Member (Rolling Stock) gives details about six important initiatives of his Directorate

Member, Rolling Stock, Railway Board gives details about six initiatives of his Directorate namely TALGO Trials, TRINATRA and MAGLEV Technology, EoTT, bio-toilets and new train products

New Delhi: Member, Rolling Stock (earlier called Member Mechanical), Railway Board Shri Hemant Kumar gave details of six initiatives of Indian Railways pertaining to his Directorate at a press conference held in Rail Bhawan today i.e. 09.08.2016. The briefs of these six initiatives are given as below : –

Brief about bio-toilets and green train corridor :-

In order to contribute to mission ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Ministry of Railways have taken up a mammoth task of providing human discharge free bio-toilets in all its coaches and the same would be completed by September 2019. With provision of bio-toilets in all its coaches discharge of human waste from trains on to the ground would be completely stopped which in turn would help in improving cleanliness and hygiene. Ministry of Railways have already provided 43,000 bio-toilets in its coaches till 31st July, 2016 and in the current financial year, it is planned to fit additional 27,500 bio-toilets.

Indian Railways in its commitment to provide hygienic environment to passengers and to keep station premises/tracks clean, have developed environment-friendly Bio-toilets for its passenger coaches. The technology has been developed jointly by Indian Railways (IR) and Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO) for railway passenger coaches through an MoU. This environment friendly, low cost and robust technology, is the first of its kind in Railway Systems in the world. In the bio-toilet fitted coaches, human waste is collected in tanks below the toilets and the same is decomposed by a consortium of bacteria.

In order to have visible benefits in terms of cleaner environment owing to provision of bio-toilets in coaches, Rameswarm-Manamadurai (114 Kms) was indentified to make it Green Train Corridors- free from human waste discharge from trains. Accordingly, 10 passenger trains consisting of 286 coaches moving over this section have been provided with bio-toilets. This section was formally inaugurated as Green Train Corridor on 24.07.2016. After Rameswarm-Manamadurai, Okha-Kanalas Junction(141 Kms), Porbandar-Wansjaliya (34 Kms) and Jammu-Katra(78 Kms) would also be taken up for making them free from human waste discharge from trains. For this around 35 trains consisting of nearly 1110 coaches would be further provided with bio toilets and the work is underway. These sections and stations were chosen, because the number of trains originating and terminating at these stations and sections are few, thus making it operationally easier and faster to make them human-discharge free.

Okha-Kanalas section is targeted for conversion to Green Train Corridor by the end of September 2016, whereas Porbandar-Wansjaliya is targeted for conversion by October 2016. For Jammu-Katra section, a total of 24 rakes of 14 trains consisting of around 450 coaches need to be provided with Bio-toilets and the same would be targeted for completion by March 2017.

Brief about new types of train products :-

In order to make train journeys a more delightful experience, Indian Railways have been taking numerous initiatives. Minister of Railways, in his Budget Speech 2016-17, had announced a number of new categories of train services or coach such as Tejas, Humsafar, Antyodaya and Deen Dayalu coaches.  Introduction of these train services/coaches is being followed up in mission mode.

For General Second Class passengers, potable water through Water filtration system, cushioned luggage racks, additional hand holds in doorway area, J hooks near longitudinal luggage racks for hanging carry bags, bio-toilets, water level indicator, Toilet occupation indication display board, Enhanced mobile charging facility, Fire extinguishers etc. are some of the amenities added in Deen Dayalu and Antyodaya train coaches. Besides, for the first time, Indian Railways would try out operation of Antyodaya trains with Locos at both ends for faster acceleration and deceleration and for expeditious turnaround at terminals. 5 Antyodaya rakes have been planned for introduction in the current year and the first rake is expected by October 2016. Around 700 Deen Dayalu coaches are planned for introduction in various trains in the current year. First Deen Dayalu coach has already been launched by Hon’ble MR  on 19.07.16 at NDLS station.

Similarly, Humsafar trains consisting of AC 3-Tier coaches only would have additional facilities such as GPS based Passenger information display system to inform passengers about arriving station, Passenger announcement system, Fire and Smoke detection system for enhanced fire safety, Mobile/ laptop charging points, Integrated Braille displays for the aid of visually impaired passengers, Improved aesthetics with new interior and exterior colour scheme etc. While 10 Humsafar rakes are planned for introduction in the current year, first such rake is expected by September 2016.

Tejas train coaches would be the future of train travel in India with modern amenities and gadgets provided to make train travel not only comfortable but delightful too. Tejas coaches would have ergonomic seating with improved cushioning and upholstery, Automatic doors, Infotainment system, GPS based Passenger information display system, Dust sealed gangways,  Fire and Smoke detection system , CCTV system, concealed LED lighting, adjustable reading lights, Passenger announce ment system,. Vending machine, Mobile laptop charging points, enabling provision for on-board Wi-Fi facility, Integrated Braille displays, individual Magazine bags, bottle holders, snack table, Bio-Vacuum toilets, Sensorised taps, flushing system, hand driers, tissue paper dispenser and soap dispenser for touch less experience of toilet use, water level indicators, Accessible dustbins with higher capacity, Digital Destination Boards outside the coach for train and coach information to the boarding passengers etc.. 3 Tejas AC Chair Car rakes have been planned for introduction and the first rake is expected by February 2017.

One Uday train service is planned for introduction in the current year with LHB AC Double Decker coaches. 

Brief on Trials of Spanish Train TALGO :-

Talgo is a Spanish firm manufacturing Semi high speed (160-250 kmph) and high speed (350 kmph) passengers trains. Talgo trains have been successfully running in many countries with high safety records.

Talgo coaches are light weight aluminum bodied coaches with special features like articulated coupling between coaches, wheel sets located between adjacent coaches, independent wheel system, short guide axles with neutral tilting. These features make these coaches to travel faster on curves with approximately 20% higher speed in comparison to conventional coaches. Because of low weight faster acceleration and deceleration is also possible thereby reducing the travel time and increasing the average speed.

With an objective to increase the speed of Mail/Express trains on its networks, IR decided to conduct trials of Talgo coaches to validate their speed potential and access saving in time between New Delhi and Mumbai without any investment on the fixed infrastructure. M/s. Talgo has brought 9 coaches for free of cost trials with no commitment from Indian Railways. Speed trials were conducted between Barailey and Moradabad section of Northern Railway upto speed of 115 kmph.

After successful completion of these trials high speed trials upto a test speed of 180 kmph were conducted between Mathura and Palwal section of NCR. The trials were found successful.

After the speed trials time saving trials have been started to validate the simulation done by M/s. Talgo. Total four runs were planned at a speed of 130, 130, 140 and 150 kmph. Two runs have already been conducted on 1.8.2016 and 5.8.2016. The trials have been successful and actual running results were better than the simulation results. In first run train could not run as per schedule due to heavy rain between Surat and Mumbai due to wash out of tracks. 3rd run has started today and 4th run will be on 14.08.2016. It is expected that time saving of 4 hours will be achieved between New Delhi and Mumbai over the existing Rajdhani Express.

Brief about Safety Device –  TRI-NETRA  – Terrain imaging for diesel dRivers INfra-red, Enhanced opTical & Radar Assisted system

Ministry of Railways, Railway Board has initiated a proposal to install TRI-NETRA systems on locomotives for enhancing the vision of Locomotive Pilots in inclement weather. TRI-NETRA stands for – Terrain imaging for diesel dRivers INfra-red, Enhanced opTical &Radar Assisted system.

TRI-NETRA system shall be made up of high-resolution optical video camera, high sensitivity infra-red video camera and additionally a radar-based terrain mapping system.

These three components of the system shall act as three eyes (Tri-Netra) of the Locomotive Pilot.

TRI-NETRA is designed to “see” the terrain ahead of the running locomotive during inclement weather by combining the images captured by the three sub-systems and to create a composite video image which shall be displayed in front of the Loco Pilot on a computer monitor.

During fog, heavy rain and also during night, the locomotive pilots face serious challenges in looking out ahead to spot any obstruction on the track such as vehicles which get stuck while crossing the track or trees or boulders which have fallen across the track etc. Because of the heavy momentum of the running train, the train driver has to always adjust the speed of the train such that he or she can stop the train on visually seeing the obstruction.  In fair weather and in daytime, this is not a problem since train driver has a clear view of the track ahead.  But in poor visibility, he has to reduce the speed suitably so that the brakes can be applied in time to stop the train without hitting the obstructions.

This is where TRI-NETRA will come into picture and give the locomotive pilot a clear view of the track ahead in bad visibility conditions so that he can apply brakes well in time. Conversely, he can speed up the train even in poor visibility if the TRI-NETRA system shows that the track ahead is clear of obstruction. The system shall also map the terrain ahead so that the driver knows when he is approaching a station or a signal. TRI-NETRA will enable the Locomotive Pilot to “see” objects from upto one kilometer away on straight track during inclement weather.

The concept of TRI-NETRA was developed by Development Cell under the guidance of Member Mechanical, Railway Board while brainstorming on how to use the technology employed by fighter aircrafts to see through clouds and operate in pitch darkness and the technology used by naval ships in mapping the ocean floor and navigating in the night. Such an “assisted vision” system is not available readily in any of the advanced railway systems but the manufacturers and technology partners who develop components of such systems for defence are very excited with the concept. “Such systems have not been used  for peacetime applications and we are excited that Indian Railways have thrown such a challenge at us” said one of the foreign specialists who develops such systems for fighter aircrafts. There has been very enthusiastic response to this Expression of Interest (EoI) published by Railway Board and number of companies from Israel, Finland, USA and Austria have expressed interest in developing such a system.

Brief On Communication Equipment  – End Of Train Telemetry (Eott)

The EoTT equipment is used to establish communication between Locomotive driver and the last vehicle of the train to see that the train is running with all coaches/wagons as a“complete” train.

  • There is a transmitter fitted on a locomotive and a receiver that is fitted on the end of the last vehicle.
  • The transmitter and the last vehicle receiver exchange signals periodically at regular intervals to ensure that the complete train is running as “Ïntact train”.
  • If there is a break in the communication between the two units, the driver gets a signal that the train has parted.

The transmitter unit which is fitted at the end of the train’s last wagon is connected to the brakes and it bleeds the Brake Pipe air and applies brakes to the broken away portion of wagons of the train so that they do not collide with the front portion.

  • A project has been sanctioned for purchase of 1000 systems at an estimated cost of Rs. 100 Crores.
  • Specifications of the equipment have been prepared and tenders shall be called shortly.

Brief on Levitation based Trains (MAGLEV)

Levitation Technology is being used in the world in many different ways – Hovercraft that levitates on air-cushion, Maglev etc.

  • “MAGLEV “stands for  MAGneticLEVitation.
  • The MAGLEV floats above the track on a “Cushion” of magnetic field.
  • Magnets on the track push and lift the MAGLEV up in air by about 1 inch to 6 inches.

These “track” magnets are controlled by a computers which keep shifting  forward the magnetic force of the “track” magnets so that the MAGLEV is pulled forward.

  • Maximum speed achieved is 500 km/h.
  • One commercial installation is in China in Shanghai (appx 38 km of MAGLEV) and is currently running commercially.
  • New technologies are coming up to decrease the power consumption of magnets that lift the MAGLEV by using liquid nitrogen or similar gases.
  • Holy Grail of Maglev magnets is superconducting magnets which consume very little current. Currently, superconductive magnets requires very low temperatures to be maintained in the magnet, however rapid research is going on to make high temperature superconductors.
  • EoI document has been floated on 4thAugust 2016 and shall open on 6thSeptember 2016.

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