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.

Machinery

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.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/infrastructure-at-rail-workshop-in-mysore-being-ramped-up/article4745687.ece

Indian Railways propose Research & Development Wings in Workshops

Tiruchirapalli: The Minister of State for Railways, E Ahamed, stressed the need for setting up research and development (R & D) wings in railway workshops in the country, with a view to institutionalizing innovative ideas of railway staff, as well as according due recognition to their talents and expertise.

The minister was speaking at a function held at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi, on Saturday, 8th August 2009, where he flagged off the 22nd rake of low bogey container wagons manufactured at the workshop, for the Container Corporation of India Limited.
The Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchi is recognized as a nodal agency for various pilot programmes of the railways. With a workforce of approximately 7,000, this prestigious railway institution is involved in a gamut of activities including the manufacture of wagons, maintenance of coaches, and the periodic overhaul of locomotives.

The minister felt that this workshop, and others like this across the country, deserve their own Research and Development wings. He stated that the Railway Ministry would consider providing special funds towards this end.

Rupees 90 crore modernization programme

A rupees 90 crore modernization programme is already underway at the Golden Rock workshop. According to sources, funds amounting to nearly Rs. 69 crore would be spent on replacement of old machines and acquiring modern mechanical equipment. Some of the advanced equipment to be procured include Portable plasma profile cutting machine, robotic welding system with automation etc. PAMA – a special purpose multi-station machine for repairs of engine blocks – will be procured at a cost of nearly Rs. 40 crore. Tenders for smaller machines are expected to be floated soon. A modern material-testing laboratory will be set up inside the workshop, at an investment of nearly Rs. 2.5 crore. The workshop’s three traversors are also expected to be replaced. The training center will also be upgraded.

Funds amounting to approximately Rs. 15 crore would be utilised for augmenting infrastructure facilities and structural repair work. The workshop has over 30 shops inside the facility.

With the detailed estimate having been approved, Chief Workshop Manager, J Digi expects the entire modernisation programme to be completed in two years time.

In addition to being profitable in the domestic market, this workshop actively undertakes export orders. It manufactures wagons and exports modified diesel engines. The workshop also carries out periodic overhaul of diesel locomotives and coaches.

The Mozambique Railways have ordered two serviceable diesel locomotives. Benin has already purchased three locomotives. Locos manufactured here have also been shipped to Tanzania and Malaysia. Mr. Digi had earlier stated that the workshop earned rupees 29 crores in one year from overhaul of locos belonging to some 20 public sector undertakings.

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