Bogie mounted air brake system for coaches

Railway coaches sent for periodic overhaul (POH) to the railway workshop at Golden Rock are being equipped with bogie mounted air brake system replacing the normal system for effective braking and easier maintenance. The shift in the braking system is based on the recommendation of the Lucknow-headquartered Research Design and Standards Organisation, the sole research and development arm of the Indian Railways.

The bogie-mounted air brake system has been provided till now in a little over 150 BG passenger coaches that were put back into operation after the POH was done at Tiruchi workshop. This braking system has been provided in both air-conditioned and non-AC coaches.

Passenger coaches are usually sent for a POH once in 18 months to railway workshops located across the country including the one in Tiruchi which is presently engaged in a myriad of activities, including manufacture of steam locomotives and container wagons for the Container Corporation of India.

As part of POH, the braking system is being changed to bogie-mounted air brake type by carrying out necessary modifications in those passenger coaches which did not have this system, say workshop authorities.

The advantage of bogie-mounted air brake is that it provides effective braking and the system is easier for maintenance, say officials of the 87-year-old workshop which has been given a target to carry out POH of 840 passenger coaches in the current fiscal.

The authorities say newly-manufactured passenger coaches rolling out from Integral Coach Factory at Perambur in Chennai and Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala have been provided with bogie-mounted air brake system.

In addition to POH of passenger coaches, the workshop had carried out intermediate overhaul of as many as 1,100 bogies till now in the current financial year.

Rlys stresses on comfort, fire safety in coach designs

Fire safety tops the list of priority of the railways’ research and design wing, officials have said. Thermoplastic interiors, stainless steel coaches, entertainment facilities and smoke detection systems will soon be in place in trains, said senior railway officials at a seminar in Chennai.

Addressing a seminar on emerging coach technology, general manager of Integral Coach Factory Abhay K Khanna said measures were being taken to make the entire railway operations and services “green” and safe.“We will soon start using biodegradable and recyclable materials to build coaches.The railway coach factories are already self-sufficient in their energy needs with 10.5 MW power generated from windmills in Tirunelveli district,”Khanna said.

V Ramachandran, the director of Research Design and Standards Organisation, said detection of inflammable materials still remains a challenge in coaches with doors and windows open. “Even an effective smoke detection system may not raise an alarm inside a fast moving train with all its windows and doors are opened. We are working out on an effective mechanism to address all the safety guidelines suggested by various studies,” said Ramachandran.

Forensic experts have found existence of inflammable materials and fire crackers in the ill-fated compartment of Tamil Nadu Express, which caught fire in July last killing more than 30 passengers. Railway is also eying at possible tie ups with international coach designers to build light-weight coaches that will serve long and needless maintenance.