Lucknow: The railways would be spending upwards of Rs.5 crore to test the Spanish-built Talgo rakes. In reply to a Right To Information (RTI), the Research Design Standards Organisation (RDSO) provided the break-up of the money spent during the first three phases of the trial. It further stated that as the timing trials were in progress, it was unable to give a final figure spent on testing. A few officials, however, said it might cost as much as Rs.5 crore.
According to the RDSO, the riding, safety and stability trial that took place between Bareilly, Moradabad and Saharanpur at a maximum speed of 115 kmph cost the railways Rs.1.07 crore. The second phase of the trial, which was conducted at a maximum speed of 180kmph between Mathura and Palwal stations, cost the railways Rs.1.2 crore. The third phase, to test the train’s Emergency Braking Distance (EBD), cost Rs.28.77 lakh. The total cost for these three phases came to be around Rs.2.56 crore.
Meanwhile, Talgo has had six timing trials between Mumbai and Delhi, the last of which was completed on September 10-11. The train reached Mumbai Central at 2:33am on September 11, completing the Delhi-Mumbai stretch in 11 hours and 48 minutes, at an average speed of 117.5km per hour.
The officials whom dna spoke to maintained that the train that was tested was not conducive for running on Indian Railways under current conditions as the rake was slimmer and lower than what is ideal for platforms in India.
“The width of long-distance trains in India is 3,250mm and suburban trains running in Mumbai have a width of 3,660mm. The Talgo Avril at 3,200mm might be something that is close to what India railway conditions warrant but it is very early to say anything. It is not even clear if the railways would place an order in the first place,” said an official.
As reported earlier, the Talgo testing comes with no pre-condition and the railways may choose not to purchase any rakes from the Spanish manufacturer.