MRVC tests Bombardier rakes at high speeds to verify strength of couplers

मुम्बई Mumbai: Seven years ago when the new violet-white trains of Siemens make were introduced, rail authorities encountered a peculiar problem after two coaches separated during tests while the train was in motion. The trains are being used after rectifications. Now, the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), which is procuring new trains of Bombardier make, is also holding special tests on couplers (which join coaches), to verify if they are capable of keeping two coaches together at high speeds.  These tests — which was also conducted late yesterday night and early morning today — will be held on the Kalyan-Kasara stretch, which is said to be one of the worst routes, and therefore, ideal for testing trains. “This route has steep turns, higher gradients and is ideal for testing new trains under bad conditions at high speeds,” said an official from MRVC. Officials said that during these tests — which will be conducted for at least four days — they will check the strength of couplers that hold two coaches.

The trials are to be conducted at high speeds over 120 km per hour. “Once this test is over, a report will be submitted to the Railway Board,” said Prabhat Ranjan, chief PRO, MRVC. Two trains of this make that were brought into the city in November 2013, have been undergoing tests ever since. Several deadlines for introducing these trains on tracks have been skipped due to different tests. Moreover, after the High Court order of raising the height of platforms to 900mm from the earlier 760-840mm; the trials had to be conducted again keeping this in mind. Sources said that there are small things that need to be checked, besides the oscillation, braking, speed, condition of wheels, and performance with weight inside coaches and without too. Only two days back, the accident monitoring committee asked the railways to make changes in the central rod at the entrance of coaches and the handle bars. Sources said that they are working on making these changes in 70 trains that will be manufactured once all approvals come in. Bombardier is making the engines for the trains and the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, is manufacturing the coaches.