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Nod for GE, Alstom in Rs 40,000 cr loco projects in Bihar

Global giants GE and Alstom are likely to be awarded the contracts for setting up of multi- crore diesel and electric locomotive factories in Marhora and Madhepura in Bihar, marking the first major FDI in rail projects.

Dubbed as the first big ticket project under ‘Make in India’ initiative in the public transporter, GE and Alstom will be handed over the high value contract acceptance letters by Railways next week, according to railway sources.

The projects, closely monitored by the PMO, involve manufacturing of 1000 diesel locomotives and 800 electric locomotives over next 11 years and is worth about Rs 40,000 crore.

US multinational GE, which has emerged as the lowest bidder for the Rs 1,200 crore Marhora diesel locomotive factory, is expected to manufacture the 1,000 locomotives over 10 years. While 100 will be imported, rest will be manufactured at Marhora as part of the Make in India initiative.

French major Alstom, the lowest bidder for the Rs 1,000 crore Madhepura electric locomotive factory, will manufacture 800 high power electric locomotives locos in the next 11 years. It will manufacture 12,000 HP electric locomotives to be used for heavy haulage.

According to the contract, while 5 diesel locos will be imported, the rest 795 will be manufactured at Madhepura as part of the project. Maintenance of the locos will also be the responsibility of the company and for this it will set up two maintenance sheds at Nagpur and Sharanpur.

Of the 1,000 diesel locomotives to be manufactured by GE, 700 will be of 4,500 horse power (HP) and 300 of 6,000 HP.

With the government allowing 100 per cent FDI in Railways, the setting up of the two locomotive plants in joint venture mode is crucial for the public transporter in order to boost its infrastructure. The two projects are among the top eight infrastructure projects being monitored by the Prime Minster’s Office.

Railways will have 26 per cent equity while the global players will have 74 per cent equity in each of the plants.

http://www.financialexpress.com/article/economy/fdi-in-indian-railways-projects-bihar-nod-for-ge-alstom-in-rs-40000-cr-loco-projects/162851/

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Southern Railway Chugs along to Cut Cost, Carbon Footprint with Blend of Bio-diesel

Southern Railway has begun to reduce its carbon footprint as well as cut down its consumption of fossil fuels by using bio-diesel in the mainline diesel locomotives, which run passenger and freight trains, with blending facilities set up at three locations in Erode and Tiruchy this year.

The zonal railways is currently using B-5, a five per cent bio-diesel blend, from three Railway Consumer Depots (RCD) in Erode diesel shed, Erode station and the Tiruchirapalli Golden Rocks workshop. The first batch of 427 kilo-litres (KL) has been received from a vendor and Southern Railway has identified three more locations in Palakkad, Kannur (both Kerala) and Mangalore junction (Karnataka) where the bio-fuel will be received. The next order for 1,500 KL of bio-diesel has already been placed with vendors, seven of whom have been identified by the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of Indian Railways.

In what will come as a fillip to these operations, a bio-diesel plant at Tondiarpet is likely to be commissioned by Southern Railway in January next year. This facility will produce 35 KL of bio-diesel per day for use in locomotives.

Southern Railway has a holding of 350 diesel locos and consumes an average of 450 KL diesel per day. Currently, bio-diesel is at least Rs 3 cheaper than regular diesel. Using the five per cent bio-diesel blend across the zone would result in savings of Rs 12.5 lakh a day, a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows.

Explaining the modalities, a senior Railway official said that bio-diesel transported through trucks by vendors is received at the RCDs. This is known as B-100 or pure bio-diesel. Using specialised flow-metres, a blend consisting of 95 per cent regular diesel and 5 per cent bio-diesel known as B-5 is prepared, which is then used in all mainline locomotives, which arrive at these locations for re-fuelling and maintenance, the official stated.

Southern Railway is already using bio-diesel in small quantities, produced from the small plant in Perambur Loco Works, for shunting locos in Chennai and a DEMU in Tiruchy.

This is just the trial run and Southern Railway’s ultimate target is to use a 20 per cent bio-diesel blend in the near future, officials said.

“Apart from the substantial savings in the fuel bill, which might vary based on international fuel prices, using bio-diesel will impact the environment in a big way. It has zero sulphur and hence poisonous sulphur dioxide will not released into the atmosphere,” the railway official stated.

The blend does not require any change in the machinery and the engines worked smoothly as well, officials in the mechanical department said.

Currently, the facilities for receiving the bio-diesel have been completely commissioned at both locations in Erode, while the one at Tiruchy will be completed in a few days, officials said.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/chennai/Southern-Railway-Chugs-along-to-Cut-Cost-Carbon-Footprint-with-Blend-of-Bio-diesel/2015/11/07/article3117174.ece

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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ICF to roll out energy-efficient 3-phase trains

The advantage with the units is that they can save energy up to 30 per cent

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) is set to cross yet another milestone by rolling out indigenously manufactured ‘insulated-gate bipolar transistor’ (IGBT) based Electrical Multiple Units (EMUs) on Friday, under the Make in India plan.

“The advantage with the three-phase EMUs is that they can save energy up to 30 per cent. They will allow us to add or include our own features like sliding doors for air-conditioned coaches,” said Ashok K. Agarwal, general manager, ICF.

Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha, who will be participating in the valedictory of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the ICF, will flag off the first unit at the ICF headquarters in Chennai and it will be used in Mumbai.

Indian Railways decided to use the three-phase EMUs because the Western Railway was well-versed with the maintenance and technical aspects of such trains.

ICF has manufactured 130 three-phase electric train sets using propulsion systems of Germany-based Siemens and is manufacturing EMUs with propulsion system of Bombardier, a leading manufacturer of planes and trains.

Now, the Hyderabad-based Medha Servo Drives has produced two propulsion systems for the ICF.

“It is not only energy-efficient but also requires less maintenance because of oil-free compressor. Line failures will also rarely occur,” Mr. Agarwal said.

They are fitted with easy to slide, light weight sliding doors supported by imported sliding mechanism including user friendly locks, latches, and maintenance-free rollers.

Since the EMUs had regenerative braking, the motor would act as a generator whenever the brake was applied.

“The electricity generated in this process would be fed into the grid,” Mr Agarwal said.

Indian Railways has been using three-phase propulsion systems for diesel locomotives, electric locomotives and diesel electric multiple units.

The system is now being extended to EMUs.

The Hindu

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Work begins to set up bio-diesel tank

Having decided to use bio-diesel in a big way for its fleet of diesel locomotives to reduce fuel consumption, Southern Railway has set out on this task by putting in place necessary infrastructure required for setting up a huge bio diesel tank in Tiruchi.

As a prelude to installing the bio-diesel tank, the work of laying seamless steel pipeline to a length of around 200 metres has commenced within the Diesel Loco Shed at Ponmalai here.

The bio-diesel tank would have a 20,000 litre storage capacity with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) laying the seamless steel pipeline within the premises of the shed that houses different types of diesel locomotives.

The pipeline laying work is expected to be completed in a day or two following which the IOC would install a new tank adjoining the shed to store bio-diesel to be procured from a private supplier at Chennai. Southern Railway officials toldThe Hindu that the bio-diesel tank would be ready by first week of October to enable blending of bio-diesel with high speed diesel for use in diesel locomotives. Five per cent of bio-diesel is to be blended with 95 per cent of high speed diesel at the Railway Consumer Depot adjoining the Diesel Loco Shed. The blended fuel would be used in the diesel locomotives when they come for refilling at the shed and at the Tiruchi Goods Yard, a senior officer said. The blended fuel would be sent through the seamless steel pipeline from the railway consumer depot to the fuel point at the shed where the refilling would take place.

Seamless steel pipes have been chosen as it could withstand the oil pressure. The Southern Railway has proposed to put up a 70 kilo-litre tank adjoining the shed to store the blended fuel before this year. The initiative of the railway administration to use bio-diesel is to reduce diesel consumption and cut down its staggering oil bill, the officer said. The locomotive’s performance would not get affected in any way by using bio-diesel in a limited quantity. The blended fuel would be used in the high horse power EMD locomotives and the ‘Alco’ type diesel locomotives – both of which are housed at the Tiruchi Diesel Shed.

The diesel shed accommodates 45 ‘EMD’ locos which can chug at a maximum speed of 130 kilometres per hour and 61 ‘Alco’ locomotives besides 31 diesel power cars.

The Hindu

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Emission Guidelines for diesel locomotives to be costly

Will initially cost Rs.19 crore, Railways tells NGT

With increased emphasis on emission from diesel locomotives, the Ministry of Railways said the exercise of developing emission guidelines for new diesel locomotives and for retrofitment is extensive and would initially cost Rs 19 crore.

“The work of developing emission guideline is substantial and need financial resources initially at a cost of Rs.19 crore, which would be pooled in by various stakeholders such as Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Environment & Forests and the Ministry of Railways,” the Railways Ministry said in an affidavit filed through its counsel Om Prakash.

The Railways has also developed a draft protocol for emission standards.

“Letters were written to the secretary, MoEF and Secretary MoPNG by chairman Railway Board for volunteering to contribute towards the cost of engaging a specialised expert agency along with railways (for developing the guidelines). The ministries, however, expressed their inability to contribute towards the exercise,” said the affidavit.

The affidavit was filed in pursuance of various meetings held by a committee formed on the directions of the National Green Tribunal on a petition filed by activist SK Goyal highlighting the harmful emissions from diesel locomotives.

The NGT had in November last year ordered that Ministry of Railways shall hold a meeting at the level of secretary with IIT, CPCB and the Ministry of Petroleum and that the committee shall within six months collect data, study and prepare guidelines and set emission standards which CPCB shall ensure are duly implemented by all concerned agencies and the Railways to ensure that no pollution results from the Railway locomotive engines.

In January, the committee decided that RDSO would prepare a draft monitoring protocol for exhaust emission measurement of Indian Railway’s Diesel Locomotive.

The Railways has now sought permission from the Tribunal to carry forward exercise in five years.

The Committee decided on various works to be done with regard to setting emission guidelines, which include inventory estimation for locomotive emissions in 2014-15, formulation of emission standards and compliance testing procedures and estimation of emission inventory in control case for next 20 years.

The Railways has in consultation with CPCB, Ministry of Petroleum and MoEF and IIT, RITES and International Centre for Automotive Technology developed a monitoring protocol for diesel locomotives based on demonstration of sampling and monitoring done in January 2015 using mobile ETC at Shakurbasti, Delhi.

The protocol has been ratified by CPCB and IIT Delhi

The Hindu

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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SCR tests low-cost anti-collision system

The trials of Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) system, also called as Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System, an indigenous ‘Make in India’ project of Indian Railways, was carried our between Lingampalli-Vikarabad-Tandur and Koukuntla railway stations on the Begumpet – Wadi Section.

Naveen Tandon, member, electrical, Railway Board, New Delhi, examined the trials. The TCAS, developed indigenously by Researc Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow, is being extended infrastructural support by South Central Railway.

The Automatic Train Protection System, which is economical as compared to the technology in developed countries, was put on trial, as a continuing measure to the trials carried out earlier in the same section.

The TCAS trials were broadly categorised into three segments – between Godamgura and Tandur, it was a maiden trial of the new installation of TCAS while between Tandur and Koukuntla, the trials were meant to further ensure inter operability with three firms viz., Medha, Kernex and HBL which are involved in the project.

Between Lingampalli and Hafizpet, the maiden trials were carried out to check suitability of TCAS on auto signaling section. The ambitious project is being further planned for full fledged extended trials in the next few months by undertaking work on required infrastructural inputs including tower foundations, equipment installations etc.

The full fledged trials will cover Lingampalli – Vikarabad – Wadi and Vikarabad – Bidar sections upto a total length of 250 km. 40 nominated locomotives (20 electrical and 20 diesel locomotives) will be put to use for these full-fledged trials.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Railways, NID go back to the drawing board to improve efficiency

The Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) will work on 50 design changes for the railways, such as improved hand grips in local trains and better berth ladders in sleeper coaches.

“We have the capability to redesign, but our responses are conditioned, so we thought there is no harm in getting fresh inputs,” Hemant Kumar, member (mechanical), Railway Board, told Business Standard.

The design for the ladder was mentioned by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu when changes were being identified, Kumar said. Ladders in passenger coaches earlier had only two steps but then a third one was added.

“We are studying whether a fourth step can be added. But the challenge is the side upper berth, where you climb in one direction and then turn,” he said. The climbing device could be in conjunction with something else, like a holder.

Ladders, toilets and colour schemes have been identified as areas for redesign. Toilets, for instance, must improve over the existing design and remain clean during a journey.

Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) designs trains and coaches, which after being approved by the Railway Board goes to  the Rail Coach Factory and Integrated Coach Factory. The initiative with NID is for out-of-the-box ideas.

The memorandum of understanding between the railways and NID last month allows for an offsite facility within the RDSO campus. Design ideas for station architecture, coach interiors, platforms and circulating areas will be exhibited at the Manaknagar station, close to Lucknow, which serves RDSO.

The railways have created a corpus of Rs 10 crore, with the interest on this amount funding some of these designs. Shortlisted ideas will be tested and studied by the respective directorates.

Another important experiment is on how to prevent dustbins from overflowing. “We are trying a compactor. The initial design has been tried in one coach in Central Railway,” said Kumar.

Existing dustbins hold 20 litres. The railways are working on 35-litre bins and then on adding compactors to these. “We are evaluating whether existing dustbins can be retro-fitted. Users must not be injured by the compactor,” Kumar said.

The railways are also trying a new way of powering coaches. Power to coaches is supplied from cars mounted with diesel gensets to meet the requirement for air-conditioning, lighting and fans, called the hotel load. But diesel locomotives are also power houses on wheels. So, two locomotives can be attached on either side of a train and the noisy power cars make way for additional coaches. Since a locomotive has a far more efficient engine than a diesel genset, fuel can be saved. If the hotel load is low at a point, the balance power can be used for traction. More passengers can be carried in less time and the line capacity increases.

Hotel load has been tried in the Ajmer-Rewari train set. “We can start regular service with passenger trains during peak summer. The cost of laying an extra line is Rs 8-9 crore per km. If the throughput increases through this, it is worth it, even if it means more locomotives,” Kumar said.

HOTEL LOAD CONCEPT

From cost efficiency point of view, the Railways is also trying a completely new model of powering coaches. The concept of hotel load has been tried on five trains.

Power to coaches is conventionally supplied from power cars which make a lot of noise. These cars have diesel gensets mounted on them to meet the entire power requirement of air-conditioning, lighting and fan which is called hotel load.

The new idea is based on the concept that diesel locomotives are also power houses on wheels and can generate power. So, two locomotives are attached to either side of the train, and instead of the power cars, two additional coaches are attached to the rake.

Since diesel is used more efficiently by a locomotive because it has a far more efficient engine compared to diesel gensets, the total diesel utilisation would come down. Power acceleration would be doubled. With less fuel, it can generate same power. If hotel load requirement is less at a given point of time, then the balance power can be used for traction. Since more passengers can be carried in less time, the line capacity also increases. Coupler force, too, gets reduced because there is push and pull force working from back and front.
Hotel load has been tried out in the Ajmer-Rewari train set.
“We can start regular service with passenger trains during peak summer. The cost of laying extra line is Rs 8-9 crore per kilometre but if the throughput can increase through this, then it is worth it even if it means more locomotives.”
Business standard
 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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