Railways to launch fireproof coaches

The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Kapurthala in Punjab has started manufacturing fireproof coaches. The railways intends to replace all outdated and general coaches with fireproof coaches.
According to a Railway Board official, fireproof coaches made of stainless steel have been produced on trial basis. Their design and other safety measures have been approved by technical experts. Under the new design, approved by the board, the curtains and other fittings inside the AC coaches are fire resistant. These fireproof coaches are being made of superfine stainless steel, he said.

The official said 40 such coaches have so far been rolled out from the RCF. These coaches are similar in look and design to the LHB German coaches being used in the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains across the country, he said.

According to sources, the stainless steel coaches would be used in mail and express trains. Railways has started using stainless steel coaches in Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains on trial basis, sources said, adding that decision has been taken to indigenously manufacture bogies to reduce the making cost of such coaches. The German LHB technology used in manufacturing air-conditioned coaches is quite expensive. The indigenous technology with slight modifications is likely to reduce the manufacturing cost by about 40%, compared to the cost of production of one LHB coach, sources said.

At present, the east central railway (ECR) has more than 2,500 coaches, including AC and sleeper ones, which need immediate replacement to maintain foolproof safety, sources said


Anubhuti coaches to have features ‘similar to aeroplanes’

Minister of state for railways, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, confirmed on Saturday during his visit to the rail coach factory, Kapurthala, that the railway board has received design proposals for “Anubhuti” coaches from the RCF and the factory would be given orders after approval by the board. It is learned that RCF has proposed internal features “similar to aeroplanes” to make these super-luxury coaches extremely comfortable.

RCF has proposed to have LCD screens and entertainment system and features similar to those in aircraft, while also designing diffused lighting in place of focused lights as is the practice in trains.

These coaches would be having motorized automatic sliding door in compartments while in all earlier coaches, these were manually operated doors, which required a bit of force for opening. “These motorized doors would open with just pressing a button and would be making a class difference for travelers, pushing the standard of coaches to the next orbit,” an RCF official, privy to the design details, told TOI.

RCF officials revealed that the inside aesthetics they had proposed included paneling with world class phenolic-based fiber reinforced plastic, which was currently the best used material for internal aesthetics. Rubberished floor having anti-skid properties has also been proposed.

While bio-toilets are already being manufactured and fitted by RCF, Anubhuti coaches would have modular lavatories with better space management and aeroplane-type fitting. While the RCF has already rolled out coaches with Wi-Fi, the Anubhuti coaches would have this feature integrated in them.

Even as the number of chairs has not yet been decided and reduction in their number is also not being ruled out, the proposed design and material of these chairs aim at making these much more comfortable. “Even if the number may not come down or there would be slight difference, these chairs would have better leg space and comfort,” said a RCF official.

Meanwhile, the MoS, who visited RCF when it is completing its silver jubilee year, said that the mandate of Anubhuti coaches is very clear — to make the journey a super-luxury experience. Manufacturing of these coaches would be started by RCF here as soon as the design is finalized, he said.


Anubhuti rail coaches may roll out from Rae Bareli

The new Anubhuti coaches may be rolled out from the rail coach factory in Rae Bareli, the constituency of the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

This is a proposal under the consideration of the Railway Ministry.

Another option is to have such coaches manufactured at each of the coach factories, including Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala and Integrated Coach Factory, Chennai.


The new proposed coaches of the Indian Railways with better interiors — termed as Anubhuti or experience — may be priced about 40 per cent higher than the AC chair car.

These coaches will have about 50 seats in one coach as against 56 in the executive class coaches.

Improved facilities

“They would have much better interiors, more space for a person, improved lighting, upgraded toilets, automatic opening and closing of internal doors, roller blinds as curtains, LCD video screen, amongst others,” Keshav Chandra, Member-Mechanical, Railway Board, said recently.

Shatabdi trains

The plan is to place one Anubhuti coach in each of the Shatabdi trains that ply on a range of about 400 km, with a travel time of four-six hours.

The Executive Chair Car coaches cost about Rs 2.5 crore. These coaches will cost another Rs 30-40 lakh extra.


Coach interiors of Anubhuti would be on the lines of mocks designed by West Central Railway Coach Rehab Workshop, Bhopal, for other coaches.

The mock-ups of improved chair car, AC 2 tier, and AC 3-tier coaches were at the coach care centre near New Delhi Railway Station. Two Vadodara-based vendors — Kemrock Industries and Exports and Hindustan Fibre Glass Works — have supplied raw material for the new coaches.

Mock models of Anubhuti coaches have not been designed yet, said Railway officials.


Railways may rent out land to generate funds

To curtail losses, Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal plans to boost revenue from non-core activities in the impending rail budget scheduled for February 26. The Railways is likely to through open land for commercial use and let out advertising space at the stations of the country to increase revenue in the next financial year.

As per the data, the Railways is incurring 18 per cent deficit annually and the losses are likely to rise to Rs 23,000 crore in the current financial year. Stressed by the losses, the world’s largest passengers ferrying network is facing paucity of funds for annual maintenance of infrastructure.

Many projects were held up due to lack of funds with the ministry. After hiking passenger fares nominally recently, the ministry is now targeting to generate more funds from the non-traffic segment. In the coming budget, the minister is likely to bring a liberal policy for renting out railway land adjoining railway stations to private realtors.

As per records of the Railway Ministry, there is around 43,000 hectares of railway land lying vacant in the country. The ministry plans to come up with several commercial projects mainly by leasing out this vacant land. Recently Pawan Kumar Bansal had stated here that the proposal to invest on the non-traffic segment is in the pipeline and the ministry has maintained that the revenue generated from the passenger and freight operations is not sufficient to fund the improvement in the railway infrastructure.

It is expected that in the coming budget, the Railway Minister will announce IT related industry in the northern region. A pilot project has been mooted to set up IT industry to develop latest security equipments, including signal link and anti-collision devices in Chandigarh on around 700 acres of land lying vacant adjoining to the railway station.

Out of total 64,000 km tracks, just 5 km has modern equipment for signaling during fog whereas as such signals are required after every kilometre. In the next five years, the railways plans to spend Rs 1.1 lakh crore on installing modern signal mechanism and other measures for safety. Besides this, the Railways is also planning to set up green field rail coach factory for which the railway officials have already examined the sites in Haryana and Karnataka.


Train with bio-toilets chugs in

The 24-coach green train with bacteria-eating bio-toilets finally arrived in Mumbai this week. The Varanasi-Mumbai train with bio-toilet technology, jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and railways, arrived from Rail Coach Factory earlier this week.

The train aims at zero defecation on the ground and the waste is eaten by bacteria and converted into gas and water.

Part of the project by the railways to improve hygiene standards in and around tracks and station area, the toilets are designed keeping in mind Indian needs like long-distance travel and toilet habits.

“Currently, train toilets are of direct discharge type. As the number of trains increases, open discharge of waste grows into a bigger problem, with human waste from trains leading to track corrosion and making it difficult for gangmen to walk them for repairs,’’ a senior official said.

Till March 2012, the Indian Railways have set a target to turn out five rakes with 300 bio-toilets by Rail Coach Factory and former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi mentioned so in his rail budget speech too.

Controlled discharge toilet system fitted in some CR trains discharges waste only after train acquires speed more than 30 kmph.

A senior official said the retention tanks in train’s toilets will store the waste empty it at terminal stations into sewage lines, not dropping the waste all along the tracks. The solid and liquid waste will be separated in the tank, while liquid will be recycled and used, a bacteria will disintegrate the solid waste.


Coming soon: Trains of steel, speed

Trains in the country will sport new interiors, have more passenger comfort, will be faster and will be easier to maintain as the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai gears up to make stainless steel coaches using German technology in a new plant being set up in Perambur.

This is part of a long-term plan to phase out existing coaches that are made using 55-year-old designs and replace them with variants of German Linke Hofmann Busche (LHB) coaches that can run up to 200 kmph.

The railway ministry has sanctioned Rs 249.58 crore to ICF for the purpose. “Preliminary works to establish a new plant near one of our units has started. The new plant will be attached to the existing factory,” said ICF chief mechanical engineer Hemant Kumar.

Central Organisation for Modernisation of Workshops and Rites has invited tenders to identify contractors to build machine units, buildings and other facilities that are required to make the coaches.

“When production of stainless steel coaches starts, the capacity of ICF will increase to 1,700 coaches per year,” he said. The factory now produces nearly 1,400 coaches.

It looks like the conventional coaches made using ICF’s design may be on their way out even though they are cheaper than LHB coaches. Railways wants to go for the expensive LHB coaches because they are superior to the conventional coaches designed by ICF.

Railways imported 20 coaches from Germany in 2000 and started manufacturing LHB coaches at the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, after transfer of technology, from 2001. These coaches are used in Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express and a few Duronto trains.

As these coaches received good feedback and railways want to run faster trains, the ministry gave the green signal to manufacture more LHB coaches and sanctioned `130.24 crore to RCF and sanctioned a new plant at ICF in the 2011 Railway budget. A new coach factory planned at Rae Bareli will also make stainless steel coaches.


RCF bags Greentech Environment award

Rail Coach Factory (RCF) has bagged the prestigious Greentech Environment Excellence Gold Award 2009 consecutively for the second year. RCF General Manager Pradeep Kumar received the award from Greentech Foundation in the 10th Annual Greentech Conference on Environment Management held at Kovalam (Kerala) on October 12. More than 300 corporate houses, Public Sector Undertakings, Government bodies, NGOs and others, participated in the conference.

Selected Companies were awarded the Greentech Environment Excellence Gold and Silver Awards across many categories such as Cement, Engineering, Construction, Hospitality, Chemicals and Fertilisers etc.

RCF has taken many strides to conserve energy and made its contribution to sustainable environment management. About 7000 tubelights of 40 Watts tube lights have been replaced with 28 Watts energy saving fittings. Now Indian Railways have also entered into a contract with a US company under a CDM Project to replace all the incandescent lights with CFLs and work on this project is likely to start soon. Measures have also been taken to improve the design of RCF built coaches to make them environment friendly by using Controlled Discharge Toilets System to eliminate filth from the station area as this system operates when the train picks up a speed of 30 kmph.

Further, to achieve zero discharge of toilet waste, eco- friendly biological toilets have also been developed. RCF has already acquired ISO 9001-2000 certification and was the first organisation in the country to obtain ISO-14001 certification for both workshop and township. The GM emphasised the need to make a shift from private transportation to public transportation in a big way and construct green buildings to save the energy for future generation. He congratulated RCF officials for their contribution in achieving eco-friendly environment and urged them to present the factory as a model of sustainable development to the rest of the world


Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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RCF manufactures nano coated coaches

Rail Coach Factory (RCF), a production unit under the Ministry of Railways, with its strong design, development and coach manufacturing capabilities has added yet another artifact to its glorious range of products. It has now started the production of Stainless Steel Coaches encrusted with nano-coating paint technology. A Shatabdi rake with nano-coating was rolled out from Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala in the presence of Shri Pradeep Kumar, General Manager/RCF. The 21 coach rake, comprising of 16 AC chair cars, 2 Executive chair cars and 3 power cars, is slated to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad on Western Railway. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pradeep Kumar said that RCF is committed to bring world class technology, at a cost which is affordable to the Indians. With series production of nano coated coaches, the railway passengers will get a feel of Euro style trains in India.

These new look coaches with metallic nano-coating, have improved exterior finish and better gloss. The ultra-thin top coat also has anti-graffiti and dust-repellent properties, which will help the railways in keeping its coaches clean from any kind of slogan writing or spoiling by anti-social elements. The leading luxury car manufacturers viz. Mercedez and BMW are using this technology to achieve a long-lasting pearl effect with self-cleaning effect on the cars. RCF is also planning to use nano-coating on the walls inside the lavatories of coaches for maintaining better hygiene and make them free from graffiti.

Using this technology, cycle time for painting has also considerably reduced which will help RCF in producing more stainless steel coaches in future. Apart from being cost effective, the painting process is also eco-friendly. With introduction of pigmented Nano-Coating technology for Stainless Steel coaches, RCF has now become the first manufacturer in the World to adopt it on railways. This new variant will be tried out in field before starting series production with nano-coating.


Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 3:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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RCF gets Golden Peacock Environment Management Award

In its pursuit to achieve excellence in Environment Management, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala bagged the prestigious Golden Peacock Environment Management Award – 2009 consecutively for 2nd year, which was received by Shri. Pradeep Kumar, General Manager, RCF from Dr. Madhav Mehra, President, World Council for Corporate Governance, U.K. in the “Global Convention of Climate Security” held at Palampur (Himachal Pradesh) from 12th June 2009 to 14th June 2009. This convention was organized by the World Environment Foundation. The award jury was chaired by Justice P.N.Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India and Member, UN Human Rights Commission.

About 1000 organizations including big corporate houses of the country filed their nominations for Golden Peacock Awards. A paper was presented by RCF on the environmental measures being taken to save the natural resources and conservation of energy to make RCF Residential complex as a model township.

To conserve energy, 7000nos.of 40 watts tube lights have been replaced with 28 Watts energy saving fittings while 6000 nos. of 40/60/100 Watts lamps have been replaced with 5/11 Watt CFLs. The AC units of Air-conditioned coaches will now be provided with the latest R-407 refrigerants (Chloro-Floro Carbon free) for their environment friendliness. Solar energy is also being harnessed for certain applications. Besides this, manual timers have been replaced with Astro based digital timers for automatic switching ON and OFF of street lights depending upon sunset and sun rise timings. To recharge ground water, RCF has constructed 20 nos of bore wells and connected it with storm drainage system. Effluent treatment plant is being used for treating 7500 KL of water per day, a part of which is recycled for use in non-drinking and non-bathing activities like watering of lawns and grounds.

Measures have also been taken to improve the design of RCF built coaches to make them environmental friendly by using Control Discharge toilets system to eliminate filth from the station area as this system operates when the train picks up a speed of 30 kmph. Further to achieve Zero discharge of toilet waste, eco–friendly biological toilets have been put on trials. To eliminate the environmentally hazardous painting process, paintless coaches have been developed, requiring no painting for next 25 years.

It is needless to mention that RCF is already ISO 9001-2000 certified and it was the first organization in the country to obtain ISO -14001 certification for both workshop and township. On this occasion, Shri Pradeep Kumar, General Manager, congratulated RCF officials for their contribution in achieving eco-friendly environment and said that this award bestows upon us even higher responsibility and commitment towards developing more and more eco-friendly products besides environment management in the plant and its township


Railway to manufacture fire proof coaches

PATNA: In the wake of growing fire incidents and huge loss to railway property every year, the railways have decided to manufacture fireproof coaches from safety point of view. The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) at Kapurthala in Punjab is manufacturing new fireproof coaches which are likely to replace all outdated and general coaches in future.

According to sources, the RCF has of late designed new fireproof coaches to cater to the needs of the railways across the country. The railways have started manufacturing fireproof AC and sleeper coaches based on the technology and design of LHB German coaches. While each AC coach would now cost about Rs 60 lakh, sleeper coach would cost about Rs 40 lakh each. However, the railways are incurring an expenditure of about Rs 1 crore for manufacturing each special AC coach. There has been a marginal escalation in the production cost of these coaches, sources said.

Under the new design approved by the railways, the curtain and other fittings inside the AC coaches will be fire resistant. In the event of any fire incident, emission of smoke would be less obnoxious. Superfine stainless steel materials are being used to manufacture these fireproof coaches, a Railway Board official said.

A board official admitted 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. At present, the ECR has the holding capacity of more than 2,500 coaches, including AC and sleeper ones. They need immediate replacement to maintain foolproof safety to railway property and passengers, he said.

With the introduction of LHB coaches mostly in Rajdhani Express trains, the railways have initiated steps to further improve safety measures on running trains, particularly in the long distance trains. The newly-designed coaches are light in weight and have the running speed limit up to 130 kmph to 140 kmph on the existing track condition, sources said.

The railways have already adopted modernisation process to ensure safety to passengers during their journey. That apart, the new fireproof coaches have the riding comforts as well. A team of technical experts of the railways have been keeping a tab on the quality of new coach production, the Railway Board official added.


Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 4:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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