Overview, Initiatives and Action Plans of the Mechanical Directorate of Ministry of Railways

Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar

Member Mechanical, Railway Board Shri Hemant Kumar, briefed about following initiatives and action plans of Mechanical Directorate of Ministry of Railways during a press conference held today i.e. on 15th June, 2015.

  1. An Overview

Indian Railways carries about 23 million passengers daily – equivalent to population of Australia.

Around 100 Coach Variants catering to all segments of passengers.


  • One rake of BOXNHL wagons carries about 4100MT – equivalent to more than 200 trucks of 20T capacity each.


  • Railways uses diesel fuel 6.57 times more efficiently than trucks to transport a given load.


  • 84.8% less CO2 emission per tonne km in comparison to trucks.


  • Powerhouse on wheels – IR’s fleet of 5502 diesel locos generates appx. 13100 MW – more than double of Delhi/NCR’s projected peak power requirement for 2016-17.


  • We add about 1000 MW every year – equivalent to a Mega Thermal Power Plant, and without any transmission & distribution loss since power is generated at place of use.


  • No requirement of additional infrastructure for power generation.


  • Locos maintained in 42 Diesel Sheds and 10 Workshops.


  • 350 Coaching and Freight Depots & 36 Workshops carrying out maintenance of Coaches and Wagons 24×7.


  • IR has 6 established Production Units manufacturing more than 600 Diesel & Electric locos and more than 3000 coaches per year.


  • More than 4000 Apprentices trained in various engineering trades every year in Production Units and workshops.


  1. Green initiatives:


  • In ICF and Rebarelli, all the coaches are produced using ‘green’energy. Both factories work entirely on alternate renewable energy.
  • Two MW Solar Plant at Rail Coach Factory, Raebareli: commissioned in July’2014.
  • 7  Wind mills of 1.5 MW each owned by ICF


  • Alternate fuel: “Green” DEMU rake running on the Rewari-Rohtak section on Northern Railway : ICF  has manufactured the first “Green” Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) rake, consisting of two power cars and six trailer coaches. The rake has been developed to run on a combination of Diesel and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).


  • Auxiliary Power Units:  IR has fitted 07 Auxiliary Power Units (APU)  on 130 diesel locos. When train is stabled APU switches off main engine and starts a smaller engine for meeting the train requirements.   Saving of Rs 8 lakh/year/loco on account of less consumption of diesel oil, is expected.


  • Biodiesel for Traction: Indian Railways has planned phase-wise introduction of 5% blending of bio-diesel from 5th June, 2015 – World Environment Day. This will help in reducing carbon footprint. In-house production of bio-diesel will also commence with commissioning of a Bio-diesel plant this year at Tondiarpet (Chennai) with installed capacity of 30 tonnes per day.


  • Coaches with solar lighting: Solar panels have been fitted on one coach for its lighting requirements. It is planned to introduce solar lighting on 15 DEMU coaches as well on trial basis.


  • ISO-14001:  All the 6 established Production Units and 21 workshops have already obtained IMS / EMS (ISO 14001) certification. Remaining workshops are expected to achieve the same during 2015-16. Efforts are on the increase the green cover in workshops and PUs.


  • ICF won the prestigious International “Golden Green Award” 2014 for its outstanding achievements and sustainable practices for its green energy initiatives.


  • RCF/Kapurthala was awarded the prestigious “Golden Peacock Award”-2014, given on the 16th World Congress on Environment Management held on 11/07/2014.


  1. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:


  • Provision of dustbin on all the coaches: Dustbins on trains were hitherto being provided mainly on AC coaches and some Non AC coaches. After launching of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by the Hon ‘ble PM, provision of dustbins on all the newly manufactured coaches, including Non AC coaches, have been planned to be started from 2015-16 onwards. Besides, retrofitment on existing coaches has also been planned. It is also planned to develop garbage compactors for coaches to take care of intensive usage.


  • Indian Railways participating in the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.  Separate directorate for Environment and Housekeeping created.  Integrated policy for cleanliness is under formulation.


  • Fitment of Biotoilets: Biotoilets have been introduced on the coaches to eliminate open discharge of fecal matter on the track. In the bio-toilets the fecal matter is digested by specially developed colony of bacteria (inoculums), and only small amount of clean water is discharged. More than 17,000 Bio-toilets have been fitted till March, 2015 and target set for 2015-16 is fitment of 17,000 bio-toilets. We also produce inoculums as well as bio-toilets in-house.

Two  sections have been identified to be made ‘zero toilet discharge’ sections by 2nd October, 2015 – Kanalus-Dwarka-Okha and Porbander-Wansjalya. Jammu-Katra and Manmadurai- Rameshwaram  will be covered later in the year.  All the trains originating/terminating and passing through will be equipped with Bio-toilets.


  1. Technologies and infrastructure:


  • Proliferation of LHB Coaches : All LHB coaches are fit to run at 160 kmph and are safer than the conventional coaches, especially in case of accidents. LHB coach manufacturing facilities were initially set up in Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala and have now been extended to Integral Coach Factory, Chennai as well as the new Rail Coach Factory at Rae Bareli. This year it has been planned to double the LHB coach production w.r.t. last year.
  • Coaches fit to run at 200 kmph: LHB coaches fit to run at 200 kmph are being developed by RCF, Kapurthala and will be ready this year.


  • DEMU Factory, Haldia: has been commissioned. The first fully furnished DEMU trainset has been turned out in Jan’2015 from the factory.


  • State-of-the art three–phase AC-AC DEMU trainsets: ICF has developed first of its kind stainless steel 3 phase energy efficient AC-AC transmission 1600 HP DEMU train-set.  In addition ICF will be manufacturing airconditioned DEMU trainsets also from 2016-17 onwards.  High speed air-conditioned DEMU trainsets with 2200 HP engines and speed potential of 160 kmph (upgradable to 200 kmph) is also scheduled for manufacture in 2016-17.


  • Hotel load on Diesel Locomotives: Provision of capability to handle hotel load (train’s lighting & Air-conditioning load) has been developed on Diesel Locomotives. It eliminates the use of diesel generator cars, thereby replacing one power car by a passenger carrying coach and the other power car would be standby. This helps in fuel saving of to the tune of 10-15% of the consumption in power cars. 10 locomotives equipped with hotel load the manufactured by DLW and regular running of hotel load trains have started. It is planned to convert the Ajmer Shatabdi to hotel load this year.


  • WDG5 Locomotive: 5500 HP Diesel locomotive introduced in  IR System: This locomotive is the diesel locomotive having the highest horse power on IR. The first locomotive was pressed into service in February 2015.


  • Diesel Locomotive Works at Varanasi is being expanded further by 25% of its installed capacity at a sanctioned cost of Rs. 266.25 cr. .


  1. Make in India:


  • Rail Wheel Plant, Bela: has been commissioned. Regular production of wheels for rolling stock has commenced in this plant from Aug’2014. In due course this will reduce the requirement of import of wheels.
  • Factory for manufacture of traction alternators  for High horse Power locos  inaugurated at Vidisha, for which foundation stone has been laid, is being set up.
  • Planned forged wheel factory in Raebarelli: For manufacture of wheel for locos and LHB coaches being imported at present.
  • Rail Spring Karkhana : Has developed five out of 16 variants of LHB coach springs, which were being imported.


  1. Customer experience



  • Provision of Braille Signages: To facilitate comfortable travel for visually impaired passengers, Indian Railways has taken an initiative of providing Braille signages on coaches.  IR will start providing Braille signages on all the coaches produced from the year 2015-16 onwards. Retrofitment on existing coaches has also been planned.


  • Setting up of mechanised laundries at 8 locations in 2014-15 to improve the quality of linen being supplied to AC class passengers: To improve the quality of linen being supplied to the passengers of AC class coaches, mechanised laundries are being set up on railway’s land and total of 35 laundries have already been set up.


  • Coverage of additional trains under On Board Housekeeping services scheme: OBHS services are being provided on select trains to maintain cleanliness during run of the train. In this scheme, a group of staff travels on board along with cleaning tools and chemicals and carries out the prescribed cleaning work. During the period from April 2014 to Feb 2015, an additional 109 trains were covered in 2014-15 under OBHS scheme totalling to around 525 trains. 100 trains planned further in 2015-16.


  • Clean Train Station: Mechanised cleaning through specialised machines on trains at nominated stations enroute introduced in 4 additional stations in 2014-15 bringing the total to 33. Five more planned in 2015-16.


  • Improved Coach Interiors:  Complete refurbishment of coach interiors, with upgraded design and materials is being done during mid-life rehabilitation of all coaches and also in some coaches in the workshops. Further improvements are being designed for coach interiors, in consultation with National Institute of Design.




  • Design and development of 25T axle load wagons: RDSO has developed BOXN25 Design Bwagon. The wagon can carry 80 T Pay load with Pay to Tare ratio of 4.13.  With this new wagonthe throughput per rake will increase to 4750T compared to 4118T for BOXNHL (an increase of 15%). Stores Dte. has placed Contract for the manufacture of prototype of this wagon on 4.3.15 on M/s Braithwaite.


o   Policy for private partnerships for building new types of wagons: Special purpose commodity specific wagons are being designed by RDSO and Railway Board is encouraging private participation in developing of prototype wagons for new designs.  E.g. a two-deck Autocar wagon (BCACBM) which can accommodate upto 318 cars per rake has been developed. This wagon has a movable middle deck and a depressed floor so that more cars can be accommodated.   This wagon has increased the throughput of car transport per rake by 17% over and above the previous design. The first rake was flagged off on 1.3.14 and at present 5 rakes are in operation.


Further, a light weight frameless wagon for carrying petroleum products has also been developed which will lead to an increase in Rake throughput by 7 %. Serial production of these wagons has begun. Design for a new parcel van with capacity 25.6% over the existing ICF design and a speed potential of 100 kmph has been developed. Similarly , design has been developed for a special wagon for carrying steel coils which has the potential of carrying 68% more rake throughput vis-à-vis existing wagons.


  1. Safety:


  • Provision of CCTV on coaches: In order to improve security measures on trains, especially for women passengers, it has been decided to provide CCTV cameras on coaches especially in ladies compartments’ doorway and aisle area. CCTV Cameras have been fitted on two SLRs on experimental basis to gain experience and feedback.


  • Provision of portable Fire extinguishers in Non AC passenger coaching vehicles on trial:Presently as one of the fire safety measures, fire extinguishers are being provided only in AC coaches, SLRs and Power Cars and Pantry Cars wherever provided. Locomotives are also being provided with such fire extinguishers. It has been decided to provide fire extinguishers in other Non AC passenger coaches as well for use during emergency on trial. Based on the successful trials further proliferation would also be considered.


  • Provision of Automatic Fire detection and suppression system on Power Car and Pantry Cars: Power cars and Pantry cars are more fire prone in comparison to other coaches owing to nature of equipment provided on these coaches. Automatic fire detectors will either trigger an alarm or activate a Water Mist based Fire suppression system, depending on the smoke density.


  • Manufacture of high speed self propelled Accident relief Trains: ICF has manufactured high speed self propelled Accident relief Trains (HS-SPART) with speed potential of 110 KMPH and equipped with Diesel Generator to meet power requirement at accident spot.


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