च्छपरा Chhapra (CPR): Railways is yet to start production at the Chhapra Wheel Factory. The performance guarantee test (PGT) of the wheels was conducted in 2012 itself. This test was mandatory before starting production.
According to an ECR official, the wheel plant at Chhapra has successfully carried out wheel casting process. About 500 semi-manufactured wheels, which had come from Bangalore railway wheel factory, were given finishing touches at the Chhapra factory, he said.
Railways would begin a new chapter of rail network development in Bihar after commissioning of the wheel factory. Railways had used about 17 tonnes of superfine scrap materials to produce these wheels during PGT. Rare equipment and machinery have been installed to produce quality wheels, said an official.
According to sources, technical experts of the railways found certain shortcomings in the casting of the wheels during trial production. Several pairs of the manufactured wheels were thus rejected by the experts at the initial stage of wheel casting process, sources said, adding this was a part of trial production of the wheels.
The project has cost the railways about Rs 1,417.23 crore. Former railway minister Lalu Prasad had kicked off the civil work of the wheel factory on July 29, 2008. Since then, work on the project continued, sources said.
Railways had acquired 138 acres of land for the project. This included 52 acres for the factory, 35 acres for rail siding yard and 51.76 acres for constructing colony for its employees, sources said, adding Chhapra wheel factory, which is the second in the country after the one in Bangalore, would fulfill the needs of Indian Railways.