herald an era of stainless steel coaches in the Indian Railways which would be used in all mail and express trains. The railways have, so far, introduced stainless steel coaches in the Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express trains only.

Official said that the coach factory has decided to replace the flat bogies currently being used in LHB coaches to indigenously manufactured bogies to bring down the manufacturing cost of stainless steel coaches. Use of German based LHB technology in manufacturing each air conditioned coach has been too expensive now. However, the use of new indigenous technology in manufacturing stainless steel coaches with a modified ICF type bogie is likely to reduce about 40% manufacturing cost being incurred on production of each LHB coach, adding that the railways would, thus, save a huge sum of money in manufacturing such coaches for mail and express trains.

According to source, that apart, the railways have decided to manufacture fireproof coaches from safety point of view. The RCF has been manufacturing new fireproof coaches which are likely to replace all outdated and general coaches in future. The railways have started manufacturing fireproof AC and sleeper coaches based on the technology and design of the LHB German coaches.

Railway Board official said under the new design approved by the Board, the curtain and other fittings inside the AC coaches are fire resistant. In the event of any incident, it is not much harmful for passengers. These fireproof coaches are being manufactured by super fine stainless steel materials.

Sourced further added that the railways have taken a policy decision to replace the existing ICF Swiss coaches with LHB German coaches to enhance safety measures on running trains. Currently, the ECR has more than 2500 coaches, including AC and sleeper ones, which need immediate replacement to maintain foolproof safety.

Published in: on June 21, 2009 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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