Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu on 02.09.2016 inaugurated International Conference on Technology for Ultra High Speed Rolling Stock jointly organised by Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers (IRSE) and Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers Association (IRSMEA) with active support of Indian Railways. Member Rolling Stock Railway Board Shri Hemant Kumar and Member Engineering Railway Board Shri A. K. Mittal and other Railway Board officials were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that advance technology always plays a great role in the nation building. He said that modernization of the Railways solely depend on the advance technology and thus Indian Railways which is the Lifeline of the country is in the process of developing/adopting ultra high speed technology in the interest of people of the country. He said that it is dream of Railways to take not more than 12 hours to travel from one part of India to the other and idea is to enhance the average speed of all trains, so that everyone benefits. In case of ultra high speed technology, Indian Railways wants to develop it, implement it under Make in India to use it indigenously and to be able to export it also. The focus point of the ultra high speed rolling stock is to enhance customer experience, safety, bring in speed and augment capacity. He further said that with focus on “Make in India” Campaign, Railways wants to develop a technology which will help railways in the long run.
A first ever International conference in India on Technology for Ultra High speed rolling stock for operation at maximum speeds of 500 kmph and above is being held under the aegis of Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers (IRSE) and Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers Association supported by Indian Railways , Railway PSUs RITES and Konkan Railway Corporation Limited.
The conference has evoked interest from all majors in the field of Ultra High Speed. Leaders like HyperLoop Transport Technology, USA, Quadralev USA, Talgo, Spain, RTRI Japan, Siemens Germany, Knorr Bremse, Germany , Prose Switzerland are participating. Delegates numbering about 500 from Railways, Indian Industry, Diplomatic Community, international Industry, Federations of Unions in Railways etc.
This conference is taking place immediately before opening of an Expression of Interest tender for developing, constructing and running a Ultra High Speed Railway system in India on PPP basis. It is expected that the EOI will give a full view of emerging technologies available in the world in this frontier area of railway technology and enable Indian Railway to move to the next step of sanctioning a project.
Backgrounder for International Conference on
“Technology for Ultra High Speed Rolling Stock”
Ø Current operating speeds are 110 to 150 KMPH in general. There is only one train i.e. Gatiman Express which runs at 160 KMPH between Delhi and Agra.
Ø Indian Railways also producing in-house 200 KMPH fit rake based on LHB technology at Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala which is expected to be turned out before 31st October, 2016. Also, a high speed diesel multiple unit rake capable of running at 160 KMPH with potential upto 200 KMPH is under design and manufacture at ICF, Chennai. This rake will come out next year.
Ø These efforts have so far been to achieve semi high speed i.e. 160 to 200 KMPH on Indian Railways. 9 corridors have been identified for semi high speed – Delhi-Agra, Delhi-Chandigarh, Delhi-Kanpur, Nagpur-Bilaspur, Mysore-Bangalore-Chennai, Mumbai-Goa, Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Chennai-Hyderabad, Nagpur-Secunderabad.
Ø There has also been a concept proving trial of Talgo type rakes which has been tested upto 180 KMPH on existing track. These exploration are also in the area of semi high speed.
Ø IR have decided to built a high speed corridor based on Shinkansen technology of Japan between Ahmedabad to Mumbai with capable of running at 300 KMPH. Further, five feasibility studies are in progress for Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Mumbai-Nagpur.
Ø However, all developments on IR have so far been based on Transfer of Technology (ToT) and further improvisation and developments at local level. As a result there has always been a gap in Railway technology between the developed World and India.
Ø Ministry of Railways have taken a visionary step to develop a ultra high speed railway technology capable of running upto at 500 KMPH and beyond. The example of ISRO is being followed for creating cutting edge technology in India to put a country amongst the leading nations of future Railway technology in the World.
Ø Types of ultra high speed technologies
- Maglev – conventional Maglev design is based on repulsion technology which has been developed by Germany and used in China. Another type of repulsion based Maglev technology has been developed by Japan. South Korea is also working on similar concept.
- Quadlev – this is ‘Attraction’ based Maglev technology at conceptual and lab test level, developed by Dr. James R. Powell of USA who is also one of the inventors of Maglev technology. This technology promises to transport both passengers and goods at much lower costs as compared to conventional Maglev.
- Hyper Loop technology – This technology was originally conceived by Mr. Elon ReeveMusk, CEO – Tesla Motors. This consists of passenger or goods carrying capsule like vehicles travelling inside an evacuated concrete pipe. The capsule is suspended inside the tube using Maglev principles. This technology is still under development and concept proving. However, this has capacity to travel at speeds exceeding 1000 KMPH at much lesser energy consumption as compared to conventional trains.
Ø Indian Railways have decided to join the global scientific and technical community involved in development of ultra high speed railway technology as a futuristic step. An Expression of Interest has been floated to build a development centre, a trial track of 15 km to be later extended to 250 to 500 KM distance on PPP basis. If a suitable technology is identified in this process, a project sanction will be considered for further development.
Ø Present Conference is yet another step in this direction. Institute of Rolling Stock Engineers and Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers Association have come together with the support of Indian Railways, RITES and KRCL to organize this first ever Conference of its type in India.
Ø The Conference despite a short notice has attracted participation from Japan, Spain, USA, Germany and Switzerland. Participants from China and South Korea could not join because of paucity of time. However, there presence is expected in the delegates in this Conference.
Ø This one day Conference is focussing on available ultra high speed rolling stock technology, support systems technologies and initiate the dialogue for further development.
Ø It is hoped that in coming years India will join this elite club of ultra high speed railways by developing a technology of its own.
Ø The cost of ultra high speed technology particularly Maglev at present is higher and is comparable to underground metro systems. However, potential exists to develop technologies with much lesser cost then even elevated metro systems.
Ø This Conference will help Indian Railways in their plan to completely metamorphosize into a modern and efficient railway system in the future capable of providing safe reliable and comfortable ultra high speed travel.
IndianBureaucracy.com wishes the very best.