RDSO clears Chennai-Bangalore Double Decker service

Decks have been cleared for the introduction of Chennai-Bangalore AC Double Decker train service with the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Ministry of Railways, issuing clearance on the basis of trial runs conducted on the route in February.

The first pilot runs were conducted under RDSO supervision on February 24 and 25 to examine whether the coaches would encounter any interference from fixed structures such as track-side installations, platforms, or overhead equipment en route.

The route clearance study recorded “an infringement” with the coach roof at Bangalore Cantonment Station.

No other problem was observed during the run that covered the entire 362 km distance between Chennai and Bangalore or platforms of stations where the train has stoppages – Perambur (up direction only), Arakkonam, Katpadi, Ambur, Jolarpettai, Bangarapet and Krishnarajapuram.

The hitch at the Cantonment Station was conveyed to South Western Railway for corrective action and a second trial run was conducted by RDSO on March 1 and 3 on the route.

“Results of the final trial show that there is no infringement of 25 mm thermocol spacer pasted on the coach body at any platform between Chennai and Bangalore stations in both up and down directions, V. Ramachandran, RDSO Director-General, told The Hindu .

Based on the results of the final trial, the RDSO has given clearance to the Southern Railway and the South Western Railway to operate the train with a maximum number of 11 AC coaches plus two power cars.

Though the double decker train which has its LHB coaches designed by the Rail Coach Factory Kapurthala is capable of clocking speeds up to 160 kph, the RDSO has set a speed cap of 110 kph in the Chennai-Bangalore section.

According to Mr. Ramachandran, no modifications were required en route even when other similar double decker trains (coach width 3050 mm) were introduced between Delhi and Jaipur, and Mumbai and Ahmedabad stations in 2012.

Meanwhile, sources at the Basin Bridge train care centre to which the double decker is attached for primary maintenance expressed their concerns over the “lack of clarity” in the upkeep protocol.

They are also worried whether the existing facilities would suffice for the upkeep of coaches given the variation in dimensions compared to conventional LHB chassis.


Railways develop crash-resistant coaches

In the backdrop of train accidents that have occurred over the last few years, the Kapurthala-based Rail Coach Factory (RCF) has developed ‘crashworthy coaches’ that would keep casualties at a minimum in the event of an accident.

The coaches would have ‘crumble zones’ on both ends, specifically designed to absorb the impact of the crash. These zones, according to experts, would absorb the force of the impact substantially – leaving the passenger area unaffected.

Another set of “energy absorbers” have also been provided behind the couplers, which link the coaches.

The new coaches are also being fitted with couplers of a new design, which would lessen the discomfort whenever a train accelerates or decelerates, and absorb the impact if trains collide.

A prototype shell was developed and validated after being crash-tested at the Lucknow-based Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO).

A technical report, suggesting that crashworthy features be incorporated in all LHB-design coaches, will be forwarded by the RCF to the railway board soon.

“Once we receive the approval of the rail board, we will start work on incorporating this feature in all LHB coaches,” RCF general manager BN Rajashekhar said.

The German LHB-design technology incorporates “anti-climbing” features to prevent coaches from piling over one another in the event of an accident.

The Indian Railways plans to replace its entire fleet of 59,000 passenger coaches with the lightweight LHB-design stainless steel coaches.

With an annual installed capacity of 1,500 coaches, the RCF is India’s premier coach manufacturing factory. It has manufactured coaches for premier trains, including Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Durantos — besides double-decker trains.


Railway workshop to build wagon prototype

TIRUCHI: Engaged in a slew of activities, including manufacture of container wagons and steam engines, the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here will soon knuckle down to the task of building a prototype of higher capacity tank wagon meant for carrying petroleum products.

The Railway Board has identified this premier workshop in the Indian Railways network to manufacture a prototype eight-wheeler higher payload tank wagon with a capacity to carry 73,000 litres of petroleum product.

The wagon development work is expected to commence soon based on the designs provided by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO). Workshop authorities said officials of the Lucknow-based RDSO, the research and development organisation under the Ministry of Railways, would inspect the prototype tanker wagon and carry out different kinds of tests before according clearance for mass production of such wagons for future railway requirements.

Upon completion, the wagon would be put through its paces such as load testing and overload testing.

It would be taken for running test as well. This will be the first time that the workshop develops a prototype of a tank wagon.

The over 80-year-old workshop that has been manufacturing container wagons and ‘BOXN HL’ wagons made of stainless steel in addition to carrying out periodic overhaul of broad gauge diesel locomotives and exporting diesel engines after modifying them, is also engaged in developing prototypes of bogie open type (BOXN 25M) wagon and low platform container wagon (BLC 25M) each of which will have a capacity of carrying 100 tonnes.

The archetypes of these wagons with enhanced axle load are being developed based on the designs provided by the RDSO, officials said.

The workshop has dispatched over 2,500 container wagons to the Container Corporation of India, a government of India undertaking, till now.

The officials said the workshop had carried out overhaul of 134 diesel locomotives during the 2009-10 fiscal adding that 135 diesel engines would be overhauled in the current financial year.

Works are also underway for the manufacture of four new oil-fired steam locomotives for the Nilgiri Mountain Railway at a cost of Rs. 40 crore.


Railways to introduce AC double-decker coaches soon

The Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has successfully tested the initial running of the country’s first Air-conditioned double-decker railway coaches likely to be introduced on selected routes by next year.

According to RDSO officials here today, last week a successful test of the new AC double-decker coaches with a speed limit of 115 kilometre per hour was conducted on the Moradabad-Bareilly sections. ” In the next phase, we will go for a trial of these coaches at a maximum speed of 160 kms per hour on the Agra-Mathura section by next week,” the official said.

Presently, 13 such coaches were being used for the trials by the RDSO.

After conducting several trials, Railways would introduce these coaches after an approval from the RDSO. The coaches would be built by the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in a bulk. These AC Double-decker coaches would be used for special youth trains announced by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the last budget.

The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) of Kapurthala had developed these prototype air-conditioned double-decker coaches and the first rake was handed over to the RDSO for trials in April.

The RCF had brought out the double-decker coach in a record time of eight months.

Earlier also, double-decker coaches were made in the country but they did not have any AC and had some or the other manufacturing problems. The new double-decker AC coach design is capable of running at a speed of 160 kilometer per hour, and it is 1.5 feet higher than the normal coach and will have a seating capacity of about 128 passengers, about 30 per cent more than the present capacity.

These new coaches have been equipped with innovative facilities including anti-collision and anit-rust.

Besides, that entire coach is manufactured with stainless steel and is fire resistant.

The AC double-decker coaches have also have a unique feature of toilet discharge only when the train speed is above 20 km per hour.

— (UNI) — 13DR20.xml