News 24 Desk New Delhi: The gross discrimination shown by the Railway authorities in placing orders for the supply of wagons has once again come to the fore. While the Railway Board has been giving order to Texmaco and TWL to supply wagons, the other four approved by the board itself are facing step-motherly treatment. These companies are Besco,Hindustan Engineering Ltd(HEL), Juptior and Modern are not getting orders in this regard. In a hard-hitting letter to Union Railways Minister, Mr.Dinesh Trivedi, Trinmool Congress Party MP from Howarh, Ambica Banerjee, alleges that the HEL wagon plant has not received the eligible 30 per cent load of the Railway Board’s current wagon contract for which application was made by HEL over six weeks ago. Ambica Banerjee further that as HEL has not been getting orders in a proper manner, the production of the plant has taken a new low. He demands that Railway must correct the anomaly sooner rather than later. It may be recalled that Railway board gives orders to the wagon manufacturing units in equitable manner as they fulfill all the norms set by it. However, while Texmaco and TWL are getting orders for Boxn HL wagons, the others are not considered for the same without any reason. Sources also inform that these companies are not getting the orders for Boxn HL wagons even though Railways need them all the time. Meanwhile, AH Khan Chowdhury,Congress MP from Malda region, also wrote to the Railways Minister to highlight the unfair practices of Railway Board. In a letter dated October 17, he alleges that the Railways Board is indulging in gross discrimination in placing orders related to Wagons. In the end, Chowdhury asked Railway Minister to use his good offices so that those wagon manufacturing units not getting their due start getting orders for Wagons.
CHENNAI: Hiving off its rail business into a separate subsidiary, setting up a unit in Indonesia and manufacturing engines for India's main battle tanks are some of the plans on the list of mining and heavy equipment manufacturer BEML Ltd, said a top company official.
"With a business potential of around Rs.1 trillion in rail rolling stocks over the next 10 years, BEML is planning to hive off its rail business into a separate subsidiary for greater focus next fiscal," chairman and managing director VRS. Natarajan told reporters here Sunday.
BEML is the only Indian company rolling out Metro rail cars. The company is supplying rolling stocks for the Delhi Metro and Bangalore Metro.
"The division will close this year with a revenue of around Rs 1,500 crore, up from Rs 1,300 crore last year. Over the next five years, the turnover is expected to touch around Rs.3,000 crore," he added.
According to Natarajan, aluminium cargo wagons also offer good potential once the high speed rail corridor comes into play.
With the Indonesian market turning out attractive for its mining equipments, BEML is mulling an assembly unit there.
"We have supplied mining equipments worth Rs 150 crore for mines in Indonesia and have pending orders worth Rs 125 crore. Till date, we have supplied around 20 units to Indonesia and once the numbers touch 100 units, a facility for assembling dumpers, bulldozers, excavators and others will be set up," Natarajan said.
He said the company is setting up a spares depot and services centre in Indonesia and assembly unit is an extension once the market grows for its machines. "We expect to touch the 100 units next year," he added.
According to Natarajan, the company is in the process of appointing dealers in China.
With coal mining companies like Coal India going in for high capacity dumpers - over 200 tonne - BEML is in talks with an overseas company for technology transfer to make such equipments.
Queried about the increasing competition in the small construction equipment segment like backhoe loaders where BEML does not have a major presence, he said: "We may source and assemble the systems instead of manufacturing the entire machine.
"That segment is a high volume and low margin business. Companies will not make profit as the owners would not go for original parts after the initial sales."
BEML is also planning to make battle tank engines and transmissions for India's main battle tank Arjun while talks are on with a foreign firm for building and supplying 155 mm, 52 calibre tracked gun.
Natarajan said the company is building a new facility for making components for aerospace sector in Mysore in Karnataka.
He said BEML will be supplying five dredgers to Bangladesh as part of line of credit extend by India to that country. BEML has tied up with Vostra of Holland for manufacturing dredgers.
With an order book size of Rs 6,500 crore to be executed over the next year, Natarajan said BEML would close this fiscal with a turnover of Rs 4,500 crore.
Vinay Mittal Felicitates 89 Officials & Staff of Railway Board for their Outstanding Contributions during 2010-11
Shri Vinay Mittal, Chairman, Railway Board has appreciated all Railway men and women for their hard work and zeal in not only taking up the new challenges but also achieving new heights of glory and progress in all spheres of railway activities. Speaking at 56th Railway Week celebrations in Railway Board office here today, Shri Mittal said that in the recent past, each and every railway men and women have contributed their might for the overall development of Indian Railways and in improving the image of the Indian Railways not only at national level but at international level too. Railway Week Celebrations is an occasion when we recollect our glorious past and re-dedicate ourselves for the future in order to keep the Indian Railways flag flying high always, he added.
Shri Vinay Mittal gave away the Running Shield, Merit Certificates and Cash Awards to the meritorious Officers/Staff & Sports persons etc. Running Efficiency Shield, Merit Certificates plus Cash Awards of Rs. 4,000/- each for maintaining high standards of efficiency, prompt disposal of cases and punctuality to three branches jointly i.e. TG-IV, O&M and ERB-V of Railway Board. In addition four more branches were also given Merit Certificates and Cash Award of Rs. 2,000/- each. In total of 89 officers and staff of Railway Board were given Merit Certificates and Cash Prizes of Rs. 2,000/- each for rendering outstanding service during the year 2010-11. A total number of 68 outstanding sports persons of Railway Board who excelled in the Inter-Ministry Competitions, All India Civil Services and Inter-Railway Championship were also felicitated with Cash Award and Appreciation Letters on the occasion.
Congratulating the officers, staff and sportpersons who have received awards and Shields for the outstanding performance during the year, Shri Mittal said their efficiency will not only encourage all others to emulate but also encourage them to work harder to achieve the goals. He urged all Railway men and women to join hands to work together to make Indian Railways the prominent Railway network in the world.
Source - PIB
The South Central Railway (SCR) has bagged the National Energy Conservation (Zonal Railway Sector) Award for the year 2011 in recognition of its achievements in the arena of energy conservation. SCR Chief Public Relation Officer Samabasiva Rao in a release here today, said Union Minister of Power Shushil Kumar Shinde has presented the Award to SCR Chief Electrical Engineer G R Agarwal at a grand ceremony held in Vigyna Bhavan in New Delhi yesterday. The release said under the leadership of SCR General Manager G N Asthana, the SCR has taken pioneering lead in adopting energy conservation measures, both in traction as well as non-traction sectors. The S C Railway reduced non-traction energy consumption in 2010-11 by 4.3 per cent (from 146.5 million Units to 140.3 million Units) as compared to last year. MORE UNI CS GM SY CS1625
LUCKNOW: Minister of state for Railways, KH Muniyappa, who used to come almost every third month to UP, paying a visit to Rae Bareli's Rail Coach Factory, till last year, could not give any encouraging response as to when the factory will start rolling out coaches.
On a visit to Lucknow, on Friday, he said that new coach factory will be inaugurated soon by Sonia Gandhi. "Coaches are ready for alignment," he said.
The government has invested Rs 1,600 crore in the factory, of which 30% is assigned for the houses and infrastructure of the factory workers and officials.
The UPA government has spent Rs 1,300 crore and Rs 1,138 crore in 2009-10 and 2010-11 respectively.
It has proposed to spend an amount of Rs 1,500 crore for 2011-12.
Providing connectivity in the lesser developed and backward areas will be focus of Railways in days to come. Muniyappa, who was in Lucknow on Friday, said that Railways will be connecting backward areas in the next five to ten years, under the Pradhan Mantri Rail Vikas Yojna.
The minister talked about the upcoming plans and projects of Railways.
He said that railway ministry has invested more than Rs 3,000 crore in past two-three years in development projects, like doubling of tracks in areas with high density of trains. Railways has recently taken up doubling of tracks between Lucknow, Varanasi and Sultanpur. In order to give infrastructure development a boost, Railways has also provided new platforms at several stations, and has extended the existing platforms. Electrification of rail routes is another major focus of Railways, he said.
Nencki has won its largest ever contract, to supply rail welding lines for the modernisation of SAIL’s Bhilai steel plant.
Railways is considering to withdraw from non-transportation tasks through corporatization and outsourcing to focus on enhancing passenger amenities and increasing resources.
The suggestion to outsource activities like cleaning, supply of linen in trains, to corporatize and disinvest in several areas, to manufacture rolling stock and locomotives, and to manage stations came from a planning commission committee headed by Chairman Railway Board.
The move will ensure focus on upgrading passenger amenities and help in generation of more revenue, observed Plan panel's working group for Railways for 12th Five Year Plan. It was argued that hiving off non-core activities will encourage quick upgradation of technology and independent R&D as was done by China and Japan.
Outsourcing would be a solution for Railways activities- cleaning of coaches, provision of linen in trains -that are required for transport but can be done by another agency more efficiently and at lesser cost.
The panel argued that the entire range of activities falling outside the core transportation operations-manufacturing of rolling stock, parcels, management of major stations and staff colonies - would be critically reviewed from the perspective of either retention or out sourcing or hiving off on the basis of organic integration with operational need and the logic of "make or buy".
In several non-core operations - manufacturing facilities (locomotives, wagons and coaches) and management of stations-- corporatization and gradual, partial disinvestment could be a solution.
The South Central Railway (SCR) has reduced non-traction energy consumption this year by 4.3 per cent from 146.5 million units last year to 140.3 million units this year. Addressing the senior officials and staff at a seminar organised by SCR as part of Energy Conservation week here yesterday, SCR General Manager G N Asthana said Electric Traction energy consuption was also reduced by 5.1 per cent and Diesel fuel consumption by 3.5 per cent. Congratulating the Electrical Department of SCR for bagging the National Energy Conservation Award for the year 2010-11, he said even though rail transport is energy efficient when compared to other modes of transport such as road, air and marine, it consumes considerably large quantity of fuel and electrical energy, given the quantum of movement. In the backdrop of lower production of coal and high cost and scarcity of Diesel and electricity, it is imperative to save and conserve energy which in turn help boost the growth of Indian economy, he added. SCR Additional General Manager R Vijaya Mohan said Railway is poised to cross 100 million tonnes mark in freight loading by operating more number of Goods trains. In addition, it adds many additional express trains every year to cater to the ever increasing passenger traffic and SCR spends 30 per cent of its total outlay towards cost of energy, he said. UNI KNR VK VV SW SB1925
Stone India has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MELECS MWW GmbH & Co KG, Austria for the manufacture and supply of light weight pantographs for Metro Coaches in India.
The company also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Voith Turbo Scharfenberg GmbH & Co, a German based company, for Indian Railways’ Coupler business.
Stone India is the first Indian company to manufacture and supply the Pneumatic Brake System – type 28LAV-1 for Indian Railways as per their license agreement with Wabtec Corporation.
Stone India has been serving Indian Railways for a very long time, its locomotive business arm deals with locomotive brake systems for the Diesel and Electric Locomotives.
Modular Panel Mounted Brake Systems are also manufactured in both Bi-plate as well as in Tri-plate version for both Diesel & Electric Loco application.
The company also specialises in the conversion of Vacuum to Air Brake System in Locomotives.
The carriage business deals with pneumatic brake systems for carriages & freight stock for railway rolling stock.
The train power business arm deals with Electro-Mechanical, Electrical & Electronic products used in Indian Railways includes pantographs, brushless alternators and electronic regulators.
Pantographs are used in the Electric Locomotives & Electric Multiple Units to draw power from the overhead traction.
Currently, Stone India manufactures AM-12, AM-92, AM-18 B2 pantographs as per Faiveley-France design for AC Locomotives and AC/DC EMU coaches.
AM-92 Pantographs are used in high speed passenger locomotives.
PATNA: The ambitious project of railways to manufacture AC local trains is still hanging fire. However, the railways has decided in principle to manufacture AC local trains for metropolitan cities and other crowded zones of railways.
Railways could mull over the proposal to run AC local trains at places where traffic volume has reached saturation point. Patna Junction, incidentally, is one of the most crowded stations of railways.
According to a Railway Board official, modernization has been going on in railways as a part of Vision 2020 plan. As a part of it, Railways intends to match foreign railways by introducing AC local trains, he said, adding that a blueprint has already been prepared in this regard.
The official said though railways has tested the prototype AC bogie successfully, it has not got the final nod for manufacturing such bogies for local trains, even though it is keen to introduce AC local trains soon, first in Western Railway (WR), to cope with rush of local passengers, he said .
Sources said railways had earlier approved the plan for Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation ( MRVC). But it could not materialize for some reasons. However, railways took a fresh stock of the situation and decided in principle to provide AC local passenger trains at places where feasibility to run such trains is very high, sources said .
A Railway Board official said the Research, Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO) in Lucknow had recently prepared a new blueprint for manufacturing AC local train coaches. The cost of each AC bogie is likely to be between Rs 50 to Rs 60 lakh, he said .
Sources said the delay on the part of railways is due to hitch on AC local bogie doors. "Unless doors are fully closed, AC local train cannot move an inch. At a place where the number of commuters is too high or they are in habit of travelling on footboard, AC local trains would not be successful," sources said, adding railways is thus giving a fresh thought before launching AC local trains on the crowded routes across the country.
According to sources, the Western Railway (WR) had earlier converted a coach to an AC bogie at an additional cost of about Rs 17 lakh. It was introduced between Mumbai Central and Bandra for several days. Finally this service was withdrawn as the WR did not get permission from higher authorities. Similarly, the proposal to run an AC local between Mumbai Terminal and Kalyan was rejected by railways following protests from passengers that the railways was simply wasting its resources, sources said.
A Board official said that AC local trains are, however, need of the time to cater to the needs of local passengers on the pattern of foreign railways.
ALLAHABAD: North Central Railway general manager Harish Chandra Joshi said zonal railway has put in lot of effort for the propagation of Hindi over the past two years. He was speaking at the regional Rajbhasha executive committee meeting.
He said Railway Board has declared Jhansi workshop as the best workshop for propagation of Rajbhasha in the country. In this connection, the Rajbhasha shield has also been awarded to the workshop by the railway minister. Joshi said several steps are being taken for use of Hindi in the official work. He suggested that various departments of the railways should generate some computer applications that use only Hindi language.
He also gave instructions to the officers of the Allahabad, Agra and Jhansi division that all the technical terminology should be written in Hindi so that the employees can easily understand the words. He also gave directions that all the directions and safety related information should be provided in Hindi to all the loco pilots.
Before the start of the meeting, chief Rajbhasha officer and Stores controller AK Varshney gave detailed information regarding the various works that have been done by the zone for the propagation of Hindi language.
During the meeting, various heads of department, additional divisional railway managers of the three divisions, chief workshop manager, Jhansi and Sithauli were present in the meeting.
.STAINLESS STEEL STOCK BUILT IN INDIA
on January 10, 2012 in Asia and Indonesia
The Indian firm BEML has completed the first electric multiple unit set with stainless steel bodywork for Indian Railways (IR) as well as a stainless steel 100-tonne goods wagon.
NEW DELHI: Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to augment the manufacture and supply of packaged drinking water Rail Neer to cater to the growing demand of clean and hygienic drinking water in trains.
Besides, the existing three Rail Neer plants, IRCTC is planning four more such plants across the country.
While one each is coming up in Mumbai and Delhi, two plants each are being planned for Hyderabad and Nagpur
Trelleborg Industrial AVS has won a major contract in the secondary suspension of Indian Railways’ WAG 7 locomotives with their Metalastik sidebearer springs.
Originally selected in the mid 1970s, the Metalastik sidebearers achieved a life of six years despite the forces exerted by tight turns on the track.
A subsequent change to locally-manufactured parts resulted in a reduction to just nine months in service and so Indian Railways returned to the original Trelleborg product in 2000.
Since then the company has supplied over 17,000 units and the service interval is back at six years once again.
Ian Sutherland, Key Account Manager at Trelleborg Industrial AVS, commented:
“We are very proud that our long-standing technical collaboration with Indian Railways has resulted in yet another order for this highly successful locomotive.
“The quality of the Metalastik product and its engineering has created a lasting solution for a very demanding application and, by working closely with the customer’s engineers we have been able to further increase the product’s performance.”
The Metalastik sidebearer is a robust rubber/metal laminated sandwich mount, fitted to the locomotive bogie to absorb high levels of noise and vibration.
They are designed to allow bogie rotation, track twist and lateral displacement. In a revised geometry some designs can also be used as traction centres.
Of the 2,000 units in the current order, the majority will be fitted in new-build locomotives, while the remainder will be used as retrofit replacements in the refurbishment of older freight locomotives.
WAG-7 is a Co-Co electric locomotive with a maximum operating speed of 100 kph.
Indian Railways’ Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW), one of the leading manufacturers of electric locos in the ASEA region, is responsible for both the mechanical and electrical build of the locomotive and some 300 have entered service since 1992.
The sidebearer springs will be supplied via M/S Ashika Commercial PVT. Ltd. of Calcutta, the Trelleborg Industrial AVS distributor in India.
CHENNAI:In a first,the railwaysis planning to conduct emission tests on its diesel locomotives. The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur has built a first-of-its-kind mobile Emission Test Car (ETC) that will be used to test emission levels of diesel locomotives at maintenance and manufacturing depots acrossthecountry.
ResearchDesign and StandardsOrganisation (RDSO), which will be conducting theemission test,hadcommissionedICFto build the test car in 2007-08. It was built at a costof Rs8crore.Though a lotof trains are electric, a large percentage are hauled by diesel locomotives. Also, shunting of rakes at stations is done by diesel locomotives. This has prompted the railways to check emission levels andformulatestandards.
RDSO director general V Ramachandran said, "The aim of using the ETC is to testexhaustemission levels, analyseengine performance, improve fuel efficiency and reduce environmental pollution. The machine will also be used to set emission standardson a par withEuropean andUS emission norms. Emission tests are not conductedon running trains."
The emission test car is a mobile vehicle fittedwiththelatestemission testing device from Horiba Japan. Similar non-mobile devices are used by major automobile manufacturerssuch asAshokLeyland andBajaj.
"Thetestcar willbetaken to alldiesellocomotive sheds in the country. It can measure oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, total hydrocarbons, methane hydrocarbons, smoke opacity and carbon monoxide andcarbon dioxidefrom theexhaustof a locomotive. After the emission levels are collected,wewillset a standardfor Indian conditions without compromising on the permitted levels assigned by the United States Environment Protection Agency ( USEPA) and the International Union of Railways(UIC)," Ramachandran said.
Every railway zone has at least two diesel locomotive sheds. The ETC is also designed to transmit data through a satellite link to the Engine Development Directorate of RDSO which will analyze and lay down emission standardsfor locomotives.
CHENNAI: The Integral Coach Factory in Perambur has been asked to design a standard gauge metro rail coach to be abletocompetein the marketto supply coaches for metro projectsin thecountry.
The "ICF will be making metro rail coaches for the Kolkata metro run by railways. These coaches will be on broad gaugebutwewantthefactory to make the most of the opportunity and set aside a few designs for metro rail coaches on standard gauge that can perform better and cost lesser than imported coaches. The designs can be sent to the Research Design and Standards Organisation," saidRailwayBoard member (mechanical) Sanjiv Handa after inaugurating Emission TestCar atICFon Monday.
He said the railways would be ableto proveitwascapableof making coachesof international standard and be able to take part in tenders floated by metro railcorporationsin differentcities. "Railways should understandthe merits anddemeritsof metrosystemsin Germany and France and conceptualise a design for India."
The ICF did not take part in thebidding processwhen ChennaiMetroRailfloatedtendersto makestandard gaugecoaches.
"There is going to be an explosion of demand for metro coachesin Chennai,Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi and other cities.Railwaysshouldbridgethe gap and should also be able to providecost-effective metro rail coaches. Coach factories of the railways will be able to make coaches at less cost and better engineering than the imported coaches."
"We are appalled at the cost at which metro coaches are imported. One coach costs Rs 8 crore.ICF's metrocoachfor Kolkata costs just Rs 5 crore. Metro managements are not able to discover the pricefor metro rail coaches because the railways did not have a benchmark for price as it is not making metro coaches," he added.
The Planning Commission concerned over this and a debatewason aboutequipping the railways to make metro rail coaches, Sanjiv Handa said. "Once we set a benchmark in price and quality, metro corporationswillbecompelledtobuy coachesfrom railways," hesaid.
Types Of Gauges In Railway
Standard gauge: 1,435mm wide.
Adopted for metro because it can negotiate curves better. Standard gauge coaches can carry more people than broad guage
Broad gauge: 1,676mm wide.
The British selected broad guage for India because of the technical specifi cations of coaches made in those days
Metre gauge: 1,000mm wide.
Was introduced to lay track along hilly areas where sharp turns are necessary. Metre gauge trains can negotiate narrow curves
Narrow gauge: 760mm wide. Helps run trains on steep regions. Narrow guage coaches are short and can negociate sharper turns than metre gauge coaches. Not ideal for freight or heavy passenger load
Indian Railways has introduced a first-of-its kind emission test car (ETC) to test emission levels of diesel locomotives at maintenance and manufacturing depots across the country.
Built at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) at Perambur in Tamilnadu state, the country's first ETC uses mass emission measuring equipment built in Japan.
ETC is claimed to be first mobile emission testing vehicle in the rail sector, enabling Indian Railways to frame emission standards for long-haul diesel locomotives and diesel cars. Indian Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) Director General V Ramachandran said this is the first step of Indian Railways towards controlling emissions on par with international standards.
"The aim of using the ETC is to test exhaust emission levels, analyse engine performance, improve fuel efficiency and reduce environmental pollution," Ramachandran said.
"The machine will also be used to set emission standards on a par with European and US emission norms."
The $1.8m ETC is a mobile vehicle fitted with the emission testing device which can be deployed at diesel sheds and coaching depots across the 17 zones of the railways.
The ETC will help measure oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter, total hydrocarbons, methane hydrocarbons, smoke opacity, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in locomotives.
It will also measure the performance of the engines, improve their fuel efficiency and reduce environmental pollution.
ETC will also transmit data through a satellite link to the Engine Development Directorate of the RDSO which will analyse and specify emission standards for locomotives. The emission test car was first sanctioned by the Railway Board under its works programme in 2007-08.
Initially, RDSO plans to conduct a correlation exercise with micro electo mechanical systems and pilot ETC on five diesel locomotives at the ICF locomotive shed.
PATNA: The railways has decided to modernize the 150-year-old railway workshop at Jamalpur at an estimated cost of Rs 117.46 crore. The plan envisages a much improved infrastructure to cope with the demands of new technology. The oldest workshop would now manufacture rail components, too, in addition to carrying out maintenance work of locomotives, cranes and wagons at the workshop, said chief works manager (CWM) Animesh Sinha.
According to him, the Jamalpur workshop had started functioning on February 8, 1862, during the British period. It was the first workshop of the country to manufacture steam engine CA 764 'Lady Curzon' in 1899 at a cost of Rs 33,000 only. Besides, it was the first to manufacture rail foundry in 1893 and a rolling mill in 1870 to cater to the needs of the railways then, he said. During the first decade of its inception from 1862 to 1872, Jamalpur workshop earned laurels for having assembled 452 steam locomotives. Besides, it was the first to manufacture nine feet long giant screws in 1918-1919 for Mesopotamia Railways ( Baghdad), Sinha said.
That apart, the workshop was the first to manufacture ticket printing, ticket chopping and ticket counting machines in the country. During the years from 1899 to 1923, it manufactured 216 steam locomotives. Though the steam locomotive era of the railways had come to an end in 1992, the workshop went on to manufacture many important components of passenger and goods trains, he said, adding the workshop celebrated the 150 years of its existence on February 8.
Located in about 5,74,654 square metres, the workshop has its own 6 MVA power plant. It is equipped with about 1,416 big and small machinery plants of rare quality. At present, the annual turnover of the workshop is about Rs 502 crore which is likely to go up to Rs 720 crore per annum, the CWM said.
Under the proposed plan, the workshop will manufacture about 60 stainless steel wagons per month. Besides, it has started periodical overhauling (POH) of diesel locomotives, wagons and cranes. The railways has decided to increase its capacity up to 6,140 cranes POH per year while the number of wagons POH is being increased up to 450 per month, Sinha said.
He said the railways has also chalked out a concrete plan to develop it now as the best workshop of the railways in the country. It would be converted into a hub of wagon manufacturing, self-propelled accident relief train (SPART) and diesel loco manufacturing plant soon. A special postal cover was also released by Railway Board additional member (mechanical) R Vijay Mohan to mark the 150 years of the workshop, Sinha said.
NEW DELHI: In order to meet the increasing demand for railway coaches, the union cabinet Thursday approved setting up of a new unit for manufacturing the state-of-the-art aluminium coaches at Palakkad in Kerala.
"The plant will help railways ensure timely availability of passenger coaches to meet the increasing demands of transportation. It will ensure induction of state-of-the-art aluminium coaches on Indian Railways," said an official.
The new facility will manufacture 400 coaches per year at an estimated cost of Rs.550 crore (excluding the cost of land).
The project will be a joint venture in which the railways will have 26 percent equity.
The railways will purchase about 239 acres land available with the Kerala government for the plant, said officials.
Work on the project will commence during next financial year 2012-13 and is expected to be completed within three years
The Palakkad Railway Division is awaiting the final confirmation of the date of the foundation stone-laying for the Railway Coach Factory at Kanjikode.
Sources in the Railways said the two tentative dates given are February 21 and 24. They said the Division was awaiting a directive from the Railway headquarters on the date, venue and the participants for the inaugural function.
A confirmation from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is also awaited. Sources said the Chief Minister was keen that the stone-laying ceremony be held in February itself. Mr. Chandy is scheduled to visit the district on Saturday and the date is likely to be announced during his visit.
The project became a reality with the Union Cabinet approving it on Wednesday as a joint venture to manufacture 400 coaches annually at an estimated cost of Rs..550 crore excluding the cost of the land. The State government had handed over 431 acres of land at Kanjikode for the coach factory. However, the Railways decided to buy only 239 acres from the State government for the project.
Last week Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had met Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in New Delhi for getting Central approval for the project and fixing the date for foundation stone-laying.
The Railway Division here has suggested three venues for the function — Kendriya Vidyalaya, Kanjikode, Fort Maidan and the Railway grounds at the Railway Colony.
The Civil Engineering, Electrical and Communication wings of the Divisional are making arrangements to put up the stage and other facilities. The list of invitees is being prepared by the Public Relations wing of the Division. Sources said all arrangements would be in place within a week of the announcement.
Kanjikode Industries Forum (KIF) president M. Paramasivam said the coach factory was vital for the overall development of the State, particularly the backward district of Palakkad. It will also bring hundreds of ancillary industries and provide employment to thousands of people. The former president of KIF K. Pankajakshan said Industry was looking forward to setting up of the coach factory. It will make Palakkad the new industrial investment destination of the State as a number of ancillary industries will haveto be set up to provide spare parts and other facilities.
The coach factory and the second unit of BEML Ltd, formerly Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, a Mini-ratna company under the Defence Ministry, for which 600 acres of land was acquired adjacent to its
first unit will make the Kanjikode-Pudussery-Walayar industrial belt the new investment destination in the State, he said.
Former Minister in charge of Railways M. Vijayakumar said here on Monday that the inauguration of the railway coach factory at Palakkad was a political drama aimed at diverting attention from the privatisation of the project.
Addressing a press conference here, he said the earlier proposal for the coach factory had been scaled down by the UPA government and the project converted from a public sector undertaking to a joint venture with private participation.
He said the Railways had backed out of the initial proposal for Kerala and insisted on private participation, even as it went ahead with similar projects in Rae Bareli and Kolkata in the public sector. “The State's plea for equity participation in the project also fell on deaf ears”.
“The inauguration has been organised even though the government is yet to float global tenders to identify the private partner for the joint venture”.
He alleged that the bid to privatise the project smacked of corruption.
Mr. Vijayakumar said it was deplorable that the Leader of the Opposition V.S.Achuthanandan was not invited to the inaugural function.
Palakkad, Feb. 21:
The Railway Minister, Mr Dinesh Trivedi, today said the Ministry has plans to deploy special Railway Protection Force (Railpage Australia™ Forums) personnel in ladies compartments to ensure the safety of women passengers.
Speaking at a function to the lay the foundation stone for the Rs 550 crore Rail Coach Factory at Kanjikode near here, he said “safety of passengers, especially ladies, was a concern for Railways.” A committee appointed by Railways had submitted several recommendations to improve safety of the passengers, he said, adding the Railway would not tolerate any type of ‘vulgarism' in trains and sought the co-operation of State police to tackle the menace.
The Chief Minister Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, in his speech had expressed concern over the safety of women passengers in trains, in the wake of recent incidents of attack on women in ladies compartments by anti-social elements.
He also mentioned the brutal murder of a 23-year-old woman after pushing her from a running train last year.
Mr Trivedi said unless modernisation of Railway infrastructure was not carried out, it would be difficult to fulfil the demands from various quarters for more trains.
Demand for the introduction of new trains come from people's representatives from all parts of the country. But, unless Railway undertake modernisation in a big way, it would not be able to meet aspirations of the people, Mr Trivedi said.
In this regard, he said the Railway was waiting for the report of a committee headed by Mr Sam Pitroda on modernisation.
However, resources for modernisation was one of its concern. The resources had to come either from budgetary support from the Centre or find funds from its own reserves, or through Public-Private Participation or borrowings, he said.
New Delhi, Feb. 21:
Wagon makers such as Texmaco, Titagarh Wagons and HEI are facing the brunt of a year old Railway Ministry policy that limited the growth of container train operators (CTOs).
Ever since the Indian Railways announced the policy in December 2010, that pretty much prohibited certain categories of cargo for domestic container operations, no new orders for flat wagons have been placed by the CTOs.
Many CTOs that Business Line spoke to confirmed this.
In the one last year, the 16 CTOs including Concor, Gateway Rail have only received deliveries of those wagons, for which orders had been placed before December 2010.
A key indicator is the number of rakes inducted by Container Corporation of India (Concor) - the largest player in the CTO market.
Till the first nine months of current fiscal, Concor had inducted only one rake, against 12 in 2010-11 and 16 in 2009-10.
“There was a set-back in order flow from private container train operators as their business suffered a setback following a hefty increase in haulage charges by Indian Railways,” Texmaco, a large wagon manufacturer, had noted in mid-2011.
For wagon makers in India, Indian Railways is the main customer and accounts for large share of their business. Since 2007, when Railways opened up container train operations, private CTOs had offered incremental business to wagon maker.
For instance, in last five years, wagons bought by new players now account for one-third of total container wagons in the country. The Railways policy impacted the growth prospects particularly in the domestic segment for many players.
For the April-January period in current fiscal, the loading in domestic container train segment has dipped by 9.5 per cent.
Since then, players that operated in both export-import and domestic segment - such as Concor and GDL - have increased focus on export-import traffic. Additionally, the growth in export-import segment has been erratic and not enough to absorb the excess capacity in the market.
The drop in domestic business has prompted some of the entrant firms, with greater focus on this segment to offer their wagons to competitors on lease.
This has led to higher level of leasing of rolling stock among CTOs.
The operators with higher focus on domestic segment include Arshiya Rail, BoxTrans, Delhi Assam Roadways, Inlogistics and Kribhco Infrastructure.
In fact, now, some the CTOs are also offering their wagons on sale. Gateway Rail Freight Ltd, a subsidiary of listed firm Gateway Distriparks, has said that in the next fiscal it could consider buying rakes from the other players
In a landmark achievement , Central Railway (CR)'s Parel workshop has rolled out its 100th indigenously manufactured engine.
The engine comes with a micro-processor based control system, which activates the brakes and cuts off the fuel supply in case of any fault in the engine.
"Passenger safety was given topmost priority while designing the new locomotive," chief manager of the Parel workshop Sumit Sharma told TOI. "There could be a possibility of the engine driver being inattentive or not controlling the systems properly. In the new engine (a WDS 6 loco), a vigilance-controlled device is active every 90 seconds . It can detect any fault in the engine, be it the pressure levels or the working of various components in the locomotive . If there is a slight fault, it will indicate it on a computerized panel before bringing the loco to a halt." The new engine, which was flagged off from the workshop recently, will be attached to long-distance trains. The workshop has already lined up 14 more engines with micro-processor based controls to be manufactured in coming months.
The Parel workshop, which was originally set up for repairs and rehab of diesel locomotives, has been manufacturing engines since March 2007. While this is the workshop's 100th WDS 6 locomotive , it has also manufactured 43 WDG-3 A type engines (those used in goods/freight wagon trains).
The Parel workshop had recently set up a GPS-based remote monitoring and management of locomotive and train (REMMLOT) system to enable monitoring of the micro-processor locomotive's location , health and faults. This workshop is the first-of-itskind in Indian Railways to install the REMMLOT system on locomotives.
Government go-ahead for Kerala coach plant
27 February 2012
INDIA: Plans to establish a coach manufacturing plant at Palakkad in Kerala were approved by the cabinet on February 16. With the capacity to produce 400 coaches per year, the new factory would develop 'state of the art' aluminium vehicles for Indian Railways.
The cost of the project is put at R5·5bn, excluding land which IR will purchase from the Kerala state government. The project is to be funded through a PPP, with IR contributing 26% of the equity through a joint venture company.
Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin by 2013 for completion within 36 months.
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