TRACK QUALITY AND MAINTENANCE DEMANDS FOR INTRODUCING 160 KMPH SEMI-HIGH SPEED (SHS) PASSENGER TRAINS ON INDIAN RAILWAYS – SAFETY ISSUES
By Dr. F.A. Wingler, February 2019
The Challenge in Introducing Speeds of 160 kmph for Passenger Trains on IR is to meet the Demands for Initial and Inherent Quality of Track, to develop advanced Policy and Strategy in Infrastructure Management and modern best Practices of Permanent Work Procedures and mechanised Track-Maintenances. Policy and Strategy should be governed by Overall Life Cycle Costs Considerations. 160 kmph tracks have to be kept sound and healthy with high Track Quality Index (TGI) Values. Indian Railways should take lessons from recent Semi-High Speed (SHS) and High-Speed (HS) Train Crashes occurred in other Countries.
Prerequisites for 160 kmph are:
- Well bearing and drained formation.
- Long rolled rails of high steel-alloy quality.
- High performance turnouts with condition monitoring sensors.
- High standard robotic rail flash-but welding or digital controlled AT welding under supervision of well trained and skilled gangs.
- Under sleeper pads for concrete sleepers and a fit-and-forget replacement rail-fastening system for the current Mark III ERC fastening.
- Well planned, condition based and predictive modern mechanised maintenance practises and procedures executed with appropriated tools and heavy duty & high performance on-track machinery.
- Regular preventive and target rail-grinding.
- Deployment of automatic train protection/control.
The following Paper had been submitted to the to the International Technical Seminar of I.P.W.E. (India), held on 22nd and 23rd Feb. 2019 at Hyderabad, with the topic: “Challenges in Introducing Speeds of 160 kmph for Passenger Trains on IR”.