PATNA: The Rail Wheel Plant (RWP), Bela, has produced more wheel discs than the target fixed by the Railway Board in the last fiscal (2017-18). East Central Railways (ECR) sources said the plant has also hastened the pace of dispatching wheels to different rail workshops. Secretary to chief administrative officer Satyendra Kumar said, “Ever since wheel discs manufacturing work started in 2013-14, till date the factory has produced 95,687 wheels till March 31, out of which 49,986 wheels have been dispatched. Out of 26,004 wheels produced for passenger trains last fiscal, 23,276 wheels were sent to different railway workshops.”
Officials at the plant also claimed that prior to May 2016, Bela RWP was casting wheel discs for goods train only but production of wheels for passenger trains also started from 2017. “There is a difference of weight in the wheel discs of goods and passenger trains. The weight of a goods train wheel is 484kg with a diameter of 1000mm, whereas the weight of a passenger train wheel is 384kg with a diameter of 920 mm,” said Satyendra. Underlining the increasing pace of production and dispatch of wheels, Satyendra said, “Bela RWP produced 7,465 wheels in 2013-14, 12,282 in 2014-15, 26,716 in 2016-17, and 26,004 in 2017-18, whereas 201 wheels were dispatched in 2013-14, 1,862 were sent in 2014-15, 12,054 in 2015-16, 12,593 in 2016-17 and 23,276 in 2017-18.”
Rail Wheel Plant, Bela has become a Production Unit of Indian Railways w.e.f 01.08.2014. It is situated at Bela in Dariyapur Block of Saran district in Bihar (India). Foundation stone of this Plant was laid in 2008 by the then Minister for Railways Shri Lalu Prasad Yadav. It is being built at an approx. cost of Rs. 1500 crores. It is spread over a land area of 295 acres. The project work is being looked after by Workshop Projects/Indian Railways, Patna.The Rail Wheel Plant’s construction started in July 2008. This plant is a step to revive industrialisation in Northern Bihar.
Indian Railways made history by awarding this project as EPC contract to M/s Larsen & Toubro Limited. It was for the first time in history of Indian Railways that a highly sophisticated factory was set up without any foreign collaboration. It was possible because of inhouse capability of Railway engineers and Expertise of World renowned Indian company. It was a challenge for Railways to start civil works in such a difficult site which is surrounded by river bodies from two sides. To add to the complication, the elevation of Plant was lower than the river bed. Also the soil was so loose, Railways made use of stone columning for increasing the load-bearing capacity of soil.